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Ion-acoustic shocks with reflected ions: modelling and particle-in-cell simulations

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  13 July 2015

T. V. Liseykina*
Institut für Physik, Universität Rostock, 18051 Rostock, Germany Institute of Computational Technologies SD RAS, Ave. Ak. Lavrentjev 6, 630090 Novosibirsk, Russia
G. I. Dudnikova
Institute of Computational Technologies SD RAS, Ave. Ak. Lavrentjev 6, 630090 Novosibirsk, Russia
V. A. Vshivkov
Institute of Computational Mathematics and Mathematical Geophysics SD RAS, Ave. Ak. Lavrentjev 6, 630090 Novosibirsk, Russia
M. A. Malkov
CASS and Department of Physics, University of California San Diego, La Jolla, CA 92093-0424, USA
Email address for correspondence:


Non-relativistic collisionless shock waves are widespread in space and astrophysical plasmas and are known as efficient particle accelerators. However, our understanding of collisionless shocks, including their structure and the mechanisms whereby they accelerate particles, remains incomplete. We present here the results of numerical modelling of an ion-acoustic collisionless shock based on the one-dimensional kinetic approximation for both electrons and ions with a real mass ratio. Special emphasis is paid to the shock-reflected ions as the main driver of shock dissipation. The reflection efficiency, the velocity distribution of reflected particles and the shock electrostatic structure are studied in terms of the shock parameters. Applications to particle acceleration in geophysical and astrophysical shocks are discussed.

Research Article
© Cambridge University Press 2015 

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