Volume 106, Number 5, June 2014
|Number of page(s)||6|
|Section||Physics of Gases, Plasmas and Electric Discharges|
|Published online||02 June 2014|
A fast current-driven instability in relativistic collisionless shocks
1 Institut d'Astrophysique de Paris, CNRS, UPMC - 98 bis boulevard Arago, F-75014 Paris, France
2 UJF-Grenoble 1 / CNRS-INSU, Institut de Planétologie et d'Astrophysique de Grenoble (IPAG) UMR 5274 F-38041 Grenoble, France
3 CEA, DAM, DIF - F-91297 Arpajon, France
Received: 20 March 2014
Accepted: 12 May 2014
We report here on a fast current-driven instability at relativistic collisionless shocks, triggered by the perpendicular current carried by the supra-thermal particles as they gyrate around the background magnetic field in the shock precursor. We show that this instability grows faster than any other instability studied so far in this context, and we argue that it is likely to shape the physics of the shock and of particle acceleration in a broad parameter range.
PACS: 52.27.Ny – Relativistic plasmas / 52.35.Ra – Plasma turbulence / 98.38.Am – Physical properties (abundances, electron density, magnetic fields, scintillation, scattering, kinematics, dynamics, turbulence, etc.)
© EPLA, 2014
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