Articles | Volume 33, issue 8
Regular paper
18 Aug 2015
Regular paper |  | 18 Aug 2015

Profile of a low-Mach-number shock in two-fluid plasma theory

M. Gedalin, Y. Kushinsky, and M. Balikhin

Abstract. Magnetic profiles of low-Mach-number collisionless shocks in space plasmas are studied within the two-fluid plasma theory. Particular attention is given to the upstream magnetic oscillations generated at the ramp. By including weak resistive dissipation in the equations of motion for electrons and protons, the dependence of the upstream wave train features on the ratio of the dispersion length to the dissipative length is established quantitatively. The dependence of the oscillation amplitude and spatial damping scale on the shock normal angle θ is found.

Short summary
The magnetic profile of a laminar collisionless shock is described within two-fluid plasma theory. This description is valid only for the upstream part of the shock, before the ions begin to gyrate strongly. The emerging structure is fairly universal in a wide range of shock angles and mainly depends on the ratio of the dissipative to the dispersive length.