University of Cambridge > > DAMTP Astrophysics Seminars > Kinetic Simulations of Imbalanced Turbulence in a Relativistic Plasma

Kinetic Simulations of Imbalanced Turbulence in a Relativistic Plasma

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  • User Amelia Hankla - University of Colorado Boulder
  • ClockMonday 22 November 2021, 16:00-17:00
  • HouseOnline.

If you have a question about this talk, please contact Dr Can Cui.

Turbulent high-energy astrophysical systems often feature asymmetric energy injection: for instance, Alfven waves propagating from an accretion disk into its corona. Such systems are “imbalanced”: the energy fluxes parallel and anti-parallel to the large-scale magnetic field are unequal. In the past, numerical studies of imbalanced turbulence have focused on the magnetohydrodynamic regime. In the present study, we investigate externally-driven imbalanced turbulence in a collisionless, ultrarelativistically hot, magnetized pair plasma using three-dimensional particle-in-cell (PIC) simulations. We find that the injected electromagnetic momentum efficiently converts into plasma momentum, resulting in net motion along the background magnetic field with speeds up to a significant fraction of lightspeed. This discovery has important implications for the launching of accretion disk winds. We also find that although particle acceleration in imbalanced turbulence operates on a slower timescale than in balanced turbulence, it ultimately produces a power-law energy distribution similar to balanced turbulence. Our results have ramifications for black hole accretion disk coronae, winds, and jets.

This talk is part of the DAMTP Astrophysics Seminars series.

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