Multiscale Nature of Collisionless Shocks

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A collisionless shock possesses a well-developed structure with different scaler present. At the macroscale (much larger than the shock width) the usual Rankine-Hugoniot relations hold. The inhomogeneity occurs at the mesoscale (shock width) where ions are reflected and heated. The microscale (inside the ramp) magnetic and electric fields determine which ions are reflected and the electron dynamics. At the very large scales the Fermi-acceleration produces high energy particles which moderate the shock. The processes at different scales are inter-related, and a kind of a bootstrap can be expected. There is also some kind of the spectral energy transfer from the large scales to the small scales. This energy transfer is accompanied by the energy transfer into opposite direction - to accelerated particles.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)77-84
Number of pages8
JournalEuropean Space Agency, (Special Publication) ESA SP
Issue number492
StatePublished - 2001
EventSheffield Space Plasma Meeting: Multipoint Measurements versus Theory: Les Wooliscroft Memorial Conference - Sheffield, United Kingdom
Duration: 24 Apr 200126 Apr 2001


  • Charged particles motion
  • Collisionless shocks

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Aerospace Engineering
  • Space and Planetary Science


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