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Interaction between electrostatic collisionless shocks generates strong magnetic fields

Research output: Contribution to Journal/MagazineJournal articlepeer-review

  • Elisabetta Boella
  • Kevin Michael Schoeffler
  • Nitin Shukla
  • Maria Elena Innocenti
  • Giovanni Lapenta
  • Ricardo A Fonseca
  • Luis O Silva
Article number063016
<mark>Journal publication date</mark>30/06/2022
<mark>Journal</mark>New Journal of Physics
Issue number6
Number of pages10
Publication StatusPublished
Early online date12/05/22
<mark>Original language</mark>English


The head-on collision between electrostatic shocks is studied via multi-dimensional Particle-In-Cell simulations. A strong magnetic field develops after the interaction, which causes the shock velocities to drop significantly. This transverse magnetic field is generated by the Weibel instability, which is driven by pressure anisotropies due to longitudinal electron heating while the shocks approach each other. The possibility to explore the physics underpinning the shock collision in the laboratory with current laser facilities is discussed.