3D PIC Simulations for relativistic jets with a toroidal magnetic field

Athina Meli*, Kenichi Nishikawa*, Christoph Köhn, Ioana Dutan, Yosuke Mizuno, Oleh Kobzar, Nicholas MacDonald, Jose L. Gomez, Kouichi Hirotani

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articleResearchpeer-review

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We have investigated how kinetic instabilities such as the Weibel instability (WI), the mushroom instability (MI), and the kinetic Kelvin–Helmholtz instability (kKHI) are excited in jets without and with a toroidal magnetic field, and how such instabilities contribute to particle acceleration. In this work, we use a new jet injection scheme, where an electric current is self-consistently generated at the jet orifice by the jet particles, which produce the toroidal magnetic field. We perform five different simulations for a sufficiently long time to examine the non-linear effects of the jet evolution. We inject unmagnetized e± and e– p+ (mp/me = 1836), as well as magnetized e± and e– i+ (mi/me = 4) jets with a top-hat jet density profile into an unmagnetized ambient plasmas of the same species. We show that WI, MI, and kKHI excited at the linear stage, generate a non-oscillatory x-component of the electric field accelerating, and decelerating electrons. We find that the two different jet compositions (e± and e– i+) display different instability modes, respectively. Moreover, the magnetic field in the non-linear stage generated by different instabilities is dissipated and reorganized into new topologies. A 3D magnetic field topology depiction indicates possible reconnection sites in the non-linear stage, where the particles are significantly accelerated by the dissipation of the magnetic field associated to a possible reconnection event.
Original languageEnglish
JournalMonthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society
Issue number4
Pages (from-to)5410-5426
Publication statusPublished - 2023


  • Acceleration of particles
  • Instabilities
  • Relativistic processes
  • Shock waves
  • Galaxies: jets


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