Kinematic Collisionless Relaxation of Ions in Supercritical Shocks

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We show that kinematic collisionless relaxation in the macroscopic electric and magnetic fields plays the main role in the formation of the downstream ion distributions in a super-critical shock with ion reflection present. It is done by comparison of a theoretically predicted magnetic profile with the magnetic profile of a shocks observed by MMS mission. It is shown that pressure balance remains the main constraint for the shock stability.

Original languageEnglish
Article number114
JournalFrontiers in Physics
StatePublished - 14 Aug 2019


  • bow shock
  • collisionless shocks
  • heliospheric shocks
  • magnetic fields in space
  • particle acceleration
  • plasma heating


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