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Magnetized Collisionless Shocks in Solar Flares and Laboratory

Chuang Ren

Friday, October 30, 2020
1:30 p.m.

Collisionless shocks, from the Earth’s bow shock to supernova remnant shocks, are ubiquitous in nature. They are sources for energetic particles. In this talk we will discuss low Mach number, high beta fast mode shocks resulting from solar flare magnetic reconnection outflows. Above flare loop tops, these shocks can accelerate electrons to generate the observed hard X-rays and contemporaneous radio emission. Fully kinetic particle-in-cell simulations show that dissipation necessary for shock formation is provided by a modified two stream instability. They also show that shock drift acceleration can heat electrons to 40-100 keV, but not all the way to MeV. Such shocks can potentially be created in the laboratory using high power laser such as OMEGA-EP to enable more controlled study.