Interaction of a Relativistic Magnetized Collisionless Shock with a Dense Clump

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The interactions between a relativistic magnetized collisionless shock and dense clumps have been expected to play a crucial role in magnetic field amplification and cosmic-ray acceleration. We investigate this process using two-dimensional Particle-In-Cell (PIC) simulations, for the first time, where the clump size is much larger than the gyroradius of the downstream particles. We also perform relativistic magnetohydrodynamic (MHD) simulations for the same condition, to see the kinetic effects. We find that particles escape from the shocked clump along magnetic field lines in the PIC simulations, so that the vorticity is lower than that in the MHD simulations. Moreover, in both the PIC and MHD simulations, the shocked clump quickly decelerates because of relativistic effects. Owing to the escape and the deceleration, the shocked clump cannot amplify the downstream magnetic field in relativistic collisionless shocks. This large-scale PIC simulation opens a new window to understanding large-scale behaviors in collisionless plasma systems.

Original languageEnglish
Article numberL9
JournalAstrophysical Journal Letters
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2022 Sept 1

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Astronomy and Astrophysics
  • Space and Planetary Science


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