Two-stream instability of electrons in the shock front

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14 Scopus citations


During their collisionless motion in the shock front electrons are efficiently accelerated by the de HoffmanTeller cross shock potential. Inside the shock ramp two electron beams are formed: those which are accelerated from upstream to downstream and those which come from the downstream region to match the upstream distribution. This electron distribution is two-stream unstable. We estimate.the typical temporal and spatial scales on which the instability develops. We argue that this instability could result in fast relaxation of the electron beams and formation of the observed flattopped distributions.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1239-1242
Number of pages4
JournalGeophysical Research Letters
Issue number9
StatePublished - 1 May 1999

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Geophysics
  • General Earth and Planetary Sciences


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