Magnetic field generation in shock waves
Carter, John P.
Schwirzke, Fred R.
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Laser produced plasma jets interacting with a background plasma have been used to study magnetic field generation in shock waves. Shock heating produces axial electron temperature and density gradients which are perpendicular to the radial temperature and density gradients. Electron heat transport and ion diffusion, in the radial direction, occur at different rates. This combination of nonparallel temperature and density gradients generate a magnetic field in the azimuthal direction. Simulations corroborate the experimental observation that magnetic fields are generated when a supersonic plasma jet interacts with a background plasma. Magnetic flux generated by this mechanism requires no initial field, which is in contrast to the dynamo mechanism which does require an initial seed field. Specific applications analyzed in this thesis include interplanetary shocks and nuclear EMP effects in the MHD domain. It may be assumed that shock generated magnetic fields are also of importance under astrophysical conditions.
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