WorldWideScience

Sample records for field magnetic reconnection

  1. Reconnection of Magnetic Fields

    Science.gov (United States)

    Birn, J.; Priest, E. R.

    2007-01-01

    Preface; Part I. Introduction: 1.1 The Sun E. R. Priest; 1.2 Earth's magnetosphere J. Birn; Part II. Basic Theory of MHD Reconnection: 2.1 Classical theory of two-dimensional reconnection T. G. Forbes; 2.2 Fundamental concepts G. Hornig; 2.3 Three-dimensional reconnection in the absence of magnetic null points G. Hornig; 2.4 Three-dimensional reconnection at magnetic null points D. Pontin; 2.5 Three-dimensional flux tube reconnection M. Linton; Part III. Basic Theory of Collisionless Reconnection: 3.1 Fundamentals of collisionless reconnection J. Drake; 3.2 Diffusion region physics M. Hesse; 3.3 Onset of magnetic reconnection P. Pritchett; 3.4 Hall-MHD reconnection A. Bhattacharjee and J. Dorelli; 3.5 Role of current-aligned instabilities J. Büchner and W. Daughton; 3.6 Nonthermal particle acceleration M. Hoshino; Part IV. Reconnection in the Magnetosphere: 4.1 Reconnection at the magnetopause: concepts and models J. G. Dorelli and A. Bhattacharjee; 4.2 Observations of magnetopause reconnection K.-H. Trattner; 4.3 On the stability of the magnetotail K. Schindler; 4.4 Simulations of reconnection in the magnetotail J. Birn; 4.5 Observations of tail reconnection W. Baumjohann and R. Nakamura; 4.6 Remote sensing of reconnection M. Freeman; Part V. Reconnection in the Sun's Atmosphere: 5.1 Coronal heating E. R. Priest; 5.2 Separator reconnection D. Longcope; 5.3 Pinching of coronal fields V. Titov; 5.4 Numerical experiments on coronal heating K. Galsgaard; 5.5 Solar flares K. Kusano; 5.6 Particle acceleration in flares: theory T. Neukirch; 5.7 Fast particles in flares: observations L. Fletcher; 6. Open problems J. Birn and E. R. Priest; Bibliography; Index.

  2. New electric field in asymmetric magnetic reconnection.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Malakit, K; Shay, M A; Cassak, P A; Ruffolo, D

    2013-09-27

    We present a theory and numerical evidence for the existence of a previously unexplored in-plane electric field in collisionless asymmetric magnetic reconnection. This electric field, dubbed the "Larmor electric field," is associated with finite Larmor radius effects and is distinct from the known Hall electric field. Potentially, it could be an important indicator for the upcoming Magnetospheric Multiscale mission to locate reconnection sites as we expect it to appear on the magnetospheric side, pointing earthward, at the dayside magnetopause reconnection site.

  3. Fast Reconnection of Weak Magnetic Fields

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zweibel, Ellen G.

    1998-01-01

    Fast magnetic reconnection refers to annihilation or topological rearrangement of magnetic fields on a timescale that is independent (or nearly independent) of the plasma resistivity. The resistivity of astrophysical plasmas is so low that reconnection is of little practical interest unless it is fast. Yet, the theory of fast magnetic reconnection is on uncertain ground, as models must avoid the tendency of magnetic fields to pile up at the reconnection layer, slowing down the flow. In this paper it is shown that these problems can be avoided to some extent if the flow is three dimensional. On the other hand, it is shown that in the limited but important case of incompressible stagnation point flows, every flow will amplify most magnetic fields. Although examples of fast magnetic reconnection abound, a weak, disordered magnetic field embedded in stagnation point flow will in general be amplified, and should eventually modify the flow. These results support recent arguments against the operation of turbulent resistivity in highly conducting fluids.

  4. Magnetic Reconnection

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Schep, T. J.

    1994-01-01

    This lecture deals with the concept of magnetic field lines and with the conservation of magnetic flux. In high temperature fusion devices like tokamaks flux conservation can be violated and reconnection can occur at closed magnetic field lines. Reconnection processes lead to changes in the global t

  5. Collisionless reconnection: magnetic field line interaction

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    R. A. Treumann

    2012-10-01

    Full Text Available Magnetic field lines are quantum objects carrying one quantum Φ0 = 2πh/e of magnetic flux and have finite radius λm. Here we argue that they possess a very specific dynamical interaction. Parallel field lines reject each other. When confined to a certain area they form two-dimensional lattices of hexagonal structure. We estimate the filling factor of such an area. Anti-parallel field lines, on the other hand, attract each other. We identify the physical mechanism as being due to the action of the gauge potential field, which we determine quantum mechanically for two parallel and two anti-parallel field lines. The distortion of the quantum electrodynamic vacuum causes a cloud of virtual pairs. We calculate the virtual pair production rate from quantum electrodynamics and estimate the virtual pair cloud density, pair current and Lorentz force density acting on the field lines via the pair cloud. These properties of field line dynamics become important in collisionless reconnection, consistently explaining why and how reconnection can spontaneously set on in the field-free centre of a current sheet below the electron-inertial scale.

  6. Magnetopause Reconnection Impact Parameters from Multiple Spacecraft Magnetic Field Measurements

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wendel, Deirdre E.; Reiff, Patricia H.

    2009-01-01

    We present a novel technique that exploits multiple spacecraft data to determine the impact parameters of the most general form of magnetic reconnection at the magnetopause. The method consists of a superposed epoch of multiple spacecraft magnetometer measurements that yields the instantaneous magnetic spatial gradients near a magnetopause reconnection site. The gradients establish the instantaneous positions of the spacecraft relative to the reconnection site. The analysis is well suited to evaluating the spatial scales of singular field line reconnection, which is characterized by a two-dimensional x-type topology adjacent and perpendicular to a reconnecting singular field line. Application of the method to Cluster data known to lie in the vicinity of a northward IMF reconnection site establishes a field topology consistent with singular field line reconnection and a normal magnetic field component of 20 nT. The corresponding current structure consists of a 130 km sheet possibly embedding a thinner. bifurcated sheet.

  7. Numerical Tests of Fast Reconnection in Weakly Stochastic Magnetic Fields

    CERN Document Server

    Kowal, G; Vishniac, E T; Otmianowska-Mazur, K

    2009-01-01

    We study the effects of turbulence on magnetic reconnection using 3D numerical simulations. This is the first attempt to test a model of fast magnetic reconnection in the presence of weak turbulence proposed by Lazarian & Vishniac (1999). This model predicts that weak turbulence, generically present in most of astrophysical systems, enhances the rate of reconnection by reducing the transverse scale for reconnection events and by allowing many independent flux reconnection events to occur simultaneously. As a result the reconnection speed becomes independent of Ohmic resistivity and is determined by the magnetic field wandering induced by turbulence. To quantify the reconnection speed we use both an intuitive definition, i.e. the speed of the reconnected flux inflow, as well as a more sophisticated definition based on a formally derived analytical expression. Our results confirm the predictions of the Lazarian & Vishniac model. In particular, we find that Vrec Pinj^(1/2), as predicted by the model. The...

  8. Magnetic reconnection in Saturn's magnetotail: A comprehensive magnetic field survey.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Smith, A. W.; Jackman, C. M.; Thomsen, M. F.; Dougherty, M. K.

    2015-10-01

    Magnetic reconnection is a fundamental process throughout the solar system, significantly shaping and modulating the magnetospheres of the magnetized planets. Within planetary magnetotails reconnection can be responsible for energizing particles and potentially changing the total flux and mass contained within the magnetosphere. The Kronian magnetosphere is thought to be a middle ground between the rotationally dominated Jovian magnetosphere and the solar wind driven terrestrial magnetosphere. However, previous studies have not been able to find a statistical reconnection x-line, as has been possible at both Jupiter and Earth. Additionally the standard picture of magnetotail reconnection at Saturn, developed by Cowley et al. [2004], suggests a potential asymmetry between the dawn and dusk flanks, caused by different reconnection processes dominating. This work centers on the development of an algorithm designed to find reconnection related events in spacecraft magnetometer data, aiming to reduce the bias that manual searches could inherently introduce, thereby ensuring the validity of any statistical analysis. The algorithm primarily identifies the reconnection related events from deflections in the north-south component of the magnetic field, allowing an almost uninterrupted in-situ search (when the spacecraft is situated within the magnetotail). The new catalogue of candidate reconnection events, produced by the algorithm, enables a more complete statistical view of reconnection in the Kronian magnetotail. Well-studied data encompassing the deep magnetotail and dawn flank (particularly from orbits in 2006) were used to train the algorithm and develop reasonable criteria. The algorithm was then applied to data encompassing the dusk flank (including orbits from 2009, for which plasma data have been examined by Thomsen et al. [2014]). This combination enables a robust, and global, comparison of reconnection rates, signatures and properties in the Kronian magnetotail.

  9. Magnetic Reconnection

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Masaaki Yamada, Russell Kulsrud and Hantao Ji

    2009-09-17

    We review the fundamental physics of magnetic reconnection in laboratory and space plasmas, by discussing results from theory, numerical simulations, observations from space satellites, and the recent results from laboratory plasma experiments. After a brief review of the well-known early work, we discuss representative recent experimental and theoretical work and attempt to interpret the essence of significant modern findings. In the area of local reconnection physics, many significant findings have been made with regard to two- uid physics and are related to the cause of fast reconnection. Profiles of the neutral sheet, Hall currents, and the effects of guide field, collisions, and micro-turbulence are discussed to understand the fundamental processes in a local reconnection layer both in space and laboratory plasmas. While the understanding of the global reconnection dynamics is less developed, notable findings have been made on this issue through detailed documentation of magnetic self-organization phenomena in fusion plasmas. Application of magnetic reconnection physics to astrophysical plasmas is also brie y discussed.

  10. Magnetic reconnection in Saturn's magnetotail: A comprehensive magnetic field survey

    Science.gov (United States)

    Smith, A. W.; Jackman, C. M.; Thomsen, M. F.

    2016-04-01

    Reconnection within planetary magnetotails is responsible for locally energizing particles and changing the magnetic topology. Its role in terms of global magnetospheric dynamics can involve changing the mass and flux content of the magnetosphere. We have identified reconnection related events in spacecraft magnetometer data recorded during Cassini's exploration of Saturn's magnetotail. The events are identified from deflections in the north-south component of the magnetic field, significant above a background level. Data were selected to provide full tail coverage, encompassing the dawn and dusk flanks as well as the deepest midnight orbits. Overall 2094 reconnection related events were identified, with an average rate of 5.0 events per day. The majority of events occur in clusters (within 3 h of other events). We examine changes in this rate in terms of local time and latitude coverage, taking seasonal effects into account. The observed reconnection rate peaks postmidnight with more infrequent but steady loss seen on the dusk flank. We estimate the mass loss from the event catalog and find it to be insufficient to balance the input from the moon Enceladus. Several reasons for this discrepancy are discussed. The reconnection X line location appears to be highly variable, though a statistical separation between events tailward and planetward of the X line is observed at a radial distance of between 20 and 30RS downtail. The small sample size at dawn prevents comprehensive statistical comparison with the dusk flank observations in terms of flux closure.

  11. Evolution of field line helicity during magnetic reconnection

    CERN Document Server

    Russell, Alexander J B; Hornig, Gunnar; Wilmot-Smith, Antonia L

    2015-01-01

    We investigate the evolution of field line helicity for non-zero magnetic fields that connect two boundaries, with emphasis on localized finite-B magnetic reconnection. Total (relative) magnetic helicity is already recognized as an important topological constraint on magnetohydrodynamic processes. Field line helicity offers further advantages because it preserves all topological information and can distinguish between different magnetic fields with the same total helicity. Magnetic reconnection changes field topology and field line helicity reflects these changes; the goal of this paper is to characterize that evolution. We start by deriving the evolution equation for field line helicity and examining its terms, also obtaining a simplified form for cases where dynamics are localized within the domain. The main result, which we support using kinematic examples, is that during localized reconnection in a topologically complex magnetic field, the evolution of field line helicity is dominated by a work-like term ...

  12. Imaging coronal magnetic-field reconnection in a solar flare

    CERN Document Server

    Su, Yang; Holman, Gordon D; Dennis, Brian R; Wang, Tongjiang; Temmer, Manuela; Gan, Weiqun

    2013-01-01

    Magnetic-field reconnection is believed to play a fundamental role in magnetized plasma systems throughout the Universe1, including planetary magnetospheres, magnetars and accretion disks around black holes. This letter present extreme ultraviolet and X-ray observations of a solar flare showing magnetic reconnection with a level of clarity not previously achieved. The multi-wavelength extreme ultraviolet observations from SDO/AIA show inflowing cool loops and newly formed, outflowing hot loops, as predicted. RHESSI X-ray spectra and images simultaneously show the appearance of plasma heated to >10 MK at the expected locations. These two data sets provide solid visual evidence of magnetic reconnection producing a solar flare, validating the basic physical mechanism of popular flare models. However, new features are also observed that need to be included in reconnection and flare studies, such as three-dimensional non-uniform, non-steady and asymmetric evolution.

  13. Explosive Turbulent Magnetic Reconnection

    OpenAIRE

    Higashimori, Katsuaki; Yokoi, Nobumitsu; Hoshino, Masahiro

    2013-01-01

    We report simulation results for turbulent magnetic reconnection obtained using a newly developed Reynolds-averaged magnetohydrodynamics model. We find that the initial Harris current sheet develops in three ways, depending on the strength of turbulence: laminar reconnection, turbulent reconnection, and turbulent diffusion. The turbulent reconnection explosively converts the magnetic field energy into both kinetic and thermal energy of plasmas, and generates open fast reconnection jets. This ...

  14. The local dayside reconnection rate for oblique interplanetary magnetic fields

    CERN Document Server

    Komar, Colin M

    2016-01-01

    We present an analysis of local properties of magnetic reconnection at the dayside magnetopause for various interplanetary magnetic field (IMF) orientations in global magnetospheric simulations. This has heretofore not been practical because it is difficult to locate where reconnection occurs for oblique IMF, but new techniques make this possible. The approach is to identify magnetic separators, the curves separating four regions of differing magnetic topology, which map the reconnection X-line. The electric field parallel to the X-line is the local reconnection rate. We compare results to a simple model of local two-dimensional asymmetric reconnection. To do so, we find the plasma parameters that locally drive reconnection in the magnetosheath and magnetosphere in planes perpendicular to the X-line at a large number of points along the X-line. The global magnetohydrodynamic simulations are from the three-dimensional Block-Adaptive, Tree Solarwind Roe-type Upwind Scheme (BATS-R-US) code with a uniform resisti...

  15. Three-Dimensional Modeling of Guide-Field Magnetic Reconnection

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hesse, Michael

    2005-01-01

    The dissipation mechanism of guide field magnetic reconnection remains a subject of intense scientific interest. On one hand, one set of recent studies have shown that particle inertia-based processes, which include thermal and bulk inertial effects, provide the reconnection electric field in the diffusion region. On the other hand, a second set of studies emphasizes the role of wave-particle interactions in providing anomalous resistivity in the diffusion region. In this presentation, we analyze three-dimensional PIC simulations of guide-field magnetic reconnection. Specific emphasis will be on the question whether thermal-inertia processes, mediated by the electron pressure tensor, remain a viable dissipation mechanism in fully three-dimensional systems.

  16. Explosive turbulent magnetic reconnection.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Higashimori, K; Yokoi, N; Hoshino, M

    2013-06-21

    We report simulation results for turbulent magnetic reconnection obtained using a newly developed Reynolds-averaged magnetohydrodynamics model. We find that the initial Harris current sheet develops in three ways, depending on the strength of turbulence: laminar reconnection, turbulent reconnection, and turbulent diffusion. The turbulent reconnection explosively converts the magnetic field energy into both kinetic and thermal energy of plasmas, and generates open fast reconnection jets. This fast turbulent reconnection is achieved by the localization of turbulent diffusion. Additionally, localized structure forms through the interaction of the mean field and turbulence.

  17. Three dimensional density cavities in guide field collisionless magnetic reconnection

    CERN Document Server

    Markidis, Stefano; Divin, Andrey; Goldman, Martin V; Newman, D; Andersson, Laila

    2012-01-01

    Particle-in-Cell simulations of collisionless magnetic reconnection with a guide field reveal for the first time the three dimensional features of the low density regions along the magnetic reconnection separatrices, the so-called "cavities". It is found that structures with further lower density develop within the cavities. Because their appearance is similar to the rib shape, these formations are here called "low density ribs". Their location remains approximately fixed in time and their density progressively decreases, as electron currents along the cavities evacuate them. They develop along the magnetic field lines and are supported by a strong perpendicular electric field that oscillates in space. In addition, bipolar parallel electric field structures form as isolated spheres between the cavities and the outflow plasma, along the direction of the low density ribs and of magnetic field lines.

  18. Magnetic reconnection at 3D null points: effect of magnetic field asymmetry

    Science.gov (United States)

    Al-Hachami, A. K.; Pontin, D. I.

    2010-03-01

    Context. The magnetic field in many astrophysical plasmas, for example in the solar corona, is known to have a highly complex - and clearly three-dimensional - structure. Turbulent plasma motions in high-β regions where field lines are anchored, such as the solar interior, can store large amounts of energy in the magnetic field. This energy can only be released when magnetic reconnection occurs. Reconnection may only occur in locations where huge gradients of the magnetic field develop, and one candidate for such locations are magnetic null points, known to be abundant for example in the solar atmosphere. Reconnection leads to changes in the topology of the magnetic field, and energy being released as heat, kinetic energy and acceleration of particles. Thus reconnection is responsible for many dynamic processes, for instance flares and jets. Aims: The aim of this paper is to investigate the properties of magnetic reconnection at a 3D null point, with respect to their dependence on the symmetry of the magnetic field around the null. In particular we examine the rate of reconnection of magnetic flux at the null point, as well as how the current sheet forms and its properties. Methods: We use mathematical modelling and finite difference resistive MHD simulations. Results: It is found that the basic structure of the mode of magnetic reconnection considered is unaffected by varying the magnetic field symmetry, that is, the plasma flow is found to cross both the spine and fan of the null. However, the peak intensity and dimensions of the current sheet are dependent on the symmetry/asymmetry of the field lines. As a result, the reconnection rate is also found to be strongly dependent on the field asymmetry. Conclusions: The symmetry/asymmetry of the magnetic field in the vicinity of a magnetic null can have a profound effect on the geometry of any associated reconnection region, and the rate at which the reconnection process proceeds.

  19. Magnetic Reconnection in Astrophysical Environments

    CERN Document Server

    Lazarian, A; Vishniac, E; Kowal, G

    2014-01-01

    Magnetic reconnection is a process that changes magnetic field topology in highly conducting fluids. Traditionally, magnetic reconnection was associated mostly with solar flares. In reality, the process must be ubiquitous as astrophysical fluids are magnetized and motions of fluid elements necessarily entail crossing of magnetic frozen in field lines and magnetic reconnection. We consider magnetic reconnection in realistic 3D geometry in the presence of turbulence. This turbulence in most astrophysical settings is of pre-existing nature, but it also can be induced by magnetic reconnection itself. In this situation turbulent magnetic field wandering opens up reconnection outflow regions, making reconnection fast. We discuss Lazarian \\& Vishniac (1999) model of turbulent reconnection, its numerical and observational testings, as well as its connection to the modern understanding of the Lagrangian properties of turbulent fluids. We show that the predicted dependences of the reconnection rates on the level of...

  20. Localized Electron Heating by Strong Guide-Field Magnetic Reconnection

    Science.gov (United States)

    Guo, Xuehan; Sugawara, Takumichi; Inomoto, Michiaki; Yamasaki, Kotaro; Ono, Yasushi; UTST Team

    2015-11-01

    Localized electron heating of magnetic reconnection was studied under strong guide-field (typically Bt 15Bp) using two merging spherical tokamak plasmas in Univ. Tokyo Spherical Tokamak (UTST) experiment. Our new slide-type two-dimensional Thomson scattering system documented for the first time the electron heating localized around the X-point. The region of high electron temperature, which is perpendicular to the magnetic field, was found to have a round shape with radius of 2 [cm]. Also, it was localized around the X-point and does not agree with that of energy dissipation term Et .jt . When we include a guide-field effect term Bt / (Bp + αBt) for Et .jt where α =√{ (vin2 +vout2) /v∥2 } , the energy dissipation area becomes localized around the X-point, suggesting that the electrons are accelerated by the reconnection electric field parallel to the magnetic field and thermalized around the X-point. This work was supported by JSPS A3 Foresight Program ``Innovative Tokamak Plasma Startup and Current Drive in Spherical Torus,'' a Grant-in-Aid from the Japan Society for the Promotion of Science (JSPS) Fellows 15J03758.

  1. The Onset of Ion Heating During Magnetic Reconnection with a Strong Guide Field

    CERN Document Server

    Drake, J F

    2014-01-01

    The onset of the acceleration of ions during magnetic reconnection is explored via particle-in-cell simulations in the limit of a strong ambient guide field that self-consistently and simultaneously follow the motions of protons and $\\alpha$ particles. Heating parallel to the local magnetic field during reconnection with a guide field is strongly reduced compared with the reconnection of anti-parallel magnetic fields. The dominant heating of thermal ions during guide field reconnection results from pickup behavior of ions during their entry into reconnection exhausts and dominantly produces heating perpendicular rather than parallel to the local magnetic field. Pickup behavior requires that the ion transit time across the exhaust boundary (with a transverse scale of the order of the ion sound Larmor radius) be short compared with the ion cyclotron period. This translates into a threshold in the strength of reconnecting magnetic field that favors the heating of ions with high mass-to-charge. A simulation with ...

  2. Population Mixing in Asymmetric Magnetic Reconnection with a Guide Field.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hesse, M; Chen, L J; Liu, Y-H; Bessho, N; Burch, J L

    2017-04-07

    We investigate how population mixing leads to structured electron distribution functions in asymmetric guide-field magnetic reconnection based on particle-in-cell simulations. The change of magnetic connectivity patches populations from different inflow regions to form multicomponent distributions in the exhaust, illustrating the direct consequence of the breaking and rejoining of magnetic flux tubes. Finite Larmor radius (FLR) effects of electrons accelerated by the perpendicular electric fields result in crescent-type nongyrotropic distributions. A new type of nongyrotropy is found to be caused by the combined effects of the FLR and velocity dispersion of electrons accelerated by the parallel electric field. The patching together of populations and the effects of acceleration and the FLR form the first steps of mixing in the exhaust and separatrix regions.

  3. Perspectives on magnetic reconnection

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yamada, Masaaki

    2016-01-01

    Magnetic reconnection is a topological rearrangement of magnetic field that occurs on time scales much faster than the global magnetic diffusion time. Since the field lines break on microscopic scales but energy is stored and the field is driven on macroscopic scales, reconnection is an inherently multi-scale process that often involves both magnetohydrodynamic (MHD) and kinetic phenomena. In this article, we begin with the MHD point of view and then describe the dynamics and energetics of reconnection using a two-fluid formulation. We also focus on the respective roles of global and local processes and how they are coupled. We conclude that the triggers for reconnection are mostly global, that the key energy conversion and dissipation processes are either local or global, and that the presence of a continuum of scales coupled from microscopic to macroscopic may be the most likely path to fast reconnection. PMID:28119547

  4. Jet deflection by very weak guide fields during magnetic reconnection.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Goldman, M V; Lapenta, G; Newman, D L; Markidis, S; Che, H

    2011-09-23

    Previous 2D simulations of reconnection using a standard model of initially antiparallel magnetic fields have detected electron jets outflowing from the x point into the ion outflow exhausts. Associated with these jets are extended "outer electron diffusion regions." New PIC simulations with an ion to electron mass ratio as large as 1836 (an H(+) plasma) now show that the jets are strongly deflected and the outer electron diffusion region is broken up by a very weak out-of-plane magnetic guide field, even though the diffusion rate itself is unchanged. Jet outflow and deflection are interpreted in terms of electron dynamics and are compared to recent measurements of jets in the presence of a small guide field in Earth's magnetosheath.

  5. The relation between reconnected flux, the parallel electric field, and the reconnection rate in a three-dimensional kinetic simulation of magnetic reconnection

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Wendel, D. E.; Olson, D. K.; Hesse, M.; Kuznetsova, M.; Adrian, M. L. [NASA Goddard Space Flight Center, Greenbelt, Maryland 20771 (United States); Aunai, N. [Institute for Research in Astrophysics and Planetology, University Paul Sabatier, Toulouse (France); Karimabadi, H. [SciberQuest, Inc., Del Mar, California 92014 (United States); Department of Computer and Electrical Engineering, University of California, San Diego, La Jolla, California 92093 (United States); Daughton, W. [Los Alamos National Laboratory, Los Alamos, New Mexico 87545 (United States)

    2013-12-15

    We investigate the distribution of parallel electric fields and their relationship to the location and rate of magnetic reconnection in a large particle-in-cell simulation of 3D turbulent magnetic reconnection with open boundary conditions. The simulation's guide field geometry inhibits the formation of simple topological features such as null points. Therefore, we derive the location of potential changes in magnetic connectivity by finding the field lines that experience a large relative change between their endpoints, i.e., the quasi-separatrix layer. We find a good correspondence between the locus of changes in magnetic connectivity or the quasi-separatrix layer and the map of large gradients in the integrated parallel electric field (or quasi-potential). Furthermore, we investigate the distribution of the parallel electric field along the reconnecting field lines. We find the reconnection rate is controlled by only the low-amplitude, zeroth and first–order trends in the parallel electric field while the contribution from fluctuations of the parallel electric field, such as electron holes, is negligible. The results impact the determination of reconnection sites and reconnection rates in models and in situ spacecraft observations of 3D turbulent reconnection. It is difficult through direct observation to isolate the loci of the reconnection parallel electric field amidst the large amplitude fluctuations. However, we demonstrate that a positive slope of the running sum of the parallel electric field along the field line as a function of field line length indicates where reconnection is occurring along the field line.

  6. Magnetic reconnection at 3D null points: effect of magnetic field asymmetry

    CERN Document Server

    Al-Hachami, A K

    2009-01-01

    The aim of this paper is to investigate the properties of magnetic reconnection at a 3D null point, with respect to their dependence on the symmetry of the magnetic field around the null. In particular we examine the rate of flux transport across the null point with symmetric/asymmetric diffusion regions, as well as how the current sheet forms in time, and its properties. Mathematical modelling and finite difference resistive MHD simulations are used. It is found that the basic structure of the mode of magnetic reconnection considered is unaffected by varying the magnetic field symmetry, that is, the plasma flow is found cross both the spine and fan of the null. However, the peak intensity and dimensions of the current sheet are dependent on the symmetry/ asymmetry of the field lines. As a result, the reconnection rate is also found to be strongly dependent on the field asymmetry.

  7. Magnetic reconnection in high-energy-density plasmas in the presence of an external magnetic field

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fox, W.; Bhattacharjee, A.; Fiksel, G.; Nilson, P.; Hu, S.; Chang, P.-Y.; Barnak, D.; Betti, R.

    2012-10-01

    Magnetic reconnection has recently been observed and studied in high-energy-density, laser-produced plasmas. These experiments are interesting both for obtaining fundamental data on reconnection, and may also be relevant for inertial fusion, as this magnetic reconnection geometry, with multiple, colliding, magnetized plasma bubbles, occurs naturally inside ICF hohlraums. We present initial results of experiments conducted on the OMEGA EP facility on magnetic reconnection between colliding, magnetized blowoff plasmas. While in previous experiments the magnetic fields were self-generated in the plasma by the Biermann battery effect, in these experiments the seed magnetic field is generated by pulsing current through a pair of external foils using the MIFEDS current generator (Magneto-Inertial Fusion Electrical Discharge System) developed at LLE. Time-resolved images of the magnetic fields and plasma dynamics are obtained from proton radiography and x-ray self-emission, respectively. We present initial results of the experiments, including comparison to ``null'' experiments with zero MIFEDS magnetic field, and associated modeling using the radiation-hydro code DRACO and the particle-in-cell code PSC.

  8. The Mechanisms of Electron Acceleration During Multiple X Line Magnetic Reconnection with a Guide Field

    CERN Document Server

    Wang, Huanyu; Huang, Can; Wang, Shui

    2016-01-01

    The interactions between magnetic islands are considered to play an important role in electron acceleration during magnetic reconnection. In this paper, two-dimensional (2-D) particle-in-cell (PIC) simulations are performed to study electron acceleration during multiple X line reconnection with a guide field. The electrons remain almost magnetized, and we can then analyze the contributions of the parallel electric field, Fermi and betatron mechanisms to electron acceleration during the evolution of magnetic reconnection by comparing with a guide-center theory. The results show that with the proceeding of magnetic reconnection, two magnetic islands are formed in the simulation domain. The electrons are accelerated by both the parallel electric field in the vicinity of the X lines and Fermi mechanism due to the contraction of the two magnetic islands. Then the two magnetic islands begin to merge into one, and in such a process electrons can be accelerated by the parallel electric field and betatron mechanisms. ...

  9. Model of Reconnection of Weakly Stochastic Magnetic Field and its Implications

    CERN Document Server

    Lazarian, A

    2008-01-01

    We discuss the model of magnetic field reconnection in the presence of turbulence introduced by us approximately ten years ago. The model does not require any plasma effects to be involved in order to make the reconnection fast. In fact, it shows that the degree of magnetic field stochasticity controls the reconnection. The turbulence in the model is assumed to be subAlfvenic, with the magnetic field only slightly perturbed. This ensures that the reconnection happens in generic astrophysical environments and the model does not appeal to any unphysical concepts, similar to the turbulent magnetic diffusivity concept, which is employed in the kinematic magnetic dynamo. The interest to that model has recently increased due to successful numerical testings of the model predictions. In view of this, we discuss implications of the model, including the first-order Fermi acceleration of cosmic rays, that the model naturally entails, bursts of reconnection, that can be associated with Solar flares, as well as, removal ...

  10. Simulating Magnetic Reconnection Experiment (MRX) with a Guide Field using Fluid Code, HiFi

    Science.gov (United States)

    Budner, Tamas; Chen, Yangao; Meier, Eric; Ji, Hantao; MRX Team

    2015-11-01

    Magnetic reconnection is a phenomenon that occurs in plasmas when magnetic field lines effectively ``break'' and reconnect resulting in a different topological configuration. In this process, energy that was once stored in the magnetic field is transfered into the thermal velocity of the particles, effectively heating the plasma. MRX at the Princeton Plasma Physics Laboratory creates the conditions under which reconnection can occur by initially ramping the current in two adjacent coils and then rapidly decreasing with and without a guide magnetic field along the reconnecting current. We simulate this experiment using a fluid code called HiFi, an implicit and adaptive high order spectral element modeling framework, and compare our results to experimental data from MRX. The purpose is to identify physics behind the observed reconnection process for the field line break and the resultant plasma heating.

  11. Impact of the Eulerian chaos of magnetic field lines in magnetic reconnection

    Science.gov (United States)

    Firpo, M.-C.; Ettoumi, W.; Lifschitz, A. F.; Retinò, A.; Farengo, R.; Ferrari, H. E.; García-Martínez, P. L.

    2016-12-01

    Stochasticity is an ingredient that may allow the breaking of the frozen-in law in the reconnection process. It will first be argued that the non-ideal effects may be considered as an implicit way to introduce stochasticity. Yet there also exists an explicit stochasticity that does not require the invocation of non-ideal effects. This comes from the spatial (or Eulerian) chaos of magnetic field lines that can show up only in a truly three-dimensional description of magnetic reconnection since the two-dimensional models impose the integrability of the magnetic field lines. Some implications of this magnetic braiding, such as the increased particle finite-time Lyapunov exponents and increased acceleration of charged particles, are discussed in the frame of tokamak sawteeth that forms a laboratory prototype of spontaneous magnetic reconnection. A justification for an increased reconnection rate with chaotic vs. the integrable magnetic field lines is proposed. Moreover, in 3D, the Eulerian chaos of the magnetic field lines may coexist with the Eulerian chaos of velocity field lines, that is more commonly named the turbulence.

  12. Measuring the dayside reconnection rate during an interval of due northward interplanetary magnetic field

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    G. Chisham

    2004-12-01

    Full Text Available This study presents, for the first time, detailed spatiotemporal measurements of the reconnection electric field in the Northern Hemisphere ionosphere during an extended interval of northward interplanetary magnetic field. Global convection mapping using the SuperDARN HF radar network provides global estimates of the convection electric field in the northern polar ionosphere. These are combined with measurements of the ionospheric footprint of the reconnection X-line to determine the spatiotemporal variation of the reconnection electric field along the whole X-line. The shape of the spatial variation is stable throughout the interval, although its magnitude does change with time. Consequently, the total reconnection potential along the X-line is temporally variable but its typical magnitude is consistent with the cross-polar cap potential measured by low-altitude satellite overpasses. The reconnection measurements are mapped out from the ionosphere along Tsyganenko model magnetic field lines to determine the most likely reconnection location on the lobe magnetopause. The X-line length on the lobe magnetopause is estimated to be ~6–11 RE in extent, depending on the assumptions made when determining the length of the ionospheric X-line. The reconnection electric field on the lobe magnetopause is estimated to be ~0.2mV/m in the peak reconnection region.

    Key words. Space plasma physics (Magnetic reconnection – Magnetospheric physics (Magnetopause, cusp and boundary layers – Ionosphere (Plasma convection

  13. Fragment Driven Magnetic Reconnection

    CERN Document Server

    Galsgaard, K

    2004-01-01

    In this paper, we investigate a simple model where two, initially unconnected, flux systems are forced to interact in response to the imposed boundary driving by solving the non-ideal 3D MHD equations numerically. The reconnection rate of the dynamical process is determined and compared with the corresponding rate for the potential evolution of the magnetic field. This shows that the dynamic reconnection rate is about a factor of two smaller than the potential (perfect, instantaneous) rate for realistic solar driving velocities demonstrating that this three-dimensional magnetic reconnection process is fast. The energy input for a fixed advection distance is found to be independent of the driving velocity. The Joule dissipation associated with the reconnection process is also found to be basically dependent on the advection distance rather than driving velocity. This implies that the timescale for the event determines the effect the heating has on the temperature increase. Finally, the numerical experiments in...

  14. Particle-in-Cell Simulations of Collisionless Magnetic Reconnection with a Non-Uniform Guide Field

    CERN Document Server

    Wilson, Fiona; Hesse, Michael; Harrison, Michael G; Stark, Craig R

    2015-01-01

    Results are presented of a first study of collisionless magnetic reconnection starting from a recently found exact nonlinear force-free Vlasov-Maxwell equilibrium. The initial state has a Harris sheet magnetic field profile in one direction and a non-uniform guide field in a second direction, resulting in a spatially constant magnetic field strength as well as a constant initial plasma density and plasma pressure. It is found that the reconnection process initially resembles guide field reconnection, but that a gradual transition to anti-parallel reconnection happens as the system evolves. The time evolution of a number of plasma parameters is investigated, and the results are compared with simulations starting from a Harris sheet equilibrium and a Harris sheet plus constant guide field equilibrium.

  15. Experimental Verification of the Role of Electron Pressure in Fast Magnetic Reconnection with a Guide Field.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fox, W; Sciortino, F; V Stechow, A; Jara-Almonte, J; Yoo, J; Ji, H; Yamada, M

    2017-03-24

    We report detailed laboratory observations of the structure of a reconnection current sheet in a two-fluid plasma regime with a guide magnetic field. We observe and quantitatively analyze the quadrupolar electron pressure variation in the ion-diffusion region, as originally predicted by extended magnetohydrodynamics simulations. The projection of the electron pressure gradient parallel to the magnetic field contributes significantly to balancing the parallel electric field, and the resulting cross-field electron jets in the reconnection layer are diamagnetic in origin. These results demonstrate how parallel and perpendicular force balance are coupled in guide field reconnection and confirm basic theoretical models of the importance of electron pressure gradients for obtaining fast magnetic reconnection.

  16. Electron cyclotron maser instability (ECMI in strong magnetic guide field reconnection

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    R. A. Treumann

    2017-08-01

    Full Text Available The ECMI model of electromagnetic radiation from electron holes is shown to be applicable to spontaneous magnetic reconnection. We apply it to reconnection in strong current-aligned magnetic guide fields. Such guide fields participate only passively in reconnection, which occurs in the antiparallel components to both sides of the guide-field-aligned current sheets with current carried by kinetic Alfvén waves. Reconnection generates long (the order of hundreds of electron inertial scales electron exhaust regions at the reconnection site X point, which are extended perpendicular to the current and the guide fields. Exhausts contain a strongly density-depleted hot electron component and have properties similar to electron holes. Exhaust electron momentum space distributions are highly deformed, exhibiting steep gradients transverse to both the reconnecting and guide fields. Such properties suggest application of the ECMI mechanism with the fundamental ECMI X-mode emission beneath the nonrelativistic guide field cyclotron frequency in localized source regions. An outline of the mechanism and its prospects is given. Potential applications are the kilometric radiation (AKR in auroral physics, solar radio emissions during flares, planetary emissions and astrophysical scenarios (radiation from stars and compact objects involving the presence of strong magnetic fields and field-aligned currents. Drift of the exhausts along the guide field maps the local field and plasma properties. Escape of radiation from the exhaust and radiation source region still poses a problem. The mechanism can be studied in 2-D particle simulations of strong guide field reconnection which favours 2-D, mapping the deformation of the electron distribution perpendicular to the guide field, and using it in the numerical calculation of the ECMI growth rate. The mechanism suggests also that reconnection in general may become a source of the ECMI with or without guide fields. This is

  17. 3D magnetic field configuration of small-scale reconnection events in the solar plasma atmosphere

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Shimizu, T., E-mail: shimizu@solar.isas.jaxa.jp [Institute of Space and Astronautical Science, Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency, 3-1-1 Yoshinodai, Chuo-ku, Sagamihara, Kanagawa 252-5210 (Japan); Department of Earth and Planetary Science, The University of Tokyo, 7-3-1 Hongo, Bunkyo-ku, Tokyo 113-0033 (Japan)

    2015-10-15

    The outer solar atmosphere, i.e., the corona and the chromosphere, is replete with small energy-release events, which are accompanied by transient brightening and jet-like ejections. These events are considered to be magnetic reconnection events in the solar plasma, and their dynamics have been studied using recent advanced observations from the Hinode spacecraft and other observatories in space and on the ground. These events occur at different locations in the solar atmosphere and vary in their morphology and amount of the released energy. The magnetic field configurations of these reconnection events are inferred based on observations of magnetic fields at the photospheric level. Observations suggest that these magnetic configurations can be classified into two groups. In the first group, two anti-parallel magnetic fields reconnect to each other, yielding a 2D emerging flux configuration. In the second group, helical or twisted magnetic flux tubes are parallel or at a relative angle to each other. Reconnection can occur only between anti-parallel components of the magnetic flux tubes and may be referred to as component reconnection. The latter configuration type may be more important for the larger class of small-scale reconnection events. The two types of magnetic configurations can be compared to counter-helicity and co-helicity configurations, respectively, in laboratory plasma collision experiments.

  18. Experimental demonstration of the role of electron pressure in fast magnetic reconnection with a guide field

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fox, W.; Sciortino, F.; von Stechow, A.; Jara-Almonte, J.; Yoo, J.; Ji, H.; Yamada, M.

    2016-10-01

    We report detailed laboratory observations of the structure of reconnection current sheets in a two-fluid plasma regime with a guide magnetic field, conducted on the Magnetic Reconnection Experiment. We observe in the laboratory for the first time the quadrupolar electron pressure variation in the ion-diffusion region, as originally predicted by extended MHD simulation. We quantitatively analyze the parallel and perpendicular force balance, and observe the projection of the electron pressure gradient parallel to the B field balances the parallel electric field. The resulting cross-field electron jets in the reconnection layer are diamagnetic in origin. Electron density variations are observed to dominate temperature variations and may provide a new diagnostic of reconnection with finite guide field for fusion experiments and spacecraft missions. Supported by Max-Planck Princeton Center for Plasma Physics.

  19. Asymmetry of the ion diffusion region Hall electric and magnetic fields during guide field reconnection: observations and comparison with simulations.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Eastwood, J P; Shay, M A; Phan, T D; Øieroset, M

    2010-05-21

    In situ measurements of magnetic reconnection in the Earth's magnetotail are presented showing that even a moderate guide field (20% of the reconnecting field) considerably distorts ion diffusion region structure. The Hall magnetic and electric fields are asymmetric and shunted away from the current sheet; an appropriately scaled particle-in-cell simulation is found to be in excellent agreement with the data. The results show the importance of correctly accounting for the effects of the magnetic shear when attempting to identify and study magnetic reconnection diffusion regions in nature.

  20. 3D magnetic field configuration of small-scale reconnection events in the solar plasma atmosphere

    CERN Document Server

    Shimizu, T

    2015-01-01

    The outer solar atmosphere, i.e., the corona and the chromosphere, is replete with small energy-release events, which are accompanied by transient brightening and jet-like ejections. These events are considered to be magnetic reconnection events in the solar plasma, and their dynamics have been studied using recent advanced observations from the Hinode spacecraft and other observatories in space and on the ground. These events occur at different locations in the solar atmosphere, and vary in their morphology and amount of the released energy. The magnetic field configurations of these reconnection events are inferred based on observations of magnetic fields at the photospheric level. Observations suggest that these magnetic configurations can be classified into two groups. In the first group, two anti-parallel magnetic fields reconnect to each other, yielding a 2D emerging flux configuration. In the second group, helical or twisted magnetic flux tubes are parallel or at a relative angle to each other. Reconne...

  1. A current filamentation mechanism for breaking magnetic field lines during reconnection.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Che, H; Drake, J F; Swisdak, M

    2011-06-01

    During magnetic reconnection, the field lines must break and reconnect to release the energy that drives solar and stellar flares and other explosive events in space and in the laboratory. Exactly how this happens has been unclear, because dissipation is needed to break magnetic field lines and classical collisions are typically weak. Ion-electron drag arising from turbulence, dubbed 'anomalous resistivity', and thermal momentum transport are two mechanisms that have been widely invoked. Measurements of enhanced turbulence near reconnection sites in space and in the laboratory support the anomalous resistivity idea but there has been no demonstration from measurements that this turbulence produces the necessary enhanced drag. Here we report computer simulations that show that neither of the two previously favoured mechanisms controls how magnetic field lines reconnect in the plasmas of greatest interest, those in which the magnetic field dominates the energy budget. Rather, we find that when the current layers that form during magnetic reconnection become too intense, they disintegrate and spread into a complex web of filaments that causes the rate of reconnection to increase abruptly. This filamentary web can be explored in the laboratory or in space with satellites that can measure the resulting electromagnetic turbulence.

  2. Magnetospheric Multiscale Satellites Observations of Parallel Electric Fields Associated with Magnetic Reconnection.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ergun, R E; Goodrich, K A; Wilder, F D; Holmes, J C; Stawarz, J E; Eriksson, S; Sturner, A P; Malaspina, D M; Usanova, M E; Torbert, R B; Lindqvist, P-A; Khotyaintsev, Y; Burch, J L; Strangeway, R J; Russell, C T; Pollock, C J; Giles, B L; Hesse, M; Chen, L J; Lapenta, G; Goldman, M V; Newman, D L; Schwartz, S J; Eastwood, J P; Phan, T D; Mozer, F S; Drake, J; Shay, M A; Cassak, P A; Nakamura, R; Marklund, G

    2016-06-10

    We report observations from the Magnetospheric Multiscale satellites of parallel electric fields (E_{∥}) associated with magnetic reconnection in the subsolar region of the Earth's magnetopause. E_{∥} events near the electron diffusion region have amplitudes on the order of 100  mV/m, which are significantly larger than those predicted for an antiparallel reconnection electric field. This Letter addresses specific types of E_{∥} events, which appear as large-amplitude, near unipolar spikes that are associated with tangled, reconnected magnetic fields. These E_{∥} events are primarily in or near a current layer near the separatrix and are interpreted to be double layers that may be responsible for secondary reconnection in tangled magnetic fields or flux ropes. These results are telling of the three-dimensional nature of magnetopause reconnection and indicate that magnetopause reconnection may be often patchy and/or drive turbulence along the separatrix that results in flux ropes and/or tangled magnetic fields.

  3. The role of guide field in magnetic reconnection driven by island coalescence

    CERN Document Server

    Stanier, A; Simakov, Andrei N; Chacon, L; Le, A; Karimabadi, H; Ng, Jonathan; Bhattacharjee, A

    2016-01-01

    A number of studies have considered how the rate of magnetic reconnection scales in large and weakly collisional systems by the modelling of long reconnecting current sheets. However, this set-up neglects both the formation of the current sheet and the coupling between the diffusion region and a larger system that supplies the magnetic flux. Recent studies of magnetic island merging, which naturally include these features, have found that ion kinetic physics is crucial to describe the reconnection rate and global evolution of such systems. In this paper, the effect of a guide field on reconnection during island merging is considered. In contrast to the earlier current sheet studies, we identify a limited range of guide fields for which the reconnection rate, outflow velocity, and pile-up magnetic field increase in magnitude as the guide field increases. The Hall-MHD fluid model is found to reproduce kinetic reconnection rates only for a sufficiently strong guide field, for which ion inertia breaks the frozen-...

  4. Chaos-induced resistivity of collisionless magnetic reconnection in the presence of a guide field

    Science.gov (United States)

    Shang, Meng; Wu, De-Jin; Chen, Ling; Chen, Peng-Fei

    2017-01-01

    One of the most puzzling problems in astrophysics is to understand the anomalous resistivity in collisionless magnetic reconnection that is believed extensively to be responsible for the energy release in various eruptive phenomena. The magnetic null point in the reconnecting current sheet, acting as a scattering center, can lead to chaotic motions of particles in the current sheet, which is one of the possible mechanisms for anomalous resistivity and is called chaos-induced resistivity. In many interesting cases, however, instead of the magnetic null point, there is a nonzero magnetic field perpendicular to the merging field lines, usually called the guide field, whose effect on chaos-induced resistivity has been an open problem. By use of the test particle simulation method and statistical analysis, we investigate chaos-induced resistivity in the presence of a constant guide field. The characteristics of particle motion in the reconnecting region, in particular, the chaotic behavior of particle orbits and evolving statistical features, are analyzed. The results show that as the guide field increases, the radius of the chaos region increases and the Lyapunov index decreases. However, the effective collision frequency, and hence the chaos-induced resistivity, reach their peak values when the guide field approaches half of the characteristic strength of the reconnection magnetic field. The presence of a guide field can significantly influence the chaos of the particle orbits and hence the chaos-induced resistivity in the reconnection sheet, which decides the collisionless reconnection rate. The present result is helpful for us to understand the microphysics of anomalous resistivity in collisionless reconnection with a guide field.

  5. Analytical Model of Fast Magnetic Reconnection with a Large Guide Field

    CERN Document Server

    Simakov, Andrei N; Zocco, A

    2010-01-01

    Analytical theory of fast magnetic reconnection with a large guide field is presented for the first time. We confirm that two distinct reconnection regimes are possible depending on whether the diffusion region thickness $\\delta$ is larger or smaller than the sound gyroradius $\\rho_s$. The reconnection is slow or Sweet-Parker-like for $\\delta \\gtrsim \\rho_s$, and fast otherwise. In the fast regime, however, we find that ion viscosity $\\mu$ plays a critical role. In particular, for $\\delta < \\rho_s$ the diffusion region thickness is proportional to $Ha^{-1}$ with $Ha \\propto 1/\\sqrt{\\eta \\mu}$ the Hartmann number, and the reconnection rate is proportional to $Pr^{-1/2}$ with $Pr = \\mu/\\eta$ the Prandtl number and $\\eta$ the resistivity. If the perpendicular ion viscosity is employed for $\\mu$ the reconnection rate becomes independent of both plasma $\\beta$ and collision frequencies and therefore potentially fast.

  6. Impact of Magnetic Draping, Convection, and Field Line Tying on Magnetopause Reconnection Under Northward IMF

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wendel, Deirdre E.; Reiff, Patricia H.; Goldstein, Melvyn L.

    2010-01-01

    We simulate a northward IMF cusp reconnection event at the magnetopause using the OpenGGCM resistive MHD code. The ACE input data, solar wind parameters, and dipole tilt belong to a 2002 reconnection event observed by IMAGE and Cluster. Based on a fully three-dimensional skeleton separators, nulls, and parallel electric fields, we show magnetic draping, convection, ionospheric field line tying play a role in producing a series of locally reconnecting nulls with flux ropes. The flux ropes in the cusp along the global separator line of symmetry. In 2D projection, the flux ropes the appearance of a tearing mode with a series of 'x's' and 'o's' but bearing a kind of 'guide field' that exists only within the magnetopause. The reconnecting field lines in the string of ropes involve IMF and both open and closed Earth magnetic field lines. The observed magnetic geometry reproduces the findings of a superposed epoch impact parameter study derived from the Cluster magnetometer data for the same event. The observed geometry has repercussions for spacecraft observations of cusp reconnection and for the imposed boundary conditions reconnection simulations.

  7. Magnetic Field Shear in Kinetic Models Steps Toward Understanding Magnetic Reconnection Drivers

    Science.gov (United States)

    Black, Carrie; Antiochos, Spiro; DeVore, Rick; Karpen, Judith

    2015-11-01

    In the standard model for coronal mass ejections (CME) and/or solar flares, the free energy for the eruptive event resides in a strongly sheared magnetic. A pre-eruption force balance consists of an upward force due to the magnetic pressure of the sheared field and a downward tension due to overlying unsheared field. Magnetic reconnection disrupts this force balance; therefore, it is critical for understanding CME/flare initiation, to model the onset of reconnection driven by the build-up of magnetic shear. In MHD simulations, the application of a magnetic-field shear is a trivial matter. However, kinetic effects are dominant in the diffusion region and thus, it is important to examine this process with PIC simulations as well. The implementation of such a driver in PIC methods is challenging, however, and indicates the necessity of a true multiscale model for such processes in the solar environment. The field must be sheared self-consistently and indirectly to prevent the generation of waves that destroy the desired system. Plasma instabilities can arise nonetheless. Here, we show that we can control this instability and generate a predicted out-of-plane magnetic flux. This material is based upon work supported by the National Science Foundation under Award No. AGS-1331356.

  8. How Does Collisionless Magnetic Reconnection Work in the Presence of a Guide Magnetic Field?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hesse, Michael

    2006-01-01

    The dissipation mechanism of guide field magnetic reconnection remains a subject of intense scientific interest. On one hand, one set of recent studies have shown that particle inertia-based processes, which include thermal and bulk inertial effects, provide the reconnection electric field in the diffusion region. On the other hand, a second set of studies emphasizes the role of wave-particle interactions in providing anomalous resistivity in the diffusion region. In this presentation, we present analytical theory results, as well as 2.5 and three-dimensional PIC simulations of guide-field magnetic reconnection. We will show that diffusion region scale sizes in moderate and large guide field cases are determined by electron Larmor radii, and that analytical estimates of diffusion region dimensions need to include description of the heat flux tensor. The dominant electron dissipation process appears to be based on thermal electron inertia, expressed through nongyrotropic electron pressure tensors. We will argue that this process remains viable in three dimensions by means of a detailed comparison of high resolution particle-in-cell simulations.

  9. Evidence for collisionless magnetic reconnection at Mars

    Science.gov (United States)

    Eastwood, J. P.; Brain, D. A.; Halekas, J. S.; Drake, J. F.; Phan, T. D.; Øieroset, M.; Mitchell, D. L.; Lin, R. P.; Acuña, M.

    2008-01-01

    Using data from Mars Global Surveyor (MGS) in combination with Particle-In-Cell (PIC) simulations of reconnection, we present the first direct evidence of collisionless magnetic reconnection at Mars. The evidence indicates that the spacecraft passed through the diffusion region where reconnection is initiated and observed the magnetic field signatures of differential electron and ion motion - the Hall magnetic field - that uniquely indicate the reconnection process. These are the first such in-situ reconnection observations at an astronomical body other than the Earth. Reconnection may be the source of Mars' recently discovered auroral activity and the changing boundaries of the closed regions of crustal magnetic field.

  10. Collisionless Magnetic Reconnection and Dynamo Processes in a Spatially Rotating Magnetic Field

    Science.gov (United States)

    Choe, Gwangson; Lee, Junggi

    2016-04-01

    Spatially rotating magnetic fields have been observed in the solar wind and in the Earth's magnetopause as well as in reversed field pinch (RFP) devices. Such field configurations have a similarity with extended current layers having a spatially varying plasma pressure instead of the spatially varying guide field. It is thus expected that magnetic reconnection may take place in a rotating magnetic field no less than in an extended current layer. We have investigated the spontaneous evolution of a collisionless plasma system embedding a rotating magnetic field with a two-and-a-half-dimensional electromagnetic particle-in-cell (PIC) simulation. It is found that a magnetic-flux-reducing diffusion phase and a magnetic-flux-increasing dynamo phase are alternating with a certain period. The temperature of the system also varies with the same period, showing a similarity to sawtooth oscillations in tokamaks. We have shown that a modified theory of sawtooth oscillations can explain the periodic behavior observed in the simulation. A strong guide field distorts the current layer as was observed in laboratory experiments. This distortion is smoothed out as magnetic islands fade away by the O-line diffusion, but is soon strengthened by the growth of magnetic islands. These processes are all repeating with a fixed period. Our results suggest that a rotating magnetic field configuration continuously undergoes deformation and relaxation in a short time-scale although it might look rather steady in a long-term view.

  11. Rapid Change of Field Line Connectivity and Reconnection in Stochastic Magnetic Fields

    CERN Document Server

    Huang, Yi-Min; Boozer, Allen H

    2014-01-01

    Magnetic fields without a direction of continuous symmetry have the generic feature that neighboring field lines exponentiate away from each other and become stochastic, hence the ideal constraint of preserving magnetic field line connectivity becomes exponentially sensitive to small deviations from ideal Ohm's law. The idea of breaking field line connectivity by stochasticity as a mechanism for fast reconnection is tested with numerical simulations based on reduced magnetohydrodynamics equations with a strong guide field line-tied to two perfectly conducting end plates. Starting from an ideally stable force-free equilibrium, the system is allowed to undergo resistive relaxation. Two distinct phases are found in the process of resistive relaxation. During the quasi-static phase, rapid change of field line connectivity and strong induced flow are found in regions of high field line exponentiation. However, although the field line connectivity of individual field lines can change rapidly, the overall pattern of...

  12. The effect of electron thermal conduction on plasma pressure gradient during reconnection of magnetic field lines

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Chu, T.K.

    1987-12-01

    The interplay of electron cross-field thermal conduction and the reconnection of magnetic field lines around an m = 1 magnetic island prior to a sawtooth crash can generate a large pressure gradient in a boundary layer adjacent to the reconnecting surface, leading to an enhanced gradient of poloidal beta to satisfy the threshold condition for ideal MHD modes. This narrow boundary layer and the short onset time of a sawtooth crash can be supported by fine-grained turbulent processes in a tokamak plasma. 11 refs.

  13. Parallel electric fields are inefficient drivers of energetic electrons in magnetic reconnection

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dahlin, J. T.; Drake, J. F.; Swisdak, M.

    2016-12-01

    We present two-dimensional kinetic simulations, with a broad range of initial guide fields, which isolate the role of parallel electric fields ( E∥ ) in energetic electron production during collisionless magnetic reconnection. In the strong guide field regime, E∥ drives essentially all of the electron energy gains, yet fails to generate an energetic component. We suggest that this is due to the weak energy scaling of particle acceleration from E∥ compared to that of a Fermi-type mechanism responsible for energetic electron production in the weak guide-field regime. This result has important implications for energetic electron production in astrophysical systems and reconnection-driven dissipation in turbulence.

  14. Turbulent General Magnetic Reconnection

    CERN Document Server

    Eyink, Gregory L

    2014-01-01

    Plasma flows with an MHD-like turbulent inertial range, such as the solar wind, require a generalization of General Magnetic Reconnection (GMR) theory. We introduce the slip-velocity source vector, which gives the rate of development of slip velocity per unit arc length of field line. The slip source vector is the ratio of the curl of the non ideal electric field in the Generalized Ohm's Law and the magnetic field strength. It diverges at magnetic nulls, unifying GMR with magnetic null-point reconnection. Only under restrictive assumptions is the slip velocity related to the gradient of the quasi potential (integral of parallel electric field along field lines). In a turbulent inertial range the curl becomes extremely large while the parallel component is tiny, so that line slippage occurs even while ideal MHD becomes accurate. The resolution of this paradox is that ideal MHD is valid for a turbulent inertial-range only in a weak sense which does not imply magnetic line freezing. The notion of weak solution i...

  15. The Scaling of Electron Acceleration in Magnetic Reconnection with a Guide Field

    CERN Document Server

    Dahlin, J T; Swisdak, M

    2016-01-01

    Kinetic simulations of two-dimensional collisionless magnetic reconnection with a guide field reveal disparate behavior in the weak and strong guide field regimes. In systems where the guide field is smaller than the reconnecting component, the dominant electron accelerator is a Fermi-type mechanism that preferentially energizes the most energetic particles. In the strong guide field regime, however, the field-line contraction that drives Fermi reflection becomes weak. Instead, parallel electric fields ($E_\\parallel$) are primarily responsible for driving electron heating but are ineffective in driving the energetic component of the spectrum. This is due to the the weaker energy scaling of acceleration by $E_\\parallel$ compared with Fermi reflection. These results have important implications for understanding electron acceleration in solar flares and reconnection-driven dissipation in astrophysical turbulence.

  16. Physical processes of driven magnetic reconnection in collisionless plasmas: Zero guide field case

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cheng, C. Z.; Inoue, S.; Ono, Y.; Horiuchi, R.

    2015-10-01

    The key physical processes of the electron and ion dynamics, the structure of the electric and magnetic fields, and how particles gain energy in the driven magnetic reconnection in collisionless plasmas for the zero guide field case are presented. The key kinetic physics is the decoupling of electron and ion dynamics around the magnetic reconnection region, where the magnetic field is reversed and the electron and ion orbits are meandering, and around the separatrix region, where electrons move mainly along the field line and ions move mainly across the field line. The decoupling of the electron and ion dynamics causes charge separation to produce a pair of in-plane bipolar converging electrostatic electric field ( E→ e s ) pointing toward the neutral sheet in the magnetic field reversal region and the monopolar E→ e s around the separatrix region. A pair of electron jets emanating from the reconnection current layer generate the quadrupole out-of-plane magnetic field, which causes the parallel electric field ( E→ || ) from E→ i n d to accelerate particles along the magnetic field. We explain the electron and ion dynamics and their velocity distributions and flow structures during the time-dependent driven reconnection as they move from the upstream to the downstream. In particular, we address the following key physics issues: (1) the decoupling of electron and ion dynamics due to meandering orbits around the field reversal region and the generation of a pair of converging bipolar electrostatic electric field ( E→ e s ) around the reconnection region; (2) the slowdown of electron and ion inflow velocities due to acceleration/deceleration of electrons and ions by E→ e s as they move across the neutral sheet; (3) how the reconnection current layer is enhanced and how the orbit meandering particles are accelerated inside the reconnection region by E→ i n d ; (4) why the electron outflow velocity from the reconnection region reaches super-Alfvenic speed

  17. THE MECHANISMS OF ELECTRON ACCELERATION DURING MULTIPLE X LINE MAGNETIC RECONNECTION WITH A GUIDE FIELD

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Wang, Huanyu; Lu, Quanming; Huang, Can; Wang, Shui, E-mail: qmlu@ustc.edu.cn [CAS Key Lab of Geospace Environment, Department of Geophysics and Planetary Science, University of Science and Technology of China, Hefei 230026 (China)

    2016-04-20

    The interactions between magnetic islands are considered to play an important role in electron acceleration during magnetic reconnection. In this paper, two-dimensional particle-in-cell simulations are performed to study electron acceleration during multiple X line reconnection with a guide field. Because the electrons remain almost magnetized, we can analyze the contributions of the parallel electric field, Fermi, and betatron mechanisms to electron acceleration during the evolution of magnetic reconnection through comparison with a guide-center theory. The results show that with the magnetic reconnection proceeding, two magnetic islands are formed in the simulation domain. Next, the electrons are accelerated by both the parallel electric field in the vicinity of the X lines and the Fermi mechanism due to the contraction of the two magnetic islands. Then, the two magnetic islands begin to merge into one, and, in such a process, the electrons can be accelerated by both the parallel electric field and betatron mechanisms. During the betatron acceleration, the electrons are locally accelerated in the regions where the magnetic field is piled up by the high-speed flow from the X line. At last, when the coalescence of the two islands into one big island finishes, the electrons can be further accelerated by the Fermi mechanism because of the contraction of the big island. With the increase of the guide field, the contributions of the Fermi and betatron mechanisms to electron acceleration become less and less important. When the guide field is sufficiently large, the contributions of the Fermi and betatron mechanisms are almost negligible.

  18. Observational Signatures of Magnetic Reconnection

    Science.gov (United States)

    Savage, Sabrina

    2014-01-01

    Magnetic reconnection is often referred to as the primary source of energy release during solar flares. Directly observing reconnection occurring in the solar atmosphere, however, is not trivial considering that the scale size of the diffusion region is magnitudes smaller than the observational capabilities of current instrumentation, and coronal magnetic field measurements are not currently sufficient to capture the process. Therefore, predicting and studying observationally feasible signatures of the precursors and consequences of reconnection is necessary for guiding and verifying the simulations that dominate our understanding. I will present a set of such observations, particularly in connection with long-duration solar events, and compare them with recent simulations and theoretical predictions.

  19. Magnetic field generation, Weibel-mediated collisionless shocks, and magnetic reconnection in colliding laser-produced plasmas

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fox, W.; Bhattacharjee, A.; Fiksel, G.

    2016-10-01

    Colliding plasmas are ubiquitous in astrophysical environments and allow conversion of kinetic energy into heat and, most importantly, the acceleration of particles to extremely high energies to form the cosmic ray spectrum. In collisionless astrophysical plasmas, kinetic plasma processes govern the interaction and particle acceleration processes, including shock formation, self-generation of magnetic fields by kinetic plasma instabilities, and magnetic field compression and reconnection. How each of these contribute to the observed spectra of cosmic rays is not fully understood, in particular both shock acceleration processes and magnetic reconnection have been proposed. We will review recent results of laboratory astrophysics experiments conducted at high-power, inertial-fusion-class laser facilities, which have uncovered significant results relevant to these processes. Recent experiments have now observed the long-sought Weibel instability between two interpenetrating high temperature plasma plumes, which has been proposed to generate the magnetic field necessary for shock formation in unmagnetized regimes. Secondly, magnetic reconnection has been studied in systems of colliding plasmas using either self-generated magnetic fields or externally applied magnetic fields, and show extremely fast reconnection rates, indicating fast destruction of magnetic energy and further possibilities to accelerate particles. Finally, we highlight kinetic plasma simulations, which have proven to be essential tools in the design and interpretation of these experiments.

  20. The Onset of Magnetic Reconnection: Tearing Instability in Current Sheets with a Guide Field

    Science.gov (United States)

    Daldorff, Lars K. S.; Klimchuk, James A.; Leake, James E.; Knizhnik, Kalman

    2017-08-01

    Magnetic reconnection is fundamental to many solar phenomena, ranging from coronal heating, to jets, to flares and CMEs. A poorly understood yet crucial aspect of reconnection is that it does not occur until magnetic stresses have built to sufficiently high levels for significant energy release. If reconnection were to happen too soon, coronal heating would be weak and flares would be small. As part of our program to study the onset conditions for magnetic reconnection, we have investigated the instability of current sheets to tearing. Surprisingly little work has been done on this problem for sheets that include a guide field, i.e., for which the field rotates by less than 180 degrees. This is the most common situation on the Sun. We present numerical 3D resistive MHD simulations of several sheets and show how the behavior depends on the shear angle (rotation). We compare our results to the predictions of linear theory and discuss the nonlinear evolution in terms of plasmoid formation and the interaction of different oblique tearing modes. The relevance to the Sun is explained.

  1. Magnetospheric Multiscale Observations of the Electron Diffusion Region of Large Guide Field Magnetic Reconnection.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Eriksson, S; Wilder, F D; Ergun, R E; Schwartz, S J; Cassak, P A; Burch, J L; Chen, L-J; Torbert, R B; Phan, T D; Lavraud, B; Goodrich, K A; Holmes, J C; Stawarz, J E; Sturner, A P; Malaspina, D M; Usanova, M E; Trattner, K J; Strangeway, R J; Russell, C T; Pollock, C J; Giles, B L; Hesse, M; Lindqvist, P-A; Drake, J F; Shay, M A; Nakamura, R; Marklund, G T

    2016-07-01

    We report observations from the Magnetospheric Multiscale (MMS) satellites of a large guide field magnetic reconnection event. The observations suggest that two of the four MMS spacecraft sampled the electron diffusion region, whereas the other two spacecraft detected the exhaust jet from the event. The guide magnetic field amplitude is approximately 4 times that of the reconnecting field. The event is accompanied by a significant parallel electric field (E_{∥}) that is larger than predicted by simulations. The high-speed (∼300  km/s) crossing of the electron diffusion region limited the data set to one complete electron distribution inside of the electron diffusion region, which shows significant parallel heating. The data suggest that E_{∥} is balanced by a combination of electron inertia and a parallel gradient of the gyrotropic electron pressure.

  2. Magnetospheric Multiscale Observations of the Electron Diffusion Region of Large Guide Field Magnetic Reconnection

    Science.gov (United States)

    Eriksson, S.; Wilder, F. D.; Ergun, R. E.; Schwartz, S. J.; Cassak, P. A.; Burch, J. L.; Chen, Li-Jen; Torbert, R. B.; Phan, T. D.; Lavraud, B.; hide

    2016-01-01

    We report observations from the Magnetospheric Multiscale (MMS) satellites of a large guide field magnetic reconnection event. The observations suggest that two of the four MMS spacecraft sampled the electron diffusion region, whereas the other two spacecraft detected the exhaust jet from the event. The guide magnetic field amplitude is approximately 4 times that of the reconnecting field. The event is accompanied by a significant parallel electric field (E(sub parallel lines) that is larger than predicted by simulations. The high-speed (approximately 300 km/s) crossing of the electron diffusion region limited the data set to one complete electron distribution inside of the electron diffusion region, which shows significant parallel heating. The data suggest that E(sub parallel lines) is balanced by a combination of electron inertia and a parallel gradient of the gyrotropic electron pressure.

  3. Slipping magnetic reconnection in coronal loops.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Aulanier, Guillaume; Golub, Leon; Deluca, Edward E; Cirtain, Jonathan W; Kano, Ryouhei; Lundquist, Loraine L; Narukage, Noriyuki; Sakao, Taro; Weber, Mark A

    2007-12-07

    Magnetic reconnection of solar coronal loops is the main process that causes solar flares and possibly coronal heating. In the standard model, magnetic field lines break and reconnect instantaneously at places where the field mapping is discontinuous. However, another mode may operate where the magnetic field mapping is continuous but shows steep gradients: The field lines may slip across each other. Soft x-ray observations of fast bidirectional motions of coronal loops, observed by the Hinode spacecraft, support the existence of this slipping magnetic reconnection regime in the Sun's corona. This basic process should be considered when interpreting reconnection, both on the Sun and in laboratory-based plasma experiments.

  4. Slow shocks and conduction fronts from Petschek reconnection of skewed magnetic fields: two-fluid effects

    CERN Document Server

    Longcope, D W

    2010-01-01

    In models of fast magnetic reconnection, flux transfer occurs within a small portion of a current sheet triggering stored magnetic energy to be thermalized by shocks. When the initial current sheet separates magnetic fields which are not perfectly anti-parallel, i.e. they are skewed, magnetic energy is first converted to bulk kinetic energy and then thermalized in slow magnetosonic shocks. We show that the latter resemble parallel shocks or hydrodynamic shocks for all skew angles except those very near the anti-parallel limit. As for parallel shocks, the structures of reconnection-driven slow shocks are best studied using two-fluid equations in which ions and electrons have independent temperature. Time-dependent solutions of these equations can be used to predict and understand the shocks from reconnection of skewed magnetic fields. The results differ from those found using a single-fluid model such as magnetohydrodynamics. In the two-fluid model electrons are heated indirectly and thus carry a heat flux alw...

  5. On the Electron Diffusion Region in Asymmetric Reconnection with a Guide Magnetic Field

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hesse, Michael; Liu, Yi-Hsin; Chen, Li-Jen; Bessho, Naoki; Kuznetsova, Masha; Birn, Joachim; Burch, James L.

    2016-01-01

    Particle-in-cell simulations in a 2.5-D geometry and analytical theory are employed to study the electron diffusion region in asymmetric reconnection with a guide magnetic field. The analysis presented here demonstrates that similar to the case without guide field, in-plane flow stagnation and null of the in-plane magnetic field are well separated. In addition, it is shown that the electric field at the local magnetic X point is again dominated by inertial effects, whereas it remains dominated by nongyrotropic pressure effects at the in-plane flow stagnation point. A comparison between local electron Larmor radii and the magnetic gradient scale lengths predicts that distribution should become nongyrotropic in a region enveloping both field reversal and flow stagnation points. This prediction is verified by an analysis of modeled electron distributions, which show clear evidence of mixing in the critical region.

  6. On the Electron Diffusion Region in Asymmetric Reconnection with a Guide Magnetic Field

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hesse, Michael; Liu, Yi-Hsin; Chen, Li-Jen; Bessho, Naoki; Kuznetsova, Masha; Birn, Joachim; Burch, James L.

    2016-01-01

    Particle-in-cell simulations in a 2.5-D geometry and analytical theory are employed to study the electron diffusion region in asymmetric reconnection with a guide magnetic field. The analysis presented here demonstrates that similar to the case without guide field, in-plane flow stagnation and null of the in-plane magnetic field are well separated. In addition, it is shown that the electric field at the local magnetic X point is again dominated by inertial effects, whereas it remains dominated by nongyrotropic pressure effects at the in-plane flow stagnation point. A comparison between local electron Larmor radii and the magnetic gradient scale lengths predicts that distribution should become nongyrotropic in a region enveloping both field reversal and flow stagnation points. This prediction is verified by an analysis of modeled electron distributions, which show clear evidence of mixing in the critical region.

  7. Magnetic reconnection in lower solar atmosphere

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    汪景琇

    1995-01-01

    Observations of vector magnetic field have provided the decisive constraint on the magnetic topology of solar active regions, thus offering an observational basis to identify various physical processes. Based on both magnetic field observations and theoretical discussions, it has been inferred that the magnetic flux cancellation, discovered from the line-of-sight magnetograms, reflects the interaction between magnetic loop systems and is most likely the slow magnetic reconnection in the lower solar atmosphere. This type of reconnections may affect the magnetic activities in the higher atmosphere by the way of transporting the magnetic energy and helicity and sometimes may cause fast reconnection in the corona, providing the necessary energy in solar flares.

  8. Evidence for Solar Tether-cutting Magnetic Reconnection from Coronal Field Extrapolations

    CERN Document Server

    Liu, Chang; Lee, Jeongwoo; Wiegelmann, Thomas; Moore, Ronald L; Wang, Haimin

    2013-01-01

    Magnetic reconnection is one of the primary mechanisms for triggering solar eruptive events, but direct observation of its rapid process has been of challenge. In this Letter we present, using a nonlinear force-free field (NLFFF) extrapolation technique, a visualization of field line connectivity changes resulting from tether-cutting reconnection over about 30 minutes during the 2011 February 13 M6.6 flare in NOAA AR 11158. Evidence for the tether-cutting reconnection was first collected through multiwavelength observations and then by the analysis of the field lines traced from positions of four conspicuous flare 1700 A footpoints observed at the event onset. Right before the flare, the four footpoints are located very close to the regions of local maxima of magnetic twist index. Especially, the field lines from the inner two footpoints form two strongly twisted flux bundles (up to ~1.2 turns), which shear past each other and reach out close to the outer two footpoints, respectively. Immediately after the fl...

  9. Transition to whistler mediated magnetic reconnection

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mandt, M. E.; Denton, R. E.; Drake, J. F.

    1994-01-01

    The transition in the magnetic reconnection rate from the resistive magnetohydrodynamic (MHD) regime where the Alfen wave controls reconnection to a regime in which the ions become unmagnetized and the whistler wave mediates reconnection is explored with 2-D hybrid simulations. In the whistler regime the electrons carry the currents while the ions provide a neutralizing background. A simple physical picture is presented illustrating the role of the whistler mediated reconnection is calculated analytically. The development of an out-of-plane component of the magnetic field is an observable signature of whistler driven reconnection.

  10. An Investigation of Perpendicular Gradients of Parallel Electric Field Associated with Magnetic Reconnection

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sturner, A. P.; Ergun, R.; Newman, D. L.; Lapenta, G.

    2014-12-01

    Many observations of particle heating and acceleration throughout the universe have been associated with magnetic reconnection. Generalized Ohm's Law describes how particles move under ideal and non-ideal conditions; however, it is insufficient for describing how the magnetic field itself changes. Initial studies have shown that a curl of a parallel electric field is necessary for reconnection to occur. These analytic studies have demonstrated that perpendicular gradients in the parallel electric field drive a counter-twisting of the magnetic field on either side of the localized parallel electric field. This results in the slippage of magnetic flux tubes and a break down of the 'frozen-in' condition. In this presentation, we analyze results from self-consistent implicit kinetic particle-in-cell simulations. The strongest gradients of parallel electric fields in the simulations are along the separator and not at the X-point. We will present where in the simulation domain the 'frozen-in' condition breaks down and compare it with the location of these gradients, and discuss the implications.

  11. Laboratory observations of spontaneous magnetic reconnection.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Egedal, J; Fox, W; Katz, N; Porkolab, M; Reim, K; Zhang, E

    2007-01-05

    Detailed measurements of spontaneous magnetic reconnection are presented. The experimental data, which were obtained in the new closed Versatile Toroidal Facility magnetic configuration, document the profile evolution of the plasma density, magnetic flux function, reconnection rate, and the current density during a spontaneous reconnection event in the presence of a strong guide magnetic field. The reconnection process is at first slow, which allows magnetic stress to build in the system while the current channel becomes increasingly narrow and intense. The onset of a fast reconnection event occurs as the width of the current channel approaches the ion-sound-Larmor radius rho s. During the reconnection event magnetically stored energy is channeled into energetic ion outflows and a rapid increase in the electron temperature.

  12. Relativistic Magnetic Reconnection in the Laboratory

    CERN Document Server

    Raymond, A; McKelvey, A; Zulick, C; Alexander, N; Batson, T; Bhattacharjee, A; Campbell, P; Chen, H; Chvykov, V; Del Rio, E; Fitzsimmons, P; Fox, W; Hou, B; Maksimchuk, A; Mileham, C; Nees, J; Nilson, P M; Stoeckl, C; Thomas, A G R; Wei, M S; Yanovsky, V; Willingale, L; Krushelnick, K

    2016-01-01

    Magnetic reconnection is a fundamental plasma process involving an exchange of magnetic energy to plasma kinetic energy through changes in the magnetic field topology. In many astrophysical plasmas magnetic reconnection plays a key role in the release of large amounts of energy \\cite{hoshino1}, although making direct measurements is challenging in the case of high-energy astrophysical systems such as pulsar wind emissions \\cite{lyubarsky1}, gamma-ray bursts \\cite{thompson1}, and jets from active galactic nuclei \\cite{liu1}. Therefore, laboratory studies of magnetic reconnection provide an important platform for testing theories and characterising different regimes. Here we present experimental measurements as well as numerical modeling of relativistic magnetic reconnection driven by short-pulse, high-intensity lasers that produce relativistic plasma along with extremely strong magnetic fields. Evidence of magnetic reconnection was identified by the plasma's X-ray emission patterns, changes to the electron ene...

  13. Multipoint Measurements of the Electron Jet of Symmetric Magnetic Reconnection with a Moderate Guide Field

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wilder, F. D.; Ergun, R. E.; Eriksson, S.; Phan, T. D.; Burch, J. L.; Ahmadi, N.; Goodrich, K. A.; Newman, D. L.; Trattner, K. J.; Torbert, R. B.; Giles, B. L.; Strangeway, R. J.; Magnes, W.; Lindqvist, P.-A.; Khotyaintsev, Yu-V.

    2017-06-01

    We report observations from the Magnetospheric Multiscale (MMS) satellites of the electron jet in a symmetric magnetic reconnection event with moderate guide field. All four spacecraft sampled the ion diffusion region and observed the electron exhaust. The observations suggest that the presence of the guide field leads to an asymmetric Hall field, which results in an electron jet skewed towards the separatrix with a nonzero component along the magnetic field. The jet appears in conjunction with a spatially and temporally persistent parallel electric field ranging from -3 to -5 mV /m , which led to dissipation on the order of 8 nW /m3 . The parallel electric field heats electrons that drift through it, and is associated with a streaming instability and electron phase space holes.

  14. Kinetic simulations of electric field structure within magnetic island during magnetic reconnection and their applications to the satellite observations

    Science.gov (United States)

    Huang, S. Y.; Zhou, M.; Yuan, Z. G.; Deng, X. H.; Sahraoui, F.; Pang, Y.; Fu, S.

    2014-09-01

    Magnetic islands are considered to play a crucial role in collisionless magnetic reconnection. We use particle-in-cell simulations to investigate electric field Ez structure in the magnetic islands (including primary and secondary islands) with and without a guide field during magnetic reconnection. It is found that the electric field has multilayers in the primary island and a large bipolar structure in the secondary island in the absence of guide field. The electric field is provided by the Hall term (J × B)z (mainly), the divergence of electron pressure tensor, and the convective term (Vi × B)z in the outer and the inner region of primary island, while the electric field is much smaller (~0) in the middle and the core region of primary island due to the cancelation of the three terms. The single bipolar electric field is primarily provided by the Hall term in the secondary island. In the presence of a guide field, the electric field has multiple layers in the primary island (similar to zero guide field case) and the secondary island. However, there still exists one single large sharp bipolar structure of electric field in the central region of the secondary island. The differences of electric field in the primary and secondary islands are essentially due to the variations of the current Jy. These features can be used as the observational criteria to identify different types of magnetic islands in the magnetosphere using the data of future mission, such as the Magnetospheric Multiscale mission.

  15. Effects of a Guide Field on the Larmor Electric Field and Upstream Electron Temperature Anisotropy in Collisionless Asymmetric Magnetic Reconnection

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ek-In, Surapat; Malakit, Kittipat; Ruffolo, David; Shay, Michael A.; Cassak, Paul A.

    2017-08-01

    We perform the first study of the properties of the Larmor electric field (LEF) in collisionless asymmetric magnetic reconnection in the presence of an out-of-plane (guide) magnetic field for different sets of representative upstream parameters at Earth’s dayside magnetopause with an ion temperature greater than the electron temperature (the ion-to-electron temperature ratio fixed at 2) using two-dimensional particle-in-cell simulations. We show that the LEF does persist in the presence of a guide field. We study how the LEF thickness and strength change as a function of guide field and the magnetospheric temperature and reconnecting magnetic field strength. We find that the thickness of the LEF structure decreases, while its magnitude increases when a guide field is added to the reconnecting magnetic field. The added guide field makes the Larmor radius smaller, so the scaling with the magnetospheric ion Larmor radius is similar to that reported for the case without a guide field. Note, however, that the physics causing the LEF is not well understood, so future work in other parameter regimes is needed to fully predict the LEF for arbitrary conditions. We also find that a previously reported upstream electron temperature anisotropy arises in the vicinity of the LEF region both with and without a guide field. We argue that the generation of the anisotropy is linked to the existence of the LEF. The LEF can be used in combination with the electron temperature anisotropy as a signature to effectively identify dayside reconnection sites in observations.

  16. MMS Observations of Large Guide Field Symmetric Reconnection Between Colliding Reconnection Jets at the Center of a Magnetic Flux Rope at the Magnetopause

    Science.gov (United States)

    Oieroset, M.; Phan, T. D.; Haggerty, C.; Shay, M. A.; Eastwood, J. P.; Gershman, D. J.; Drake, J. F.; Fujimoto, M.; Ergun, R. E.; Mozer, F. S.; hide

    2016-01-01

    We report evidence for reconnection between colliding reconnection jets in a compressed current sheet at the center of a magnetic flux rope at Earth's magnetopause. The reconnection involved nearly symmetric Inflow boundary conditions with a strong guide field of two. The thin (2.5 ion-skin depth (d(sub i) width) current sheet (at approximately 12 d(sub i) downstream of the X line) was well resolved by MMS, which revealed large asymmetries in plasma and field structures in the exhaust. Ion perpendicular heating, electron parallel heating, and density compression occurred on one side of the exhaust, while ion parallel heating and density depression were shifted to the other side. The normal electric field and double out-of-plane (bifurcated) currents spanned almost the entire exhaust. These observations are in good agreement with a kinetic simulation for similar boundary conditions, demonstrating in new detail that the structure of large guide field symmetric reconnection is distinctly different from antiparallel reconnection.

  17. Particle acceleration at a reconnecting magnetic separator

    CERN Document Server

    Threlfall, J; Parnell, C E; Oskoui, S Eradat

    2014-01-01

    While the exact acceleration mechanism of energetic particles during solar flares is (as yet) unknown, magnetic reconnection plays a key role both in the release of stored magnetic energy of the solar corona and the magnetic restructuring during a flare. Recent work has shown that special field lines, called separators, are common sites of reconnection in 3D numerical experiments. To date, 3D separator reconnection sites have received little attention as particle accelerators. We investigate the effectiveness of separator reconnection as a particle acceleration mechanism for electrons and protons. We study the particle acceleration using a relativistic guiding-centre particle code in a time-dependent kinematic model of magnetic reconnection at a separator. The effect upon particle behaviour of initial position, pitch angle and initial kinetic energy are examined in detail, both for specific (single) particle examples and for large distributions of initial conditions. The separator reconnection model contains ...

  18. Conceptual design of the three-dimensional magnetic field configuration relevant to the magnetopause reconnection in the SPERF

    Science.gov (United States)

    Aohua, MAO; Yang, REN; Hantao, JI; Peng, E.; Ke, HAN; Zhibin, WANG; Qingmei, XIAO; Liyi, LI

    2017-03-01

    A new ground-based experimental device, the Space Plasma Environment Research Facility (SPERF), is being designed at Harbin Institute of Technology in China, with Asymmetric REconnection eXperiment-3 Dimensional (AREX-3D) as one of the experimental components to study the asymmetric reconnection dynamics relevant to the interaction between the interplanetary and magnetospheric plasmas. The asymmetry in the designed magnetic reconnection process not only refers to the distinct plasma parameters designed for the two upstream regions across the current sheet, but also refers to the inhomogeneity in the direction along the current sheet resulting from the designed 3D magnetic field geometry. These two asymmetries are fundamental features of the reconnection process at the Earth’s magnetopause. In experiment, the reconnection process is driven by a set of flux cores through coil-current-ramp-up from the ‘magnetosheath-side’ to interact with a dipole magnetic field generated by the Dipole Research EXperiment (DREX) coil on the ‘magnetosphere-side’. The AREX-3D will be able to investigate a range of important reconnection issues in 3D magnetic field geometry that is relevant to the Earth’s magnetopause. A wide range of plasma parameters can be achieved through inductive plasma generation with flux cores on the ‘magnetosheath-side’ and electron cyclotron resonance (ECR) with microwave sources on the ‘magnetosphere-side’, e.g. high (low) plasma density at experimental magnetosheath (dipole) side. Different reconnection regimes and geometries can be produced by adjusting plasma parameters and coil setups as well as coil current waveforms. The three-dimensional magnetic field configurations in the SPERF relevant to the dayside magnetopause reconnection are discussed in detail.

  19. Magnetic reconnection from a multiscale instability cascade.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Moser, Auna L; Bellan, Paul M

    2012-02-15

    Magnetic reconnection, the process whereby magnetic field lines break and then reconnect to form a different topology, underlies critical dynamics of magnetically confined plasmas in both nature and the laboratory. Magnetic reconnection involves localized diffusion of the magnetic field across plasma, yet observed reconnection rates are typically much higher than can be accounted for using classical electrical resistivity. It is generally proposed that the field diffusion underlying fast reconnection results instead from some combination of non-magnetohydrodynamic processes that become important on the 'microscopic' scale of the ion Larmor radius or the ion skin depth. A recent laboratory experiment demonstrated a transition from slow to fast magnetic reconnection when a current channel narrowed to a microscopic scale, but did not address how a macroscopic magnetohydrodynamic system accesses the microscale. Recent theoretical models and numerical simulations suggest that a macroscopic, two-dimensional magnetohydrodynamic current sheet might do this through a sequence of repetitive tearing and thinning into two-dimensional magnetized plasma structures having successively finer scales. Here we report observations demonstrating a cascade of instabilities from a distinct, macroscopic-scale magnetohydrodynamic instability to a distinct, microscopic-scale (ion skin depth) instability associated with fast magnetic reconnection. These observations resolve the full three-dimensional dynamics and give insight into the frequently impulsive nature of reconnection in space and laboratory plasmas.

  20. Evidence of magnetic field switch-off in Particle In Cell simulations of collisionless magnetic reconnection with guide field

    Science.gov (United States)

    Innocenti, M. E.; Goldman, M. V.; Newman, D. L.; Markidis, S.; Lapenta, G.

    2015-12-01

    The long term evolution of large domain Particle In Cell simulations of collisionless magnetic reconnection is investigated following observations that show two possible outcomes for collisionless reconnection: towards a Petschek-like configuration (Gosling 2007) or towards multiple X points (Eriksson et al. 2014). In the simulations presented here and described in [Innocenti2015*], a mixed scenario develops. At earlier time, plasmoids are emitted, disrupting the formation of Petschek-like structures. Later, an almost stationary monster plasmoid forms, preventing the emission of other plasmoids. A situation reminding of Petschek's switch-off then ensues. Switch-off is obtained through a slow shock / rotational discontinuity (SS/RD) compound structure, with the rotation discontinuity downstreamthe slow shock. Two external slow shocks located in correspondence of the separatrices reduce the in plane tangential component of the magnetic field, but not to zero. Two transitions reminding of rotational discontinuities in the internal part of the exhausts then perform the final switch-off. Both the slow shocks and the rotational discontinuities are characterized as such through the analysis of their Rankine-Hugoniot jump conditions. A moderate guide field is used to suppress the development of the firehose instability in the exhaust that prevented switch off in [Liu2012]. Compound SS/RD structures, with the RD located downstream the SS, have been observed in both the solar wind and the magnetosphere in Wind and Geotail data respectively [Whang1998, Whang2004]. Ion trajectiories across the SS/RD structure are followed and the kinetic origin of the SS/RD structure is investigated. * Innocenti, Goldman, Newman, Markidis, Lapenta, Evidence of magnetic field switch-off in collisionless magnetic reconnection, accepted in Astrophysical Journal Letters, 2015 Acknowledgements: NERSC, a DOE Office of Science User Facility supported by the Office of Science of the U.S. Department of

  1. Magnetic reconnection events in the interplanetary space

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    魏奉思; R.Schwenn; 胡强

    1997-01-01

    Magnetic field and plasma measurements in the period of 1975-1981 with 0. 18-h averages from Helios spacecrafts are analyzed. It is discovered that magnetic reconnection phenomena exist in the interplanetary space. By means of the reconstruction of magnetic field configuration in the azimuth angle plane, it is found that the magnetic reconnection event with time scale of the order of day is a significant form of magnetic reconnection phenomena in the interplanetary space, which consists of a mediate body (or a plasma bulk) and two magnetic separator lines. It could originate from coronal mass ejection event or magnetic cloud in the interplanetary space. Numerical simulation has reproduced the basic characteristics of the magnetic reconnection events.

  2. Catalog of fine-structured electron velocity distribution functions - Part 1: Antiparallel magnetic-field reconnection (Geospace Environmental Modeling case)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bourdin, Philippe-A.

    2017-09-01

    To understand the essential physics needed to reproduce magnetic reconnection events in 2.5-D particle-in-cell (PIC) simulations, we revisit the Geospace Environmental Modeling (GEM) setup. We set up a 2-D Harris current sheet (that also specifies the initial conditions) to evolve the reconnection of antiparallel magnetic fields. In contrast to the GEM setup, we use a much smaller initial perturbation to trigger the reconnection and evolve it more self-consistently. From PIC simulation data with high-quality particle statistics, we study a symmetric reconnection site, including separatrix layers, as well as the inflow and the outflow regions. The velocity distribution functions (VDFs) of electrons have a fine structure and vary strongly depending on their location within the reconnection setup. The goal is to start cataloging multidimensional fine-structured electron velocity distributions showing different reconnection processes in the Earth's magnetotail under various conditions. This will enable a direct comparison with observations from, e.g., the NASA Magnetospheric MultiScale (MMS) mission, to identify reconnection-related events. We find regions with strong non-gyrotropy also near the separatrix layer and provide a refined criterion to identify an electron diffusion region in the magnetotail. The good statistical significance of this work for relatively small analysis areas reveals the gradual changes within the fine structure of electron VDFs depending on their sampling site.

  3. Particle-in-cell simulations of Magnetic Field Generation, Evolution, and Reconnection in Laser-driven Plasmas

    Science.gov (United States)

    Matteucci, Jack; Moissard, Clément; Fox, Will; Bhattacharjee, Amitava

    2016-10-01

    The advent of high-energy-density physics facilities has introduced the opportunity to experimentally investigate magnetic field dynamics relevant to both ICF and astrophysical plasmas. Recent experiments have demonstrated magnetic reconnection between colliding plasma plumes, where the reconnecting magnetic fields were self-generated in the plasma by the Biermann battery effect. In this study, we simulate these experiments from first principles using 2-D and 3-D particle-in-cell simulations. Simulations self-consistently demonstrate magnetic field generation by the Biermann battery effect, followed by advection by the Hall effect and ion flow. In 2-D simulations, we find in both the collisionless case and the semi-collisional case, defined by eVi × B >> Rei /ne (where Rei is the electron ion momentum transfer) that quantitative agreement with the generalized Ohm's law is only obtained with the inclusion of the pressure tensor. Finally, we document that significant field is destroyed at the reconnection site by the Biermann term, an inverse, `anti-Biermann' effect, which has not been considered previously in analysis of the experiment. The role of the anti-Biermann effect will be compared to standard reconnection mechanisms in 3-D reconnection simulations. This research used resources of the ORLC Facility at the Oak Ridge National Laboratory, which is supported by the Office of Science of the U.S. DoE under Contract No. DE-AC05-00OR22725.

  4. Reconnection Rate in Collisionless Magnetic Reconnection under Open Boundary Conditions

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    HUANG Jun; MA Zhi-Wei

    2008-01-01

    Collisionless magnetic reconnection is studied by using two-dimensional Darwin particle-in-cell simulations with different types of open boundary conditions.The simulation results indicate that reconnection rates are strongly dependent on the imposed boundary conditions of the magnetic field Bx in the inward side. Under the zerogradient Bx boundary condition,the reconnection rate quickly decreases after reaching its maximum and no steady-state is found.Under both electromagnetic and magnetosonic boundary conditions,the system can reach a quasi-steady state.However,the reconnection rate Er≈ 0.08 under the electromagnetic boundary condition is weaker than Er≈ 0.13 under the magnetosonic boundary condition.

  5. Reconnection experiments including 3D magnetic nulls

    Science.gov (United States)

    Le, A.; Egedal, J.; Vrublevskis, A.

    2010-11-01

    A rich collection of magnetic reconnection scenarios is possible in three dimensions depending on the topological and geometric structure of the magnetic field [1]. In recent experiments at the Versatile Toroidal Facility (VTF) three-dimensional effects were essential even in nearly axisymmetric plasmas with a non-vanishing toroidal field [2]. To explore reconnection in 3D geometries including magnetic null points, a new adjustable set of coils will be installed in the vacuum chamber of VTF. The range of vacuum magnetic field topologies attainable in VTF will be explored numerically. Plasma reconnection experiments will be run in these configurations, and measurements will be presented if available. [4pt] [1] CE Parnell, et al., (2009) ``Three-Dimensional Magnetic Reconnection, in Magnetic Coupling between the Interior and the Atmosphere of the Sun,'' eds. S.S. Hasan and R.J. Rutten, Springer-Verlag, Heidelberg, Berlin. [0ex] [2] Katz, N. et al., (2010) Phys. Rev. Lett. 104, 255004.

  6. Electron scale nested quadrupole Hall field in Cluster observations of magnetic reconnection

    CERN Document Server

    Jain, Neeraj

    2014-01-01

    This Letter presents the first evidence of a new and unique feature of spontaneous reconnection at multiple sites in electron current sheet, viz. nested quadrupole structure of Hall field at electron scales, in Cluster observations. The new nested quadrupole is a consequence of electron scale processes in reconnection. Whistler response of the upstream plasma to the interaction of electron flows from neighboring reconnection sites produces a large scale quadrupole Hall field enclosing the quadrupole fields of the multiple sites, thus forming a nested structure. Electron-magnetohydrodynamic simulations of an electron current sheet yields mechanism of the formation of nested quadrupole.

  7. Magnetic Reconnection in the Solar Chromosphere

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lukin, Vyacheslav S.; Ni, Lei; Murphy, Nicholas Arnold

    2017-08-01

    We report on the most recent efforts to accurately and self-consistently model magnetic reconnection processes in the context of the solar chromosphere. The solar chromosphere is a notoriously complex and highly dynamic boundary layer of the solar atmosphere where local variations in the plasma parameters can be of the order of the mean values. At the same time, the interdependence of the physical processes such as magnetic field evolution, local and global energy transfer between internal and electromagnetic plasma energy, radiation transport, plasma reactivity, and dissipation mechanisms make it a particularly difficult system to self-consistently model and understand. Several recent studies have focused on the micro-physics of multi-fluid magnetic reconnection at magnetic nulls in the weakly ionized plasma environment of the lower chromosphere[1-3]. Here, we extend the previous work by considering a range of spatial scales and magnetic field strengths in a configuration with component magnetic reconnection, i.e., for magnetic reconnection with a guide field. We show that in all cases the non-equilibrium reactivity of the plasma and the dynamic interaction among the plasma processes play important roles in determining the structure of the reconnection region. We also speculate as to the possible observables of chromospheric magnetic reconnection and the likely plasma conditions required for generation of Ellerman and IRIS bombs.[1] Leake, Lukin, Linton, and Meier, “Multi-fluid simulations of chromospheric magnetic reconnection in a weakly ionized reacting plasma,” ApJ 760 (2012).[2] Leake, Lukin, and Linton, “Magnetic reconnection in a weakly ionized plasma,” PoP 20 (2013).[3] Murphy and Lukin, “Asymmetric magnetic reconnection in weakly ionized chromospheric plasmas,” ApJ 805 (2015).[*Any opinion, findings, and conclusions or recommendations expressed in this material are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the views of the National

  8. Three-dimensional magnetic reconnection through a moving magnetic null

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    V. S. Lukin

    2011-11-01

    Full Text Available A computational study of three-dimensional magnetic reconnection between two flux ropes through a moving reconnection site is presented. The configuration is considered in the context of two interacting spheromaks constrained by a perfectly conducting cylindrical boundary and oriented to form a single magnetic field null at its center. The initial magnetic field configuration is embedded into a uniform thermal plasma and is unstable to tilting. As the spheromaks tilt, their magnetic fields begin to reconnect at the null, subsequently displacing both the null and the reconnection site. The motion of the reconnection region and the magnetic null are shown to be correlated, with stronger correlation and faster reconnection observed in plasmas with lower thermal to magnetic pressure ratio. It is also shown that ion inertial effects allow for yet faster reconnection, but do not qualitatively change the dynamics of the process. Implications of the coupling between moving magnetic nulls and reconnection sites, as well as of possible mechanisms for fast reconnection through a moving reconnection region, are discussed. The simulations are conducted using both single-fluid and Hall MHD plasma models within the HiFi multi-fluid modeling framework.

  9. Three-dimensional magnetic reconnection through a moving magnetic null

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lukin, V. S.; Linton, M. G.

    2011-11-01

    A computational study of three-dimensional magnetic reconnection between two flux ropes through a moving reconnection site is presented. The configuration is considered in the context of two interacting spheromaks constrained by a perfectly conducting cylindrical boundary and oriented to form a single magnetic field null at its center. The initial magnetic field configuration is embedded into a uniform thermal plasma and is unstable to tilting. As the spheromaks tilt, their magnetic fields begin to reconnect at the null, subsequently displacing both the null and the reconnection site. The motion of the reconnection region and the magnetic null are shown to be correlated, with stronger correlation and faster reconnection observed in plasmas with lower thermal to magnetic pressure ratio. It is also shown that ion inertial effects allow for yet faster reconnection, but do not qualitatively change the dynamics of the process. Implications of the coupling between moving magnetic nulls and reconnection sites, as well as of possible mechanisms for fast reconnection through a moving reconnection region, are discussed. The simulations are conducted using both single-fluid and Hall MHD plasma models within the HiFi multi-fluid modeling framework.

  10. MODEL OF RECONNECTION OF WEAKLY STOCHASTIC MAGNETIC FIELD AND ITS IMPLICATIONS

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    A. Lazarian

    2009-01-01

    Full Text Available We discuss the model of magnetic eld reconnection in the presence of turbulence introduced by us ten years ago. The model does not require any plasma e ects to be involved in order to make the reconnection fast. In fact, it shows that the degree of magnetic eld stochasticity controls the reconnection. The turbulence in the model is assumed to be sub-Alfv nic, with the magnetic eld only slightly perturbed. This ensures that the reconnection happens in generic astrophysical environments and the model does not appeal to any unphysical concepts, similar to the turbulent magnetic di usivity concept, which is employed in the kinematic magnetic dynamo. The interest to that model has recently increased due to successful numerical testings of the model predictions. In view of this, we discuss implications of the model, including the rst-order Fermi acceleration of cosmic rays, that the model naturally entails, bursts of reconnection, that can be associated with Solar ares, as well as, removal of magnetic ux during star-formation.

  11. The effect of guide-field and boundary conditions on collisionless magnetic reconnection in a stressed X-point collapse

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Graf von der Pahlen, J.; Tsiklauri, D. [School of Physics and Astronomy, Queen Mary University of London, London E1 4NS (United Kingdom)

    2014-01-15

    Works of Tsiklauri and Haruki [Phys. Plasmas 15, 102902 (2008); 14, 112905 (2007)] are extended by inclusion of the out-of-plane magnetic (guide) field. In particular, magnetic reconnection during collisionless, stressed X-point collapse for varying out-of-plane guide-fields is studied using a kinetic, 2.5D, fully electromagnetic, relativistic particle-in-cell numerical code. For zero guide-field, cases for both open and closed boundary conditions are investigated, where magnetic flux and particles are lost and conserved, respectively. It is found that reconnection rates, out-of-plane currents and density in the X-point increase more rapidly and peak sooner in the closed boundary case, but higher values are reached in the open boundary case. The normalized reconnection rate is fast: 0.10-0.25. In the open boundary case it is shown that an increase of guide-field yields later onsets in the reconnection peak rates, while in the closed boundary case initial peak rates occur sooner but are suppressed. The reconnection current changes similarly with increasing guide-field; however for low guide-fields the reconnection current increases, giving an optimal value for the guide-field between 0.1 and 0.2 times the in-plane field in both cases. Also, in the open boundary case, it is found that for guide-fields of the order of the in-plane magnetic field, the generation of electron vortices occurs. Possible causes of the vortex generation, based on the flow of decoupled particles in the diffusion region and localized plasma heating, are discussed. Before peak reconnection onset, oscillations in the out-of-plane electric field at the X-point are found, ranging in frequency from approximately 1 to 2 ω{sub pe} and coinciding with oscillatory reconnection. These oscillations are found to be part of a larger wave pattern in the simulation domain. Mapping the out-of-plane electric field along the central lines of the domain over time and applying a 2D Fourier transform reveal that

  12. Cause of sudden magnetic reconnection in a laboratory plasma.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Choi, S; Craig, D; Ebrahimi, F; Prager, S C

    2006-04-14

    The cause for sudden reconnection in reversed field pinch plasmas is determined experimentally for two cases: large reconnection events (the sawtooth crash) and small reconnection events during improved confinement. We measure the term in the MHD equations which represents the driving (or damping) of edge tearing modes due to the axisymmetric magnetic field. The term is negative for large reconnection events (the modes are stable, implying that reconnection may be driven by nonlinear coupling to other modes) and positive for small reconnection events (modes are unstable, reconnection is spontaneous).

  13. Octupolar out-of-plane magnetic field structure generation during collisionless magnetic reconnection in a stressed X-point collapse

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Graf von der Pahlen, J.; Tsiklauri, D. [School of Physics and Astronomy, Queen Mary University of London, London E1 4NS (United Kingdom)

    2014-06-15

    The out-of-plane magnetic field, generated by fast magnetic reconnection, during collisionless, stressed X-point collapse, was studied with a kinetic, 2.5D, fully electromagnetic, relativistic particle-in-cell numerical code, using both closed (flux conserving) and open boundary conditions on a square grid. It was discovered that the well known quadrupolar structure in the out-of-plane magnetic field gains four additional regions of opposite magnetic polarity, emerging near the corners of the simulation box, moving towards the X-point. The emerging, outer, magnetic field structure has opposite polarity to the inner quadrupolar structure, leading to an overall octupolar structure. Using Ampere's law and integrating electron and ion currents, defined at grid cells, over the simulation domain, contributions to the out-of-plane magnetic field from electron and ion currents were determined. The emerging regions of opposite magnetic polarity were shown to be the result of ion currents. Magnetic octupolar structure is found to be a signature of X-point collapse, rather than tearing mode, and factors relating to potential discoveries in experimental scenarios or space-craft observations are discussed.

  14. Three-dimensional evolution of a relativistic current sheet: triggering of magnetic reconnection by the guide field.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zenitani, S; Hoshino, M

    2005-08-26

    The linear and nonlinear evolution of a relativistic current sheet of pair (e(+/-)) plasmas is investigated by three-dimensional particle-in-cell simulations. In a Harris configuration, it is obtained that the magnetic energy is fast dissipated by the relativistic drift kink instability (RDKI). However, when a current-aligned magnetic field (the so-called "guide field") is introduced, the RDKI is stabilized by the magnetic tension force and it separates into two obliquely propagating modes, which we call the relativistic drift-kink-tearing instability. These two waves deform the current sheet so that they trigger relativistic magnetic reconnection at a crossover thinning point. Since relativistic reconnection produces a lot of nonthermal particles, the guide field is of critical importance to study the energetics of a relativistic current sheet.

  15. The Role of Geometry in Magnetic Reconnection

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hesse, Michael; Aunai, Nicholas; Birn, Joachim; Zenitani, Seiji

    2012-01-01

    Magnetic reconnection is arguably the most effective energy conversion and transport process in plasmas. Reconnection is subject to topological considerations in two ways. First, the process itself involves a change in topology of the combined plasma-magnetic field system. This change in topology transcends that of the magnetic field alone and accounts for flux transport relative to the motion of the plasma in the system under investigation. The second way topology is important to magnetic reconnection is through modifications of the diffUSion/dissipation physics brought about by the structure of the reconnecting system. This presentation will present an overview and summary of both past and recent results pertaining to both aspects.

  16. Conceptual design of the 3D magnetic field configuration relevant to the magnetopause reconnection in the SPERF

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mao, Aohua; Ji, Hantao; Ren, Yang; E, Peng; Wang, Zhibin; Xiao, Qingmei; Xiao, Chijie

    2016-10-01

    A new terrella device, the Space Plasma Environment Research Facility (SPERF), is designed and under construction in China, with Asymmetric Reconnection EXperiment (AREX) as one component to study the interaction between the magnetosheath and magnetosphere plasmas. AREX will provide a unique platform for studying asymmetric magnetic reconnection relevant to the magnetopause, via a set of coils for simulating ``solar-wind-side'' magnetosheath field and a dipole field on the ``magnetosphere-side''. Thus it could be able to investigate a range of important issues in the magnetosphere geometry, such as the electron and ion-scale dynamics in the current sheet, particle and energy transfer from magnetosheath to magnetosphere, particle energization/heating during magnetic reconnection, 3D and asymmetric effects in fast reconnection, and so on. The plasma is generated by two flux cores at the ``magnetosheath-side'' and one electron cyclotron resonance source at the ``magnetosphere-side''. Different kinds of coils with specific current driven functions, as well as advanced diagnostics are designed. Motivation, overview of the AREX design and reconnection scenarios will be discussed.

  17. Radiative Magnetic Reconnection in Astrophysics

    CERN Document Server

    Uzdensky, Dmitri A

    2015-01-01

    I review a new rapidly growing area of high-energy plasma astrophysics --- radiative magnetic reconnection, i.e., a reconnection regime where radiation reaction influences reconnection dynamics, energetics, and nonthermal particle acceleration. This influence be may be manifested via a number of astrophysically important radiative effects, such as radiation-reaction limits on particle acceleration, radiative cooling, radiative resistivity, braking of reconnection outflows by radiation drag, radiation pressure, viscosity, and even pair creation at highest energy densities. Self-consistent inclusion of these effects in magnetic reconnection theory and modeling calls for serious modifications to our overall theoretical approach to the problem. In addition, prompt reconnection-powered radiation often represents our only observational diagnostic tool for studying remote astrophysical systems; this underscores the importance of developing predictive modeling capabilities to connect the underlying physical condition...

  18. Reconnection experiments with 3D magnetic nulls

    Science.gov (United States)

    Vrublevskis, A.; Egedal, J.; Le, A.; Montag, P.

    2011-10-01

    Three-dimensional effects have been crucial in explaining experiments at the Versatile Toroidal Facility (VTF) even in nominal axisymmetric plasmas with a non-vanishing toroidal field. In general, depending on the topological and geometric structure of the magnetic field, a rich collection of magnetic reconnection scenarios is possible in three dimensions. The new adjustable set of coils in VTF allows exploring reconnection in 2D and 3D geometries including configurations with magnetic null points. We present results of a numerical and experimental investigation of magnetic field topologies attainable in VTF. This work was supported by NSF CAREER Award 0844620.

  19. Three-dimensional magnetic reconnection through a moving magnetic null

    OpenAIRE

    Lukin, V. S.; Linton, M. G.

    2011-01-01

    A computational study of three-dimensional magnetic reconnection between two flux ropes through a moving reconnection site is presented. The configuration is considered in the context of two interacting spheromaks constrained by a perfectly conducting cylindrical boundary and oriented to form a single magnetic field null at its center. The initial magnetic field configuration is embedded into a uniform thermal plasma and is unstable to tilting. As the spheromaks tilt, their magnetic fi...

  20. Relating magnetic reconnection to coronal heating.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Longcope, D W; Tarr, L A

    2015-05-28

    It is clear that the solar corona is being heated and that coronal magnetic fields undergo reconnection all the time. Here we attempt to show that these two facts are related--i.e. coronal reconnection generates heat. This attempt must address the fact that topological change of field lines does not automatically generate heat. We present one case of flux emergence where we have measured the rate of coronal magnetic reconnection and the rate of energy dissipation in the corona. The ratio of these two, [Formula: see text], is a current comparable to the amount of current expected to flow along the boundary separating the emerged flux from the pre-existing flux overlying it. We can generalize this relation to the overall corona in quiet Sun or in active regions. Doing so yields estimates for the contribution to coronal heating from magnetic reconnection. These estimated rates are comparable to the amount required to maintain the corona at its observed temperature.

  1. The Diffusion Region in Collisionless Magnetic Reconnection

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hesse, Michael; Neukirch, Thomas; Schindler, Karl; Kuznetsova, Masha; Zenitani, Seiji

    2011-01-01

    A review of present understanding of the dissipation region in magnetic reconnection is presented. The review focuses on results of the thermal inertia-based dissipation mechanism but alternative mechanisms are mentioned as well. For the former process, a combination of analytical theory and numerical modeling is presented. Furthermore, a new relation between the electric field expressions for anti-parallel and guide field reconnection is developed.

  2. Turbulent magnetic fluctuations in laboratory reconnection

    Science.gov (United States)

    Von Stechow, Adrian; Grulke, Olaf; Klinger, Thomas

    2016-07-01

    The role of fluctuations and turbulence is an important question in astrophysics. While direct observations in space are rare and difficult dedicated laboratory experiments provide a versatile environment for the investigation of magnetic reconnection due to their good diagnostic access and wide range of accessible plasma parameters. As such, they also provide an ideal chance for the validation of space plasma reconnection theories and numerical simulation results. In particular, we studied magnetic fluctuations within reconnecting current sheets for various reconnection parameters such as the reconnection rate, guide field, as well as plasma density and temperature. These fluctuations have been previously interpreted as signatures of current sheet plasma instabilities in space and laboratory systems. Especially in low collisionality plasmas these may provide a source of anomalous resistivity and thereby contribute a significant fraction of the reconnection rate. We present fluctuation measurements from two complementary reconnection experiments and compare them to numerical simulation results. VINETA.II (Greifswald, Germany) is a cylindrical, high guide field reconnection experiment with an open field line geometry. The reconnecting current sheet has a three-dimensional structure that is predominantly set by the magnetic pitch angle which results from the superposition of the guide field and the in-plane reconnecting field. Within this current sheet, high frequency magnetic fluctuations are observed that correlate well with the local current density and show a power law spectrum with a spectral break at the lower hybrid frequency. Their correlation lengths are found to be extremely short, but propagation is nonetheless observed with high phase velocities that match the Whistler dispersion. To date, the experiment has been run with an external driving field at frequencies higher than the ion cyclotron frequency f_{ci}, which implies that the EMHD framework applies

  3. Magnetic reconnection during magnetospheric substorms

    Science.gov (United States)

    Baker, Daniel N.

    1996-01-01

    The near earth reconnection model of substorms represents an attempt to place a broad range of observations into a consistent framework. The roles and requirements of reconnection are discussed. High speed plasma sheet flows, thin current sheet instability, substorm triggering, plasmoids and flux ropes in the distant tail, and magnetohydrodynamic simulations are discussed. Substorms are global, coherent sequences of processes involving solar wind/magnetosphere/ionosphere interaction. Magnetic reconnection is required to explain different dayside and polar cap phenomena, which required nightside reconnection. The modification and expansion of the standard near earth neutral line (NENL) model can integrate breakup arcs, current disruption, current wedge features, and localized plasma flows into the magnetic reconnection framework.

  4. Rapid Changes of Photospheric Magnetic Field after Tether-Cutting Reconnection and Magnetic Implosion

    CERN Document Server

    Liu, Chang; Liu, Rui; Lee, Jeongwoo; Wiegelmann, Thomas; Jing, Ju; Xu, Yan; Wang, Shuo; Wang, Haimin

    2011-01-01

    The rapid, irreversible change of the photospheric magnetic field has been recognized as an important element of the solar flare process. This Letter reports such a rapid change of magnetic fields during the 2011 February 13 M6.6 flare in NOAA AR 11158 that we found from the vector magnetograms of the Helioseismic and Magnetic Imager with 12-min cadence. High-resolution magnetograms of Hinode that are available at ~-5.5, -1.5, 1.5, and 4 hrs relative to the flare maximum are used to reconstruct three-dimensional coronal magnetic field under the nonlinear force-free field (NLFFF) assumption. UV and hard X-ray images are also used to illuminate the magnetic field evolution and energy release. The rapid change is mainly detected by HMI in a compact region lying in the center of the magnetic sigmoid, where the mean horizontal field strength exhibited a significant increase by 28%. The region lies between the initial strong UV and hard X-ray sources in the chromosphere, which are cospatial with the central feet of...

  5. Three-dimensional Spontaneous Magnetic Reconnection

    Science.gov (United States)

    Beresnyak, Andrey

    2017-01-01

    Magnetic reconnection is best known from observations of the Sun where it causes solar flares. Observations estimate the reconnection rate as a small, but non-negligible fraction of the Alfvén speed, so-called fast reconnection. Until recently, the prevailing pictures of reconnection were either of resistivity or plasma microscopic effects, which was contradictory to the observed rates. Alternative pictures were either of reconnection due to the stochasticity of magnetic field lines in turbulence or the tearing instability of the thin current sheet. In this paper we simulate long-term three-dimensional nonlinear evolution of a thin, planar current sheet subject to a fast oblique tearing instability using direct numerical simulations of resistive-viscous magnetohydrodynamics. The late-time evolution resembles generic turbulence with a ‑5/3 power spectrum and scale-dependent anisotropy, so we conclude that the tearing-driven reconnection becomes turbulent reconnection. The turbulence is local in scale, so microscopic diffusivity should not affect large-scale quantities. This is confirmed by convergence of the reconnection rate toward ∼ 0.015{v}{{A}} with increasing Lundquist number. In this spontaneous reconnection, with mean field and without driving, the dissipation rate per unit area also converges to ∼ 0.006ρ {v}{{A}}3, and the dimensionless constants 0.015 and 0.006 are governed only by self-driven nonlinear dynamics of the sheared magnetic field. Remarkably, this also means that a thin current sheet has a universal fluid resistance depending only on its length to width ratio and to {v}{{A}}/c.

  6. Continuous magnetic reconnection at Earth's magnetopause.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Frey, H U; Phan, T D; Fuselier, S A; Mende, S B

    2003-12-04

    The most important process that allows solar-wind plasma to cross the magnetopause and enter Earth's magnetosphere is the merging between solar-wind and terrestrial magnetic fields of opposite sense-magnetic reconnection. It is at present not known whether reconnection can happen in a continuous fashion or whether it is always intermittent. Solar flares and magnetospheric substorms--two phenomena believed to be initiated by reconnection--are highly burst-like occurrences, raising the possibility that the reconnection process is intrinsically intermittent, storing and releasing magnetic energy in an explosive and uncontrolled manner. Here we show that reconnection at Earth's high-latitude magnetopause is driven directly by the solar wind, and can be continuous and even quasi-steady over an extended period of time. The dayside proton auroral spot in the ionosphere--the remote signature of high-latitude magnetopause reconnection--is present continuously for many hours. We infer that reconnection is not intrinsically intermittent; its steadiness depends on the way that the process is driven.

  7. Three-dimensional magnetic reconnection through a moving magnetic null

    OpenAIRE

    Lukin, V. S.; Linton, M. G.

    2011-01-01

    A computational study of three-dimensional magnetic reconnection between two flux ropes through a moving reconnection site is presented. The configuration is considered in the context of two interacting spheromaks constrained by a perfectly conducting cylindrical boundary and oriented to form a single magnetic field null at its center. The initial magnetic field configuration is embedded into a uniform thermal plasma and is unstable to tilting. As the sphe...

  8. Magnetic reconnection launcher

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cowan, M.

    1987-04-06

    An electromagnetic launcher includes a plurality of electrical stages which are energized sequentially in the launcher with the passage of a projectiles. Each stage of the launcher includes two or more coils which are arranged coaxially on either closed-loop or straight lines to form gaps between their ends. The projectile has an electrically conductive gap-portion that passes through all the gaps of all the stages in a direction transverse to the axes of the coils. The coils receive an electric current, store magnetic energy, and convert a significant portion of the stored magnetic energy into kinetic energy of the projectile moves through the gap. The magnetic polarity of the opposing coils is in the same direction, e.g. N-S-N-S. A gap portion of the projectile may be made from aluminum and is propelled by the reconnection of magnetic flux stored in the coils which causes accelerating forces to act upon the projectile and at the horizontal surfaces of the projectile near its rear. The gap portion of the projectile may be flat, rectangular and longer than the length of the opposing coils. The gap portion of the projectile permits substantially unrestricted distribution of the induced currents so that current densities are only high where the useful magnetic force is high. This allows designs which permit ohmic oblation from the rear surfaces of the gap portion of the projectile allowing much high velocities to be achieved. An electric power apparatus controls the electric power supplied to the opposing coils until the gap portion of the projectile substantially occupies the gap between the coils, at which time the coils are supplied with peak current quickly. 8 figs.

  9. Three-Dimensional MHD Magnetic Reconnection Simulations with Finite Guide Field: Proposal of the Shock-Evoking Positive-Feedback Model

    CERN Document Server

    Wang, Shuoyang; Isobe, Hiroaki

    2015-01-01

    Using a three-dimensional magnetohydrodynamic model, we simulate the magnetic reconnection in a single current sheet. We assume a finite guide field, a random perturbation on the velocity field and uniform resistivity. Our model enhances the reconnection rate relative to the classical Sweet-Parker model in the same configuration. The efficiency of magnetic energy conversion is increased by interactions between the multiple tearing layers coexisting in the global current sheet. This interaction, which forms a positive-feedback system, arises from coupling of the inflow and outflow regions in different layers across the current sheet. The coupling accelerates the elementary reconnection events, thereby enhancing the global reconnection rate. The reconnection establishes flux tubes along each tearing layer. Slow-mode shocks gradually form along the outer boundaries of these tubes, further accelerating the magnetic energy conversion.Such positive-feedback system is absent in two-dimensional simulation, three-dime...

  10. Evolutions of nonsteady state magnetic reconnection

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Wan, Weigang [Los Alamos National Laboratory; Lapenta, Giovanni [KATHOLIEKE UNIV

    2008-01-01

    The full evolutions of collisionless non-steady-state magnetic reconnection are studied with full kinetic particle-in-cell simulations. There are different stages of reconnection: the onset or early growing stage when the out-of-plane electric field (Ey) structure is a monopole at the X-point, the bipolar stage when the Ey structure is bipolar and the outer electron diffusion region (EDR) is being elongated over time, and the possible final steady-state stage when E{sub y} is uniform in the reconnection plane. We find the change of reconnection rate is not empowered or dependent on the length of the EDR. During the early growing stage, the EDR is elongated while the reconnection rate is growing. During the later stage, the reconnection rate may significantly decrease but the length of the inner EDR is largely stable. The results indicate that reconnection is not controlled by the downstream physics, but rather by the availability of plasma inflows from upstream. The physical mechanism of the EDR elongation is studied. The Hall current induced by the quadrupole magnetic field (B{sub y}) is discovered to play an important role in this process. The condition of forming an extended electron super-Alfvenic outflow jet structure in nature is discussed. The jet structure could be elongated during the bipolar stage, and remains stable during steady state. The sufficiency of the electron inflow is crucial for the elongation. Open boundary conditions are applied in the outflow direction.

  11. Magnetic reconnection in the near Venusian magnetotail.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhang, T L; Lu, Q M; Baumjohann, W; Russell, C T; Fedorov, A; Barabash, S; Coates, A J; Du, A M; Cao, J B; Nakamura, R; Teh, W L; Wang, R S; Dou, X K; Wang, S; Glassmeier, K H; Auster, H U; Balikhin, M

    2012-05-04

    Observations with the Venus Express magnetometer and low-energy particle detector revealed magnetic field and plasma behavior in the near-Venus wake that is symptomatic of magnetic reconnection, a process that occurs in Earth's magnetotail but is not expected in the magnetotail of a nonmagnetized planet such as Venus. On 15 May 2006, the plasma flow in this region was toward the planet, and the magnetic field component transverse to the flow was reversed. Magnetic reconnection is a plasma process that changes the topology of the magnetic field and results in energy exchange between the magnetic field and the plasma. Thus, the energetics of the Venus magnetotail resembles that of the terrestrial tail, where energy is stored and later released from the magnetic field to the plasma.

  12. Observational Aspects of Magnetic Reconnection at the Earth's Magnetosphere

    Science.gov (United States)

    Souza, Vitor M.; Koga, Daiki; Gonzalez, Walter D.; Cardoso, Flavia R.

    2017-08-01

    Magnetic field reconnection has shown to be the dominant process in the solar wind-Earth's magnetosphere interaction. It enables mass, momentum, and energy exchange between different plasma regimes, and it is regarded as an efficient plasma acceleration and heating mechanism. Reconnection has been observed to occur in laboratory plasmas, at planetary magnetospheres in our Solar System, and the Sun. In this work, we focus on analyzing the characteristics of magnetic reconnection at the Earth's magnetosphere according to spaceborne observations in the vicinity of our planet. Firstly, the locations where magnetic field reconnection are expected to occur within the vast magnetospheric region are addressed, and is shown how they are influenced by changes in the interplanetary magnetic field direction. The main magnetic field and plasma signatures of magnetic reconnection are discussed from both theoretical and observational points of view. Spacecraft observations of ion inertial length scale reconnection are also presented.

  13. Double layer electric fields aiding the production of energetic flat-top distributions and superthermal electrons within the exhausts from magnetic reconnection

    CERN Document Server

    Egedal, Jan; Le, Ari; Borg, Anette L

    2015-01-01

    Using a kinetic simulation of magnetic reconnection it was recently shown that magnetic-field-aligned electric fields (E||) can be present over large spatial scales in reconnection exhausts. The largest values of E|| are observed within double layers. The existence of double layers in the Earth's magnetosphere is well documented. In our simulation their formation is triggered by large parallel streaming of electrons into the reconnection region. These parallel electron fluxes are required for maintaining quasi-neutrality of the reconnection region and increase with decreasing values of the normalized electron pressure upstream of the reconnection region. A threshold normalized pressure is derived for strong double layers to develop. We also document how the electron confinement, provided in part by the structure in E||, allows sustained energization by perpendicular electric fields. The energization is a consequence of the confined electrons' chaotic orbital motion that includes drifts aligned with the reconn...

  14. Multiscale Modeling of Solar Coronal Magnetic Reconnection

    Science.gov (United States)

    Antiochos, Spiro K.; Karpen, Judith T.; DeVore, C. Richard

    2010-01-01

    Magnetic reconnection is widely believed to be the primary process by which the magnetic field releases energy to plasma in the Sun's corona. For example, in the breakout model for the initiation of coronal mass ejections/eruptive flares, reconnection is responsible for the catastrophic destabilizing of magnetic force balance in the corona, leading to explosive energy release. A critical requirement for the reconnection is that it have a "switch-on' nature in that the reconnection stays off until a large store of magnetic free energy has built up, and then it turn on abruptly and stay on until most of this free energy has been released. We discuss the implications of this requirement for reconnection in the context of the breakout model for CMEs/flares. We argue that it imposes stringent constraints on the properties of the flux breaking mechanism, which is expected to operate in the corona on kinetic scales. We present numerical simulations demonstrating how the reconnection and the eruption depend on the effective resistivity, i.e., the effective Lundquist number, and propose a model for incorporating kinetic flux-breaking mechanisms into MHO calculation of CMEs/flares.

  15. Aspects of Collisionless Magnetic Reconnection in Asymmetric Systems

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hesse, Michael; Aunai, Nicolas; Zeitani, Seiji; Kuznetsova, Masha; Birn, Joachim

    2013-01-01

    Asymmetric reconnection is being investigated by means of particle-in-cell simulations. The research has two foci: the direction of the reconnection line in configurations with non-vanishing magnetic fields; and the question why reconnection can be faster if a guide field is added to an otherwise unchanged asymmetric configuration. We find that reconnection prefers a direction, which maximizes the available magnetic energy, and show that this direction coincides with the bisection of the angle between the asymptotic magnetic fields. Regarding the difference in reconnection rates between planar and guide field models, we demonstrate that a guide field can provide essential confinement for particles in the reconnection region, which the weaker magnetic field in one of the inflow directions cannot necessarily provide.

  16. The Inner Workings of Magnetic Reconnection

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hesse, Michael; Zenitani, S.

    2007-01-01

    Magnetic reconnection is arguably the most efficient transport and energy conversion mechanism in almost ideal plasmas. Reconnection controls the overall dynamics in space and astrophysics plasmas, as well as in many laboratory plasma systems. Reconnection operates by means of a localized diffusion region, where deviations from the plasma idealness condition generate electric fields and permit plasma transport even far away from the diffusion region itself. Recent advances in analytic theory and computer modeling have begun to shed light on the internal dynamics of the diffusion region. In particular, we begin to understand the delicate nature of the force balance in the inner diffusion region, where particles can become unmagnetized and where electric field forces are important. This presentation will provide a brief introduction of the reconnection process and its applications. This introduction will be followed by a detailed analysis of the current understanding of dissipation region physics, and by an outlook toward future research.

  17. The Dissipation Mechanism of Magnetic Reconnection

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hesse, Michael

    2008-01-01

    Magnetic reconnection is arguably the most efficient transport and energy conversion mechanism in almost ideal plasmas. Reconnection controls the overall dynamics in space and astrophysics plasmas, as well as in many laboratory plasma systems. Reconnection operates by means of a localized diffusion region, where deviations from the plasma idealness condition generate electric fields and permit plasma transport even far away from the diffusion region itself. Recent advances in analytic theory and computer modeling have begun to shed light on the internal dynamics of the diffusion region. In particular, we begin to understand the delicate nature of the force balance in the inner diffusion region, where particles can become unmagnetized and where electric field forces are important. This presentation will provide a brief introduction of the reconnection process and its applications. This introduction will be followed by a detailed analysis of the current understanding of dissipation region physics, and by an outlook toward future research.

  18. Magnetic reconnection: from MHD to QED

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bulanov, S. V.

    2017-01-01

    The paper examines the prospects of using laser plasmas for studying novel regimes of the magnetic field line reconnection and charged particle acceleration. Basic features of plasma dynamics in the three-dimensional configurations relevant to the formation of current sheets in a plasma are addressed by analyzing exact self-similar solutions of the magneto-hydrodynamics and electron magneto-hydrodynamics equations. Then the magnetic field annihilation in the ultrarelativistic limit is considered, when the opposite polarity magnetic field is generated in collisionless plasma by multiple laser pulses, in the regime with a dominant contribution of the displacement current exciting a strong large-scale electric field. This field leads to the conversion of the magnetic energy into the kinetic energy of accelerated particles inside a thin current sheet. Charged particle acceleration during magnetic field reconnection is discussed when radiation friction and quantum electrodynamics effects become dominant.

  19. Magnetic reconnection: from MHD to QED

    CERN Document Server

    Bulanov, S V

    2016-01-01

    The paper examines the prospects of using laser plasmas for studying novel regimes of the magnetic field line reconnection and charged particle acceleration. Basic features of plasma dynamics in the three-dimensional configurations relevant to the formation of current sheets in a plasma are addressed by analyzing exact self-similar solutions of the magneto-hydrodynamics and electron magneto-hydrodynamics equations. Then the magnetic field annihilation in the ultrarelativistic limit is considered, when the opposite polarity magnetic field is generated in collisionless plasma by multiple laser pulses, in the regime with a dominant contribution of the displacement current exciting a strong large-scale electric field. This field leads to the conversion of the magnetic energy into the kinetic energy of accelerated particles inside a thin current sheet. Charged particle acceleration during magnetic field reconnection is discussed when radiation friction and quantum electrodynamics effects become dominant.

  20. Magnetic reconnection as an element of turbulence

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    S. Servidio

    2011-10-01

    Full Text Available In this work, recent advances on the study of reconnection in turbulence are reviewed. Using direct numerical simulations of decaying incompressible two-dimensional magnetohydrodynamics (MHD, it was found that in fully developed turbulence complex processes of reconnection locally occur (Servidio et al., 2009, 2010a. In this complex scenario, reconnection is spontaneous but locally driven by the fields, with the boundary conditions provided by the turbulence. Matching classical turbulence analysis with a generalized Sweet-Parker theory, the statistical features of these multiple-reconnection events have been identified. A discussion on the accuracy of our algorithms is provided, highlighting the necessity of adequate spatial resolution. Applications to the study of solar wind discontinuities are reviewed, comparing simulations to spacecraft observations. New results are shown, studying the time evolution of these local reconnection events. A preliminary study on the comparison between MHD and Hall MHD is reported. Our new approach to the study of reconnection as an element of turbulence has broad applications to space plasmas, shedding a new light on the study of magnetic reconnection in nature.

  1. SuperDARN CUTLASS Finland radar observations of high-latitude magnetic reconnections under northward interplanetary magnetic field (IMF) conditions

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    ZHANG QingHe; LIU RuiYuan; YANG HuiGen; HU HongQiao; ZHANG BeiChen; DUNLOP Malcolm; LESTER Mark; BOGDANOVA Yulia; WALSH Andrew

    2012-01-01

    A number of backscatter power enhancement events with “equatorward-moving radar auroral forms” in the high-latitude ionosphere were observed by SuperDARN CUTLASS Finland radar when the IMF was northward during 09:00 -10:00 UT on 26 March 2004.These events were also associated with sunward flow enhancements at each location in the Northern Hemisphere which were shown in ionospheric convections measured by the SuperDARN radars.These are typical features of high-latitude (lobe) magnetic reconnections.The durations of the velocity enhancements imply that the evolution time of the lobe reconnections is about 8-16 min from their origin at the reconnection site to their addition to the magnetotail lobe again.In additional,the Double Star TC-1 spacecraft was moving from magnetosheath into magnetosphere,and crossing the magnetopause near the subsolar region during this interval,and observed typical low-latitude magnetic reconnection signatures.This infers that the dayside high- and low-latitude reconnections may occur simultaneously.

  2. Particle Demagnetization in Collisionless Magnetic Reconnection

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hesse, Michael

    2006-01-01

    The dissipation mechanism of magnetic reconnection remains a subject of intense scientific interest. On one hand, one set of recent studies have shown that particle inertia-based processes, which include thermal and bulk inertial effects, provide the reconnection electric field in the diffusion region. In this presentation, we present analytical theory results, as well as 2.5 and three-dimensional PIC simulations of guide field magnetic reconnection. We will show that diffusion region scale sizes in moderate and large guide field cases are determined by electron Larmor radii, and that analytical estimates of diffusion region dimensions need to include description of the heat flux tensor. The dominant electron dissipation process appears to be based on thermal electron inertia, expressed through nongyrotropic electron pressure tensors. We will argue that this process remains viable in three dimensions by means of a detailed comparison of high resolution particle-in-cell simulations.

  3. Theory of magnetic reconnection in solar and astrophysical plasmas.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pontin, David I

    2012-07-13

    Magnetic reconnection is a fundamental process in a plasma that facilitates the release of energy stored in the magnetic field by permitting a change in the magnetic topology. In this paper, we present a review of the current state of understanding of magnetic reconnection. We discuss theoretical results regarding the formation of current sheets in complex three-dimensional magnetic fields and describe the fundamental differences between reconnection in two and three dimensions. We go on to outline recent developments in modelling of reconnection with kinetic theory, as well as in the magnetohydrodynamic framework where a number of new three-dimensional reconnection regimes have been identified. We discuss evidence from observations and simulations of Solar System plasmas that support this theory and summarize some prominent locations in which this new reconnection theory is relevant in astrophysical plasmas.

  4. On Lorentz invariants in relativistic magnetic reconnection

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yang, Shu-Di; Wang, Xiao-Gang

    2016-08-01

    Lorentz invariants whose nonrelativistic correspondences play important roles in magnetic reconnection are discussed in this paper. Particularly, the relativistic invariant of the magnetic reconnection rate is defined and investigated in a covariant two-fluid model. Certain Lorentz covariant representations for energy conversion and magnetic structures in reconnection processes are also investigated. Furthermore, relativistic measures for topological features of reconnection sites, particularly magnetic nulls and separatrices, are analyzed.

  5. Calibrating MMS Electron Drift Instrument (EDI) Ambient Electron Flux Measurements and Characterizing 3D Electric Field Signatures of Magnetic Reconnection

    Science.gov (United States)

    Shuster, J. R.; Torbert, R. B.; Vaith, H.; Argall, M. R.; Li, G.; Chen, L. J.; Ergun, R. E.; Lindqvist, P. A.; Marklund, G. T.; Khotyaintsev, Y. V.; Russell, C. T.; Magnes, W.; Le Contel, O.; Pollock, C. J.; Giles, B. L.

    2015-12-01

    The electron drift instruments (EDIs) onboard each MMS spacecraft are designed with large geometric factors (~0.01cm2 str) to facilitate detection of weak (~100 nA) electron beams fired and received by the two gun-detector units (GDUs) when EDI is in its "electric field mode" to determine the local electric and magnetic fields. A consequence of the large geometric factor is that "ambient mode" electron flux measurements (500 eV electrons having 0°, 90°, or 180° pitch angle) can vary depending on the orientation of the EDI instrument with respect to the magnetic field, a nonphysical effect that requires a correction. Here, we present determinations of the θ- and ø-dependent correction factors for the eight EDI GDUs, where θ (ø) is the polar (azimuthal) angle between the GDU symmetry axis and the local magnetic field direction, and compare the corrected fluxes with those measured by the fast plasma instrument (FPI). Using these corrected, high time resolution (~1,000 samples per second) ambient electron fluxes, combined with the unprecedentedly high resolution 3D electric field measurements taken by the spin-plane and axial double probes (SDP and ADP), we are equipped to accurately detect electron-scale current layers and electric field waves associated with the non-Maxwellian (anisotropic and agyrotropic) particle distribution functions predicted to exist in the reconnection diffusion region. We compare initial observations of the diffusion region with distributions and wave analysis from PIC simulations of asymmetric reconnection applicable for modeling reconnection at the Earth's magnetopause, where MMS will begin Science Phase 1 as of September 1, 2015.

  6. VINETA II: a linear magnetic reconnection experiment.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bohlin, H; Von Stechow, A; Rahbarnia, K; Grulke, O; Klinger, T

    2014-02-01

    A linear experiment dedicated to the study of driven magnetic reconnection is presented. The new device (VINETA II) is suitable for investigating both collisional and near collisionless reconnection. Reconnection is achieved by externally driving magnetic field lines towards an X-point, inducing a current in the background plasma which consequently modifies the magnetic field topology. Owing to the open field line configuration of the experiment, the current is limited by the axial sheath boundary conditions. A plasma gun is used as an additional electron source in order to counterbalance the charge separation effects and supply the required current. Two drive methods are used in the device. First, an oscillating current through two parallel conductors drive the reconnection. Second, a stationary X-point topology is formed by the parallel conductors, and the drive is achieved by an oscillating current through a third conductor. In the first setup, the magnetic field of the axial plasma current dominates the field topology near the X-point throughout most of the drive. The second setup allows for the amplitude of the plasma current as well as the motion of the flux to be set independently of the X-point topology of the parallel conductors.

  7. The Dissipation Mechanism in Collisionless Magnetic Reconnection

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hesse, Michael; Kuznetsova, M.; Birn, J.; Schindler, K.

    2006-01-01

    The dissipation mechanism of magnetic reconnection remains a subject of intense scientific interest. On one hand, one set of recent studies have shown that particle inertia-based processes, which include thermal and bulk inertial effects, provide the reconnection electric field in the diffusion region. On the other hand, a second set of studies emphasizes the role of wave-particle interactions in providing anomalous resistivity in the diffusion region. In this presentation, we present analytical theory results, as well as PIC simulations of guide-field magnetic reconnection. We will show that the thermal electron inertia-based dissipation mechanism, expressed through nongyrotropic electron pressure tensors, remains viable in three dimensions. We will demonstrate the thermal inertia effect through studies of electron distribution functions. Furthermore, we will show that the reconnection electric field provides a transient acceleration on particles traversing the inner reconnection region. This inertial effect can be described as a diffusion-like term of the current density, which matches key features of electron distribution functions.

  8. Magnetic Reconnection: Theoretical and Observational Perspectives: Preface

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lewis, W. S.; Antiochos, S. K,; Drake, J. F.

    2011-01-01

    Magnetic reconnection is a fundamental plasma-physical process by which energy stored in a magnetic field is converted, often explosively, into heat and the kinetic energy of the charged particles that constitute the plasma. It occurs in a variety of astrophysical settings, ranging from the solar corona to pulsar magnetospheres and winds, as well as in laboratory fusion experiments, where it is responsible for sawtooth crashes. First proposed by R.G. Giovanelli in the late I 940s as the mechanism responsible for solar flares, magnetic reconnection was invoked at the beginning of the space age to explain not just solar flares but also the transfer of energy, mass, and momentum from the solar wind to Earth's magnetosphere and the subsequent storage and release of the transferred energy in the magnetotai\\. During the half century or so that has followed the seminal theoretical works by J.W. Dungey, P.A. Sweet, E.N. Parker, and H.E. Petschek, in-situ measurements by Earth-orbiting satellites and remote-sensing observations of the solar corona have provided a growing body of evidence for the occurrence of reconnection at the Sun, in the solar wind, and in the near-Earth space environment. The last thirty years have also seen the development of laboratory reconnection experiments at a number of institutions. In parallel with the efforts of experimentalists in both space and laboratory plasma physics, theorists have investigated, analytically and with the help of increasingly powerful MHD, hybrid, and kinetic numerical simulations, the structure of the diffusion region, the factors controlling the rate, onset, and cessation of reconnection, and the detailed physics that enables the demagnetization of the ions and electrons and the topological reconfiguration of the magnetic field. Moreover, the scope of theoretical reconnection studies has been extended well beyond solar system and laboratory plasmas to include more exotic astrophysical plasma systems whose strong (10

  9. Magnetic flux array for spontaneous magnetic reconnection experiments.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kesich, A; Bonde, J; Egedal, J; Fox, W; Goodwin, R; Katz, N; Le, A

    2008-06-01

    Experimental investigation of reconnection in magnetized plasmas relies on accurate characterization of the evolving magnetic fields. In experimental configurations where the plasma dynamics are reproducible, magnetic data can be collected in multiple discharges and combined to provide spatially resolved profiles of the plasma dynamics. However, in experiments on spontaneous magnetic reconnection recently undertaken at the Versatile Toroidal Facility at MIT, the reconnection process is not reproducible and all information on the plasma must be collected in a single discharge. This paper describes a newly developed magnetic flux array which directly measures the toroidal component of the magnetic vector potential, A(phi). From the measured A(phi), the magnetic field geometry, current density, and reconnection rate are readily obtained, facilitating studies of the three-dimensional dynamics of spontaneous magnetic reconnection. The novel design of the probe array allows for accurate characterization of profiles of A(phi) at multiple toroidal angles using a relatively small number of signal channels and with minimal disturbance of the plasma.

  10. Asymmetric magnetic reconnection with a flow shear and applications to the magnetopause

    CERN Document Server

    Doss, C E; Cassak, P A; Wilder, F D; Eriksson, S; Drake, J F

    2015-01-01

    We perform a theoretical and numerical study of anti-parallel 2D magnetic reconnection with asymmetries in the density and reconnecting magnetic field strength in addition to a bulk flow shear across the reconnection site in the plane of the reconnecting fields, which commonly occurs at planetary magnetospheres. We predict the speed at which an isolated X-line is convected by the flow, the reconnection rate, and the critical flow speed at which reconnection no longer takes place for arbitrary reconnecting magnetic field strengths, densities, and upstream flow speeds, and confirm the results with two-fluid numerical simulations. The predictions and simulation results counter the prevailing model of reconnection at Earth's dayside magnetopause which says reconnection occurs with a stationary X-line for sub-Alfvenic magnetosheath flow, reconnection occurs but the X-line convects for magnetosheath flows between the Alfven speed and double the Alfven speed, and reconnection does not occur for magnetosheath flows g...

  11. Flux and field line conservation in 3--D nonideal MHD flows: Remarks about criteria for 3--D reconnection without magnetic neutral points

    CERN Document Server

    Nickeler, D H; Nickeler, Dieter H.; Fahr, Hans-Joerg

    2005-01-01

    We make some remarks on reconnection in plasmas and want to present some calculations related to the problem of finding velocity fields which conserve magnetic flux or at least magnetic field lines. Hereby we start from views and definitions of ideal and non-ideal flows on one hand, and of reconnective and non-reconnective plasma dynamics on the other hand. Our considerations give additional insights into the discussion on violations of the frozen--in field concept which started recently with the papers by Baranov & Fahr (2003a; 2003b). We find a correlation between the nonidealness which is given by a generalized form of the Ohm's law and a general transporting velocity, which is field line conserving.

  12. Magnetic reconnection as a chondrule heating mechanism

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lazerson, Samuel A.

    2010-12-01

    The origin of chondrules (sub-millimeter inclusions found in stony meteorites) remains today an open question despite over century of examination. The age of these proto-solar relics shows a well defined cutoff of around 4.5 billion years ago. This places them as the oldest solids in the solar system. Chemical examination indicates that they experienced heating events on the order of 5000 K/hr for periods of around 30 minutes, followed by extending periods of cooling. Additional examination indicates the presence of large magnetic fields during their formation. Most attempts to explain chondrule formation in the proto-solar nebula neglect the existence of a plasma environment, with even less mention of dust being a charge carrier (dusty plasma). Simulations of magnetic reconnection in a dusty plasma are forwarded as a mechanism for chondrule formation in the proto-solar nebula. Here large dust-neutral relative velocities are found in the reconnection region. These flows are associated with the dynamics of reconnection. The high Knudsen number of the dust particles allows for a direct calculation of frictional heating due to collisions with neutrals (allowing for the neglect of boundary layer formation around the particle). Test particle simulations produce heating equivalent to that recorded in the chondrule mineral record. It is shown that magnetic reconnection in a dusty plasma is of fundamental importance to the formation of the most primitive solids in the solar system.

  13. Electron-scale measurements of magnetic reconnection in space.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Burch, J L; Torbert, R B; Phan, T D; Chen, L-J; Moore, T E; Ergun, R E; Eastwood, J P; Gershman, D J; Cassak, P A; Argall, M R; Wang, S; Hesse, M; Pollock, C J; Giles, B L; Nakamura, R; Mauk, B H; Fuselier, S A; Russell, C T; Strangeway, R J; Drake, J F; Shay, M A; Khotyaintsev, Yu V; Lindqvist, P-A; Marklund, G; Wilder, F D; Young, D T; Torkar, K; Goldstein, J; Dorelli, J C; Avanov, L A; Oka, M; Baker, D N; Jaynes, A N; Goodrich, K A; Cohen, I J; Turner, D L; Fennell, J F; Blake, J B; Clemmons, J; Goldman, M; Newman, D; Petrinec, S M; Trattner, K J; Lavraud, B; Reiff, P H; Baumjohann, W; Magnes, W; Steller, M; Lewis, W; Saito, Y; Coffey, V; Chandler, M

    2016-06-03

    Magnetic reconnection is a fundamental physical process in plasmas whereby stored magnetic energy is converted into heat and kinetic energy of charged particles. Reconnection occurs in many astrophysical plasma environments and in laboratory plasmas. Using measurements with very high time resolution, NASA's Magnetospheric Multiscale (MMS) mission has found direct evidence for electron demagnetization and acceleration at sites along the sunward boundary of Earth's magnetosphere where the interplanetary magnetic field reconnects with the terrestrial magnetic field. We have (i) observed the conversion of magnetic energy to particle energy; (ii) measured the electric field and current, which together cause the dissipation of magnetic energy; and (iii) identified the electron population that carries the current as a result of demagnetization and acceleration within the reconnection diffusion/dissipation region.

  14. How is the magnetic reconnection derived from magnetohydrodynamics equations?

    CERN Document Server

    Tashiro, Tohru

    2012-01-01

    We clarify how magnetic reconnection can be derived from magnetohydrodynamics (MHD) equations in a way that is easily understandable to university students. The essential mechanism governing the time evolution of the magnetic field is diffusion dynamics. The magnetic field is represented by two components. It is clarified that the diffusion of a component causes a generation of another component that is initially zero and, accordingly, that the magnetic force lines are reconnected. For this reconnection to occur correctly, the initial magnetic field must be directed oppositely in the two regions, e.g., $y>0$ and $y0$ ($y<0$); and must be saturated for $y$ far from the x axis, which would indicate the existence of the current sheet. It will be clear that our comprehension based on diffusion runs parallel to the common qualitative explanation about the magnetic reconnection.

  15. Collisionless magnetic reconnection under anisotropic MHD approximation

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hirabayashi, Kota; Hoshino, Masahiro

    We study the formation of slow-mode shocks in collisionless magnetic reconnection by using one- and two-dimensional collisionless magneto-hydro-dynamic (MHD) simulations based on the double adiabatic approximation, which is an important step to bridge the gap between the Petschek-type MHD reconnection model accompanied by a pair of slow shocks and the observational evidence of the rare occasion of in-situ slow shock observation. According to our results, a pair of slow shocks does form in the reconnection layer. The resultant shock waves, however, are quite weak compared with those in an isotropic MHD from the point of view of the plasma compression and the amount of the magnetic energy released across the shock. Once the slow shock forms, the downstream plasma are heated in highly anisotropic manner and a firehose-sense (P_{||}>P_{⊥}) pressure anisotropy arises. The maximum anisotropy is limited by the marginal firehose criterion, 1-(P_{||}-P_{⊥})/B(2) =0. In spite of the weakness of the shocks, the resultant reconnection rate is kept at the same level compared with that in the corresponding ordinary MHD simulations. It is also revealed that the sequential order of propagation of the slow shock and the rotational discontinuity, which appears when the guide field component exists, changes depending on the magnitude of the guide field. Especially, when no guide field exists, the rotational discontinuity degenerates with the contact discontinuity remaining at the position of the initial current sheet, while with the slow shock in the isotropic MHD. Our result implies that the slow shock does not necessarily play an important role in the energy conversion in the reconnection system and is consistent with the satellite observation in the Earth's magnetosphere.

  16. The Acceleration of Ions in Solar Flares During Magnetic Reconnection

    CERN Document Server

    Knizhnik, Kalman; Drake, James F

    2011-01-01

    The acceleration of solar flare ions during magnetic reconnection is explored via particle-in-cell simulations that self-consistently follow the motions of both protons and $\\alpha$ particles. We demonstrate that the dominant ion heating during reconnection with a guide field (a magnetic component perpendicular to the reconnection plane) results from pickup behavior during the entry into reconnection exhausts. In contrast with anti-parallel reconnection, the temperature increment is dominantly transverse, rather than parallel, to the local magnetic field. The comparison of protons and alphas reveals a mass-to-charge ($M/Q$) threshold in pickup behavior that favors heating of high $M/Q$ ions over protons, which is consistent with impulsive flare observations.

  17. Test of Shi et al. Method to Infer the Magnetic Reconnection Geometry from Spacecraft Data: MHD Simulation with Guide Field and Antiparallel Kinetic Simulation

    Science.gov (United States)

    Denton, R.; Sonnerup, B. U. O.; Swisdak, M.; Birn, J.; Drake, J. F.; Heese, M.

    2012-01-01

    When analyzing data from an array of spacecraft (such as Cluster or MMS) crossing a site of magnetic reconnection, it is desirable to be able to accurately determine the orientation of the reconnection site. If the reconnection is quasi-two dimensional, there are three key directions, the direction of maximum inhomogeneity (the direction across the reconnection site), the direction of the reconnecting component of the magnetic field, and the direction of rough invariance (the "out of plane" direction). Using simulated spacecraft observations of magnetic reconnection in the geomagnetic tail, we extend our previous tests of the direction-finding method developed by Shi et al. (2005) and the method to determine the structure velocity relative to the spacecraft Vstr. These methods require data from four proximate spacecraft. We add artificial noise and calibration errors to the simulation fields, and then use the perturbed gradient of the magnetic field B and perturbed time derivative dB/dt, as described by Denton et al. (2010). Three new simulations are examined: a weakly three-dimensional, i.e., quasi-two-dimensional, MHD simulation without a guide field, a quasi-two-dimensional MHD simulation with a guide field, and a two-dimensional full dynamics kinetic simulation with inherent noise so that the apparent minimum gradient was not exactly zero, even without added artificial errors. We also examined variations of the spacecraft trajectory for the kinetic simulation. The accuracy of the directions found varied depending on the simulation and spacecraft trajectory, but all the directions could be found within about 10 for all cases. Various aspects of the method were examined, including how to choose averaging intervals and the best intervals for determining the directions and velocity. For the kinetic simulation, we also investigated in detail how the errors in the inferred gradient directions from the unmodified Shi et al. method (using the unperturbed gradient

  18. Anisotropic Electron Tail Generation during Tearing Mode Magnetic Reconnection

    Science.gov (United States)

    DuBois, Ami M.; Almagri, Abdulgader F.; Anderson, Jay K.; Den Hartog, Daniel J.; Lee, John David; Sarff, John S.

    2017-02-01

    The first experimental evidence of anisotropic electron energization during magnetic reconnection that favors a direction perpendicular to the guide magnetic field in a toroidal, magnetically confined plasma is reported in this Letter. Magnetic reconnection plays an important role in particle heating, energization, and transport in space and laboratory plasmas. In toroidal devices like the Madison Symmetric Torus, discrete magnetic reconnection events release large amounts of energy from the equilibrium magnetic field. Fast x-ray measurements imply a non-Maxwellian, anisotropic energetic electron tail is formed at the time of reconnection. The tail is well described by a power-law energy dependence. The expected bremsstrahlung from an electron distribution with an anisotropic energetic tail (v⊥>v∥ ) spatially localized in the core region is consistent with x-ray emission measurements. A turbulent process related to tearing fluctuations is the most likely cause for the energetic electron tail formation.

  19. MESSENGER observations of magnetic reconnection in Mercury's magnetosphere.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Slavin, James A; Acuña, Mario H; Anderson, Brian J; Baker, Daniel N; Benna, Mehdi; Boardsen, Scott A; Gloeckler, George; Gold, Robert E; Ho, George C; Korth, Haje; Krimigis, Stamatios M; McNutt, Ralph L; Raines, Jim M; Sarantos, Menelaos; Schriver, David; Solomon, Sean C; Trávnícek, Pavel; Zurbuchen, Thomas H

    2009-05-01

    Solar wind energy transfer to planetary magnetospheres and ionospheres is controlled by magnetic reconnection, a process that determines the degree of connectivity between the interplanetary magnetic field (IMF) and a planet's magnetic field. During MESSENGER's second flyby of Mercury, a steady southward IMF was observed and the magnetopause was threaded by a strong magnetic field, indicating a reconnection rate ~10 times that typical at Earth. Moreover, a large flux transfer event was observed in the magnetosheath, and a plasmoid and multiple traveling compression regions were observed in Mercury's magnetotail, all products of reconnection. These observations indicate that Mercury's magnetosphere is much more responsive to IMF direction and dominated by the effects of reconnection than that of Earth or the other magnetized planets.

  20. Electron self-reinforcing process of magnetic reconnection.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wan, Weigang; Lapenta, Giovanni

    2008-07-04

    The growth of collisionless magnetic reconnection is discovered to be a nonlinear electron self-reinforcing process. Accelerated by the reconnection electric field, the small portion of energetic electrons in the vicinity of the X point are found to be the cause of the fast reconnection rate. This new mechanism explains that recent simulation results of different reconnection evolutions (i.e., steady state, quasisteady state, or nonsteady state) are essentially determined by the availability of feeding plasma inflows. Simulations are carried out with open boundary conditions.

  1. Nonlinear magnetic reconnection in low collisionality plasmas

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Ottaviani, M. [Commission of the European Communities, Abingdon (United Kingdom). JET Joint Undertaking; Porcelli, F. [Politecnico di Torino, Turin (Italy)

    1994-07-01

    The magnetic reconnection in collisionless regimes, where electron inertia is responsible for the decoupling of the plasma motion from that of the field lines, is discussed. Since the linear theory of m=1 modes breaks down for very small magnetic island widths, a non linear analysis is called for. Thus, the behaviour of a collisionless, 2-D fluid slab model in the limit {rho}/d -> 0, is analyzed. The main result is that, when the island size is larger than the linear layer but smaller than the equilibrium scale length, the reconnection rate exhibits a quasi-explosive time behaviour, during which a current density sub-layer narrower than the skin depth is formed. It is believed that the inclusion of the electron initial term in Ohm`s law opens the possibility to understand the rapidity of relaxation process observed in low collisionality plasmas. 7 refs., 6 figs.

  2. Magnetic Reconnection in a Compressible MHD Plasma

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hesse, Michael; Birn, Joachim; Zenitani, Seiji

    2011-01-01

    Using steady-state resistive MHD, magnetic reconnection is reinvestigated for conditions of high resistivity/low magnetic Reynolds number, when the thickness of the diffusion region is no longer small compared to its length. Implicit expressions for the reconnection rate and other reconnection parameters are derived based on the requirements of mass, momentum, and energy conservation. These expressions are solved via simple iterative procedures. Implications specifically for low Reynolds number/high resistivity are being discussed

  3. Plasma compression in magnetic reconnection regions in the solar corona

    CERN Document Server

    Provornikova, Elena; Lukin, Vyacheslav S

    2016-01-01

    It has been proposed that particles bouncing between magnetized flows converging in a reconnection region can be accelerated by the first order Fermi mechanism. Analytical considerations of this mechanism have shown that the spectral index of accelerated particles is related to the total plasma compression within the reconnection region similarly to the case of diffusive shock acceleration mechanism. As a first step to investigate the efficiency of Fermi acceleration in reconnection regions in producing hard energy spectra of particles in the solar corona, we explore the degree of plasma compression that can be achieved at reconnection sites. In particular, we aim to determine the conditions for the strong compressions to form. Using a two-dimensional resistive MHD numerical model we consider a set of magnetic field configurations where magnetic reconnection can occur including a Harris current sheet, a force-free current sheet, and two merging flux ropes. Plasma parameters are taken to be characteristic of t...

  4. NUMERICAL STUDIES OF WEAKLY STOCHASTIC MAGNETIC RECONNECTION

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    G. Kowal

    2009-01-01

    Full Text Available We study the e ects of turbulence on magnetic reconnection using three-dimensional numerical simulations.This is the rst attempt to test the model of fast magnetic reconnection proposed by Lazarian & Vishniac (1999, which assumes the presence of weak, small-scale magnetic eld structure near the current sheet. This a ects the rate of reconnection by reducing the transverse scale for reconnection ows and by allowing many independent ux reconnection events to occur simultaneously. We performed a number of simulations to test the dependencies of the reconnection speed, de ned as the ratio of the in ow velocity to the Alfv n speed, on the turbulence power, the injection scale and resistivity. Our results show that turbulence signi cantly a ects the topology of magnetic eld near the di usion region and increases the thickness of the out ow region. We con rm the predictions of the Lazarian & Vishniac model. In particular, we report the growth of the reconnection speed proportional to V 2 l , where Vl is the amplitude of velocity at the injection scale. It depends on the injection scale linj as (linj=L2=3, where L is the size of the system, which is somewhat faster but still roughly consistent with the theoretical expectations. We also show that for 3D reconnection the Ohmic resistivity is important in the local reconnection events only, and the global reconnection rate in the presence of turbulence does not depend on it.

  5. New 3D vision of magnetic reconnection revealed

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    2007-01-01

    @@ An international consortium led by astronomers from CAS and Peking University recently made the first satellite observation of the full three-dimensional (3D) geometry structure of magnetic reconnection, a process whereby the lines of a complex magnetic field break and reconnect to alter its structure drastically. Their work was published in the September issue of Nature Physics. Experts say that this pioneering discovery will help construct theoretical models of magnetic reconnection, a universal phenomenon in space related to star formation, solar explosions and the entry of solar wind energy into the near-Earth environment.

  6. Conversion of magnetic energy in the magnetic reconnection layer of a laboratory plasma.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yamada, Masaaki; Yoo, Jongsoo; Jara-Almonte, Jonathan; Ji, Hantao; Kulsrud, Russell M; Myers, Clayton E

    2014-09-10

    Magnetic reconnection, in which magnetic field lines break and reconnect to change their topology, occurs throughout the universe. The essential feature of reconnection is that it energizes plasma particles by converting magnetic energy. Despite the long history of reconnection research, how this energy conversion occurs remains a major unresolved problem in plasma physics. Here we report that the energy conversion in a laboratory reconnection layer occurs in a much larger region than previously considered. The mechanisms for energizing plasma particles in the reconnection layer are identified, and a quantitative inventory of the converted energy is presented for the first time in a well-defined reconnection layer; 50% of the magnetic energy is converted to particle energy, 2/3 of which transferred to ions and 1/3 to electrons. Our results are compared with simulations and space measurements, for a key step towards resolving one of the most important problems in plasma physics.

  7. The effects of plasma beta and anisotropy instabilities on the dynamics of reconnecting magnetic fields in the heliosheath

    CERN Document Server

    Schoeffler, K M; Swisdak, M

    2011-01-01

    The plasma {\\beta} (the ratio of the plasma pressure to the magnetic pressure) of a system can have a large effect on its dynamics as high {\\beta} enhances the effects of pressure anisotropies. We investigate the effects of {\\beta} in a system of stacked current sheets that break up into magnetic islands due to magnetic reconnection. We find significant differences between {\\beta} 1. At low {\\beta} growing magnetic islands are modestly elongated and become round as contraction releases magnetic stress and reduces magnetic energy. At high {\\beta} the increase of the parallel pressure in contracting islands causes saturation of modestly elongated islands as island cores approach the marginal firehose condition. Only highly elongated islands reach finite size. The kinking associated with the Weibel and firehose instabilities prevents full contraction of these islands, leading to a final state of highly elongated islands in which further reconnection is suppressed. The results are directly relevant to reconnecti...

  8. Frontiers for Laboratory Research of Magnetic Reconnection

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Ji, Hantao [Princeton University; Guo, Fan [Los Alamos National Laboratory

    2015-07-16

    Magnetic reconnection occcurs throughout heliophysical and astrophysical plasmas as well as in laboratory fusion plasmas. Two broad categories of reconnection models exist: collisional MHD and collisionless kinetic. Eight major questions with respect to magnetic connection are set down, and past and future devices for studying them in the laboratory are described. Results of some computerized simulations are compared with experiments.

  9. Fluctuation dynamo based on magnetic reconnections

    Science.gov (United States)

    Baggaley, A. W.; Shukurov, A.; Barenghi, C. F.; Subramanian, K.

    2010-01-01

    We develop a new model of the fluctuation dynamo in which the magnetic field is confined to thin flux ropes advected by a multi-scale flow which models turbulence. Magnetic dissipation occurs only via reconnections of flux ropes. The model is particularly suitable for rarefied plasma, such as the solar corona or galactic halos. We investigate the kinetic energy release into heat, mediated by dynamo action, both in our model and by solving the induction equation with the same flow. We find that the flux rope dynamo is more than an order of magnitude more efficient at converting mechanical energy into heat. The probability density of the magnetic energy released during reconnections has a power-law form with the slope -3, consistent with the solar corona heating by nanoflares. We also present a nonlinear extension of the model. This shows that a plausible saturation mechanism of the fluctuation dynamo is the suppression of turbulent magnetic diffusivity, due to suppression of random stretching at the location of the flux ropes. We confirm that the probability distribution function of the magnetic line curvature has a power-law form suggested by \\citet{Sheck:2002b}. We argue, however, using our results that this does not imply a persistent folded structure of magnetic field, at least in the nonlinear stage.

  10. Whistler Mode Waves in Collisionless Magnetic Reconnection

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    GUO Jun; LU Quan-Ming; WANG Shui; WANG Yu-Ming; DOU Xian-Kang

    2004-01-01

    A 21/2-dimensional electromagnetic particle-in-cell (PIC) simulation code is used to investigate the wave phenomena in the plasma sheet of collisionless magnetic reconnection. The results show that these waves have the following characteristics: they are right-hand circularity polarized, with propagation direction nearly parallel to local magnetic field, and frequency between 0.07 and 0.17 times of local electron cyclotron frequency. Therefore we conclude that such waves are Whistler waves, and their possible excitation mechanisms are also discussed.

  11. Fluctuation dynamo based on magnetic reconnections

    OpenAIRE

    Baggaley, Andrew W.; Barenghi, Carlo F.; Shukurov, Anvar; Subramanian, Kandaswamy

    2009-01-01

    We develop a new model of the fluctuation dynamo in which the magnetic field is confined to thin flux ropes advected by a multi-scale flow which models turbulence. Magnetic dissipation occurs only via reconnections of flux ropes. The model is particularly suitable for rarefied plasma, such as the Solar corona or galactic halos. We investigate the kinetic energy release into heat, mediated by dynamo action, both in our model and by solving the induction equation with the same flow. We find tha...

  12. GRBs from Magnetic Reconnection: Variability and Robustness of Lightcurves

    CERN Document Server

    Granot, Jonathan

    2016-01-01

    The dissipation mechanism that powers gamma-ray bursts (GRBs) remains uncertain almost half a century after their discovery. The two main competing mechanisms are the extensively studied internal shocks and the less studied magnetic reconnection. Here we consider GRB emission from magnetic reconnection accounting for the relativistic bulk motions that it produces in the jet's bulk rest frame. Far from the source the magnetic field is almost exactly normal to the radial direction, suggesting locally quasi-spherical thin reconnection layers between regions of oppositely directed magnetic field. We show that if the relativistic motions in the jet's frame are confined to such a quasi-spherical uniform layer, then the resulting GRB lightcurves are independent of their direction distribution within this layer. This renders previous results for a delta-function velocity-direction distribution (Beniamini & Granot 2016) applicable to a much more general class of reconnection models, which are suggested by numerica...

  13. Ion Bernstein waves in a magnetic reconnection region

    Science.gov (United States)

    Narita, Y.; Nakamura, R.; Baumjohann, W.; Glassmeier, K. H.; Motschmann, U.; Comisel, H.

    2015-12-01

    Four-dimensional energy spectra and a diagram for dispersion relations are determined for the first time in a magnetic reconnection region in the magnetotail using the four-point magnetometer data from the Cluster mission on a spatial scale of 200 km, about 0.1 ion inertial lengths. The energy spectra are anisotropic with an extension in the perpendicular direction and axially asymmetric with respect to the mean magnetic field. The dispersion diagram for the waves in the quasi-perpendicular directions in the plasma rest frame is in reasonably good agreement with the ion Bernstein waves particularly at the second harmonic of the proton gyro-frequency. Perpendicular-propagating ion Bernstein waves likely exist in an outflow region of magnetic reconnection. We discuss the causality of the Bernstein waves with magnetic reconnection with an estimate of the anomalous resistivity, and propose an observationally-driven model of turbulent magnetic reconnection.

  14. The Role of Magnetic Reconnection in Solar Activity

    Science.gov (United States)

    Antiochos, Spiro; DeVore, C. R.

    2008-01-01

    The central challenge in solar/heliospheric physics is to understand how the emergence and transport of magnetic flux at the photosphere drives the structure and dynamics that we observe in the corona and heliosphere. This presentation focuses on the role of magnetic reconnection in determining solar/heliospheric activity. We demonstrate that two generic properties of the photospheric magnetic and velocity fields are responsible for the ubiquitous reconnection in the corona. First, the photospheric velocities are complex, which leads to the injection of energy and helicity into the coronal magnetic fields and to the efficient, formation of small-scale structure. Second, the flux distribution at the photosphere is multi-polar, which implies that topological discontinuities and, consequently, current sheets, must be present in the coronal magnetic field. We: present numerical simulations showing that photospherically-driven reconnection is responsible for the heating and dynamics of coronal plasma, and for the topology of the coronal/heliospheric magnetic field.

  15. Cross-Scale Observational Signatures of Magnetic Reconnection

    Science.gov (United States)

    Savage, Sabrina; Malaspina, David

    2014-01-01

    Magnetic reconnection is a significant mechanism for energy release across many astrophysical applications. In the solar atmosphere, reconnection is considered a primary contributor of flare evolution and coronal heating. Directly observing reconnection occurring in the solar atmosphere, however, is not trivial considering that the scale size of the diffusion region is magnitudes smaller than the observational capabilities of current instrumentation, and coronal magnetic field measurements are not currently sufficient to capture the process. Meanwhile, reconnection occurring in the Earth's magnetosphere transfers energy from the solar wind through a comparable process, although on vastly different scales. Magnetospheric measurements are made in situ rather than remotely; ergo, comparison of observations between the two regimes allows for potentially significant insight into reconnection as a stochastic and possibly turbulent process. We will present a set of observations from long-duration solar events and compare them to in situ measurements from the magnetosphere.

  16. The Role of Compressibility in Energy Release by Magnetic Reconnection

    Science.gov (United States)

    Birn, J.; Borovosky, J. E.; Hesse, M.

    2012-01-01

    Using resistive compressible magnetohydrodynamics, we investigate the energy release and transfer by magnetic reconnection in finite (closed or periodic) systems. The emphasis is on the magnitude of energy released and transferred to plasma heating in configurations that range from highly compressible to incompressible, based on the magnitude of the background beta (ratio of plasma pressure over magnetic pressure) and of a guide field in two-dimensional reconnection. As expected, the system becomes more incompressible, and the role of compressional heating diminishes, with increasing beta or increasing guide field. Nevertheless, compressional heating may dominate over Joule heating for values of the guide field of 2 or 3 (in relation to the reconnecting magnetic field component) and beta of 5-10. This result stems from the strong localization of the dissipation near the reconnection site, which is modeled based on particle simulation results. Imposing uniform resistivity, corresponding to a Lundquist number of 10(exp 3) to 10(exp 4), leads to significantly larger Ohmic heating. Increasing incompressibility greatly reduces the magnetic flux transfer and the amount of energy released, from approx. 10% of the energy associated with the reconnecting field component, for zero guide field and low beta, to approx. 0.2%-0.4% for large values of the guide field B(sub y0) > 5 or large beta. The results demonstrate the importance of taking into account plasma compressibility and localization of dissipation in investigations of heating by turbulent reconnection, possibly relevant for solar wind or coronal heating.

  17. Electron Acceleration in Collisionless Magnetic Reconnection

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    GUO Jun; LU Quan-Ming; WANG Shui; FU Xiang-Rong

    2005-01-01

    @@ A 21/2-dimensional electromagnetic particle-in-cell (PIC) simulation code is used to investigate the electron acceleration in collisionless magnetic reconnection. The results show that the electrons are accelerated in the diffusion region near the X point, and the acceleration process can be roughly divided into two procedures: firstly the electrons are accelerated in the z direction due to the electric field in the negative z direction. Then the electrons gyrate surrounding the magnetic field with the action of the Lorentz force, through this procedure the electrons reach higher velocity in the x direction and then flow out of the diffusion region. After being accelerated away from the diffusion region, part of electrons is trapped near the O point, and the other part of electrons flows into plasma sheet boundary layer along the magnetic field.

  18. Reconnection experiments with 3D magnetic nulls in different topologies

    Science.gov (United States)

    Vrublevskis, A.; Egedal, J.; Le, A.

    2012-10-01

    Magnetic reconnection has been predominantly investigated in two dimensions. However, depending on the topology and geometry of the magnetic field, a rich collection of magnetic reconnection scenarios is possible in 3D including reconnection at magnetic nulls. At the Versatile Toroidal Facility (VTF) we have implemented a new magnetic geometry with a pair of 3D null points in the background toroidal field. We form a flux rope along the background field and observe it to rapidly restructure and rewire as the nulls develop. We can adjust the topology of the configuration from one where a field line connects the nulls to one where the nulls are no longer linked. A suit of diagnostics will be deployed and results presented for how the topology affects the dynamics of the flux rope.

  19. Relativistic Magnetic Reconnection in Pair Plasmas in Three Dimensions

    CERN Document Server

    Kagan, Daniel; Spitkovsky, Anatoly

    2012-01-01

    We investigate guide-field magnetic reconnection and particle acceleration in relativistic pair plasmas with three-dimensional particle-in-cell (PIC) simulations of a kinetic-scale current sheet in a periodic geometry at low magnetizations. The tearing instability is the dominant mode in the current sheet for all guide field strengths, while the linear kink mode is less important even without guide field. Oblique modes seem to be suppressed entirely. In its nonlinear evolution, the reconnection layer develops a network of interconnected and interacting magnetic flux ropes. As smaller flux ropes merge into larger ones, the reconnection layer evolves toward a three-dimensional, disordered state in which the resulting flux rope segments contain magnetic substructure on plasma skin depth scales. Embedded in the flux ropes, we detect spatially and temporally intermittent sites of dissipation reflected in peaks in the parallel electric field. Magnetic dissipation and particle acceleration persist until the end of t...

  20. Magnetic Reconnection and Intermittent Turbulence in the Solar Wind

    CERN Document Server

    Osman, K T; Gosling, J T; Greco, A; Servidio, S; Hnat, B; Chapman, S C; Phan, T D

    2014-01-01

    A statistical relationship between magnetic reconnection, current sheets and intermittent turbulence in the solar wind is reported for the first time using in-situ measurements from the Wind spacecraft at 1 AU. We identify intermittency as non-Gaussian fluctuations in increments of the magnetic field vector, $\\mathbf{B}$, that are spatially and temporally non-uniform. The reconnection events and current sheets are found to be concentrated in intervals of intermittent turbulence, identified using the partial variance of increments method: within the most non-Gaussian 1% of fluctuations in $\\mathbf{B}$, we find 87%-92% of reconnection exhausts and $\\sim$9% of current sheets. Also, the likelihood that an identified current sheet will also correspond to a reconnection exhaust increases dramatically as the least intermittent fluctuations are removed from the dataset. Hence, the turbulent solar wind contains a hierarchy of intermittent magnetic field structures that are increasingly linked to current sheets, which ...

  1. Hyper-resistive forced magnetic reconnection

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Vekstein, G., E-mail: g.vekstein@manchester.ac.uk [Jodrell Bank Centre for Astrophysics, University of Manchester, Manchester M13 9PL (United Kingdom)

    2016-02-15

    We study Taylor's model of forced magnetic reconnection mediated by plasma hyper-resistivity. This includes both linear and nonlinear regimes of the process. It is shown how the onset of plasmoid instability occurs in the strongly nonlinear regime of forced reconnection.

  2. Quantitative study of guide-field effects on Hall reconnection in a laboratory plasma.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tharp, T D; Yamada, M; Ji, H; Lawrence, E; Dorfman, S; Myers, C E; Yoo, J

    2012-10-19

    The effect of guide field on magnetic reconnection is quantitatively studied by systematically varying an applied guide field in the Magnetic Reconnection Experiment (MRX). The quadrupole field, a signature of two-fluid reconnection at zero guide field, is altered by a finite guide field. It is shown that the reconnection rate is significantly reduced with increasing guide field, and this dependence is explained by a combination of local and global physics: locally, the in-plane Hall currents are reduced, while globally guide field compression produces an increased pressure both within and downstream of the reconnection region.

  3. Effect of guide field on three dimensional electron shear flow instabilities in collisionless magnetic reconnection

    CERN Document Server

    Jain, Neeraj

    2014-01-01

    We examine the effect of an external guide field and current sheet thickness on the growth rates and nature of three dimensional unstable modes of an electron current sheet driven by electron shear flow. The growth rate of the fastest growing mode drops rapidly with current sheet thickness but increases slowly with the strength of the guide field. The fastest growing mode is tearing type only for thin current sheets (half thickness $\\approx d_e$, where $d_e=c/\\omega_{pe}$ is electron inertial length) and zero guide field. For finite guide field or thicker current sheets, fastest growing mode is non-tearing type. However growth rates of the fastest 2-D tearing mode and 3-D non-tearing mode are comparable for thin current sheets ($d_e < $half thickness $ < 2\\,d_e$) and small guide field (of the order of the asymptotic value of the component of magnetic field supporting electron current sheet). It is shown that the general mode resonance conditions for electron-magnetohydrodynamic (EMHD) and magnetohydrody...

  4. New Measure of the Dissipation Region in Collisionless Magnetic Reconnection

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zenitani, Seiji; Hesse, Michael; Klimas, Alex; Kuznetsova, Masha

    2012-01-01

    A new measure to identify a small-scale dissipation region in collisionless magnetic reconnection is proposed. The energy transfer from the electromagnetic field to plasmas in the electron s rest frame is formulated as a Lorentz-invariant scalar quantity. The measure is tested by two-dimensional particle-in-cell simulations in typical configurations: symmetric and asymmetric reconnection, with and without the guide field. The innermost region surrounding the reconnection site is accurately located in all cases. We further discuss implications for nonideal MHD dissipation.

  5. Magnetic reconnection between colliding magnetized laser-produced plasma plumes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fiksel, G; Fox, W; Bhattacharjee, A; Barnak, D H; Chang, P-Y; Germaschewski, K; Hu, S X; Nilson, P M

    2014-09-05

    Observations of magnetic reconnection between colliding plumes of magnetized laser-produced plasma are presented. Two counterpropagating plasma flows are created by irradiating oppositely placed plastic (CH) targets with 1.8-kJ, 2-ns laser beams on the Omega EP Laser System. The interaction region between the plumes is prefilled with a low-density background plasma and magnetized by an externally applied magnetic field, imposed perpendicular to the plasma flow, and initialized with an X-type null point geometry with B=0 at the midplane and B=8  T at the targets. The counterflowing plumes sweep up and compress the background plasma and the magnetic field into a pair of magnetized ribbons, which collide, stagnate, and reconnect at the midplane, allowing the first detailed observations of a stretched current sheet in laser-driven reconnection experiments. The dynamics of current sheet formation are in good agreement with first-principles particle-in-cell simulations that model the experiments.

  6. Cassini in situ observations of long-duration magnetic reconnection in Saturn's magnetotail

    CERN Document Server

    Arridge, Christopher S; Jackman, Caitriona M; Poh, Gang-Kai; Slavin, James A; Thomsen, Michelle F; André, Nicolas; Jia, Xianzhe; Kidder, Ariah; Lamy, Laurent; Radioti, Aikaterina; Reisenfeld, Dan B; Sergis, Nick; Volwerk, Martin; Walsh, Andrew P; Zarka, Philippe; Coates, Andrew J; Dougherty, Michele K

    2015-01-01

    Magnetic reconnection is a fundamental process in solar system and astrophysical plasmas, through which stored magnetic energy associated with current sheets is converted into thermal, kinetic and wave energy. Magnetic reconnection is also thought to be a key process involved in shedding internally produced plasma from the giant magnetospheres at Jupiter and Saturn through topological reconfiguration of the magnetic field. The region where magnetic fields reconnect is known as the diffusion region and in this letter we report on the first encounter of the Cassini spacecraft with a diffusion region in Saturn's magnetotail. The data also show evidence of magnetic reconnection over a period of 19 h revealing that reconnection can, in fact, act for prolonged intervals in a rapidly rotating magnetosphere. We show that reconnection can be a significant pathway for internal plasma loss at Saturn. This counters the view of reconnection as a transient method of internal plasma loss at Saturn. These results, although d...

  7. Fluctuation dynamo based on magnetic reconnections

    CERN Document Server

    Baggaley, Andrew W; Shukurov, Anvar; Subramanian, Kandaswamy

    2009-01-01

    We develop a new model of the fluctuation dynamo in which the magnetic field is confined to thin flux ropes advected by a multi-scale flow which models turbulence. Magnetic dissipation occurs only via reconnections of flux ropes. The model is particularly suitable for rarefied plasma, such as the Solar corona or galactic halos. We investigate the kinetic energy release into heat, mediated by dynamo action, both in our model and by solving the induction equation with the same flow. We find that the flux rope dynamo is more than an order of magnitude more efficient at converting mechanical energy into heat. The probability density of the magnetic energy released during reconnections has a power-law form with the slope -3, consistent with the Solar corona heating by nanoflares. We also present a nonlinear extension of the model. This shows that a plausible saturation mechanism of the fluctuation dynamo is the suppression of turbulent magnetic diffusivity, due to suppression of random stretching at the location o...

  8. Laboratory observation of localized onset of magnetic reconnection.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Katz, Noam; Egedal, Jan; Fox, Will; Le, Ari; Bonde, Jeff; Vrublevskis, Arturs

    2010-06-25

    Magnetic reconnection is a fundamental process in plasmas that results in the often explosive release of stored magnetic energy, but the trigger for its onset is not well understood. We explore this trigger for fast reconnection in toroidal experiments using a magnetic x-type geometry in the strong guide-field regime. We find that the onset occurs asymmetrically: the reconnection begins on one side of the torus and propagates around approximately at the Alfvén speed. The fast reconnection occurs only in the presence of a global plasma mode, which breaks the axisymmetry and enables the current at the x line to decrease sharply. A simple semiempirical model is used to describe the onset's growth rate.

  9. Three-dimensional fast magnetic reconnection driven by relativistic ultraintense femtosecond lasers.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ping, Y L; Zhong, J Y; Sheng, Z M; Wang, X G; Liu, B; Li, Y T; Yan, X Q; He, X T; Zhang, J; Zhao, G

    2014-03-01

    Three-dimensional fast magnetic reconnection driven by two ultraintense femtosecond laser pulses is investigated by relativistic particle-in-cell simulation, where the two paralleled incident laser beams are shot into a near-critical plasma layer to form a magnetic reconnection configuration in self-generated magnetic fields. A reconnection X point and out-of-plane quadrupole field structures associated with magnetic reconnection are formed. The reconnection rate is found to be faster than that found in previous two-dimensional Hall magnetohydrodynamic simulations and electrostatic turbulence contribution to the reconnection electric field plays an essential role. Both in-plane and out-of-plane electron and ion accelerations up to a few MeV due to the magnetic reconnection process are also obtained.

  10. Magnetic Reconnection in Extreme Astrophysical Environments

    CERN Document Server

    Uzdensky, Dmitri A

    2011-01-01

    Magnetic reconnection is a basic plasma process of dramatic rearrangement of magnetic topology, often leading to a violent release of magnetic energy. It is important in magnetic fusion and in space and solar physics --- areas that have so far provided the context for most of reconnection research. Importantly, these environments consist just of electrons and ions and the dissipated energy always stays with the plasma. In contrast, in this paper I introduce a new direction of research, motivated by several important problems in high-energy astrophysics --- reconnection in high energy density (HED) radiative plasmas, where radiation pressure and radiative cooling become dominant factors in the pressure and energy balance. I identify the key processes distinguishing HED reconnection: special-relativistic effects; radiative effects (radiative cooling, radiation pressure, and Compton resistivity); and, at the most extreme end, QED effects, including pair creation. I then discuss the main astrophysical application...

  11. Magnetic Reconnection in the Earth's Magnetosphere

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tsurutani, B. T.; Lakhina, G. S.

    1997-01-01

    The process of magnetic reconnection plays an important role during the interaction of the solar wind with the Earth's magnetosphere which leads to the exchange of mass, momentum, and energy between these two highly conducting plasmas.

  12. Collisionless magnetic reconnection via Alfvén eigenmodes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dai, Lei

    2009-06-19

    We propose an analytic approach to the problem of collisionless magnetic reconnection formulated as a process of Alfvén eigenmodes' generation and dissipation. Alfvén eigenmodes are confined by the current sheet in the same way that quantum mechanical waves are confined by the tanh;{2} potential. The dynamical time scale of reconnection is the system scale divided by the eigenvalue propagation velocity of the n = 1 mode. The prediction of the n = 1 mode shows good agreement with the in situ measurement of the reconnection-associated Hall fields.

  13. The Impact of Geometrical Constraints on Collisionless Magnetic Reconnection

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hesse, Michael; Aunai, Nico; Kuznetsova, Masha; Frolov, Rebekah; Black, Carrrie

    2012-01-01

    One of the most often cited features associated with collisionless magnetic reconnection is a Hall-type magnetic field, which leads, in antiparallel geometries, to a quadrupolar magnetic field signature. The combination of this out of plane magnetic field with the reconnection in-plane magnetic field leads to angling of magnetic flux tubes out of the plane defined by the incoming magnetic flux. Because it is propagated by Whistler waves, the quadrupolar field can extend over large distances in relatively short amounts of time - in fact, it will extend to the boundary of any modeling domain. In reality, however, the surrounding plasma and magnetic field geometry, defined, for example, by the overall solar wind flow, will in practice limit the extend over which a flux tube can be angled out of the main plain. This poses the question to what extent geometric constraints limit or control the reconnection process and this is the question investigated in this presentation. The investigation will involve a comparison of calculations, where open boundary conditions are set up to mimic either free or constrained geometries. We will compare momentum transport, the geometry of the reconnection regions, and the acceleration if ions and electrons to provide the current sheet in the outflow jet.

  14. Turbulent reconnection of magnetic bipoles in stratified turbulence

    CERN Document Server

    Jabbari, Sarah; Mitra, Dhrubaditya; Kleeorin, Nathan; Rogachevskii, Igor

    2016-01-01

    We consider strongly stratified forced turbulence in a plane-parallel layer with helicity and corresponding large-scale dynamo action in the lower part and nonhelical turbulence in the upper. The magnetic field is found to develop strongly concentrated bipolar structures near the surface. They form elongated bands with a sharp interface between opposite polarities. Unlike earlier experiments with imposed magnetic field, the inclusion of rotation does not strongly suppress the formation of these structures. We perform a systematic numerical study of this phenomenon by varying magnetic Reynolds number, scale separation ratio, and Coriolis number. We also focus on the formation of the current sheet between bipolar regions where reconnection of oppositely oriented field lines occurs. We determine the reconnection rate by measuring either the inflow velocity in the vicinity of the current sheet or by measuring the electric field in the reconnection region. We demonstrate that for small Lundquist number, S1000, the...

  15. The effects of ion mass variation and domain size on octupolar out-of-plane magnetic field generation in collisionless magnetic reconnection

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Graf von der Pahlen, J.; Tsiklauri, D. [School of Physics and Astronomy, Queen Mary University of London, London E1 4NS (United Kingdom)

    2015-03-15

    Graf von der Pahlen and Tsiklauri [Phys. Plasmas 21, 060705 (2014)] established that the generation of octupolar out-of-plane magnetic field structure in a stressed X-point collapse is due to ion currents. The field has a central region, comprising of the well-known quadrupolar field (quadrupolar components), as well as four additional poles of reversed polarity closer to the corners of the domain (octupolar components). In this extended work, the dependence of the octupolar structure on domain size and ion mass variation is investigated. Simulations show that the strength and spatial structure of the generated octupolar magnetic field is independent of ion to electron mass ratio; thus showing that ion currents play a significant role in out-of-plane magnetic structure generation in physically realistic scenarios. Simulations of different system sizes show that the width of the octupolar structure remains the same and has a spacial extent of the order of the ion inertial length. The width of the structure thus appears to be independent on boundary condition effects. The length of the octupolar structure, however, increases for greater domain sizes, prescribed by the external system size. This was found to be a consequence of the structure of the in-plane magnetic field in the outflow region halting the particle flow and thus terminating the in-plane currents that generate the out-of-plane field. The generation of octupolar magnetic field structure is also established in a tearing-mode reconnection scenario. The differences in the generation of the octupolar field and resulting qualitative differences between X-point collapse and tearing-mode are discussed.

  16. On the energization of charged particles by fast magnetic reconnection

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sharma, Rohit; Mitra, Dhrubaditya; Oberoi, Divya

    2017-09-01

    We study the role of turbulence in magnetic reconnection, within the framework of magnetohydrodynamics, using three-dimensional direct numerical simulations. For small turbulent intensity, we find that the reconnection rate obeys Sweet-Parker scaling. For large enough turbulent intensity, reconnection rate departs significantly from Sweet-Parker behaviour, becomes almost a constant as a function of the Lundquist number. We further study energization of test-particles in the same set-up. We find that the speed of the energized particles obeys a Maxwellian distribution, whose variance also obeys Sweet-Parker scaling for small turbulent intensity but depends weakly on the Lundquist number for large turbulent intensity. Furthermore, the variance is found to increase with the strength of the reconnecting magnetic field.

  17. On the energisation of charged particles by fast magnetic reconnection

    CERN Document Server

    Sharma, Rohit; Oberoi, Divya

    2016-01-01

    We study the role of turbulence in magnetic reconnection, within the framework of magneto-hydrodynamics, using three-dimensional direct numerical simulations. For small turbulent intensity we find that the reconnection rate obeys Sweet-Parker scaling. For large enough turbulent intensity reconnection rate departs significantly from Sweet-Parker behaviour, becomes almost a constant as a function of the Lundquist number. We further study energisation of test-particles in the same setup. We find that the speed of the energised particles obeys a Maxwellian distribution, whose variance also obeys Sweet-Parker scaling for small turbulent intensity but depends weakly on the Lundquist number for large turbulent intensity. Furthermore, the variance is found to increase with the strength of the reconnecting magnetic field.

  18. Heat Transfer and Reconnection Diffusion in Turbulent Magnetized Plasmas

    CERN Document Server

    Lazarian, A

    2011-01-01

    It is well known that magnetic fields constrain motions of charged particles, impeding the diffusion of charged particles perpendicular to magnetic field direction. This modification of transport processes is of vital importance for a wide variety of astrophysical processes including cosmic ray transport, transfer of heavy elements in the interstellar medium, star formation etc. Dealing with these processes one should keep in mind that in realistic astrophysical conditions magnetized fluids are turbulent. In this review we single out a single transport process, namely, heat transfer and consider how it occurs in the presence of the magnetized turbulence. We show that the ability of magnetic field lines to constantly change topology and connectivity is at the heart of the correct description of the 3D magnetic field stochasticity in turbulent fluids. This ability is ensured by fast magnetic reconnection in turbulent fluids and puts forward the concept of reconnection diffusion at the core of the physical pictu...

  19. A new magnetic reconnection paradigm: Stochastic plasmoid chains

    Science.gov (United States)

    Loureiro, Nuno

    2015-11-01

    Recent analytical and numerical research in magnetic reconnection has converged on the notion that reconnection sites (current sheets) are unstable to the formation of multiple magnetic islands (plasmoids), provided that the system is sufficiently large (or, in other words, that the Lundquist number of the plasma is high). Nonlinearly, plasmoids come to define the reconnection geometry. Their nonlinear dynamics is rather complex and best thought of as new form of turbulence whose properties are determined by continuous plasmoid formation and their subsequent ejection from the sheet, as well as the interaction (coalescence) between plasmoids of different sizes. The existence of these stochastic plasmoid chains has powerful implications for several aspects of the reconnection process, from determining the reconnection rate to the details and efficiency of the energy conversion and dissipation. In addition, the plasmoid instability may also directly bear on the little understood problem of the reconnection trigger, or onset, i.e., the abrupt transition from a slow stage of energy accumulation to a fast (explosive) stage of energy release. This talk will first provide a brief overview of these recent developments in the reconnection field. I will then discuss recent work addressing the onset problem in the context of a forming current sheet which becomes progressively more unstable to the plasmoid instability. Work partially supported by Fundação para a Ciência e Tecnologia via Grants UID/FIS/50010/2013 and IF/00530/2013.

  20. Experimental study of energy conversion in the magnetic reconnection layer

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yamada, Masaaki

    2014-10-01

    Magnetic reconnection, in which magnetic field lines break and reconnect to change their topology, occurs throughout the universe: in solar flares, the earth's magnetosphere, star forming galaxies, and laboratory fusion plasmas. The essential feature of reconnection is that it energizes plasma particles by converting magnetic energy to particle energy; this process both accelerates and heats the plasma particles. Despite the recent advances of reconnection research, the exact mechanisms for bulk plasma heating, particle acceleration, and energy flow channels remain unresolved. In this work, the mechanisms responsible for the energization of plasma particles in the magnetic reconnection layer are investigated in the MRX device together with a quantitative evaluation of the conversion of magnetic energy to ions and electrons. A comprehensive analysis of the reconnection layer is made in terms of two-fluid physics based on the measurements of two-dimensional profiles of 1) electric potential, 2) flow vectors of electrons and ions, and 3) the electron temperature, Te and the ion temperature, Ti in the layer. It is experimentally verified that a saddle shaped electrostatic electric potential profile is formed in the reconnection plane. Ions are accelerated across the separatrices by the strong electrostatic field and enter the exhaust region where they become thermalized. Electron heating is observed to extend beyond the electron diffusion region, and non-classical heating mechanisms associated with high frequency fluctuations is found to play a role. Our quantitative analysis of the energy transport processes and energy inventory concludes that more than 50% of magnetic energy is converted to plasma particles, of which 2/3 transferred to ions and 1/3 to electrons. The results which demonstrate that conversion of magnetic energy occurs in a significantly larger region than theoretically considered before, are compared with the two-fluid simulations and the recent space

  1. Critical Differences of Asymmetric Magnetic Reconnection from Standard Models

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nitta, S.; Wada, T.; Fuchida, T.; Kondoh, K.

    2016-09-01

    We have clarified the structure of asymmetric magnetic reconnection in detail as the result of the spontaneous evolutionary process. The asymmetry is imposed as ratio k of the magnetic field strength in both sides of the initial current sheet (CS) in the isothermal equilibrium. The MHD simulation is carried out by the HLLD code for the long-term temporal evolution with very high spatial resolution. The resultant structure is drastically different from the symmetric case (e.g., the Petschek model) even for slight asymmetry k = 2. (1) The velocity distribution in the reconnection jet clearly shows a two-layered structure, i.e., the high-speed sub-layer in which the flow is almost field aligned and the acceleration sub-layer. (2) Higher beta side (HBS) plasma is caught in a lower beta side plasmoid. This suggests a new plasma mixing process in the reconnection events. (3) A new large strong fast shock in front of the plasmoid forms in the HBS. This can be a new particle acceleration site in the reconnection system. These critical properties that have not been reported in previous works suggest that we contribute to a better and more detailed knowledge of the reconnection of the standard model for the symmetric magnetic reconnection system.

  2. New Expression for Collisionless Magnetic Reconnection Rate

    Science.gov (United States)

    Klimas, Alexander J.

    2014-01-01

    For 2D, symmetric, anti-parallel, collisionless magnetic reconnection, a new expression for the reconnection rate in the electron diffusion region is introduced. It is shown that this expression can be derived in just a few simple steps from a physically intuitive starting point; the derivation is given in its entirety and the validity of each step is confirmed. The predictions of this expression are compared to the results of several long-duration, open-boundary PIC reconnection simulations to demonstrate excellent agreement.

  3. Resistive Magnetohydrodynamic Simulations of Relativistic Magnetic Reconnection

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zenitani, Seiji; Hesse, Michael; Klimas, Alex

    2010-01-01

    Resistive relativistic magnetohydrodynamic (RRMHD) simulations are applied to investigate the system evolution of relativistic magnetic reconnection. A time-split Harten-Lan-van Leer method is employed. Under a localized resistivity, the system exhibits a fast reconnection jet with an Alfv enic Lorentz factor inside a narrow Petschek-type exhaust. Various shock structures are resolved in and around the plasmoid such as the post-plasmoid vertical shocks and the "diamond-chain" structure due to multiple shock reflections. Under a uniform resistivity, Sweet-Parker-type reconnection slowly evolves. Under a current-dependent resistivity, plasmoids are repeatedly formed in an elongated current sheet. It is concluded that the resistivity model is of critical importance for RRMHD modeling of relativistic magnetic reconnection.

  4. Resistive Magnetohydrodynamic Simulations of Relativistic Magnetic Reconnection

    CERN Document Server

    Zenitani, Seiji; Klimas, Alex

    2010-01-01

    Resistive relativistic magnetohydrodynamic (RRMHD) simulations are applied to investigate the system evolution of relativistic magnetic reconnection. A time-split Harten--Lan--van Leer (HLL) method is employed. Under a localized resistivity, the system exhibits a fast reconnection jet with an Alfv\\'{e}nic Lorentz factor inside a narrow Petschek-type exhaust. Various shock structures are resolved in and around the plasmoid such as the post-plasmoid vertical shocks and the "diamond--chain" structure due to multiple shock reflections. Under a uniform resistivity, Sweet--Parker-type reconnection slowly evolves. Under a current-dependent resistivity, plasmoids are repeatedly formed in an elongated current sheet. It is concluded that the resistivity model is of critical importance for RRMHD modeling of relativistic magnetic reconnection.

  5. Observations of Magnetic Reconnection and Plasma Dynamics in Mercury's Magnetosphere

    Science.gov (United States)

    DiBraccio, Gina A.

    Mercury's magnetosphere is formed as a result of the supersonic solar wind interacting with the planet's intrinsic magnetic field. The combination of the weak planetary dipole moment and intense solar wind forcing of the inner heliosphere creates a unique space environment, which can teach us about planetary magnetospheres. In this work, we analyze the first in situ orbital observations at Mercury, provided by the MErcury Surface, Space ENvironment, GEochemistry, and Ranging (MESSENGER) spacecraft. Magnetic reconnection and the transport of plasma and magnetic flux are investigated using MESSENGER Magnetometer and Fast Imaging Plasma Spectrometer measurements. Here, we report our results on the effect of magnetic reconnection and plasma dynamics on Mercury's space environment: (1) Mercury's magnetosphere is driven by frequent, intense magnetic reconnection observed in the form of magnetic field components normal to the magnetopause, BN, and as helical bundles of flux, called magnetic flux ropes, in the cross-tail current sheet. The high reconnection rates are determined to be a direct consequence of the low plasma beta, the ratio of plasma to magnetic pressure, in the inner heliosphere. (2) As upstream solar wind conditions vary, we find that reconnection occurs at Mercury's magnetopause for all orientations of the interplanetary magnetic field, independent of shear angle. During the most extreme solar wind forcing events, the influence of induction fields generated within Mercury's highly conducting core are negated by erosion due to persistent magnetopause reconnection. (3) We present the first observations of Mercury's plasma mantle, which forms as a result of magnetopause reconnection and allows solar wind plasma to enter into the high-latitude magnetotail through the dayside cusps. The energy dispersion observed in the plasma mantle protons is used to infer the cross-magnetosphere electric field, providing a direct measurement of solar wind momentum

  6. Magnetic Reconnection at a Three-dimensional Solar Null Point

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Frederiksen, Jacob Trier; Baumann, Gisela; Galsgaard, Klaus

    2012-01-01

    -like). The MHD simulations start out from a potential magnetic field containing a null-point, obtained from a SOHO magnetogram extrapolation approximately 8 hours before a C-class flare was observed. The magnetic field is stressed with a boundary motion pattern similar to the horizontal motions observed by SOHO......Using a specific solar null point reconnection case studied by Masson et al (2009; ApJ 700, 559) we investigate the dependence of the reconnection rate on boundary driving speed, numerical resolution, type of resistivity (constant or numerical), and assumed stratification (constant density or solar...

  7. Nonthermal Particle Acceleration in Magnetic Reconnection

    Science.gov (United States)

    Guo, Fan; Li, Hui; Zhang, Haocheng; Daughton, William; Liu, Yi-Hsin; Lloyd-Ronning, Nicole

    2017-08-01

    Magnetic reconnection is a leading mechanism for dissipating magnetic energy and accelerating nonthermal particles in Poynting-flux-dominated flows. In this study, we investigate nonthermal particle acceleration during magnetic reconnection in a magnetically dominated plasma using fully kinetic simulations. We have studied the magnetically dominated regime by varying σe = 103-105 and mass ratios. The results demonstrate that reconnection quickly establishes power-law energy distributions for both electrons and ions within several (2-3) light-crossing times. For the cases with periodic boundary conditions, the power-law index is 1 < p < 2 for both electrons and ions. We study particle acceleration in magnetic reconnection via large-scale 3D kinetic simulations to examine several effects that may be important, including pre-existing fluctuations, kink and secondary tearing instabilities, and open boundary conditions. The results show that particle acceleration in reconnection layers is surprisingly robust despite the development of 3D turbulence and instabilities. The main acceleration mechanism is a Fermi-like acceleration through the drift motions of charged particles. We discuss the implication of this study in the context of Poynting-flux dominated jets and pulsar winds, especially the applications for explaining nonthermal high-energy emissions.

  8. Numerical simulations of magnetic reconnection in the lower solar atmosphere

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    Xiao-Yan Xu; Cheng Fang; Ming-De Ding; Dan-Hui Gao

    2011-01-01

    Observations indicate that Ellerman bombs (EBs) and chromospheric microflares both occur in the lower solar atmosphere, and share many common features,such as temperature enhancements, accompanying jet-like mass motions, short lifetime, and so on. These strongly suggest that EBs and chromospheric microflares could both probably be induced by magnetic reconnection in the lower solar atmosphere.With gravity, ionization and radiation considered, we perform two-dimensional numerical simulations of magnetic reconnection in the lower solar atmosphere. The influence of different parameters, such as intensity of the magnetic field and anomalous resistivity, on the results are investigated. Our result demonstrates that the temperature increases are mainly due to the joule dissipation caused by magnetic reconnection.The spectral profiles of EBs and chromospheric microflares are calculated with the non-LTE radiative transfer theory and compared with observations. It is found that the typical features of the two phenomena can be qualitatively reproduced.

  9. Asymmetric magnetic reconnection with a flow shear and applications to the magnetopause

    Science.gov (United States)

    Doss, C. E.; Komar, C. M.; Cassak, P. A.; Wilder, F. D.; Eriksson, S.; Drake, J. F.

    2015-09-01

    We perform a systematic theoretical and numerical study of antiparallel two-dimensional magnetic reconnection with asymmetries in the plasma density and reconnecting magnetic field strength in addition to a bulk flow shear across the reconnection site in the plane of the reconnecting fields, which commonly occurs at planetary magnetospheres. We analytically predict the speed at which an isolated X line is convected by the flow, the reconnection rate, and the critical flow speed at which reconnection no longer takes place for arbitrary reconnecting magnetic field strengths, densities, and upstream flow speeds, and we confirm the results with two-fluid numerical simulations. The predictions and simulation results counter the prevailing model of reconnection at Earth's dayside magnetopause which says reconnection occurs with a stationary X line for sub-Alfvénic magnetosheath flow, reconnection occurs but the X line convects for magnetosheath flows between the Alfvén speed and double the Alfvén speed, and reconnection does not occur for magnetosheath flows greater than double the Alfvén speed. In particular, we find that X line motion is governed by momentum conservation from the upstream flows, which are weighted differently in asymmetric systems, so the X line convects for generic conditions including sub-Alfvénic upstream speeds. For the reconnection rate, as with symmetric reconnection, it drops with increasing flow shear and there is a cutoff speed above which reconnection is not predominant. However, while the cutoff condition for symmetric reconnection is that the difference in flows on the two sides of the reconnection site is twice the Alfvén speed, we find asymmetries cause the cutoff speed for asymmetric reconnection to be higher than twice the asymmetric form of the Alfvén speed. The stronger the asymmetries, the more the cutoff exceeds double the asymmetric Alfvén speed. This is due to the fact that in asymmetric reconnection, the plasma with the

  10. Magnetic reconnection in the interior of interplanetary coronal mass ejections.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fermo, R L; Opher, M; Drake, J F

    2014-07-18

    Recent in situ observations of interplanetary coronal mass ejections (ICMEs) found signatures of reconnection exhausts in their interior or trailing edge. Whereas reconnection on the leading edge of an ICME would indicate an interaction with the coronal or interplanetary environment, this result suggests that the internal magnetic field reconnects with itself. In light of this data, we consider the stability properties of flux ropes first developed in the context of astrophysics, then further elaborated upon in the context of reversed field pinches (RFPs). It was shown that the lowest energy state of a flux rope corresponds to ∇ × B = λB with λ a constant, the so-called Taylor state. Variations from this state will result in the magnetic field trying to reorient itself into the Taylor state solution, subject to the constraints that the toroidal flux and magnetic helicity are invariant. In reversed field pinches, this relaxation is mediated by the reconnection of the magnetic field, resulting in a sawtooth crash. If we likewise treat the ICME as a flux rope, any deviation from the Taylor state will result in reconnection within the interior of the flux tube, in agreement with the observations by Gosling et al. Such a departure from the Taylor state takes place as the flux tube cross section expands in the latitudinal direction, as seen in magnetohydrodynamic (MHD) simulations of flux tubes propagating through the interplanetary medium. We show analytically that this elongation results in a state which is no longer in the minimum energy Taylor state. We then present magnetohydrodynamic simulations of an elongated flux tube which has evolved away from the Taylor state and show that reconnection at many surfaces produces a complex stochastic magnetic field as the system evolves back to a minimum energy state configuration.

  11. Magnetic reconnection: from the Sweet-Parker model to stochastic plasmoid chains

    CERN Document Server

    Loureiro, N F

    2015-01-01

    (abridged) Magnetic reconnection is the topological reconfiguration of the magnetic field in a plasma, accompanied by the violent release of energy and particle acceleration. Reconnection is as ubiquitous as plasmas themselves, with solar flares perhaps the most popular example. Over the last few years, the theoretical understanding of magnetic reconnection in large-scale fluid systems has undergone a major paradigm shift. The steady-state model of reconnection described by the famous Sweet-Parker (SP) theory, which dominated the field for ~50 years, has been replaced with an essentially time-dependent, bursty picture of the reconnection layer, dominated by the continuous formation and ejection of multiple secondary islands (plasmoids). Whereas in the SP model reconnection was predicted to be slow, a major implication of this new paradigm is that reconnection in fluid systems is fast (i.e., independent of the Lundquist number), provided that the system is large enough. This conceptual shift hinges on the real...

  12. On the structure of guide magnetic field in the inertia-driven magnetic reconnection with the presence of shear flow

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Hosseinpour, M.; Mohammadi, M. A. [Department of Plasma Physics, Faculty of Physics, University of Tabriz, Tabriz (Iran, Islamic Republic of)

    2013-11-15

    The effect of equilibrium shear flow on the structure of out-of-plane magnetic field is analytically investigated in the two-fluid magnetohydrodynamic (MHD) regimes of the collisionless tearing instability, where the electron inertia breaks the frozen-in condition. Our scaling analysis reveals that the Alfvénic and sub-Alfvénic shear flows cannot significantly modify the linear regimes of applicability. In addition, we show that the structure of out-of-plane magnetic field can either be quadrupolar or non-quadrupolar in Hall-MHD regimes. In particular, both types of structures can dominate at β < 1 (β is the ratio of plasma kinetic pressure to the pressure in the magnetic field) depending on the value of the normalized ion inertial skin depth. This conclusion, however, is in contradiction to the claim presented by Rogers et al. [J. Geophys. Res. 108, A3 (2003)], which states that the quadrupolar structure cannot appear at β < 1. The reasons of this disagreement are discussed in our study.

  13. Ion and electron heating characteristics of magnetic reconnection in a two flux loop merging experiment.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ono, Y; Tanabe, H; Hayashi, Y; Ii, T; Narushima, Y; Yamada, T; Inomoto, M; Cheng, C Z

    2011-10-28

    Characteristics of the high-power reconnection heating were measured for the first time directly by two-dimensional measurements of ion and electron temperatures. While electrons are heated mainly inside the current sheet by the Ohmic heating power, ions are heated mainly by fast shock or viscosity damping of the reconnection outflow in the two downstream areas. The magnetic reconnection converts the energy of reconnecting magnetic field B(p) mostly to the ion thermal energy, indicating that the reconnection heating energy is proportional to B(p)(2).

  14. On the characterization of magnetic reconnection in global MHD simulations

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    T. V. Laitinen

    2006-11-01

    Full Text Available The conventional definition of reconnection rate as the electric field parallel to an x-line is problematic in global MHD simulations for several reasons: the x-line itself may be hard to find in a non-trivial geometry such as at the magnetopause, and the lack of realistic resistivity modelling leaves us without reliable non-convective electric field. In this article we describe reconnection characterization methods that avoid those problems and are practical to apply in global MHD simulations. We propose that the reconnection separator line can be identified as the region where magnetic field lines of different topological properties meet, rather than by local considerations. The global convection associated with reconnection is then quantified by calculating the transfer of mass, energy or magnetic field across the boundary of closed and open field line regions. The extent of the diffusion region is determined from the destruction of electromagnetic energy, given by the divergence of the Poynting vector. Integrals of this energy conversion provide a way to estimate the total reconnection efficiency.

  15. Large Bi-Polar Signature in a Perpendicular Electric Field of Two-Dimensional Electrostatic Solitary Waves Associated with Magnetic Reconnection: Statistics and Discussion

    Science.gov (United States)

    Li, Shi-You; Zhang, Shi-Feng; Deng, Xiao-Hua; Cai, Hong

    2013-01-01

    More than 300 electrostatic solitary waves (ESWs) with a large perpendicular component which is a bi-polar waveform structure are observed in the boundary layer within the magnetic reconnection diffusion region in the near-Earth magnetotail. Such ESWs are called two-dimensional ESWs. A Singe-reconnection-based-statistical study of two-dimensional ESWs shows that: (1) ESWs can be continuously observed in the plasma sheet boundary layer (PSBL) associated with the magnetic reconnection diffusion region, and their amplitude ranges are mainly from several tens to hundreds of μV/m (2) both one-dimension-like ESWs (very small magnitude on E⊥) and two-dimension-like ESWs (large magnitude on E⊥, which are even comparable to that in the E‖) are observed within a small time interval; (3) within the observation time spans, more than 61% of ESWs are regarded as two-dimensional ESWs for the I2D > 20%. We discuss the bi-polar structure in E⊥. The observation of ESWs with a large bi-polar structure in the perpendicular electric field gives evidence that the unique waveform differs from previous understanding from observations and simulations which suggests that it should be a uni-polar waveform structure in the E⊥ of ESWs.

  16. Fermi~I particle acceleration in converging flows mediated by magnetic reconnection

    CERN Document Server

    Bosch-Ramon, V

    2012-01-01

    Converging flows with strong magnetic fields of different polarity can accelerate particles through magnetic reconnection. If the particle mean free path is larger than the thickness of the reconnection layer, but much smaller than the entire reconnection structure, the particle will mostly interact with the incoming flows potentially with a very low escape probability. We explore, in general and also in some specific scenarios, the possibility of particles being accelerated in a magnetic reconnection layer by interacting only with the incoming flows. We characterize converging flows undergoing magnetic reconnection, and derive analytical estimates for the particle energy distribution, acceleration rate, and maximum energies achievable in these flows. We also discuss a possible scenario, based on jets dominated by magnetic fields of changing polarity, in which this mechanism may operate. The proposed acceleration mechanism operates if the thickness of the reconnection layer is much smaller than its transversa...

  17. The Onset of Magnetic Reconnection in Tail-Like Equilibria

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hesse, Michael; Birn, Joachim; Kuznetsova, Masha

    1999-01-01

    Magnetic reconnection is a fundamental mode of dynamics in the magnetotail, and is recognized as the basic mechanisms converting stored magnetic energy into kinetic energy of plasma particles. The effects of the reconnection process are well documented by spacecraft observations of plasmoids in the distant magnetotail, or bursty bulk flows, and magnetic field dipolarizations in the near Earth region. Theoretical and numerical analyses have, in recent years, shed new light on the way reconnection operates, and, in particular, which microscopic mechanism supports the dissipative electric field in the associated diffusion region. Despite this progress, however. the question of how magnetic reconnection initiates in a tail-like magnetic field with finite flux threading the current i.sheet remains unanswered. Instead, theoretical studies supported by numerical simulations support the point-of-view that such plasma and current sheets are stable with respect to collisionless tearing mode. In this paper, we will further investigate this conclusion, with emphasis on the question whether it remains valid in plasma sheets with embedded thin current sheets. For this purpose, we perform particle-in-cell simulations of the driven formation of thin current sheets, and their subsequent evolution either to equilibrium or to instability of a tearing-type mode. In the latter case we will pay particular attention to the nature of the electric field contribution which unmagnetizes the electrons.

  18. Extreme ultraviolet imaging of three-dimensional magnetic reconnection in a solar eruption.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sun, J Q; Cheng, X; Ding, M D; Guo, Y; Priest, E R; Parnell, C E; Edwards, S J; Zhang, J; Chen, P F; Fang, C

    2015-06-26

    Magnetic reconnection, a change of magnetic field connectivity, is a fundamental physical process in which magnetic energy is released explosively, and it is responsible for various eruptive phenomena in the universe. However, this process is difficult to observe directly. Here, the magnetic topology associated with a solar reconnection event is studied in three dimensions using the combined perspectives of two spacecraft. The sequence of extreme ultraviolet images clearly shows that two groups of oppositely directed and non-coplanar magnetic loops gradually approach each other, forming a separator or quasi-separator and then reconnecting. The plasma near the reconnection site is subsequently heated from ∼1 to ≥5 MK. Shortly afterwards, warm flare loops (∼3 MK) appear underneath the hot plasma. Other observational signatures of reconnection, including plasma inflows and downflows, are unambiguously revealed and quantitatively measured. These observations provide direct evidence of magnetic reconnection in a three-dimensional configuration and reveal its origin.

  19. Plasmoid-induced turbulence in collisionless magnetic reconnection.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fujimoto, Keizo; Sydora, Richard D

    2012-12-28

    The dissipation mechanism in collisionless magnetic reconnection in a quasisteady period is investigated for the antiparallel field configuration. A three-dimensional simulation in a fully kinetic system reveals that a current-aligned electromagnetic mode produces turbulent electron flow that facilitates the transport of the momentum responsible for the current density. It is found that the electromagnetic turbulence is drastically enhanced by plasmoid formations and has a significant impact on the dissipation at the magnetic x-line. The linear analyses confirm that the mode survives in the real ion-to-electron mass ratio, which assures the importance of the turbulence in collisionless reconnection.

  20. Resistive instabilities and field line reconnection

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    White, R.B.

    1980-05-01

    A review is given of the linear theory of reconnection for a plane current layer. The three basic modes are the Rippling Mode, the Gravitational Interchange Mode, and the Tearing Mode. A derivation is given of the magnetic field energy which provides the driving force for the tearing mode. The necessary concepts for the analysis of tearing modes in cylindrical geometry are introduced. The equations governing tearing mode evolution in a tokamak are expanded to lowest order in the inverse aspect ratio. The tearing mode in a toroidal device is closely related to the ideal magnetohydrodynamic kink mode, and this relationship is stressed in the derivations of the linear growth rates for modes with poloidal model number m > 2 and for the quite different m = 1 mode. The nonlinear theory of tearing mode development and the implications of this theory for the understanding of toroidal magnetic confinement devices is reviewed.

  1. Forced three-dimensional magnetic reconnection due to linkage of magnetic flux tubes

    Science.gov (United States)

    Otto, A.

    1995-01-01

    During periods of southward interplanetary magnetic field (IMF) orientation the magnetic field geometry at the dayside magnetopause is susceptible to magnetic reconnection. It has been suggested that reconnection may occur in a localized manner at several patches on the magnetopause. A major problem with this picture is the interaction of magnetic flux ropes which are generated by different reconnection processes. An individual flux rope is bent elbowlike where it intersects the magnetopause and the magnetic field changes from magnetospheric to interplanetary magnetic field orientation. Multiple patches of reconnection can lead to the formation of interlinked magnetic flux tubes. Although the corresponding flux is connected to the IMF the northward and southward connected branches are hooked into each other and cannot develop independently. We have studied this problem in the framework of three-dimensional magnetohydrodynamic simulations. The results indicate that a singular current sheet forms at the interface of two interlinked flux tubes if no resistivity is present in the simulation. This current sheet is strongly tilted compared to the original current sheet. In the presence of resistivity the interaction of the two flux tubes forces a fast reconnection process which generates helically twisted closed magnetospheric flux. This linkage induced reconnection generates a boundary layer with layers of open and closed magnetospheric flux and may account for the brightening of auroral arcs poleward of the boundary between open and closed magnetic flux.

  2. Equations of state for collisionless guide-field reconnection.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Le, A; Egedal, J; Daughton, W; Fox, W; Katz, N

    2009-02-27

    Direct in situ observation of magnetic reconnection in the Earth's magnetotail as well as kinetic numerical studies have recently shown that the electron pressure in a collisionless reconnection region is strongly anisotropic. This anisotropy is mainly caused by the trapping of electrons in parallel electric fields. We present new equations of state for the parallel and perpendicular pressures for magnetized electrons. This model-derived here and tested against a kinetic simulation-allows a fluid description in a collisionless regime where parallel electric fields and the dynamics of both passing and trapped electrons are essential.

  3. Localized electron heating during magnetic reconnection in MAST

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yamada, T.; Tanabe, H.; Watanabe, T. G.; Hayashi, Y.; Imazawa, R.; Inomoto, M.; Ono, Y.; Gryaznevich, M.; Scannell, R.; Michael, C.; The MAST Team

    2016-10-01

    Significant increase in the plasma temperature above 1 keV was measured during the kilogauss magnetic field reconnection of two merging toroidal plasmas under the high-guide field and collision-less conditions. The electron temperature was observed to peak significantly at the X-point inside the current sheet, indicating Joule heating caused by the toroidal electric field along the X-line. This peaked temperature increases significantly with the guide field, in agreement with the electron mean-free path calculation. The slow electron heating in the downstream suggests energy conversion from ions to electrons through ion-electron collisions in the bulk plasma as the second electron heating mechanism in the bulk plasma. The electron density profile clearly reveals the electron density pile-up / fast shock structures in the downstream of reconnection, suggesting energy conversion from ion flow energy to ion thermal energy as well as significant ion heating by reconnection outflow.

  4. Test particle acceleration in torsional spine magnetic reconnection

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hosseinpour, M.

    2014-10-01

    Three-dimensional (3D) magnetic reconnection is taking place commonly in astrophysical and space plasmas, especially in solar flares which are rich sources of highly energetic particles. One of the proposed mechanisms for steady-state 3D magnetic reconnection is "torsional spine reconnection". By using the magnetic and electric fields for "torsional spine reconnection", we numerically investigate the features of test particle acceleration with input parameters for the solar corona. We show that efficient acceleration of a relativistic proton is possible near the null point where it can gain up to 100 MeV of kinetic energy within a few milliseconds. However, varying the injection position results in different scenarios for proton acceleration. A proton is most efficiently accelerated when it is injected at the point where the magnetic field lines change their curvature in the fan plane. Moreover, a proton injected far away from the null point cannot be accelerated and, even in some cases, it is trapped in the magnetic field. In addition, adopting either spatially uniform or non-uniform localized plasma resistivity does not much influence the features of trajectory.

  5. Magnetic reconnection associated fluctuations in the deep magnetotail: ARTEMIS results

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Z. Vörös

    2011-11-01

    Full Text Available On the basis of ARTEMIS two-probe mission magnetic reconnection (MR outflow associated magnetic fluctuations and turbulence are analyzed on 19 February 2011. In the deep-tail, at distances between X = 45 – 51 RE, evidence for reconnection associated plasma sheet thinning was found, accompanied by heating of the plasma sheet. Correlated flow and field reversals and the large-scale Hall-effect signatures indicated the presence of the reconnection X-line. Within fast reconnection plasma outflows, magnetic fluctuations exhibit the same spectral scaling features and kinked spectra as magnetic fluctuations in the solar wind or in various parts of geospace. It was shown that the proton scale magnetic fluctuations are constrained by oblique firehose, proton cyclotron and mirror instability thresholds. For parallel plasma β|| > 1, where the thresholds converge, perpendicular magnetic fluctuations are enhanced. Magnetic compressibility decreases with the distance to the neutral sheet, however, near the instability thresholds it is comparable to the values obtained in the solar wind.

  6. A magnetic reconnection X-line extending more than 390 Earth radii in the solar wind.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Phan, T D; Gosling, J T; Davis, M S; Skoug, R M; Øieroset, M; Lin, R P; Lepping, R P; McComas, D J; Smith, C W; Reme, H; Balogh, A

    2006-01-12

    Magnetic reconnection in a current sheet converts magnetic energy into particle energy, a process that is important in many laboratory, space and astrophysical contexts. It is not known at present whether reconnection is fundamentally a process that can occur over an extended region in space or whether it is patchy and unpredictable in nature. Frequent reports of small-scale flux ropes and flow channels associated with reconnection in the Earth's magnetosphere raise the possibility that reconnection is intrinsically patchy, with each reconnection X-line (the line along which oppositely directed magnetic field lines reconnect) extending at most a few Earth radii (R(E)), even though the associated current sheets span many tens or hundreds of R(E). Here we report three-spacecraft observations of accelerated flow associated with reconnection in a current sheet embedded in the solar wind flow, where the reconnection X-line extended at least 390R(E) (or 2.5 x 10(6) km). Observations of this and 27 similar events imply that reconnection is fundamentally a large-scale process. Patchy reconnection observed in the Earth's magnetosphere is therefore likely to be a geophysical effect associated with fluctuating boundary conditions, rather than a fundamental property of reconnection. Our observations also reveal, surprisingly, that reconnection can operate in a quasi-steady-state manner even when undriven by the external flow.

  7. Hamiltonian vortices and reconnection in a magnetized plasma

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Kuvshinov, B. N.; Lakhin, V. P.; Pegoraro, F.; Schep, T. J.

    1998-01-01

    Hamiltonian vortices and reconnection in magnetized plasmas are investigated analytically and numerically using a two-fluid model. The equations are written in the Lagrangian form of three fields that are advected with different velocities. This system can be considered as a generalization and exten

  8. Formation of plasmoid chains in magnetic reconnection.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Samtaney, R; Loureiro, N F; Uzdensky, D A; Schekochihin, A A; Cowley, S C

    2009-09-04

    A detailed numerical study of magnetic reconnection in resistive MHD for very large, previously inaccessible, Lundquist numbers (10(4) magnetic-island) chains. The plasmoid number scales as S(3/8) and the instability growth rate in the linear stage as S(1/4), in agreement with the theory by Loureiro et al. [Phys. Plasmas 14, 100703 (2007)]. In the nonlinear regime, plasmoids continue to grow faster than they are ejected and completely disrupt the reconnection layer. These results suggest that high-Lundquist-number reconnection is inherently time-dependent and hence call for a substantial revision of the standard Sweet-Parker quasistationary picture for S>10(4).

  9. Nonlinear regimes of forced magnetic reconnection

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Vekstein, G., E-mail: g.vekstein@manchester.ac.uk [JBCA, School of Physics and Astronomy, University of Manchester, Manchester M13 9PL (United Kingdom); STEL, Nagoya University, Nagoya, Aichi 464-8601 (Japan); Kusano, K. [STEL, Nagoya University, Nagoya, Aichi 464-8601 (Japan)

    2015-09-15

    This letter presents a self-consistent description of nonlinear forced magnetic reconnection in Taylor's model of this process. If external boundary perturbation is strong enough, nonlinearity in the current sheet evolution becomes important before resistive effects come into play. This terminates the current sheet shrinking that takes place at the linear stage and brings about its nonlinear equilibrium with a finite thickness. Then, in theory, this equilibrium is destroyed by a finite plasma resistivity during the skin-time, and further reconnection proceeds in the Rutherford regime. However, realization of such a scenario is unlikely because of the plasmoid instability, which is fast enough to develop before the transition to the Rutherford phase occurs. The suggested analytical theory is entirely different from all previous studies and provides proper interpretation of the presently available numerical simulations of nonlinear forced magnetic reconnection.

  10. Magnetic flipping - Reconnection in three dimensions without null points

    Science.gov (United States)

    Priest, E. R.; Forbes, T. G.

    1992-01-01

    In three dimensions, magnetic reconnection may take place in a sheared magnetic field at any singular field line, where the nearby field has X-type topology in planes perpendicular to the field line and where an electric field is present parallel to the field line. In the ideal region around the singular line there will, in general, be singularities in the plasma flow and electric field, both at the singular line and at 'magnetic flipping layers', which are remnants of local magnetic separatrices. In the absence of a three-dimensional magnetic neutral point or null point, reconnection of field lines can still occur by a process of magnetic flipping, in which the plasma crosses the flipping layers but the field lines rapidly flip along them by magnetic diffusion. Depending on the boundary conditions, there may be two or four flipping layers which converge on the singular line. A boundary layer analysis of a flipping layer is given, in which the magnetic field parallel to the layer decreases as one crosses it while the plasma pressure (or magnetic pressure associated with the field along the singular line) increases. The width of the flipping layer decreases with distance from the singular line.

  11. Magnetic flipping: Reconnection in three-dimensions without null points

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Priest, E.R.; Forbes, T.G. (Univ. of New Hampshire, Durham (United States))

    1992-02-01

    In three dimensions, magnetic reconnection may take place in a sheared magnetic field at any singular field line, where the nearby field has X-type topology in planes perpendicular to the field line and where an electric field is present parallel to the field line. In the ideal region around the singular line there will, in general, be singularities in the plasma flow and electric field, both at the singular line and at magnetic flipping layers, which are remnants of local magnetic separatrices. In the absence of a three-dimensional magnetic point or null point, reconnection of field lines can still occur by a process of magnetic flipping, in which the plasma crosses the flipping layers but the field lines rapidly flip along them by magnetic diffusion. Depending on the boundary conditions, there may be two or four flipping layers which converge on the singular line. A boundary layer analysis of a flipping layer is given, in which the magnetic field parallel to the layer decreases as one crosses it while the plasma pressure (or magnetic pressure associated with the field along the singular line) increases. The width of the flipping layer decreases with distance from the singular line.

  12. The Theory of Magnetic Reconnection: Past, Present, and Future

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cassak, P. A.

    2008-05-01

    Magnetic reconnection underlies the energy release observed in eruptive events in the solar corona (such as solar flares and coronal mass ejections) and in the Earth's magnetosphere. The theory of magnetic reconnection was originally developed to understand observations by Ron Giovanelli, who discovered that solar flares occur where the coronal magnetic field changes directions. Pioneers in space plasma theory such as James Dungey, Peter Sweet, Eugene Parker, and Harry Petschek first elucidated the underlying physical effects that lead to this massive energy release. Since then, much effort has been made to understand what process or processes cause magnetic reconnection to be fast enough to be consistent with observations, such as anomalous resistivity, secondary instabilities, and the Hall effect. However, a thorough understanding of this important process remains a topic of intense study. In celebration of the 50th anniversary of Parker's paper predicting the high-speed solar wind, this talk will review the history of the theory of magnetic reconnection. The present status of the field will be discussed, and remaining unanswered questions will be summarized.

  13. Fast Magnetic Reconnection Due to Anisotropic Electron Pressure

    CERN Document Server

    Cassak, P A; Fermo, R L; Beidler, M T; Shay, M A; Swisdak, M; Drake, J F; Karimabadi, H

    2015-01-01

    A new regime of fast magnetic reconnection with an out-of-plane (guide) magnetic field is reported in which the key role is played by an electron pressure anisotropy described by the Chew-Goldberger-Low gyrotropic equations of state in the generalized Ohm's law, which even dominates the Hall term. A description of the physical cause of this behavior is provided and two-dimensional fluid simulations are used to confirm the results. The electron pressure anisotropy causes the out-of-plane magnetic field to develop a quadrupole structure of opposite polarity to the Hall magnetic field and gives rise to dispersive waves. In addition to being important for understanding what causes reconnection to be fast, this mechanism should dominate in plasmas with low plasma beta and a high in-plane plasma beta with electron temperature comparable to or larger than ion temperature, so it could be relevant in the solar wind and some tokamaks.

  14. Quantitative, comprehensive, analytical model for magnetic reconnection in Hall magnetohydrodynamics.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Simakov, Andrei N; Chacón, L

    2008-09-05

    Dissipation-independent, or "fast", magnetic reconnection has been observed computationally in Hall magnetohydrodynamics (MHD) and predicted analytically in electron MHD. However, a quantitative analytical theory of reconnection valid for arbitrary ion inertial lengths, d{i}, has been lacking and is proposed here for the first time. The theory describes a two-dimensional reconnection diffusion region, provides expressions for reconnection rates, and derives a formal criterion for fast reconnection in terms of dissipation parameters and d{i}. It also confirms the electron MHD prediction that both open and elongated diffusion regions allow fast reconnection, and reveals strong dependence of the reconnection rates on d{i}.

  15. Effects of electron inertia in collisionless magnetic reconnection

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Andrés, Nahuel, E-mail: nandres@iafe.uba.ar; Gómez, Daniel [Instituto de Astronomía y Física del Espacio, CC. 67, suc. 28, 1428, Buenos Aires (Argentina); Departamento de Física, Facultad de Ciencias Exactas y Naturales, Univrsidad de Buenos Aires, Pabellón I, 1428, Buenos Aires (Argentina); Martin, Luis; Dmitruk, Pablo [Departamento de Física, Facultad de Ciencias Exactas y Naturales, Univrsidad de Buenos Aires, Pabellón I, 1428, Buenos Aires (Argentina)

    2014-07-15

    We present a study of collisionless magnetic reconnection within the framework of full two-fluid MHD for a completely ionized hydrogen plasma, retaining the effects of the Hall current, electron pressure and electron inertia. We performed 2.5D simulations using a pseudo-spectral code with no dissipative effects. We check that the ideal invariants of the problem are conserved down to round-off errors. Our numerical results confirm that the change in the topology of the magnetic field lines is exclusively due to the presence of electron inertia. The computed reconnection rates remain a fair fraction of the Alfvén velocity, which therefore qualifies as fast reconnection.

  16. Beaming of particles and synchrotron radiation in relativistic magnetic reconnection

    CERN Document Server

    Kagan, Daniel; Piran, Tsvi

    2016-01-01

    Relativistic reconnection has been invoked as a mechanism for particle acceleration in numerous astrophysical systems. According to idealised analytical models reconnection produces a bulk relativistic outflow emerging from the reconnection sites (X-points). The resulting radiation is therefore highly beamed. Using two-dimensional particle-in-cell (PIC) simulations, we investigate particle and radiation beaming, finding a very different picture. Instead of having a relativistic average bulk motion with isotropic electron velocity distribution in its rest frame, we find that the bulk motion of particles in X-points is similar to their Lorentz factor gamma, and the particles are beamed within about 5/gamma. On the way from the X-point to the magnetic islands, particles turn in the magnetic field, forming a fan confined to the current sheet. Once they reach the islands they isotropise after completing a full Larmor gyration and their radiation is not strongly beamed anymore. The radiation pattern at a given freq...

  17. Observations of whistler mode waves with nonlinear parallel electric fields near the dayside magnetic reconnection separatrix by the Magnetospheric Multiscale mission

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wilder, F. D.; Ergun, R. E.; Goodrich, K. A.; Goldman, M. V.; Newman, D. L.; Malaspina, D. M.; Jaynes, A. N.; Schwartz, S. J.; Trattner, K. J.; Burch, J. L.; Argall, M. R.; Torbert, R. B.; Lindqvist, P.-A.; Marklund, G.; Le Contel, O.; Mirioni, L.; Khotyaintsev, Yu. V.; Strangeway, R. J.; Russell, C. T.; Pollock, C. J.; Giles, B. L.; Plaschke, F.; Magnes, W.; Eriksson, S.; Stawarz, J. E.; Sturner, A. P.; Holmes, J. C.

    2016-06-01

    We show observations from the Magnetospheric Multiscale (MMS) mission of whistler mode waves in the Earth's low-latitude boundary layer (LLBL) during a magnetic reconnection event. The waves propagated obliquely to the magnetic field toward the X line and were confined to the edge of a southward jet in the LLBL. Bipolar parallel electric fields interpreted as electrostatic solitary waves (ESW) are observed intermittently and appear to be in phase with the parallel component of the whistler oscillations. The polarity of the ESWs suggests that if they propagate with the waves, they are electron enhancements as opposed to electron holes. The reduced electron distribution shows a shoulder in the distribution for parallel velocities between 17,000 and 22,000 km/s, which persisted during the interval when ESWs were observed, and is near the phase velocity of the whistlers. This shoulder can drive Langmuir waves, which were observed in the high-frequency parallel electric field data.

  18. Collisionless magnetic reconnection: analytical model and PIC simulation comparison

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    V. Semenov

    2009-03-01

    Full Text Available Magnetic reconnection is believed to be responsible for various explosive processes in the space plasma including magnetospheric substorms. The Hall effect is proved to play a key role in the reconnection process. An analytical model of steady-state magnetic reconnection in a collisionless incompressible plasma is developed using the electron Hall MHD approximation. It is shown that the initial complicated system of equations may split into a system of independent equations, and the solution of the problem is based on the Grad-Shafranov equation for the magnetic potential. The results of the analytical study are further compared with a two-dimensional particle-in-cell simulation of reconnection. It is shown that both methods demonstrate a close agreement in the electron current and the magnetic and electric field structures obtained. The spatial scales of the acceleration region in the simulation and the analytical study are of the same order. Such features like particles trajectories and the in-plane electric field structure appear essentially similar in both models.

  19. Energy partition in magnetic reconnection in Earth's magnetotail.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Eastwood, J P; Phan, T D; Drake, J F; Shay, M A; Borg, A L; Lavraud, B; Taylor, M G G T

    2013-05-31

    The partition of energy flux in magnetic reconnection is examined experimentally using Cluster satellite observations of collisionless reconnection in Earth's magnetotail. In this plasma regime, the dominant component of the energy flux is ion enthalpy flux, with smaller contributions from the electron enthalpy and heat flux and the ion kinetic energy flux. However, the Poynting flux is not negligible, and in certain parts of the ion diffusion region the Poynting flux in fact dominates. Evidence for earthward-tailward asymmetry is ascribed to the presence of Earth's dipole fields.

  20. Non-Maxwellian electron distribution functions due to self-generated turbulence in collisionless guide-field reconnection

    OpenAIRE

    Muñoz, P. A.; J. Büchner

    2016-01-01

    Non-Maxwellian electron velocity space distribution functions (EVDF) are useful signatures of plasma conditions and non-local consequences of collisionless magnetic reconnection. In the past, EVDFs were obtained mainly for antiparallel reconnection and under the influence of weak guide-fields in the direction perpendicular to the reconnection plane. EVDFs are, however, not well known, yet, for oblique (or component-) reconnection in dependence on stronger guide-magnetic fields and for the exh...

  1. On the Role of Repetitive Magnetic Reconnections in Evolution of Magnetic Flux Ropes in Solar Corona

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kumar, Sanjay; Bhattacharyya, R.; Joshi, Bhuwan; Smolarkiewicz, P. K.

    2016-10-01

    Parker's magnetostatic theorem, extended to astrophysical magnetofluids with large magnetic Reynolds number, supports ceaseless regeneration of current sheets and, hence, spontaneous magnetic reconnections recurring in time. Consequently, a scenario is possible where the repeated reconnections provide an autonomous mechanism governing emergence of coherent structures in astrophysical magnetofluids. In this work, such a scenario is explored by performing numerical computations commensurate with the magnetostatic theorem. In particular, the computations explore the evolution of a flux rope governed by repeated reconnections in a magnetic geometry resembling bipolar loops of solar corona. The revealed morphology of the evolution process—including onset and ascent of the rope, reconnection locations, and the associated topology of the magnetic field lines—agrees with observations, and thus substantiates physical realizability of the advocated mechanism.

  2. Multiscale dynamics based on kinetic simulation of collisionless magnetic reconnection

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fujimoto, Keizo; Takamoto, Makoto

    2016-07-01

    Magnetic reconnection is a natural energy converter which allows explosive energy release of the magnetic field energy into plasma kinetic energy. The reconnection processes inherently involve multi-scale process. The breaking of the field lines takes place predominantly in a small region called the diffusion region formed near the x-line, while the fast plasma jets resulting from reconnection extend to a distance far beyond the ion kinetic scales from the x-line. There has been a significant gap in understanding of macro-scale and micro-scale processes. The macro-scale model of reconnection has been developed using the magnetohydrodynamics (MHD) equations, while the micro-scale processes around the x-line have been based on kinetic equations including the ion and electron inertia. The problem is that these two kinds of model have significant discrepancies. It has been believed without any guarantee that the microscopic model near the x-line would connect to the macroscopic model far downstream of the x-line. In order to bridge the gap between the macro and micro-scale processes, we have performed large-scale particle-in-cell simulations with the adaptive mesh refinement. The simulation results suggest that the microscopic processes around the x-line do not connect to the previous MHD model even in the region far downstream of the x-line. The slow mode shocks and the associated plasma acceleration do not appear at the exhaust boundary of kinetic reconnection. Instead, the ions are accelerated due to the Speiser motion in the current layer extending to a distance beyond the kinetic scales. The different acceleration mechanisms between the ions and electrons lead to the Hall current system in broad area of the exhaust. Therefore, the previous MHD model could be inappropriate for collisionless magnetic reconnection. Ref. K. Fujimoto & M. Takamoto, Phys. Plasmas, 23, 012903 (2016).

  3. Fast magnetic reconnection in laser-produced plasma bubbles

    OpenAIRE

    Fox, W.; Bhattacharjee, A.; Germaschewski, K.

    2011-01-01

    Recent experiments have observed magnetic reconnection in high-energy-density, laser-produced plasma bubbles, with reconnection rates observed to be much higher than can be explained by classical theory. Based on fully kinetic particle simulations we find that fast reconnection in these strongly driven systems can be explained by magnetic flux pile-up at the shoulder of the current sheet and subsequent fast reconnection via two-fluid, collisionless mechanisms. In the strong drive regime with ...

  4. Reconnection Experiments with Flux Ropes near 3D Magnetic Nulls

    Science.gov (United States)

    Vrublevskis, A.; Egedal, J.; Le, A.

    2012-12-01

    Magnetic reconnection has been predominantly investigated in two dimensions. However, depending on the topology and geometry of the magnetic field, a rich collection of magnetic reconnection scenarios is possible in 3D including reconnection at magnetic nulls. Nulls have been reported in the solar corona [1] and in Earth's magnetosphere [2], yet there are a limited number of laboratory observations. At the Versatile Toroidal Facility (VTF) we have implemented a new magnetic geometry with a pair of 3D null points in the background toroidal field. We form a flux rope along the background field and observe it to rapidly restructure and rewire as the nulls develop. We can adjust the topology of the configuration from one where a field line connects the nulls to one where the nulls are no longer linked. A suit of diagnostics will be deployed and results presented for the dynamics of the flux rope. [1] Fletcher et al., Astrophys. J. 554, 451(2001) [2] Xiao et al., Nat. Phys. 2, 478 (2006)

  5. Parallel Electric Fields Associated with Sub-Solar Reconnection: MMS Observations

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ergun, Robert; Goodrich, Katherine; Wilder, Frederick; Holmes, Justin; Stawarz, Julia; Sturner, Andrew; Eriksson, Stefan; Malaspina, David; Unsanova, Maria; Torbert, Roy; Lindqvist, Per-Arne; Khotyaintsev, Yuri; Burch, James; Strangeway, Robert; Russel, Christopher; Giles, Barbara; Pollock, Craig

    2016-04-01

    We present MMS observations of parallel electric fields associated with sub-solar magnetic reconnection and provide an early interpretation of their implications on the reconnection processes. The MMS satellites have observed many instances of large-amplitude parallel electric fields (10's to greater than 100 mV/m) that appear to lie on or near the magnetic reconnection separatrix, in particular, near a strong current layer on the magnetospheric-side separatrix. These parallel electric field events are directly associated with magnetic reconnection and, on most occasions, are recorded by more than one of the MMS spacecraft. We see several types of parallel electric fields. We interpret purely parallel electrostatic waves and the evolved nonlinear states of these waves as mixing of cold plasma with warm magnetosheath plasma on a freshly reconnected field line. Large-amplitude spikes associated with tangled magnetic fields represent possible secondary reconnection events. Whistler waves and evolved non-linear whistler waves are associated with associated with mixing of plasmas. These observations suggest that (1) magnetic reconnection is often "patchy" and results in tangled magnetic field lines and that (2) cold plasma (<10 eV) is often present in sub-solar reconnection.

  6. MESSENGER Observations of Magnetic Reconnection in Mercury's Magnetosphere

    Science.gov (United States)

    Slavin. James A.

    2009-01-01

    During MESSENGER'S second flyby of Mercury on October 6,2008, very intense reconnection was observed between the planet's magnetic field and a steady southward interplanetary magnetic field (IMF). The dawn magnetopause was threaded by a strong magnetic field normal to its surface, approx.14 nT, that implies a rate of reconnection approx.10 times the typical rate at Earth and a cross-magnetospheric electric potential drop of approx.30 kV. The highest magnetic field observed during this second flyby, approx.160 nT, was found at the core of a large dayside flux transfer event (FTE). This FTE is estimated to contain magnetic flux equal to approx.5% that of Mercury's magnetic tail or approximately one order of magnitude higher fraction of the tail flux than is typically found for FTEs at Earth. Plasmoid and traveling compression region (TCR) signatures were observed throughout MESSENGER'S traversal of Mercury's magnetotail with a repetition rate comparable to the Dungey cycle time of approx.2 min. The TCR signatures changed from south-north, indicating tailward motion, to north-south, indicating sunward motion, at a distance approx.2.6 RM (where RM is Mercury's radius) behind the terminator indicating that the near-Mercury magnetotail neutral line was crossed at that point. Overall, these new MESSENGER observations suggest that magnetic reconnection at the dayside magnetopause is very intense relative to what is found at Earth and other planets, while reconnection in Mercury's tail is similar to that in other planetary magnetospheres, but with a very short Dungey cycle time.

  7. Magnetic Reconnection in Different Environments: Similarities and Differences

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hesse, Michael; Aunai, Nicolas; Kuznetsova, Masha; Zenitani, Seiji; Birn, Joachim

    2014-01-01

    Depending on the specific situation, magnetic reconnection may involve symmetric or asymmetric inflow regions. Asymmetric reconnection applies, for example, to reconnection at the Earth's magnetopause, whereas reconnection in the nightside magnetotail tends to involve more symmetric geometries. A combination of review and new results pertaining to magnetic reconnection is being presented. The focus is on three aspects: A basic, MHD-based, analysis of the role magnetic reconnection plays in the transport of energy, followed by an analysis of a kinetic model of time dependent reconnection in a symmetric current sheet, similar to what is typically being encountered in the magnetotail of the Earth. The third element is a review of recent results pertaining to the orientation of the reconnection line in asymmetric geometries, which are typical for the magnetopause of the Earth, as well as likely to occur at other planets.

  8. Unsteady magnetic reconnection in laboratory experiments with current sheets

    Science.gov (United States)

    Frank, Anna

    2009-11-01

    According to present notion, unsteady magnetic reconnection in current sheets (CS) is basic to dramatic natural phenomena: solar and stellar flares, substorms in the Earth and other planetary magnetospheres, as well as to disruptive instabilities in tokamak plasmas. We present a review of laboratory experiments studying evolution of CS formed in 3D and 2D magnetic configurations with an X line, in the CS-3D device. Usually CS exists during an extended period in a metastable stage, without essential changes of its structure and parameters. Under certain conditions this stage may be suddenly interrupted by unsteady phase of magnetic reconnection, which manifests itself in a rapid change of the magnetic field topology, current redistribution, excitation of pulsed electric fields, and other dynamic effects. The unsteady phase results in effective conversion of magnetic energy into the energy of plasma and accelerated particles, and may finally bring about the CS disruption. In the context of the solar flares, a metastable CS is associated with a pre-flare situation, while CS disruption -- with the flare itself. The physical mechanisms triggering the unsteady magnetic reconnection in the laboratory produced current sheets are discussed. Supported by the Russian Foundation for Basic Research (project # 09-02-00971).

  9. Fermi Acceleration in Magnetic Reconnection Sites

    Science.gov (United States)

    de Gouveia Dal Pino, E. M.; Kowal, G.; Lazarian, A.

    2014-09-01

    The mechanisms that accelerate cosmic relativistic particles are not fully understood yet. A variety of processes has been investigated and the acceleration in magnetic reconnection sites has lately gained increasing attention from researchers not only for its potential importance in the solar system, but also beyond it, in astrophysical environments like compact stellar sources, AGNs and GRBs, and even in diffusive magnetized media as the interstellar medium (ISM) and the intergalactic medium (IGM). In this talk we review this process and, supported by three-dimensional MHD simulations with the injection of thousands of test particles, we show that they can be efficiently accelerated by magnetic reconnection through a first-order Fermi process within large scale magnetic current sheets, even in a collisional fluid (contrary to what was previously believed), especially when local turbulence is present which makes reconnection fast, the acceleration layer thicker and the overall process naturally three-dimensional. Tests of particle acceleration in pure MHD turbulent environments (i.e., without the presence of large scale current sheets), on the other hand, indicate that the dominant acceleration process is a second-order Fermi.

  10. Observational Signatures of Magnetic Reconnection in the Extended Corona

    Science.gov (United States)

    Savage, Sabrina; West, Matthew J.; Seaton, Daniel B.; Kobelski, Adam

    2016-01-01

    Observational signatures of reconnection have been studied extensively in the lower corona for decades, successfully providing insight into energy release mechanisms in the region above post-flare arcade loops and below 1.5 solar radii. During large eruptive events, however, energy release continues to occur well beyond the presence of reconnection signatures at these low heights. Supra-Arcade Downflows (SADs) and Supra-Arcade Downflowing Loops (SADLs) are particularly useful measures of continual reconnection in the corona as they may indicate the presence and path of retracting post-reconnection loops. SADs and SADLs have been faintly observed up to 18 hours beyond the passage of coronas mass ejections through the SOHO/LASCO field of view, but a recent event from 2014 October 14 associated with giant arches provides very clear observations of these downflows for days after the initial eruption. We report on this unique event and compare these findings with observational signatures of magnetic reconnection in the extended corona for more typical eruptions.

  11. Observational Signatures of Magnetic Reconnection in the Extended Corona

    Science.gov (United States)

    Savage, Sabrina; West, Matthew J.; Seaton, Danial B.; Kobelski, Adam

    2016-01-01

    Observational signatures of reconnection have been studied extensively in the lower corona for decades, successfully providing insight into energy release mechanisms in the region above post-flare arcade loops and below 1.5 solar radii. During large eruptive events, however, energy release continues to occur well beyond the presence of reconnection signatures at these low heights. Supra-Arcade Downflows (SADs) and Supra-Arcade Downflowing Loops (SADLs) are particularly useful measures of continual reconnection in the corona as they may indicate the presence and path of retracting post-reconnection loops. SADs and SADLs have been faintly observed up to 18 hours beyond the passage of corona mass ejections through the SOHO/LASCO field of view, but a recent event from 2014 October 14 associated with giant arches provides very clear observations of these downflows for days after the initial eruption. We report on this unique event and compare these findings with observational signatures of magnetic reconnection in the extended corona for more typical eruptions.

  12. Structures of magnetic null points in reconnection diffusion region: Cluster observations

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    HU YunHui; R.NAKAMURA; W.BAUMJOHANN; H.R'EME; C.M.CARR; DENG XiaoHua; ZHOU Meng; TANG RongXin; ZHAO Hui; FU Song; SU ZhiWen; WANG JingFang; YUAN ZhiGang

    2008-01-01

    Magnetic reconnection is a very important and fundamental plasma process in transferring energy from magnetic field into plasma. Previous theory, numerical simulations and observations mostly concen-trate on 2-dimensional (2D) model; however, magnetic reconnection is a 3-dimensional (3D) nonlinear process in nature. The properties of reconnection in 3D and its associated singular structure have not been resolved completely. Here we investigate the structures and characteristics of null points inside the reconnection diffusion region by introducing the discretized Poincaré index through Gauss integral and using magnetic field data with high resolution from the four satellites of Cluster mission. We esti-mate the velocity and trajectory of null points by calculating its position in different times, and compare and discuss the observations with different reconnection models with null points based on character-istics of electric current around null points.

  13. Extreme Ultraviolet Imaging of Three-dimensional Magnetic Reconnection in a Solar Eruption

    CERN Document Server

    Sun, J Q; Ding, M D; Guo, Y; Priest, E R; Parnell, C E; Edwards, S J; Zhang, J; Chen, P F; Fang, C

    2015-01-01

    Magnetic reconnection, a change of magnetic field connectivity, is a fundamental physical process in which magnetic energy is released explosively. It is responsible for various eruptive phenomena in the universe. However, this process is difficult to observe directly. Here, the magnetic topology associated with a solar reconnection event is studied in three dimensions (3D) using the combined perspectives of two spacecraft. The sequence of extreme ultraviolet (EUV) images clearly shows that two groups of oppositely directed and non-coplanar magnetic loops gradually approach each other, forming a separator or quasi-separator and then reconnecting. The plasma near the reconnection site is subsequently heated from $\\sim$1 to $\\ge$5 MK. Shortly afterwards, warm flare loops ($\\sim$3 MK) appear underneath the hot plasma. Other observational signatures of reconnection, including plasma inflows and downflows, are unambiguously revealed and quantitatively measured. These observations provide direct evidence of magneti...

  14. Nongyrotropic Electrons in Guide Field Reconnection

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wendel, D. E.; Hesse, M.; Bessho, N.; Adrian, M. L.; Kuznetsova, M.

    2016-01-01

    We apply a scalar measure of nongyrotropy to the electron pressure tensor in a 2D particle-in-cell simulation of guide field reconnection and assess the corresponding electron distributions and the forces that account for the nongyrotropy. The scalar measure reveals that the nongyrotropy lies in bands that straddle the electron diffusion region and the separatrices, in the same regions where there are parallel electric fields. Analysis of electron distributions and fields shows that the nongyrotropy along the inflow and outflow separatrices emerges as a result of multiple populations of electrons influenced differently by large and small-scale parallel electric fields and by gradients in the electric field. The relevant parallel electric fields include large-scale potential ramps emanating from the x-line and sub-ion inertial scale bipolar electron holes. Gradients in the perpendicular electric field modify electrons differently depending on their phase, thus producing nongyrotropy. Magnetic flux violation occurs along portions of the separatrices that coincide with the parallel electric fields. An inductive electric field in the electron EB drift frame thus develops, which has the effect of enhancing nongyrotropies already produced by other mechanisms and under certain conditions producing their own nongyrotropy. Particle tracing of electrons from nongyrotropic populations along the inflows and outflows shows that the striated structure of nongyrotropy corresponds to electrons arriving from different source regions. We also show that the relevant parallel electric fields receive important contributions not only from the nongyrotropic portion of the electron pressure tensor but from electron spatial and temporal inertial terms as well.

  15. Separatrix regions of magnetic reconnection at the magnetopause

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    T. Lindstedt

    2009-10-01

    Full Text Available Using data from the four Cluster spacecraft we study the separatrix regions of magnetic reconnection sites at the dayside magnetopause under conditions when reconnection is occurring in the magnetopause current layer which separates magnetosheath plasma from the hot magnetospheric plasma sheet. We define the separatrix region as the region between the separatrix – the first field line opened by reconnection – and the reconnection jet (outflow region. We analyze eight separatrix region crossings on the magnetospheric side of the magnetopause and present detailed data for two of the events. We show that characteristic widths of the separatrix regions are of the order of ten ion inertial lengths at the magnetopause. Narrow separatrix regions with widths comparable to a few ion inertial lengths are rare. We show that inside the separatrix region there is a density cavity which sometimes has complex internal structure with multiple density dips. Strong electric fields exist inside the separatrix regions and the electric potential drop across the regions can be up to several kV. On the magnetosheath side of the region there is a density gradient with strong field aligned currents. The observed strong electric fields and currents inside the separatrix region can be important for a local energization of ions and electrons, particularly of ionospheric origin, as well as for magnetosphere-ionosphere coupling.

  16. Energetic electrons associated with magnetic reconnection in the magnetic cloud boundary layer.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wang, Y; Wei, F S; Feng, X S; Zhang, S H; Zuo, P B; Sun, T R

    2010-11-05

    Here is reported in situ observation of energetic electrons (∼100-500 keV) associated with magnetic reconnection in the solar wind by the ACE and Wind spacecraft. The properties of this magnetic cloud driving reconnection and the associated energetic electron acceleration problem are discussed. Further analyses indicate that the electric field acceleration and Fermi-type mechanism are two fundamental elements in the electron acceleration processes and the trapping effect of the specific magnetic field configuration maintains the acceleration status that increases the totally gained energy.

  17. A laboratory study of asymmetric magnetic reconnection in strongly driven plasmas.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rosenberg, M J; Li, C K; Fox, W; Igumenshchev, I; Séguin, F H; Town, R P J; Frenje, J A; Stoeckl, C; Glebov, V; Petrasso, R D

    2015-02-04

    Magnetic reconnection, the annihilation and rearrangement of magnetic fields in a plasma, is a universal phenomenon that frequently occurs when plasmas carrying oppositely directed field lines collide. In most natural circumstances, the collision is asymmetric (the two plasmas having different properties), but laboratory research to date has been limited to symmetric configurations. In addition, the regime of strongly driven magnetic reconnection, where the ram pressure of the plasma dominates the magnetic pressure, as in several astrophysical environments, has also received little experimental attention. Thus, we have designed the experiments to probe reconnection in asymmetric, strongly driven, laser-generated plasmas. Here we show that, in this strongly driven system, the rate of magnetic flux annihilation is dictated by the relative flow velocities of the opposing plasmas and is insensitive to initial asymmetries. In addition, out-of-plane magnetic fields that arise from asymmetries in the three-dimensional plasma geometry have minimal impact on the reconnection rate, due to the strong flows.

  18. Coronal magnetic reconnection driven by CME expansion -- the 2011 June 7 event

    CERN Document Server

    van Driel-Gesztelyi, L; Torok, T; Pariat, E; Green, L M; Williams, D R; Carlyle, J; Valori, G; Demoulin, P; Kliem, B; Long, D M; Matthews, S A; Malherbe, J -M

    2014-01-01

    Coronal mass ejections (CMEs) erupt and expand in a magnetically structured solar corona. Various indirect observational pieces of evidence have shown that the magnetic field of CMEs reconnects with surrounding magnetic fields, forming, e.g., dimming regions distant from the CME source regions. Analyzing Solar Dynamics Observatory (SDO) observations of the eruption from AR 11226 on 2011 June 7, we present the first direct evidence of coronal magnetic reconnection between the fields of two adjacent ARs during a CME. The observations are presented jointly with a data-constrained numerical simulation, demonstrating the formation/intensification of current sheets along a hyperbolic flux tube (HFT) at the interface between the CME and the neighbouring AR 11227. Reconnection resulted in the formation of new magnetic connections between the erupting magnetic structure from AR 11226 and the neighboring active region AR 11227 about 200 Mm from the eruption site. The onset of reconnection first becomes apparent in the ...

  19. Ion Bernstein waves in the magnetic reconnection region

    Science.gov (United States)

    Narita, Y.; Nakamura, R.; Baumjohann, W.; Glassmeier, K.-H.; Motschmann, U.; Comişel, H.

    2016-01-01

    Four-dimensional energy spectra and a diagram for dispersion relations are determined for the first time in a magnetic reconnection region in the magnetotail using data from four-spacecraft measurements by the Cluster mission on a spatial scale of 200 km, about 0.1 ion inertial lengths. The energy spectra are anisotropic with an extension in the perpendicular direction and axially asymmetric with respect to the mean magnetic field. The dispersion diagram in the plasma rest frame is in reasonably good agreement with the ion Bernstein waves at the second and higher harmonics of the proton gyrofrequency. Perpendicular-propagating ion Bernstein waves likely exist in an outflow region of magnetic reconnection, which may contribute to bifurcation of the current sheet in the outflow region.

  20. Fast magnetic reconnection in laser-produced plasma bubbles.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fox, W; Bhattacharjee, A; Germaschewski, K

    2011-05-27

    Recent experiments have observed magnetic reconnection in high-energy-density, laser-produced plasma bubbles, with reconnection rates observed to be much higher than can be explained by classical theory. Based on fully kinetic particle simulations we find that fast reconnection in these strongly driven systems can be explained by magnetic flux pileup at the shoulder of the current sheet and subsequent fast reconnection via two-fluid, collisionless mechanisms. In the strong drive regime with two-fluid effects, we find that the ultimate reconnection time is insensitive to the nominal system Alfvén time.

  1. Demonstration of anisotropic fluid closure capturing the kinetic structure of magnetic reconnection.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ohia, O; Egedal, J; Lukin, V S; Daughton, W; Le, A

    2012-09-14

    Collisionless magnetic reconnection in high-temperature plasmas has been widely studied through fluid-based models. Here, we present results of fluid simulation implementing new equations of state for guide-field reconnection. The new fluid closure accurately accounts for the anisotropic electron pressure that builds in the reconnection region due to electric and magnetic trapping of electrons. In contrast to previous fluid models, our fluid simulation reproduces the detailed reconnection region as observed in fully kinetic simulations. We hereby demonstrate that the new fluid closure self-consistently captures all the physics relevant to the structure of the reconnection region, providing a gateway to a renewed and deeper theoretical understanding of reconnection in weakly collisional regimes.

  2. Magnetic Reconnection at a Three-dimensional Solar Null Point

    Science.gov (United States)

    Frederiksen, J. T.; Baumann, G.; Galsgaard, K.; Haugbølle, T.; Nordlund, Å.

    2012-04-01

    Using a specific solar null point reconnection case studied by Masson et al (2009; ApJ 700, 559) we investigate the dependence of the reconnection rate on boundary driving speed, numerical resolution, type of resistivity (constant or numerical), and assumed stratification (constant density or solar-like). The MHD simulations start out from a potential magnetic field containing a null-point, obtained from a SOHO magnetogram extrapolation approximately 8 hours before a C-class flare was observed. The magnetic field is stressed with a boundary motion pattern similar to the horizontal motions observed by SOHO during the period preceding the flare. The general behavior is nearly independent of driving speed and numerical resolution, and is also very similar in stratified and unstratified models, provided only that the boundary motions are slow enough.

  3. Magnetic reconnection in turbulent space plasmas: null-points or pinches?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Olshevsky, Vyacheslav; Lapenta, Giovanni; Markidis, Stefano; Divin, Andrey

    2014-05-01

    We report particle-in-cell simulations of magnetic reconnection in the configuration containing both null-points and pinches. All indicators suggest that secondary magnetic reconnection driven by kinking of the pinches plays a dominant role in the energetics of the system. While there is no substantial energy dissipation in the vicinity of X-type null-points. Such reconnection results in tremendous release of magnetic energy, generation of suprathermal particles and waves. Similar scenario may take place in turbulent space plasmas, where current channels and twisted magnetic fields are detected.

  4. Magnetic Reconnection with Strong Synchrotron Cooling in Pulsar Magnetospheres

    Science.gov (United States)

    Uzdensky, Dmitri; Spitkovsky, Anatoly

    2012-10-01

    The magnetosphere of a rotating pulsar naturally develops a current sheet beyond the light cylinder (LC). Magnetic reconnection in this current sheet inevitably dissipates a nontrivial fraction of the pulsar spin-down power within a few LC radii. In this presentation, a basic physical picture of reconnection in this environment is developed. It is shown that reconnection proceeds in the plasmoid-dominated regime, via an hierarchical chain of multiple secondary islands/flux ropes. The inter-plasmoid reconnection layers are subject to strong synchrotron cooling, leading to significant plasma compression. The basic parameters of these current layers --- temperature, density, and layer thickness --- are estimated in terms of the upstream magnetic field. It is argued that, after accounting for the bulk Doppler boosting, the synchrotron and inverse-Compton emission mechanisms can explain the observed pulsed high-energy (GeV) and VHE (˜ 100 GeV) radiation, respectively. The motions of the secondary plasmoids may contribute to the pulsar's radio emission.

  5. Nonlinear Acceleration Mechanism of Collisionless Magnetic Reconnection

    CERN Document Server

    Hirota, M; Ishii, Y; Yagi, M; Aiba, N

    2012-01-01

    A mechanism for fast magnetic reconnection in collisionless plasma is studied for understanding sawtooth collapse in tokamak discharges. Nonlinear growth of the tearing mode driven by electron inertia is analytically estimated by invoking the energy principle for the first time. Decrease of potential energy in the nonlinear regime (where the island width exceeds the electron skin depth) is found to be steeper than in the linear regime, resulting in acceleration of the reconnection. Release of free energy by such ideal fluid motion leads to unsteady and strong convective flow, which theoretically corroborates the inertia-driven collapse model of the sawtooth crash [D. Biskamp and J. F. Drake, Phys. Rev. Lett. 73, 971 (1994)].

  6. Magnetic Flux Transport by turbulent reconnection in astrophysical flows

    CERN Document Server

    Pino, Elisabete M de Gouveia Dal; Santos-Lima, Reinaldo; Guerrero, Gustavo; Kowal, Grzegorz; Lazarian, Alex

    2011-01-01

    The role of MHD turbulence in astrophysical environments is still highly debated. An important question that permeates this debate is the transport of magnetic flux. This is particularly important, for instance, in the context of star formation. When clouds collapse gravitationally to form stars, there must be some magnetic flux transport. otherwise the new born stars would have magnetic fields several orders of magnitude larger than the observed ones. Also, the magnetic flux that is dragged in the late stages of the formation of a star can remove all the rotational support from the accretion disk that grows around the protostar. The efficiency of the mechanism which is often invoked to allow the transport of magnetic fields in the different stages of star formation, namely, the ambipolar diffusion, has been lately put in check. We here discuss an alternative mechanism for magnetic flux transport which is based on turbulent fast magnetic reconnection. We review recent results obtained from 3D MHD numerical si...

  7. Magnetic reconnection structures in the boundary layer of an interplanetary magnetic cloud

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    WEI; Fengsi; LIU; Rui; FENG; Xueshang; ZHONG; Dingkun; YAN

    2004-01-01

    An interplanetary magnetic diffusion region was detected by WIND during 0735-0850 UT on May 15, 1997 when the front boundary layer of a magnetic cloud passed through the spacecraft about 190 earth radii upstream of the earth. The main signals of magnetic reconnection processes are: (ⅰ) Flow reversal was detected at about 0810 UT. The counter-streaming flows have the speeds of about 65 and 41 km/s, respectively, with an angle of about 140 degree between them. (ⅱ) Hall magnetic field was detected. The Hall fields ?By and +By, perpendicular to the X-Z plane, with their magnitude up to ~7.0 nT, are superposed upon a guide field about 12 nT. (ⅲ) Alfvenic fluctuations are obviously intensified inside the reconnection region; at the front boundary of the reconnection region, a slow-mode-like discontinuity was detected. (ⅳ) Ions are heated intensively inside the reconnection region, with their temperature three times higher than that ahead of the boundary layer; electrons are also heated, with a little enhancement in their temperature. The above observations indicate that magnetic reconnection processes could take place in interplanetary space.

  8. Kinematic reconnection at a magnetic null point: spine-aligned current

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pontin, D. I.; Hornig, G.; Priest, E. R.

    2004-05-01

    Magnetic reconnection at a three-dimensional null point is the natural extension of the familiar two-dimensional X-point reconnection. A model is set up here for reconnection at a spiral null point, by solving the kinematic, steady, resistive magnetohydrodynamic equations in its vicinity. A steady magnetic field is assumed, as well as the existence of a localised diffusion region surrounding the null point. Outside the diffusion region the plasma and magnetic field move ideally. Particular attention is focussed on the way that the magnetic flux changes its connections as a result of the reconnection. The resultant plasma flows are found to be rotational in nature, as is the change in connections of the magnetic field lines.

  9. The Mechanisms of Electron Heating and Acceleration during Magnetic Reconnection

    CERN Document Server

    Dahlin, J T; Swisdak, M

    2014-01-01

    The heating of electrons in collisionless magnetic reconnection is explored in particle-in-cell (PIC) simulations with non-zero guide fields so that electrons remain magnetized. In this regime electric fields parallel to B accelerate particles directly while those perpendicular to B do so through gradient-B and curvature drifts. The curvature drift drives parallel heating through Fermi reflection while the gradient B drift changes the perpendicular energy through betatron acceleration. We present simulations in which we evaluate each of these mechanisms in space and time in order to quantify their role in electron heating. For a case with a small guide field (20 % of the magnitude of the reconnecting component) the curvature drift is the dominant source of electron heating. However, for a larger guide field (equal to the magnitude of the reconnecting component) electron acceleration by the curvature drift is comparable to that of the parallel electric field. In both cases the heating by the gradient B drift i...

  10. Energy spectrum of the electrons accelerated by reconnection electric field: exponential or power-law?

    CERN Document Server

    Liu, W J; Ding, M D; Fang, C

    2008-01-01

    The direct current (DC) electric field near the reconnection region has been proposed as an effective mechanism to accelerate protons and electrons in solar flares. A power-law energy spectrum was generally claimed in the simulations of electron acceleration by the reconnection electric field. However, in most of the literature, the electric and magnetic fields were chosen independently. In this paper, we perform test particle simulations of electron acceleration in reconnecting magnetic field, where both the electric and magnetic fields are adopted from numerical simulations of the MHD equations. It is found that the accelerated electrons present a truncated power-law energy spectrum with an exponential tail at high energies, which is analogous to the case of diffusive shock acceleration. The influences of the reconnection parameters on the spectral feature are also investigated, such as the longitudinal and transverse components of the magnetic field and the size of the current sheet. It is suggested that t...

  11. Magnetic reconnection rate in space plasmas: a fractal approach.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Materassi, Massimo; Consolini, Giuseppe

    2007-10-26

    Magnetic reconnection is generally discussed via a fluid description. Here, we evaluate the reconnection rate assuming a fractal topology of the reconnection region. The central idea is that the fluid hypothesis may be violated at the scales where reconnection takes place. The reconnection rate, expressed as the Alfvén Mach number of the plasma moving toward the diffusion region, is shown to depend on the fractal dimension and on the sizes of the reconnection or diffusion region. This mechanism is more efficient than prediction of the Sweet-Parker model and even Petschek's model for finite magnetic Reynolds number. A good agreement also with rates given by Hall MHD models is found. A discussion of the fractal assumption on the diffusion region in terms of current microstructures is proposed. The comparison with in-situ satellite observations suggests the reconnection region to be a filamentary domain.

  12. Extreme Particle Acceleration via Magnetic Reconnection in the Crab Nebula

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cerutti, Benoit; Uzdensky, D. A.; Begelman, M. C.

    2012-01-01

    The discovery by Agile and Fermi of intense day-long synchrotron gamma-ray flares above 100 MeV in the Crab Nebula challenges classical models of pulsar wind nebulae and particle acceleration. We argue that the flares are powered by magnetic reconnection in the nebula. Using relativistic test-particle simulations, we show that particles are naturally focused into a thin fan beam, deep inside the reconnection layer where the magnetic field is small. The particles then suffer less from synchrotron losses and pile up at the maximum energy given by the electric potential drop in the layer. Applying this model to the Crab Nebula, we find that the emerging synchrotron emission spectrum above 100 MeV is consistent with the September 2010 flare observations. No detectable emission is expected at other wavelengths. This scenario provides a viable explanation for the Crab Nebula gamma-ray flares.

  13. Particle Heating and Energization During Magnetic Reconnection Events in MST Plasmas

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dubois, Ami M.; Almagri, A. F.; Anderson, J. K.; den Hartog, D. J.; Forest, C.; Nornberg, M.; Sarff, J. S.

    2015-11-01

    Magnetic reconnection plays an important role in particle transport, energization, and acceleration in space, astrophysical, and laboratory plasmas. In MST reversed field pinch plasmas, discrete magnetic reconnection events release large amounts of energy from the equilibrium magnetic field, resulting in non-collisional ion heating. However, Thomson Scattering measures a decrease in the thermal electron temperature. Recent fast x-ray measurements show an enhancement in the high energy x-ray flux during reconnection, where the coupling between edge and core tearing modes is essential for enhanced flux. A non-Maxwellian energetic electron tail is generated during reconnection, where the power law spectral index (γ) decreases from 4.3 to 1.8 and is dependent on density, plasma current, and the reversal parameter. After the reconnection event, γ increases rapidly to 5.8, consistent with the loss of energetic electrons due to stochastic thermal transport. During the reconnection event, the change in γ is correlated with the change in magnetic energy stored in the equilibrium field, indicating that the released magnetic energy may be an energy source for electron energization. Recent experimental and computational results of energetic electron tail formation during magnetic reconnection events will be presented. This work is supported by the U.S. DOE and the NSF.

  14. On two-dimensional magnetic reconnection with nonuniform resistivity

    Science.gov (United States)

    Malyshkin, Leonid M.; Kulsrud, Russell M.

    2010-12-01

    In this paper, two theoretical approaches for the calculation of the rate of quasi-stationary, two-dimensional magnetic reconnection with nonuniform anomalous resistivity are considered in the framework of incompressible magnetohydrodynamics (MHD). In the first, 'global' equations approach, the MHD equations are approximately solved for a whole reconnection layer, including the upstream and downstream regions and the layer center. In the second, 'local' equations approach, the equations are solved across the reconnection layer, including only the upstream region and the layer center. Both approaches give the same approximate answer for the reconnection rate. Our theoretical model is in agreement with the results of recent simulations of reconnection with spatially nonuniform resistivity.

  15. The physics of magnetic reconnection onset at the subsolar magnetopause: MMS observations

    Science.gov (United States)

    Retinò, Alessandro

    2016-04-01

    Magnetic reconnection is a fundamental process occurring in thin current sheets where a change in the magnetic field topology leads to fast magnetic energy conversion into charged particles energy. A key yet poorly understood aspect is how reconnection is initiated in the diffusion region by microphysical processes occurring at electron scales, the so-called onset problem. Reconnection onset leads to the energization of particles around reconnection sites, yet the exact energization mechanisms are also not yet fully understood. Simulations have provided some suggestions on the mechanisms responsible for onset and particle energization, however direct observations have been scarce so far. The four-spacecraft Magnetospheric Multiscale Mission (NASA/MMS) has been launched in March 2015 and allows, for the first time, in-situ observations of reconnection diffusion regions with adequate resolution to study electron scales. Here we present MMS observations in diffusion regions at the subsolar magnetopause and we investigate the conditions for reconnection onset. We select a few events with multiple crossings of the magnetopause current sheet for which signatures of absence of reconnection are rapidly followed by signatures of reconnection, and compare the measured electric field with the electric field due to both kinetic effects (electron pressure tensor, electron inertia terms) and to anomalous resistivity associated to different wave modes (e.g. lower hybrid waves, whistler waves, etc.). We also analyze electron distribution functions to study the mechanisms of electron energization in the diffusion region.

  16. The effect of cooling on particle trajectories and acceleration in relativistic magnetic reconnection

    CERN Document Server

    Kagan, Daniel; Piran, Tsvi

    2016-01-01

    The maximum synchrotron burnoff limit of 160 MeV represents a fundamental limit to radiation resulting from electromagnetic particle acceleration in one-zone ideal plasmas. In magnetic reconnection, however, particle acceleration and radiation are decoupled because the electric field is larger than the magnetic field in the diffusion region. We carry out two-dimensional particle-in-cell simulations to determine the extent to which magnetic reconnection can produce synchrotron radiation above the burnoff limit. We use the test particle comparison (TPC) method to isolate the effects of cooling by comparing the trajectories and acceleration efficiencies of test particles incident on such a reconnection region with and without cooling them. We find that the cooled and uncooled particle trajectories are typically similar during acceleration in the reconnection region, and derive an effective limit on particle acceleration that is inversely proportional to the average magnetic field experienced by the particle duri...

  17. Cassini in situ observations of long-duration magnetic reconnection in Saturn’s magnetotail

    Science.gov (United States)

    Arridge, C. S.; Eastwood, J. P.; Jackman, C. M.; Poh, G.-K.; Slavin, J. A.; Thomsen, M. F.; André, N.; Jia, X.; Kidder, A.; Lamy, L.; Radioti, A.; Reisenfeld, D. B.; Sergis, N.; Volwerk, M.; Walsh, A. P.; Zarka, P.; Coates, A. J.; Dougherty, M. K.

    2016-03-01

    Magnetic reconnection is a fundamental process in solar system and astrophysical plasmas, through which stored magnetic energy associated with current sheets is converted into thermal, kinetic and wave energy. Magnetic reconnection is also thought to be a key process involved in shedding internally produced plasma from the giant magnetospheres at Jupiter and Saturn through topological reconfiguration of the magnetic field. The region where magnetic fields reconnect is known as the diffusion region and in this letter we report on the first encounter of the Cassini spacecraft with a diffusion region in Saturn’s magnetotail. The data also show evidence of magnetic reconnection over a period of 19 h revealing that reconnection can, in fact, act for prolonged intervals in a rapidly rotating magnetosphere. We show that reconnection can be a significant pathway for internal plasma loss at Saturn. This counters the view of reconnection as a transient method of internal plasma loss at Saturn. These results, although directly relating to the magnetosphere of Saturn, have applications in the understanding of other rapidly rotating magnetospheres, including that of Jupiter and other astrophysical bodies.

  18. Multiscale structures of resistive magnetic reconnection at high magnetic Reynolds numbers

    Science.gov (United States)

    Miyoshi, Takahiro; Kusano, Kanya

    Magnetic reconnection is the most important process of explosive phenomena in space plasmas. The magnetic Reynolds number for the space plasmas are extremely high in general since those plasmas are thought to be collisionless or semi-collisional. However, magnetic reconnection rate becomes low as magnetic Reynolds number increases within the framework of a stationary resistive MHD model. Thus, modern models of magnetic reconnection often include kinetic effects such as the Hall effect to explain realistic explosive magnetic reconnection. It is thought, on the other hand, that the MHD approximation is valid for the plasmas within a very wide range of scales since the scale gap between the macro-and micro-scale is quite large, e.g., in the solar corona, the ratio of the macro to micro will be more than 107 . Such multiscale structures of MHD with wide range of scales, however, have not been clarified so far. Therefore, in this paper, resistive magnetic reconnection at high magnetic Reynolds numbers are investigated using very high-resolution MHD simulations. Simulation results show that the magnetic energy at high magnetic Reynolds numbers is explosively released, while that at not-so-high magnetic Reynolds numbers is steadily dissipated. In the case of high magnetic Reynolds numbers, multiple small scale plasmoids are intermittently created and ejected via secondary tearing modes in a nonlinearly developed thin current sheet. It is revealed that a secondary plasmoid is not only accelerated up to a local magnetosonic speed toward the down-stream region but also perturbs the up-stream region. Thus, complicated multiscale structures appear around the magnetic field reversal layer. Perspective for the high-resolution simulation of extremely high magnetic Reynolds numbers will be also discussed.

  19. Generation of Electric Field and Net Charge in Hall Reconnection

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    MA Zhi-Wei; FENG Shu-Ling

    2008-01-01

    @@ Generation of Hall electric field and net charge associated with magnetic reconnection is studied under different initial conditions of plasma density and magnetic field. With inclusion of the Hall effects, decoupling of the electron and ion motions leads to the formation of a narrow layer with strong electric field and large net charge density along the separatrix. The asymmetry of the plasma density or magnetic field or both across the current sheet will largely increase the magnitude of the electric field and net charge. The results indicate that the asymmetry of the magnetic field is more effective in producing larger electric field and charge density. The electric field and net charge are always much larger in the low density or/and high magnetic field side than those in the high density or/and low magnetic field side. Both the electric field and net charge density are linearly dependent on the ratios of the plasma density or the square of the magnetic field across the current sheet. For the case with both initial asymmetries of the magnetic field and density, rather large Hall electric field and charge density are generated.

  20. Generation of Alfvenic Waves and Turbulence in Magnetic Reconnection Jets

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hoshino, M.

    2014-12-01

    The magneto-hydro-dynamic (MHD) linear stability for the plasma sheet with a localized bulk plasma flow parallel to the neutral sheet is investigated. We find three different unstable modes propagating parallel to the anti-parallel magnetic field line, and we call them as "streaming tearing'', "streaming sausage'', and "streaming kink'' mode. The streaming tearing and sausage modes have the tearing mode-like structure with symmetric density fluctuation to the neutral sheet, and the streaming kink mode has the asymmetric fluctuation. The growth rate of the streaming tearing mode decreases with increasing the magnetic Reynolds number, while those of the streaming sausage and kink modes do not strongly depend on the Reynolds number. The wavelengths of these unstable modes are of the order of the thickness of plasma sheet, which behavior is almost same as the standard tearing mode with no bulk flow. Roughly speaking the growth rates of three modes become faster than the standard tearing mode. The situation of the plasma sheet with the bulk flow can be realized in the reconnection exhaust with the Alfvenic reconnection jet, and the unstable modes may be regarded as one of the generation processes of Alfvenic turbulence in the plasma sheet during magnetic reconnection.

  1. Self-Feeding Turbulent Magnetic Reconnection on Macroscopic Scales

    CERN Document Server

    Lapenta, Giovanni

    2008-01-01

    Within a MHD approach we find magnetic reconnection to progress in two entirely different ways. The first is well-known: the laminar Sweet-Parker process. But a second, completely different and chaotic reconnection process is possible. This regime has properties of immediate practical relevance: i) it is much faster, developing on scales of the order of the Alfv\\'en time, and ii) the areas of reconnection become distributed chaotically over a macroscopic region. The onset of the faster process is the formation of closed circulation patterns where the jets going out of the reconnection regions turn around and forces their way back in, carrying along copious amounts of magnetic flux.

  2. Start-Time of Magnetic Reconnection in Interplanetary Space

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    范全林; 魏奉思; 冯学尚

    2003-01-01

    Start-time of magnetic reconnection under typical interplanetary parameters has been numerically simulated by using the two-dimensional compressible magnetohydrodynamic equations with a third-order compact upwind scheme. Magnetic reconnection would occur near the interplanetary current sheet impacted by a plasmoid.Its initiation is associated with the interplanetary plasma parameter β and the momentum of the plasmoid.The higher the β value is, the faster the reconnection takes place. Meanwhile the reconnection occurs earlier with increasing the plasmoid momentum, and increasing driving velocity is more effective in initializing the reconnection than that of the plasma density when the other factors are kept to be the same. The evolution of the reconnection with the heliocentric distance is also investigated.

  3. Moving grids for magnetic reconnection via Newton-Krylov methods

    KAUST Repository

    Yuan, Xuefei

    2011-01-01

    This paper presents a set of computationally efficient, adaptive grids for magnetic reconnection phenomenon where the current density can develop large gradients in the reconnection region. Four-field extended MagnetoHydroDynamics (MHD) equations with hyperviscosity terms are transformed so that the curvilinear coordinates replace the Cartesian coordinates as the independent variables, and moving grids\\' velocities are also considered in this transformed system as a part of interpolating the physical solutions from the old grid to the new grid as time advances. The curvilinear coordinates derived from the current density through the Monge-Kantorovich (MK) optimization approach help to reduce the resolution requirements during the computation. © 2010 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  4. Extended Magnetic Reconnection Across the Dayside Magnetopause

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dunlop, M. W.; Zhang, Q.-H.; Bogdanova, Y. V.; Lockwood, M.; Pu, Z.; Hasegawa, H.; Wang, J.; Taylor, M. G. G. T.; Berchem, J.; Lavraund, B.; Eastwood, J.; Volwerk, M.; Shen, C.; Shi, J.-K.; Constantinescu, D.; Frey, H.; Fazakerley, A. N.; Sibeck, D.; Escoubet, P.; Wild, J. A.; Liu, Z.-X.

    2011-01-01

    The extent of where magnetic reconnection (MR), the dominant process responsible for energy and plasma transport into the magnetosphere, operates across Earth's dayside magnetopause has previously been only indirectly shown by observations. We report the first direct evidence of X-line structure resulting from the operation of MR at each of two widely separated locations along the tilted, subsolar line of maximum current on Earth's magnetopause, confirming the operation of MR at two or more sites across the extended region where MR is expected to occur. The evidence results from in-situ observations of the associated ion and electron plasma distributions, present within each magnetic X-line structure, taken by two spacecraft passing through the active MR regions simultaneously.

  5. Can the Solar Wind be Driven by Magnetic Reconnection in the Sun's Magnetic Carpet?

    OpenAIRE

    Cranmer, Steven R.; van Ballegooijen, Adriaan A.

    2010-01-01

    The physical processes that heat the solar corona and accelerate the solar wind remain unknown after many years of study. Some have suggested that the wind is driven by waves and turbulence in open magnetic flux tubes, and others have suggested that plasma is injected into the open tubes by magnetic reconnection with closed loops. In order to test the latter idea, we developed Monte Carlo simulations of the photospheric "magnetic carpet" and extrapolated the time-varying coronal field. These ...

  6. Magnetic reconnection: from the Sweet-Parker model to stochastic plasmoid chains

    Science.gov (United States)

    Loureiro, N. F.; Uzdensky, D. A.

    2016-01-01

    Magnetic reconnection is the topological reconfiguration of the magnetic field in a plasma, accompanied by the violent release of energy and particle acceleration. Reconnection is as ubiquitous as plasmas themselves, with solar flares perhaps the most popular example. Other fascinating processes where reconnection plays a key role include the magnetic dynamo, geomagnetic storms and the sawtooth crash in tokamaks. Over the last few years, the theoretical understanding of magnetic reconnection in large-scale fluid systems has undergone a major paradigm shift. The steady-state model of reconnection described by the famous Sweet-Parker (SP) theory, which dominated the field for  ˜50 years, has been replaced with an essentially time-dependent, bursty picture of the reconnection layer, dominated by the continuous formation and ejection of multiple secondary islands (plasmoids). Whereas in the SP model reconnection was predicted to be slow, a major implication of this new paradigm is that reconnection in fluid systems is fast (i.e. independent of the Lundquist number), provided that the system is large enough. This conceptual shift hinges on the realization that SP-like current layers are violently unstable to the plasmoid (tearing) instability—implying, therefore, that such current sheets are super-critically unstable and thus can never form in the first place. This suggests that the formation of a current sheet and the subsequent reconnection process cannot be decoupled, as is commonly assumed. This paper provides an introductory-level overview of the recent developments in reconnection theory and simulations that led to this essentially new framework. We briefly discuss the role played by the plasmoid instability in selected applications, and describe some of the outstanding challenges that remain at the frontier of this subject. Amongst these are the analytical and numerical extension of the plasmoid instability to (i) 3D and (ii) non-magnetohydrodynamics (MHD

  7. A multi-model plasma simulation of collisionless magnetic reconnection

    Science.gov (United States)

    Datta, I. A. M.; Shumlak, U.; Ho, A.; Miller, S. T.

    2016-10-01

    Collisionless magnetic reconnection is a process relevant to many areas of plasma physics in which energy stored in magnetic fields within highly conductive plasmas is rapidly converted to plasma energy. A full understanding of this phenomenon, however, is currently incomplete as models developed to date have difficulty explaining the fast reconnection rates often seen in nature, such as in the case of solar flares. Therefore, this behavior represents an area of much research in which various plasma models have been tested in order to understand the proper physics explaining the reconnection process. In this research, the WARPXM code developed at the University of Washington is used to study the problem using a hybrid multi-model simulation employing Hall-MHD and two-fluid plasma models. The simulation is performed on a decomposed domain where different plasma models are solved in different regions, depending on a trade-off between each model's physical accuracy and associated computational expense in each region. The code employs a discontinuous Galerkin (DG) finite element spatial discretization coupled with a Runge-Kutta scheme for time advancement and uses boundary conditions to couple the different plasma models. This work is supported by a Grant from the United States Air Force Office of Scientific Research.

  8. Proton acceleration in three-dimensional non-null magnetic reconnection

    Science.gov (United States)

    Akbari, Z.; Hosseinpour, M.; Mohammadi, M. A.

    2016-10-01

    In a three-dimensional non-null magnetic reconnection, the process of magnetic reconnection takes place in the absence of a null point where the magnetic field vanishes. By randomly injecting a population of 10 000 protons, the trajectory and energy distribution of accelerated protons are investigated in the presence of magnetic and electric fields of a particular model of non-null magnetic reconnection with the typical parameters for the solar corona. The results show that protons are accelerated along the magnetic field lines away from the non-null point only at azimuthal angles where the magnitude of the electric field is strongest and therefore particles obtain kinetic energies of the order of thousands of MeV and even higher. Moreover, the energy distribution of the population depends strongly on the amplitude of the electric and magnetic fields. Comparison shows that a non-null magnetic reconnection is more efficient in accelerating protons to very high GeV energies than a null-point reconnection.

  9. Time window for magnetic reconnection in plasma configurations with velocity shear.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Faganello, M; Califano, F; Pegoraro, F

    2008-10-24

    It is shown that the rate of magnetic field line reconnection can be clocked by the evolution of the large-scale processes that are responsible for the formation of the current layers where reconnection can take place. In unsteady plasma configurations, such as those produced by the onset of the Kelvin-Helmholtz instability in a plasma with a velocity shear, qualitatively different magnetic structures are produced depending on how fast the reconnection process develops on the external clock set by the evolving large-scale configuration.

  10. The Study of Magnetic Reconnection%磁重联的研究

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    吴怡芬

    2007-01-01

    磁重联是等离子体物理的一个主要课题.从有限阻抗引起重联的动力学过程出发,分析了磁重联的各种模型,介绍了磁场线重联规律中的几个重要概念.%Magnetic reconnection is a major subject in plasma physics. In this paper it is explained that various mode undcr the dynamic processes with finite resistivity causing reconnection. And the introduction of the basic conception in the theory of magnetic field line reconnection.

  11. Simulation of turbulent magnetic reconnection in the smallscale solar wind

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    魏奉思; 胡强; R.Schwen; 冯学尚

    2000-01-01

    Some observational examples for the possible occurrence of the turbulent magnetic reconnection in the solar wind are found by analysing Helios spacecraft’s high resolution data. The phenom-ena of turbulent magnetic reconnections in small scale solar wind are simulated by introducing a third order accuracy upwind compact difference scheme to the compressible two-dimensional MHD flow. Numerical results verify that the turbulent magnetic reconnection process could occur in small scale in-terplanetary solar wind, which is a basic feature characterizing the magnetic reconnection in high-mag-netie Peynolds number ( RM = 2 000-10 000) solar wind. The configurations of the magnetic reconnection could evolve from a single X-line to a multiple X-line reconnection, exhibiting a complex picture of the formation, merging and evolution of magnetic islands, and finally the magnetic reconnection would evolve into a low-energy state. Its life-span of evolution is about one hour order of magnitude. Various magnetic and f

  12. Strongly Driven Magnetic Reconnection in a Magnetized High-Energy-Density Plasma

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fiksel, G.; Barnak, D. H.; Chang, P.-Y.; Haberberger, D.; Hu, S. X.; Ivancic, S.; Nilson, P. M.; Fox, W.; Deng, W.; Bhattacharjee, A.; Germaschewski, K.

    2014-10-01

    Magnetic reconnection in a magnetized high-energy-density plasma is characterized by measuring the dynamics of the plasma density and magnetic field between two counter-propagating and colliding plasma flows. The density and magnetic field were profiled using the 4 ω angular filter refractometry and fast proton deflectometry diagnostics, respectively. The plasma flows are created by irradiating oppositely placed plastic targets with 1.8-kJ, 2-ns laser beams on the OMEGA EP Laser System. The two plumes are magnetized by an externally controlled magnetic field with an x-type null point geometry with B = 0 at the midplane and B = 8 T at the targets. The interaction region is pre-filled with a low-density background plasma. The counterflowing super-Alfvénic plasma plumes sweep up and compress the magnetic field and the background plasma into a pair of magnetized ribbons, which collide, stagnate, and reconnect at the midplane, allowing for the first detailed observation of a stretched current sheet in laser-driven reconnection experiments. The measurements are in good agreement with first-principles particle-in-cell simulations. This material is based upon work supported by the Department of Energy National Nuclear Security Administration under Award Number DE-NA0001944 and NLUF Grant DE-SC0008655.

  13. Current disruption and its spreading in collision-less magnetic reconnection

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jain, Neeraj; Buechner, Joerg; Dorfman, Seth; Ji, Hantao; Sharma, A. Surjalal; Max-Planck/Princeton CenterPlasma Physics Collaboration

    2013-10-01

    Recent magnetic reconnection experiments (MRX) [Dorfman et al., Geophys. Res. Lett. 40, 233 (2012)] have disclosed current disruption in the absence of guide field. During current disruption in MRX, current density and total out-of-reconnection-plane current drop simultaneous with a rise in out-of-reconnection-plane electric field. Here we show that current disruption is an intrinsic property of dynamic formation of X-point configuration of magnetic field in magnetic reconnection, independent of the model used for plasma description and of dimensionality (2-D or 3-D) of reconnection. An analytic expression for the current drop is derived from Ampere's equation and its predictions are verified by 2-D and 3-D electron-magnetohydrodynamic (EMHD) simulations. Three dimensional EMHD simulations show that the current disruption due to localized reconnection spreads along the direction of electron flow with a speed which depends on the wave number of the perturbation. The implications of these results for MRX and other reconnection experiments will be presented. This work was partially funded by the Max-Planck/Princeton Center for Plasma Physics.

  14. Magnetospheric Multiscale Satellite Observations of Parallel Electron Acceleration in Magnetic Field Reconnection by Fermi Reflection from Time Domain Structures.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mozer, F S; Agapitov, O A; Artemyev, A; Burch, J L; Ergun, R E; Giles, B L; Mourenas, D; Torbert, R B; Phan, T D; Vasko, I

    2016-04-08

    The same time domain structures (TDS) have been observed on two Magnetospheric Multiscale Satellites near Earth's dayside magnetopause. These TDS, traveling away from the X line along the magnetic field at 4000  km/s, accelerated field-aligned ∼5  eV electrons to ∼200  eV by a single Fermi reflection of the electrons by these overtaking barriers. Additionally, the TDS contained both positive and negative potentials, so they were a mixture of electron holes and double layers. They evolve in ∼10  km of space or 7 ms of time and their spatial scale size is 10-20 km, which is much larger than the electron gyroradius (<1  km) or the electron inertial length (4 km at the observation point, less nearer the X line).

  15. Pulsating Magnetic Reconnection Driven by Three-Dimensional Flux-Rope Interactions.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gekelman, W; De Haas, T; Daughton, W; Van Compernolle, B; Intrator, T; Vincena, S

    2016-06-10

    The dynamics of magnetic reconnection is investigated in a laboratory experiment consisting of two magnetic flux ropes, with currents slightly above the threshold for the kink instability. The evolution features periodic bursts of magnetic reconnection. To diagnose this complex evolution, volumetric three-dimensional data were acquired for both the magnetic and electric fields, allowing key field-line mapping quantities to be directly evaluated for the first time with experimental data. The ropes interact by rotating about each other and periodically bouncing at the kink frequency. During each reconnection event, the formation of a quasiseparatrix layer (QSL) is observed in the magnetic field between the flux ropes. Furthermore, a clear correlation is demonstrated between the quasiseparatrix layer and enhanced values of the quasipotential computed by integrating the parallel electric field along magnetic field lines. These results provide clear evidence that field lines passing through the quasiseparatrix layer are undergoing reconnection and give a direct measure of the nonlinear reconnection rate. The measurements suggest that the parallel electric field within the QSL is supported predominantly by electron pressure; however, resistivity may play a role.

  16. Why does steady-state magnetic reconnection have a maximum local rate of order 0.1?

    CERN Document Server

    Liu, Yi-Hsin; Guo, F; Daughton, W; Li, H; Cassak, P A; Shay, M A

    2016-01-01

    Simulations suggest collisionless steady-state magnetic reconnection of Harris-type current sheets proceeds with a rate of order 0.1, independent of dissipation mechanism. We argue this long-standing puzzle is a result of constraints at the magnetohydrodynamic (MHD) scale. We perform a scaling analysis of the reconnection rate as a function of the opening angle made by the upstream magnetic fields, finding a maximum reconnection rate close to 0.2. The predictions compare favorably to particle-in-cell simulations of relativistic electron-positron and non-relativistic electron-proton reconnection. The fact that simulated reconnection rates are close to the predicted maximum suggests reconnection proceeds near the most efficient state allowed at the MHD-scale. The rate near the maximum is relatively insensitive to the opening angle, potentially explaining why reconnection has a similar fast rate in differing models.

  17. Plasmoid Instability in High-Lundquist-Number Magnetic Reconnection

    CERN Document Server

    Huang, Yi-Min

    2013-01-01

    Our understanding of magnetic reconnection in resistive magnetohydrodynamics has gone through a fundamental change in recent years. The conventional wisdom is that magnetic reconnection mediated by resistivity is slow in laminar high Lundquist ($S$) plasmas, constrained by the scaling of the reconnection rate predicted by Sweet-Parker theory. However, recent studies have shown that when $S$ exceeds a critical value $\\sim10^{4}$, the Sweet-Parker current sheet is unstable to a super-Alfv\\'enic plasmoid instability, with a linear growth rate that scales as $S^{1/4}$. In the fully developed statistical steady state of two-dimensional resistive magnetohydrodynamic simulations, the normalized average reconnection rate is approximately 0.01, nearly independent of $S$, and the distribution function $f(\\psi)$ of plasmoid magnetic flux $\\psi$ follows a power law $f(\\psi)\\sim\\psi^{-1}$. When Hall effects are included, the plasmoid instability may trigger onset of Hall reconnection even when the conventional criterion f...

  18. Boosting Magnetic Reconnection by Viscosity and Thermal Conduction

    CERN Document Server

    Minoshima, Takashi; Imada, Shinsuke

    2016-01-01

    Nonlinear evolution of magnetic reconnection is investigated by means of magnetohydrodynamic simulations including uniform resistivity, uniform viscosity, and anisotropic thermal conduction. When viscosity exceeds resistivity (the magnetic Prandtl number Prm > 1), the viscous dissipation dominates outflow dynamics and leads to the decrease in the plasma density inside a current sheet. The low-density current sheet supports the excitation of the vortex. The thickness of the vortex is broader than that of the current for Prm > 1. The broader vortex flow more efficiently carries the upstream magnetic flux toward the reconnection region, and consequently boosts the reconnection. The reconnection rate increases with viscosity provided that thermal conduction is fast enough to take away the thermal energy increased by the viscous dissipation (the fluid Prandtl number Pr < 1). The result suggests the need to control the Prandtl numbers for the reconnection against the conventional resistive model.

  19. Magnetic reconnection in two-dimensional magnetohydrodynamic turbulence.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Servidio, S; Matthaeus, W H; Shay, M A; Cassak, P A; Dmitruk, P

    2009-03-20

    Systematic analysis of numerical simulations of two-dimensional magnetohydrodynamic turbulence reveals the presence of a large number of X-type neutral points where magnetic reconnection occurs. We examine the statistical properties of this ensemble of reconnection events that are spontaneously generated by turbulence. The associated reconnection rates are distributed over a wide range of values and scales with the geometry of the diffusion region. Locally, these events can be described through a variant of the Sweet-Parker model, in which the parameters are externally controlled by turbulence. This new perspective on reconnection is relevant in space and astrophysical contexts, where plasma is generally in a fully turbulent regime.

  20. Magnetotail Current Sheet Thinning and Magnetic Reconnection Dynamics in Global Modeling of Substorms

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kuznetsova, M. M.; Hesse, M.; Rastaetter, L.; Toth, G.; DeZeeuw, D. L.; Gombosi, T. I.

    2008-01-01

    Magnetotail current sheet thinning and magnetic reconnection are key elements of magnetospheric substorms. We utilized the global MHD model BATS-R-US with Adaptive Mesh Refinement developed at the University of Michigan to investigate the formation and dynamic evolution of the magnetotail thin current sheet. The BATSRUS adaptive grid structure allows resolving magnetotail regions with increased current density up to ion kinetic scales. We investigated dynamics of magnetotail current sheet thinning in response to southwards IMF turning. Gradual slow current sheet thinning during the early growth phase become exponentially fast during the last few minutes prior to nightside reconnection onset. The later stage of current sheet thinning is accompanied by earthward flows and rapid suppression of normal magnetic field component $B-z$. Current sheet thinning set the stage for near-earth magnetic reconnection. In collisionless magnetospheric plasma, the primary mechanism controlling the dissipation in the vicinity of the reconnection site is non-gyrotropic effects with spatial scales comparable with the particle Larmor radius. One of the major challenges in global MHD modeling of the magnetotail magnetic reconnection is to reproduce fast reconnection rates typically observed in smallscale kinetic simulations. Bursts of fast reconnection cause fast magnetic field reconfiguration typical for magnetospheric substorms. To incorporate nongyritropic effects in diffusion regions we developed an algorithm to search for magnetotail reconnection sites, specifically where the magnetic field components perpendicular to the local current direction approaches zero and form an X-type configuration. Spatial scales of the diffusion region and magnitude of the reconnection electric field are calculated self-consistently using MHD plasma and field parameters in the vicinity of the reconnection site. The location of the reconnection sites and spatial scales of the diffusion region are updated

  1. A new measure of the dissipation region in collisionless magnetic reconnection

    CERN Document Server

    Zenitani, Seiji; Klimas, Alex; Kuznetsova, Masha

    2011-01-01

    A new measure to identify a small-scale dissipation region in collisionless magnetic reconnection is proposed. The energy transfer from the electromagnetic field to plasmas in the electron's rest frame is formulated as a Lorentz-invariant scalar quantity. The measure is tested by two-dimensional particle-in-cell simulations in typical configurations: symmetric and asymmetric reconnection, with and without the guide field. The innermost region surrounding the reconnection site is accurately located in all cases. We further discuss implications for nonideal MHD dissipation.

  2. Magnetization of cloud cores and envelopes and other observational consequences of reconnection diffusion

    CERN Document Server

    Lazarian, A; Crutcher, R

    2012-01-01

    Recent observational results for magnetic fields in molecular clouds reviewed by Crutcher (2012) seem to be inconsistent with the predictions of the ambipolar diffusion theory of star formation. These include the measured decrease in mass to flux ratio between envelopes and cores, the failure to detect any self-gravitating magnetically subcritical clouds, the determination of the flat PDF of the total magnetic field strengths implying that there are many clouds with very weak magnetic fields, and the observed scaling $B \\propto \\rho^{2/3}$ that implies gravitational contraction with weak magnetic fields. We consider the problem of magnetic field evolution in turbulent molecular clouds and discuss the process of magnetic field diffusion mediated by magnetic reconnection. For this process that we termed "reconnection diffusion" we provide a simple physical model and explain that this process is inevitable in view of the present day understanding of MHD turbulence. We address the issue of the expected magnetizat...

  3. BIDIRECTIONAL OUTFLOWS AS EVIDENCE OF MAGNETIC RECONNECTION LEADING TO A SOLAR MICROFLARE

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Hong, Jie; Ding, M. D.; Li, Ying; Yang, Kai; Cheng, Xin; Fang, Cheng [School of Astronomy and Space Science, Nanjing University, Nanjing 210023 (China); Chen, Feng [Max-Plank-Institut für Sonnensystemforschung, D-37077, Göttingen (Germany); Cao, Wenda, E-mail: dmd@nju.edu.cn [Big Bear Solar Observatory, New Jersey Institute of Technology, 40386 North Shore Lane, Big Bear City, CA 92314-9672 (United States)

    2016-03-20

    Magnetic reconnection is a rapid energy release process that is believed to be responsible for flares on the Sun and stars. Nevertheless, such flare-related reconnection is mostly detected to occur in the corona, while there have been few studies concerning the reconnection in the chromosphere or photosphere. Here, we present both spectroscopic and imaging observations of magnetic reconnection in the chromosphere leading to a microflare. During the flare peak time, chromospheric line profiles show significant blueshifted/redshifted components on the two sides of the flaring site, corresponding to upflows and downflows with velocities of ±(70–80) km s{sup −1}, comparable with the local Alfvén speed as expected by the reconnection in the chromosphere. The three-dimensional nonlinear force-free field configuration further discloses twisted field lines (a flux rope) at a low altitude, cospatial with the dark threads in He i 10830 Å images. The instability of the flux rope may initiate the flare-related reconnection. These observations provide clear evidence of magnetic reconnection in the chromosphere and show the similar mechanisms of a microflare to those of major flares.

  4. Formation of electron energy spectra during magnetic reconnection in laser-produced plasma

    Science.gov (United States)

    Huang, Kai; Lu, Quanming; Huang, Can; Dong, Quanli; Wang, Huanyu; Fan, Feibin; Sheng, Zhengming; Wang, Shui; Zhang, Jie

    2017-10-01

    Energetic electron spectra formed during magnetic reconnection between two laser-produced plasma bubbles are investigated by the use of two-dimensional particle-in-cell simulations. It is found that the evolution of such an interaction between the two plasma bubbles can be separated into two distinct stages: squeezing and reconnection stages. In the squeezing stage, when the two plasma bubbles expand quickly and collide with each other, the magnetic field in the inflow region is greatly enhanced. In the second stage, a thin current sheet is formed between the two plasma bubbles, and then, magnetic reconnection occurs therein. During the squeezing stage, electrons are heated in the perpendicular direction by betatron acceleration due to the enhancement of the magnetic field around the plasma bubbles. Meanwhile, non-thermal electrons are generated by the Fermi mechanism when these electrons bounce between the two plasma bubbles approaching quickly and get accelerated mainly by the convective electric field associated with the plasma bubbles. During the reconnection stage, electrons get further accelerated mainly by the reconnection electric field in the vicinity of the X line. When the expanding speed of the plasma bubbles is sufficiently large, the formed electron energy spectra have a kappa distribution, where the lower energy part satisfies a Maxwellian function and the higher energy part is a power-law distribution. Moreover, the increase in the expanding speed will result in the hardening of formed power-law spectra in both the squeezing and reconnection stages.

  5. Implications of RHESSI Flare Observations for Magnetic Reconnection Models

    Science.gov (United States)

    Holman, Gordon D.; Sui, Linhui; Dennis, Brian R.

    2004-01-01

    The Ramaty High Energy Solar Spectroscopic Imager (RHESSI) observations of the 2002 April 15 solar flare and related flares provide compelling evidence for the formation of a large-scale, reconnecting current sheet in at least some flares. We describe the observed evolution of the April 15 flare in terms of magnetic reconnection models. We argue that the flare most likely evolved through magnetic geometries associated with super-slow reconnection (early rise phase), fast reconnection (impulsive phase), and slow reconnection (gradual phase). We also provide evidence for X-ray brightenings within the evolving current sheet, possibly induced by the tearing mode instability. This work was supported in part by the RHESSI Program and NASA's Sun-Earth Connection Program. This work would not have been possible without the dedicated efforts of the entire RHESSI team.

  6. Solar flare mechanism based on magnetic arcade reconnection and island merging

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    C.Z. Chen; G.S. Choe

    2000-06-15

    The authors propose a model describing physical processes of solar flares based on resistive reconnection of magnetic field subject to continuous increase of magnetic shear in the arcade. The individual flaring process consists of magnetic reconnection of arcade field lines, generation of magnetic islands in the magnetic arcade, and coalescence of magnetic islands. When a magnetic arcade is sheared (either by foot point motion or by flux emergence), a current sheet is formed and magnetic reconnection can take place to form a magnetic island. A continuing increase of magnetic shear can trigger a new reconnection process and create a new island in the under lying arcade below the magnetic island. The new born island rises faster than the preceding island and merges with it to form one island. Before completing the island merging process, the new born island exhibits two phases of rising motion: a first phase with a slower rising speed and a second phase with a faster rising speed. The flare plasma heating occurs mainly due to magnetic reconnection in the current sheet under the new born island. The new born island represents the X-ray plasma ejecta which shows two phases of rising motion observed by Yohkoh [Ohyama and Shibata (1997)]. The first phase with slower new born island rising speed corresponds to the early phase of reconnection of line-tied field in the underlying current sheet and is considered as the preflare phase. In the second phase, the island coalescence takes place, and the underlying current sheet is elongated so that the line-tied arcade field reconnection rate is enhanced. This phase is interpreted as the impulsive phase or the flash phase of flares. The obtained reconnection electric field is large enough to accelerate electrons to an energy level higher than 10 keV, which is necessary for observed hard X-ray emissions. After merging of the islands is completed, magnetic reconnection continues in the current sheet under the integrated island for

  7. Dynamic non-null magnetic reconnection in three dimensions - II. Composite solutions

    CERN Document Server

    Wilmot-Smith, A L; Priest, E R

    2008-01-01

    In this series of papers we examine magnetic reconnection in a domain where the magnetic field does not vanish and the non-ideal region is localised in space. In a previous paper we presented a technique for obtaining analytical solutions to the stationary resistive MHD equations in such a situation and examined specific examples of non-ideal reconnective solutions. Here we further develop the model, noting that certain ideal solutions may be superimposed onto the fundamental non-ideal solutions and examining the effect of imposing various such flows. Significant implications are found for the evolution of magnetic flux in the reconnection process. It is shown that, in contrast to the two-dimensional case, in three-dimensions there is a very wide variety of physically different steady reconnection solutions.

  8. Observing the release of twist by magnetic reconnection in a solar filament eruption.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Xue, Zhike; Yan, Xiaoli; Cheng, Xin; Yang, Liheng; Su, Yingna; Kliem, Bernhard; Zhang, Jun; Liu, Zhong; Bi, Yi; Xiang, Yongyuan; Yang, Kai; Zhao, Li

    2016-06-16

    Magnetic reconnection is a fundamental process of topology change and energy release, taking place in plasmas on the Sun, in space, in astrophysical objects and in the laboratory. However, observational evidence has been relatively rare and typically only partial. Here we present evidence of fast reconnection in a solar filament eruption using high-resolution H-alpha images from the New Vacuum Solar Telescope, supplemented by extreme ultraviolet observations. The reconnection is seen to occur between a set of ambient chromospheric fibrils and the filament itself. This allows for the relaxation of magnetic tension in the filament by an untwisting motion, demonstrating a flux rope structure. The topology change and untwisting are also found through nonlinear force-free field modelling of the active region in combination with magnetohydrodynamic simulation. These results demonstrate a new role for reconnection in solar eruptions: the release of magnetic twist.

  9. Dynamic non-null magnetic reconnection in three dimensions-II: composite solutions

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wilmot-Smith, A. L.; Hornig, G.; Priest, E. R.

    2009-12-01

    In this series of papers we examine magnetic reconnection in a domain where the magnetic field does not vanish and the non-ideal region is localised in space. In a previous paper we presented a technique for obtaining analytical solutions to the stationary resistive MHD equations in such a situation and examined specific examples of non-ideal reconnective solutions. Here we further develop the model, noting that certain ideal solutions may be superimposed onto the fundamental non-ideal solutions and examining the effect of imposing various such flows. Significant implications are found for the evolution of magnetic flux in the reconnection process. It is shown that, in contrast to the two-dimensional case, in three-dimensions there is a very wide variety of physically different steady reconnection solutions.

  10. Observing the release of twist by magnetic reconnection in a solar filament eruption

    Science.gov (United States)

    Xue, Zhike; Yan, Xiaoli; Cheng, Xin; Yang, Liheng; Su, Yingna; Kliem, Bernhard; Zhang, Jun; Liu, Zhong; Bi, Yi; Xiang, Yongyuan; Yang, Kai; Zhao, Li

    2016-06-01

    Magnetic reconnection is a fundamental process of topology change and energy release, taking place in plasmas on the Sun, in space, in astrophysical objects and in the laboratory. However, observational evidence has been relatively rare and typically only partial. Here we present evidence of fast reconnection in a solar filament eruption using high-resolution H-alpha images from the New Vacuum Solar Telescope, supplemented by extreme ultraviolet observations. The reconnection is seen to occur between a set of ambient chromospheric fibrils and the filament itself. This allows for the relaxation of magnetic tension in the filament by an untwisting motion, demonstrating a flux rope structure. The topology change and untwisting are also found through nonlinear force-free field modelling of the active region in combination with magnetohydrodynamic simulation. These results demonstrate a new role for reconnection in solar eruptions: the release of magnetic twist.

  11. Observing the release of twist by magnetic reconnection in a solar filament eruption

    Science.gov (United States)

    Xue, Zhike; Yan, Xiaoli; Cheng, Xin; Yang, Liheng; Su, Yingna; Kliem, Bernhard; Zhang, Jun; Liu, Zhong; Bi, Yi; Xiang, Yongyuan; Yang, Kai; Zhao, Li

    2016-01-01

    Magnetic reconnection is a fundamental process of topology change and energy release, taking place in plasmas on the Sun, in space, in astrophysical objects and in the laboratory. However, observational evidence has been relatively rare and typically only partial. Here we present evidence of fast reconnection in a solar filament eruption using high-resolution H-alpha images from the New Vacuum Solar Telescope, supplemented by extreme ultraviolet observations. The reconnection is seen to occur between a set of ambient chromospheric fibrils and the filament itself. This allows for the relaxation of magnetic tension in the filament by an untwisting motion, demonstrating a flux rope structure. The topology change and untwisting are also found through nonlinear force-free field modelling of the active region in combination with magnetohydrodynamic simulation. These results demonstrate a new role for reconnection in solar eruptions: the release of magnetic twist. PMID:27306479

  12. On the role of repetitive magnetic reconnections in evolution of magnetic flux-ropes in solar corona

    CERN Document Server

    Kumar, Sanjay; Joshi, Bhuwan; Smolarkiewicz, P K

    2016-01-01

    Parker's magnetostatic theorem extended to astrophysical magnetofluids with large magnetic Reynolds number supports ceaseless regeneration of current sheets and hence, spontaneous magnetic reconnections recurring in time. Consequently, a scenario is possible where the repeated reconnections provide an autonomous mechanism governing emergence of coherent structures in astrophysical magnetofluids. In this work, such a scenario is explored by performing numerical computations commensurate with the magnetostatic theorem. In particular, the computations explore the evolution of a flux-rope governed by repeated reconnections in a magnetic geometry resembling bipolar loops of solar corona. The revealed morphology of the evolution process, including onset and ascent of the rope, reconnection locations and the associated topology of the magnetic field lines, agrees with observations, and thus substantiates physical realisability of the advocated mechanism.

  13. MAGNETIZATION OF CLOUD CORES AND ENVELOPES AND OTHER OBSERVATIONAL CONSEQUENCES OF RECONNECTION DIFFUSION

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Lazarian, A. [Astronomy Department, University of Wisconsin, Madison, WI 53706 (United States); Esquivel, A. [Instituto de Ciencias Nucleares, Universidad Nacional Autonoma de Mexico, Apartado Postal 70-543, 04510 Mexico D.F. (Mexico); Crutcher, R. [Department of Astronomy, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, 1002 W. Green Street, Urbana, IL 61801 (United States)

    2012-10-01

    Recent observational results for magnetic fields in molecular clouds reviewed by Crutcher seem to be inconsistent with the predictions of the ambipolar diffusion theory of star formation. These include the measured decrease in mass to flux ratio between envelopes and cores, the failure to detect any self-gravitating magnetically subcritical clouds, the determination of the flat probability distribution function (PDF) of the total magnetic field strengths implying that there are many clouds with very weak magnetic fields, and the observed scaling B{proportional_to}{rho}{sup 2/3} that implies gravitational contraction with weak magnetic fields. We consider the problem of magnetic field evolution in turbulent molecular clouds and discuss the process of magnetic field diffusion mediated by magnetic reconnection. For this process that we termed 'reconnection diffusion', we provide a simple physical model and explain that this process is inevitable in view of the present-day understanding of MHD turbulence. We address the issue of the expected magnetization of cores and envelopes in the process of star formation and show that reconnection diffusion provides an efficient removal of magnetic flux that depends only on the properties of MHD turbulence in the core and the envelope. We show that as the amplitude of turbulence as well as the scale of turbulent motions decrease from the envelope to the core of the cloud, the diffusion of the magnetic field is faster in the envelope. As a result, the magnetic flux trapped during the collapse in the envelope is being released faster than the flux trapped in the core, resulting in much weaker fields in envelopes than in cores, as observed. We provide simple semi-analytical model calculations which support this conclusion and qualitatively agree with the observational results. Magnetic reconnection is also consistent with the lack of subcritical self-gravitating clouds, with the observed flat PDF of field strengths, and

  14. Development of a new experimental device for long-duration magnetic reconnection in weakly ionized plasma

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yanai, Ryoma; Kaminou, Yasuhiro; Nishida, Kento; Inomoto, Michiaki

    2016-10-01

    Magnetic reconnection is a universal phenomenon which determines global structure and energy conversion in magnetized plasmas. Many experimental studies have been carried out to explore the physics of magnetic reconnection in fully ionized condition. However, it is predicted that the behavior of magnetic reconnection in weakly ionized plasmas such as solar chromosphere plasma will show different behavior such as ambipolar diffusion caused by interaction with neutral particles. In this research, we are developing a new experimental device to uncover the importance of ambipolar diffusion during magnetic reconnection in weakly ionized plasmas. We employ an inverter-driven rotating magnetic fields technique, which is used for generating steady azimuthal plasma current, to establish long-duration ( 1 ms) anti-parallel reconnection with magnetic field of 5 mT in weakly ionized plasma. We will present development status and initial results from the new experimental setup. This work was supported by JSPS A3 Foresight Program ``Innovative Tokamak Plasma Startup and Current Drive in Spherical Torus'', Giant-in Aid for Scientific Research (KAKENHI) 15H05750, 15K14279, 26287143 and the NIFS Collaboration Research program (NIFS14KNWP004).

  15. Scaling laws for magnetic reconnection, set by regulation of the electron pressure anisotropy to the firehose threshold

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ohia, O.; Egedal, J.; Lukin, V. S.; Daughton, W.; Le, A.

    2015-12-01

    Magnetic reconnection in a weakly collisional plasma, such as in the Earth's magnetosphere, is known to be accompanied by electron pressure anisotropy. For reconnection scenarios including moderate guide magnetic field, electrons are magnetized throughout the reconnection region, and the anisotropy drives extended electron current layers. Along these layers, the anisotropy nears the firehose threshold. We describe how the anisotropy stagnates at this threshold by a mechanism that does not involve pitch-angle mixing. Using previously established anisotropic equations of state and by imposing the marginal firehose condition, scaling laws are obtained for quantities along the current layers as functions of plasma parameters upstream of the reconnection region. The predicted reconnection region quantities include the magnetic field strength, plasma density, and the parallel and perpendicular electron pressures, allowing for a characterization of electron energization solely as a function of the upstream plasma conditions. This characterization is in agreement with simulations and spacecraft observations.

  16. New Evidence for Magnetic Reconnection in the Tail of Interplanetary Magnetic Cloud

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    ZHONG Ding-Kun; WEI Feng-Si; FENG Xue-Shang; YANG Fang

    2005-01-01

    @@ We analyse the WIND data of an interplanetary magnetic cloud (MC) on 2 November 2001, and find new evidences for magnetic reconnection in the tail of this MC. In the MC tail, the largely dip and the large change of the orientation of the magnetic field occurred simultaneously, △θ≈ 45°, and △φ changed from 90° to 320°. Correspondingly, the number density of ions increased, and the superthermal electrons were heated and accelerated,however its number density decreased. Meanwhile, inverse jets and Hall term were observed. The pitch-angle distributions of the electrons with lower energy and higher energy showed strong turbulence and bi-direction flow, respectively. The plasma wave activity enhanced near the electron plasma frequency, fpe and 2 fpe. These important physical characteristics are new evidences for magnetic reconnection existing in interplanetary space.

  17. On the ions acceleration via collisionless magnetic reconnection in laboratory plasmas

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cazzola, E.; Curreli, D.; Markidis, S.; Lapenta, G.

    2016-11-01

    This work presents an analysis of the ion outflow from magnetic reconnection throughout fully kinetic simulations with typical laboratory plasma values. A symmetric initial configuration for the density and magnetic field is considered across the current sheet. After analyzing the behavior of a set of nine simulations with a reduced mass ratio and with a permuted value of three initial electron temperatures and magnetic field intensity, the best ion acceleration scenario is further studied with a realistic mass ratio in terms of the ion dynamics and energy budget. Interestingly, a series of shock wave structures are observed in the outflow, resembling the shock discontinuities found in recent magnetohydrodynamic simulations. An analysis of the ion outflow at several distances from the reconnection point is presented, in light of possible laboratory applications. The analysis suggests that magnetic reconnection could be used as a tool for plasma acceleration, with applications ranging from electric propulsion to production of ion thermal beams.

  18. On the ions acceleration via collisionless magnetic reconnection in laboratory plasmas

    CERN Document Server

    Cazzola, Emanuele; Markidis, Stefano; Lapenta, Giovanni

    2016-01-01

    This work presents an analysis of the ion outflow from magnetic reconnection throughout fully kinetic simulations with typical laboratory plasmas values. A symmetric initial configuration for the density and magnetic field is considered across the current sheet. After analyzing the behavior of a set of nine simulations with a reduced mass ratio and with a permuted value of three initial electron temperature and magnetic field intensity, the best ion acceleration scenario is further studied with a realistic mass ratio in terms of the ion dynamics and energy budget. Interestingly, a series of shock waves structures are observed in the outflow, resembling the shock discontinuities found in recent magnetohydrodynamic (MHD) simulations. An analysis of the ion outflow at several distances from the reconnection point is presented, in light of possible laboratory applications. The analysis suggests that magnetic reconnection could be used as a tool for plasma acceleration, with applications ranging from electric prop...

  19. Particle Acceleration and Plasma Dynamics during Magnetic Reconnection in the Magnetically-dominated Regime

    CERN Document Server

    Guo, Fan; Daughton, William; Li, Hui

    2015-01-01

    Magnetic reconnection is thought to be the driver for many explosive phenomena in the universe. The energy release and particle acceleration during reconnection have been proposed as a mechanism for producing high-energy emissions and cosmic rays. We carry out two- and three-dimensional kinetic simulations to investigate relativistic magnetic reconnection and the associated particle acceleration. The simulations focus on electron-positron plasmas starting with a magnetically dominated, force-free current sheet ($\\sigma \\equiv B^2/(4\\pi n_e m_e c^2) \\gg 1$). For this limit, we demonstrate that relativistic reconnection is highly efficient at accelerating particles through a first-order Fermi process accomplished by the curvature drift of particles along the electric field induced by the relativistic flows. This mechanism gives rise to the formation of hard power-law spectra $f \\propto (\\gamma-1)^{-p}$ and approaches $p = 1$ for sufficiently large $\\sigma$ and system size. Eventually most of the available magne...

  20. Laboratory Study Of Magnetic Reconnection With A Density Asymmetry Across The Current Sheet

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Yoo, Joseph; Yamada, Massaaki; Ji, Hantao; Meyers,, Clayton E.; Jara-Almonte,; Chen, Li-Jen

    2014-04-18

    The effects of an upstream density asymmetry on magnetic reconnection are studied systematically in a laboratory plasma. Despite a significant upstream density asymmetry of up to 10, the reconnecting magnetic field pro file is not signifi cantly changed. On the other hand, the out-of-plane magnetic field profile is considerably modified; it is almost bipolar in structure with the density asymmetry, as compared to the quadrupolar structure in the symmetric configuration. The in-plane ion flow pattern and the electrostatic potential pro file are also affected by the density asymmetry. Strong bulk electron heating is observed near the low-density-side separatrix together with electromagnetic fluctuations in the lower hybrid frequency range. The dependence of the ion outflow and reconnection electric field on the density asymmetry is measured and compared with theoretical expectations.

  1. Nonthermal Particle Acceleration in 3D Relativistic Magnetic Reconnection in Pair Plasma

    Science.gov (United States)

    Werner, Gregory R.; Uzdensky, Dmitri A.

    2017-07-01

    As a fundamental process converting magnetic to plasma energy in high-energy astrophysical plasmas, relativistic magnetic reconnection is a leading explanation for the acceleration of particles to the ultrarelativistic energies that are necessary to power nonthermal emission (especially X-rays and gamma-rays) in pulsar magnetospheres and pulsar wind nebulae, coronae and jets of accreting black holes, and gamma-ray bursts. An important objective of plasma astrophysics is therefore the characterization of nonthermal particle acceleration (NTPA) effected by reconnection. Reconnection-powered NTPA has been demonstrated over a wide range of physical conditions using large 2D kinetic simulations. However, its robustness in realistic 3D reconnection—in particular, whether the 3D relativistic drift-kink instability (RDKI) disrupts NTPA—has not been systematically investigated, although pioneering 3D simulations have observed NTPA in isolated cases. Here, we present the first comprehensive study of NTPA in 3D relativistic reconnection in collisionless electron-positron plasmas, characterizing NTPA as the strength of 3D effects is varied systematically via the length in the third dimension and the strength of the guide magnetic field. We find that, while the RDKI prominently perturbs 3D reconnecting current sheets, it does not suppress particle acceleration, even for zero guide field; fully 3D reconnection robustly and efficiently produces nonthermal power-law particle spectra closely resembling those obtained in 2D. This finding provides strong support for reconnection as the key mechanism powering high-energy flares in various astrophysical systems. We also show that strong guide fields significantly inhibit NTPA, slowing reconnection and limiting the energy available for plasma energization, yielding steeper and shorter power-law spectra.

  2. Does the Rate of Collisionless Magnetic Reconnection Depend on the Dissipation Mechanism?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Aunai, Nicolas; Hesse, Michael; Black, Carrie; Evans, Rebekah; Kuznetsova, Maria

    2012-01-01

    The importance of the electron dissipation effect on the reconnection rate is investigated in the general case of asymmetric collisionless magnetic reconnection. Contrary to the standard collisionless reconnection model, it is found that the reconnection rate, and the macroscopic evolution of the reconnecting system, crucially depend on the nature of the dissipation mechanism and that the Hall effect alone is not able to sustain fast reconnection.

  3. Self-feeding turbulent magnetic reconnection on macroscopic scales.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lapenta, Giovanni

    2008-06-13

    Within a MHD approach we find magnetic reconnection to progress in two entirely different ways. The first is well known: the laminar Sweet-Parker process. But a second, completely different and chaotic reconnection process is possible. This regime has properties of immediate practical relevance: (i) it is much faster, developing on scales of the order of the Alfvén time, and (ii) the areas of reconnection become distributed chaotically over a macroscopic region. The onset of the faster process is the formation of closed-circulation patterns where the jets going out of the reconnection regions turn around and force their way back in, carrying along copious amounts of magnetic flux.

  4. Observations of slow electron holes at a magnetic reconnection site.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Khotyaintsev, Yu V; Vaivads, A; André, M; Fujimoto, M; Retinò, A; Owen, C J

    2010-10-15

    We report in situ observations of high-frequency electrostatic waves in the vicinity of a reconnection site in the Earth's magnetotail. Two different types of waves are observed inside an ion-scale magnetic flux rope embedded in a reconnecting current sheet. Electron holes (weak double layers) produced by the Buneman instability are observed in the density minimum in the center of the flux rope. Higher frequency broadband electrostatic waves with frequencies extending up to f(pe) are driven by the electron beam and are observed in the denser part of the rope. Our observations demonstrate multiscale coupling during the reconnection: Electron-scale physics is induced by the dynamics of an ion-scale flux rope embedded in a yet larger-scale magnetic reconnection process.

  5. Jet Formation in Solar Atmosphere due to Magnetic Reconnection

    Science.gov (United States)

    González-Avilés, J. J.; Guzmán, F. S.; Fedun, V.

    2017-02-01

    Using numerical simulations, we show that jets with features of type II spicules and cool coronal jets corresponding to temperatures of 104 K can be formed as a result of magnetic reconnection in a scenario with magnetic resistivity. For this, we model the low chromosphere–corona region using the C7 equilibrium solar atmosphere model, assuming that resistive MHD rules the dynamics of the plasma. The magnetic field configurations we analyze correspond to two neighboring loops with opposite polarity. The formation of a high-speed and sharp structure depends on the separation of the loops’ feet. We analyze the cases where the magnetic field strength of the two loops is equal and different. In the first case, with a symmetric configuration the jets rise vertically, whereas in an asymmetric configuration the structure shows an inclination. With a number of simulations carried out under a 2.5D approach, we explore various properties of the excited jets, namely, inclination, lifetime, and velocity. The parameter space involves a magnetic field strength between 20 and 40 G, and the resistivity is assumed to be uniform with a constant value of the order {10}-2{{Ω }}\\cdot m.

  6. Bulk ion acceleration and particle heating during magnetic reconnection in a laboratory plasma

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Yoo, Jongsoo; Yamada, Masaaki; Ji, Hantao; Jara-Almonte, Jonathan; Myers, Clayton E. [Center for Magnetic Self-Organization, Princeton Plasma Physics Laboratory, Princeton, New Jersey 08543 (United States)

    2014-05-15

    Bulk ion acceleration and particle heating during magnetic reconnection are studied in the collisionless plasma of the Magnetic Reconnection Experiment (MRX). The plasma is in the two-fluid regime, where the motion of the ions is decoupled from that of the electrons within the ion diffusion region. The reconnection process studied here is quasi-symmetric since plasma parameters such as the magnitude of the reconnecting magnetic field, the plasma density, and temperature are compatible on each side of the current sheet. Our experimental data show that the in-plane (Hall) electric field plays a key role in ion heating and acceleration. The electrostatic potential that produces the in-plane electric field is established by electrons that are accelerated near the electron diffusion region. The in-plane profile of this electrostatic potential shows a “well” structure along the direction normal to the reconnection current sheet. This well becomes deeper and wider downstream as its boundary expands along the separatrices where the in-plane electric field is strongest. Since the in-plane electric field is 3–4 times larger than the out-of-plane reconnection electric field, it is the primary source of energy for the unmagnetized ions. With regard to ion acceleration, the Hall electric field causes ions near separatrices to be ballistically accelerated toward the outflow direction. Ion heating occurs as the accelerated ions travel into the high pressure downstream region. This downstream ion heating cannot be explained by classical, unmagnetized transport theory; instead, we conclude that ions are heated by re-magnetization of ions in the reconnection exhaust and collisions. Two-dimensional (2-D) simulations with the global geometry similar to MRX demonstrate downstream ion thermalization by the above mechanisms. Electrons are also significantly heated during reconnection. The electron temperature sharply increases across the separatrices and peaks just outside of the

  7. Momentum transport and non-local transport in heat-flux-driven magnetic reconnection in HEDP

    Science.gov (United States)

    Liu, Chang; Fox, Will; Bhattacharjee, Amitava

    2016-10-01

    Strong magnetic fields are readily generated in high-energy-density plasmas and can affect the heat confinement properties of the plasma. Magnetic reconnection can in turn be important as an inverse process, which destroys or reconfigures the magnetic field. Recent theory has demonstrated a novel physics regime for reconnection in high-energy-density plasmas where the magnetic field is advected into the reconnection layer by plasma heat flux via the Nernst effect. In this work we elucidate the physics of the electron dissipation layer in this heat-flux-driven regime. Through fully kinetic simulation and a new generalized Ohm's law, we show that momentum transport due to the heat-flux-viscosity effect provides the dissipation mechanism to allow magnetic field line reconnection. Scaling analysis and simulations show that the characteristic width of the current sheet in this regime is several electron mean-free-paths. These results additionally show a coupling between non-local transport and momentum transport, which in turn affects the dynamics of the magnetic field. This work was supported by the U.S. Department of Energy under Contract No. DE-SC0008655.

  8. The role of lateral magnetic reconnection in solar eruptive events

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    A. Soenen

    2009-10-01

    Full Text Available On 10–11 December 2005 a slow CME occurred in between two coronal streamers in the Western Hemisphere. SOHO/MDI magnetograms show a multipolar magnetic configuration at the photosphere consisting of a complex of active regions located at the CME source and two bipoles at the base of the lateral coronal streamers. White light observations reveal that the expanding CME affects both of the lateral streamers and induces the release of plasma within or close to them. These transient phenomena are possibly due to magnetic reconnections induced by the CME expansion that occurs either inside the streamer current sheet or between the CME flanks and the streamer. Our observations show that CMEs can be associated to not only a single reconnection process at a single location in the corona, but also to many reconnection processes occurring at different times and locations around the flux rope. Numerical simulations are used to demonstrate that the observed lateral reconnections can be reproduced. The observed secondary reconnections associated to CMEs may facilitate the CME release by globally decreasing the magnetic tension of the corona. Future CME models should therefore take into account the lateral reconnection effect.

  9. The Formation of Magnetic Depletions and Flux Annihilation Due to Reconnection in the Heliosheath

    Science.gov (United States)

    Drake, J. F.; Swisdak, M.; Opher, M.; Richardson, J. D.

    2017-03-01

    The misalignment of the solar rotation axis and the magnetic axis of the Sun produces a periodic reversal of the Parker spiral magnetic field and the sectored solar wind. The compression of the sectors is expected to lead to reconnection in the heliosheath (HS). We present particle-in-cell simulations of the sectored HS that reflect the plasma environment along the Voyager 1 and 2 trajectories, specifically including unequal positive and negative azimuthal magnetic flux as seen in the Voyager data. Reconnection proceeds on individual current sheets until islands on adjacent current layers merge. At late time, bands of the dominant flux survive, separated by bands of deep magnetic field depletion. The ambient plasma pressure supports the strong magnetic pressure variation so that pressure is anticorrelated with magnetic field strength. There is little variation in the magnetic field direction across the boundaries of the magnetic depressions. At irregular intervals within the magnetic depressions are long-lived pairs of magnetic islands where the magnetic field direction reverses so that spacecraft data would reveal sharp magnetic field depressions with only occasional crossings with jumps in magnetic field direction. This is typical of the magnetic field data from the Voyager spacecraft. Voyager 2 data reveal that fluctuations in the density and magnetic field strength are anticorrelated in the sector zone, as expected from reconnection, but not in unipolar regions. The consequence of the annihilation of subdominant flux is a sharp reduction in the number of sectors and a loss in magnetic flux, as documented from the Voyager 1 magnetic field and flow data.

  10. Regimes of the electron diffusion region in magnetic reconnection.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Le, A; Egedal, J; Ohia, O; Daughton, W; Karimabadi, H; Lukin, V S

    2013-03-29

    The electron diffusion region during magnetic reconnection lies in different regimes depending on the pressure anisotropy, which is regulated by the properties of thermal electron orbits. In kinetic simulations at the weakest guide fields, pitch angle mixing in velocity space causes the outflow electron pressure to become nearly isotropic. Above a threshold guide field that depends on a range of parameters, including the normalized electron pressure and the ion-to-electron mass ratio, electron pressure anisotropy develops in the exhaust and supports extended current layers. This new regime with electron current sheets extending to the system size is also reproduced by fluid simulations with an anisotropic closure for the electron pressure. It offers an explanation for recent spacecraft observations.

  11. Plasma and Energetic Particle Behaviors During Asymmetric Magnetic Reconnection at the Magnetopause

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lee, S. H.; Zhang, H.; Zong, Q.-G.; Otto, A.; Sibeck, D. G.; Wang, Y.; Glassmeier, K.-H.; Daly, P.W.; Reme, H.

    2014-01-01

    The factors controlling asymmetric reconnection and the role of the cold plasma population in the reconnection process are two outstanding questions. We present a case study of multipoint Cluster observations demonstrating that the separatrix and flow boundary angles are greater on the magnetosheath than on the magnetospheric side of the magnetopause, probably due to the stronger density than magnetic field asymmetry at this boundary. The motion of cold plasmaspheric ions entering the reconnection region differs from that of warmer magnetosheath and magnetospheric ions. In contrast to the warmer ions, which are probably accelerated by reconnection in the diffusion region near the subsolar magnetopause, the colder ions are simply entrained by ??×?? drifts at high latitudes on the recently reconnected magnetic field lines. This indicates that plasmaspheric ions can sometimes play only a very limited role in asymmetric reconnection, in contrast to previous simulation studies. Three cold ion populations (probably H+, He+, and O+) appear in the energy spectrum, consistent with ion acceleration to a common velocity.

  12. Slip-Squashing Factors as a Measure of Three-Dimensional Magnetic Reconnection

    CERN Document Server

    Titov, V S; Priest, E R; Mikic, Z; Linker, J A

    2008-01-01

    A general method for describing magnetic reconnection in arbitrary three-dimensional magnetic configurations is proposed. The method is based on the field-line mapping technique previously used only for the analysis of magnetic structure at a given time. This technique is extended here so as to analyze the evolution of magnetic structure. Such a generalization is made with the help of new dimensionless quantities called "slip-squashing factors". Their large values define the surfaces that border the reconnected or to-be-reconnected magnetic flux tubes for a given period of time during the magnetic evolution. The proposed method is universal, since it assumes only that the time sequence of evolving magnetic field and the tangential boundary flows are known. The application of the method is illustrated for a simple example considered previously by Hesse and coworkers in the framework of the general magnetic reconnection theory. The example helps to compare these two approaches; it reveals also that, just as for...

  13. Observations of Ion Signatures of Magnetic Reconnection for Northward IMF

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chandler, Michael O.; Moore, Thomas E.; Fuselier, S.; Lockwood, Michael

    1998-01-01

    Magnetic merging at Earth's magnetopause produces distinct mixtures of ions and electrons as well as signatures in their distribution functions. High resolution measurements allow for the separation of the different distributions and quantification of their characteristics. This provides details on the temporal and spatial nature of the merging site and the resulting history of the merged fields. The event of May 29, 1996 resulted in remote observations of the effects of reconnection on both magnetosheath and magnetosphere populations for a period of approximately three hours. Three-dimensional ion distributions obtained by the Thermal Ion Dynamics Experiment on the Polar spacecraft show that field lines threading the spacecraft's location in the northern cusp region contained a mix of D-shaped ions from the magnetosheath and accelerated magnetospheric ions both moving parallel to the local magnetic field. This mix of ions resulted from transmission of magnetosheath ions across the magnetopause at speeds greater than the de-Hoffman-Teller speed and the reflection of cold, slow-moving plasmasphere-like ions at the magnetopause. These observations are used to conclude that these field lines were connected to the ionosphere in the northern hemisphere and, southward of the spacecraft, the interplanetary magnetic field and crossed the magnetopause in the equatorial region southward of the spacecraft.

  14. Observations of Ion Signatures of Magnetic Reconnection for Northward IMF

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chandler, Michael O.; Moore, Thomas E.; Fuselier, S.; Lockwood, Michael

    1998-01-01

    Magnetic merging at Earth's magnetopause produces distinct mixtures of ions and electrons as well as signatures in their distribution functions. High resolution measurements allow for the separation of the different distributions and quantification of their characteristics. This provides details on the temporal and spatial nature of the merging site and the resulting history of the merged fields. The event of May 29, 1996 resulted in remote observations of the effects of reconnection on both magnetosheath and magnetosphere populations for a period of approximately three hours. Three-dimensional ion distributions obtained by the Thermal Ion Dynamics Experiment on the Polar spacecraft show that field lines threading the spacecraft's location in the northern cusp region contained a mix of D-shaped ions from the magnetosheath and accelerated magnetospheric ions both moving parallel to the local magnetic field. This mix of ions resulted from transmission of magnetosheath ions across the magnetopause at speeds greater than the de-Hoffman-Teller speed and the reflection of cold, slow-moving plasmasphere-like ions at the magnetopause. These observations are used to conclude that these field lines were connected to the ionosphere in the northern hemisphere and, southward of the spacecraft, the interplanetary magnetic field and crossed the magnetopause in the equatorial region southward of the spacecraft.

  15. Study of energy conversion and partitioning in the magnetic reconnection layer of a laboratory plasma

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Yamada, Masaaki; Yoo, Jongsoo; Jara-Almonte, Jonathan; Ji, Hantao; Kulsrud, Russell M.; Myers, Clayton E. [Princeton Plasma Physics Laboratory, Princeton University, Princeton, New Jersey 08543 (United States); Daughton, William [Los Alamos National Laboratory, Los Alamos, New Mexico 87545 (United States)

    2015-05-15

    While the most important feature of magnetic reconnection is that it energizes plasma particles by converting magnetic energy to particle energy, the exact mechanisms by which this happens are yet to be determined despite a long history of reconnection research. Recently, we have reported our results on the energy conversion and partitioning in a laboratory reconnection layer in a short communication [Yamada et al., Nat. Commun. 5, 4474 (2014)]. The present paper is a detailed elaboration of this report together with an additional dataset with different boundary sizes. Our experimental study of the reconnection layer is carried out in the two-fluid physics regime where ions and electrons move quite differently. We have observed that the conversion of magnetic energy occurs across a region significantly larger than the narrow electron diffusion region. A saddle shaped electrostatic potential profile exists in the reconnection plane, and ions are accelerated by the resulting electric field at the separatrices. These accelerated ions are then thermalized by re-magnetization in the downstream region. A quantitative inventory of the converted energy is presented in a reconnection layer with a well-defined, variable boundary. We have also carried out a systematic study of the effects of boundary conditions on the energy inventory. This study concludes that about 50% of the inflowing magnetic energy is converted to particle energy, 2/3 of which is ultimately transferred to ions and 1/3 to electrons. Assisted by another set of magnetic reconnection experiment data and numerical simulations with different sizes of monitoring box, it is also observed that the observed features of energy conversion and partitioning do not depend on the size of monitoring boundary across the range of sizes tested from 1.5 to 4 ion skin depths.

  16. Laboratory Study of Magnetic Reconnection in 3D Geometry Relevant to Magnetopause and Magnetotail

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ren, Y.; Lu, Q.; Ji, H.; Mao, A.; Wang, X.; E, P.; Wang, Z.; Xiao, Q.; Ding, W.; Zheng, J.

    2015-12-01

    Laboratory Study of Magnetic Reconnection in 3D Geometry Relevant to Magnetopause and Magnetotail Y. Ren1,2, Quaming Lu3, Hantao Ji1,2, Aohua Mao1, Xiaogang Wang1, Peng E1, Zhibin Wang1, Qingmei Xiao1, Weixing Ding4, Jinxing Zheng51 Harbin Institute of Technology, Harbin, China2 Princeton Plasma Physics Laboratory, Princeton University, Princeton, NJ 08543 3University of Science and Technology of China, Hefei, China 4University of California at Los Angeles, Los Angeles, CA, 90095 5ASIPP, Hefei, China A new magnetic reconnection experiment, Harbin reconnection eXperiment (HRX), is currently being designed as a key part of Space Plasma Environment Research Facility (SPERF) at Harbin Institute of Technology in Harbin, China. HRX aims to provide a unique experimental platform for studying reconnections in 3D geometry relevant to magnetopause and magnetotail to address: the role of electron and ion-scale dynamics in the current sheet; particle and energy transfer from magnetosheath to magnetosphere; particle energization/heating mechanisms during magnetic reconnection; 3D effects in fast reconnection, e.g. the role of 3D magnetic null point. HRX employs a unique set of coils to generate the required 3D magnetic geometry and provides a wide range of plasma parameters. Here, important motivating scientific problems are reviewed and the physics design of HRX is presented, including plasma parameters determined from Vlasov scaling law, reconnection scenarios explored using vacuum magnetic field calculations and numerical simulations of HRX using hybrid and MHD codes. Plasma diagnostics plan and engineering design of important coils will also be briefly presented.

  17. On the occurrence of magnetic reconnection equatorward of the cusps at the Earth's magnetopause during northward IMF conditions

    Science.gov (United States)

    Trattner, K. J.; Thresher, S.; Trenchi, L.; Fuselier, S. A.; Petrinec, S. M.; Peterson, W. K.; Marcucci, M. F.

    2017-01-01

    Magnetic reconnection changes the topology of magnetic field lines. This process is most readily observable with in situ instrumentation at the Earth's magnetopause as it creates open magnetic field lines to allow energy and momentum flux to flow from the solar wind to the magnetosphere. Most models use the direction of the interplanetary magnetic field (IMF) to determine the location of these magnetopause entry points, known as reconnection lines. Dayside locations of magnetic reconnection equatorward of the cusps are generally found during sustained intervals of southward IMF, while high-latitude region regions poleward of the cusps are observed for northward IMF conditions. In this study we discuss Double Star magnetopause crossings and a conjunction with a Polar cusp crossing during northward IMF conditions with a dominant IMF BY component. During all seven dayside magnetopause crossings, Double Star detected switching ion beams, a known signature for the presence of reconnection lines. In addition, Polar observed a cusp ion-energy dispersion profile typical for a dayside equatorial reconnection line. Using the cutoff velocities for the precipitating and mirrored ion beams in the cusp, the distance to the reconnection site is calculated, and this distance is traced back to the magnetopause, to the vicinity of the Double Star satellite locations. Our analysis shows that, for this case, the predicted line of maximum magnetic shear also coincides with that dayside reconnection location.

  18. Magnetic Reconnection on Jet-Accretion disk Systems

    CERN Document Server

    Pino, Elisabete M de Gouveia Dal; Kadowaki, Luis H S; Khiali, Behoruz; Kowal, Grzergorz; Mizuno, Yosuke; Singh, Chandra B

    2016-01-01

    Fast Magnetic Reconnection is currently regarded as an important process also beyond the solar system, specially in magnetically dominated regions of galactic and extragalactic sources like the surrounds of black holes and relativistic jets. In this lecture we discuss briefly the theory of fast magnetic reconnection, specially when driven by turbulence which is very frequent in Astrophysical flows, and its implications for relativistic particle acceleration. Then we discuss these processes in the context of the sources above, showing recent analytical and multidimensional numerical MHD studies that indicate that fast reconnection can be a powerful process to accelerate particles to relativistic velocities, produce the associated high energy non-thermal emission, and account for efficient conversion of magnetic into kinetic energy in these flows.

  19. Reconnection Guide Field and Quadrupolar Structure Observed by MMS on 16 October 2015 at 1307 UT

    Science.gov (United States)

    Denton, R. E.; Sonnerup, B. U. O.; Hasagawa, H.; Phan, T. D.; Russell, C. T.; Strangeway, R. J.; Giles, B. L.; Torbert, R. B.

    2016-01-01

    We estimate the guide field near the X point, B(sub M0), for a magnetopause crossing by the Magnetospheric Multiscale (MMS) spacecraft at 1307 UT on 16 October 2015 that showed features of electron-scale reconnection. This component of the magnetic field is normal to the reconnection plane L-N containing the reconnection magnetic field, B(sub L), and the direction e(sub N) normal to the current sheet. The B(sub M) field component appears to approximately have quadrupolar structure close to the X point. Using several different methods to estimate values of the guide field near the X point, some of which use an assumed quadrupolar symmetry, we find values ranging between -3.1 nT and -1.2 nT, with a nominal value of about -2.5 nT. The rough consistency of these values is evidence that the quadrupolar structure exists.

  20. The effects of ion mass variation and domain size on octupolar out-of-plane magnetic field generation in collisionless magnetic reconnection

    CERN Document Server

    von der Pahlen, Jan Graf

    2015-01-01

    J. Graf von der Pahlen and D. Tsiklauri, Phys. Plas. 21, 060705 (2014), established that the generation of octupolar out-of-plane magnetic field structure in a stressed $X$-point collapse is due to ion currents. The field has a central region, comprising of the well-known qaudrupolar field (quadrupolar components), as well as four additional poles of reversed polarity closer to the corners of the domain (octupolar components). In this extended work, the dependence of the octupolar structure on domain size and ion mass variation is investigated. Simulations show that the strength and spatial structure of the generated octupolar magnetic field is independent of ion to electron mass ratio. Thus showing that ion currents play a significant role in out-of-plane magnetic structure generation in physically realistic scenarios. Simulations of different system sizes show that the width of the octupolar structure remains the same and has a spacial extent of the order of the ion inertial length. The width of the structu...

  1. Three-dimensional dynamics of collisionless magnetic reconnection in large-scale pair plasmas.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yin, L; Daughton, W; Karimabadi, H; Albright, B J; Bowers, Kevin J; Margulies, J

    2008-09-19

    Using the largest three-dimensional particle-in-cell simulations to date, collisionless magnetic reconnection in large-scale electron-positron plasmas without a guide field is shown to involve complex interaction of tearing and kink modes. The reconnection onset is patchy and occurs at multiple sites which self-organize to form a single, large diffusion region. The diffusion region tends to elongate in the outflow direction and become unstable to secondary kinking and formation of "plasmoid-rope" structures with finite extent in the current direction. The secondary kink folds the reconnection current layer, while plasmoid ropes at times follow the folding of the current layer. The interplay between these secondary instabilities plays a key role in controlling the time-dependent reconnection rate in large-scale systems.

  2. Dynamic non-null magnetic reconnection in three dimensions. I. Particular solutions

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wilmot-Smith, A., Hornig, G., Priest, E. R.

    2006-10-01

    A stationary model of three-dimensional magnetic reconnection in the absence of a null point is presented, with a non-ideal region that is localized in space. Analytical solutions to the resistive magnetohydrodynamic equations are obtained, with the momentum equation included so that the model is fully dynamic, and thus extends the previous kinematic solutions. A splitting of variables allows solutions to be written in terms of a particular non-ideal solution, on which ideal solutions may be superposed. For the non-ideal solution alone, it is shown that only the field lines linking the diffusion region are affected by the reconnection process, and counter-rotating flows above and below the diffusion region are present. It is only the dimensions of the diffusion region along the reconnection line that are important for the reconnection rate. Many features of the previous stationary kinematic model are also observed here.

  3. Electron Whistler Mode Waves Associated with Collisionless Magnetic Reconnection

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    GUO Jun; YU Bin; GUO Guang-Hai; ZHAO Bo

    2011-01-01

    @@ The results of particle-in-cell (PIC) simulations are presented on the evolution of the electron whistler waves during the collisionless magnetic reconnection.The simulation results show that the electron whistler waves with frequency higher than the lower hybrid frequency are found to occur in the electrons outflow region.Moreover, the present results indicate that these electron whistler waves with high-frequency in the region greater than an ion inertial scale of the x-line are irrelevant to the fast reconnection, but are generated as a result of the reconnection processes.%The results of particle-in-cell (PIC) simulations are presented on the evolution of the electron whistler waves during the collisionless magnetic reconnection. The simulation results show that the electron whistler waves with frequency higher than the lower hybrid frequency are found to occur in the electrons outflow region. Moreover,the present results indicate that these electron whistler waves with high-frequency in the region greater than an ion inertial scale of the x-line are irrelevant to the fast reconnection, but are generated as a result of the reconnection processes.

  4. Fast Magnetic Reconnection: Bridging Laboratory and Space Plasma Physics

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Bhattacharjee, Amitava [University New Hampshire- Durham

    2012-02-16

    Recent developments in experimental and theoretical studies of magnetic reconnection hold promise for providing solutions to outstanding problems in laboratory and space plasma physics. Examples include sawtooth crashes in tokamaks, substorms in the Earth’s Magnetosphere, eruptive solar flares, and more recently, fast reconnection in laser-produced high energy density plasmas. In each of these examples, a common and long-standing challenge has been to explain why fast reconnection proceeds rapidly from a relatively quiescent state. In this talk, we demonstrate the advantages of viewing these problems and their solutions from a common perspective. We focus on some recent, surprising discoveries regarding the role of secondary plasmoid instabilities of thin current sheets. Nonlinearly, these instabilities lead to fast reconnection rates that are very weakly dependent on the Lundquist number of the plasma.

  5. Influence of Spontaneously Generated Turbulence on Magnetic Reconnection

    Science.gov (United States)

    Daughton, William; Roytershteyn, Vadim; Karimabadi, Homa

    2012-10-01

    The 3D dynamics of reconnection is examined for electron-positron plasmas within Harris sheet geometry with a guide field. This configuration is unstable to tearing modes at resonant surfaces across the layer, corresponding to oblique angles relative to 2D models. Vlasov theory predicts a spectrum of oblique modes which can destroy the flux surfaces and produce interacting flux ropes. These structures coalesce to larger scales leading to the continual formation and break-up of new current sheets and the generation of turbulence. The fluctuation spectrum is highly anisotropic and is characterized by two power-laws with a break at k di˜1, where di is the inertial length. In the large 3D simulations, the dissipation rate is reduced by ˜40% relative to small 2D cases which are steady and laminar. In both limits, the reconnection remains fast (i.e. Alfv'enic), is insensitive to the system size and ultimately occurs within inertial-scale current sheets. These results imply that the physics responsible for setting the time scale is not radically altered by the turbulence. However, the results indicate that a larger fraction of the magnetic energy is accessible in 3D and that many more particles are accelerated into the high energy tails due to the turbulence.

  6. Pulsating Reconnection in the interaction of Two Magnetic Fux Ropes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gekelman, W. N.; DeHaas, T.; Daughton, W. S.; Van Compernolle, B.

    2015-12-01

    Two flux ropes (dia = 7 cm, ds= 3 cm, L = 10m, Irope = 300 A/rope) are generated by using a mask in front of a high emissivity cathode (n = 4X1012 cm3, Te-rope = 8.5 eV) in a background magnetoplasma (He, Boz= 330 G, n=1.0X1012 cm3, Te = 4 eV) in the LAPD device at UCLA. The ropes are kink unstable ( I > 250 A) but not violently so. All three components of the magnetic field were measured with small (1 mm dia) 3-axis probes sensitive to and the plasma potential measured with an emissive probe. These were measured at over 42,000 locations in the volume containing the ropes and 7000 time steps (δτ = .33 μs). The total electric field and parallel resistivity as well as the Quasi Seperatrix layer (QSL) were derived from the data. The flux ropes periodically collide as they rotate about when another and kink. Each time this happens a strong QSL (Q<400) forms and the resistivity jumps to over a hundred times the classical value at locations within the QSL and also on the gradient of the rope current. The QSL formation and 3D electric fields are presented as a function of space and time. The reconnection rate is directly evaluated by integrating the electric field along field lines as well as the energy deposition . The data indicate that there is more than one process causing the enhanced resistivity. The reconnection rate cannot be explained by conventional 2D theories.

  7. Formation of hard power laws in the energetic particle spectra resulting from relativistic magnetic reconnection.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Guo, Fan; Li, Hui; Daughton, William; Liu, Yi-Hsin

    2014-10-10

    Using fully kinetic simulations, we demonstrate that magnetic reconnection in relativistic plasmas is highly efficient at accelerating particles through a first-order Fermi process resulting from the curvature drift of particles in the direction of the electric field induced by the relativistic flows. This mechanism gives rise to the formation of hard power-law spectra in parameter regimes where the energy density in the reconnecting field exceeds the rest mass energy density σ ≡ B(2)/(4πnm(e)c(2))>1 and when the system size is sufficiently large. In the limit σ ≫ 1, the spectral index approaches p = 1 and most of the available energy is converted into nonthermal particles. A simple analytic model is proposed which explains these key features and predicts a general condition under which hard power-law spectra will be generated from magnetic reconnection.

  8. Magnetospheric Magnetic Reconnection with Southward IMF by a 3D EMPM Simulation

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nishikawa, K.-I.; Yan, X. Y.; Cai, D. S.; Lembege, B.

    2004-01-01

    We report our new simulation results on magnetospheric magnetic reconnection with southward IMF using a 3D EMPM model, with greater resolution and more particles using the parallelized 3D HPF TRISTAN code on VPP5000 supercomputer. Main parameters used in the new simulation are: domain size is 215 x 145 x 145, grid size = 0.5 Earth radius, initial particle number is 16 per cell, the IMF is southward. Arrival of southward IMF will cause reconnection in the magnetopause, thus allowing particles to enter into the inner magnetosphere. Sunward and tailward high particle flow are observed by satellites, and these phenomena are also observed in the simulation near the neutral line (X line) of the near-Earth magnetotail. This high particle flow goes along with the reconnected island. The magnetic reconnection process contributes to direct plasma entry between the magnetosheath to the inner magnetosphere and plasma sheet, in which the entry process eats the magnetosheath plasma to plasma sheet temperatures. We investigate magnetic, electric fields, density, and current during this magnetic reconnection with southward IMF. Further investigation with this simulation will provide insight into unsolved problems, such as the triggering of storms and substorms, and the storm-substorm relationship. New results will be presented at the meeting.

  9. Magnetic Reconnection: A Fundamental Process in Space Plasmas

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hesse, Michael

    2010-01-01

    For many years, collisionless magnetic reconnect ion has been recognized as a fundamental process, which facilitates plasma transport and energy release in systems ranging from the astrophysical plasmas to magnetospheres and even laboratory plasma. Beginning with work addressing solar dynamics, it has been understood that reconnection is essential to explain solar eruptions, the interaction of the solar wind with the magnetosphere, and the dynamics of the magnetosphere. Accordingly, the process of magnetic reconnection has been and remains a prime target for space-based and laboratory studies, as well as for theoretical research. Much progress has been made throughout the years, beginning with indirect verifications by studies of processes enabled by reconnection, such as Coronal Mass Ejections, Flux Transfer Events, and Plasmoids. Theoretical advances have accompanied these observations, moving knowledge beyond the Sweet-Parker theory to the recognition that other, collisionless, effects are available and likely to support much faster reconnect ion rates. At the present time we are therefore near a break-through in our understanding of how collisionless reconnect ion works. Theory and modeling have advanced to the point that two competing theories are considered leading candidates for explaining the microphysics of this process. Both theories predict very small spatial and temporal scales. which are. to date, inaccessible to space-based or laboratory measurements. The need to understand magnetic reconnect ion has led NASA to begin the implementation of a tailored mission, Magnetospheric MultiScale (MMS), a four spacecraft cluster equipped to resolve all relevant spatial and temporal scales. In this presentation, we present an overview of current knowledge as well as an outlook towards measurements provided by MMS.

  10. The study of magnetic reconnection in solar spicules

    CERN Document Server

    Fazel, Z

    2014-01-01

    This work is devoted to study the magnetic reconnection instability under solar spicule conditions. Numerical study of the resistive tearing instability in a current sheet is presented by considering the magnetohydrodynamic (MHD) framework. To investigate the effect of this instability in a stratified atmosphere of solar spicules, we solve linear and non-ideal MHD equations in the x-z plane. In the linear analysis it is assumed that resistivity is only important within the current sheet, and the exponential growth of energies takes place faster as plasma resistivity increases. We are interested to see the occurrence of magnetic reconnection during the lifetime of a typical solar spicule.

  11. The formation of magnetic depletions and flux annihilation due to reconnection in the heliosheath

    OpenAIRE

    Drake, J F; Swisdak, M.; Opher, M.; Richardson, J.D.

    2017-01-01

    The misalignment of the solar rotation axis and the magnetic axis of the Sun produces a periodic reversal of the Parker spiral magnetic field and the sectored solar wind. The compression of the sectors is expected to lead to reconnection in the heliosheath (HS). We present particle-in-cell simulations of the sectored HS that reflect the plasma environment along the Voyager 1 and 2 trajectories, specifically including unequal positive and negative azimuthal magnetic flux as seen in the Voyager...

  12. Relationship between Magnetic Helicity Injection and Magnetic Reconnection in Double-Null Startup of the UTST Spherical Tokamak

    Science.gov (United States)

    Watanabe, Takenori; Kamio, Shuji; Cao, Qinghong; Itagaki, Hirotomo; Takemura, Koichiro; Yamasaki, Kotaro; Ishiguchi, Koji; Yamada, Takuma; Inomoto, Michiaki; Ono, Yasushi

    2012-10-01

    Magnetic helicity injection is a useful idea for explaining plasma current drive and startup of various magnetized plasmas such as Spherical Tokamaks (STs). Magnetic reconnection is directly related with the magnetic helicity injection, because it is essential to reorganization of magnetic field lines injected externally. We address how and why helicity injection is related with magnetic reconnection. An ST plasma is produced by using two pairs of external poloidal field coils in the University of Tokyo Spherical Tokamak (UTST) device. In the late phase of the formation, a single ST is connected to the coil flux, which enables magnetic helicity injection from the helicity source (the coil flux) into the helicity sink (the ST plasma). We measured the Y-shaped reconnection region between the ST plasma and the poloidal coil using two dimensional pickup coil arrays in the r-z plane. magnetic reconnection of common flux into private flux causes concentration of current density along the current sheet, forming a high eigen-value area between the helicity source and the helicity sink. We made a parameter scan to study how crucial and effective the plasmoid ejection is for helicity injection and found that the plasmoid motion is a dynamic helicity injection process.

  13. Local properties of magnetic reconnection in nonlinear resistive- and extended-magnetohydrodynamic toroidal simulations of the sawtooth crash

    Science.gov (United States)

    Beidler, M. T.; Cassak, P. A.; Jardin, S. C.; Ferraro, N. M.

    2017-02-01

    We diagnose local properties of magnetic reconnection during a sawtooth crash employing the three-dimensional toroidal, extended-magnetohydrodynamic (MHD) code M3D-C1. To do so, we sample simulation data in the plane in which reconnection occurs, the plane perpendicular to the helical (m,n)=(1,1) mode at the q = 1 surface, where m and n are the poloidal and toroidal mode numbers and q is the safety factor. We study the nonlinear evolution of a particular test equilibrium in a non-reduced field representation using both resistive-MHD and extended-MHD models. We find growth rates for the extended-MHD reconnection process exhibit a nonlinear acceleration and greatly exceed that of the resistive-MHD model, as is expected from previous experimental, theoretical, and computational work. We compare the properties of reconnection in the two simulations, revealing the reconnecting current sheets are locally different in the two models and we present the first observation of the quadrupole out-of-plane Hall magnetic field that appears during extended-MHD reconnection in a 3D toroidal simulation (but not in resistive-MHD). We also explore the dependence on toroidal angle of the properties of reconnection as viewed in the plane perpendicular to the helical magnetic field, finding qualitative and quantitative effects due to changes in the symmetry of the reconnection process. This study is potentially important for a wide range of magnetically confined fusion applications, from confirming simulations with extended-MHD effects are sufficiently resolved to describe reconnection, to quantifying local reconnection rates for purposes of understanding and predicting transport, not only at the q = 1 rational surface for sawteeth, but also at higher order rational surfaces that play a role in disruptions and edge-confinement degradation.

  14. Can the Solar Wind be Driven by Magnetic Reconnection in the Sun's Magnetic Carpet?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cranmer, Steven R.; van Ballegooijen, Adriaan A.

    2010-09-01

    The physical processes that heat the solar corona and accelerate the solar wind remain unknown after many years of study. Some have suggested that the wind is driven by waves and turbulence in open magnetic flux tubes, and others have suggested that plasma is injected into the open tubes by magnetic reconnection with closed loops. In order to test the latter idea, we developed Monte Carlo simulations of the photospheric "magnetic carpet" and extrapolated the time-varying coronal field. These models were constructed for a range of different magnetic flux imbalance ratios. Completely balanced models represent quiet regions on the Sun and source regions of slow solar wind streams. Highly imbalanced models represent coronal holes and source regions of fast wind streams. The models agree with observed emergence rates, surface flux densities, and number distributions of magnetic elements. Despite having no imposed supergranular motions in the models, a realistic network of magnetic "funnels" appeared spontaneously. We computed the rate at which closed field lines open up (i.e., recycling times for open flux), and we estimated the energy flux released in reconnection events involving the opening up of closed flux tubes. For quiet regions and mixed-polarity coronal holes, these energy fluxes were found to be much lower than that which is required to accelerate the solar wind. For the most imbalanced coronal holes, the energy fluxes may be large enough to power the solar wind, but the recycling times are far longer than the time it takes the solar wind to accelerate into the low corona. Thus, it is unlikely that either the slow or fast solar wind is driven by reconnection and loop-opening processes in the magnetic carpet.

  15. Slowing of Magnetic Reconnection Concurrent with Weakening Plasma Inflows and Increasing Collisionality in Strongly Driven Laser-Plasma Experiments.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rosenberg, M J; Li, C K; Fox, W; Zylstra, A B; Stoeckl, C; Séguin, F H; Frenje, J A; Petrasso, R D

    2015-05-22

    An evolution of magnetic reconnection behavior, from fast jets to the slowing of reconnection and the establishment of a stable current sheet, has been observed in strongly driven, β≲20 laser-produced plasma experiments. This process has been inferred to occur alongside a slowing of plasma inflows carrying the oppositely directed magnetic fields as well as the evolution of plasma conditions from collisionless to collisional. High-resolution proton radiography has revealed unprecedented detail of the forced interaction of magnetic fields and super-Alfvénic electron jets (V_{jet}∼20V_{A}) ejected from the reconnection region, indicating that two-fluid or collisionless magnetic reconnection occurs early in time. The absence of jets and the persistence of strong, stable magnetic fields at late times indicates that the reconnection process slows down, while plasma flows stagnate and plasma conditions evolve to a cooler, denser, more collisional state. These results demonstrate that powerful initial plasma flows are not sufficient to force a complete reconnection of magnetic fields, even in the strongly driven regime.

  16. Turbulent transport in 2D collisionless guide field reconnection

    Science.gov (United States)

    Muñoz, P. A.; Büchner, J.; Kilian, P.

    2017-02-01

    Transport in hot and dilute, i.e., collisionless, astrophysical and space, plasmas is called "anomalous." This transport is due to the interaction between the particles and the self-generated turbulence by their collective interactions. The anomalous transport has very different and not well known properties compared to the transport due to binary collisions, dominant in colder and denser plasmas. Because of its relevance for astrophysical and space plasmas, we explore the excitation of turbulence in current sheets prone to component- or guide-field reconnection, a process not well understood yet. This configuration is typical for stellar coronae, and it is created in the laboratory for which a 2.5D geometry applies. In our analysis, in addition to the immediate vicinity of the X-line, we also include regions outside and near the separatrices. We analyze the anomalous transport properties by using 2.5D Particle-in-Cell code simulations. We split off the mean slow variation (in contrast to the fast turbulent fluctuations) of the macroscopic observables and determine the main transport terms of the generalized Ohm's law. We verify our findings by comparing with the independently determined slowing-down rate of the macroscopic currents (due to a net momentum transfer from particles to waves) and with the transport terms obtained by the first order correlations of the turbulent fluctuations. We find that the turbulence is most intense in the "low density" separatrix region of guide-field reconnection. It is excited by streaming instabilities, is mainly electrostatic and "patchy" in space, and so is the associated anomalous transport. Parts of the energy exchange between turbulence and particles are reversible and quasi-periodic. The remaining irreversible anomalous resistivity can be parametrized by an effective collision rate ranging from the local ion-cyclotron to the lower-hybrid frequency. The contributions to the parallel and the perpendicular (to the magnetic

  17. Observational Evidence of Magnetic Reconnection for Brightenings and Transition Region Arcades in IRIS Observations

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhao, Jie; Schmieder, Brigitte; Li, Hui; Pariat, Etienne; Zhu, Xiaoshuai; Feng, Li; Grubecka, Michalina

    2017-02-01

    By using a new method of forced-field extrapolation, we study the emerging flux region AR11850 observed by the Interface Region Imaging Spectrograph and Solar Dynamical Observatory. Our results suggest that the bright points (BPs) in this emerging region exhibit responses in lines formed from the upper photosphere to the transition region, which have relatively similar morphologies. They have an oscillation of several minutes according to the Atmospheric Imaging Assembly data at 1600 and 1700 Å. The ratio between the BP intensities measured in 1600 and 1700 Å filtergrams reveals that these BPs are heated differently. Our analysis of the Helioseismic and Magnetic Imager vector magnetic field and the corresponding topology in AR11850 indicates that the BPs are located at the polarity inversion line and most of them are related to magnetic reconnection or cancelation. The heating of the BPs might be different due to different magnetic topology. We find that the heating due to the magnetic cancelation would be stronger than the case of bald patch reconnection. The plasma density rather than the magnetic field strength could play a dominant role in this process. Based on physical conditions in the lower atmosphere, our forced-field extrapolation shows consistent results between the bright arcades visible in slit-jaw image 1400 Å and the extrapolated field lines that pass through the bald patches. It provides reliable observational evidence for testing the mechanism of magnetic reconnection for the BPs and arcades in the emerging flux region, as proposed in simulation studies.

  18. Can the Solar Wind be Driven by Magnetic Reconnection in the Sun's Magnetic Carpet?

    CERN Document Server

    Cranmer, Steven R

    2010-01-01

    The physical processes that heat the solar corona and accelerate the solar wind remain unknown after many years of study. Some have suggested that the wind is driven by waves and turbulence in open magnetic flux tubes, and others have suggested that plasma is injected into the open tubes by magnetic reconnection with closed loops. In order to test the latter idea, we developed Monte Carlo simulations of the photospheric "magnetic carpet" and extrapolated the time-varying coronal field. These models were constructed for a range of different magnetic flux imbalance ratios. Completely balanced models represent quiet regions on the Sun and source regions of slow solar wind streams. Highly imbalanced models represent coronal holes and source regions of fast wind streams. The models agree with observed emergence rates, surface flux densities, and number distributions of magnetic elements. Despite having no imposed supergranular motions, a realistic network of magnetic "funnels" appeared spontaneously. We computed t...

  19. Orientation of X Lines in Asymmetric Magnetic Reconnection-Mass Ratio Dependency

    Science.gov (United States)

    Liu, Yi-Hsin; Hesse, M.; Kuznetsova, M.

    2015-01-01

    Using fully kinetic simulations, we study the X line orientation of magnetic reconnection in an asymmetric configuration. A spatially localized perturbation is employed to induce a single X line, which has sufficient freedom to choose its orientation in three-dimensional systems. The effect of ion to electron mass ratio is investigated, and the X line appears to bisect the magnetic shear angle across the current sheet in the large mass ratio limit. The orientation can generally be deduced by scanning through the corresponding 2-D simulations to find the reconnection plane that maximizes the peak reconnection electric field. The deviation from the bisection angle in the lower mass ratio limit is consistent with the orientation shift of the most unstable linear tearing mode in an electron-scale current sheet.

  20. Debye scale turbulence within the electron diffusion layer during magnetic reconnection

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Jara-Almonte, J.; Ji, H. [Center for Magnetic Self-Organization, Max-Planck/Princeton Center for Plasma Physics, Princeton Plasma Physics Laboratory, Princeton, New Jersey 08543 (United States); Daughton, W. [Los Alamos National Laboratory, Los Alamos, New Mexico 87545 (United States)

    2014-03-15

    During collisionless, anti-parallel magnetic reconnection, the electron diffusion layer is the region of both fieldline breaking and plasma mixing. Due to the in-plane electrostatic fields associated with collisionless reconnection, the inflowing plasmas are accelerated towards the X-line and form counter-streaming beams within the unmagnetized diffusion layer. This configuration is inherently unstable to in-plane electrostatic streaming instabilities provided that there is sufficient scale separation between the Debye length λ{sub D} and the electron skin depth c/ω{sub pe}. This scale separation has hitherto not been well resolved in kinetic simulations. Using both 2D fully kinetic simulations and a simple linear model, we demonstrate that these in-plane streaming instabilities generate Debye scale turbulence within the electron diffusion layer at electron temperatures relevant to magnetic reconnection both in the magnetosphere and in laboratory experiments.

  1. Influence of the Hall effect and electron inertia in collisionless magnetic reconnection

    CERN Document Server

    Andrés, Nahuel; Gómez, Daniel

    2015-01-01

    We study the role of the Hall current and electron inertia in collisionless magnetic reconnection within the framework of full two-fluid MHD. At spatial scales smaller than the electron inertial length, a topological change of magnetic field lines exclusively due to electron inertia becomes possible. Assuming stationary conditions, we derive a theoretical scaling for the reconnection rate, which is simply proportional to the Hall parameter. Using a pseudo-spectral code with no dissipative effects, our numerical results confirm this theoretical scaling. In particular, for a sequence of different Hall parameter values, our numerical results show that the width of the current sheet is independent of the Hall parameter while its thickness is of the order of the electron inertial range, thus confirming that the stationary reconnection rate is proportional to the Hall parameter.

  2. Bidirectional outflows as evidence of magnetic reconnection leading to a solar microflare

    CERN Document Server

    Hong, Jie; Li, Ying; Yang, Kai; Cheng, Xin; Chen, Feng; Fang, Cheng; Cao, Wenda

    2016-01-01

    Magnetic reconnection is a rapid energy release process that is believed to be responsible for flares on the Sun and stars. Nevertheless, such flare-related reconnection is mostly detected to occur in the corona, while there have been few studies concerning the reconnection in the chromosphere or photosphere. Here we present both spectroscopic and imaging observations of magnetic reconnection in the chromosphere leading to a microflare. During the flare peak time, chromospheric line profiles show significant blueshifted/redshifted components on the two sides of the flaring site, corresponding to upflows and downflows with velocities of $\\pm$(70--80) km s$^{-1}$, comparable with the local Alfv\\'{e}n speed as expected by the reconnection in the chromosphere. The three-dimensional nonlinear force-free field configuration further discloses twisted field lines (a flux rope) at a low altitude, cospatial with the dark threads in He I 10830 \\r{A} images. The instability of the flux rope may initiate the flare-related...

  3. Stochastic particle acceleration in multiple magnetic islands during reconnection.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hoshino, Masahiro

    2012-03-30

    A nonthermal particle acceleration mechanism involving the interaction of a charged particle with multiple magnetic islands is proposed. The original Fermi acceleration model, which assumes randomly distributed magnetic clouds moving at random velocity V(c) in the interstellar medium, is known to be of second-order acceleration of O(V(c)/c)(2) owing to the combination of head-on and head-tail collisions. In this Letter, we reconsider the original Fermi model by introducing multiple magnetic islands during reconnection instead of magnetic clouds. We discuss that the energetic particles have a tendency to be distributed outside the magnetic islands, and they mainly interact with reconnection outflow jets. As a result, the acceleration efficiency becomes first order of O(V(A)/c), where V(A) and c are the Alfvén velocity and the speed of light, respectively.

  4. Development of High-Field ST Merging Experiment: TS-U for High Power Reconnection Heating

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ono, Y.; Koike, H.; Tanabe, H.; Himeno, S.; Ishida, S.; Kimura, K.; Kawanami, M.; Narita, M.; Takahata, Y.; Yokoyama, T.; Inomoto, M.; Cheng, C. Z.

    2016-10-01

    We are developing high-magnetic field ST merging/ reconnection experiment TS-U with Brec = 0.3-0.5T, based on our scaling law of reconnection heating energy proportional to square of the reconnecting (poloidal) magnetic field Brec. This scaling law indicates that the high-Brec ST merging will heat ions to the burning plasma regime without using any additional heating facility. Its mechanism is that the reconnection outflow accelerates mainly ions up to the poloidal Alfven speed like the Sweet-Parker model. The shock-like density pileups thermalize the accelerated ions in the down-streams in agreement with recent solar satellite observations and PIC simulation results. We already documented significant ion heating of spheromak and ST mergings up to 0.25keV in TS-3 and 1.2keV in MAST, leading us to the high-Brec merging experiment TS-U. It is noted that high-resolution (>500 channel) 2D measurements of ion and electron temperatures is being developed for the purpose of solving all acceleration and heating effects of magnetic reconnection, such as the huge outflow heating of ions in the downstream and electron heating localized at the X-point.

  5. The model of self-sustained propagation of a magnetic reconnection along the flux tube

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dumin, Yurii

    This work represents a further development of our earlier ideas about heating the solar corona in the transition region from the "induction" to "drift" freezing of the magnetic field in plasma [1, 2]. The new detailed study of this process in the magnetic tube filled with a weakly-ionized plasma of the lower solar atmosphere shows that ignition of the magnetic reconnection develops most efficiently at the spot of approximate equality between the gyro-and collisional frequencies of charged particles. Next, due to the heat release and its propagation along the magnetic flux tube, the spot of most efficient reconnection moves upwards, thereby producing a self-sustained propagation of the reconnection along the field lines. The temperature increases sharply with height just due to decrease in plasma density, stratified by the gravitational field. This phenomenon may be efficiently applied to model the solar microflares, which are believed now to be an important ingredient of the solar atmosphere heating. References: 1. Yu.V. Dumin. Can Heating of the Solar Corona Be Related to a Transition from the In-duction to Drift Mechanism of the Magnetic Field Freezing in Plasma? Advances in Space Research, v.30, p.565 (2002). 2. Yu.V. Dumin. On the Physical Nature of the Magnetic-Field Freezing-in Effect in Collision-less Cosmic Plasmas. Solar System Research, v.32, p.323 (1998).

  6. Electron dynamics in collisionless magnetic reconnection with a PIC simulation

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    GUO Jun

    2009-01-01

    Two-dimensional particle-in-cell (PIC) simulation is used to investigate electron dynamics in colli-sionless magnetic reconnection, and the proton/electron mass ratio is taken to be ml/me = 256. The results show that the presence of a strong initial guide field will change the direction of the electron flow. The electron density cavities and the parallel electric field can be found in the electron inflow re-gion along the separatrix, and the electron inflow and density cavities only appear in the second and fourth quadrants. What is different from the results with a smaller mass ratio is that new structures appear in the diffusion region near the X line: (1) Narrow regions of density enhancement and density cavities can be found synchronously in this region; and (2) corresponding to the electron density changes near the X line, the strong parallel electric fields are found to occur in the first and third quadrants. These electric fields perhaps play a more important role in acceleration and heating elec-trons than those fields located in the density cavities.

  7. Fast magnetic reconnection in the plasmoid-dominated regime.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Uzdensky, D A; Loureiro, N F; Schekochihin, A A

    2010-12-03

    A conceptual model of resistive magnetic reconnection via a stochastic plasmoid chain is proposed. The global reconnection rate is shown to be independent of the Lundquist number. The distribution of fluxes in the plasmoids is shown to be an inverse-square law. It is argued that there is a finite probability of emergence of abnormally large plasmoids, which can disrupt the chain (and may be responsible for observable large abrupt events in solar flares and sawtooth crashes). A criterion for the transition from the resistive magnetohydrodynamic to the collisionless regime is provided.

  8. Shear flow effects on double tearing mode global magnetic reconnection

    CERN Document Server

    Voslion, Thibaut; Beyer, Peter; Yagi, Masatoshi; Benkadda, Sadruddin; Garbet, Xavier; Itoh, Kimitaka; Itoh, Sanae-I

    2009-01-01

    The dynamics of a global reconnection in the presence of a poloidal shear flow which is located in between magnetic islands is investigated. Different linear regimes are identified according to the value of the resistivity and the distance between the low-order resonant surfaces. It is found that the presence of a small shear flow affects and significantly delays the global reconnection processes. It is shown that this delay is linked to a breaking of symmetry imposed by the existence of the shear flow and the generation of a mean poloidal flow in the resistive layers.

  9. Sub-Grid-Scale Description of Turbulent Magnetic Reconnection in Magnetohydrodynamics

    CERN Document Server

    Widmer, Fabien; Yokoi, Nobumitsu

    2015-01-01

    Magnetic reconnection requires, at least locally, a non-ideal plasma response. In collisionless space and astrophysical plasmas, turbulence could permit this instead of the too rare binary collisions. We investigated the influence of turbulence on the reconnection rate in the framework of a single fluid compressible MHD approach. The goal is to find out, whether unresolved, sub-grid for MHD simulations, turbulence can enhance the reconnection process in high Reynolds number astrophysical plasma. We solve, simultaneously with the grid-scale MHD equations, evolution equations for the sub-grid turbulent energy and cross helicity according to Yokoi's model (Yokoi (2013)) where turbulence is self-generated and -sustained through the inhomogeneities of the mean fields. Simulations of Harris and force free sheets confirm the results of Higashimori et al. (2013) and new results are obtained about the dependence on resistivity for large Reynolds number as well as guide field effects. The amount of energy transferred f...

  10. Existence of two MHD reconnection modes in a solar 3D magnetic null point topology

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pariat, Etienne; Antiochos, Spiro; DeVore, C. Richard; Dalmasse, Kévin

    2012-07-01

    Magnetic topologies with a 3D magnetic null point are common in the solar atmosphere and occur at different spatial scales: such structures can be associated with some solar eruptions, with the so-called pseudo-streamers, and with numerous coronal jets. We have recently developed a series of numerical experiments that model magnetic reconnection in such configurations in order to study and explain the properties of jet-like features. Our model uses our state-of-the-art adaptive-mesh MHD solver ARMS. Energy is injected in the system by line-tied motion of the magnetic field lines in a corona-like configuration. We observe that, in the MHD framework, two reconnection modes eventually appear in the course of the evolution of the system. A very impulsive one, associated with a highly dynamic and fully 3D current sheet, is associated with the energetic generation of a jet. Before and after the generation of the jet, a quasi-steady reconnection mode, more similar to the standard 2D Sweet-Parker model, presents a lower global reconnection rate. We show that the geometry of the magnetic configuration influences the trigger of one or the other mode. We argue that this result carries important implications for the observed link between observational features such as solar jets, solar plumes, and the emission of coronal bright points.

  11. Heating mechanisms in the low solar atmosphere through magnetic reconnection in current sheets

    CERN Document Server

    Ni, Lei; Roussev, Ilia I; Schmieder, Brigitte

    2016-01-01

    We simulate several magnetic reconnection processes in the low solar chromosphere/photosphere, the radiation cooling, heat conduction and ambipolar diffusion are all included. Our numerical results indicate that both the high temperature($ \\gtrsim 8\\times10^4$~K) and low temperature($\\sim 10^4$~K) magnetic reconnection events can happen in the low solar atmosphere ($100\\sim600$~km above the solar surface). The plasma $\\beta$ controlled by plasma density and magnetic fields is one important factor to decide how much the plasma can be heated up. The low temperature event is formed in a high $\\beta$ magnetic reconnection process, Joule heating is the main mechanism to heat plasma and the maximum temperature increase is only several thousand Kelvin. The high temperature explosions can be generated in a low $\\beta$ magnetic reconnection process, slow and fast-mode shocks attached at the edges of the well developed plasmoids are the main physical mechanisms to heat the plasma from several thousand Kelvin to over $8...

  12. Magnetic reconnection by a self-retreating X line.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Oka, M; Fujimoto, M; Nakamura, T K M; Shinohara, I; Nishikawa, K-I

    2008-11-14

    Particle-in-cell simulations of collisionless magnetic reconnection are performed to study asymmetric reconnection in which an outflow is blocked by a hard wall while leaving sufficiently large room for the outflow of the opposite direction. This condition leads to a slow, roughly constant motion of the diffusion region away from the wall, the so-called "X-line retreat." The typical retreat speed is approximately 0.1 times the Alfvén speed. At the diffusion region, ion flow pattern shows strong asymmetry and the ion stagnation point and the X line are not collocated. A surprise, however, is that the reconnection rate remains the same unaffected by the retreat motion.

  13. Magnetic Reconnection by a Self-Retreating X-Line

    CERN Document Server

    Oka, M; Nakamura, T K M; Shinohara, I; Nishikawa, K -I

    2008-01-01

    Particle-in-cell (PIC) simulations of collisionless magnetic reconnection are performed to study asymmetric reconnection in which an outflow is blocked by a hard wall while leaving sufficiently large room for the outflow of the opposite direction. This condition leads to a slow, roughly constant motion of the diffusion region away from the wall, the so-called `X-line retreat'. The typical retreat speed is ~0.1 times the Alfven speed. At the diffusion region, ion flow pattern shows strong asymmetry and the ion stagnation point and the X-line are not collocated. A surprise, however, is that the reconnection rate remains the same unaffected by the retreat motion.

  14. Onset of Fast Magnetic Reconnection via Subcritical Bifurcation

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    ZHIBIN eGUO

    2015-04-01

    Full Text Available We report a phase transition model for the onset of fast magnetic reconnection. By investigating the joint dynamics of streaming instability(i.e., current driven ion acoustic in this paper and current gradient driven whistler wave {color{blue} {prior to the onset of fast reconnection}}, we show that the nonlinear evolution of current sheet(CS can be described by a Landau-Ginzburg equation. The phase transition from slow reconnection to fast reconnection occurs at a critical thickness, $Delta_csimeq frac{2}{sqrt{pi}}left|frac{v_{the}}{v_c}right|d_e$, where $v_{the}$ is electron thermal velocity and $v_c$ is the velocity threshold of the streaming instability. For current driven ion acoustic, $Delta_c$ is $leq10d_e$. If the thickness of the CS is narrower than $Delta_c$, the CS subcritically bifurcates into a rough state, which facilitates breakage of the CS, and consequently initiates fast reconnection.

  15. Local Dynamics and Global Size Coupling during Magnetic Reconnection

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jacobson, C. M.; Breslau, J. A.; Jardin, S. C.; Ji, H.

    2008-11-01

    Magnetic reconnection is an important physical process not only in small systems such as laboratory plasmas, but also in large systems such as solar flares. The reconnection rate increases with resistivity η and decreases with the current sheet length L. Recent experimental results suggest that these parameters are not independent, but anti-correlate such that ηL is kept roughly constant; thus the reconnection rate is a function of both local dynamics and global size [1]. In order to verify these results and further extend the system size, a numerical MHD model [2] is used. This code allows simulation of either two-fluid or single-fluid resistive MHD reconnection of colliding flux tubes on a 2D grid. The resistivity and system size are systematically varied, and scalings of the ion skin depth, collisionality, and reconnection rate due to these quantities are presented. Results are compared to experimental data, and findings are projected to solar flare scales. [1] A. Kuritsyn et al. Geophys. Res. Lett. 34, L16106 (2007) [2] J. A. Breslau and S. C. Jardin, Comput. Phys. Commun. 151, 8 (2003)

  16. The Rate of Flux Pile-up Magnetic Reconnection in the Solar Corona

    Science.gov (United States)

    Litvinenko, Y. E.

    2000-05-01

    The rate of two-dimensional flux pile-up magnetic reconnection is known to be severely limited by gas pressure in a low-beta plasma of the solar corona. For a two-dimensional stagnation point flow with nonzero vorticity, for example, the rate cannot exceed the Sweet-Parker scaling. The limitation should be less restrictive, however, for three-dimensional flux pile-up. This paper examines the maximum rate of three-dimensional pile-up reconnection in the approximation of reduced magnetohydrodynamics (RMHD), which is valid in the solar coronal loops. Gas pressure effects are ignored in RMHD, but a similar limitation on the rate of magnetic merging exists. Both the magnetic energy dissipation rate and the reconnection electric field are shown to increase by several orders of magnitude in RMHD as compared with strictly two-dimensional pile-up. This is enough to explain small solar flares and slow coronal transients with energy release rates of order 1025 - 1026 erg s-1, as well as heating of quiet coronal loops. Notably, the reconnection electric field is several orders of magnitude greater than the Dreicer field, hence it can efficiently accelerate charged particles in flares. This work was supported by NSF grant ATM-9813933.

  17. Torsional magnetic reconnection at three dimensional null points: A phenomenological study

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wyper, Peter; Jain, Rekha

    2010-09-01

    Magnetic reconnection around three dimensional (3D) magnetic null points is the natural progression from X-point reconnection in two dimensions. In 3D the separator field lines of the X-point are replaced with the spine line and fan plane (the field lines which asymptotically approach or recede from the null). In this work analytical models are developed for the newly classified torsional spine and torsional fan reconnection regimes by solving the steady state, kinematic, resistive magnetohydrodynamic equations. Reconnection is localized to around the null through the use of a localized field perturbation leading to a localized current while a constant resistivity is assumed. For the torsional spine case current is found to localize around the spine leading to a spiraling slippage of the field around the spine and out along the fan. For the torsional fan case current is found to be localized to the fan plane leading again to a spiraling slippage of the field. In each case no flux is transported across either the spine or the fan. An intermediate twist is then introduced and a link is established between the two regimes. We find that for a general twist plasma flows associated with both torsional spine and fan appear in distinct regions. As such we suggest that the "pure" flows of each are extreme cases.

  18. Comment on 'Observations of reconnection of interplanetary and lobe magnetic field lines at the high-latitude magnetopause' by J.T. Gosling, M.F. Thomsen, S.J. Bame, R.C. Elphic, and C.T. Russell

    Science.gov (United States)

    Belen'kaia, Elena

    1993-01-01

    Comment is presented on the results of measurements, reported by Gosling et al. (1991), that were made on ISEE in the vicinity of the high-latitude dusk magnetopause near the terminator plane, at a time when the local magnetosheath and tail lobe magnetic fields were nearly oppositely directed. The character of the observed plasma flowing both tailward and sunward within the high-latitude magnetopause current layer presented real evidence for the local reconnection process. Gosling et al. argued that this process may be a manifestation of different global magnetospheric topology structures. In the comment, a global magnetospheric convection pattern is constructed for the northward IMF and for the case of a large azimuthal component of the IMF with small Bz, irrespective of its sign. The suggested scheme provides a simple explanation for the observed sunward convection in the polar caps both for the northward and for strong By with small Bz. According to the present model, for the magnetosheath field at 2300 UT on June 11, 1978, the reconnection between the open field lines appears at the northern neutral point.

  19. Using radiative energy losses to constrain the magnetization and magnetic reconnection rate at the base of black hole jets

    Science.gov (United States)

    Potter, William J.

    2017-02-01

    We calculate the severe radiative energy losses which occur at the base of black hole jets using a relativistic fluid jet model, including in situ acceleration of non-thermal leptons by magnetic reconnection. Our results demonstrate that including a self-consistent treatment of radiative energy losses is necessary to perform accurate magnetohydrodynamic simulations of powerful jets and that jet spectra calculated via post-processing are liable to vastly overestimate the amount of non-thermal emission. If no more than 95 per cent of the initial total jet power is radiated away by the plasma travels as it travels along the length of the jet, we can place a lower bound on the magnetization of the jet plasma at the base of the jet. For typical powerful jets, we find that the plasma at the jet base is required to be highly magnetized, with at least 10 000 times more energy contained in magnetic fields than in non-thermal leptons. Using a simple power-law model of magnetic reconnection, motivated by simulations of collisionless reconnection, we determine the allowed range of the large-scale average reconnection rate along the jet, by restricting the total radiative energy losses incurred and the distance at which the jet first comes into equipartition. We calculate analytic expressions for the cumulative radiative energy losses due to synchrotron and inverse-Compton emission along jets, and derive analytic formulae for the constraint on the initial magnetization.

  20. Electron acceleration in collisionless shocks and magnetic reconnection by laser-produced plasma ablation

    Science.gov (United States)

    Park, Jaehong; Spitkovksy, Anatoly; Fox, Will; Bhattacharjee, Amitava

    2016-10-01

    We perform particle-in-cell simulations of collisionless shocks and magnetic reconnection generated by ablated plasma expanding into a magnetized background plasma. We find: (1) The simulated proton radiography produces different morphology of the shock structure depending on the orientation of the magnetic field and can be used to identify a shock in the experiment. Electrons are accelerated by the whistler waves generated at oblique sites of the shock. (2) Forced collisionless magnetic reconnection is induced when the expanding plumes carry opposite magnetic polarities and interact with a background plasma. Electrons are accelerated at the reconnection X line and reveal a power-law distribution as the plasma beta is lowered, β = 0.08 . As the plasma beta is increased, β = 0.32 , the 1st order Fermi mechanism against the two plasma plumes contributes to the electron acceleration as well as the X line acceleration. Using 3-D simulations, we also explore the effect of 3-D instabilities (Weibel instability or drift-kink) on particle acceleration and magnetic field annihilation between the colliding magnetized plumes

  1. On the location of dayside magnetic reconnection during an interval of duskward oriented IMF

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    J. A. Wild

    2007-02-01

    Full Text Available We present space- and ground-based observations of the signatures of magnetic reconnection during an interval of duskward-oriented interplanetary magnetic field on 25 March 2004. In situ field and plasma measurements are drawn from the Double Star and Cluster satellites during traversals of the pre-noon sector dayside magnetopause at low and high latitudes, respectively. These reveal the typical signatures of flux transfer events (FTEs, namely bipolar perturbations in the magnetic field component normal to the local magnetopause, enhancements in the local magnetic field strength and mixing of magnetospheric and magnetosheath plasmas. Further evidence of magnetic reconnection is inferred from the ground-based signatures of pulsed ionospheric flow observed over an extended interval. In order to ascertain the location of the reconnection site responsible for the FTEs, a simple model of open flux tube motion over the surface of the magnetopause is employed. A comparison of the modelled and observed motion of open flux tubes (i.e. FTEs and plasma flow in the magnetopause boundary layer indicates that the FTEs observed at both low and high latitudes were consistence with the existence of a tilted X-line passing through the sub-solar region, as suggested by the component reconnection paradigm. While a high latitude X-line (as predicted by the anti-parallel description of reconnection may have been present, we find it unlikely that it could have been responsible for the FTEs observed in the pre-noon sector under the observed IMF conditions. Finally, we note that throughout the interval, the magnetosphere was bathed in ULF oscillations within the solar wind electric field. While no one-to-one correspondence with the pulsed reconnection rate suggested by the ground-based observation of pulsed ionospheric flow has been demonstrated, we note that similar periodicity oscillations were observed throughout the solar wind-magnetosphere-ionosphere system. These

  2. The Pressure Limitations on Flux Pile-Up Magnetic Reconnection

    Science.gov (United States)

    Litvinenko, Y. E.

    1999-05-01

    Flux pile-up magnetic reconnection was thought to be able to provide fast energy dissipation a strongly magnetized plasma, for example, in solar flares. We examine the problem of the plasma pressure limitations on the rapidity of flux pile-up reconnection. It is shown that for a two-dimensional stagnation point flow with nonzero vorticity the magnetic merging rate cannot exceed the Sweet-Parker scaling in a low-beta plasma, which is too slow to explain flares. Moreover, the solution has some undesireable properties such as a diffusion layer at the external boundary and the massively increasing inflow speed. The pressure limitation appears to be somewhat less restrictive for three-dimensional flux pile-up. This work was supported by NSF grant ATM-9813933.

  3. Measurement of ion velocity profiles in a magnetic reconnection layer via current sheet jogging

    Science.gov (United States)

    Stein, G.; Yoo, J.; Yamada, M.; Ji, H.; Dorfman, S.; Lawrence, E.; Myers, C.; Tharp, T.

    2011-10-01

    In many laboratory plasmas, constructing stationary Langmuir and Mach probe arrays with resolution on the order of electron skin depth is technically difficult, and can introduce significant plasma perturbations. However, complete two- dimensional profiles of plasma density, electron temperature, and ion flow are important for studying the transfer of energy from magnetic fields to particles during magnetic reconnection. Through the use of extra ``Shaping Field'' coils in the Magnetic Reconnection Experiment (MRX) at the Princeton Plasma Physics Laboratory, the inward motion of the current sheet in the reconnection layer can be accelerated, or ``jogged,'' allowing the measurement of different points across the sheet with stationary probes. By acquiring data from Langmuir probes and Mach probes at different locations in the MRX with respect to the current sheet center, profiles of electron density and temperature and a vector plot of two-dimensional ion velocity in the plane of reconnection are created. Results from probe measurements will be presented and compared to profiles generated from computer simulation.

  4. Identification of intermittent multifractal turbulence in fully kinetic simulations of magnetic reconnection.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Leonardis, E; Chapman, S C; Daughton, W; Roytershteyn, V; Karimabadi, H

    2013-05-17

    Recent fully nonlinear, kinetic three-dimensional simulations of magnetic reconnection [W. Daughton et al., Nat. Phys. 7, 539 (2011)] evolve structures and exhibit dynamics on multiple scales, in a manner reminiscent of turbulence. These simulations of reconnection are among the first to be performed at sufficient spatiotemporal resolution to allow formal quantitative analysis of statistical scaling, which we present here. We find that the magnetic field fluctuations generated by reconnection are anisotropic, have nontrivial spatial correlation, and exhibit the hallmarks of finite range fluid turbulence: they have non-Gaussian distributions, exhibit extended self-similarity in their scaling, and are spatially multifractal. Furthermore, we find that the rate at which the fields do work on the particles, J · E, is also multifractal, so that magnetic energy is converted to plasma kinetic energy in a manner that is spatially intermittent. This suggests that dissipation in this sense in collisionless reconnection on kinetic scales has an analogue in fluidlike turbulent phenomenology, in that it proceeds via multifractal structures generated by an intermittent cascade.

  5. Progress on study of unusual structure of electrostatic solitary waves associated with magnetic reconnection in the near-Earth magnetotail

    Science.gov (United States)

    Li, Shiyou; Chen, Xiaoqian; Guo, Jianming

    2016-07-01

    The electrostatic solitary waves (ESWs) have been widely observed and studied for many years. In the magnetic reconnection process, ESWs are regarded as one kind of means for the fast energy release by outward propagating electrons along re-connecting magnetic field lines. In this report, we present observation evidences of two kinds of unusual structures of ESWs associated with magnetic reconnection in the near-Earth magnetotail, including the 2-D ESWs and the tri-polar ESWs. First of all, more than 300 of electrostatic solitary waves (ESWs) with large perpendicular component which is bi-polar waveform structure are observed in the boundary layer within magnetic reconnection diffusion region in the near-Earth magnetotail. Such kinds of ESWs are named as 2-D ESWs. Singe-Reconnection-Based-Statistical study of 2-D ESWs is performed. Secondly, more than 200 waveforms with clear tri-polar characteristics are differentiated along the plasma sheet boundary layer near the magnetic reconnection X-line in the near-Earth magnetotail. Within reconnection diffusion region, the tri-polar ESWs are ample and are continuously observed during one burst interval (8.75 seconds) of the Geotail/WFC in the neutral plasma sheet where and thus the tri-polar ESW is suggested to be one kind of steady-going solitary structure. Statistical analysis to the characteristics of tri-polar ESWs will also be carried out. The observation of 2-D ESWs and the tri-polar ESWs presents evidence of complex structure of electron holes within the reconnection diffusion region and is helpful to the understanding of the energy release process of reconnection.

  6. Effect of Electron Drift Velocity on Whistler Instability in Collisionless Magnetic Reconnection

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    WANG De-Yu; HUANG Guang-Li; LU Quan-Ming

    2004-01-01

    The whistler instability is studied under the condition that the electron and ion velocities can be described in a bi-Maxwellian distribution with a field-aligned electron outflow drift velocity. It is found that the electron outflow drift velocity might obviously make the threshold condition of whistler instability decrease when this velocity is parallel to the magnetic field, whereas the electron outflow drift velocity might increase the threshold condition when this velocity is anti-parallel to the magnetic field in collisionless magnetic reconnection.

  7. Application of PDSLin to the magnetic reconnection problem

    KAUST Repository

    Yuan, Xuefei

    2013-01-01

    Magnetic reconnection is a fundamental process in a magnetized plasma at both low and high magnetic Lundquist numbers (the ratio of the resistive diffusion time to the Alfvén wave transit time), which occurs in a wide variety of laboratory and space plasmas, e.g. magnetic fusion experiments, the solar corona and the Earth\\'s magnetotail. An implicit time advance for the two-fluid magnetic reconnection problem is known to be difficult because of the large condition number of the associated matrix. This is especially troublesome when the collisionless ion skin depth is large so that the Whistler waves, which cause the fast reconnection, dominate the physics (Yuan et al 2012 J. Comput. Phys. 231 5822-53). For small system sizes, a direct solver such as SuperLU can be employed to obtain an accurate solution as long as the condition number is bounded by the reciprocal of the floating-point machine precision. However, SuperLU scales effectively only to hundreds of processors or less. For larger system sizes, it has been shown that physics-based (Chacón and Knoll 2003 J. Comput. Phys. 188 573-92) or other preconditioners can be applied to provide adequate solver performance. In recent years, we have been developing a new algebraic hybrid linear solver, PDSLin (Parallel Domain decomposition Schur complement-based Linear solver) (Yamazaki and Li 2010 Proc. VECPAR pp 421-34 and Yamazaki et al 2011 Technical Report). In this work, we compare numerical results from a direct solver and the proposed hybrid solver for the magnetic reconnection problem and demonstrate that the new hybrid solver is scalable to thousands of processors while maintaining the same robustness as a direct solver. © 2013 IOP Publishing Ltd.

  8. The Roles of Reconnected Flux and Overlying Fields in CME Speeds

    Science.gov (United States)

    Deng, Minda; Welsch, Brian T.

    2017-01-01

    Researchers have reported i) correlations of coronal mass ejection (CME) speeds and the total photospheric magnetic flux swept out by flare ribbons in flare-associated eruptive events, and, separately, ii) correlations of CME speeds and more rapid decay, with height, of magnetic fields in potential-field coronal models above eruption sites. Here, we compare the roles of both ribbon fluxes and the decay rates of overlying fields in a set of 16 eruptive events. We confirm previous results that higher CME speeds are associated with both higher ribbon fluxes and more rapidly decaying overlying fields. We find the association with ribbon fluxes to be weaker than a previous report, but stronger than the dependence on the decay rate of overlying fields. Since the photospheric ribbon flux is thought to approximate the amount of coronal magnetic flux reconnected during the event, the correlation of speeds with ribbon fluxes suggests that reconnection plays some role in accelerating CMEs. One possibility is that reconnected fields that wrap around the rising ejection produce an increased outward hoop force, thereby increasing CME acceleration. The correlation of CME speeds with more rapidly decaying overlying fields might be caused by greater downward magnetic tension in stronger overlying fields, which could act as a source of drag on rising ejections.

  9. Charge-to-mass-ratio-dependent ion heating during magnetic reconnection in the MST RFP

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Kumar, S. T. A.; Almagri, A. F.; Den Hartog, D. J.; Nornberg, M. D.; Sarff, J. S.; Terry, P. W. [Department of Physics, University of Wisconsin-Madison, Madison, Wisconsin 53706 (United States); Center for Magnetic Self-Organization in Laboratory and Astrophysical Plasmas, University of Wisconsin-Madison, Madison, Wisconsin 53706 (United States); Craig, D. [Wheaton College, Wheaton, Illinois 60187 (United States)

    2013-05-15

    Temperature evolution during magnetic reconnection has been spectroscopically measured for various ion species in a toroidal magnetized plasma. Measurements are made predominantly in the direction parallel to the equilibrium magnetic field. It is found that the increase in parallel ion temperature during magnetic reconnection events increases with the charge-to-mass ratio of the ion species. This trend can be understood if the heating mechanism is anisotropic, favoring heating in the perpendicular degree of freedom, with collisional relaxation of multiple ion species. The charge-to-mass ratio trend for the parallel temperature derives from collisional isotropization. This result emphasizes that collisional isotropization and energy transfer must be carefully modeled when analyzing ion heating measurements and comparing to theoretical predictions.

  10. Clusters of small eruptive flares produced by magnetic reconnection in the sun

    CERN Document Server

    Archontis, V

    2015-01-01

    We report on the formation of small solar flares produced by patchy magnetic reconnection between interacting magnetic loops. A three-dimensional (3D) magnetohydrodynamic (MHD) numerical experiment was performed, where a uniform magnetic flux sheet was injected into a fully developed convective layer. The gradual emergence of the field into the solar atmosphere results in a network of magnetic loops, which interact dynamically forming current layers at their interfaces. The formation and ejection of plasmoids out of the current layers leads to patchy reconnection and the spontaneous formation of several small (size ? 1-2Mm) flares. We find that these flares are short-lived (30 s - 3 min) bursts of energy in the range O(10^25 - 10^27) ergs, which is basically the nanoflare-microflare range. Their persistent formation and co-operative action and evolution leads to recurrent emission of fast EUV/X-ray jets and considerable plasma heating in the active corona.

  11. Laboratory study of ion and electron dynamics during asymmetric magnetic reconnection

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yoo, J.; Jara-Almonte, J.; Yamada, M.; Ji, H.; Fox, W. R., II; Chen, L. J.; Roytershteyn, V.; Na, B.

    2015-12-01

    Magnetic reconnection at the dayside magnetopause has a large density asymmetry across the current sheet. To study effects of the density asymmetry on the ion and electron dynamics, plasmas with a significant (~10) density asymmetry are created in the Magnetic Reconnection Experiment (MRX) [1]. The density asymmetry affects the ion flow pattern by changing the in-plane electrostatic field such that the potential decrease on the high-density side becomes much smaller than that on the low-density side [2]. The ion inflow stagnation point is shifted toward the low-density side and the maximum ion outflow velocity is observed on the low-density side. The density asymmetry also makes the electron temperature profile asymmetric, which has a higher temperature near the low-density-side separatrices. The bulk electron heating is proportional to the total incoming magnetic energy per particle. The electron energization process during asymmetric reconnection is studied via numerical simulations. By comparing 2D simulations with corresponding 3D simulations, we find that the overall energization process does not depend on variations along the third dimension. Where and how electrons are energized during asymmetric reconnection will be discussed by using data from 2D numerical simulations. Finally, the scaling of the reconnection rate and the ion outflow speed given by the Cassak and Shay 2007 [3] is tested by systematically varying the density ratio. The measured ion outflow speed is about 40% of the theoretical values and the measured reconnection rate agrees with the scaling only with the measured density in the exhaust region. [1] M. Yamada et al., Phys. Plasmas 4, 1936 (1997). [2] J. Yoo et al., Phys. Rev. Lett. 113, 095002 (2014). [3] P. Cassak and M. Shay, Phys. Plasmas 14, 102114 (2007).

  12. Cosmic rays and stochastic magnetic reconnection in the heliotail

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    P. Desiati

    2012-06-01

    Full Text Available Galactic cosmic rays are believed to be generated by diffusive shock acceleration processes in Supernova Remnants, and the arrival direction is likely determined by the distribution of their sources throughout the Galaxy, in particular by the nearest and youngest ones. Transport to Earth through the interstellar medium is expected to affect the cosmic ray properties as well. However, the observed anisotropy of TeV cosmic rays and its energy dependence cannot be explained with diffusion models of particle propagation in the Galaxy. Within a distance of a few parsec, diffusion regime is not valid and particles with energy below about 100 TeV must be influenced by the heliosphere and its elongated tail. The observation of a highly significant localized excess region of cosmic rays from the apparent direction of the downstream interstellar flow at 1–10 TeV energies might provide the first experimental evidence that the heliotail can affect the transport of energetic particles. In particular, TeV cosmic rays propagating through the heliotail interact with the 100–300 AU wide magnetic field polarity domains generated by the 11 yr cycles. Since the strength of non-linear convective processes is expected to be larger than viscous damping, the plasma in the heliotail is turbulent. Where magnetic field domains converge on each other due to solar wind gradient, stochastic magnetic reconnection likely occurs. Such processes may be efficient enough to re-accelerate a fraction of TeV particles as long as scattering processes are not strong. Therefore, the fractional excess of TeV cosmic rays from the narrow region toward the heliotail direction traces sightlines with the lowest smearing scattering effects, that can also explain the observation of a harder than average energy spectrum.

  13. Excitation of electrostatic waves in the electron cyclotron frequency range during magnetic reconnection in laboratory overdense plasmas

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Kuwahata, A., E-mail: kuwahata@ts.t.u-tokyo.ac.jp [Graduate School of Engineering, The University of Tokyo, Tokyo 113-8656 (Japan); Igami, H. [National Institute for Fusion Science, Toki 509-5292 (Japan); Kawamori, E. [Institute of Space and Plasma Sciences, National Cheng Kung University, Tainan 70101, Taiwan (China); Kogi, Y. [Fukuoka Institute of Technology, Fukuoka 811-0295 (Japan); Inomoto, M.; Ono, Y. [Graduate School of Frontier Sciences, The University of Tokyo, Kashiwa 277-8561 (Japan)

    2014-10-15

    We report the observation of electromagnetic radiation at high harmonics of the electron cyclotron frequency that was considered to be converted from electrostatic waves called electron Bernstein waves (EBWs) during magnetic reconnection in laboratory overdense plasmas. The excitation of EBWs was attributed to the thermalization of electrons accelerated by the reconnection electric field around the X-point. The radiative process discussed here is an acceptable explanation for observed radio waves pulsation associated with major flares.

  14. Reconnection at 3D Magnetic Null Points: Effect of Current Sheet Asymmetry

    CERN Document Server

    Wyper, Peter F

    2013-01-01

    Asymmetric current sheets are likely to be prevalent in both astrophysical and laboratory plasmas with complex three dimensional (3D) magnetic topologies. This work presents kinematic analytical models for spine and fan reconnection at a symmetric 3D null with asymmetric current sheets. Asymmetric fan reconnection is characterized by an asymmetric reconnection of flux past each spine line and a bulk flow of plasma across the null point. In contrast, asymmetric spine reconnection is inherently equal and opposite in how flux is reconnected across the fan plane. The higher modes of spine reconnection also include localized wedges of vortical flux transport in each half of the fan. In this situation, two definitions for reconnection rate become appropriate: a local reconnection rate quantifying how much flux is genuinely reconnected across the fan plane and a global rate associated with the net flux driven across each semi-plane. Through a scaling analysis it is shown that when the ohmic dissipation in the layer ...

  15. Magnetic fields in early protostellar disk formation

    CERN Document Server

    González-Casanova, Diego F; Lazarian, Alexander

    2016-01-01

    We consider formation of accretion disks from a realistically turbulent molecular gas using 3D MHD simulations. In particular, we analyze the effect of the fast turbulent reconnection described by the Lazarian & Vishniac (1999) model for the removal of magnetic flux from a disk. With our numerical simulations we demonstrate how the fast reconnection enables protostellar disk formation resolving the so-called "magnetic braking catastrophe". In particular, we provide a detailed study of the dynamics of a 0.5 M$_\\odot$ protostar and the formation of its disk for up to several thousands years. We measure the evolution of the mass, angular momentum, magnetic field, and turbulence around the star. We consider effects of two processes that strongly affect the magnetic transfer of angular momentum, both of which are based on turbulent reconnection: the first, "reconnection diffusion", removes the magnetic flux from the disk, the other involves the change of the magnetic field's topology, but does not change the a...

  16. GAMMA-RAY BURSTS FROM MAGNETIC RECONNECTION: VARIABILITY AND ROBUSTNESS OF LIGHT CURVES

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Granot, Jonathan [Department of Natural Sciences, The Open University of Israel, 1 University Road, P.O. Box 808, Ra’anana 4353701 (Israel)

    2016-01-10

    The dissipation mechanism that powers gamma-ray bursts (GRBs) remains uncertain almost half a century after their discovery. The two main competing mechanisms are the extensively studied internal shocks and the less studied magnetic reconnection. Here we consider GRB emission from magnetic reconnection accounting for the relativistic bulk motions that it produces in the jet's bulk rest frame. Far from the source the magnetic field is almost exactly normal to the radial direction, suggesting locally quasi-spherical thin reconnection layers between regions of oppositely directed magnetic field. We show that if the relativistic motions in the jet's frame are confined to such a quasi-spherical uniform layer, then the resulting GRB light curves are independent of their direction distribution within this layer. This renders previous results for a delta-function velocity-direction distribution applicable to a much more general class of reconnection models, which are suggested by numerical simulations. Such models that vary in their velocity-direction distribution differ mainly in the size of the bright region that contributes most of the observed flux at a given emission radius or observed time. The more sharply peaked this distribution, the smaller this bright region, and the stronger the light curve variability that may be induced by deviations from a uniform emission over the thin reconnection layer, which may be expected in a realistic GRB outflow. This is reflected both in the observed image at a given observed time and in the observer-frame emissivity map at a given emission radius, which are calculated here for three simple velocity-direction distributions.

  17. Suppression of Collisionless Magnetic Reconnection in Asymmetric Current Sheets

    Science.gov (United States)

    Liu, Yi-Hsin; Hesse, Michael

    2016-01-01

    Using fully kinetic simulations, we study the suppression of asymmetric reconnection in the limit where the diamagnetic drift speed >> Alfven speed and the magnetic shear angle is moderate. We demonstrate that the slippage between electrons and the magnetic flux mitigates the suppression and can even result in fast reconnection that lacks one of the outflow jets. Through comparing a case where the diamagnetic drift is supported by the temperature gradient with a companion case that has a density gradient instead, we identify a robust suppression mechanism. The drift of the x-line is slowed down locally by the asymmetric nature of the x-line, and then the x-line is run over and swallowed by the faster-moving following flux.

  18. Scaling of Magnetic Reconnection in Relativistic Collisionless Pair Plasmas

    Science.gov (United States)

    Liu, Yi-Hsin; Guo, Fan; Daughton, William; Li, Hui; Hesse, Michael

    2015-01-01

    Using fully kinetic simulations, we study the scaling of the inflow speed of collisionless magnetic reconnection in electron-positron plasmas from the non-relativistic to ultra-relativistic limit. In the anti-parallel configuration, the inflow speed increases with the upstream magnetization parameter sigma and approaches the speed of light when sigma is greater than O(100), leading to an enhanced reconnection rate. In all regimes, the divergence of the pressure tensor is the dominant term responsible for breaking the frozen-in condition at the x-line. The observed scaling agrees well with a simple model that accounts for the Lorentz contraction of the plasma passing through the diffusion region. The results demonstrate that the aspect ratio of the diffusion region, modified by the compression factor of proper density, remains approximately 0.1 in both the non-relativistic and relativistic limits.

  19. What Causes Electron Holes During Magnetic Reconnection and What Can We Learn From Them

    Science.gov (United States)

    Goldman, Martin V.; Newman, David L.; Lapenta, Giovanni; Divin, Andre; Califano, Francesco; Che, Haihong

    2009-11-01

    Weak bipolar electrostatic fields are commonly observed in association with magnetic reconnection. Recent attention has focused on their origin due to nonlinear evolution of electrostatic instabilities.footnotetextGoldman, M. V., D. L. Newman, and P. Pritchett, GRL, 35, doi:10.1029/2008GL035608 (2008).^,footnotetextNewman, D. L. and M. V. Goldman, SM31B-1735, AGU Fall Meeting (2008).^,footnotetextChe, H., J. F. Drake, M. Swisdak, and P. H. Yoon, PRL, 102, 145004 (2009). We present evidence from both older and new reconnection simulations for the SPATIAL dependence of electrostatically unstable electron distributions along the separatrix during guide-field magnetic reconection. Particle distributions further from the reconnection region tend to be Buneman (electron-ion) unstable, while distributions closer to the reconnection region tend to be two-stream (electron-electron) unstable. It may be possible to infer properties of the particle distributions from measurements of the speed, half-width, amplitude and aspect ratio of weak electron holes.

  20. Evolution of magnetic helicity in the course of kinetic magnetic reconnection

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    T. Wiegelmann

    2001-01-01

    Full Text Available We investigate the evolution of magnetic helicity density in the course of 2D and 3D kinetic magnetic reconnection through thin current sheets. In 2D, the helicity density near a reconnection X-line becomes purely quadrupolar structured, while in 3D, an additional dipolar structure occurs. This dipolar structure is related to kinetic current instabilities and becomes dominant for spontaneous 3D reconnection, in accordance with the dominating current instabilities. The 2D simulations have been carried out with a newly developed Vlasov-code and the 3D simulations with the particle-in-cell code GISMO.

  1. THE ROLE OF TURBULENT MAGNETIC RECONNECTION IN THE FORMATION OF ROTATIONALLY SUPPORTED PROTOSTELLAR DISKS

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Santos-Lima, R.; De Gouveia Dal Pino, E. M. [Instituto de Astronomia, Geofisica e Ciencias Atmosfericas, Universidade de Sao Paulo, R. do Matao, 1226, Sao Paulo, SP 05508-090 (Brazil); Lazarian, A. [Department of Astronomy, University of Wisconsin, Madison, WI 53706 (United States)

    2012-03-01

    The formation of protostellar disks out of molecular cloud cores is still not fully understood. Under ideal MHD conditions, the removal of angular momentum from the disk progenitor by the typically embedded magnetic field may prevent the formation of a rotationally supported disk during the main protostellar accretion phase of low-mass stars. This has been known as the magnetic braking problem and the most investigated mechanism to alleviate this problem and help remove the excess of magnetic flux during the star formation process, the so-called ambipolar diffusion (AD), has been shown to be not sufficient to weaken the magnetic braking at least at this stage of the disk formation. In this work, motivated by recent progress in the understanding of magnetic reconnection in turbulent environments, we appeal to the diffusion of magnetic field mediated by magnetic reconnection as an alternative mechanism for removing magnetic flux. We investigate numerically this mechanism during the later phases of the protostellar disk formation and show its high efficiency. By means of fully three-dimensional MHD simulations, we show that the diffusivity arising from turbulent magnetic reconnection is able to transport magnetic flux to the outskirts of the disk progenitor at timescales compatible with the collapse, allowing the formation of a rotationally supported disk around the protostar of dimensions {approx}100 AU, with a nearly Keplerian profile in the early accretion phase. Since MHD turbulence is expected to be present in protostellar disks, this is a natural mechanism for removing magnetic flux excess and allowing the formation of these disks. This mechanism dismisses the necessity of postulating a hypothetical increase of the ohmic resistivity as discussed in the literature. Together with our earlier work which showed that magnetic flux removal from molecular cloud cores is very efficient, this work calls for reconsidering the relative role of AD in the processes of star

  2. Numerical Examination of the Stability of an Exact Two-dimensional Solution for Flux Pile-up Magnetic Reconnection

    CERN Document Server

    Hirose, S; Tanuma, S; Shibata, K; Takahashi, M; Tanigawa, T; Sasaqui, T; Noro, A; Uehara, K; Takahashi, K; Taniguchi, T

    2003-01-01

    The Kelvin-Helmholtz (KH) and tearing instabilities are likely to be important for the process of fast magnetic reconnection that is believed to explain the observed explosive energy release in solar flares. Theoretical studies of the instabilities, however, typically invoke simplified initial magnetic and velocity fields that are not solutions of the governing magnetohydrodynamic (MHD) equations. In the present study, the stability of a reconnecting current sheet is examined using a class of exact global MHD solutions for steady state incompressible magnetic reconnection (Craig & Henton 1995). Numerical simulation indicates that the outflow solutions where the current sheet is formed by strong shearing flows are subject to the KH instability. The inflow solutions where a fast and weakly sheared inflow leads to a strong magnetic field pile-up at the entrance to the sheet are shown to be tearing unstable. Although the observed instability of the solutions can be interpreted qualitatively by applying standa...

  3. In situ evidence for the structure of the magnetic null in a 3D reconnection event in the Earth's magnetotail

    CERN Document Server

    Xiao, C J; Pu, Z Y; Zhao, H; Wang, J X; Ma, Z W; Fu, S Y; Kivelson, M G; Liu, Z X; Zong, Q G; Glassmeier, K H; Balogh, A; Korth, A; Reme, H; Escoubet, C P

    2006-01-01

    Magnetic reconnection is one of the most important processes in astrophysical, space and laboratory plasmas. Identifying the structure around the point at which the magnetic field lines break and subsequently reform, known as the magnetic null point, is crucial to improving our understanding reconnection. But owing to the inherently three-dimensional nature of this process, magnetic nulls are only detectable through measurements obtained simultaneously from at least four points in space. Using data collected by the four spacecraft of the Cluster constellation as they traversed a diffusion region in the Earth's magnetotail on 15 September, 2001, we report here the first in situ evidence for the structure of an isolated magnetic null. The results indicate that it has a positive-spiral structure whose spatial extent is of the same order as the local ion inertial length scale, suggesting that the Hall effect could play an important role in 3D reconnection dynamics.

  4. SMALL-SCALE LOCAL PHENOMENA RELATED TO THE MAGNETIC RECONNECTION AND TURBULENCE IN THE PROXIMITY OF THE HELIOPAUSE

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Strumik, M.; Czechowski, A.; Grzedzielski, S.; Macek, W. M.; Ratkiewicz, R. [Space Research Centre, Polish Academy of Sciences, Bartycka 18A, 00-716 Warsaw (Poland)

    2013-08-20

    We study processes related to magnetic reconnection and plasma turbulence occurring in the presence of the heliopause (HP) and the heliospheric current sheet. It is shown that the interaction of plasmoids initiated by magnetic reconnection may provide connections between the inner and outer heliosheath and lead to an exchange of particles between the interstellar medium and the solar wind plasma shocked at the heliospheric termination shock. The magnetic reconnection may also cause plasma density and magnetic field compressions in the proximity of the HP. We argue that these phenomena could possibly be detected by the Voyager spacecraft approaching and crossing the HP. These results could clarify the concepts of the ''magnetic highway'' and the ''heliosheath depletion region'' recently proposed to explain recent Voyager 1 observations.

  5. Nonthermally Dominated Electron Acceleration during Magnetic Reconnection in a Low-beta Plasma

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Li, Xiaocan [Los Alamos National Laboratory

    2015-07-21

    This work was motivated by electron acceleration during solar flares. After some introductory remarks on proposed particle acceleration mechanisms and questions needing answers, dynamic simulations and simulation results are presented including energy spectra and the formation of the power law distribution. In summary, magnetic reconnection is highly efficient at converting the free magnetic energy stored in a magnetic shear and accelerating electrons to nonthermal energies in low-β regime. The nonthermal electrons have a dominant fraction and form power-law energy spectra with spectral index p ~ 1 in low-β regime. Electrons are preferentially accelerated along the curvature drift direction along the electric field induced by the reconnection outflow. The results can be applied to explain the observations of electron acceleration during solar flares.

  6. FAST MAGNETIC RECONNECTION IN THE SOLAR CHROMOSPHERE MEDIATED BY THE PLASMOID INSTABILITY

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Ni, Lei; Kliem, Bernhard; Lin, Jun [Yunnan Observatories, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Kunming 650011 (China); Wu, Ning, E-mail: leini@ynao.ac.cn [School of Tourism and Geography, Yunnan Normal University, Kunming 650031 (China)

    2015-01-20

    Magnetic reconnection in the partially ionized solar chromosphere is studied in 2.5 dimensional magnetohydrodynamic simulations including radiative cooling and ambipolar diffusion. A Harris current sheet with and without a guide field is considered. Characteristic values of the parameters in the middle chromosphere imply a high magnetic Reynolds number of ∼10{sup 6}-10{sup 7} in the present simulations. Fast magnetic reconnection then develops as a consequence of the plasmoid instability without the need to invoke anomalous resistivity enhancements. Multiple levels of the instability are followed as it cascades to smaller scales, which approach the ion inertial length. The reconnection rate, normalized to the asymptotic values of magnetic field and Alfvén velocity in the inflow region, reaches values in the range ∼0.01-0.03 throughout the cascading plasmoid formation and for zero as well as for strong guide field. The outflow velocity reaches ≈40 km s{sup –1}. Slow-mode shocks extend from the X-points, heating the plasmoids up to ∼8 × 10{sup 4} K. In the case of zero guide field, the inclusion of both ambipolar diffusion and radiative cooling causes a rapid thinning of the current sheet (down to ∼30 m) and early formation of secondary islands. Both of these processes have very little effect on the plasmoid instability for a strong guide field. The reconnection rates, temperature enhancements, and upward outflow velocities from the vertical current sheet correspond well to their characteristic values in chromospheric jets.

  7. Fully kinetic simulations of magnetic reconnection in partially ionised gases

    Science.gov (United States)

    Innocenti, M. E.; Jiang, W.; Lapenta, G.; Markidis, S.

    2016-12-01

    Magnetic reconnection has been explored for decades as a way to convert magnetic energy into kinetic energy and heat and to accelerate particles in environments as different as the solar surface, planetary magnetospheres, the solar wind, accretion disks, laboratory plasmas. When studying reconnection via simulations, it is usually assumed that the plasma is fully ionised, as it is indeed the case in many of the above-mentioned cases. There are, however, exceptions, the most notable being the lower solar atmosphere. Small ionisation fractions are registered also in the warm neutral interstellar medium, in dense interstellar clouds, in protostellar and protoplanetary accreditation disks, in tokamak edge plasmas and in ad-hoc laboratory experiments [1]. We study here how magnetic reconnection is modified by the presence of a neutral background, i.e. when the majority of the gas is not ionised. The ionised plasma is simulated with the fully kinetic Particle-In-Cell (PIC) code iPic3D [2]. Collisions with the neutral background are introduced via a Monte Carlo plug-in. The standard Monte Carlo procedure [3] is employed to account for elastic, excitation and ionization electron-neutral collisions, as well as for elastic scattering and charge exchange ion-neutral collisions. Collisions with the background introduce resistivity in an otherwise collisionless plasma and modifications of the particle distribution functions: particles (and ions at a faster rate) tend to thermalise to the background. To pinpoint the consequences of this, we compare reconnection simulations with and without background. References [1] E E Lawrence et al. Physical review letters, 110(1):015001, 2013. [2] S Markidis et al. Mathematics and Computers in Simulation, 80(7):1509-1519, 2010. [3] K Nanbu. IEEE Transactions on plasma science, 28(3):971-990, 2000.

  8. Distinct characteristics of asymmetric magnetic reconnections: Observational results from the exhaust region at the dayside magnetopause

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhang, Y. C.

    2016-01-01

    Magnetic reconnection plays a key role in the conversion of magnetic energy into the thermal and kinetic energy of plasma. On either side of the diffusion region in space plasma, the conditions for the occurrence of reconnections are usually not symmetric. Previous theoretical studies have predicted that reconnections under asymmetric conditions will bear different features compared with those of symmetric reconnections, and numerical simulations have verified these distinct features. However, to date, the features of asymmetric reconnections have not been thoroughly investigated using in situ observations; thus, some results from theoretical studies and simulations have not been tested with observations sufficiently well. Here, spacecraft observations are used in a statistical investigation of asymmetric magnetic reconnection exhaust at the dayside magnetopause. The resulting observational features are consistent with the theoretical predictions. The results presented here advance our understanding of the development of reconnections under asymmetric conditions. PMID:27270685

  9. Experimental Demonstration of the Collisionless Plasmoid Instability below the Ion Kinetic Scale during Magnetic Reconnection.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Olson, J; Egedal, J; Greess, S; Myers, R; Clark, M; Endrizzi, D; Flanagan, K; Milhone, J; Peterson, E; Wallace, J; Weisberg, D; Forest, C B

    2016-06-24

    The spontaneous formation of magnetic islands is observed in driven, antiparallel magnetic reconnection on the Terrestrial Reconnection Experiment. We here provide direct experimental evidence that the plasmoid instability is active at the electron scale inside the ion diffusion region in a low collisional regime. The experiments show the island formation occurs at a smaller system size than predicted by extended magnetohydrodynamics or fully collisionless simulations. This more effective seeding of magnetic islands emphasizes their importance to reconnection in naturally occurring 3D plasmas.

  10. Experimental Demonstration of the Collisionless Plasmoid Instability below the Ion Kinetic Scale during Magnetic Reconnection

    Science.gov (United States)

    Olson, J.; Egedal, J.; Greess, S.; Myers, R.; Clark, M.; Endrizzi, D.; Flanagan, K.; Milhone, J.; Peterson, E.; Wallace, J.; Weisberg, D.; Forest, C. B.

    2016-06-01

    The spontaneous formation of magnetic islands is observed in driven, antiparallel magnetic reconnection on the Terrestrial Reconnection Experiment. We here provide direct experimental evidence that the plasmoid instability is active at the electron scale inside the ion diffusion region in a low collisional regime. The experiments show the island formation occurs at a smaller system size than predicted by extended magnetohydrodynamics or fully collisionless simulations. This more effective seeding of magnetic islands emphasizes their importance to reconnection in naturally occurring 3D plasmas.

  11. OBSERVATION OF MAGNETIC RECONNECTION DRIVEN BY GRANULAR SCALE ADVECTION

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Zeng Zhicheng; Cao Wenda [Center for Solar-Terrestrial Research, New Jersey Institute of Technology, 323 Martin Luther King Blvd., Newark, NJ 07102 (United States); Ji Haisheng [Big Bear Solar Observatory, 40386 North Shore Lane, Big Bear City, CA 92314 (United States)

    2013-06-01

    We report the first evidence of magnetic reconnection driven by advection in a rapidly developing large granule using high spatial resolution observations of a small surge event (base size {approx} 4'' Multiplication-Sign 4'') with the 1.6 m aperture New Solar Telescope at the Big Bear Solar Observatory. The observations were carried out in narrowband (0.5 A) He I 10830 A and broadband (10 A) TiO 7057 A. Since He I 10830 A triplet has a very high excitation level and is optically thin, its filtergrams enable us to investigate the surge from the photosphere through the chromosphere into the lower corona. Simultaneous space data from the Atmospheric Imaging Assembly and Helioseismic and Magnetic Imager on board the Solar Dynamics Observatory were used in the analysis. It is shown that the surge is spatio-temporally associated with magnetic flux emergence in the rapidly developing large granule. During the development of the granule, its advecting flow ({approx}2 km s{sup -1}) squeezed the magnetic flux into an intergranular lane area, where a magnetic flux concentration was formed and the neighboring flux with opposite magnetic polarity was canceled. During the cancellation, the surge was produced as absorption in He I 10830 A filtergrams while simultaneous EUV brightening occurred at its base. The observations clearly indicate evidence of a finest-scale reconnection process driven by the granule's motion.

  12. Dynamics of a reconnection-driven runaway ion tail in a reversed field pinch plasma

    Science.gov (United States)

    Anderson, J. K.; Kim, J.; Bonofiglo, P. J.; Capecchi, W.; Eilerman, S.; Nornberg, M. D.; Sarff, J. S.; Sears, S. H.

    2016-05-01

    While reconnection-driven ion heating is common in laboratory and astrophysical plasmas, the underlying mechanisms for converting magnetic to kinetic energy remain not fully understood. Reversed field pinch discharges are often characterized by rapid ion heating during impulsive reconnection, generating an ion distribution with an enhanced bulk temperature, mainly perpendicular to magnetic field. In the Madison Symmetric Torus, a subset of discharges with the strongest reconnection events develop a very anisotropic, high energy tail parallel to magnetic field in addition to bulk perpendicular heating, which produces a fusion neutron flux orders of magnitude higher than that expected from a Maxwellian distribution. Here, we demonstrate that two factors in addition to a perpendicular bulk heating mechanism must be considered to explain this distribution. First, ion runaway can occur in the strong parallel-to-B electric field induced by a rapid equilibrium change triggered by reconnection-based relaxation; this effect is particularly strong on perpendicularly heated ions which experience a reduced frictional drag relative to bulk ions. Second, the confinement of ions varies dramatically as a function of velocity. Whereas thermal ions are governed by stochastic diffusion along tearing-altered field lines (and radial diffusion increases with parallel speed), sufficiently energetic ions are well confined, only weakly affected by a stochastic magnetic field. High energy ions traveling mainly in the direction of toroidal plasma current are nearly classically confined, while counter-propagating ions experience an intermediate confinement, greater than that of thermal ions but significantly less than classical expectations. The details of ion confinement tend to reinforce the asymmetric drive of the parallel electric field, resulting in a very asymmetric, anisotropic distribution.

  13. Secondary magnetic islands generated by the Kelvin-Helmholtz instability in a reconnecting current sheet.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fermo, R L; Drake, J F; Swisdak, M

    2012-06-22

    Magnetic islands or flux ropes produced by magnetic reconnection have been observed on the magnetopause, in the magnetotail, and in coronal current sheets. Particle-in-cell simulations of magnetic reconnection with a guide field produce elongated electron current layers that spontaneously produce secondary islands. Here, we explore the seed mechanism that gives birth to these islands. The most commonly suggested theory for island formation is the tearing instability. We demonstrate that in our simulations these structures typically start out, not as magnetic islands, but as electron flow vortices within the electron current sheet. When some of these vortices first form, they do not coincide with closed magnetic field lines, as would be the case if they were islands. Only after they have grown larger than the electron skin depth do they couple to the magnetic field and seed the growth of finite-sized islands. The streaming of electrons along the magnetic separatrix produces the flow shear necessary to drive an electron Kelvin-Helmholtz instability and produce the initial vortices. The conditions under which this instability is the dominant mechanism for seeding magnetic islands are explored.

  14. Model of Electron Pressure Anisotropy in the Process of Magnetic Reconnection

    Science.gov (United States)

    Divin, A. V.; Lapenta, G.; Markidis, S.

    2009-12-01

    In our work we use particle-in-cell simulations of plasma for the study of magnetic reconection. Details of the diffusive process inside electron diffusion region (EDR) are explored. Reconnection is considered in two-dimensional antiparallel approach and pressure anisotropy is well-known to provide for collisionless dissipation in such configurations. We identify particles of different trajectories near X-point and their contribution to the pressure tensor anisotropy. Electrons are magnetized far from X-point (gyrotropic particle distribution) but gyrotropy is lost as the magnetic field vanishes near the X-point and electrons behave non-adiabaticly. The transition between inflow distribution and accelerated particles manifests itself as a tilt of distribution function, which creates pressure anisotropy and renders electron pressure divergency to be non-zero. Assuming stationarity of the reconnection process, next we apply test particle approach and trace particles back in time over characteristic meandering time. It allows for the separation between different populations of particles: those particles which meander in the vicinity of X-point are accelerating and trapped, whereas magnetized particles display drift motion and stay inside the inflow region. Model of electron pressure anisotropy is proposed, based on such bi-Maxwellian origin of the distribution function inside EDR. Equating reconnection electric field and divergency of pressure tensor at the X-point, we obtain scalings for the elecron flow velocity, width and total electron current within EDR.

  15. Final Technical Report: Magnetic Reconnection in High-Energy Laser-Produced Plasmas

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Germaschewski, Kai [Univ. of New Hampshire, Durham, NH (United States); Fox, William [Princeton Plasma Physics Lab. (PPPL), Princeton, NJ (United States); Bhattacharjee, Amitava [Princeton Plasma Physics Lab. (PPPL), Princeton, NJ (United States)

    2017-04-06

    This report describes the final results from the DOE Grant DE-SC0007168, “Fast Magnetic Reconnection in HED Laser-Produced Plasmas.” The recent generation of laboratory high-energy-density physics facilities has opened significant physics opportunities for experimentally modeling astrophysical plasmas. The goal of this proposal is to use these new tools to study fundamental problems in plasma physics and plasma astrophysics. Fundamental topics in this area involve study of the generation, amplification, and fate of magnetic fields, which are observed to pervade the plasma universe and govern its evolution. This project combined experiments at DOE laser facilities with kinetic plasma simulation to study these processes. The primary original goal of the project was to study magnetic reconnection using a new experimental platform, colliding magnetized laser-produced plasmas. However through a series of fortuitous discoveries, the work broadened out to allow significant advancement on multiple topics in laboratory astrophysics, including magnetic reconnection, Weibel instability, and collisionless shocks.

  16. Role of electron inertia and reconnection dynamics in a stressed X-point collapse with a guide-field

    Science.gov (United States)

    Graf von der Pahlen, J.; Tsiklauri, D.

    2016-11-01

    Aims: In previous simulations of collisionless 2D magnetic reconnection it was consistently found that the term in the generalised Ohm's law that breaks the frozen-in condition is the divergence of the electron pressure tensor's non-gyrotropic components. The motivation for this study is to investigate the effect of the variation of the guide-field on the reconnection mechanism in simulations of X-point collapse, and the related changes in reconnection dynamics. Methods: A fully relativistic particle-in-cell (PIC) code was used to model X-point collapse with a guide-field in two and three spatial dimensions. Results: We show that in a 2D X-point collapse with a guide-field close to the strength of the in-plane field, the increased induced shear flows along the diffusion region lead to a new reconnection regime in which electron inertial terms play a dominant role at the X-point. This transition is marked by the emergence of a magnetic island - and hence a second reconnection site - as well as electron flow vortices moving along the current sheet. The reconnection electric field at the X-point is shown to exceed all lower guide-field cases for a brief period, indicating a strong burst in reconnection. By extending the simulation to three spatial dimensions it is shown that the locations of vortices along the current sheet (visualised by their Q-value) vary in the out-of-plane direction, producing tilted vortex tubes. The vortex tubes on opposite sides of the diffusion region are tilted in opposite directions, similarly to bifurcated current sheets in oblique tearing-mode reconnection. The tilt angles of vortex tubes were compared to a theoretical estimation and were found to be a good match. Particle velocity distribution functions for different guide-field runs, for 2.5D and 3D simulations, are analysed and compared.

  17. Gyrokinetic and kinetic particle-in-cell simulations of guide-field reconnection

    Science.gov (United States)

    Munoz Sepulveda, Patricio Alejandro; Büchner, Jörg; Kilian, Patrick; Told, Daniel; Jenko, Frank

    2016-07-01

    Fully kinetic Particle-in-Cell (PIC) simulations of (strong) guide-field reconnection can be computationally very demanding, due to the intrinsic stability and accuracy conditions required by this numerical method. One convenient approach to circumvent this issue is using gyrokinetic theory, an approximation of the Vlasov-Maxwell equations for strongly magnetized plasmas that eliminates the fast gyromotion, and thus reduces the computational cost. Although previous works have started to compare the features of reconnection between both approaches, a complete understanding of the differences is far from being complete. This knowledge is essential to discern the limitations of the gyrokinetic simulations of magnetic reconnection when applied to scenarios with moderate guide fields, such as the Solar corona, in contrast to most of the fusion/laboratory plasmas. We extend a previous work by our group, focused in the differences in the macroscopic flows, by analyzing the heating processes and non-thermal features developed by reconnection between both plasma approximations. We relate these processes by identifying some high-frequency cross-streaming instabilities appearing only in the fully kinetic approach. We characterize the effects of these phenonema such as anisotropic electron heating, beam formation and turbulence under different parameter regimes. And finally, we identify the conditions under which these instabilities tends to become negligible in the fully kinetic model, and thus a comparison with gyrokinetic theory becomes more reliable.

  18. Ion acceleration and heating by kinetic Alfvén waves associated with magnetic reconnection

    Science.gov (United States)

    Liang, Ji; Lin, Yu; Johnson, Jay R.; Wang, Zheng-Xiong; Wang, Xueyi

    2017-10-01

    Our previous study on the generation and signatures of kinetic Alfvén waves (KAWs) associated with magnetic reconnection in a current sheet revealed that KAWs are a common feature during reconnection [Liang et al. J. Geophys. Res.: Space Phys. 121, 6526 (2016)]. In this paper, ion acceleration and heating by the KAWs generated during magnetic reconnection are investigated with a three-dimensional (3-D) hybrid model. It is found that in the outflow region, a fraction of inflow ions are accelerated by the KAWs generated in the leading bulge region of reconnection, and their parallel velocities gradually increase up to slightly super-Alfvénic. As a result of wave-particle interactions, an accelerated ion beam forms in the direction of the anti-parallel magnetic field, in addition to the core ion population, leading to the development of non-Maxwellian velocity distributions, which include a trapped population with parallel velocities consistent with the wave speed. The ions are heated in both parallel and perpendicular directions. In the parallel direction, the heating results from nonlinear Landau resonance of trapped ions. In the perpendicular direction, however, evidence of stochastic heating by the KAWs is found during the acceleration stage, with an increase of magnetic moment μ. The coherence in the perpendicular ion temperature T⊥ and the perpendicular electric and magnetic fields of KAWs also provides evidence for perpendicular heating by KAWs. The parallel and perpendicular heating of the accelerated beam occur simultaneously, leading to the development of temperature anisotropy with T⊥>T∥ . The heating rate agrees with the damping rate of the KAWs, and the heating is dominated by the accelerated ion beam. In the later stage, with the increase of the fraction of the accelerated ions, interaction between the accelerated beam and the core population also contributes to the ion heating, ultimately leading to overlap of the beams and an overall

  19. Jet formation in solar atmosphere due to magnetic reconnection

    CERN Document Server

    González-Avilés, J J; Fedun, V

    2016-01-01

    Using numerical simulations, we show that jets with features of type II spicules and cold coronal jets corresponding to temperatures $10^{4}$ K can be formed due to magnetic reconnection in a scenario in presence of magnetic resistivity. For this we model the low chromosphere-corona region using the C7 equilibrium solar atmosphere model and assuming Resistive MHD rules the dynamics of the plasma. The magnetic filed configurations we analyze correspond to two neighboring loops with opposite polarity. The separation of the loops' feet determines the thickness of a current sheet that triggers a magnetic reconnection process, and the further formation of a high speed and sharp structure. We analyze the cases where the magnetic filed strength of the two loops is equal and different. In the first case, with a symmetric configuration the spicules raise vertically whereas in an asymmetric configuration the structure shows an inclination. With a number of simulations carried out under a 2.5D approach, we explore vario...

  20. Particle-in-cell simulation study of the scaling of asymmetric magnetic reconnection with in-plane flow shear

    CERN Document Server

    Doss, C E; Swisdak, M

    2016-01-01

    We investigate magnetic reconnection in systems simultaneously containing asymmetric (anti-parallel) magnetic fields, asymmetric plasma densities and temperatures, and arbitrary in-plane bulk flow of plasma in the upstream regions. Such configurations are common in the high-latitudes of Earth's magnetopause and in tokamaks. We investigate the convection speed of the X-line, the scaling of the reconnection rate, and the condition for which the flow suppresses reconnection as a function of upstream flow speeds. We use two-dimensional particle-in-cell simulations to capture the mixing of plasma in the outflow regions better than is possible in fluid modeling. We perform simulations with asymmetric magnetic fields, simulations with asymmetric densities, and simulations with magnetopause-like parameters where both are asymmetric. For flow speeds below the predicted cutoff velocity, we find good scaling agreement with the theory presented in Doss et al., J.~Geophys.~Res., 120, 7748 (2015). Applications to planetary...

  1. The effect of reconnection electric field on crescent and U-shaped distribution functions in asymmetric reconnection with no guide field

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bessho, N.; Chen, L.-J.; Hesse, M.; Wang, S.

    2017-07-01

    Electron distribution functions in the electron diffusion region in asymmetric reconnection without a guide field are studied by means of theory and 2-dimensional particle-in-cell (PIC) simulations. The effect of the reconnection electric field on crescent-shaped distribution functions is to broaden the thickness of the crescent. We express the thickness of the crescent as a function of field strengths, the distance from the X-line, and the time electrons spend executing meandering orbits. The electron distribution at the reconnection X-line exhibits a U-shaped structure with an opening angle in the direction of the reconnection electric field. We predict the opening angle of the U-shaped distribution by considering acceleration of the meandering electrons by the reconnection electric field. Results from particle tracing in PIC simulations and theoretical analysis agree. The above predictions provide guidance to interpret measurements by spacecraft from electron diffusion regions in asymmetric reconnection.

  2. Magnetic reconnection and kinetic effects in Vlasov turbulence

    Science.gov (United States)

    Servidio, Sergio

    2015-04-01

    The process of magnetic reconnection is ubiquitous in nature, being typical of large scale magnetic configurations. Recently [1], reconnection has been observed to emerge locally and intermittently in plasmas, being a crucial element of turbulence itself. Systematic analysis of MHD simulations reveals the presence of a large number of X-type neutral points, where magnetic reconnection occurs. More recently, the same phenomenon has been inspected within plasma models [2]. The link between magnetic reconnection and kinetic effects in the turbulent solar-wind has been investigated by means of multi-dimensional simulations of the hybrid Vlasov-Maxwell (HVM) code [3], using 5D (2D in space and 3D in velocity space) and full 6D simulations of plasma turbulence. Kinetic effects manifest through the deformation of the proton distribution function, with patterns of non-Maxwellian features being concentrated near regions of strong magnetic gradients. Recent analyses [4] of solar-wind data from spacecraft aimed to quantify kinetic effects through the temperature anisotropy T⊥/T|| on the proton velocity distribution function. Values of the anisotropy range broadly, with most values between 10-1 and 101. Moreover, the distribution of temperature anisotropy depends systematically on the ambient proton parallel beta β|| (the ratio of parallel kinetic pressure to magnetic pressure), manifesting a characteristic rhomboidal shape. In order to make contact with solar-wind observations, temperature anisotropy has been evaluated from an ensemble of HVM simulations [5], obtained by varying the global plasma beta and fluctuation level, in such a way to cover distinct regions of the parameter space defined by T⊥/T|| and β||. The HVM simulations presented here demonstrate that, when the distribution function is free to explore the entire velocity subspace, new features appear as complex interactions between the particles and the turbulent background. Comparison of numerical results

  3. Recent studies in satellite observations of three-dimensional magnetic reconnection

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    XIAO ChiJie; WANG XiaoGang; PU ZuYin; MA ZhiWei; ZHAO Hui; ZHOU GuiPing; WANG JingXiu; LIU ZhenXing

    2007-01-01

    Magnetic reconnection is a main process converting the magnetic energy into thermal and kinetic energy in plasmas. It is one of the fundamental problems of crucial importance not only to space plasmas physics and space weather studies,such as the solar flare, coronal mass ejections and magnetospheric substorms, but also to the stability analysis in magnetically confined fusion. In general, except for cases with periodical boundary conditions, three-dimensional (3D) magnetic reconnection occurs on magnetic separatrices generated by magnetic nulls. Here we briefly introduce/review the theories and some recent satellite observations of 3D magnetic reconnection. Topics to be further studied are also discussed.

  4. Bifurcated structure of the electron diffusion region in three-dimensional magnetic reconnection.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Liu, Yi-Hsin; Daughton, W; Karimabadi, H; Li, H; Roytershteyn, V

    2013-06-28

    Three-dimensional kinetic simulations of magnetic reconnection reveal that the electron diffusion region is composed of two or more current sheets in regimes with weak magnetic shear angles ϕ≲80°. This new morphology is explained by oblique tearing modes which produce flux ropes while simultaneously driving enhanced current at multiple resonance surfaces. This physics persists into the nonlinear regime leading to multiple electron layers embedded within a larger Alfvénic inflow and outflow. Surprisingly, the thickness of these layers and the reconnection rate both remain comparable to two-dimensional models. The parallel electric fields are supported predominantly by the electron pressure tensor and electron inertia, while turbulent dissipation remains small.

  5. On the electron dynamics during island coalescence in asymmetric magnetic reconnection

    CERN Document Server

    Cazzola, Emanuele; Markidis, Stefano; Goldman, Martin V; Newman, David L; Lapenta, Giovanni

    2015-01-01

    We present an analysis of the electron dynamics during rapid island merging in asymmetric magnetic reconnection. We consider a doubly periodic system with two asymmetric transitions. The upper layer is an asymmetric Harris sheet initially perturbed to promote a single reconnection site. The lower layer is a tangential discontinuity that promotes the formation of many X-points, separated by rapidly merging islands. Across both layers the magnetic field and the density have a strong jump, but the pressure is held constant. Our analysis focuses on the consequences of electron energization during island coalescence. We focus first on the parallel and perpendicular components of the electron temperature to establish the presence of possible anisotropies and non-gyrotropies. Thanks to the direct comparison between the two different layers simulated, we can distinguish three main types of behavior characteristic of three different regions of interest. The first type represents the regions where traditional asymmetri...

  6. The Effects of Turbulence on Three-Dimensional Magnetic Reconnection at the Magnetopause

    CERN Document Server

    Price, L; Drake, J F; Cassak, P A; Dahlin, J; Ergun, R E

    2016-01-01

    Two- and three-dimensional particle-in-cell simulations of a recent encounter of the Magnetospheric Multiscale Mission (MMS) with an electron diffusion region at the magnetopause are presented. While the two-dimensional simulations are laminar, in the three-dimensional simulation turbulence develops at both the x-line and along the magnetic separatrices. The turbulence is strong enough to make the magnetic field around the reconnection island chaotic and produces both anomalous resistivity and anomalous viscosity. Each contribute significantly to breaking the frozen-in condition in the electron diffusion region. A surprise is that the crescent-shaped features seen in velocity distributions during the recent MMS observations and in two-dimensional simulations survive even in the turbulent environment of the three-dimensional system. This suggests that MMS's measurements of crescent distributions do not exclude the possibility that turbulence plays an important role in magnetopause reconnection.

  7. Anomalous Heating and Plasmoid Formation in a Driven Magnetic Reconnection Experiment

    CERN Document Server

    Hare, J D; Lebedev, S V; Loureiro, N F; Ciardi, A; Burdiak, G C; Chittenden, J P; Clayson, T; Garcia, C; Niasse, N; Robinson, T; Smith, R A; Stuart, N; Suzuki-Vidal, F; Swadling, G F; Ma, J; Wu, J; Yang, Q

    2016-01-01

    We present a detailed study of magnetic reconnection in a quasi-two-dimensional pulsed-power driven laboratory experiment. Oppositely directed magnetic fields $(B=3$ T), advected by supersonic, sub-Alfv\\'enic carbon plasma flows $(V_{in}=50$ km/s), are brought together and mutually annihilate inside a thin current layer ($\\delta=0.6$ mm). Temporally and spatially resolved optical diagnostics, including interferometry, Faraday rotation imaging and Thomson scattering, allow us to determine the structure and dynamics of this layer, the nature of the inflows and outflows and the detailed energy partition during the reconnection process. We measure high electron and ion temperatures $(T_e=100$ eV, $T_i=600$ eV), far in excess of what can be attributed to classical (Spitzer) resistive and viscous dissipation. We observe the repeated formation and ejection of plasmoids, which we interpret as evidence of two-fluid effects in our experiment.

  8. Direct Observations of Magnetic Reconnection Outflow and CME Triggering in a Small Erupting Solar Prominence

    CERN Document Server

    Reeves, Katharine K; Tian, Hui

    2015-01-01

    We examine a small prominence eruption that occurred on 2014 May 1 at 01:35 UT and was observed by the Interface Region Imaging Spectrometer (IRIS) and the Atmospheric Imaging Assembly (AIA) on the Solar Dynamics Observatory (SDO). Pre- and post-eruption images were taken by the X-Ray Telescope (XRT) on Hinode. Pre-eruption, a dome-like structure exists above the prominence, as demarcated by coronal rain. As the eruption progresses, we find evidence for reconnection between the prominence magnetic field and the overlying field. Fast flows are seen in AIA and IRIS, indicating reconnection outflows. Plane-of-sky flows of ~300 km s$^{-1}$ are observed in the AIA 171 A channel along a potentially reconnected field line. IRIS detects intermittent fast line-of-sight flows of ~200 km s$^{-1}$ coincident with the AIA flows. Differential emission measure calculations show heating at the origin of the fast flows. Post-eruption XRT images show hot loops probably due to reconfiguration of magnetic fields during the erupt...

  9. OSCILLATION OF NEWLY FORMED LOOPS AFTER MAGNETIC RECONNECTION IN THE SOLAR CHROMOSPHERE

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Yang, Shuhong [Key Laboratory of Solar Activity, National Astronomical Observatories, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing 100012 (China); Xiang, Yongyuan, E-mail: shuhongyang@nao.cas.cn [Fuxian Solar Observatory, Yunnan Observatories, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Kunming 650011 (China)

    2016-03-10

    With the high spatial and temporal resolution Hα images from the New Vacuum Solar Telescope, we focus on two groups of loops with an X-shaped configuration in the dynamic chromosphere. We find that the anti-directed loops approach each other and reconnect continually. The connectivity of the loops is changed and new loops are formed and stack together. The stacked loops are sharply bent, implying that they are greatly impacted by the magnetic tension force. When another reconnection process takes place, one new loop is formed and stacks with the previously formed ones. Meanwhile, the stacked loops retract suddenly and move toward the balance position, performing an overshoot movement, which led to an oscillation with an average period of about 45 s. The oscillation of newly formed loops after magnetic reconnection in the chromosphere is observed for the first time. We suggest that the stability of the stacked loops is destroyed due to the attachment of the last new loop and then suddenly retract under the effect of magnetic tension. Because of the retraction, another lower loop is pushed outward and performs an oscillation with a period of about 25 s. The different oscillation periods may be due to their difference in three parameters, i.e., loop length, plasma density, and magnetic field strength.

  10. Electron acceleration at slow-mode shocks in the magnetic reconnection region in solar flares

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mann, Gottfried; Aurass, Henry; Önel, Hakan; Warmuth, Alexander

    2016-04-01

    A solar flare appears as an sudden enhancement of the emission of electromagnetic radiation of the Sun covering a broad range of the spectrum from the radio up to the gamma-ray range. That indicates the generation of energetic electrons during flares, which are considered as the manifestation of magnetic reconnection in the solar corona. Spacecraft observations in the Earth's magnetosphere, as for instance by NASA's MMS mission, have shown that electrons can efficiently accelerated at the slow-mode shocks occuring in the magnetic reconnection region. This mechanism is applied to solar flares. The electrons are accelerated by the cross-shock potential at slow-mode shocks resulting in magnetic field aligned beams of energetic electrons in the downstream region. The interaction of this electron beam with the plasma leads to the excitation of whistler waves and, subsequently, to a strong heating of the electrons in the downstream region. Considering this process under coronal circumstances, enough electrons with energies >30keV are generated in the magnetic reconnection region as required for the hard X-ray radiation during solar flares as observed by NASA's RHESSI mission.

  11. Electron acceleration by whistler-mode waves around the magnetic null during 3D reconnection

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Xiao Fuliang [School of Physics and Electronic Sciences, Changsha University of Science and Technology, Changsha, 410004 (China); Zong Qiugang; Pu Zuyin; He Jiansen; Wang Yongfu [School of Earth and Space Sciences, Peking University, Beijing 100871 (China); Su Zhenpeng; Zheng Huinan [CAS Key Laboratory for Basic Plasma Physics, School of Earth and Space Sciences, University of Science and Technology of China, Hefei (China); Cao Jinbin, E-mail: qgzong@pku.edu.c [State Key Laboratory of Space Weather, PO Box 8701, Beijing 100080 (China)

    2010-05-15

    The magnetic field configuration around a magnetic null pair and its associated electron behavior during 3D magnetic reconnection have recently been reported from in situ observations. Electrons are suggested to be temporarily trapped in the central reconnection region as indicated by an electron density peak observed near the magnetic null (He J-S et al 2008 Geophys. Res. Lett. 35 L14104). It is highly interesting that energetic electron beams of a few kiloelectronvolts are found to be related to the magnetic null structure. However, the acceleration mechanism is still not fully understood. In this paper, we show that strong whistler-mode electromagnetic waves are indeed found around the magnetic null. Further we propose a new electron acceleration scenario of trapped electrons near the magnetic null points driven by the whistler-mode waves, which is confirmed by numerical results. It is demonstrated that whistler waves can enhance the phase space density (PSD) of electrons for energies of approx2 keV by a factor of 100 at lower pitch angles very rapidly, typically within 2 s. The accelerated electrons may escape from the loss cone of the magnetic cusp mirrors around the magnetic null, leading to the observed energetic beams. (brief communication)

  12. Three-dimensional two-fluid investigation of 3D-localized magnetic reconnection and its relation to whistler waves

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yoon, Young Dae; Bellan, Paul M.

    2016-10-01

    A full three-dimensional computer code was developed in order to simulate a 3D-localized magnetic reconnection. We assume an incompressible two-fluid regime where the ions are stationary, and electron inertia and Hall effects are present. We solve a single dimensionless differential equation for perturbed magnetic fields with arbitrary background fields. The code has successfully reproduced both experimental and analytic solutions to resonance and Gendrin mode whistler waves in a uniform background field. The code was then modified to model 3D-localized magnetic reconnection as a 3D-localized perturbation on a hyperbolic-tangent background field. Three-dimensional properties that are asymmetric in the out-of-plane direction have been observed. These properties pertained to magnetic field lines, electron currents and their convection. Helicity and energy have also been examined, as well as the addition of a guide field.

  13. Heating Mechanisms in the Low Solar Atmosphere through Magnetic Reconnection in Current Sheets

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ni, Lei; Lin, Jun; Roussev, Ilia I.; Schmieder, Brigitte

    2016-12-01

    We simulate several magnetic reconnection processes in the low solar chromosphere/photosphere; the radiation cooling, heat conduction and ambipolar diffusion are all included. Our numerical results indicate that both the high temperature (≳8 × 104 K) and low temperature (˜104 K) magnetic reconnection events can happen in the low solar atmosphere (100-600 km above the solar surface). The plasma β controlled by plasma density and magnetic fields is one important factor to decide how much the plasma can be heated up. The low temperature event is formed in a high β magnetic reconnection process, Joule heating is the main mechanism to heat plasma and the maximum temperature increase is only several thousand Kelvin. The high temperature explosions can be generated in a low β magnetic reconnection process, slow and fast-mode shocks attached at the edges of the well developed plasmoids are the main physical mechanisms to heat the plasma from several thousand Kelvin to over 8 × 104 K. Gravity in the low chromosphere can strongly hinder the plasmoid instability and the formation of slow-mode shocks in a vertical current sheet. Only small secondary islands are formed; these islands, however, are not as well developed as those in the horizontal current sheets. This work can be applied to understand the heating mechanism in the low solar atmosphere and could possibly be extended to explain the formation of common low temperature Ellerman bombs (˜104 K) and the high temperature Interface Region Imaging Spectrograph (IRIS) bombs (≳8 × 104) in the future.

  14. Kinetic Alfvén waves in three-dimensional magnetic reconnection

    Science.gov (United States)

    Liang, Ji; Lin, Yu; Johnson, Jay R.; Wang, Xueyi; Wang, Zheng-Xiong

    2016-07-01

    Alfvénic waves are believed to be fundamentally important in magnetic reconnection. Kinetic dynamics of particles can break the Alfvén speed limit in the evolution and propagation of perturbations during reconnection. In this paper, the generation and signatures of kinetic Alfvén waves (KAWs) associated with magnetic reconnection in a current sheet is investigated using a three-dimensional (3-D) hybrid code under a zero or finite guide field. In order to understand the wave structures in the general cases of multiple X line reconnection, cases with a single X line of various lengths are examined. The KAWs are identified using the wave dispersion relation, electromagnetic polarization relations, as well as spectral analysis. In the cases in which the X line is so long to extend through the entire simulation domain in the current direction, quasi 2-D configurations of reconnection are developed behind a leading flux/plasma bulge. KAWs with perpendicular wave number k⊥ρi˜1 (with ρi being the ion Larmor radius) are found throughout the transient plasma bulge region and propagate outward along magnetic field lines with a slightly super-Alfvénic velocity. These KAWs are generated from the X line and coexist with the whistler structure of the ion diffusion region under a small guide field. In the cases in which the X line has a finite length 2ξ ˜ 10di, with ξ being the half length of the X line and di the ion inertial length, the KAWs originated from the X line are of 3-D nature. Under a finite guide field, KAWs propagate along the oblique magnetic field lines into the unperturbed regions in the current direction, carrying parallel electric field and Poynting fluxes. The critical X line length for the generation of 3-D-like structures is found to be 2ξc≤30di. The structure, propagation, energy, spectrum, and damping of the KAWs are examined. Dependence of the structure of KAWs on the guide field is also investigated.

  15. Magnetic Reconnection resulting from Flux Emergence: Implications for Jet Formation in the lower solar atmosphere?

    CERN Document Server

    Ding, J Y; Doyle, J G; Lu, Q M; Vanninathan, K; Huang, Z

    2011-01-01

    We aim at investigating the formation of jet-like features in the lower solar atmosphere, e.g. chromosphere and transition region, as a result of magnetic reconnection. Magnetic reconnection as occurring at chromospheric and transition regions densities and triggered by magnetic flux emergence is studied using a 2.5D MHD code. The initial atmosphere is static and isothermal, with a temperature of 20,000 K. The initial magnetic field is uniform and vertical. Two physical environments with different magnetic field strength (25 G and 50 G) are presented. In each case, two sub-cases are discussed, where the environments have different initial mass density. In the case where we have a weaker magnetic field (25 G) and higher plasma density ($N_e=2\\times 10^{11}$ cm$^{-3}$), valid for the typical quiet Sun chromosphere, a plasma jet would be observed with a temperature of 2--3 $\\times 10^4$ K and a velocity as high as 40 km/s. The opposite case of a medium with a lower electron density ($N_e=2\\times 10^{10}$ cm$^{-3...

  16. Magnetic reconnection and stochastic plasmoid chains in high-Lundquist-number plasmas

    KAUST Repository

    Loureiro, N. F.

    2012-04-13

    A numerical study of magnetic reconnection in the large-Lundquist-number (S), plasmoid-dominated regime is carried out for S up to 10 7. The theoretical model of Uzdensky [Phys. Rev. Lett. 105, 235002 (2010)] is confirmed and partially amended. The normalized reconnection rate is Ẽ eff ∼ 0.02 independently of S for S ≫ 10 4. The plasmoid flux (ψ) and half-width (w x) distribution functions scale as f (ψ) ∼ - ψ -2 and f (w x) ∼ w x -2. The joint distribution of ψ and w x shows that plasmoids populate a triangular region w x ≲ψ/B 0, where B 0 is the reconnecting field. It is argued that this feature is due to plasmoid coalescence. Macroscopic "monster" plasmoids with w x ∼ 10 % of the system size are shown to emerge in just a few Alfvén times, independently of S, suggesting that large disruptive events are an inevitable feature of large-S reconnection. © 2012 American Institute of Physics.

  17. Alfven Waves in a Plasma Sheet Boundary Layer Associated with Near-Tail Magnetic Reconnection

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    YUAN Zhi-Gang; DENG Xiao-Hua; PANG Ye; LI Shi-You; WANG Jing-Fang

    2007-01-01

    We report observations from Geotail satellite showing that large Poynting fluxes associated with Alfven waves in the plasma sheet boundary layer(PSBL) occur in the vicinity of the near-tail reconnection region on 10 December 1996.During the period of large Poynting fluxex,Geotail also observed strong tailward plasma flws.These observations demonstrate the importance of near-tail reconnection process as the energy source of Alfven waves in the PSBL.Strong tailward(Earthward)plasma flows ought to be an important candidate in generating Alfven waves.Furthermore,the strong pertutbations not only of the magnetic field but also of the electric field observed in the PSBL indicate that the PSBL plays an important role in the generation and propagation of the energy flux associated with Alfven waves.

  18. Magnetic reconnection in plasma under inertial confinement fusion conditions driven by heat flux effects in Ohm's law.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Joglekar, A S; Thomas, A G R; Fox, W; Bhattacharjee, A

    2014-03-14

    In the interaction of high-power laser beams with solid density plasma there are a number of mechanisms that generate strong magnetic fields. Such fields subsequently inhibit or redirect electron flows, but can themselves be advected by heat fluxes, resulting in complex interplay between thermal transport and magnetic fields. We show that for heating by multiple laser spots reconnection of magnetic field lines can occur, mediated by these heat fluxes, using a fully implicit 2D Vlasov-Fokker-Planck code. Under such conditions, the reconnection rate is dictated by heat flows rather than Alfvènic flows. We find that this mechanism is only relevant in a high β plasma. However, the Hall parameter ωcτei can be large so that thermal transport is strongly modified by these magnetic fields, which can impact longer time scale temperature homogeneity and ion dynamics in the system.

  19. Magnetic reconnection in plasma under inertial confinement fusion conditions driven by heat flux effects in Ohm's law

    CERN Document Server

    Joglekar, A S; Fox, W; Bhattacharjee, A

    2015-01-01

    In the interaction of high-power laser beams with solid density plasma there are a number of mechanisms that generate strong magnetic fields. Such fields subsequently inhibit or redirect electron flows, but can themselves be advected by heat fluxes, resulting in complex interplay between thermal transport and magnetic fields.We show that for heating by multiple laser spots reconnection of magnetic field lines can occur, mediated by these heat fluxes, using a fully implicit 2D Vlasov-Fokker-Planck code. Under such conditions, the reconnection rate is dictated by heat flows rather than Alfv\\`enic flows. We find that this mechanism is only relevant in a high $\\beta$ plasma. However, the Hall parameter $\\omega_c \\tau_{ei}$ can be large so that thermal transport is strongly modified by these magnetic fields, which can impact longer time scale temperature homogeneity and ion dynamics in the system.

  20. Interchange Reconnection Alfven Wave Generation

    CERN Document Server

    Lynch, B J; Li, Y

    2014-01-01

    Given recent observational results of interchange reconnection processes in the solar corona and the theoretical development of the S-Web model for the slow solar wind, we present further analysis of the 3D MHD simulation of interchange reconnection by Edmondson et al. (Astrophys. J. 707, 1427, 2009). Specifically, we analyze the consequences of the dynamic streamer belt jump that corresponds to flux opening by interchange reconnection. Information about the magnetic field restructuring by interchange reconnection is carried throughout the system by Alfven waves propagating away from the reconnection region, distributing the shear and twist imparted by the driving flows, including shedding the injected stress-energy and accumulated magnetic helicity along newly-open field lines. We quantify the properties of the reconnection-generated wave activity in the simulation. There is a localized high frequency component associated with the current sheet/reconnection site and an extended low frequency component associ...

  1. Magnetic reconnection in the presence of sheared flow and density asymmetry: Applications to the Earth's magnetopause

    Science.gov (United States)

    La Belle-Hamer, A. L.; Otto, A.; Lee, L. C.

    1995-01-01

    Classical models of magnetic reconnection consist of a small diffusion region bounded by two symmetric slow shocks, across which the plasma is accelerated. Asymmetries often present in space plasmas are sheared plasma flow and dissimilar plasma densities on the two sides of current sheets. In this paper, we investigate magnetic reconnection in the presence of a shear flow and an asymmetric density across the current sheet using two-dimensional magnetohydrodynamic (MHD) simulations. The results demonstrate that magnetic reconnection can occur only for a plasma flow velocity (in the frame of the X line) which is below the Alfven speed in each inflow region. This limits the velocity of the X line to a certain range for a given flow shear and provides an upper limit to the total velocity shear at which reconnection ceases to operate. Depending on the direction of the flow in the adjacent inflow region, the effects from the sheared flow and from the density asymmetry will compete with or enhance each other in respect to the magnitude and location of the currents which bound the outflow regions. The results are applied to the dayside and flank regions of the magnetosphere. For the dayside region where the magnetosheath flow is slow, the magnetic field transition region is thin and the accelerated flow is earthward of the sharp current layer (magnetopause). At the flanks tailward of the X line, shear flow and density asymmetry effects compete making the magnetic field transition layer broad with the high-speed flow contained within the transition region which explains corresponding observations. At the flanks sunward of the X line, shear flow and density asymmetry effects enhance each other and lead to a strong current sheet on the magnetosheath side of the accelerated flow. The total volume affected by magnetic reconnection is much larger than the steady state region. A large bulge region precedes the steady state region. Qualitatively, the bulge and the steady state

  2. The extent of power-law energy spectra in collisionless relativistic magnetic reconnection in pair plasmas

    CERN Document Server

    Werner, G R; Cerutti, B; Nalewajko, K; Begelman, M C

    2014-01-01

    Using two-dimensional particle-in-cell simulations, we characterize the energy spectra of particles accelerated by relativistic magnetic reconnection (without guide field) in collisionless electron-positron plasmas, for a wide range of upstream magnetizations $\\sigma$ and system sizes $L$. The particle spectra are well-represented by a power law $\\gamma^{-\\alpha}$, with a combination of exponential and super-exponential high-energy cutoffs, proportional to $\\sigma$ and $L$, respectively. For large $L$ and $\\sigma$, the power-law index $\\alpha$ approaches about 1.2.

  3. Streaming energetic electrons in earth's magnetotail - Evidence for substorm-associated magnetic reconnection

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bieber, J. W.; Stone, E. C.

    1980-01-01

    This letter reports the results of a systematic study of streaming greater than 200 keV electrons observed in the magnetotail with the Caltech Electron/Isotope Spectrometers aboard IMP-7 and IMP-8. A clear statistical association of streaming events with southward magnetic fields, often of steep inclination, and with substorms as evidenced by the AE index is demonstrated. These results support the interpretation that streaming energetic electrons are indicative of substorm-associated magnetic reconnection in the near-earth plasma sheet.

  4. Three-dimensional magnetic reconnection and its application to solar flares

    Science.gov (United States)

    Janvier, Miho

    2017-02-01

    Solar flares are powerful radiations occurring in the Sun's atmosphere. They are powered by magnetic reconnection, a phenomenon that can convert magnetic energy into other forms of energy such as heat and kinetic energy, and which is believed to be ubiquitous in the universe. With the ever increasing spatial and temporal resolutions of solar observations, as well as numerical simulations benefiting from increasing computer power, we can now probe into the nature and the characteristics of magnetic reconnection in three dimensions to better understand the phenomenon's consequences during eruptive flares in our star's atmosphere. We review in the following the efforts made on different fronts to approach the problem of magnetic reconnection. In particular, we will see how understanding the magnetic topology in three dimensions helps in locating the most probable regions for reconnection to occur, how the current layer evolves in three dimensions and how reconnection leads to the formation of flux ropes, plasmoids and flaring loops.

  5. Magnetic reconnection and tearing in a 3D current sheet about a solar coronal null

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pontin, David; Wyper, Peter

    2014-06-01

    Three-dimensional magnetic null points are ubiquitous in the solar corona and in any generic mixed-polarity magnetic field. We discuss the nature of flux transfer during reconnection an isolated coronal null point, that occurs across the fan plane when a current sheet forms about the null. We then go on to discuss the breakup of the current sheet via a non-linear tearing-type instability and show that the instability threshold corresponds to a Lundquist number comparable to the 2D case. We also discuss the resulting topology of the magnetic field, which involves a layer in which open and closed magnetic fields are effectively mixed, with implications for particle transport.

  6. Chromospheric Magnetic Reconnection caused by Photospheric Flux Emergence: Implications for Jet-like Events Formation

    CERN Document Server

    Ding, J Y; Doyle, J G; Lu, Q M

    2009-01-01

    Magnetic reconnection in the low atmosphere, e.g. chromosphere, is investigated in various physical environments. Its implications for the origination of explosive events (small--scale jets) are discussed. A 2.5-dimensional resistive magnetohydrodynamic (MHD) model in Cartesian coordinates is used. It is found that the temperature and velocity of the outflow jets as a result of magnetic reconnection are strongly dependent on the physical environments, e.g. the magnitude of the magnetic field strength and the plasma density. If the magnetic field strength is weak and the density is high, the temperature of the jets is very low (~10,000 K) as well as its velocity (~40 km/s). However, if environments with stronger magnetic field strength (20 G) and smaller density (electron density Ne=2x10^{10} cm^{-3}) are considered, the outflow jets reach higher temperatures of up to 600,000 K and a line-of-sight velocity of up to 130 km/s which is comparable with the observational values of jet-like events.

  7. Nonthermal Electron Energization from Magnetic Reconnection in Laser-Driven Plasmas.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Totorica, Samuel R; Abel, Tom; Fiuza, Frederico

    2016-03-04

    The possibility of studying nonthermal electron energization in laser-driven plasma experiments of magnetic reconnection is studied using two- and three-dimensional particle-in-cell simulations. It is demonstrated that nonthermal electrons with energies more than an order of magnitude larger than the initial thermal energy can be produced in plasma conditions currently accessible in the laboratory. Electrons are accelerated by the reconnection electric field, being injected at varied distances from the X points, and in some cases trapped in plasmoids, before escaping the finite-sized system. Trapped electrons can be further energized by the electric field arising from the motion of the plasmoid. This acceleration gives rise to a nonthermal electron component that resembles a power-law spectrum, containing up to ∼8% of the initial energy of the interacting electrons and ∼24% of the initial magnetic energy. Estimates of the maximum electron energy and of the plasma conditions required to observe suprathermal electron acceleration are provided, paving the way for a new platform for the experimental study of particle acceleration induced by reconnection.

  8. Recent progress of magnetic reconnection research in the MAST spherical tokamak

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tanabe, H.; Yamada, T.; Watanabe, T.; Gi, K.; Inomoto, M.; Imazawa, R.; Gryaznevich, M.; Michael, C.; Crowley, B.; Conway, N. J.; Scannell, R.; Harrison, J.; Fitzgerald, I.; Meakins, A.; Hawkes, N.; McClements, K. G.; O'Gorman, T.; Cheng, C. Z.; Ono, Y.

    2017-05-01

    In the last three years, magnetic reconnection research in the MAST spherical tokamak achieved major progress by the use of new 32 chord ion Doppler tomography and 130 channel YAG and 300 channel Ruby Thomson scattering diagnostics. In addition to the previously achieved high power plasma heating during merging, detailed full temperature profile measurements including the diffusion region have been achieved for the first time. 2D imaging measurements of ion and electron temperature profiles have revealed that magnetic reconnection mostly heats ions globally in the downstream region of outflow jet and electrons locally around the X-point. The toroidal field in MAST "over 0.3T" strongly inhibits cross-field thermal transport, and the characteristic peaked electron temperature profile around the X-point is sustained on a millisecond time scale. In contrast, ions are mostly heated in the downstream region of outflow acceleration and around the stagnation point formed by reconnected flux mostly by viscosity dissipation and shock-like compressional damping of the outflow jet. Toroidal confinement also contributes to the characteristic ion temperature profile, forming a ring structure aligned with the closed flux surface. There is an effective confinement of the downstream thermal energy due to a thick layer of reconnected flux. The characteristic structure is sustained for longer than an ion-electron energy relaxation time ( ˜4 ms), and the energy exchange between ions and electrons contributes to the bulk electron heating in the downstream region. The toroidal guide field mostly contributes to the formation of a localized electron heating structure around the X-point but not to bulk ion heating downstream.

  9. Simulation of the 3-D Evolution of Electron Scale Magnetic Reconnection - Motivated by Laboratory Experiments Predictions for MMS

    Science.gov (United States)

    Buechner, J.; Jain, N.; Sharma, A.

    2013-12-01

    The four s/c of the Magnetospheric Multiscale (MMS) mission, to be launched in 2014, will use the Earth's magnetosphere as a laboratory to study the microphysics of three fundamental plasma processes. One of them is magnetic reconnection, an essentially multi-scale process. While laboratory experiments and past theoretical investigations have shown that important processes necessary to understand magnetic reconnection take place at electron scales the MMS mission for the first time will be able to resolve these scales by in space observations. For the measurement strategy of MMS it is important to make specific predictions of the behavior of current sheets with a thickness of the order of the electron skin depth which play an important role in the evolution of collisionless magnetic reconnection. Since these processes are highly nonlinear and non-local numerical simulation is needed to specify the current sheet evolution. Here we present new results about the nonlinear evolution of electron-scale current sheets starting from the linear stage and using 3-D electron-magnetohydrodynamic (EMHD) simulations. The growth rates of the simulated instabilities compared well with the growth rates obtained from linear theory. Mechanisms and conditions of the formation of flux ropes and of current filamentation will be discussed in comparison with the results of fully kinetic simulations. In 3D the X- and O-point configurations of the magnetic field formed in reconnection planes alternate along the out-of-reconnection-plane direction with the wavelength of the unstable mode. In the presence of multiple reconnection sites, the out-of-plane magnetic field can develop nested structure of quadrupoles in reconnection planes, similar to the 2-D case, but now with variations in the out-of-plane direction. The structures of the electron flow and magnetic field in 3-D simulations will be compared with those in 2-D simulations to discriminate the essentially 3D features. We also discuss

  10. Non-Maxwellian electron distribution functions due to self-generated turbulence in collisionless guide-field reconnection

    CERN Document Server

    Muñoz, P A

    2016-01-01

    Non-Maxwellian electron velocity space distribution functions (EVDF) are useful signatures of plasma conditions and non-local consequences of collisionless magnetic reconnection. In the past, the evolution of the EVDFs was investigated mainly for antiparallel or weak-guide-field reconnection. The shape of EVDFs is, however, not well known yet for oblique (or component-) reconnection in dependence on a finite guide magnetic field component perpendicular to the reconnection plane. In view of the multi-spacecraft mission MMS, we derive the non-Maxwellian features of EVDFs formed by collisionless magnetic reconnection starting from very weak ($b_g\\approx0$) up to very strong ($b_g=8$) guide-field strengths $b_g$, taking into account the feedback of the self-generated turbulence. For this sake, we carry out 2.5D fully-kinetic Particle-in-Cell (PiC) simulations using the ACRONYM code. We obtained anisotropic EVDFs and the distribution of electron beams propagating along the separatrices as well as in the exhaust re...

  11. Observation of Magnetic Reconnection at a 3D Null Point Associated with a Solar Eruption

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sun, J. Q.; Zhang, J.; Yang, K.; Cheng, X.; Ding, M. D.

    2016-10-01

    Magnetic null has long been recognized as a special structure serving as a preferential site for magnetic reconnection (MR). However, the direct observational study of MR at null-points is largely lacking. Here, we show the observations of MR around a magnetic null associated with an eruption that resulted in an M1.7 flare and a coronal mass ejection. The Geostationary Operational Environmental Satellites X-ray profile of the flare exhibited two peaks at ∼02:23 UT and ∼02:40 UT on 2012 November 8, respectively. Based on the imaging observations, we find that the first and also primary X-ray peak was originated from MR in the current sheet (CS) underneath the erupting magnetic flux rope (MFR). On the other hand, the second and also weaker X-ray peak was caused by MR around a null point located above the pre-eruption MFR. The interaction of the null point and the erupting MFR can be described as a two-step process. During the first step, the erupting and fast expanding MFR passed through the null point, resulting in a significant displacement of the magnetic field surrounding the null. During the second step, the displaced magnetic field started to move back, resulting in a converging inflow and subsequently the MR around the null. The null-point reconnection is a different process from the current sheet reconnection in this flare; the latter is the cause of the main peak of the flare, while the former is the cause of the secondary peak of the flare and the conspicuous high-lying cusp structure.

  12. Effects on magnetic reconnection of a density asymmetry across the current sheet

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    K. G. Tanaka

    2008-08-01

    Full Text Available The magnetopause (MP reconnection is characterized by a density asymmetry across the current sheet. The asymmetry is expected to produce characteristic features in the reconnection layer. Here we present a comparison between the Cluster MP crossing reported by Retinò et al. (2006 and virtual observations in two-dimensional particle-in-cell simulation results. The simulation, which includes the density asymmetry but has zero guide field in the initial condition, has reproduced well the observed features as follows: (1 The prominent density dip region is detected at the separatrix region (SR on the magnetospheric (MSP side of the MP. (2 The intense electric field normal to the MP is pointing to the center of the MP at the location where the density dip is detected. (3 The ion bulk outflow due to the magnetic reconnection is seen to be biased towards the MSP side. (4 The out-of-plane magnetic field (the Hall magnetic field has bipolar rather than quadrupolar structure, the latter of which is seen for a density symmetric case. The simulation also showed rich electron dynamics (formation of field-aligned beams in the proximity of the separatrices, which was not fully resolved in the observations. Stepping beyond the simulation-observation comparison, we have also analyzed the electron acceleration and the field line structure in the simulation results. It is found that the bipolar Hall magnetic field structure is produced by the substantial drift of the reconnected field lines at the MSP SR due to the enhanced normal electric field. The field-aligned electrons at the same MSP SR are identified as the gun smokes of the electron acceleration in the close proximity of the X-line. We have also analyzed the X-line structure obtained in the simulation to find that the density asymmetry leads to a steep density gradient in the in-flow region, which may lead to a non-stationary behavior of the X-line when three-dimensional freedom is taken into account.

  13. Role of Electron Inertia and Reconnection Dynamics in a Stressed X-point Collapse with a Guide-Field

    CERN Document Server

    von der Pahlen, Jan Graf

    2016-01-01

    In previous simulations of collisionless 2D magnetic reconnection it was consistently found that the term in the generalised Ohm's law that breaks the frozen-in condition is the divergence of the electron pressure tensor's non-gyrotropic components. A fully relativistic particle-in-cell (PIC) code was used to model $X$-point collapse with a guide-field in two and three spatial dimensions. We show that in a 2D $X$-point collapse with a guide-field close to the strength of the in-plane field, the increased induced shear flows along the diffusion region lead to a new reconnection regime in which electron inertial terms play a dominant role at the $X$-point. This transition is marked by the emergence of a magnetic island - and hence a second reconnection site - as well as electron flow vortices moving along the current sheet. The reconnection electric field at the $X$-point is shown to exceed all lower guide-field cases for a brief period, indicating a strong burst in reconnection. By extending the simulation to ...

  14. Reconnection at three dimensional magnetic null points: Effect of current sheet asymmetry

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wyper, P. F.; Jain, Rekha

    2013-05-01

    Asymmetric current sheets are likely to be prevalent in both astrophysical and laboratory plasmas with complex three dimensional (3D) magnetic topologies. This work presents kinematic analytical models for spine and fan reconnection at a radially symmetric 3D null (i.e., a null where the eigenvalues associated with the fan plane are equal) with asymmetric current sheets. Asymmetric fan reconnection is characterized by an asymmetric reconnection of flux past each spine line and a bulk flow of plasma across the null point. In contrast, asymmetric spine reconnection is characterized by the reconnection of an equal quantity of flux across the fan plane in both directions. The higher modes of spine reconnection also include localized wedges of vortical flux transport in each half of the fan. In this situation, two definitions for reconnection rate become appropriate: a local reconnection rate quantifying how much flux is genuinely reconnected across the fan plane and a global rate associated with the net flux driven across each semi-plane. Through a scaling analysis, it is shown that when the ohmic dissipation in the layer is assumed to be constant, the increase in the local rate bleeds from the global rate as the sheet deformation is increased. Both models suggest that asymmetry in the current sheet dimensions will have a profound effect on the reconnection rate and manner of flux transport in reconnection involving 3D nulls.

  15. Reconnection at three dimensional magnetic null points: Effect of current sheet asymmetry

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Wyper, P. F.; Jain, Rekha [School of Mathematics and Statistics, University of Sheffield, Sheffield, South Yorkshire S3 7RH (United Kingdom)

    2013-05-15

    Asymmetric current sheets are likely to be prevalent in both astrophysical and laboratory plasmas with complex three dimensional (3D) magnetic topologies. This work presents kinematic analytical models for spine and fan reconnection at a radially symmetric 3D null (i.e., a null where the eigenvalues associated with the fan plane are equal) with asymmetric current sheets. Asymmetric fan reconnection is characterized by an asymmetric reconnection of flux past each spine line and a bulk flow of plasma across the null point. In contrast, asymmetric spine reconnection is characterized by the reconnection of an equal quantity of flux across the fan plane in both directions. The higher modes of spine reconnection also include localized wedges of vortical flux transport in each half of the fan. In this situation, two definitions for reconnection rate become appropriate: a local reconnection rate quantifying how much flux is genuinely reconnected across the fan plane and a global rate associated with the net flux driven across each semi-plane. Through a scaling analysis, it is shown that when the ohmic dissipation in the layer is assumed to be constant, the increase in the local rate bleeds from the global rate as the sheet deformation is increased. Both models suggest that asymmetry in the current sheet dimensions will have a profound effect on the reconnection rate and manner of flux transport in reconnection involving 3D nulls.

  16. Non-Maxwellian electron distribution functions due to self-generated turbulence in collisionless guide-field reconnection

    Science.gov (United States)

    Muñoz, P. A.; Büchner, J.

    2016-10-01

    Non-Maxwellian electron velocity space distribution functions (EVDFs) are useful signatures of plasma conditions and non-local consequences of collisionless magnetic reconnection. In the past, EVDFs were obtained mainly for antiparallel reconnection and under the influence of weak guide-fields in the direction perpendicular to the reconnection plane. EVDFs are, however, not well known, yet, for oblique (or component-) reconnection in case and in dependence on stronger guide-magnetic fields and for the exhaust (outflow) region of reconnection away from the diffusion region. In view of the multi-spacecraft Magnetospheric Multiscale Mission (MMS), we derived the non-Maxwellian EVDFs of collisionless magnetic reconnection in dependence on the guide-field strength bg from small ( b g ≈ 0 ) to very strong (bg = 8) guide-fields, taking into account the feedback of the self-generated turbulence. For this sake, we carried out 2.5D fully kinetic Particle-in-Cell simulations using the ACRONYM code. We obtained anisotropic EVDFs and electron beams propagating along the separatrices as well as in the exhaust region of reconnection. The beams are anisotropic with a higher temperature in the direction perpendicular rather than parallel to the local magnetic field. The beams propagate in the direction opposite to the background electrons and cause instabilities. We also obtained the guide-field dependence of the relative electron-beam drift speed, threshold, and properties of the resulting streaming instabilities including the strongly non-linear saturation of the self-generated plasma turbulence. This turbulence and its non-linear feedback cause non-adiabatic parallel electron acceleration. We further obtained the resulting EVDFs due to the non-linear feedback of the saturated self-generated turbulence near the separatrices and in the exhaust region of reconnection in dependence on the guide field strength. We found that the influence of the self-generated plasma turbulence

  17. Electron and ion heating characteristics during magnetic reconnection in MAST

    CERN Document Server

    Tanabe, H; Watanabe, T; Gi, K; Kadowaki, K; Inomoto, M; Imazawa, R; Gryaznevich, M; Michael, C; Crowley, B; Conway, N; Scannell, R; Harrison, J; Fitzgerald, I; Meakins, A; Hawkes, N; Cheng, C Z; Ono, Y

    2015-01-01

    Local electron and ion heating characteristics during merging reconnection startup on the MAST spherical tokamak have been revealed for the first time using a 130 channel YAG-TS system and a new 32 chord ion Doppler tomography diagnostic. 2D local profile measurement of $T_e$, $n_e$ and $T_i$ detect highly localized electron heating at the X point and bulk ion heating downstream. For the push merging experiment under high guide field condition, thick layer of closed flux surface formed by reconnected field sustains the heating profile for more than electron and ion energy relaxation time $\\tau^E_{ei}\\sim4-10$ms, both heating profiles finally form triple peak structure at the X point and downstream. Toroidal guide field mostly contributes the formation of peaked electron heating profile at the X point. The localized heating increases with higher guide field, while bulk downstream ion heating is unaffected by the change in the guide field under MAST conditions ($B_t>3B_{rec}$).

  18. ON THE DISTRIBUTION OF PARTICLE ACCELERATION SITES IN PLASMOID-DOMINATED RELATIVISTIC MAGNETIC RECONNECTION

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Nalewajko, Krzysztof [Kavli Institute for Particle Astrophysics and Cosmology, SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory, Stanford University, 2575 Sand Hill Road M/S 29, Menlo Park, CA 94025 (United States); Uzdensky, Dmitri A.; Werner, Gregory R. [Center for Integrated Plasma Studies, Physics Department, University of Colorado, UCB 390, Boulder, CO 80309-0390 (United States); Cerutti, Benoit [Department of Astrophysical Sciences, Princeton University, Princeton, NJ 08544 (United States); Begelman, Mitchell C., E-mail: knalew@stanford.edu [JILA, University of Colorado and National Institute of Standards and Technology, 440 UCB, Boulder, CO 80309 (United States)

    2015-12-20

    We investigate the distribution of particle acceleration sites, independently of the actual acceleration mechanism, during plasmoid-dominated, relativistic collisionless magnetic reconnection by analyzing the results of a particle-in-cell numerical simulation. The simulation is initiated with Harris-type current layers in pair plasma with no guide magnetic field, negligible radiative losses, no initial perturbation, and using periodic boundary conditions. We find that the plasmoids develop a robust internal structure, with colder dense cores and hotter outer shells, that is recovered after each plasmoid merger on a dynamical timescale. We use spacetime diagrams of the reconnection layers to probe the evolution of plasmoids, and in this context we investigate the individual particle histories for a representative sample of energetic electrons. We distinguish three classes of particle acceleration sites associated with (1) magnetic X-points, (2) regions between merging plasmoids, and (3) the trailing edges of accelerating plasmoids. We evaluate the contribution of each class of acceleration sites to the final energy distribution of energetic electrons: magnetic X-points dominate at moderate energies, and the regions between merging plasmoids dominate at higher energies. We also identify the dominant acceleration scenarios, in order of decreasing importance: (1) single acceleration between merging plasmoids, (2) single acceleration at a magnetic X-point, and (3) acceleration at a magnetic X-point followed by acceleration in a plasmoid. Particle acceleration is absent only in the vicinity of stationary plasmoids. The effect of magnetic mirrors due to plasmoid contraction does not appear to be significant in relativistic reconnection.

  19. The Inner Workings of Magnetic Reconnection: Diffusion Region in the Balance

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hesse, Michael

    2010-01-01

    The question of whether the micro scale controls the macroscale or vice-versa remains one of the most challenging problems in plasmas. A particular topic of interest within this context is collisionless magnetic reconnection, where both points of views are espoused by different groups of researchers. This presentation will focus on this topic. We will begin by analyzing the properties of electron diffusion region dynamics both for guide field and anti-parallel reconnection, and how they can be scaled to different inflow conditions. As a next step, we will study typical temporal variations of the microscopic dynamics with the objective of understanding the potential for secular changes to the macroscopic system. The research will be based on a combination of analytical theory and numerical modeling.

  20. Multi-Scale Physics in the Magnetosphere: The Role of Magnetic Reconnection

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hesse, Michael; Zenitiani, Seiji; Kuznetsova, Maria M.; Birn, Joachim

    2010-01-01

    The question of whether the microscale controls the macroscale or vice-versa remains one of the most challenging problems in plasmas. A particular topic of interest within this context is collision less magnetic reconnection, where both pOints of views are espoused by different groups of researchers. This presentation will focus on this topic. We will begin by analyzing the properties of electron diffusion region dynamics both for guide field and anti-parallel reconnection, and how they can be scaled to different inflow conditions. As a next step, we will study typical temporal variations of the microscopic dynamics with the objective of understanding the potential for secular changes to the macroscopic system. The research will be based on a combination of analytical theory and numerical modeling.

  1. Effects of Ion-to-Electron Mass Ratio on Electron Dynamics in Collisionless Magnetic Reconnection

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    GUO Jun; LU Quan-Ming

    2007-01-01

    A 21/2-dimensional electromagnetic particle-in-cell (PIC) simulation code is used to investigate electron behaviour in collisionless magnetic reconnection. The results show that the ion/electron mass ratio (mi/me) almost has no impact on the reconnection rate, however it can significantly affect electron behaviour in the diffusion region. For the case with larger mass ratio, the width of electron current sheet becomes smaller and the outflow region along the separatrix is smaller, hence the peak of the electron outflow speed is essentially larger. Density cavities and the parallel electric field E// along the separatrix can be found in the case with larger mass ratio, which may have significant influences on the acceleration and heating of the electrons near the X point.

  2. Kinetic simulations of secondary reconnection in the reconnection jet

    Science.gov (United States)

    Huang, S. Y.; Zhou, M.; Yuan, Z. G.; Fu, H. S.; He, J. S.; Sahraoui, F.; Aunai, N.; Deng, X. H.; Fu, S.; Pang, Y.; Wang, D. D.

    2015-08-01

    Magnetic reconnection, as one important energy dissipation process in plasmas, has been extensively studied in the past several decades. Magnetic reconnection occurring in the downstream of a primary X line is referred to as secondary reconnection. In this paper, we used kinetic simulations to investigate the secondary reconnection in detail. We found that secondary reconnection is reversed by the compression caused by the outflowing jet originating from the primary reconnection site, which results in the erosion of the magnetic island between the two X lines within ~3 ωci-1. We show the observational signatures expected in electromagnetic fields and plasma measurements in the Earth's magnetotail, associated with this mechanism. These simulation results could be applied to interpret the signatures associated with the evolution of earthward magnetic islands in the Earth's magnetotail.

  3. Magnetic Field

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Olsen, Nils

    2015-01-01

    of the fluid flow at the top of the core. However, what is measured at or near the surface of the Earth is the superposition of the core field and fields caused by magnetized rocks in the Earth’s crust, by electric currents flowing in the ionosphere, magnetosphere, and oceans, and by currents induced......he Earth has a large and complicated magnetic field, the major part of which is produced by a self-sustaining dynamo operating in the fluid outer core. Magnetic field observations provide one of the few tools for remote sensing the Earth’s deep interior, especially regarding the dynamics...... in the Earth by time-varying external fields. These sources have their specific characteristics in terms of spatial and temporal variations, and their proper separation, based on magnetic measurements, is a major challenge. Such a separation is a prerequisite for remote sensing by means of magnetic field...

  4. Simulation of turbulent magnetic reconnection in the small-scale solar wind

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    2000-01-01

    Some observational examples for the possible occurrence of the turbulent magnetic reconnection in the solar wind are found by analysing Helios spacecraft's high resolution data. The phenomena of turbulent magnetic reconnections in small scale solar wind are simulated by introducing a third order accuracy upwind compact difference scheme to the compressible two_dimensional MHD flow. Numerical results verify that the turbulent magnetic reconnection process could occur in small scale interplanetary solar wind, which is a basic feature characterizing the magnetic reconnection in high_magnetic Reynolds number (RM=2 000-10 000) solar wind. The configurations of the magnetic reconnection could evolve from a single X_line to a multiple X-line reconnection, exhibiting a complex picture of the formation, merging and evolution of magnetic islands, and finally the magnetic reconnection would evolve into a low_energy state. Its life_span of evolution is about one hour order of magnitude. Various magnetic and flow signatures are recorded in the numerical test for different evolution stages and along different crossing paths, which could in principle explain and confirm the observational samples from the Helios spacecraft. These results are helpful for revealing the basic physical processes in the solar wind turbulence.

  5. Numerical study of magnetic reconnection process near in- terplanetary current sheet

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    2001-01-01

    The third order accurate upwind compact difference scheme has been applied to the numerical study of the magnetic reconnection process possibly occurring near the interplanetary current sheet, under the framework of the two-dimensional compressible magnetohydrodynamics (MHD). Our results here show that the driven reconnection near the current sheet can occur within 10-30 min for the interplanetary high magnetic Reynolds number, RM =2 000-10 000, the stable magnetic reconnection structure can be formed in hour-order of magnitude, and there are some ba- sic properties such as the multiple X-line reconnections, vortical velocity structures, filament current systems, split-ting and collapse of the high-density plasma bulk. These results are helpful in understanding and identifying the magnetic reconnection phenomena near the interplanetary current sheets.

  6. Relativistic Electrons Produced by Reconnecting Electric Fields in a Laser-driven Bench-top Solar Flare

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhong, J. Y.; Lin, J.; Li, Y. T.; Wang, X.; Li, Y.; Zhang, K.; Yuan, D. W.; Ping, Y. L.; Wei, H. G.; Wang, J. Q.; Su, L. N.; Li, F.; Han, B.; Liao, G. Q.; Yin, C. L.; Fang, Y.; Yuan, X.; Wang, C.; Sun, J. R.; Liang, G. Y.; Wang, F. L.; Ding, Y. K.; He, X. T.; Zhu, J. Q.; Sheng, Z. M.; Li, G.; Zhao, G.; Zhang, J.

    2016-08-01

    Laboratory experiments have been carried out to model the magnetic reconnection process in a solar flare with powerful lasers. Relativistic electrons with energy up to megaelectronvolts are detected along the magnetic separatrices bounding the reconnection outflow, which exhibit a kappa-like distribution with an effective temperature of ˜109 K. The acceleration of non-thermal electrons is found to be more efficient in the case with a guide magnetic field (a component of a magnetic field along the reconnection-induced electric field) than in the case without a guide field. Hardening of the spectrum at energies ≥500 keV is observed in both cases, which remarkably resembles the hardening of hard X-ray and γ-ray spectra observed in many solar flares. This supports a recent proposal that the hardening in the hard X-ray and γ-ray emissions of solar flares is due to a hardening of the source-electron spectrum. We also performed numerical simulations that help examine behaviors of electrons in the reconnection process with the electromagnetic field configurations occurring in the experiments. The trajectories of non-thermal electrons observed in the experiments were well duplicated in the simulations. Our numerical simulations generally reproduce the electron energy spectrum as well, except for the hardening of the electron spectrum. This suggests that other mechanisms such as shock or turbulence may play an important role in the production of the observed energetic electrons.

  7. Collisionless Magnetic Reconnection as an Ion Acceleration Mechanism of Low- β Laboratory Plasmas

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cazzola, Emanuele; Curreli, Davide; Lapenta, Giovanni

    2016-10-01

    In this work we present the results from a series of fully-kinetic simulations of magnetic reconnection under typical laboratory plasma conditions. The highly-efficient energy conversion obtained from this process is of great interest for applications such as future electric propulsion systems and ion beam accelerators. We analysed initial configurations in low-beta conditions with reduced mass ratio of mi = 512me at magnetic fields between 200G and 5000G and electron temperatures between 0.5 and 10eV. The initial ion density and temperature are kept uniform and equal to 1019 m-3 and 0.0215eV (room temperature) respectively. The analysis has shown that the reconnection process under these conditions can accelerate ions up to velocities as high as a significant fraction of the inflow Alfven speed. The configuration showing the best scenario is further studied with a realistic mass ratio in terms of energetics and outflow ion momentum, with the latter featured by the traditionally used specific impulse. Finally, a more detailed analysis of the reconnection outflow has revealed the formation of different interesting set of shock structures, also recently seen from MHD simulations of relativistic plasmas and certainly subject of future more careful attention. The present work has been possible thanks to the Illinois-KULeuven Faculty/PhD Candidate Exchange Program. Computational resources provided by the PRACE Tier-0 machines.

  8. Onset and Evolution of Magnetic Reconnection in Line-Tied Systems

    Science.gov (United States)

    Daughton, W. S.; Akcay, C.; Billey, Z.; Finn, J.; Zweibel, E.; Gekelman, W. N.

    2014-12-01

    In space and astrophysical plasmas, current sheets arise spontaneously from the interaction of large-scale flows or magnetic structures. As these current layers approach kinetic scales, they may become unstable to the collisionless tearing instability, resulting in the formation and interaction of magnetic flux ropes. While theoretical treatments of the tearing instability have largely focused on 1D equilibria with periodic boundary conditions, current sheets in nature have a finite spatial extent and are embedded within larger open systems. In many applications, the field boundary conditions are line-tied as in the case of flux ropes on the dayside magnetopause where the ionosphere acts as a conducting surface. To assess the applicability of existing tearing theory to these more realistic configurations, we consider a series of 3D kinetic simulations of initially force-free current layers with line-tied boundary conditions for the fields, and open boundaries for the particles. The geometry and plasma parameters are motivated by a new laboratory experiment on the Large Plasma Device at UCLA. For sufficiently long systems, we demonstrate that key aspects of the theory remain valid, and a threshold condition is derived for the onset of reconnection in line-tied systems. To gain additional insight into the nonlinear evolution, field-line mapping diagnostics are employed to characterize the 3D structure of the magnetic field, the nonlinear reconnection rate and the dominant non-ideal terms in the generalized Ohm's law.

  9. Observations of turbulence within reconnection jet in the presence of guide field

    Science.gov (United States)

    Huang, S. Y.; Zhou, M.; Sahraoui, F.; Vaivads, A.; Deng, X. H.; André, M.; He, J. S.; Fu, H. S.; Li, H. M.; Yuan, Z. G.; Wang, D. D.

    2012-06-01

    We present the first comprehensive observations of turbulence properties within high speed reconnection jet in the plasma sheet with moderate guide field. The power spectral density index is about -1.73 in the inertial range, and follows the value of -2.86 in the ion dissipation range. The turbulence is strongly anisotropic in the wave-vector space with the major power having its wave-vector highly oblique to the ambient magnetic field, suggesting that the turbulence is quasi-2D. The measured "dispersion relations" obtained using the k-filtering technique are compared with theory and are found to be consistent with the Alfvén-Whistler mode. In addition, both Probability Distribution Functions and flatness results show that the turbulence in the reconnection jet is intermittent (multifractal) at scales less than the proton gyroradius/inertial lengths. The estimated electric field provided by anomalous resistivity caused by turbulence is about 3 mV/m, which is close to the typical reconnection electric field in the magnetotail.

  10. Plasmoid ejection and secondary current sheet generation from magnetic reconnection in laser-plasma interaction.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dong, Quan-Li; Wang, Shou-Jun; Lu, Quan-Ming; Huang, Can; Yuan, Da-Wei; Liu, Xun; Lin, Xiao-Xuan; Li, Yu-Tong; Wei, Hui-Gang; Zhong, Jia-Yong; Shi, Jian-Rong; Jiang, Shao-En; Ding, Yong-Kun; Jiang, Bo-Bin; Du, Kai; He, Xian-Tu; Yu, M Y; Liu, C S; Wang, Shui; Tang, Yong-Jian; Zhu, Jian-Qiang; Zhao, Gang; Sheng, Zheng-Ming; Zhang, Jie

    2012-05-25

    Reconnection of the self-generated magnetic fields in laser-plasma interaction was first investigated experimentally by Nilson et al. [Phys. Rev. Lett. 97, 255001 (2006)] by shining two laser pulses a distance apart on a solid target layer. An elongated current sheet (CS) was observed in the plasma between the two laser spots. In order to more closely model magnetotail reconnection, here two side-by-side thin target layers, instead of a single one, are used. It is found that at one end of the elongated CS a fanlike electron outflow region including three well-collimated electron jets appears. The (>1 MeV) tail of the jet energy distribution exhibits a power-law scaling. The enhanced electron acceleration is attributed to the intense inductive electric field in the narrow electron dominated reconnection region, as well as additional acceleration as they are trapped inside the rapidly moving plasmoid formed in and ejected from the CS. The ejection also induces a secondary CS.

  11. Fast magnetic reconnection supported by sporadic small-scale Petschek-type shocks

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Shibayama, Takuya, E-mail: shibayama@stelab.nagoya-u.ac.jp; Nakabou, Takashi [Institute for Space-Earth Environmental Research, Nagoya University, Furo-cho, Chikusa-ku, Nagoya, Aichi 464-8601 (Japan); Kusano, Kanya [Institute for Space-Earth Environmental Research, Nagoya University, Furo-cho, Chikusa-ku, Nagoya, Aichi 464-8601 (Japan); Japan Agency for Marine-Earth Science and Technology (JAMSTEC), Kanazawa-ku, Yokohama, Kanagawa 236-0001 (Japan); Miyoshi, Takahiro [Department of Physical Science, Graduate School of Science, Hiroshima University, Higashi-Hiroshima 739-8526 (Japan); Vekstein, Grigory [Jodrell Bank Centre for Astrophysics, University of Manchester, Manchester M13 9PL (United Kingdom)

    2015-10-15

    Standard magnetohydrodynamic (MHD) theory predicts reconnection rate that is far too slow to account for a wide variety of reconnection events observed in space and laboratory plasmas. Therefore, it was commonly accepted that some non-MHD (kinetic) effects play a crucial role in fast reconnection. A recently renewed interest in simple MHD models is associated with the so-called plasmoid instability of reconnecting current sheets. Although it is now evident that this effect can significantly enhance the rate of reconnection, many details of the underlying multiple-plasmoid process still remain controversial. Here, we report results of a high-resolution computer simulation which demonstrate that fast albeit intermittent magnetic reconnection is sustained by numerous small-scale Petschek-type shocks spontaneously formed in the current sheet due to its plasmoid instability.

  12. Two-fluid and magnetohydrodynamic modelling of magnetic reconnection in the MAST spherical tokamak and the solar corona

    CERN Document Server

    Browning, P K; Evans, M; Lucini, F Arese; Lukin, V S; McClements, K G; Stanier, A

    2015-01-01

    Twisted magnetic flux ropes are ubiquitous in space and laboratory plasmas, and the merging of such flux ropes through magnetic reconnection is an important mechanism for restructuring magnetic fields and releasing free magnetic energy. The merging-compression scenario is one possible start up scheme for spherical tokamaks, which has been used on the Mega Amp Spherical Tokamak MAST. Two current-carrying plasma rings, or flux ropes, approach each other through the mutual attraction of their like currents, and merge, through magnetic reconnection, into a single plasma torus, with substantial plasma heating. 2D resistive MHD and Hall MHD simulations of this process are reported, and new results for the temperature distribution of ions and electrons are presented. A model of the based on relaxation theory is also described, which is now extended to tight aspect ratio geometry. This model allows prediction of the final merged state and the heating. The implications of the relaxation model for heating of the solar ...

  13. Laboratory study of magnetic reconnection with a density asymmetry across the current sheet.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yoo, Jongsoo; Yamada, Masaaki; Ji, Hantao; Jara-Almonte, Jonathan; Myers, Clayton E; Chen, Li-Jen

    2014-08-29

    The effects of a density asymmetry across the current sheet on anti-parallel magnetic reconnection are studied systematically in a laboratory plasma. Despite a significant density ratio of up to 10, the in-plane magnetic field profile is not significantly changed. On the other hand, the out-of-plane Hall magnetic field profile is considerably modified; it is almost bipolar in structure with the density asymmetry, as compared to quadrupolar in structure with the symmetric configuration. Moreover, the ion stagnation point is shifted to the low-density side, and the electrostatic potential profile also becomes asymmetric with a deeper potential well on the low-density side. Nonclassical bulk electron heating together with electromagnetic fluctuations in the lower hybrid frequency range is observed near the low-density-side separatrix. The dependence of the ion outflow and reconnection electric field on the density asymmetry is measured and compared with theoretical expectations. The measured ion outflow speeds are about 40% of the theoretical values.

  14. Instability, Turbulence, and 3D Magnetic Reconnection in a Line-Tied, Zero Net Current Screw Pinch

    Science.gov (United States)

    Brookhart, Matthew I.; Stemo, Aaron; Zuberbier, Amanda; Zweibel, Ellen; Forest, Cary B.

    2015-04-01

    This Letter reports the first experimental investigation into a line-tied plasma with a reversed current profile. Discrete current sources create a cylindrical plasma equilibrium with an axial field and zero net current. Detailed magnetic measurements show that an internal m =1 mode with no external character grows exponentially. The nonlinear evolution of the mode drives 3D reconnection events that reorganize the plasma equilibrium. The plasma is turbulent and exhibits reconnection events on a range of scales. These data are consistent with recent simulations of coronal loops and the nanoflare coronal heating mechanism.

  15. Instability, turbulence, and 3D magnetic reconnection in a line-tied, zero net current screw pinch.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Brookhart, Matthew I; Stemo, Aaron; Zuberbier, Amanda; Zweibel, Ellen; Forest, Cary B

    2015-04-10

    This Letter reports the first experimental investigation into a line-tied plasma with a reversed current profile. Discrete current sources create a cylindrical plasma equilibrium with an axial field and zero net current. Detailed magnetic measurements show that an internal m=1 mode with no external character grows exponentially. The nonlinear evolution of the mode drives 3D reconnection events that reorganize the plasma equilibrium. The plasma is turbulent and exhibits reconnection events on a range of scales. These data are consistent with recent simulations of coronal loops and the nanoflare coronal heating mechanism.

  16. Evolution of clustered magnetic nulls in a turbulent-like reconnection region in the magnetotail

    Science.gov (United States)

    Guo, Ruilong; Pu, Zuyin; Fu, Suiyan; Xie, Lun; Dunlop, Malcolm; Bogdanova, Yulia V.; He, Jiansen; Wang, Xin; Yao, Zhonghua

    2016-07-01

    Magnetic null points and flux ropes play important roles in the three-dimensional process of magnetic reconnection. In this study, a cluster of null points are reconstructed in the reconnection region in the magnetotail by applying a fitting-reconstruction method to measurements from the Cluster mission. The number of reconstructed null points varies rapidly, presenting a turbulent-like evolution of the magnetic structure. The electron density and the flux of the accelerated electrons were enhanced in this turbulent-like region. During this unstable reconnection process, a B-As-B null structure was formed, showing flux rope features and resembling a secondary island in the observation.

  17. Separatrices: the crux of reconnection

    CERN Document Server

    Lapenta, Giovanni; Divin, Andrey; Newman, David; Goldman, Martin

    2014-01-01

    Reconnection is one of the key processes in astrophysical and laboratory plasmas: it is the opposite of a dynamo. Looking at energy, a dynamo transforms kinetic energy in magnetic energy while reconnection takes magnetic energy and returns is to its kinetic form. Most plasma processes at their core involve first storing magnetic energy accumulated over time and then releasing it suddenly. We focus here on this release. A key concept in analysing reconnection is that of the separatrix, a surface (line in 2D) that separates the fresh unperturbed plasma embedded in magnetic field lines not yet reconnected with the hotter exhaust embedded in reconnected field lines. In kinetic physics, the separatrices become a layer where many key processes develop. We present here new results relative to the processes at the separatrices that regulate the plasma flow, the energisation of the species, the electromagnetic fields and the instabilities developing at the separatrices.

  18. Kinetic simulations of magnetic reconnection in three-dimensional null-points.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Olshevsky, Vyacheslav; Lapenta, Giovanni; Divin, Andrey; Markidis, Stefano

    2015-04-01

    We report kinetic particle-in-cell simulations of an essentially three-dimensional magnetized plasma configuration. Initially the evolution is governed by large-scale fluid modes excited by the pressure imbalance. At this phase current channels (pinches) are created along the sequences of spiral null-points. After ten ion gyroperiods the relaxation is over, and about half of magnetic energy is converted to ion currents, particle heating, and generation of suprathermal particles. At the next phase the evolution is dominated by volumetric magnetic reconnection, mainly associated with spiral null-points (pinches); non-spiral nulls don't play important role in the energy release. Such reconection is a possible mechanism of magnetic energy dissipation in turbulent space plasmas where currents and twisted field lines are ubiquitous.

  19. Cluster multispacecraft observations at the high-latitude duskside magnetopause: implications for continuous and component magnetic reconnection

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    A. Retinò

    2005-02-01

    Full Text Available We report multispacecraft Cluster observations of magnetic reconnection at the high-latitude magnetopause/magnetospheric boundary layer (MP/BL under mainly northward interplanetary magnetic field (IMF conditions. The event we study is on 3 December 2001 when the Cluster spacecraft were skimming the high-latitude duskside MP/BL during a period of about four hours. The orbit and configuration of the spacecraft were such that at least one satellite was present in the MP/BL during most of that period. We present the evidence of reconnection in the form of tangential stress balance between the magnetosheath and the MP/BL (Walén test and in several cases in the form of transmitted magnetosheath ions in the MP/BL and incident/reflected magnetosheath ions in the magnetosheath boundary layer (MSBL . The observations are consistent with magnetic reconnection occurring tailward of the cusp and going on continuously for a period of about four hours. The observed directions of the reconnection flows are consistent with the IMF orientation, thus indicating that reconnection is globally controlled by the IMF. Observations of a few flow reversals suggest passages of the spacecraft close to the X-line. The observation of low magnetic shear across the magnetopause during a flow reversal is consistent with component merging at least in one case. The observation of reconnection flows on the duskside magnetopause irrespective of the change in the sign of the IMF BY also suggests a better agreement with the component merging model, though antiparallel merging cannot be excluded because the distance from the X-line is not known.

  20. Anisotropic ion heating and tail generation during tearing mode magnetic reconnection in a high-temperature plasma.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Magee, R M; Den Hartog, D J; Kumar, S T A; Almagri, A F; Chapman, B E; Fiksel, G; Mirnov, V V; Mezonlin, E D; Titus, J B

    2011-08-05

    Complementary measurements of ion energy distributions in a magnetically confined high-temperature plasma show that magnetic reconnection results in both anisotropic ion heating and the generation of suprathermal ions. The anisotropy, observed in the C(+6) impurity ions, is such that the temperature perpendicular to the magnetic field is larger than the temperature parallel to the magnetic field. The suprathermal tail appears in the majority ion distribution and is well described by a power law to energies 10 times the thermal energy. These observations may offer insight into the energization process.

  1. Kinetic structure of the electron diffusion region in antiparallel magnetic reconnection.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ng, J; Egedal, J; Le, A; Daughton, W; Chen, L-J

    2011-02-11

    Strong electron pressure anisotropy has been observed upstream of electron diffusion regions during reconnection in Earth's magnetotail and kinetic simulations. For collisionless antiparallel reconnection, we find that the anisotropy drives the electron current in the electron diffusion region, and that this current is insensitive to the reconnection electric field. Reconstruction of the electron distribution function within this region at enhanced resolutions reveals its highly structured nature and the mechanism by which the pressure anisotropy sets the structure of the region.

  2. Three-dimensional geometry of magnetic reconnection induced by ballooning instability in a generalized Harris sheet

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhu, Ping; Bhattacharjee, Amitava; Sangari, Arash; Wang, Zechen; Bonofiglo, Phillip

    2017-02-01

    We report for the first time the intrinsically three-dimensional (3D) geometry of the magnetic reconnection process induced by ballooning instability in a generalized Harris sheet. The spatial distribution and the structure of the quasi-separatrix layers, as well as their temporal emergence and evolution, indicate that the associated magnetic reconnection can only occur in a 3D geometry, which is irreducible to that of any two-dimensional reconnection process. Such a finding provides a new perspective to the long-standing controversy over the substorm onset problem and elucidates the combined roles of reconnection and ballooning instabilities. It also connects to the universal presence of 3D reconnection processes previously discovered in various natural and laboratory plasmas.

  3. Cloud core collapse and the role of turbulent magnetic reconnection diffusion

    CERN Document Server

    Leão, M R M; Santos-Lima, R; Lazarian, A

    2012-01-01

    For a molecular cloud clump to form stars some transport of magnetic flux is required from the denser, inner regions to the outer regions of the cloud, otherwise this can prevent the gravitational collapse. Fast magnetic reconnection which takes place in the presence of turbulence can induce a process of reconnection diffusion. This paper continues our numerical study of this process and its implications. In particular, extending our earlier studies of reconnection diffusion in cylindrical clouds we consider more realistic clouds with spherical gravitational potentials (from embedded stars) and also account for the effects of the gas self-gravity. We demonstrate that within our setup reconnection diffusion takes place. We have also derived the conditions under which reconnection diffusion becomes efficient enough to make an initially subcritical cloud clump to become supercritical and collapse. Our results indicate that the formation of a supercritical core is regulated by a complex interplay between gravity,...

  4. The Location of Magnetic Reconnection at Saturn's Magnetopause: a Comparison with Earth

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lewis, W. S.; Fuselier, S.; Frahm, R. A.; Masters, A.; Mukherjee, J.; Petrinec, S. M.; Sillanpaa, I.

    2014-12-01

    Data from the Cassini Electron Spectrometer are used to investigate the location of magnetic reconnection at Saturn's magnetopause. Heated, streaming electron distributions in the boundary layer on the magnetosheath side of the magnetopause are evidence of reconnection and an open magnetopause. A model for the location of reconnection is used to compare the modeled and observed streaming direction of the heated electron distributions. Magnetic reconnection at Saturn's magnetopause is predicted and observed to occur at locations similar to those at Earth's magnetopause. Although not conclusive, the results here are consistent with the expected importance of x-line drifts in suppressing low-shear reconnection. Because of different conditions at Saturn's magnetopause, this suppression is predicted to be stronger at Saturn than at Earth.

  5. Ellerman Bombs, Type II White-light Flares and Magnetic Reconnection in the Solar Lower Atmosphere

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    2001-01-01

    Ellerman bombs and Type II white-light flares share many common features despite the large energy gap between them. Both are considered to result from local heating in the solar lower atmosphere. This paper presents numerical simulations of magnetic reconnection occurring in such a deep atmosphere, with the aim to account for the common features of the two phenomena. Our numerical results manifest the following two typical characteristics of the assumed reconnection process: (1) magnetic reconnection saturates in ~600-900 s, which is just the lifetime of the two phenomena; (2) ionization in the upper chromosphere consumes quite a large part of the energy released through reconnection, making the heating effect most significant in the lower chromosphere. The application of the reconnection model to the two phenomena is discussed in detail.

  6. A magnetic reconnection model for quasi-periodic oscillations in black hole systems

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    Chang-Yin Huang; Ding-Xiong Wang; Jiu-Zhou Wang; Zhi-Yun Wang

    2013-01-01

    The quasi-periodic oscillations (QPOs) in black hole (BH) systems with different scales are interpreted based on the magnetic reconnection of large-scale magnetic fields generated by toroidal electric currents flowing in the inner region of the accretion disk,where the current density is assumed to be proportional to the mass density of the accreting plasma.The magnetic connection (MC) is taken into account in resolving dynamic equations describing the accretion disk,in which the MC between the inner and outer disk regions,between the plunging region and the disk,and between the BH horizon and the disk are involved.It turns out that a single QPO frequency associated with several BH systems with different scales can be fitted by invoking the magnetic reconnection due to the MC between the inner and outer regions of the disk,including the BH binaries XTE J1859+226,XTE J1650-500 and GRS 1915+105 and the massive BHs in NGC 5408 X-1 and RE J1034+396.In addition,the X-ray spectra corresponding to the QPOs for these sources are fitted based on the typical disk-corona model.

  7. Relativistic magnetic reconnection in collisionless ion-electron plasmas explored with particle-in-cell simulations

    CERN Document Server

    Melzani, Mickaël; Folini, Doris; Winisdoerffer, Christophe; Favre, Jean M

    2014-01-01

    Magnetic reconnection is a leading mechanism for magnetic energy conversion and high-energy non-thermal particle production in a variety of high-energy astrophysical objects, including ones with relativistic ion-electron plasmas (e.g., microquasars or AGNs) - a regime where first principle studies are scarce. We present 2D particle-in-cell (PIC) simulations of low $\\beta$ ion-electron plasmas under relativistic conditions, i.e., with inflow magnetic energy exceeding the plasma rest-mass energy. We identify outstanding properties: (i) For relativistic inflow magnetizations (here $10 80$), the reconnection electric field is sustained more by bulk inertia than by thermal inertia. It challenges the thermal-inertia-paradigm and its implications. (iii) The inflows feature sharp transitions at the entrance of the diffusion zones. These are not shocks but results from particle ballistic motions, all bouncing at the same location, provided that the thermal velocity in the inflow is far smaller than the inflow E cross...

  8. The energetics of relativistic magnetic reconnection: ion-electron repartition and particle distribution hardness

    CERN Document Server

    Melzani, Mickaël; Folini, Doris; Winisdoerffer, Christophe; Favre, Jean M

    2014-01-01

    Collisionless magnetic reconnection is a prime candidate to account for flare-like or steady emission, outflow launching, or plasma heating, in a variety of high-energy astrophysical objects, including ones with relativistic ion-electron plasmas. But the fate of the initial magnetic energy in a reconnection event remains poorly known: what is the amount given to kinetic energy, the ion/electron repartition, and the hardness of the particle distributions? We explore these questions with 2D particle-in-cell simulations of ion-electron plasmas. We find that 45 to 75% of the total initial magnetic energy ends up in kinetic energy, this fraction increasing with the inflow magnetization. Depending on the guide field strength, ions get from 30 to 60% of the total kinetic energy. Particles can be separated into two populations that only weakly mix: (i) particles initially in the current sheet, heated by its initial tearing and subsequent contraction of the islands; and (ii) particles from the background plasma that p...

  9. Nonlinear evolution of electron shear flow instabilities in the presence of an external guide magnetic field

    CERN Document Server

    Jain, Neeraj

    2016-01-01

    The dissipation mechanism by which the magnetic field reconnects in the presence of an external (guide) magnetic field in the direction of the main current is not well understood. In thin electron current sheets (ECS) (thickness ~ an electron inertial length) formed in collisionless magnetic reconnection, electron shear flow instabilities (ESFI) are potential candidates for providing an anomalous dissipation mechanism which can break the frozen-in condition of the magnetic field affecting the structure and rate of reconnection. We investigate the evolution of ESFI in guide field magnetic reconnection. The properties of the resulting plasma turbulence and their dependence on the strength of the guide field are studied. Utilizing 3-D electron-magnetohydrodynamic simulations of ECS we show that, unlike the case of ECS self-consistently embedded in anti-parallel magnetic fields, the evolution of thin ECS in the presence of a guide field (equal to the asymptotic value of the reconnecting magnetic field or larger) ...

  10. Fast Magnetic Reconnection: “Ideal” Tearing and the Hall Effect

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pucci, Fulvia; Velli, Marco; Tenerani, Anna

    2017-08-01

    One of the main questions in magnetic reconnection is the origin of triggering behavior with on/off properties that, once it is activated, accounts for the fast magnetic energy conversion to kinetic and thermal energies at the heart of explosive events in astrophysical and laboratory plasmas. Over the past decade, progress has been made on the initiation of fast reconnection via the plasmoid instability and what has been called “ideal” tearing, which sets in once current sheets thin to a critical inverse aspect ratio {(a/L)}c. As shown by Pucci & Velli, at {(a/L)}c∼ {S}-1/3, the timescale for the instability to develop becomes of the order of the Alfvén time and independent of the Lundquist number (here defined in terms of current sheet length L). However, given the large values of S in natural plasmas, this transition might occur for thicknesses of the inner resistive singular layer that are comparable to the ion inertial length d i . When this occurs, Hall currents produce a three-dimensional quadrupole structure of the magnetic field, and the dispersive waves introduced by the Hall effect accelerate the instability. Here we present a linear study showing how the “ideal” tearing mode critical aspect ratio is modified when Hall effects are taken into account, including more general scaling laws of the growth rates in terms of sheet inverse aspect ratio: the critical inverse aspect ratio is amended to a/L≃ {({di}/L)}0.29{(1/S)}0.19, at which point the instability growth rate becomes Alfvénic and does not depend on either of the (small) parameters {d}i/L,1/S. We discuss the implications of this generalized triggering aspect ratio for recently developed phase diagrams of magnetic reconnection.

  11. The Vector Direction of the Interstellar Magnetic Field Outside the Heliosphere

    CERN Document Server

    Swisdak, M; Drake, J F; Bibi, F Alouani

    2010-01-01

    We propose that magnetic reconnection at the heliopause only occurs where the interstellar magnetic field points nearly anti-parallel to the heliospheric field. By using large-scale magnetohydrodynamic (MHD) simulations of the heliosphere to provide the initial conditions for kinetic simulations of heliopause (HP) reconnection we show that the energetic pickup ions downstream from the solar wind termination shock induce large diamagnetic drifts in the reconnecting plasma and stabilize non-anti-parallel reconnection. With this constraint the MHD simulations can show where HP reconnection most likely occurs. We also suggest that reconnection triggers the 2-3 kHz radio bursts that emanate from near the HP. Requiring the burst locations to coincide with the loci of anti-parallel reconnection allows us to determine, for the first time, the vector direction of the local interstellar magnetic field. We find it to be oriented towards the southern solar magnetic pole.

  12. Observations of an X-shaped Ribbon Flare in the Sun and Its Three-dimensional Magnetic Reconnection

    Science.gov (United States)

    Li, Y.; Qiu, J.; Longcope, D. W.; Ding, M. D.; Yang, K.

    2016-05-01

    We report evolution of an atypical X-shaped flare ribbon that provides novel observational evidence of three-dimensional (3D) magnetic reconnection at a separator. The flare occurred on 2014 November 9. High-resolution slit-jaw 1330 Å images from the Interface Region Imaging Spectrograph reveal four chromospheric flare ribbons that converge and form an X-shape. Flare brightening in the upper chromosphere spreads along the ribbons toward the center of the “X” (the X-point), and then spreads outward in a direction more perpendicular to the ribbons. These four ribbons are located in a quadrupolar magnetic field. Reconstruction of magnetic topology in the active region suggests the presence of a separator connecting to the X-point outlined by the ribbons. The inward motion of flare ribbons in the early stage therefore indicates 3D magnetic reconnection between two sets of non-coplanar loops that approach laterally, and reconnection proceeds downward along a section of vertical current sheet. Coronal loops are also observed by the Atmospheric Imaging Assembly on board the Solar Dynamics Observatory confirming the reconnection morphology illustrated by ribbon evolution.

  13. Electrodynamics in a Very Thin Current Sheet Leading to Magnetic Reconnection

    Science.gov (United States)

    Singh, Nagendra; Deverapalli, Chakri; Khazanov, George

    2006-01-01

    We study the formation of a very thin current sheet (CS) and associated plasma electrodynamics using three-dimensional (3-D) particle-in-cell simulations with ion to electron mass ratio M/m=1836. The CS is driven by imposed anti-parallel magnetic fields. The noteworthy features of the temporal evolution of the CS are the following: (i) Steepening of the magnetic field profile B,(z) in the central part of the CS, (ii) Generation of three-peak current distribution with the largest peak in the CS center as B,(z) steepens, (iii) Generation of converging electric fields forming a potential well in the CS center in which ions are accelerated. (iv) Electron and ion heating in the central part of the CS by current-driven instabilities (CDI). (v) Re-broadening of the CS due to increased kinetic plasma pressure in the CS center. (vi) Generation of electron temperature anisotropy with temperature perpendicular to the magnetic field being larger than the parallel one. (vii) Current disruption by electron trapping in an explosively growing electrostatic instability (EGEI) and electron tearing instability (ETI). (viii)The onset of EGEI coincides with an increase in the electron temperature above the temperature of the initially hot ions as well as the appearance of new shear in the electron drift velocity. (ix) Bifurcation of the central CS by the current disruption. (x) Magnetic reconnection (MR) beginning near the null in B, and spreading outward. (xi) Generation of highly energized electrons reaching relativistic speeds and having isotropic pitch-angle distribution in the region of reconnected magnetic fields. We compare some of these features of the current sheet with results from laboratory and space experiments.

  14. Electrodynamics in a very thin current sheet leading to magnetic reconnection

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    N. Singh

    2006-01-01

    Full Text Available We study the formation of a very thin current sheet (CS and associated plasma electrodynamics using three-dimensional (3-D particle-in-cell simulations with ion to electron mass ratio M/m=1836. The CS is driven by imposed anti-parallel magnetic fields. The noteworthy features of the temporal evolution of the CS are the following: (i Steepening of the magnetic field profile Bx(z in the central part of the CS, (ii Generation of three-peak current distribution with the largest peak in the CS center as Bx(z steepens, (iii Generation of converging electric fields forming a potential well in the CS center in which ions are accelerated. (iv Electron and ion heating in the central part of the CS by current-driven instabilities (CDI. (v Re-broadening of the CS due to increased kinetic plasma pressure in the CS center. (vi Generation of electron temperature anisotropy with temperature perpendicular to the magnetic field being larger than the parallel one. (vii Current disruption by electron trapping in an explosively growing electrostatic instability (EGEI and electron tearing instability (ETI. (viiiThe onset of EGEI coincides with an increase in the electron temperature above the temperature of the initially hot ions as well as the appearance of new shear in the electron drift velocity. (ix Bifurcation of the central CS by the current disruption. (x Magnetic reconnection (MR beginning near the null in Bx and spreading outward. (xi Generation of highly energized electrons reaching relativistic speeds and having isotropic pitch-angle distribution in the region of reconnected magnetic fields. We compare some of these features of the current sheet with results from laboratory and space experiments.

  15. Chromospheric magnetic reconnection: Two-fluid simulations of coalescing current loops

    CERN Document Server

    Smith, P D

    2008-01-01

    Aims: To investigate magnetic reconnection rates during the coalescence of two current loops in the solar chromosphere, by altering the neutral-hydrogen to proton density ratio, ioniziation/recombination coefficients, collision frequency and relative helicity of the loops. Methods: 2.5D numerical simulations of the chromosphere were conducted using a newly developed two-fluid (ion-neutral) numerical code. Developed from the Artificial Wind scheme, the numerical code includes the effects of ion-neutral collisions, ionization/recombination, thermal/resistive diffusivity and collisional/resistive heating. Results: It was found that the rates of magnetic reconnection strongly depend on the neutral-hydrogen to proton density ratio; increasing the density ratio by a thousand-fold decreased the rate of magnetic reconnection by twenty-fold. This result implies that magnetic reconnection proceeds significantly faster in the upper chromosphere, where the density of ions (protons) and neutral-hydrogen is comparable, tha...

  16. Turbulent transport in 2D collisionless guide field reconnection

    CERN Document Server

    Muñoz, P A; Kilian, P

    2016-01-01

    Transport in collisionless plasmas is usually called anomalous, being due to the interaction between the particles and the self-generated turbulence by their collective interactions. Because of its relevance for astrophysical and space plasmas, we explore the excitation of turbulence in current sheets prone to component- or guide-field reconnection, a process not well understood, yet. We analyze the anomalous transport properties by using 2.5D Particle-in-Cell (PiC) code simulations. We split off the mean, slow variation (in contrast to the fast turbulent fluctuations) of the macroscopic observables and determine the main transport terms of the generalized Ohm's law. We verify our findings by comparing with the independently determined slowing-down rate of the macroscopic currents and with the transport terms obtained by the first order correlations of the turbulent fluctuations. We find that the turbulence is most intense in the "low density" separatrix region of guide-field reconnection. It is excited by st...

  17. 3-d resistive MHD simulations of magnetic reconnection and the tearing mode instability in current sheets

    CERN Document Server

    Murphy, G C; Pelletier, Guy

    2008-01-01

    Magnetic reconnection plays a critical role in many astrophysical processes where high energy emission is observed, e.g. particle acceleration, relativistic accretion powered outflows, pulsar winds and probably in dissipation of Poynting flux in GRBs. The magnetic field acts as a reservoir of energy and can dissipate its energy to thermal and kinetic energy via the tearing mode instability. We have performed 3d nonlinear MHD simulations of the tearing mode instability in a current sheet. Results from a temporal stability analysis in both the linear regime and weakly nonlinear (Rutherford) regime are compared to the numerical simulations. We observe magnetic island formation, island merging and oscillation once the instability has saturated. The growth in the linear regime is exponential in agreement with linear theory. In the second, Rutherford regime the island width grows linearly with time. We find that thermal energy produced in the current sheet strongly dominates the kinetic energy. Finally preliminary ...

  18. Role of Reconnection in AGN Jets

    CERN Document Server

    Lyutikov, M

    2003-01-01

    We discuss the possible role of reconnection in electro-magnetically dominated cores of relativistic AGN jets. We suggest that reconnection may proceed in a two-fold fashion: initial explosive collapse on the Alfven time-scale of a current-carrying jet (which is of the order of the light crossing time) and subsequent slow quasi-steady reconnection. Sites of explosive collapse are associated with bright knots, while steady-state reconnection re-energizes particles in the ``bridges'' between the knots. Ohmic dissipation in reconnection layers leads to particle acceleration either by inductive electric fields or by stochastic particle acceleration in the ensuing electro-magnetic turbulence.

  19. The Snake - a Reconnecting Coil in a Twisted Magnetic Flux Tube

    CERN Document Server

    Bicknell, G V; Bicknell, Geoffrey V.; Li, Jianke

    2001-01-01

    We propose that the curious Galactic Center filament known as ``The Snake'' is a twisted giant magnetic flux tube, anchored in rotating molecular clouds. The MHD kink instability generates coils in the tube and subsequent magnetic reconnection injects relativistic electrons. Electrons diffuse away from a coil at an energy-dependent rate producing a flat spectral index at large distances from it. Our fit to the data of \\citet{gray95a} shows that the magnetic field $\\sim 0.4 \\> \\rm mG$ is large compared to the ambient $\\sim 7 \\mu \\> \\rm G$ field, indicating that the flux tube is force-free. If the {\\em relative} level of turbulence in the Snake and the general interstellar medium are similar, then electrons have been diffusing in the Snake for about $3 \\times 10^5 \\> \\rm yr$, comparable to the timescale at which magnetic energy is annihilated in the major kink. Estimates of the magnetic field in the G359.19-0.05 molecular complex are similar to our estimate of the magnetic field in the Snake suggesting a strong...

  20. Stochastic acceleration by multi-island contraction during turbulent magnetic reconnection.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bian, Nicolas H; Kontar, Eduard P

    2013-04-12

    The acceleration of charged particles in magnetized plasmas is considered during turbulent multi-island magnetic reconnection. The particle acceleration model is constructed for an ensemble of islands which produce adiabatic compression of the particles. The model takes into account the statistical fluctuations in the compression rate experienced by the particles during their transport in the acceleration region. The evolution of the particle distribution function is described as a simultaneous first- and second-order Fermi acceleration process. While the efficiency of the first-order process is controlled by the average rate of compression, the second-order process involves the variance in the compression rate. Moreover, the acceleration efficiency associated with the second-order process involves both the Eulerian properties of the compression field and the Lagrangian properties of the particles. The stochastic contribution to the acceleration is nonresonant and can dominate the systematic part in the case of a large variance in the compression rate. The model addresses the role of the second-order process, how the latter can be related to the large-scale turbulent transport of particles, and explains some features of the numerical simulations of particle acceleration by multi-island contraction during magnetic reconnection.

  1. Role of Loss of Equilibrium and Magnetic Reconnection in Coronal Eruptions: Resistive and Hall MHD simulations

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yang, H.; Bhattacharjee, A.; Forbes, T. G.

    2008-12-01

    It has long been suggested that eruptive phenomena such as coronal mass ejections, prominence eruptions, and large flares might be ca