Accession Number : AD0717397

Title :   Laboratory Study of High-beta Plasma Shock Waves.

Descriptive Note : Topical research rept.,

Corporate Author : CORNELL UNIV ITHACA N Y LAB OF PLASMA STUDIES

Personal Author(s) : Morse,David L. ; Destler,William W.

Report Date : JUL 1970

Pagination or Media Count : 34

Abstract : A plasma wind tunnel has been used to generate shock waves at rest in the laboratory reference frame. The upstream pressure ratio beta is in the range 1 to 3, and the Mach number based on the fast magnetosonic wave speed is 3 to 5. The shock wave is formed by letting the plasma wind impinge on the field of a magnetic obstacle. The resulting shock is primarily transverse, and exhibits a thickness of 1 to 1 1/2 times the ion inertial length (c/omega sub pi). The shock thickness decreases with increasing Mach number, and increases as the ion mass is increased. Magnetic fluctuations in the shock front are observed, with frequencies near the ion gyral frequency. Comparisons of these results with those of other experiments, and with the earth's bow shock, are made. (Author)

Descriptors :   (*PLASMA MEDIUM, SHOCK WAVES), (*MAGNETIC PINCH, TURBULENCE), (*MAGNETOSPHERE, *SOLAR WIND), ELECTRONS, IONS, SCATTERING, THERMONUCLEAR REACTIONS, GEOMAGNETISM

Subject Categories : Atmospheric Physics
      Plasma Physics and Magnetohydrodynamics

Distribution Statement : APPROVED FOR PUBLIC RELEASE