Downstream plasma parameters in laminar shocks from ion kinetics Academic Article uri icon


  • Ion dynamics in oblique shocks is governed by the macroscopic electric and magnetic fields of the shock front. In laminar shocks, these fields are time-independent and depend only on the coordinate along the shock normal. The shock ramp is narrow and the ion motion across the shock is manifestly non-adiabatic. The ion distribution just behind the ramp is significantly non-gyrotropic. Gyrotropy is achieved well behind the ramp mainly due to the gyrophase mixing. The asymptotic values of the ion density and temperature are determined by the eventual collisionless relaxation of the gyrating ion distribution. Given a distribution at the downstream edge of the ramp, the moments of the distribution after gyrophase mixing are derived using proper spatial averaging. The obtained expressions can be used for independent determination of the downstream plasma state and implementation in Rankine-Hugoniot relations.

publication date

  • October 1, 2016