Sep 24 – 30, 2017
La Biodola, Isola d'Elba
Europe/Rome timezone

Relativistic magnetic reconnection driven by a laser interacting with a micro-plasma-slab

Sep 27, 2017, 7:30 PM
Parking Area, Hotel Hermitage

Parking Area, Hotel Hermitage

poster WG4 - Applications of Compact and High-Gradient Accelerators Wine and Poster Session 2 (WG4-WG5-WG6-WG7)


Yi Longqing


Magnetic reconnection (MR) in the relativistic regime is generally thought to be responsible for powering rapid bursts of non-thermal radiation in astrophysical events such as pulsar winds and flares of blazars. Due to the difficulty in making direct measurements in astrophysical systems or achieving such extreme energy density conditions that are necessary to observe relativistic MR in laboratory environments, the particle acceleration process is usually studied by fully kinetic particle-in-cell (PIC) simulations. Here we present a numerical study using 3D PIC simulations of a readily available (TW-mJ-class) laser interacting with a micro-scale plasma slab. The simulations show that when the electron beams that are excited on both sides of the slab approach the end of the plasma structure, ultrafast relativistic MR occurs. As the field topology changes, the explosive release of magnetic energy results in emission of relativistic electron jets with cut-off energy ~12 MeV. A hard power-law electron energy distribution with index p~1.8 is observed. We propose a novel scenario that can be straightforwardly implemented in experiments, and might significantly improve the understanding of fundamental questions such as reconnection rate, field dissipation and particle acceleration in relativistic MR.

Primary author

Yi Longqing


Prof. Alexander Pukhov (Heinrich Heine Univeristy Duesseldorf) Prof. Baifei Shen (Shanghai institute of optics and fine mechanics) Prof. Tünde Fülöp (Chalmers University of Technology)

Presentation materials