Particle Acceleration in Relativistic Electron-positron Jets with Helical Magnetic Fields

Athina Meli*, Kenichi Nishikawa, Ioana Dutan, Yosuke Mizuno, Jacek Niemiec, Jose L. Gomez, Martin Pohl, Christoph Köhn, Nicholas MacDonald

*Corresponding author for this work

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Abstract

The properties of relativistic jets, their interaction with the ambient environment and particle acceleration due to kinetic instabilities are studied self-consistently with Particle-in-Cell (PIC) simulations. In this work we study how a relativistic electron-positron jet containing a helical magnetic field evolves by focusing on its interaction with the external ambient plasma. Particularly, 3D PIC simulations are performed using a longer simulation system than previous studies with an embedded helical magnetic field. An important key issue in this work is how such a magnetic field affects an electron-positron jet and how this excites kinetic instabilities such as the Weibel instability (WI), the kinetic Kelvin-Helmholtz instability (kKHI) and others by further focusing on how particles accelerate. We do find that kinetic instabilities along with generated magnetic turbulence are present and consequently accelerate particles. At the linear stage we observe recollimation-like features at the center of the simulated jet and later-on as the electron-positron jet evolves, the magnetic fields generated by the instabilities become untangled and reorganized into a new topology near the non-linear phase. We additionally report indications of reconnection near the end of the non-linear stage, before the magnetic-field becomes untangled, as electrons get accelerated by multiple magnetic islands in the jet. In the present study the untangled magnetic field becomes turbulent without any reformation as it happened in our previous study of an electron-proton jet, which we will use to additionally compare the present results, obtaining important insights about the nature of these phenomena applicable to high-energy astrophysical environments such as Active Galactic Nuclei jets and Gamma-ray bursts.
Original languageEnglish
JournalMonthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society
ISSN0035-8711
Publication statusSubmitted - 2021

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