A numerical study of relativistic oblique shock reflection

Prasanta Bera, Jonathan Granot, Michael Rabinovich, Paz Beniamini

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Shocks are ubiquitous in astrophysical sources, many of which involve relativistic bulk motions, leading to the formation of relativistic shocks. Such relativistic shocks have so far been studied mainly in one dimension, for simplicity, but the complex nature of the relevant astrophysical flows often requires higher-dimensional studies. Here, we study the two-dimensional problem of the reflection of a planer shock off of a wall for a general incidence angle and a cold unshocked medium. We use primarily relativistic hydrodynamic numerical simulations and elaborately compare the results to an analytic treatment. The simulations are performed both in the rest frame S of the unshocked fluid, where the dimensionless proper speed of the singly shocked fluid is u 1 = Γ 1 β 1 and the shock incidence angle is α1, and in the rest frame S ′ of the point P of intersection of the incident shock and the wall for regular reflection (RR). Good agreement is obtained between the simulations in these two frames and with the analytic solution. The establishment of a steady flow in frame S ′ is explored, along with the transition between the strong and weak shock RR solutions. The transition line between RR and Mach reflection is studied numerically in the u1 − α1 plane and found to coincide with the analytic detachment/sonic line. The flow properties along the sonic line are investigated in detail focusing on how they vary between the Newtonian and relativistic limits.

Original languageEnglish
Article number016141
JournalPhysics of Fluids
Issue number1
StatePublished - 1 Jan 2024
Externally publishedYes

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