Reconnection, shocks and instabilities: energy conversion in a plasma
- Laboratories: LPP, LERMA, IAP, LATMOS, LULI
- Number of researchers involved: about 30
- Publications (2012-2018): more than 200
These mechanisms also play a central role in high energy astrophysics as they drive the production of high energy particles in the Universe.
In addition, another important aspect of this theme concerns numerical simulation through the development of simulation codes that have integrated algorithms for massively parallel machines among the most advanced today: the SMILEI (Simulating Matter Irradiated by Light at Extreme Intensities) and PHARE (Parallel Hybrid Code with Adaptive mesh REfinement) codes still under development.
These codes will be an asset to answer many questions:
What are the basic microscopic mechanisms of magnetic reconnection and how does the transformation of magnetic energy into kinetic and thermal energy occur?
How do instabilities intervene in energy exchanges?
How to study in numerical simulations the process of particle acceleration, and the effects of instabilities and radiation in shocks, on realistic spatio-temporal scales for comparison with spatial observations?
ILLUSTRATION: Phase spaces of the magnetized Weibel instability: it represents the evolution in the non-linear phase of the electron momentum phase space for a single unstable mode of the filamentation instability in the presence of an external flow-aligned magnetic field. Code PIC SMILEI, used by a large part of the community (LULI, LPP, LERMA, LATMOS, IAP). © Anna Grassi, LULI.