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Title: Simulating diverse instabilities of dust in magnetized gas
ABSTRACT Recently, Squire & Hopkins showed that charged dust grains moving through magnetized gas under the influence of a uniform external force (such as radiation pressure or gravity) are subject to a spectrum of instabilities. Qualitatively distinct instability families are associated with different Alfvén or magnetosonic waves and drift or gyro motion. We present a suite of simulations exploring these instabilities, for grains in a homogeneous medium subject to an external acceleration. We vary parameters such as the ratio of Lorentz-to-drag forces on dust, plasma β, size scale, and acceleration. All regimes studied drive turbulent motions and dust-to-gas fluctuations in the saturated state, rapidly amplify magnetic fields into equipartition with velocity fluctuations, and produce instabilities that persist indefinitely (despite random grain motions). Different parameters produce diverse morphologies and qualitatively different features in dust, but the saturated gas state can be broadly characterized as anisotropic magnetosonic or Alfvénic turbulence. Quasi-linear theory can qualitatively predict the gas turbulent properties. Turbulence grows from small to large scales, and larger scale modes usually drive more vigorous gas turbulence, but dust velocity and density fluctuations are more complicated. In many regimes, dust forms structures (clumps, filaments, sheets) that reach extreme overdensities (up to ≫109 times more » mean), and exhibit substantial substructure even in nearly incompressible gas. These can be even more prominent at lower dust-to-gas ratios. In other regimes, dust self-excites scattering via magnetic fluctuations that isotropize and amplify dust velocities, producing fast, diffusive dust motions. « less
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Award ID(s):
Publication Date:
Journal Name:
Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society
Page Range or eLocation-ID:
2123 to 2154
Sponsoring Org:
National Science Foundation
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