Ion acceleration at two collisionless shocks in a multicomponent plasma

Rajesh Kumar, Youichi Sakawa*, Takayoshi Sano, Leonard N.K. Döhl, Nigel Woolsey, Alessio Morace

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Intense laser-plasma interactions are an essential tool for the laboratory study of ion acceleration at a collisionless shock. With two-dimensional particle-in-cell calculations of a multicomponent plasma we observe two electrostatic collisionless shocks at two distinct longitudinal positions when driven with a linearly polarized laser at normalized laser vector potential a0 that exceeds 10. Moreover, these shocks, associated with protons and carbon ions, show a power-law dependence on a0 and accelerate ions to different velocities in an expanding upstream with higher flux than in a single-component hydrogen or carbon plasma. This results from an electrostatic ion two-stream instability caused by differences in the charge-to-mass ratio of different ions. Particle acceleration in collisionless shocks in multicomponent plasma are ubiquitous in space and astrophysics, and these calculations identify the possibility for studying these complex processes in the laboratory.

Original languageEnglish
Article number043201
Number of pages10
Journal Physical Review E
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 5 Apr 2021

Bibliographical note

©2021 American Physical Society. Uploaded in accordance with the publisher’s self-archiving policy. Further copying may not be permitted; contact the publisher for details.

Funding Information:
This research was partially supported by Japan Society for the Promotion of Science (JSPS) KAKENHI Grants No. JP15H02154, No. JP17H06202, and No. JP19H00668, JSPS Core-to-Core Program B. Asia-Africa Science Platforms Grant No. JPJSCCB20190003, EPSRC Grants No. EP/L01663X/1 and No. EP/P026796/1.

Cite this