Structure of a collisionless pair jet in a magnetizedelectron-proton plasma: Flow-aligned magnetic field
2020 February 25
We present the results from a particle-in-cell (PIC) simulation that models the interaction between a spatially localized electron-positron cloud and an electron-ion plasma. The latter is permeated by a magnetic field that is initially spatially uniform and aligned with the mean velocity vector of the pair cloud. The pair cloud expels the magnetic field and piles it up into an electromagnetic piston. Its electromagnetic field is strong enough to separate the pair cloud from the ambient plasma in the direction that is perpendicular to the cloud propagation direction. The piston propagates away from the spine of the injected pair cloud and it accelerates the protons to a high nonrelativistic speed. The accelerated protons form an outer cocoon that will eventually become separated from the unperturbed ambient plasma by a fast magnetosonic shock. No electromagnetic piston forms at the front of the cloud and a shock is mediated here by the filamentation instability. The final plasma distribution resembles that of a hydrodynamic jet. Collisionless plasma jets may form in the coronal plasma of accreting black holes and the interaction between the strong magnetic field of the piston and the hot pair cloud may contribute to radio emissions by such objects.