Max Planck Princeton Center for Plasma Physics

Princeton, NJ, United States

Max Planck Princeton Center for Plasma Physics

Princeton, NJ, United States
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Just O.,Max Planck Institute for Astrophysics | Just O.,Max Planck Princeton Center for Plasma Physics | Bauswein A.,Aristotle University of Thessaloniki | Ardevol Pulpillo R.,Max Planck Institute for Astrophysics | And 3 more authors.
Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society | Year: 2015

We present the first comprehensive study of r-process element nucleosynthesis in the ejecta of compact binary mergers (CBMs) and their relic black hole (BH)-torus systems. The evolution of the BH-accretion tori is simulated for seconds with a Newtonian hydrodynamics code including viscosity effects, pseudo-Newtonian gravity for rotatingBHs, and an energy-dependent two-moment closure scheme for the transport of electron neutrinos and antineutrinos. The investigated cases are guided by relativistic double neutron star (NS-NS) and NS-BH merger models, producing ~3-6M⊙ BHs with rotation parameters of ABH ~ 0.8 and tori of 0.03-0.3M⊙. Our nucleosynthesis analysis includes the dynamical (prompt) ejecta expelled during the CBM phase and the neutrino and viscously driven outflows of the relic BH-torus systems. While typically ~20-25 per cent of the initial accretion-torus mass are lost by viscously driven outflows, neutrino-powered winds contribute at most another ~1 per cent, but neutrino heating enhances the viscous ejecta significantly. Since BH-torus ejecta possess a wide distribution of electron fractions (0.1-0.6) and entropies, they produce heavy elements from A ~ 80 up to the actinides, with relative contributions of A ≳ 130 nuclei being subdominant and sensitively dependent on BH and torus masses and the exact treatment of shear viscosity. The combined ejecta of CBM and BH-torus phases can reproduce the solar abundances amazingly well for A ≳ 90. Varying contributions of the torus ejecta might account for observed variations of lighter elements with 40 ≤ Z ≤ 56 relative to heavier ones, and a considerable reduction of the prompt ejecta compared to the torus ejecta, e.g. in highly asymmetric NS-BH mergers, might explain the composition of heavy-element deficient stars. © 2015 The Authors.


Munoz P.A.,Max Planck Institute for Solar System Research | Munoz P.A.,Max Planck Princeton Center for Plasma Physics | Buchner J.,Max Planck Institute for Solar System Research | Buchner J.,Max Planck Princeton Center for Plasma Physics
Physics of Plasmas | Year: 2016

Non-Maxwellian electron velocity space distribution functions (EVDFs) are useful signatures of plasma conditions and non-local consequences of collisionless magnetic reconnection. In the past, EVDFs were obtained mainly for antiparallel reconnection and under the influence of weak guide-fields in the direction perpendicular to the reconnection plane. EVDFs are, however, not well known, yet, for oblique (or component-) reconnection in case and in dependence on stronger guide-magnetic fields and for the exhaust (outflow) region of reconnection away from the diffusion region. In view of the multi-spacecraft Magnetospheric Multiscale Mission (MMS), we derived the non-Maxwellian EVDFs of collisionless magnetic reconnection in dependence on the guide-field strength bg from small (bg ≈ 0) to very strong (bg = 8) guide-fields, taking into account the feedback of the self-generated turbulence. For this sake, we carried out 2.5D fully kinetic Particle-in-Cell simulations using the ACRONYM code. We obtained anisotropic EVDFs and electron beams propagating along the separatrices as well as in the exhaust region of reconnection. The beams are anisotropic with a higher temperature in the direction perpendicular rather than parallel to the local magnetic field. The beams propagate in the direction opposite to the background electrons and cause instabilities. We also obtained the guide-field dependence of the relative electron-beam drift speed, threshold, and properties of the resulting streaming instabilities including the strongly non-linear saturation of the self-generated plasma turbulence. This turbulence and its non-linear feedback cause non-adiabatic parallel electron acceleration. We further obtained the resulting EVDFs due to the non-linear feedback of the saturated self-generated turbulence near the separatrices and in the exhaust region of reconnection in dependence on the guide field strength. We found that the influence of the self-generated plasma turbulence leads well beyond the limits of the quasi-linear approximation to the creation of phase space holes and an isotropizing pitch-angle scattering. EVDFs obtained by this way can be used for diagnosing collisionless reconnection by using the multi-spacecraft observations carried out by the MMS mission. © 2016 Author(s).


Soto-Chavez A.R.,Princeton University | Wang G.,Princeton University | Wang G.,Max Planck Princeton Center for Plasma Physics | Bhattacharjee A.,Princeton University | And 3 more authors.
Geophysical Research Letters | Year: 2014

Motivated by the fact that geomagnetic field inhomogeneity is weak close to the chorus generation region and the observational evidence that falling-tone chorus tend to have large oblique angles of propagation, we propose that falling-tone chorus start as a marginally unstable mode. The marginally unstable mode requires the presence of a relatively large damping, which has its origins in the Landau damping of oblique waves in this collisionless environment. A marginally unstable mode produces phase-space structures that release energy and produce wave chirping. We show that the present model produces results in reasonable agreement with observations. © 2014. American Geophysical Union. All Rights Reserved.


Teaca B.,Coventry University | Teaca B.,Max Planck Institute for Plasma Physics (Garching) | Teaca B.,Max Planck Princeton Center for Plasma Physics | Navarro A.B.,Max Planck Institute for Plasma Physics (Garching) | And 2 more authors.
Physics of Plasmas | Year: 2014

In magnetized plasma turbulence, the couplings of perpendicular spatial scales that arise due to the nonlinear interactions are analyzed from the perspective of the free-energy exchanges. The plasmas considered here, with appropriate ion or electron adiabatic electro-neutrality responses, are described by the gyrokinetic formalism in a toroidal magnetic geometry. Turbulence develops due to the electrostatic fluctuations driven by temperature gradient instabilities, either ion temperature gradient (ITG) or electron temperature gradient (ETG). The analysis consists in decomposing the system into a series of scale structures, while accounting separately for contributions made by modes possessing special symmetries (e.g., the zonal flow modes). The interaction of these scales is analyzed using the energy transfer functions, including a forward and backward decomposition, scale fluxes, and locality functions. The comparison between the ITG and ETG cases shows that ETG turbulence has a more pronounced classical turbulent behavior, exhibiting a stronger energy cascade, with implications for gyrokinetic turbulence modeling. © 2014 AIP Publishing LLC.


Hatch D.R.,University of Texas at Austin | Hatch D.R.,Max Planck Institute for Plasma Physics (Garching) | Jenko F.,Max Planck Institute for Plasma Physics (Garching) | Jenko F.,Max Planck Princeton Center for Plasma Physics | And 2 more authors.
Physical Review Letters | Year: 2013

A gyrokinetic model of ion temperature gradient driven turbulence in magnetized plasmas is used to study the injection, nonlinear redistribution, and collisional dissipation of free energy in the saturated turbulent state over a broad range of driving gradients and collision frequencies. The dimensionless parameter LT/LC, where LT is the ion temperature gradient scale length and LC is the collisional mean free path, is shown to parametrize a transition between a saturation regime dominated by nonlinear transfer of free energy to small perpendicular (to the magnetic field) scales and a regime dominated by dissipation at large scales in all phase space dimensions. © 2013 American Physical Society.


Bratanov V.,Max Planck Institute for Plasma Physics (Garching) | Jenko F.,Max Planck Institute for Plasma Physics (Garching) | Jenko F.,Max Planck Princeton Center for Plasma Physics | Hatch D.R.,Max Planck Institute for Plasma Physics (Garching) | And 2 more authors.
Physical Review Letters | Year: 2013

Turbulence is generally associated with universal power-law spectra in scale ranges without significant drive or damping. Although many examples of turbulent systems do not exhibit such an inertial range, power-law spectra may still be observed. As a simple model for such situations, a modified version of the Kuramoto-Sivashinsky equation is studied. By means of semianalytical and numerical studies, one finds power laws with nonuniversal exponents in the spectral range for which the ratio of nonlinear and linear time scales is (roughly) scale independent. © 2013 American Physical Society.


Pueschel M.J.,University of Wisconsin - Madison | Told D.,Max Planck Institute for Plasma Physics (Garching) | Terry P.W.,University of Wisconsin - Madison | Jenko F.,Max Planck Institute for Plasma Physics (Garching) | And 4 more authors.
Astrophysical Journal, Supplement Series | Year: 2014

A current sheet susceptible to the tearing instability is used to drive reconnection turbulence in the presence of a strong guide field. Through nonlinear gyrokinetic simulations, the dependencies of central quantities such as the heating rate on parameters like collisionality or plasma β are studied, revealing that linear physics tends to predict only some aspects of the quasi-saturated state, with the nonlinear cascade responsible for additional features. For the solar corona, it is demonstrated that the kinetic heating associated with this type of turbulence agrees quantitatively with observational volumetric heating rates. In the context of short particle acceleration events, the self-consistent emergence of plasmoids or flux ropes in the turbulent bath is found to be important: ubiquitously occurring merger events of these objects cause strong bursts in the heating rate, the timescale of which is consistent with nanoflare observations. Furthermore, anisotropy of the temperature fluctuations is seen to emerge, hinting at a new means of generating coronal ion temperature anisotropy in the absence of cyclotron resonances. © 2014. The American Astronomical Society. All rights reserved..


Park J.,Kyung Hee University | Innes D.E.,Max Planck Institute for Solar System Research | Bucik R.,Max Planck Institute for Solar System Research | Bucik R.,Max Planck Princeton Center for Plasma Physics | And 2 more authors.
Astrophysical Journal | Year: 2015

We study the relationship between large gradual solar energetic particle (SEP) events and associated extreme-ultraviolet (EUV) wave properties in 16 events that occurred between 2010 August and 2013 May and were observed by SDO, the Solar and Heliospheric Observatory (SOHO), and/or STEREO. We determine onset times, peak times, and peak fluxes of the SEP events in the SOHO/ERNE and STEREO/LET proton channels (6-10 MeV). The EUV wave arrival times and their speeds from the source sites to the spacecraft footpoints in the photosphere, which are magnetically connected to the spacecraft by Parker spiral and potential fields, are determined by spacetime plots from the full-Sun heliographic images created by combining STEREO-A and STEREO-B 195 Å and SDO 193 Å images. The SEP peak fluxes increase with the EUV wave speeds, and the SEP spectral indices become harder with the speeds. This shows that higher energetic particle fluxes are associated with faster EUV waves, which are considered as the lateral expansions of coronal-mass-ejection-driven shocks in the low corona. © 2015. The American Astronomical Society. All rights reserved.


Kunz M.W.,Princeton University | Kunz M.W.,Max Planck Princeton Center for Plasma Physics | Stone J.M.,Princeton University | Stone J.M.,Max Planck Princeton Center for Plasma Physics | Bai X.-N.,Harvard - Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics
Journal of Computational Physics | Year: 2014

We describe Pegasus, a new hybrid-kinetic particle-in-cell code tailored for the study of astrophysical plasma dynamics. The code incorporates an energy-conserving particle integrator into a stable, second-order-accurate, three-stage predictor-predictor-corrector integration algorithm. The constrained transport method is used to enforce the divergence-free constraint on the magnetic field. A δf scheme is included to facilitate a reduced-noise study of systems in which only small departures from an initial distribution function are anticipated. The effects of rotation and shear are implemented through the shearing-sheet formalism with orbital advection. These algorithms are embedded within an architecture similar to that used in the popular astrophysical magnetohydrodynamics code Athena, one that is modular, well-documented, easy to use, and efficiently parallelized for use on thousands of processors. We present a series of tests in one, two, and three spatial dimensions that demonstrate the fidelity and versatility of the code. © 2013 Elsevier Inc.


Jain N.,Max Planck Princeton Center for Plasma Physics | Jain N.,Max Planck Institute for Solar System Research | Buchner J.,Max Planck Princeton Center for Plasma Physics | Buchner J.,Max Planck Institute for Solar System Research
Physics of Plasmas | Year: 2014

In collisionless magnetic reconnection, electron current sheets (ECS) with thickness of the order of an electron inertial length form embedded inside ion current sheets with thickness of the order of an ion inertial length. These ECS's are susceptible to a variety of instabilities which have the potential to affect the reconnection rate and/or the structure of reconnection. We carry out a three dimensional linear eigen mode stability analysis of electron shear flow driven instabilities of an electron scale current sheet using an electron-magnetohydrodynamic plasma model. The linear growth rate of the fastest unstable mode was found to drop with the thickness of the ECS. We show how the nature of the instability depends on the thickness of the ECS. As long as the half-thickness of the ECS is close to the electron inertial length, the fastest instability is that of a translational symmetric two-dimensional (no variations along flow direction) tearing mode. For an ECS half thickness sufficiently larger or smaller than the electron inertial length, the fastest mode is not a tearing mode any more and may have finite variations along the flow direction. Therefore, the generation of plasmoids in a nonlinear evolution of ECS is likely only when the half-thickness is close to an electron inertial length. © 2014 AIP Publishing LLC.

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