A shock-shock interaction is investigated by using a one-dimensional full particle-in-cell simulation. The simulation reproduces the collision of two symmetrical high Mach number quasi-perpendicular shocks. The basic structure of the shocks and ion dynamics is similar to that obtained by previous hybrid simulations. The new aspects obtained here are as follows. Electrons are already strongly accelerated before the two shocks collide through multiple reflection. The reflected electrons self-generate waves upstream between the two shocks before they collide. The waves far upstream are generated through the right-hand resonant instability with the anomalous Doppler effect. The waves generated near the shock are due to firehose instability and have much larger amplitudes than those due to the resonant instability. The high-energy electrons are efficiently scattered by the waves so that some of them gain large pitch angles. Those electrons can be easily reflected at the shock of the other side. The accelerated electrons form a power-law energy spectrum. Due to the accelerated electrons, the pressure of upstream electrons increases with time. This appears to cause the deceleration of the approaching shock speed. The accelerated electrons having sufficiently large Larmor radii are further accelerated through the similar mechanism working for ions when the two shocks are colliding.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Astronomy and Astrophysics
- Space and Planetary Science