Simulating Astrophysical Jets in Laboratory Experiments
Pulsed-power technology and appropriate boundary conditions have been used to create simulations of magnetically driven astrophysical jets in a laboratory experiment. The experiments are quite reproducible and involve a distinct sequence. Eight initial flux tubes, corresponding to eight gas injection locations, merge to form the jet, which lengthens, collimates, and eventually kinks. A model developed to explain the collimation process predicts that collimation is intimately related to convection and pile-up of frozen-in toroidal flux convected with the jet. The pile-up occurs when there is an axial non-uniformity in the jet velocity so that in the frame of the jet there appears to be a converging flow of plasma carrying frozen-in toroidal magnetic flux. The pile-up of convected flux at this "stagnation region" amplifies the toroidal magnetic field and increases the pinch force, thereby collimating the jet.
© 2005 Springer Science + Business Media, Inc. Received 23 April 2004; Accepted 09 June 2004. This work was supported by DOE.