University of Maryland
Atlantic Building, Room 2400
4:30 PM Monday, October 29, 2018
Coffee, Tea & Snacks 4:15-4:30 PM

Gareth Roberg-Clark
Department of Physics, University of Maryland
Wave generation and heat flux suppression in astrophysical plasma systems

Heat flux suppression in collisionless plasmas for a large range of plasma β is explored using two-dimensional particle-in-cell simulations with a strong, sustained thermal gradient. We find that a transition takes place between whistler-dominated (high-β) and double-layer-dominated (low-β) heat flux suppression. Whistlers saturate at small amplitude in the low beta limit and are unable to effectively suppress the heat flux. Electrostatic double layers suppress the heat flux to a mostly constant factor of the free streaming value once this transition happens. The double layer physics is an example of ion-electron coupling and occurs on a scale of roughly the electron Debye length. The scaling of ion heating associated with the various heat flux driven instabilities is explored over the full range of β explored. The range of plasma-βs studied in this work makes it relevant to the dynamics of a large variety of astrophysical plasmas, including the intracluster medium of galaxy clusters, hot accretion flows, stellar and accretion disk coronae, and the solar wind.

Sponsored by: Department of Physics and the Institute for Physical Science and Technology, University of Maryland. For information call Victoria at (301) 405-4811 or go to the UMD Space Physics group seminar web site.

There is free parking after 4:00 PM in lot B (the big parking garage across the street from the ATL building). There are a limited number of spaces in lot Q next to the new ATL wing with free parking after 4PM even when there is a basketball game on campus.