Theory Helps Observations: Determination of the Shock Mach Number and Scales From Magnetic Measurements

Michael Gedalin, Ephim Golbraikh, Christopher T. Russell, Andrew P. Dimmock

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations

Abstract

The Mach number is one of the key parameters of collisionless shocks. Understanding shock physics requires knowledge of the spatial scales in the shock transition layer. The standard methods of determining the Mach number and the spatial scales require simultaneous measurements of the magnetic field and the particle density, velocity, and temperature. While magnetic field measurements are usually of high quality and resolution, particle measurements are often either unavailable or not properly adjusted to the plasma conditions. We show that theoretical arguments can be used to overcome the limitations of observations and determine the Mach number and spatial scales of the low-Mach number shock when only magnetic field data are available.

Original languageEnglish
Article number852720
JournalFrontiers in Physics
Volume10
DOIs
StatePublished - 15 Mar 2022

Keywords

  • bow shock
  • collisionless shocks
  • heliosphere
  • magnetic field
  • planetary shocks

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biophysics
  • Materials Science (miscellaneous)
  • Mathematical Physics
  • Physics and Astronomy (all)
  • Physical and Theoretical Chemistry

Fingerprint

Dive into the research topics of 'Theory Helps Observations: Determination of the Shock Mach Number and Scales From Magnetic Measurements'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this