Schedule Feb 10, 2006
High Energy Density Laboratory Astrophysics
R Bingham, L.O.Silva, J T Mendonca, P.K.Shukla, A Serbeto

Under violent astrophysical conditions such as supernovae explosions, intense fluxes of neutrinos can drive a novel class of plasma instabilities: the electroweak versions of the standard electron and photon driven forward scattering or streaming instabilities. Employing the relativistic kinetic equations for the neutrinos interacting with plasma via the weak interaction force we explore the different collective plasma instabilities driven by neutrinos. We examine the anomalous energy transfer between the neutrinos and the background plasma via electron plasma waves. (Neutrino streaming instability) and the generation of quasi-static B fields (electroweak Weibel instability). Landau damping of plasma waves by neutrinos as a possible neutron star cooling mechanism is also considered. The relevance of the electroweak plasma instabilities for the extreme conditions occurring in supernovae, gamma ray bursts is pointed out. We point out the important role these instabilities play in re-energizing the stalled shock in type II supernovae.

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