Escape of heated ions upstream of quasi-parallel shocks Academic Article uri icon


  • A simple theoretical criterion by which quasi-parallel and quasi-perpendicular collisionless shocks may be distinguished is proposed on the basis of an investigation of the free escape of ions from the post-shock plasma into the region upstream of a fast collisionless shock. It was determined that the accessibility of downstream ions to the upstream region depends on upstream magnetic field shock normal angle, in addition to the upstream plasma parameters, with post-shock ions escaping upstream for shock normal angles of less than 45 deg, in agreement with the observed transition between quasi-parallel and quasi-perpendicular shock structure. Upstream ion distribution functions resembling those of observed intermediate ions and beams are also calculated.

publication date

  • January 1, 1982