Energetic ions propagating in a magnetized background drive magnetosonic waves unstable. The enhanced wave activity slows down the beam, transferring part of the energy to the background plasma. This instability is common in many astrophysical environments such as the reflected ions in the Earth bow shock or cosmic rays streaming in the interstellar medium. In addition, the ability of generating strong (up to 40 T) steady-state magnetic fields in laser-produced plasmas is opening the door to studying this intability in the laboratory.
Using the hybrid code HECKLE, which treats the ions as macroparticles and electrons as a massless fluid, we study the magnetic streaming instability for a range of plasma parameters and present an overview of the analytical and numerical results.
We can then study the characteristics of the modes generated that are given by the theory, as the dispersion relation of the waves, or the energy transfer from the beam to the background plasma.