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Title: Magnetically driven coupling in relativistic radiation-mediated shocks

The radiation drag in photon-rich environments of cosmic explosions can seed kinetic instabilities by inducing velocity spreads between relativistically streaming plasma components. Such microturbulence is likely imprinted on the breakout signals of radiation-mediated shocks. However, large-scale, transverse magnetic fields in the deceleration region of the shock transition can suppress the dominant kinetic instabilities by preventing the development of velocity separations between electron–positron pairs and a heavy ion species. We use a 1D five-fluid radiative transfer code to generate self-consistent profiles of the radiation drag force and plasma composition in the deceleration region. For increasing magnetization, our models predict rapidly growing pair multiplicities and a substantial radiative drag developing self-similarly throughout the deceleration region. We extract the critical magnetization parameter σc, determining the limiting magnetic field strength at which a three-species plasma can develop kinetic instabilities before reaching the isotropized downstream. For a relativistic, single ion plasma drifting with γu = 10 in the upstream of a relativistic radiation-mediated shock, we find the threshold σc ≈ 10−7 for the onset of microturbulence. Suppression of plasma instabilities in the case of multi-ion composition would likely require much higher values of σc. Identifying high-energy signatures of microturbulence in shock breakout signals and combining them with the magnetization limits provided in this work will allow a deeper understanding of the magnetic environment of cosmic explosions like supernovae, gamma-ray bursts, and neutron star binary mergers.

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Award ID(s):
2206610 2206607
Author(s) / Creator(s):
; ; ; ; ;
Publisher / Repository:
Oxford University Press
Date Published:
Journal Name:
Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society
Medium: X Size: p. 6126-6137
["p. 6126-6137"]
Sponsoring Org:
National Science Foundation
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