The experimental demonstration of the formation of a strong electrostatic (ES) collisionless shock has been carried out with high-speed counterstreaming plasmas, produced by a high-power laser irradiation, without external magnetic field. The nearly four times density jump observed in the experiment shows a high Mach-number shock. This large density jump is attributed to the compression of the downstream plasma by momentum transfer by ion reflection of the upstream plasma. Particle-in-cell (PIC) simulation shows the production of a collisionless high Mach-number ES shock with counterstreaming interaction of two plasma slabs with different temperatures and densities, as pointed out by Sorasio [Phys. Rev. Lett. 96, 045005 (2006)]. It is speculated that the shock discontinuity is balanced with the momentum of incoming and reflected ions and the predominant pressure of the electrons in the downstream with PIC simulation.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Condensed Matter Physics