Particle Acceleration in 3D Magnetic Reconnection
NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)
Dahlin, J.; Drake, J. F.; Swisdak, M.
2015-12-01
Magnetic reconnection is an important driver of energetic particles in phenomena such as magnetospheric storms and solar flares. Using kinetic particle-in-cell (PIC) simulations, we show that the stochastic magnetic field structure which develops during 3D reconnection plays a vital role in particle acceleration and transport. In a 2D system, electrons are trapped in magnetic islands which limits their energy gain. In a 3D system, however, the stochastic magnetic field enables the energetic electrons to access volume-filling acceleration regions and therefore gain energy much more efficiently than in the 2D system. We also examine the relative roles of two important acceleration drivers: parallel electric fields and a Fermi mechanism associated with reflection of charged particles from contracting field lines. We find that parallel electric fields are most important for accelerating low energy particles, whereas Fermi reflection dominates energetic particle production. We also find that proton energization is reduced in the 3D system.
Dissipation mechanism in 3D magnetic reconnection
Fujimoto, Keizo
2011-11-15
Dissipation processes responsible for fast magnetic reconnection in collisionless plasmas are investigated using 3D electromagnetic particle-in-cell simulations. The present study revisits the two simulation runs performed in the previous study (Fujimoto, Phys. Plasmas 16, 042103 (2009)); one with small system size in the current density direction, and the other with larger system size. In the case with small system size, the reconnection processes are almost the same as those in 2D reconnection, while in the other case a kink mode evolves along the current density and deforms the current sheet structure drastically. Although fast reconnection is achieved in both the cases, the dissipation mechanism is very different between them. In the case without kink mode, the electrons transit the electron diffusion region without thermalization, so that the magnetic dissipation is supported by the inertia resistivity alone. On the other hand, in the kinked current sheet, the electrons are not only accelerated in bulk, but they are also partly scattered and thermalized by the kink mode, which results in the anomalous resistivity in addition to the inertia resistivity. It is demonstrated that in 3D reconnection the thickness of the electron current sheet becomes larger than the local electron inertia length, consistent with the theoretical prediction in Fujimoto and Sydora (Phys. Plasmas 16, 112309 (2009)).
Magnetic reconnection in 3D magnetosphere models: magnetic separators and open flux production
NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)
Glocer, A.; Dorelli, J.; Toth, G.; Komar, C. M.; Cassak, P.
2014-12-01
There are multiple competing definitions of magnetic reconnection in 3D (e.g., Hesse and Schindler [1988], Lau and Finn [1990], and Boozer [2002]). In this work we focus on separator reconnection. A magnetic separator can be understood as the 3D analogue of a 2D x line with a guide field, and is defined by the line corresponding to the intersection of the separatrix surfaces associated with the magnetic nulls. A separator in the magnetosphere represents the intersection of four distinct magnetic topologies: solar wind, closed, open connected to the northern hemisphere, and open connected to the southern hemisphere. The integral of the parallel electric field along the separator defines the rate of open flux production, and is one measure of the reconnection rate. We present three methods for locating magnetic separators and apply them to 3D resistive MHD simulations of the Earth's magnetosphere using the BATS-R-US code. The techniques for finding separators and determining the reconnection rate are insensitive to IMF clock angle and can in principle be applied to any magnetospheric model. The present work examines cases of high and low resistivity, for two clock angles. We also examine the separator during Flux Transfer Events (FTEs) and Kelvin-Helmholtz instability.
Kinetic turbulence in 3D collisionless magnetic reconnection with a guide magnetic field
NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)
Alejandro Munoz Sepulveda, Patricio; Kilian, Patrick; Jain, Neeraj; Büchner, Jörg
2016-04-01
The features of kinetic plasma turbulence developed during non-relativistic 3D collisionless magnetic reconnection are still not fully understood. This is specially true under the influence of a strong magnetic guide field, a scenario common in space plasmas such as in the solar corona and also in laboratory experiments such as MRX or VINETA II. Therefore, we study the mechanisms and micro-instabilities leading to the development of turbulence during 3D magnetic reconnection with a fully kinetic PIC code, emphasizing the role of the guide field with an initial setup suitable for the aforementioned environments. We also clarify the relations between these processes and the generation of non-thermal populations and particle acceleration.
Laboratory Study of Magnetic Reconnection in 3D Geometry Relevant to Magnetopause and Magnetotail
NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)
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.
Experimental onset threshold and magnetic pressure pileup for 3D Sweet-Parker reconnection
Intrator, Thomas P; Sun, Xuan; Lapenta, Giovanni; Furno, Ivo
2008-01-01
In space, astrophysical and laboratory plasmas, magnetic reconnect ion converts magnetic into particle energy during unsteady, explosive events. The abrupt onset and cessation has been a long standing puzzle. We show the first three-dimensional (3D) laboratory example of onset and stagnation of Sweet-Parker type magnetic reconnection between magnetized and parallel current (flux) ropes driven by magnetohydrodynamic (MHD) attraction and 3D instability. Mutually attracting flux ropes advect and merge oppositely directed magnetic fields. Magnetic flux is annihilated, but reaches soon a threshold where magnetic flux and pressure pile up, and reconnection magnetic topology appears. This occurs when inflow speeds exceed the SweetParker speed v{sub SP} = v{sub A} / S{sup 1/2}, where v{sub A} is the Alfven speed and S is the Lundquist number for the reconnection layer, as magnetic flux arrives faster than flux annihilation can process it. Finally piled up fields generate MHD reaction forces that stall the inflow and the reconnection process.
Existence of two MHD reconnection modes in a solar 3D magnetic null point topology
NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)
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.
Slip versus Field-Line Mapping in Describing 3D Reconnection of Coronal Magnetic Fields
NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)
Titov, V. S.; Mikic, Z.; Torok, T.; Downs, C.; Lionello, R.; Linker, J.
2015-12-01
We demonstrate two techniques for describing the structure of the coronal magnetic field and its evolution due to reconnection in numerical 3D simulations of the solar corona and CMEs. These techniques employ two types of mapping of the boundary of the computational domain on itself. One of them is defined at a given time moment via connections of the magnetic field lines to their opposite endpoints. The other mapping, called slip mapping, relates field line endpoints at two different time moments and allows one to identify the slippage of plasma elements due to resistivity across field lines for a given time interval (Titov et al. 2009). The distortion of each of these mappings can be measured by using the so-called squashing factor Q (Titov 2007). The high-Q layers computed for the first and second mappings define, respectively, (quasi-)separatrix surfaces and reconnection fronts in evolving magnetic configurations. Analyzing these structural features, we are able to reveal topologically different domains and reconnected flux systems in the configurations, in particular, open, closed and disconnected magnetic flux tubes, as well as quantify the related magnetic flux transfer. Comparison with observations makes it possible also to relate these features to observed morphological elements such as flare loops and ribbons, and EUV dimmings. We illustrate these general techniques by applying them to particular data-driven MHD simulations. *Research supported by NASA's HSR and LWS Programs, and NSF/SHINE and NSF/FESD.
3D magnetic field configuration of small-scale reconnection events in the solar plasma atmosphere
Shimizu, T.
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.
NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)
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
Connecting Global Measures of 3D Magnetic Reconnection to Local Kinetic Physics
Daughton, William Scott
2015-07-16
After giving the motivation for the work, slides present the topic under the following headings: Description of LAPD experiment; Actual simulation setup; Simple kinetic theory of ined-tied tearing; Diagnostics to characterizing 3D reconnection; Example #1 - short-tied system; and Example #2 - long line-tied system. Colorful simulations are shown for quasipotential vs field line exponentiation, field line integrated Ohms Law, and correlation with agyrotopy & energy conversion for example #1; and evolution of current density for largest case, field exponentiation vs quasi-potential, and time evolution of magnetic field lines for example #2. To satisfy line-tied boundary conditions, there is need for superposition of oblique modes--the simple two-mode approximation works surprisingly well. For force-free layers with b_{g} >1, the fastest growing periodic modes are oblique with k_{x}λ ~0.5. This implies a minimum length of L_{y} > 2πλb_{g}. There are strong correlations between σ → Ξ → A_{0e} (observable with spacecraft). Electron pressure tensor is the dominant non-ideal term.
Plasmoid dynamics in 3D resistive MHD simulations of magnetic reconnection
NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)
Samtaney, R.; Loureiro, N. F.; Uzdensky, D. A.; Schekochihin, A. A.
2012-04-01
Magnetic reconnection is a well known plasma process believed to lie at the heart of a variety of phenomena such as sub-storms in the Earth's magnetosphere, solar/stellar and accretion-disk flares, sawteeth activity in fusion devices, etc. During reconnection, the global magnetic field topology changes rapidly, leading to the violent release of magnetic energy. Over the past few years, the basic understanding of this fundamental process has undergone profound changes. The validity of the most basic, and widely accepted, reconnection paradigm - the famous Sweet-Parker (SP) model, which predicts that, in MHD, reconnection is extremely slow, its rate scaling as S-1/2, where S is the Lundquist number of the system - has been called into question as it was analytically demonstrated that, for S ≫ 1, SP-like current sheets are violently unstable to the formation of a large number of secondary islands, or plasmoids. Subsequent numerical simulations in 2D have confirmed the validity of the linear theory, and shown that plasmoids quickly grow to become wider than the thickness of the original SP current sheet, thus effectively changing the underlying reconnection geometry. Ensuing numerical work has revealed that the process of plasmoid formation, coalescence and ejection from the sheet drastically modifies the steady state picture assumed by Sweet and Parker, and leads to the unexpected result that MHD reconnection is independent of S. In this talk, we review these recent developments and present results from three-dimensional simulations of high-Lundquist number reconnection in the presence of a guide field. A parametric study varying the strength of the guide field is presented. Plasmoid flux and width distribution functions are quantified and compared with corresponding two dimensional simulations.
Instability, Turbulence, and 3D Magnetic Reconnection in a Line-Tied, Zero Net Current Screw Pinch
NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)
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.
Generation of field-aligned currents and Alfven waves by 3D magnetic reconnection
Ma, Z.W.; Lee, L.C.; Otto, A.
1995-07-01
The authors have carried out a three-dimensional compressible MHD simulation to study the generation of field-aligned currents (FAC`s) and Alfven waves by magnetic reconnection for locally antiparallel magnetic fields across the current sheet. Reconnection is triggered by a localized resistivity. The results indicate that both FAC`s and Alfven waves are generated by the three-dimensional reconnection process. Two pairs of FAC`s are generated on each side of current sheet. The polarities of the resulting FAC pair in the leading bulge region are opposite to those of a FAC pair in the trailing quasi-steady region. It is further found that a large portion of the FAC`s ({approximately}40%) is located in the closed field line region. They examine the Walen relation between FAC and parallel vorticity and find that Alfven waves are generated and propagate away from the reconnection site. They discuss the relevance of the results to the observed Region 1 FAC`s at noon. 15 refs., 4 figs.
This science visualization shows a magnetospheric substorm, during which, magnetic reconnection causes energy to be rapidly released along the field lines in the magnetotail, that part of the magne...
Simulations of 3D Magnetic Merging: Resistive Scalings for Null Point and QSL Reconnection
NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)
Effenberger, Frederic; Craig, I. J. D.
2016-01-01
Starting from an exact, steady-state, force-free solution of the magnetohydrodynamic (MHD) equations, we investigate how resistive current layers are induced by perturbing line-tied three-dimensional magnetic equilibria. This is achieved by the superposition of a weak perturbation field in the domain, in contrast to studies where the boundary is driven by slow motions, like those present in photospheric active regions. Our aim is to quantify how the current structures are altered by the contribution of so-called quasi-separatrix layers (QSLs) as the null point is shifted outside the computational domain. Previous studies based on magneto-frictional relaxation have indicated that despite the severe field line gradients of the QSL, the presence of a null is vital in maintaining fast reconnection. Here, we explore this notion using highly resolved simulations of the full MHD evolution. We show that for the null-point configuration, the resistive scaling of the peak current density is close to J˜η^{-1}, while the scaling is much weaker, i.e. J˜η^{-0.4}, when only the QSL connectivity gradients provide a site for the current accumulation.
NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)
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.
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.
Local Diagnosis of Reconnection in 3D
NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)
Scudder, J. D.; Karimabadi, H.; Daughton, W. S.; Roytershteyn, V.
2014-12-01
We demonstrate (I,II) an approach to find reconnection sites in 3D where there is no flux function for guidance, and where local observational signatures for the ``violation of frozen flux'' are under developed, if not non-existent. We use 2D and 3D PIC simulations of asymmetric guide field reconnection to test our observational hierarchy of single spacecraft kinetic diagnostics - all possible with present state of the art instrumentation. The proliferation of turbulent, electron inertial scale layers in the realistic 3D case demonstrates that electron demagnetization, while necessary, is not sufficient to identify reconnection sites. An excellent local, observable, single spacecraft proxy is demonstrated for the size of the theoretical frozen flux violation. Since even frozen flux violations need not imply reconnection is at hand, a new calibrated dimensionless method is used to determine the importance of such violations. This measure is available in 2D and 3D to help differentiate reconnection layers from weaker frozen flux violating layers. We discuss the possibility that this technique can be implemented on MMS. A technique to highlight flow geometries conducive to reconnection in 3D simulations is also suggested, that may also be implementable with the MMS flotilla. We use local analysis with multiple necessary, but theoretically independent electron kinetic conditions to help reduce the probability of misidentification of any given layer as a reconnection site. Since these local conditions are all necessary for the site, but none is known to be sufficient, the multiple tests help to greatly reduce false positive identifications. The selectivity of the results of this approach using PIC simulations of 3D asymmetric guide field reconnection will be shown using varying numbers of simultaneous conditions. Scudder, J.D., H. Karimabadi, W. Daughton and V. Roytershteyn I, II, submitted Phys. Plasma., 2014
NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)
Chai, Kil-Byoung; Zhai, Xiang; Bellan, Paul
2015-11-01
The Caltech astrophysical jet experiment provides a highly resolved demonstration of the interaction between single fluid and 2-fluid scales and possibly kinetic scales as well. The jet evolves through the following sequence: (i) a current-carrying MHD-driven plasma jet self-forms, (ii) the jet undergoes a kink instability, (iii) the kink provides the environment for a secondary, Rayleigh-Taylor (RT) instability, (iv) the RT instability erodes the current channel radius to a scale smaller than ion skin depth to cause fast magnetic reconnection, (v) the reconnection emits broadband obliquely-propagating, right-hand circularly polarized whistler waves, and (vi) the reconnection energizes electrons and ions. The observation of the whistler waves confirms that the reconnection is in the Hall MHD regime (i.e., 2-fluid). An energetic extreme ultraviolet burst is observed at the location of reconnection indicating strong, localized electron heating. Spectroscopic measurement shows simultaneous fast ion heating. The analysis shows that electrons are plausibly heated by Ohmic dissipation, and that ions are plausibly heated stochastically, i.e., the guiding center approximation fails, a kinetic effect.
Impulsive reconnection: 3D onset and stagnation in turbulent paradigms
Sears, Jason A; Intrator, Thomas P; Weber, Tom; Lapenta, Giovanni; Lazarian, Alexander
2010-12-14
Reconnection processes are ubiquitous in solar coronal loops, the earth's magnetotail, galactic jets, and laboratory configurations such as spheromaks and Z pinches. It is believed that reconnection dynamics are often closely linked to turbulence. In these phenomena, the bursty onset of reconnection is partly determined by a balance of macroscopic MHD forces. In a turbulent paradigm, it is reasonable to suppose that there exist many individual reconnection sites, each X-line being finite in axial extent and thus intrinsically three-dimensional (3D) in structure. The balance between MHD forces and flux pile-up continuously shifts as mutually tangled flux ropes merge or bounce. The spatial scale and thus the rate of reconnection are therefore intimately related to the turbulence statistics both in space and in time. We study intermittent 3D reconnection along spatially localized X-lines between two or more flux ropes. The threshold of MHD instability which in this case is the kink threshold is varied by modifying the line-tying boundary conditions. For fast inflow speed of approaching ropes, there is merging and magnetic reconnection which is a well known and expected consequence of the 2D coalescence instability. On the other hand, for slower inflow speed the flux ropes bounce. The threshold appears to be the Sweet Parker speed v{sub A}/S{sup 1/2}, where v{sub A} is the Alfven speed and S is the Lundquist number. Computations by collaborators at University of Wisconsin, Madison, Katholieke Universiteit Leuven, and LANL complement the experiment.
Explosive turbulent magnetic reconnection.
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. PMID:23829741
Reconnection of Magnetic Fields
NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)
1984-01-01
Spacecraft observations of steady and nonsteady reconnection at the magnetopause are reviewed. Computer simulations of three-dimensional reconnection in the geomagnetic tail are discussed. Theoretical aspects of the energization of particles in current sheets and of the microprocesses in the diffusion region are presented. Terrella experiments in which magnetospheric reconnection is simulated at both the magnetopause and in the tail are described. The possible role of reconnection in the evolution of solar magnetic fields and solar flares is discussed. A two-dimensional magnetohydrodynamic computer simulation of turbulent reconnection is examined. Results concerning reconnection in Tokamak devices are also presented.
Magnetic reconnection in space
Boozer, Allen H.
2012-09-15
Models of magnetic reconnection in space plasmas generally consider only a segment of the magnetic field lines. The consideration of only a segment of the lines is shown to lead to paradoxical results in which reconnection can be impossible even in a magnetic field constrained to be curl free or can be at an Alfven rate even when the plasma is a perfect conductor. A model of reconnecting magnetic fields is developed which shows the smallness of the interdiffusion distance {delta}{sub d} of magnetic field lines does not limit the speed of reconnection but does provide a reconnection trigger. When the reconnection region has a natural length L{sub r}, the spatial scale of the gradient of magnetic field across the magnetic field lines must reach L{sub g} Almost-Equal-To 0.3L{sub r}/ln(L{sub r}/{delta}{sub d}) for fast reconnection to be triggered, which implies a current density j Almost-Equal-To B/{mu}{sub 0}L{sub g} that is far lower than that usually thought required for fast reconnection. The relation between magnetic reconnection in space and in toroidal laboratory plasmas is also discussed.
Reversible collisionless magnetic reconnection
Ishizawa, A.; Watanabe, T.-H.
2013-10-15
Reversible magnetic reconnection is demonstrated for the first time by means of gyrokinetic numerical simulations of a collisionless magnetized plasma. Growth of a current-driven instability in a sheared magnetic field is accompanied by magnetic reconnection due to electron inertia effects. Following the instability growth, the collisionless reconnection is accelerated with development of a cross-shaped structure of current density, and then all field lines are reconnected. The fully reconnected state is followed by the secondary reconnection resulting in a weakly turbulent state. A time-reversed simulation starting from the turbulent state manifests that the collisionless reconnection process proceeds inversely leading to the initial state. During the reversed reconnection, the kinetic energy is reconverted into the original magnetic field energy. In order to understand the stability of reversed process, an external perturbation is added to the fully reconnected state, and it is found that the accelerated reconnection is reversible when the deviation of the E × B streamlines due to the perturbation is comparable with or smaller than a current layer width.
THEMIS Sees Magnetic Reconnection
THEMIS observations confirm for the first time that magnetic reconnection in the magnetotail triggers the onset of substorms. Substorms are the sudden violent eruptions of space weather that releas...
Gyrotropy During Magnetic Reconnection
NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)
Swisdak, M.
2015-12-01
Gyrotropic particle distributions -- those that can be characterized completely by temperatures meausred parallel and perpendicular to the local magnetic field -- are the norm in many plasmas. However, near locations where magnetic topology suddenly changes, e.g., where magnetic reconnection occurs, gyrotropy can be expected to be violated. If these departures from gyrotropy are quantifiable they are useful as probes since magnetic topological changes are, in some sense, non-local while gyrotropy can be measured locally. I will discuss previously proposed measures of gyrotropy, give examples of cases where they give unphysical results, and propose a new measure. By applying this measure to particle-in-cell simulations of reconnection I will show that it does an excellent job of localizing reconnection sites. I will also show how gyrotropy can be quickly calculated in any case where the full pressure tensor is available. This has obvious applications to the interpretation of MMS data.
Turbulent General Magnetic Reconnection
NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)
Eyink, G. L.
2015-07-01
Plasma flows with a magnetohydrodynamic (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 per unit arclength of field line, the ratio of the curl of the non-ideal electric field in the generalized Ohm’s Law and magnetic field strength. It diverges at magnetic nulls, unifying GMR with null-point reconnection. Only under restrictive assumptions is the slip velocity related to the gradient of quasi-potential (which is the integral of parallel electric field along magnetic field lines). In a turbulent inertial range, the non-ideal field becomes tiny while its curl is large, so that line slippage occurs even while ideal MHD becomes accurate. The resolution is that ideal MHD is valid for a turbulent inertial range only in a weak sense that does not imply magnetic line freezing. The notion of weak solution is explained in terms of renormalization group (RG) type theory. The weak validity of the ideal Ohm’s law in the inertial range is shown via rigorous estimates of the terms in the generalized Ohm’s Law. All non-ideal terms are irrelevant in the RG sense and large-scale reconnection is thus governed solely by ideal dynamics. We discuss the implications for heliospheric reconnection, in particular for deviations from the Parker spiral model. Solar wind observations show that reconnection in a turbulence-broadened heliospheric current sheet, which is consistent with Lazarian-Vishniac theory, leads to slip velocities that cause field lines to lag relative to the spiral model.
NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)
Lapenta, Giovanni; Goldman, Martin; Newman, David
2015-11-01
Magnetic reconnection is a mechanism to convert magnetic energy to particle energy in the form of heat and directed flows. We study here where reconnection and particle energization are found in full 3D models of a reconnecting plasma sheet. Three regions emerge as the primary loci of energy conversion: the separatrices, the dipolarization fronts and the electron diffusion region near x-points. We consider two scenarios: one where the exhaust from multiple x-lines forms a plasmoid (a flux rope in 3D) and one where the exhaust encounters pristine unreconnected plasma and forms a pile-up front. A key process intrinsically 3D, not present in 2D, is the development of an instability in the outflow leading to the formation of secondary reconnection sites that further enhance energy conversion. The MMS mission of NASA was launched on March 12 of this year with the stated goal of finding these regions. We will soon know if we are right in predicting these additional regions of dissipation in the reconnection outflow. Work supported by the NASA MMS Program and by the BOF funds of the KU Leuven. Simulations conducted on NASA Computing facilities, PRACE Tier-0 computing and at NERSC (DOE Office of Science User Contract No. DE-AC02-05CH11231).
NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)
Lapenta, Giovanni; Goldman, Martin; Newman, David; olshevskyi, Vyacheslav; Markidis, Stefano
2016-04-01
Dipolarization fronts (DF) are formed by reconnection outflows interacting with the pre-existing environment. These regions are host of important energy exchanges [1], particle acceleration [2] and a complex structure and evolution [3]. Our recent work has investigated these regions via fully kinetic 3D simulations [4]. As reported recently on Nature Physics [3], based on 3D fully kinetic simulations started with a well defined x-line, we observe that in the DF reconnection transitions towards a more chaotic regime. In the fronts an instability devel- ops caused by the local gradients of the density and by the unfavourable acceleration and field line curvature. The consequence is the break up of the fronts in a fashion similar to the classical fluid Rayleigh-Taylor instability with the formation of "fingers" of plasma and embedded magnetic fields. These fingers interact and produce secondary reconnection sites. We present several different diagnostics that prove the existence of these secondary reconnection sites. Each site is surrounded by its own electron diffusion region. At the fronts the ions are generally not magnetized and considerable ion slippage is present. The discovery we present is that electrons are also slipping, forming localized diffusion regions near secondary reconnection sites [1]. The consequence of this discovery is twofold. First, the instability in the fronts has strong energetic implications. We observe that the energy transfer locally is very strong, an order of magnitude stronger than in the "X" line. However, this energy transfer is of both signs as it is natural for a wavy rippling with regions of magnetic to kinetic and regions of kinetic to magnetic energy conversion. Second, and most important for this session, is that MMS should not limit the search for electron diffusion regions to the location marked with X in all reconnection cartoons. Our simulations predict more numerous and perhaps more easily measurable electron diffusion
Acceleration during magnetic reconnection
Beresnyak, Andrey; Li, Hui
2015-07-16
The presentation begins with colorful depictions of solar x-ray flares and references to pulsar phenomena. Plasma reconnection is complex, could be x-point dominated or turbulent, field lines could break due to either resistivity or non-ideal effects, such as electron pressure anisotropy. Electron acceleration is sometimes observed, and sometimes not. One way to study this complex problem is to have many examples of the process (reconnection) and compare them; the other way is to simplify and come to something robust. Ideal MHD (E=0) turbulence driven by magnetic energy is assumed, and the first-order acceleration is sought. It is found that dissipation in big (length >100 ion skin depths) current sheets is universal and independent on microscopic resistivity and the mean imposed field; particles are regularly accelerated while experiencing curvature drift in flows driven by magnetic tension. One example of such flow is spontaneous reconnection. This explains hot electrons with a power-law tail in solar flares, as well as ultrashort time variability in some astrophysical sources.
Nonlinear Collisionless Magnetic Reconnection
Grasso, D.; Tassi, E.; Borgogno, D.; Pegoraro, F.
2008-10-15
We review some recent results that have been obtained in the investigation of collisionless reconnection in two and three dimensional magnetic configurations with a strong guide field in regimes of interest for laboratory plasmas. First, we adopt a two-field plasma model where two distinct regimes, laminar and turbulent, can be identified. Then, we show that these regimes may combine when we consider a more general four-field model, where perturbation of the magnetic and velocity fields are allowed also along the ignorable coordinate.
Inhomogeneous turbulence in magnetic reconnection
NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)
Yokoi, Nobumitsu
2016-07-01
Turbulence is expected to play an essential role in enhancing magnetic reconnection. Turbulence associated with magnetic reconnection is highly inhomogeneous: it is generated by inhomogeneities of the field configuration such as the velocity shear, temperature gradient, density stratification, magnetic shear, etc. This self-generated turbulence affects the reconnection through the turbulent transport. In this reconnection--turbulence interaction, localization of turbulent transport due to dynamic balance between several turbulence effects plays an essential role. For investigating inhomogeneous turbulence in a strongly nonlinear regime, closure or turbulence modeling approaches provide a powerful tool. A turbulence modeling approach for the magnetic reconnection is introduced. In the model, the mean-field equations with turbulence effects incorporated are solved simultaneously with the equations of turbulent statistical quantities that represent spatiotemporal properties of turbulence under the effect of large-scale field inhomogeneities. Numerical simulations of this Reynolds-averaged turbulence model showed that self-generated turbulence enhances magnetic reconnection. It was pointed out that reconnection states may be divided into three category depending on the turbulence level: (i) laminar reconnection; (ii) turbulent reconnection, and (iii) turbulent diffusion. Recent developments in this direction are also briefly introduced, which includes the magnetic Prandtl number dependence, spectral evolution, and guide-field effects. Also relationship of this fully nonlinear turbulence approach with other important approaches such as plasmoid instability reconnection will be discussed.
NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)
Wilder, F. D.; Ergun, R.; Goodrich, K.; Malaspina, D.; Eriksson, S.; Stawarz, J. E.; Sturner, A. P.; Holmes, J.; Burch, J. L.; Torbert, R. B.; Phan, T.; Le Contel, O.; Goldman, M. V.; Newman, D. L.; Lindqvist, P. A.; Khotyaintsev, Y. V.; Strangeway, R. J.; Russell, C. T.; Giles, B. L.; Pollock, C. J.
2015-12-01
The phenomenon of magnetic reconnection, especially at electron scales, is still poorly understood. One process that warrants further investigation is the role of wave phenomenon in mediating magnetic reconnection. Previous observations have shown the presence of electrostatic solitary waves (ESWs) as well as whistler mode waves near the dayside reconnection site. Additionally, recent simulations have suggested that whistler waves might be generated by electron phase space holes associated with ESWs as they propagate along the magnetic separatrix towards the diffusion region. Other observations have shown ESWs with distinct speeds and time scales, suggesting that different instabilities generate the ESWs. NASA's recently launched Magnetospheric Multiscale (MMS) mission presents a unique opportunity to investigate the roles of wave phenomena, such as ESWs and whistlers, in asymmetric reconnection at the dayside magnetopause. We will present 3-D electric and magnetic field data from magnetopause crossings by MMS during its first dayside science phase. Burst mode wave data and electron distributions from all four spacecraft will be analyzed to investigate the origin of these wave phenomena, as well as their impact on the reconnection electric field.
Magnetic reconnection launcher
Cowan, Maynard
1989-01-01
An electromagnetic launcher includes a plurality of electrical stages which are energized sequentially in synchrony with the passage of a projectile. 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 by magnetic reconnection as the gap portion 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 at both the rear vertical surface of 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 and fit loosely within the gap between the opposing coils.
Self-generated Turbulence in Magnetic Reconnection
NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)
Oishi, Jeffrey S.; Mac Low, Mordecai-Mark; Collins, David C.; Tamura, Moeko
2015-06-01
Classical Sweet-Parker models of reconnection predict that reconnection rates depend inversely on the resistivity, usually parameterized using the dimensionless Lundquist number (S). We describe magnetohydrodynamic (MHD) simulations using a static, nested grid that show the development of a three-dimensional (3D) instability in the plane of a current sheet between reversing field lines without a guide field. The instability leads to rapid reconnection of magnetic field lines at a rate independent of S over at least the range 3.2× {{10}3}≲ S≲ 3.2× {{10}5} resolved by the simulations. We find that this instability occurs even for cases with S≲ {{10}4} that in our models appear stable to the recently described, two-dimensional, plasmoid instability. Our results suggest that 3D, MHD processes alone produce fast (resistivity independent) reconnection without recourse to kinetic effects or external turbulence. The unstable reconnection layers provide a self-consistent environment in which the extensively studied turbulent reconnection process can occur.
Observations and models of magnetic reconnection
NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)
Barta, Miroslav
2015-08-01
Magnetic reconnection is now almost unanimously considered to be a key plasma process for energy release in solar and stellar flares. Recent decade have seen rapid development in the theory, simulations and searching for observational evidences of magnetic reconnection being in action in the core of flares. Modern modeling approach involves many realistic aspects of magnetic reconnection such as intrinsically 3D nature of the process and, namely, its highly dynamic character connected with violent formation of plasmoids at many scales. The cascade of plasmoid formation represents natural process of fast, turbulent energy transfer to the kinetic dissipation scale. This concept, revealed by numerical simulations, has found its ground in the theory of (ideal) plasmoid instability in current layers with high aspect ratio. The plasmoid dominated reconnection regime is capable to account for many puzzling dilemmas in the flare physics ranging from the observation-demanded energy release rate vs. standard reconnection-regime timescales, observed organized large-scale structures vs. signatures of fragmented energy release etc. The talk aims at reviewing recent theoretical and simulation development in this direction and observational support for the concept of plasmoid-driven reconnection cascade namely in solar flares.
Does fast magnetic reconnection exist?
NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)
Priest, E. R.; Forbes, T. G.
1992-01-01
The main features of the Priest-Forbes (1986) and Priest-Lee (1990) models of magnetic reconnection in astrophysical plasmas are discussed, and the Priest-Lee model is generalized to include inflow pressure gradients and thus different regimes of reconnection. It is shown that different scaling results can be obtained depending on the boundary conditions. These results are compared to the ones observed in the numerical experiments of Biskamp (1986) and Lee and Fu (1986). It is concluded that numerical experiments with suitably designed boundary conditions are likely to exhibit fast reconnection, and that such reconnection is a common process in astrophysical and space plasmas.
Radiative Magnetic Reconnection in Astrophysics
NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)
Uzdensky, D. A.
In this chapter we review a new and rapidly growing area of research in high-energy plasma astrophysics—radiative magnetic reconnection, defined here as a regime of reconnection where radiation reaction has an important influence on the reconnection dynamics, energetics, and/or nonthermal particle acceleration. This influence be may be manifested via a variety of radiative effects that are critical in many high-energy astrophysical applications. The most notable radiative effects in astrophysical reconnection include 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. The self-consistent inclusion of these effects into magnetic reconnection theory and modeling sometimes 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 available for studying remote astrophysical systems; this underscores the importance of developing predictive modeling capabilities to connect the underlying physical conditions in a reconnecting system to observable radiative signatures. This chapter presents an overview of our recent theoretical progress in developing basic physical understanding of radiative magnetic reconnection, with a special emphasis on astrophysically most important radiation mechanisms like synchrotron, curvature, and inverse-Compton. The chapter also offers a broad review of key high-energy astrophysical applications of radiative reconnection, illustrated by multiple examples such as: pulsar wind nebulae, pulsar magnetospheres, black-hole accretion-disk coronae and hot accretion flows in X-ray Binaries and Active Galactic Nuclei and their relativistic jets, magnetospheres of magnetars, and Gamma-Ray Bursts. Finally, this chapter discusses the most critical
Drift Wave Turbulence and Magnetic Reconnection
NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)
Price, L.; Drake, J. F.; Swisdak, M.
2015-12-01
An important feature in collisionless magnetic reconnection is the development of sharp discontinuities along the separatrices bounding the Alfvenic outflow. The typical scale length of these features is ρs (the Larmor radius based on the sound speed) for guide field reconnection. Temperature gradients in the inflowing plasma (as might be found in the magnetopause and the magnetotail) can lead to instabilities at these separatrices, specifically drift wave turbulence. We present standalone 2D and 3D PIC simulations of drift wave turbulence to investigate scaling properties and growth rates. We specifically consider stabilization of the lower hybrid drift instability (LHDI) and the development of this instability in the presence of a sheared magnetic field. Further investigations of the relative importance of drift wave turbulence in the development of reconnection will also be considered.
Observational Signatures of Magnetic Reconnection
NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)
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.
Magnetic reconnection launcher
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.
Magnetic Reconnection in Solar Flares
NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)
Forbes, Terry G.
2016-05-01
Reconnection has at least three possible roles in solar flares: First, it may contribute to the build-up of magnetic energy in the solar corona prior to flare onset; second, it may directly trigger the onset of the flare; and third, it may allow the release of magnetic energy by relaxing the magnetic field configuration to a lower energy state. Although observational support for the first two roles is somewhat limited, there is now ample support for the third. Within the last few years EUV and X-ray instruments have directly observed the kind of plasma flows and heating indicative of reconnection. Continued improvements in instrumentation will greatly help to determine the detailed physics of the reconnection process in the solar atmosphere. Careful measurement of the reconnection outflows will be especially helpful in this regard. Current observations suggest that in some flares the jet outflows are accelerated within a short diffusion region that is more characteristic of Petschek-type reconnection than Sweet-Parker reconnection. Recent resistive MHD theoretical and numerical analyses predict that the length of the diffusion region should be just within the resolution range of current X-ray and EUV telescopes if the resistivity is uniform. On the other hand, if the resistivity is not uniform, the length of the diffusion region could be too short for the outflow acceleration region to be observable.
Spontaneous three-dimensional magnetic reconnection in merging toroidal plasma experiment
Ii, Toru; Ono, Yasushi
2013-01-15
We investigated a new phenomenon of three-dimensional (3D) magnetic reconnection in TS-4 torus plasma merging experiments by directly measuring the 3D structures of the current sheet. Removal of all toroidal asymmetry of the device reveals that a strong external drive of reconnection inflow increases the toroidal asymmetry of the current sheet only during the reconnection. This spontaneous 3D deformation of the current sheet increases the reconnection outflow as well as the reconnection electric field, probably because local compression of the current sheet to a thickness less than the ion gyroradius triggers its strong dissipation of the current sheet, responsible for the onset of 3D reconnection. These mechanisms indicate that the 3D reconnection is a newly observed spontaneous process of fast reconnection.
Spontaneous three-dimensional magnetic reconnection in merging toroidal plasma experiment
NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)
Ii, Toru; Ono, Yasushi
2013-01-01
We investigated a new phenomenon of three-dimensional (3D) magnetic reconnection in TS-4 torus plasma merging experiments by directly measuring the 3D structures of the current sheet. Removal of all toroidal asymmetry of the device reveals that a strong external drive of reconnection inflow increases the toroidal asymmetry of the current sheet only during the reconnection. This spontaneous 3D deformation of the current sheet increases the reconnection outflow as well as the reconnection electric field, probably because local compression of the current sheet to a thickness less than the ion gyroradius triggers its strong dissipation of the current sheet, responsible for the onset of 3D reconnection. These mechanisms indicate that the 3D reconnection is a newly observed spontaneous process of fast reconnection.
Reconnection rates of magnetic fields
Park, W.; Monticello, D.A.; White, R.B.
1983-05-01
The Sweet-Parker and Petschek scalings of magnetic reconnection rate are modified to include the effect of the viscosity. The modified scalings show that the viscous effect can be important in high-..beta.. plasmas. The theoretical reconnection scalings are compared with numerical simulation results in a tokamak geometry for three different cases: a forced reconnection driven by external coils, the nonlinear m = 1 resistive internal kink, and the nonlinear m = 2 tearing mode. In the first two cases, the numerical reconnection rate agrees well with the modified Sweet-Parker scaling, when the viscosity is sufficiently large. When the viscosity is negligible, a steady state which was assumed in the derivation of the reconnection scalings is not reached and the current sheet in the reconnection layer either remains stable through sloshing motions of the plasma or breaks up to higher m modes. When the current sheet remains stable, a rough comparison with the Sweet-Parker scaling is obtained. In the nonlinear m = 2 tearing mode case where the instability is purely resistive, the reconnection occurs on the slower dissipation time scale (Psi/sub s/ approx. eta). In addition, experimental data of the nonlinear m = 1 resistive internal kink in tokamak discharges are analyzed and are found to give reasonable agreement with the modified Sweet-Parker scaling.
Magnetic reconnection models of flares
NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)
Forbes, T. G.
1988-01-01
The most feasible energy source for solar and stellar flares is the energy stored in coronal magnetic fields. To convert a significant fraction of this energy into heat and kinetic energy in a short time requires rapid change in the topology of the magnetic fields, and hence, rapid reconnection of field lines. Recent numerical and analytical models of solar flares suggest that the magnetic energy released by reconnection drives chromospheric ablation in the flare ribbons. Simple theoretical arguments based on compressible reconnection theory predict that the temperature of the ablated plasma should be about 1.03 x 10 to the 6th B exp 0.62 K where B is the coronal magnetic field strength in Gauss.
3D outflow jets originating from turbulence in the reconnection current layer
NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)
Fujimoto, Keizo
2016-07-01
Satellite observations in the Earth's magnetosphere and in solar flares have suggested that the reconnection outflow jets are fully three dimensional, consisting of a series of narrow channels. The jet structure is important in evaluating the energy and flux transport in the reconnection process. Previous theoretical models based on fluid simulations have relied on patchy reconnection where reconnection takes place predominantly in patchy portions of the current layer. The problem of the previous models is that the gross reconnection rate is much smaller than that in the 2D reconnection case. The present study shows a large-scale 3D PIC simulation revealing that the 3D outflow jets are generated through the 3D flux ropes formed in the turbulent electron current layer around the x-line. Reconnection proceeds almost uniformly along the x-line, so that the gross reconnection rate is comparable to that in the 2D reconnection case. The flux ropes and resultant outflow channels have a typical current-aligned scale provided by the wavelength of an electron shear mode that is much larger than the typical kinetic scales. It is found that the structure of the 3D outflow jets obtained in the simulation is consistent with the bursty bulk flow observed in the Earth's magnetotail.
Diffusion of magnetic field via turbulent reconnection
NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)
Santos de Lima, Reinaldo; Lazarian, Alexander; de Gouveia Dal Pino, Elisabete M.; Cho, Jungyeon
2010-05-01
The diffusion of astrophysical magnetic fields in conducting fluids in the presence of turbulence depends on whether magnetic fields can change their topology via reconnection in highly conducting media. Recent progress in understanding fast magnetic reconnection in the presence of turbulence is reassuring that the magnetic field behavior in computer simulations and turbulent astrophysical environments is similar, as far as magnetic reconnection is concerned. This makes it meaningful to perform MHD simulations of turbulent flows in order to understand the diffusion of magnetic field in astrophysical environments. Our studies of magnetic field diffusion in turbulent medium reveal interesting new phenomena. First of all, our 3D MHD simulations initiated with anti-correlating magnetic field and gaseous density exhibit at later times a de-correlation of the magnetic field and density, which corresponds well to the observations of the interstellar media. While earlier studies stressed the role of either ambipolar diffusion or time-dependent turbulent fluctuations for de-correlating magnetic field and density, we get the effect of permanent de-correlation with one fluid code, i.e. without invoking ambipolar diffusion. In addition, in the presence of gravity and turbulence, our 3D simulations show the decrease of the magnetic flux-to-mass ratio as the gaseous density at the center of the gravitational potential increases. We observe this effect both in the situations when we start with equilibrium distributions of gas and magnetic field and when we follow the evolution of collapsing dynamically unstable configurations. Thus the process of turbulent magnetic field removal should be applicable both to quasi-static subcritical molecular clouds and cores and violently collapsing supercritical entities. The increase of the gravitational potential as well as the magnetization of the gas increases the segregation of the mass and magnetic flux in the saturated final state of the
Reconstruction of the Asymmetric Magnetic Reconnection Region at the Magnetopause
NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)
Guo, R.; Pu, Z.; Xie, L.; Fu, S.
2015-12-01
Magnetic reconnection at the magnetopause is a key process coupling the earth's magnetosphere with interplanetary space. Multiple spacecraft measurement makes it possible to study observationally the structure of the reconnection region. In this paper we improve the fitting-reconstructing method developed by He et al. [2008] and use it to investigate the asymmetric reconnection event observed by Cluster on Apr. 06, 2004. The reconnection site was encountered when the constellation traversed the dayside magnetopause at z~5.3Re, with spacecraft separations less than 400km. The reconstructing results clearly revealed the asymmetric geometry of the reconnection region. The orientation of the X-line, which was reproduced as the separator linking a pair of magnetic null points, was shown to be ~60° away from the M-direction in the local LMN coordinate. Bipolar and unipolar Hall fields were both seen by different spacecraft, implying that the reconnection regime was 3D in nature, and the difference in Hall fields could be related to the existence of two null points which restricted the length of the separator. In addition, electromagnetic lower hybrid waves are found to be enhanced on the magnetospheric side of the reconnection region. The reconstructing results are helpful for providing a 3D picture of the asymmetric reconnection region, and the improved reconstructing method can be applied to analyze the data from MMS which is deployed with small separations of satellites.
Review of recent experiments on magnetic reconnection in laboratory plasmas
Yamada, M.
1995-02-01
The present paper reviews recent laboratory experiments on magnetic reconnection. Examples will be drawn from electron current sheet experiments, merging spheromaks, and from high temperature tokamak plasmas with the Lundquist numbers exceeding 10{sup 7}. These recent laboratory experiments create an environment which satisfies the criteria for MHD plasma and in which the global boundary conditions can be controlled externally. Experiments with fully three dimensional reconnection are now possible. In the most recent TFTR tokamak discharges, Motional Stark effect (MSE) data have verified the existence of a partial reconnection. In the experiment of spheromak merging, a new plasma acceleration parallel to the neutral line has been indicated. Together with the relationship of these observations to the analysis of magnetic reconnection in space and in solar flares, important physics issues such as global boundary conditions, local plasma parameters, merging angle of the field lines, and the 3-D aspects of the reconnection are discussed.
Dynamic Response of Magnetic Reconnection Due to Current Sheet Variability
NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)
George, D. E.; Jahn, J. M.; Burch, J. L.; Hesse, M.; Pollock, C. J.
2014-12-01
Magnetic reconnection is a process which regulates the interaction between regions of magnetized plasma. While many factors have an impact on the evolution of this process, there still remains a lack of understanding of the key behaviors involved in the triggering of fast reconnection. Despite an abundance of in-situ measurements, indicating the high degree of variability in the thickness, density and composition along the current sheet, no simulation studies exist which account for such current sheet variations. 2D and 3D simulations have a periodic boundary in the dimension along the current sheet and so tend to neglect these variations in the current sheet originating external to the modeled reconnection region. Here we focus on the effects on reconnection due to the variability in the thickness and density of the current sheet. Using 2.5D kinetic simulations of 2-species plasma, we isolate and explore the dynamic effects on reconnection associated with variations in the current sheet originating externally to the reconnection region. While periodic boundary conditions are still used, in the direction along the current sheet, a step-change perturbation in thickness or density of the current sheet is introduced once a stable reconnection rate is reached. The dynamic response of the overall system, after introducing the perturbation, is then evaluated, with a focus on the reconnection rate. When the reconnection rate is slowed significantly over time, loading of the inflow region occurs (a build-up of plasma and magnetic energy/pressure. This state is indicated by an asymptotic behavior in the reconnection rate over time. If a sudden variation in the current sheet is introduced under these conditions, a resultant triggering of fast reconnection may occur, which could lead to an episode of fast reconnection, saw-tooth-crash condition or even act as a trigger for sub-storms.
Wendel, D. E.; Olson, D. K.; Hesse, M.; Kuznetsova, M.; Adrian, M. L.; Aunai, N.; Karimabadi, H.; Daughton, W.
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.
NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)
Wendel, D. E.; Olson, D. K.; Hesse, M.; Aunai, N.; Kuznetsova, M.; Karimabadi, H.; Daughton, W.; Adrian, M. L.
2013-12-01
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.
Slip Running Reconnection in Magnetic Flux Ropes
NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)
Gekelman, W. N.; Van Compernolle, B.; Vincena, S. T.; De Hass, T.
2012-12-01
Magnetic flux ropes are due to helical currents and form a dense carpet of arches on the surface of the sun. Occasionally one tears loose as a coronal mass ejection and its rope structure can be detected by satellites close to the earth. Current sheets can tear into filaments and these are nothing other than flux ropes. Ropes are not static, they exert mutual ěc{J}×ěc{B} forces causing them to twist about each other and eventually merge. Kink instabilities cause them to violently smash into each other and reconnect at the point of contact. We report on experiments on two adjacent ropes done in the large plasma device (LAPD) at UCLA ( ne ˜ 1012, Te ˜ 6 eV, B0z=330G, Brope}\\cong{10G,trep=1 Hz). The currents and magnetic fields form exotic shapes with no ignorable direction and no magnetic nulls. Volumetric space-time data (70,600 spatial locations) show multiple reconnection sites with time-dependent locations. The concept of a quasi-separatrix layer (QSL), a tool to understand and visualize 3D magnetic field lines reconnection without null points is introduced. Three-dimensional measurements of the QSL derived from magnetic field data are presented. Within the QSL field lines that start close to one another rapidly diverge as they pass through one or more reconnection regions. The motion of magnetic field lines are traced as reconnection proceeds and they are observed to slip through the regions of space where the QSL is largest. As the interaction proceeds we double the current in the ropes. This accompanied by intense heating as observed in uv light and plasma flows measured by Mach probes. The interaction of the ropes is clearly seen by vislaulizng magnetic field data , as well as in images from a fast framing camera. Work supported by the Dept. of Energy and The National Science Foundation, done at the Basic Plasma Science Facility at UCLA.Magnetic Field lines (measured) of three flux ropes and the plasma currents associated with them
A Rosetta Stone for in situ Observations of Magnetic Reconnection
NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)
Scudder, J. D.; Daughton, W. S.; Karimabadi, H.; Roytershteyn, V.
2015-12-01
Local conditions that constrain the physics of magnetic reconnection in space in 3D will be discussed, including those observable conditions presently used and new ones that enhance experimental closure. Three classes of tests will be discussed: i) proxies for unmeasurable theoretical properties II) observable properties satisfied by all layers that pass mass flux, including those of the reconnection layer, and (iii) observable kinetic tests that are increasingly peculiar to collisionless magnetic reconnection. A Rosetta Stone of state of the art observables will be proposed, including proxies for unmeasurable theoretical local rate of frozen flux violation and measures of the significance of frozen flux encountered. A suite of kinetic observables involving properties peculiar to electrons will also be demonstrated as promising litmus tests for certifying sites of collisionless magnetic reconnection.
NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)
Daldorff, L. K. S.; Toth, G.; Borovikov, D.; Gombosi, T. I.; Lapenta, G.
2014-12-01
With the new modeling capability in the Space Weather Modeling Framework (SWMF) of embedding an implicit Particle-in-Cell (PIC) model iPIC3D into the BATS-R-US magnetohydrodynamics model (Daldorff et al. 2014, JCP, 268, 236) we are ready to locally handle the full physics of the reconnection and its implications on the full system where globally, away from the reconnection region, a magnetohydrodynamic description is satisfactory. As magnetic reconnection is one of the main drivers in magnetospheric and heliospheric plasma dynamics, the self-consistent description of the electron dynamics in the coupled MHD-EPIC model is well suited for investigating the nature of these systems. We will compare the new embedded MHD-EPIC model with pure MHD and Hall MHD simulations of the Earth's magnetosphere.
Magnetohydrodynamic simulations of turbulent magnetic reconnection
Fan Quanlin; Feng Xueshang; Xiang Changqing
2004-12-01
Turbulent reconnection process in a one-dimensional current sheet is investigated by means of a two-dimensional compressible one-fluid magnetohydrodynamic simulation with spatially uniform, fixed resistivity. Turbulence is set up by adding to the sheet pinch small but finite level of broadband random-phased magnetic field components. To clarify the nonlinear spatial-temporal nature of the turbulent reconnection process the reconnection system is treated as an unforced initial value problem without any anomalous resistivity model adopted. Numerical results demonstrate the duality of turbulent reconnection, i.e., a transition from Sweet-Parker-like slow reconnection to Petschek-like fast reconnection in its nonlinear evolutionary process. The initial slow reconnection phase is characterized by many independent microreconnection events confined within the sheet region and a global reconnection rate mainly dependent on the initially added turbulence and insensitive to variations of the plasma {beta} and resistivity. The formation and amplification of the major plasmoid leads the following reconnection process to a rapid reconnection stage with a fast reconnection rate of the order of 0.1 or even larger, drastically changing the topology of the global magnetic field. That is, the presence of magnetohydrodynamic turbulence in large-scale current sheets can raise the reconnection rate from small values on the order of the Sweet-Parker rate to high values on the order of the Petscheck rate through triggering an evolution toward fast magnetic reconnection. Meanwhile, the backward coupling between the small- and large-scale magnetic field dynamics has been properly represented through the present high resolution simulation. The undriven turbulent reconnection model established here expresses a solid numerical basis for the previous schematic two-step magnetic reconnection models and a possible explanation of two-stage energy release process of solar explosives.
NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)
Treumann, R. A.; Baumjohann, W.
2015-10-01
The present review concerns the relevance of collisionless reconnection in the astrophysical context. Emphasis is put on recent developments in theory obtained from collisionless numerical simulations in two and three dimensions. It is stressed that magnetic reconnection is a universal process of particular importance under collisionless conditions, when both collisional and anomalous dissipation are irrelevant. While collisional (resistive) reconnection is a slow, diffusive process, collisionless reconnection is spontaneous. On any astrophysical time scale, it is explosive. It sets on when electric current widths become comparable to the leptonic inertial length in the so-called lepton (electron/positron) "diffusion region", where leptons de-magnetise. Here, the magnetic field contacts its oppositely directed partner and annihilates. Spontaneous reconnection breaks the original magnetic symmetry, violently releases the stored free energy of the electric current, and causes plasma heating and particle acceleration. Ultimately, the released energy is provided by mechanical motion of either the two colliding magnetised plasmas that generate the current sheet or the internal turbulence cascading down to lepton-scale current filaments. Spontaneous reconnection in such extended current sheets that separate two colliding plasmas results in the generation of many reconnection sites (tearing modes) distributed over the current surface, each consisting of lepton exhausts and jets which are separated by plasmoids. Volume-filling factors of reconnection sites are estimated to be as large as {<}10^{-5} per current sheet. Lepton currents inside exhausts may be strong enough to excite Buneman and, for large thermal pressure anisotropy, also Weibel instabilities. They bifurcate and break off into many small-scale current filaments and magnetic flux ropes exhibiting turbulent magnetic power spectra of very flat power-law shape W_b∝ k^{-α } in wavenumber k with power becoming as
Slipping magnetic reconnection in coronal loops.
Aulanier, Guillaume; Golub, Leon; Deluca, Edward E; Cirtain, Jonathan W; Kano, Ryouhei; Lundquist, Loraine L; Narukage, Noriyuki; Sakao, Taro; Weber, Mark A
2007-12-01
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. PMID:18063789
Quantifying gyrotropy in magnetic reconnection
NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)
Swisdak, M.
2016-01-01
A new scalar measure of the gyrotropy of a pressure tensor is defined. Previously suggested measures are shown to be incomplete by means of examples for which they give unphysical results. To demonstrate its usefulness as an indicator of magnetic topology, the new measure is calculated for electron data taken from numerical simulations of magnetic reconnection, shown to peak at separatrices and X points, and compared to the other measures. The new diagnostic has potential uses in analyzing spacecraft observations, and so a method for calculating it from measurements performed in an arbitrary coordinate system is derived.
NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)
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.
Wave modes facilitating fast magnetic reconnection
NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)
Singh, N.
2011-12-01
Whistler and kinetic Alfven waves are often invoked to explain fast magnetic reconnection in collsionless plasmas. But how these wave modes facilitate the reconnection has remained unclear. An important unanswered question deals with the meaning of the wave frequency in the context of magnetic reconnection. New measurement on a fast explosive reconnection event in the Versatile Toroidal Facility (VTF) at MIT provides an interesting example of the meaning of the wave mode and the associated frequency directly related to the time scale of the impulsive reconnection. We examine the measurements in VTF in view of the whistler wave mode, showing that the explosive growth in the reconnection is related to the thinning of the current sheet to a few electron skin depths. We further demonstrate that the fastest measured time scale (~ 3 microseconds) and the largest normalized reconnection rate (~0.35) agree with those predicted from the whistler mode dispersion relation.
Magnetic reconnection in a compressible MHD plasma
Hesse, Michael; Zenitani, Seiji; Birn, Joachim
2011-04-15
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.
The Onset of Magnetic Reconnection
NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)
Daldorff, Lars K. S.; Klimchuk, James A.; van der Holst, Bart
2015-04-01
A fundamental question concerning magnetic energy release on the Sun is why the release occurs only after substantial stresses have been built up in the field. If reconnection were to occur readily, the released energy would be insufficient to explain coronal heating, CMEs, flares, jets, spicules, etc. How can we explain this switch-on property? What is the physical nature of the onset conditions? One idea involves the "secondary instability" of current sheets, which switches on when the rotation of the magnetic field across a current sheet reaches a critical angle. Such conditions would occur at the boundaries of flux tubes that become tangled and twisted by turbulent photospheric convection, for example. Other ideas involve a critical thickness for the current sheet. We report here on the preliminary results of our investigation of reconnect onset. Unlike our earlier work on the secondary instability (Dahlburg, Klimchuk, and Antiochos 2005), we treat the coupled chromosphere-corona system. Using the BATS-R-US MHD code, we simulate a single current sheet in a sheared magnetic field that extends from the chromosphere into the corona. Driver motions are applied at the base of the model. The configuration and chromosphere are both idealized, but capture the essential physics of the problem. The advantage of this unique approach is that it resolves the current sheet to the greatest extent possible while maintaining a realistic solar atmosphere. It thus bridges the gap between "reconnection in a box" studies and studies of large-scale systems such as active regions. One question we will address is whether onset conditions are met first in the chromosphere or corona. We will report on the work done on the project.
3D instabilities connected with reconnection in full 3D PIC simulations
NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)
Lapenta, Giovanni
2013-10-01
Kinetic reconnection is characterized by a distinct behavior of electrons and ions with regions of strong relative speeds between the species. Electrons can flow at great speed relative to ions and can be characterized by a strong non-gyrotropy and anisotropy. When studied in full three dilensions, these electron peculiar properties can drive numerous instabilities that have been investigated by the suggested speaker and his collaborators in a number of recent published papers. Two regions have received most attention: 1) the separatrices where instabilities are caused by the electron flow and the electron phase space features, 2) the downstream fronts where an interchange instability leads to strong energy exchanges and secondary reconnection. In both situations the ions are demagnitezed but the electrons are not and their behaviour is rich in full kinetic processes. At the separatrices, two types of instabilities have been observed. The electron phase space is characterized by multiple populations at relative drifts (electron beams) and the whole electron species is drifting with respect to the ions. This condition is subject to different streaming instabilities. Additionally, the separatrices are regions of intense density and flow shear, with free energy available to drive Kelvin-Helmholtz-type instabilities. In the downstream fronts of reconnection, a density gradient develops in conditions where the acceleration is directed unfavourably for stability, leading to ballooning and interchange-type instabilities. Both cases are of great importance for the upcoming Magnetospheric Multiscale Mission that is bent on finding and analyzing the regions where the electron scale physics is dominant. The processes discussed above can provide key information for the operation of the mission and the interpretation of its results. Collaboration between the University of Colorado NASA-MMSIDS team (M. Goldman, D. Newman, L. Anderson, S. Erikson) and the KULeuven Swiff team
Experimental Investigation of the Trigger Problem in Magnetic Reconnection
NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)
Egedal, Jan
2012-07-01
Magnetic reconnection releases magnetic energy not only in steady-state, but also in time-dependent and often explosive events requiring a transition from slow reconnection to fast. The question of what causes this transition is known as the ``trigger problem'' and is not well understood. We address the trigger problem using the Versatile Toroidal Facility (VTF) at MIT. We observe spontaneous reconnection events [1] with exponentially growing reconnection rates, and we characterize the 3D dynamics of these events using multiple internal probes. The observed reconnection is asymmetric: it begins at one toroidal location and propagates around in both directions. The spontaneous onset is facilitated by an interaction between the x-line current channel and a global mode in the electrostatic potential. It is this mode which breaks axisymmetry and enables a localized decrease in x-line current. We model the onset using an empirical Ohm's law and current continuity, which is maintained by ion polarization currents associated with the mode. The model reproduces the exponential growth of the reconnection electric field, and the model growth rate agrees well with the experimentally measured growth rate. The onset location is likely determined by small asymmetries in the in-vessel coils. To further investigate this conjecture new coils have been installed, which allow for controlled changes in toroidal asymmetry. The observations are suggestive of solar flare dynamics and are relevant to tokamak research [3]. [1] Egedal, J. et al. Laboratory Observations of Spontaneous Magnetic Reconnection. Phys. Rev. Lett. 98, 015003 (2007). [2] Katz, N. et al. Laboratory Observation of Localized Onset of Magnetic Reconnection. Phys. Rev. Lett. 104, 255004 (2010). [3] Park, H.K. et al. Self-organized Te redistribution during driven reconnection processes in high-temperature plasmas. Phys. Plasmas 13, 055907 (2006).
Frontiers for Laboratory Research of Magnetic Reconnection
Ji, Hantao; Guo, Fan
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.
Magnetic reconnection in solar flares
NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)
Forbes, T. G.
1991-01-01
The magnetic energy stored in the corona is the only plausible source for the energy released during large solar flares. During the last 20 years most theoretical work has concentrated on models which store magnetic energy in the corona in the form of electrical currents, and a major goal of present day research is to understand how these currents are created, and then later dissipated during a flare. Another important goal is to find a flare model which can eject magnetic flux into interplanetary space. Although many flares do not eject magnetic flux, those which do are of special importance for solar-terrestrial relations since the ejected flux can have dramatic effects if it hits the Earth's magnetosphere. Three flare models which have been extensively investigated are the emerging-flux model, the sheared-arcade model, and the magnetic-flux-rope model. All of these models can store and release magnetic energy efficiently provided that rapid magnetic reconnection occurs. However, only the magnetic-flux-rope model appears to provide a plausible mechanism for ejecting magnetic flux into interplanetary space.
Three-dimensional, Impulsive Magnetic Reconnection in a Laboratory Plasma
S Dorfman, et al
2013-05-03
Impulsive, local, 3-D reconnection is identified for the first time in a laboratory current sheet. The events observed in the Magnetic Reconnection Experiment (MRX) are characterized by large local gradients in the third direction and cannot be explained by 2-D models. Detailed measurements show that the ejection of flux rope structures from the current sheet plays a key role in these events. By contrast, even though electromagnetic fluctuations in the lower hybrid frequency range are also observed concurrently with the impulsive behavior, they are not the key physics responsible. A qualitative, 3-D, two-fluid model is proposed to explain the observations. The experimental results may be particularly applicable to space and astrophysical plasmas where impulsive reconnection occurs.
NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)
Vasyliunas, V. M.
2015-12-01
The term "magnetic reconnection" has been used with several different meanings, and sometimes (particularly in discussions of observations) it is not clear which one of them (if any) is meant. Most common is a more or less literal definition of "cutting" and "reconnecting" two magnetic field lines (often illustrated by a sketch of field lines in two dimensions, or a perspective drawing of isolated spaghetti-like flux tubes); this concept can be formulated more precisely in terms of plasma flow across (or, equivalently, electric field in) a bounding surface (separatrix) between topologically distinct magnetic fields. The so-called "generalized reconnection" invokes only deviations from ideal MHD in a localized region; a more precise formulation is by integrals of the electric field along magnetic field lines. These two definitions can be related to two different physical processes, which I call magnetic reconnection and plasma reconnection, respectively. Magnetic reconnection involves field lines that change from one topological class to another (e.g., between open and closed). Its occurrence, requiring the presence of singular magnetic null points, can be identified (at least in principle, conceptually) from the magnetic field alone. When representing magnetic reconnection graphically, it is important to show all the singular points explicitly and to keep in mind that field lines are a continuum: between any two field lines, there is always another field line (even arbitrarily close to the singular points). Plasma reconnection involves plasma flow in which plasma elements initially located on a single field line do not remain on a field line, and this may occur without any changes in the topology or other properties of the magnetic field. To understand either one, the process must be visualized always in three dimensions and without special symmetries. Prototype of magnetic reconnection is the well-known open-magnetosphere model of Dungey (1961). Prototype of
On phase diagrams of magnetic reconnection
Cassak, P. A.; Drake, J. F.
2013-06-15
Recently, “phase diagrams” of magnetic reconnection were developed to graphically organize the present knowledge of what type, or phase, of reconnection is dominant in systems with given characteristic plasma parameters. Here, a number of considerations that require caution in using the diagrams are pointed out. First, two known properties of reconnection are omitted from the diagrams: the history dependence of reconnection and the absence of reconnection for small Lundquist number. Second, the phase diagrams mask a number of features. For one, the predicted transition to Hall reconnection should be thought of as an upper bound on the Lundquist number, and it may happen for considerably smaller values. Second, reconnection is never “slow,” it is always “fast” in the sense that the normalized reconnection rate is always at least 0.01. This has important implications for reconnection onset models. Finally, the definition of the relevant Lundquist number is nuanced and may differ greatly from the value based on characteristic scales. These considerations are important for applications of the phase diagrams. This is demonstrated by example for solar flares, where it is argued that it is unlikely that collisional reconnection can occur in the corona.
Collisionless Magnetic Reconnection in Space Plasmas
NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)
Treumann, Rudolf A.; Baumjohann, Wolfgang
2013-12-01
Magnetic reconnection, the merging of oppositely directed magnetic fields that leads to field reconfiguration, plasma heating, jetting and acceleration, is one of the most celebrated processes in collisionless plasmas. It requires the violation of the frozen-in condition which ties gyrating charged particles to the magnetic field inhibiting diffusion. Ongoing reconnection has been identified in near-Earth space as being responsible for the excitation of substorms, magnetic storms, generation of field aligned currents and their consequences, the wealth of auroral phenomena. Its theoretical understanding is now on the verge of being completed. Reconnection takes place in thin current sheets. Analytical concepts proceeded gradually down to the microscopic scale, the scale of the electron skin depth or inertial length, recognizing that current layers that thin do preferentially undergo spontaneous reconnection. Thick current layers start reconnecting when being forced by plasma inflow to thin. For almost half a century the physical mechanism of reconnection has remained a mystery. Spacecraft in situ observations in combination with sophisticated numerical simulations in two and three dimensions recently clarified the mist, finding that reconnection produces a specific structure of the current layer inside the electron inertial (also called electron diffusion) region around the reconnection site, the X line. Onset of reconnection is attributed to pseudo-viscous contributions of the electron pressure tensor aided by electron inertia and drag, creating a complicated structured electron current sheet, electric fields, and an electron exhaust extended along the current layer. We review the general background theory and recent developments in numerical simulation on collisionless reconnection. It is impossible to cover the entire field of reconnection in a short space-limited review. The presentation necessarily remains cursory, determined by our taste, preferences, and kn
Magnetic reconnection in collisionless plasmas - Prescribed fields
NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)
Burkhart, G. R.; Drake, J. F.; Chen, J.
1990-01-01
The structure of the dissipation region during magnetic reconnection in collisionless plasma is investigated by examining a prescribed two-dimensional magnetic x line configuration with an imposed inductive electric field E(y). The calculations represent an extension of recent MHD simulations of steady state reconnection (Biskamp, 1986; Lee and Fu, 1986) to the collisionless kinetic regime. It is shown that the structure of the x line reconnection configuration depends on only two parameters: a normalized inductive field and a parameter R which represents the opening angle of the magnetic x lines.
The Magnetospheric Multiscale Mission: New Data on Magnetic Reconnection
NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)
Burch, James
2015-11-01
The Magnetospheric Multiscale (MMS) mission was launched on March 12, 2015 into its Phase 1 elliptical orbit with apogee at 12 Earth radii (RE) . The baseline science goal for MMS is to Understand the microphysics of magnetic reconnection by determining the kinetic processes occurring in the electron diffusion region that are responsible for collisionless magnetic reconnection, especially how reconnection is initiated.In priority order, MMS will address three specific objectives: (1) Determine the role played by electron inertial effects and turbulent dissipation in driving magnetic reconnection in the electron diffusion region; (2) Determine the rate of magnetic reconnection and the parameters that control it. (3) Determine the role played by ion inertial effects in the physics of magnetic reconnection. During the six months of commissioning following launch, all of the instruments on the four spacecraft were made fully operational. Beginning on September 1, 2015 the spacecraft began their first scan of the dayside magnetopause in a tetrahedral formation with separations of 160 km. During Phase 1 the separation will be reduced in steps to 10 km and then adjusted to the separation that is judged to be optimum for reconnection studies. A second scan of the dayside magnetopause will be conducted at this optimum separation. Then apogee will be raised to 25 RE for a scan of the magnetotail with separations variable from 30 km to 400 km. Throughout the mission the payload will be operated at its maximum data rate, which is sufficient to investigate reconnection down to approximately the electron diffusion length scale with full 3D plasma electron distributions obtained in 30 ms, ion distributions at 150 ms, and magnetic and electric fields at 1 ms resolution. 3D plasma and energetic ion composition an energetic electron measurements along with plasma waves will also be made. The spacecraft potential is maintained below +4V by an ion emitter. Because of the large amount
3D Dynamics of Magnetopause Reconnection Using Hall-MHD Global Simulations
NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)
Maynard, K.; Germaschewski, K.; Raeder, J.; Bhattacharjee, A.
2011-12-01
Magnetic reconnection at Earth's magnetopause and in the magnetotail is of crucial importance for the dynamics of the global magnetosphere and space weather. Even though the plasma conditions in the magnetosphere are largely in the collisionless regime, most of the existing research using global computational models employ single-fluid magnetohydrodynamics (MHD) with artificial resistivity. Studies of reconnection in simplified, two-dimensional geometries have established that two-fluid and kinetic effects can dramatically alter dynamics and reconnection rates when compared with single-fluid models. These enhanced models also introduce particular signatures, for example a quadrupolar out-of-plane magnetic field component that has already been observed in space by satellite measurements. However, results from simplified geometries cannot be translated directly to the dynamics of three-dimensional magnetospheric reconnection. For instance, magnetic flux originating from the solar wind and arriving at the magnetopause can either reconnect or be advected around the magnetosphere. In this study, we use a new version of the OpenGGCM code that incorporates the Hall term in a Generalized Ohm's Law to study magnetopause reconnection under synthetic solar wind conditions and investigate how reconnection rates and dynamics of flux transfer events depend on the strength of the Hall term. The OpenGGCM, a global model of Earth's magnetosphere, has recently been ported to exploit modern computing architectures like the Cell processor and SIMD capabilities of conventional processors using an automatic code generator. These enhancements provide us with the performance needed to include the computationally expensive Hall physics.
Recent advances in collisionless magnetic reconnection
NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)
Porcelli, F.; Borgogno, D.; Califano, F.; Grasso, D.; Ottaviani, M.; Pegoraro, F.
2002-12-01
One of the recurring problems in magnetic reconnection is the identification of the appropriate generalized Ohm's law. In weakly collisional plasmas with a strong magnetic guide field component, a fluid model may be adopted, where electron inertia and the electron pressure gradient play important roles. In the absence of collisions, electron inertia provides the mechanism for magnetic field-line breaking. Electron compressibility alters significantly the structure of the reconnection region and allows for faster reconnection rates, which are consistent with the fast relaxation times of sawtooth oscillations in tokamak plasmas. The Hall term may also become important when the guide field is weak. The very possibility of nonlinear, irreversible magnetic reconnection in the absence of dissipation is addressed. We show that in a collisionless plasma, magnetic islands can grow and reach a saturated state in a coarse-grained sense. Magnetic energy is transferred to kinetic energy in smaller and smaller spatial scale lengths through a phase mixing process. The same model is then applied to the interpretation of driven reconnection events in the vicinity of a magnetic X-line observed in the VTF experiment at MIT. The reconnection is driven by externally induced plasma flows in a background magnetic configuration that has a hyperbolic null in the reconnection plane and a magnetic guide field component perpendicular to that plane. In the limit where the guide field is strong, assuming the external drive to be sufficiently weak for a linear approximation to hold, a dynamic evolution of the system is obtained which does not reach a stationary state. The reconnection process develops in two phases: an initial phase, whose characteristic rate is a fraction of the Alfvén frequency, and a later one, whose rate is determined by the electron collision frequency.
Final Report Experimental Study of Impulsive Reconnection in a Current Carrying Magnetic Arcade
Craig, Darren
2011-10-27
The Wheaton Impulsive Reconnection Experiment (WIRX) is a new experiment now underway at Wheaton College for the study of magnetic reconnection. The experiment is composed of two parallel electrodes, linked by a magnetic arcade that is generated by a coil surrounding the electrodes. Current is driven along the arcade from one electrode to another. When enough current is driven, the arcade is expected to disrupt or segment by reconnection allowing a study of 3D reconnection. This report is the final report for a three year grant period.
Magnetic reconnection, buoyancy, and flapping motions in magnetotail explosions
NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)
Sitnov, M. I.; Merkin, V. G.; Swisdak, M.; Motoba, T.; Buzulukova, N.; Moore, T. E.; Mauk, B. H.; Ohtani, S.
2014-09-01
A key process in the interaction of magnetospheres with the solar wind is the explosive release of energy stored in the magnetotail. Based on observational evidence, magnetic reconnection is widely believed to be responsible. However, the very possibility of spontaneous reconnection in collisionless magnetotail plasmas has been questioned in kinetic theory for more than three decades. In addition, in situ observations by multispacecraft missions (e.g., THEMIS) reveal the development of buoyancy and flapping motions coexisting with reconnection. Never before have kinetic simulations reproduced all three primary modes in realistic 2-D configurations with a finite normal magnetic field. Moreover, 3-D simulations with closed boundaries suggest that the tail activity is dominated by buoyancy-driven instabilities, whereas reconnection is a secondary effect strongly localized in the dawn-dusk direction. In this paper, we use massively parallel 3-D fully kinetic simulations with open boundaries to show that sufficiently far from the planet explosive processes in the tail are dominated by reconnection motions. These motions occur in the form of spontaneously generated dipolarization fronts accompanied by changes in magnetic topology which extend in the dawn-dusk direction over the size of the simulation box, suggesting that reconnection onset causes a macroscale reconfiguration of the real magnetotail. In our simulations, buoyancy and flapping motions significantly disturb the primary dipolarization front but neither destroy it nor change the near 2-D picture of the front evolution critically. Consistent with recent multiprobe observations, dipolarization fronts are also found to be the main regions of energy conversion in the magnetotail.
3D meshes of carbon nanotubes guide functional reconnection of segregated spinal explants.
Usmani, Sadaf; Aurand, Emily Rose; Medelin, Manuela; Fabbro, Alessandra; Scaini, Denis; Laishram, Jummi; Rosselli, Federica B; Ansuini, Alessio; Zoccolan, Davide; Scarselli, Manuela; De Crescenzi, Maurizio; Bosi, Susanna; Prato, Maurizio; Ballerini, Laura
2016-07-01
In modern neuroscience, significant progress in developing structural scaffolds integrated with the brain is provided by the increasing use of nanomaterials. We show that a multiwalled carbon nanotube self-standing framework, consisting of a three-dimensional (3D) mesh of interconnected, conductive, pure carbon nanotubes, can guide the formation of neural webs in vitro where the spontaneous regrowth of neurite bundles is molded into a dense random net. This morphology of the fiber regrowth shaped by the 3D structure supports the successful reconnection of segregated spinal cord segments. We further observed in vivo the adaptability of these 3D devices in a healthy physiological environment. Our study shows that 3D artificial scaffolds may drive local rewiring in vitro and hold great potential for the development of future in vivo interfaces. PMID:27453939
3D meshes of carbon nanotubes guide functional reconnection of segregated spinal explants
Usmani, Sadaf; Aurand, Emily Rose; Medelin, Manuela; Fabbro, Alessandra; Scaini, Denis; Laishram, Jummi; Rosselli, Federica B.; Ansuini, Alessio; Zoccolan, Davide; Scarselli, Manuela; De Crescenzi, Maurizio; Bosi, Susanna; Prato, Maurizio; Ballerini, Laura
2016-01-01
In modern neuroscience, significant progress in developing structural scaffolds integrated with the brain is provided by the increasing use of nanomaterials. We show that a multiwalled carbon nanotube self-standing framework, consisting of a three-dimensional (3D) mesh of interconnected, conductive, pure carbon nanotubes, can guide the formation of neural webs in vitro where the spontaneous regrowth of neurite bundles is molded into a dense random net. This morphology of the fiber regrowth shaped by the 3D structure supports the successful reconnection of segregated spinal cord segments. We further observed in vivo the adaptability of these 3D devices in a healthy physiological environment. Our study shows that 3D artificial scaffolds may drive local rewiring in vitro and hold great potential for the development of future in vivo interfaces. PMID:27453939
Steady magnetic reconnection in three dimensions
NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)
Priest, E. R.; Forbes, T. G.
1989-01-01
The concept of magnetic reconnection, defined to occur when there is an electric field parallel to field lines which are potential reconnection locations and near which the field has an X-type topology in a plane normal to the field line, has been generalized to three-dimensional configurations. A continuum of neighboring potential singular lines is found to exist, one of which supports reconnection, depending upon the imposed flow or electric field. For the case of steady reconnection, the nearby flow and electric field are shown to be severely constrained in the ideal region by the condition that the electric field = 0 there. It is noted that reconnection may occur at singularities of the electric field where this constraint fails and there is singular plasma jetting.
Continuous magnetic reconnection at Earth's magnetopause.
Frey, H U; Phan, T D; Fuselier, S A; Mende, S B
2003-12-01
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. PMID:14654835
Prospects for Fermi Particle Acceleration at Coronal Magnetic Reconnection Sites
NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)
Provornikova, E.; Laming, J. M.; Lukin, V.
2015-12-01
The mechanism of first order Fermi acceleration of particles interacting with the converging magnetized flows at a reconnection site was introduced recently in an attempt to predict the energy distribution of particles resulting from violent reconnection in galactic microquasars. More careful consideration of this mechanism showed that the spectral index of accelerated particles is related to the total plasma compression within a reconnection region, similar to that in the formulation for diffusive shock acceleration. In the solar context, reconnection regions producing strong compression could be the source of suprathermal "seed particles". A hard spectrum of such suprathermal particles is believed to be necessary to initiate the particle acceleration process at low Mach number coronal mass ejection shocks close to the Sun where the gradual solar energetic particle events originate. As a first step to investigate the efficiency of Fermi acceleration, we explore the degree of plasma compression that can be achieved at reconnection sites in the solar corona. This work presents a set of 2D two-temperature resistive MHD simulations of the dynamics of several magnetic configurations within a range of lower corona plasma parameters. Energy transport processes in the MHD model include anisotropic thermal conduction for electrons and ions and radiative cooling. Magnetic configurations considered are a Harris current sheet, a force-free current sheet, a flux rope sitting above an arcade of magnetic loops, and two merging flux ropes. We demonstrate that only for some magnetic topologies, corresponding in particular to 3D magnetic nulls, the compression ratio, sufficient for first order Fermi acceleration in the reconnection region, can be achieved. These represent the potential sites in the solar corona where a hard seed particle energetic spectrum could be produced.
Relating magnetic reconnection to coronal heating
Longcope, D. W.; Tarr, L. A.
2015-01-01
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, , 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. PMID:25897089
Magnetic reconnection in a weakly ionized plasma
Leake, James E.; Lukin, Vyacheslav S.; Linton, Mark G.
2013-06-15
Magnetic reconnection in partially ionized plasmas is a ubiquitous phenomenon spanning the range from laboratory to intergalactic scales, yet it remains poorly understood and relatively little studied. Here, we present results from a self-consistent multi-fluid simulation of magnetic reconnection in a weakly ionized reacting plasma with a particular focus on the parameter regime of the solar chromosphere. The numerical model includes collisional transport, interaction and reactions between the species, and optically thin radiative losses. This model improves upon our previous work in Leake et al.[“Multi-fluid simulations of chromospheric magnetic reconnection in a weakly ionized reacting plasma,” Astrophys. J. 760, 109 (2012)] by considering realistic chromospheric transport coefficients, and by solving a generalized Ohm's law that accounts for finite ion-inertia and electron-neutral drag. We find that during the two dimensional reconnection of a Harris current sheet with an initial width larger than the neutral-ion collisional coupling scale, the current sheet thins until its width becomes less than this coupling scale, and the neutral and ion fluids decouple upstream from the reconnection site. During this process of decoupling, we observe reconnection faster than the single-fluid Sweet-Parker prediction, with recombination and plasma outflow both playing a role in determining the reconnection rate. As the current sheet thins further and elongates, it becomes unstable to the secondary tearing instability, and plasmoids are seen. The reconnection rate, outflows, and plasmoids observed in this simulation provide evidence that magnetic reconnection in the chromosphere could be responsible for jet-like transient phenomena such as spicules and chromospheric jets.
Properties of GRB Lightcurves from Magnetic Reconnection
NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)
Beniamini, Paz; Granot, Jonathan
2016-04-01
The energy dissipation mechanism within Gamma-Ray Burst (GRB) outflows, driving their extremely luminous prompt γ-ray emission is still uncertain. The leading candidates are internal shocks and magnetic reconnection. While the emission from internal shocks has been extensively studied, that from reconnection still has few quantitative predictions. We study the expected prompt-GRB emission from magnetic reconnection and compare its temporal and spectral properties to observations. The main difference from internal shocks is that for reconnection one expects relativistic bulk motions with Lorentz factors Γ' ≳ a few in the jet's bulk frame. We consider such motions of the emitting material in two anti-parallel directions (e.g. of the reconnecting magnetic-field lines) within an ultra-relativistic (with Γ ≫ 1) thin spherical reconnection layer. The emission's relativistic beaming in the jet's frame greatly affects the light-curves. For emission at radii R0 < R < R0 + ΔR (with Γ = const) the observed pulse width is ΔT ˜ (R0/2cΓ2) max (1/Γ', ΔR/R0), i.e. up to ˜Γ' times shorter than for isotropic emission in the jet's frame. We consider two possible magnetic reconnection modes: a quasi steady-state with continuous plasma flow into and out of the reconnection layer, and sporadic reconnection in relativistic turbulence that produces relativistic plasmoids. Both of these modes can account for many observed prompt-GRB properties: variability, pulse asymmetry, the very rapid declines at their end and pulse evolutions that are either hard to soft (for Γ' ≲ 2) or intensity tracking (for Γ' > 2). However, only the relativistic turbulence mode can naturally account also for the following correlations: luminosity-variability, peak luminosity - peak frequency and pulse width energy dependence / spectral lags.
Magnetic Reconnection in Interplanetary Coronal Mass Ejections
NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)
Fermo, R. L.; Opher, M.; Drake, J. F.
2014-12-01
Magnetic reconnection is a ubiquitous phenomenon in many varied space and astrophysical plasmas, and as such plays an important role in the dynamics of interplanetary coronal mass ejections (ICMEs). It is widely regarded that reconnection is instrumental in the formation and ejection of the initial CME flux rope, but reconnection also continues to affect the dynamics as it propagates through the interplanetary medium. For example, reconnection on the leading edge of the ICME, by which it interacts with the interplanetary medium, leads to flux erosion. However, recent in situ observations by Gosling et al. found signatures of reconnection exhausts in the interior. In light of this data, we consider the stability properties of systems with this flux rope geometry with regard to their minimum energy Taylor state. Variations from this state will result in the magnetic field relaxing back towards the minimum energy state, subject to the constraints that the toroidal flux and magnetic helicity remain invariant. In reversed field pinches, this relaxation is mediated by reconnection in the interior of the system, as has been shown theoretically and experimentally. By treating the ICME flux rope in a similar fashion, we show analytically that the the elongation of the flux tube cross section in the latitudinal direction will result in a departure from the Taylor state. The resulting relaxation of the magnetic field causes reconnection to commence in the interior of the ICME, in agreement with the observations of Gosling et al. We present MHD simulations in which reconnection initiates at a number of rational surfaces, and ultimately produces a stochastic magnetic field. If the time scales for this process are shorter than the propagation time to 1 AU, this result explains why many ICME flux ropes no longer exhibit the smooth, helical flux structure characteristic of a magnetic cloud.
Intuitive approach to magnetic reconnection
Kulsrud, Russell M.
2011-11-15
Two reconnection problems are considered. The first problem concerns global physics. The plasma in the global reconnection region is in magnetostatic equilibrium. It is shown that this equilibrium can be uniquely characterized by a set of constraints. During reconnection and independently of the local reconnection physics, these constraints can be uniquely evolved from any initial state. The second problem concerns Petschek reconnection. Petschek's model for fast reconnection, which is governed by resistive MHD equations with constant resistivity is not validated by numerical simulations. Malyshkin et al.[Phys. Plasmas 12, 102920 (2005)], showed that the reason for the discrepancy is that Petschek did not employ Ohm's law throughout the local diffusion region, but only at the X-point. A derivation of Petschek reconnection, including Ohm's law throughout the entire diffusion region, removes the discrepancy. This derivation is based largely on Petschek's original 1964 calculation [in AAS-NASA Symposium on Solar Flares (National Aeronautics and Space Administration, Washington, D.C., 1964), NASA SP50, p. 425]. A useful physical interpretation of the role which Ohm's law plays in the diffusion region is presented.
The onset of magnetic reconnection in three dimensions
Pritchett, P. L.
2013-08-15
The onset of collisionless magnetic reconnection in current sheets containing a localized enhancement of the initial normal magnetic field component is examined using 2D and 3D particle-in-cell simulations that treat a closed system. In the 2D case, the current sheet is found to remain stable for at least several hundred inverse ion cyclotron times. In 3D, however, the system is found to be unstable to a ballooning/interchange type of mode with wavenumber k{sub y}ρ{sub in}∼1 (where ρ{sub in} is the ion gyroradius in the normal field B{sub z}). These modes evolve to form intense “heads” of strongly enhanced B{sub z}; in the wake of the heads are regions of strongly reduced or reversed B{sub z}. These local field reversals lead to the onset of reconnection with reconnection electric fields several times more intense than typical values seen for 2D reconnection.
NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)
Shimizu, Tohru; Torii, Hiroyuki; Kondoh, Koji
2016-05-01
The 3D instability of spontaneous fast magnetic reconnection process is studied with magnetohydrodynamic simulations, where 2D model of the spontaneous fast magnetic reconnection process is destabilized in three dimensions. In this 3D instability, the spontaneous fast magnetic reconnection process is intermittently and randomly caused in 3D. In this paper, as a typical event study, a single 3D fast magnetic reconnection process often observed in the 3D instability is studied in detail. As a remarkable feature, it is reported that, when the 3D fast magnetic reconnection process starts, plasma inflows along the magnetic neutral line are observed, which are driven by plasma static pressure gradient along the neutral line. The plasma inflow speed reaches about 15 in the upstream field region. The unmagnetized inflow tends to prevent the 3D reconnection process; nevertheless, the 3D reconnection process is intermittently maintained. Such high-speed plasma inflows along the neutral line may be observed as dawn-dusk flows in space satellite observations of magnetotail's bursty bulk flows.
Magnetic Properties of 3D Printed Toroids
NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)
Bollig, Lindsey; Otto, Austin; Hilpisch, Peter; Mowry, Greg; Nelson-Cheeseman, Brittany; Renewable Energy; Alternatives Lab (REAL) Team
Transformers are ubiquitous in electronics today. Although toroidal geometries perform most efficiently, transformers are traditionally made with rectangular cross-sections due to the lower manufacturing costs. Additive manufacturing techniques (3D printing) can easily achieve toroidal geometries by building up a part through a series of 2D layers. To get strong magnetic properties in a 3D printed transformer, a composite filament is used containing Fe dispersed in a polymer matrix. How the resulting 3D printed toroid responds to a magnetic field depends on two structural factors of the printed 2D layers: fill factor (planar density) and fill pattern. In this work, we investigate how the fill factor and fill pattern affect the magnetic properties of 3D printed toroids. The magnetic properties of the printed toroids are measured by a custom circuit that produces a hysteresis loop for each toroid. Toroids with various fill factors and fill patterns are compared to determine how these two factors can affect the magnetic field the toroid can produce. These 3D printed toroids can be used for numerous applications in order to increase the efficiency of transformers by making it possible for manufacturers to make a toroidal geometry.
Evolutions of nonsteady state magnetic reconnection
Wan, Weigang; Lapenta, Giovanni
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.
Magnetic reconnection and solar flare loops
NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)
Forbes, T. G.
1987-01-01
Reconnection models of the main phase of large solar flares are used to explain the energetics and the motions of the large flare loops that occur during this phase. Correct predictions for the density and temperature of the X-ray emitting loops are obtained by coupling magnetic reconnection with chromospheric ablation. In the reconnection models the ablation is driven by the thermal conduction of heat along magnetic field lines connecting the reconnection shocks in the corona with the flare ribbons in the chromosphere. Combining the compressible reconnection theory of Soward and Priest (1982) with the magnetohydrodynamic (MHD) subshock criteria of Coroniti (1970) shows that the Petschek-type slow-mode shocks in the vicinity of the x-line always dissociate into pairs of isothermal slow-mode subshocks and thermal conduction fronts. The rate of expansion of the loops is a function of the reconnection rate, and loops can be evolving self-similarly in time with their height increasing as sq root t and the reconnection rate decreasing as t to the minus 1.
Three-Dimensional Localized Magnetic Reconnection in Torus Plasma Merging Device TS-4
NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)
Ii, Toru; Hayashi, Yoshinori; Inomoto, Michiaki; Ono, Yasushi
Three-dimensional (3-D) localized magnetic reconnection was studied experimentally using torus plasma merging device TS-4. The direct measurements of 3-D structures of current sheet revealed two unsteady and fast reconnection mechanisms: 3-D deformation of current sheet and mass ejection. When strong compression force IAcc∼60kA was applied to two plasma toroids with low guide field Bt/B¦¦∼1, toroidal modes n=1-3 of current sheet were observed to grow only during their reconnection and to disappear after the reconnection. This 3-D deformation promoted mass ejection from the current sheet, increasing the reconnection rate as well as reconnection (toroidal) electric field and outflow. On the other hand, the reconnection rate was maintained low under the high guide field Bt/B¦¦∼7 and weak compression IAcc∼0kA. These phenomena suggest that local compression of current sheet triggers its strong dissipation as well as plasma mass ejection, which are responsible for the onset of 3-D localized reconnection.
Multiscale Modeling of Solar Coronal Magnetic Reconnection
NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)
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.
New Expression for Collisionless Magnetic Reconnection Rate
NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)
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.
New expression for collisionless magnetic reconnection rate
Klimas, Alex
2015-04-15
For 2D, symmetric, anti-parallel, collisionless magnetic reconnection, new expressions for the reconnection rate in the electron diffusion region are introduced. It is shown that these expressions can be derived in just a few simple steps from a physically intuitive starting point; the derivations are given in their entirety, and the validity of each step is confirmed. The predictions of these expressions are compared to the results of several long-duration, open-boundary particle-in-cell reconnection simulations to demonstrate excellent agreement.
Fast Reconnection of Weak Magnetic Fields
NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)
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.
Resistive Magnetohydrodynamic Simulations of Relativistic Magnetic Reconnection
NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)
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.
Magnetic Reconnection Models of Prominence Formation
NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)
Welsch, B. T.; DeVore, C. R.; Antiochos, S. K.
2005-12-01
To investigate the hypothesis that prominences form by magnetic reconnection between initially distinct flux systems in the solar corona, we simulate coronal magnetic field evolution when two flux systems are driven together by boundary motions. In particular, we focus on configurations similar to those in the quiescent prominence formation model of Martens & Zwaan. We find that reconnection proceeds very weakly, if at all, in configurations driven with global shear flows (i.e., differential rotation); reconnection proceeds much more efficiently in similar configurations that are driven to collide directly, with converging motions along the neutral line that lead to flux cancellation; reconnected fields from this process can exhibit sheared, dipped field lines along the neutral line, consistent with prominence observations. Our field configurations do not possess the ``breakout'' topology, and eruptions are not observed, even though a substantial amount of flux is canceled in some runs.
The Diffusion Region in Collisionless Magnetic Reconnection
NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)
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.
Turbulent magnetic fluctuations in laboratory reconnection
NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)
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
Entropy conservation in simulations of magnetic reconnection
Birn, J.; Hesse, M.; Schindler, K.
2006-09-15
Entropy and mass conservation are investigated for the dynamic field evolution associated with fast magnetic reconnection, based on the 'Newton Challenge' problem [Birn et al., Geophys. Res. Lett. 32, L06105 (2005)]. In this problem, the formation of a thin current sheet and magnetic reconnection are initiated in a plane Harris-type current sheet by temporally limited, spatially varying, inflow of magnetic flux. Using resistive magnetohydrodynamic (MHD) and particle-in-cell (PIC) simulations, specifically the entropy and mass integrated along the magnetic flux tubes are compared between the simulations. In the MHD simulation these should be exactly conserved quantities, when slippage and Ohmic dissipation are negligible. It is shown that there is very good agreement between the conservation of these quantities in the two simulation approaches, despite the effects of dissipation, provided that the resistivity in the MHD simulation is strongly localized. This demonstrates that dissipation is highly localized in the PIC simulation also, and that heat flux across magnetic flux tubes has negligible effect as well, so that the entropy increase on a full flux tube remains small even during reconnection. The mass conservation also implies that the frozen-in flux condition of ideal MHD is a good integral approximation outside the reconnection site. This result lends support for using the entropy-conserving MHD approach not only before and after reconnection but even as a constraint connecting the two phases.
Guo, Fan; Liu, Yi -Hsin; Daughton, William; Li, Hui
2015-06-17
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 (3D) 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 (σ ≡ B2 / (4πnemec2) >> 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 driftmore » of particles along the electric field induced by the relativistic flows. This mechanism gives rise to the formation of hard power-law spectra f α (γ - 1)-p and approaches p = 1 for sufficiently large σ and system size. Eventually most of the available magnetic free energy is converted into nonthermal particle kinetic energy. An analytic model is presented to explain the key results and predict a general condition for the formation of power-law distributions. The development of reconnection in these regimes leads to relativistic inflow and outflow speeds and enhanced reconnection rates relative to nonrelativistic regimes. In the 3D simulation, the interplay between secondary kink and tearing instabilities leads to strong magnetic turbulence, but does not significantly change the energy conversion, reconnection rate, or particle acceleration. This paper suggests that relativistic reconnection sites are strong sources of nonthermal particles, which may have important implications for a variety of high-energy astrophysical problems.« less
Guo, Fan; Liu, Yi -Hsin; Daughton, William; Li, Hui
2015-06-17
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 (3D) 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 (σ ≡ B^{2} / (4πn_{e}m_{e}c^{2}) >> 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 α (γ - 1)^{-p} and approaches p = 1 for sufficiently large σ and system size. Eventually most of the available magnetic free energy is converted into nonthermal particle kinetic energy. An analytic model is presented to explain the key results and predict a general condition for the formation of power-law distributions. The development of reconnection in these regimes leads to relativistic inflow and outflow speeds and enhanced reconnection rates relative to nonrelativistic regimes. In the 3D simulation, the interplay between secondary kink and tearing instabilities leads to strong magnetic turbulence, but does not significantly change the energy conversion, reconnection rate, or particle acceleration. This paper suggests that relativistic reconnection sites are strong sources of nonthermal particles, which may have important implications for a variety of high-energy astrophysical problems.
NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)
Guo, Fan; Liu, Yi-Hsin; Daughton, William; Li, Hui
2015-06-01
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 (3D) 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 (σ \\equiv {B}2/(4π {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 {(γ -1)}-p and approaches p = 1 for sufficiently large σ and system size. Eventually most of the available magnetic free energy is converted into nonthermal particle kinetic energy. An analytic model is presented to explain the key results and predict a general condition for the formation of power-law distributions. The development of reconnection in these regimes leads to relativistic inflow and outflow speeds and enhanced reconnection rates relative to nonrelativistic regimes. In the 3D simulation, the interplay between secondary kink and tearing instabilities leads to strong magnetic turbulence, but does not significantly change the energy conversion, reconnection rate, or particle acceleration. This study suggests that relativistic reconnection sites are strong sources of nonthermal particles, which may have important implications for a variety of high-energy astrophysical problems.
Multi-scale structures of turbulent magnetic reconnection
NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)
Nakamura, T. K. M.; Nakamura, R.; Narita, Y.; Baumjohann, W.; Daughton, W.
2016-05-01
We have analyzed data from a series of 3D fully kinetic simulations of turbulent magnetic reconnection with a guide field. A new concept of the guide filed reconnection process has recently been proposed, in which the secondary tearing instability and the resulting formation of oblique, small scale flux ropes largely disturb the structure of the primary reconnection layer and lead to 3D turbulent features [W. Daughton et al., Nat. Phys. 7, 539 (2011)]. In this paper, we further investigate the multi-scale physics in this turbulent, guide field reconnection process by introducing a wave number band-pass filter (k-BPF) technique in which modes for the small scale (less than ion scale) fluctuations and the background large scale (more than ion scale) variations are separately reconstructed from the wave number domain to the spatial domain in the inverse Fourier transform process. Combining with the Fourier based analyses in the wave number domain, we successfully identify spatial and temporal development of the multi-scale structures in the turbulent reconnection process. When considering a strong guide field, the small scale tearing mode and the resulting flux ropes develop over a specific range of oblique angles mainly along the edge of the primary ion scale flux ropes and reconnection separatrix. The rapid merging of these small scale modes leads to a smooth energy spectrum connecting ion and electron scales. When the guide field is sufficiently weak, the background current sheet is strongly kinked and oblique angles for the small scale modes are widely scattered at the kinked regions. Similar approaches handling both the wave number and spatial domains will be applicable to the data from multipoint, high-resolution spacecraft observations such as the NASA magnetospheric multiscale (MMS) mission.
NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)
Tan, B.; Lin, Y.; Perez, J. D.; Wang, X. Y.
2011-02-01
Magnetopause reconnection is investigated with our 3-D self-consistent global hybrid simulation model. The magnetic configuration and evolution of Flux Transfer Events (FTEs) and the associated ion density and ion velocity distribution at various locations on the magnetopause are investigated. The results reveal the following. (1) Multiple X lines are formed during the magnetopause reconnection, which lead to both FTEs and quasi-steady-type reconnection under a steady solar wind condition. The resulting bipolar signature of local normal magnetic field of FTEs is consistent with satellite observations. (2) A greater-than-20% plasma temperature rise is seen at the center of a FTE, compared to that of the upstream plasma in the magnetosheath. The temperature enhancement is mainly in the direction parallel to the magnetic field because of the mixing of ion beams. (3) Flux ropes that lead to FTEs form between X lines of finite lengths and evolve relatively independently. The ion density is enhanced within FTE flux ropes because of the trapped particles, leading to a filamentary global density. (4) Different from the previous understanding based on the asymmetric density across the magnetopause, a quadrupole magnetic field signature associated with the Hall effects is found to be present around FTEs. (5) A combination of patchy reconnection and multiple X line reconnection leads to the formation of reconnected field lines from the magnetosphere to IMF, as well as the closed field lines from the magnetosphere to the magnetosphere in the magnetopause boundary layer.
The Dissipation Mechanism of Magnetic Reconnection
NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)
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.
The Inner Workings of Magnetic Reconnection
NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)
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.
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. PMID:27391729
Magnetic Reconnection in Extreme Astrophysical Environments
NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)
Uzdensky, Dmitri
Magnetic reconnection is a fundamental plasma physics process of breaking ideal-MHD's frozen-in constraints on magnetic field connectivity and of dramatic rearranging of the magnetic topol-ogy, which often leads to a violent release of the free magnetic energy. Reconnection has long been acknowledged to be of great importance in laboratory plasma physics (magnetic fusion) and in space and solar physics (responsible for solar flares and magnetospheric substorms). In addition, its importance in Astrophysics has been increasingly recognized in recent years. However, due to a great diversity of astrophysical environments, the fundamental physics of astrophysical magnetic reconnection can be quite different from that of the traditional recon-nection encountered in the solar system. In particular, environments like the solar corona and the magnetosphere are characterized by relatively low energy densities, where the plasma is ad-equately described as a mixture of electrons and ions whose numbers are conserved and where the dissipated magnetic energy basically stays with the plasma. In contrast, in many high-energy astrophysical phenomena the energy density is so large that photons play as important a role as electrons and ions and, in particular, radiation pressure and radiative cooling become dominant. In this talk I focus on the most extreme case of high-energy-density astrophysical reconnec-tion — reconnection of magnetar-strength (1014 - 1015 Gauss) magnetic fields, important for giant flares in soft-gamma repeaters (SGRs), and for rapid magnetic energy release in either the central engines or in the relativistic jets of Gamma Ray Bursts (GRBs). I outline the key relevant physical processes and present a new theoretical picture of magnetic reconnection in these environments. The corresponding magnetic energy density is so enormous that, when suddenly released, it inevitably heats the plasma to relativistic temperatures, resulting in co-pious production of electron
Solar flares and magnetic reconnection in quasi-separatrix layers
NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)
Aulanier, G.; Demoulin, P.; Janvier, M.; Masson, S.; Pariat, E.
2012-10-01
Magnetic reconnection is a fundamental plasma physics process which is believed to be responsible for the bulk of energy release in solar flares. One the one hand, the onset of fast reconnection in high-Reynolds plasmas has long since been regarded as, perhaps, the major issue to understand. On the other hand, little attention has relatively been given to the three-dimensional nature of this phenomenon. Up to very recently, the latter has mostly been addressed by the solar physics community, presumably due to the wealth of space-borne and ground-based observations of three-dimensional solar coronal features during flares. Among other 3D concept, finite-B ``quasi-separatrix layers'' (QSLs) have been introduced in the nineties, as a generalization of the concept of true separatrices emanating from null-points. In this talk, I will show how both solar and experimental physics have revealed that these QSLs physically behave like true separatrices, in terms of current sheet formation and magnetic reconnection, albeit for the continuous slippage of field lines during the process. I will then show how this ``slip-running reconnection'' occurs in the wake of flux-ropes erupting from the solar corona towrds the heliosphere, and how it it eventually forms the observed post-flare loops in the Sun's corona.
Design of a Magnetic Reconnection Experiment in the Collisionless Regime
NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)
Egedal, J.; Le, A.; Daughton, W. S.
2012-12-01
A new model for effective heating of electrons during reconnection is now gaining support from spacecraft observations, theoretical considerations and kinetic simulations [1]. The key ingredient in the model is the physics of trapped electrons whose dynamics causes the electron pressure tensor to be strongly anisotropic [2]. The heating mechanism becomes highly efficient for geometries with low upstream electron pressure, conditions relevant to the magnetotail. We propose a new experiment that will be optimized for the study of kinetic reconnection including the dynamics of trapped electrons and associated pressure anisotropy. This requires an experiment that accesses plasmas with much lower collisionality and lower plasma beta than are available in present reconnection experiments. The new experiment will be designed such that a large variety of magnetic configurations can be established and tailored for continuation of our ongoing study of spontaneous 3D reconnection [3]. The flexible design will also allow for configurations suitable for the study of merging magnetic islands, which may be a source of super thermal electrons in naturally occurring plasmas. [1] Egedal J et al., Nature Physics, 8, 321 (2012). [2] Le A et al., Phys. Rev. Lett. 102, 085001 (2009). [3] Katz N et al., Phys. Rev. Lett. 104, 255004 (2010).;
Formation of Plasmoid Chains in Magnetic Reconnection
Samtaney, R.; Loureiro, N. F.; Uzdensky, D. A.; Schekochihin, A. A.; Cowley, S. C.
2009-09-09
A detailed numerical study of magnetic reconnection in resistive MHD for very large, previously inaccessible, Lundquist numbers (104 ≤ S ≤ 108) is reported. Large-aspect-ratio Sweet-Parker current sheets are shown to be unstable to super-Alfvenically fast formation of plasmoid (magnetic-island) chains. The plasmoid number scales as S3/8 and the instability growth rate in the linear stage as S1/4, 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>104.
Microstructure of magnetic reconnection in earth's magnetotail
NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)
Bieber, J. W.; Stone, E. C.; Hones, E. W., Jr.; Baker, D. N.; Bame, S. J.; Lepping, R. P.
1984-01-01
The structure of heated electron reconnection events associated with magnetic substorm events in the earth's magnetotail is examined using IMP 8 spacecraft and ground-based magnetometer, plasma analyzer and spectroscopic data. Plasma, magnetic field and energetic particle data for five events are presented. Reconnection is shown to occur in two phases: preheating and heating. In preheating, lasting about 5 min, a strong tailward plasma flow appears and ends with electron heating. A 1-2 min heating phase starts with electron heating and ends with plasma sheet drop out and/or decay of the electron temperature to pre-event levels. The heating pulse is always connected with a Bx reversal at 30 earth radii tailward, where the reconnection occurs.
Nonlinear regimes of forced magnetic reconnection
Vekstein, G.; Kusano, K.
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.
Forced Magnetic Reconnection In A Tokamak Plasma
NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)
Callen, J. D.; Hegna, C. C.
2015-11-01
The theory of forced magnetic field reconnection induced by an externally imposed resonant magnetic perturbation usually uses a sheared slab or cylindrical magnetic field model and often focuses on the potential time-asymptotic induced magnetic island state. However, tokamak plasmas have significant magnetic geometry and dynamical plasma toroidal rotation screening effects. Also, finite ion Larmor radius (FLR) and banana width (FBW) effects can damp and thus limit the width of a nascent magnetic island. A theory that is more applicable for tokamak plasmas is being developed. This new model of the dynamics of forced magnetic reconnection considers a single helicity magnetic perturbation in the tokamak magnetic field geometry, uses a kinetically-derived collisional parallel electron flow response, and employs a comprehensive dynamical equation for the plasma toroidal rotation frequency. It is being used to explore the dynamics of bifurcation into a magnetically reconnected state in the thin singular layer around the rational surface, evolution into a generalized Rutherford regime where the island width exceeds the singular layer width, and assess the island width limiting effects of FLR and FBW polarization currents. Support by DoE grants DE-FG02-86ER53218, DE-FG02-92ER54139.
Magnetic Reconnection: Theoretical and Observational Perspectives: Preface
NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)
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
Magnetic reconnection under anisotropic magnetohydrodynamic approximation
Hirabayashi, K.; Hoshino, M.
2013-11-15
We study the formation of slow-mode shocks in collisionless magnetic reconnection by using one- and two-dimensional collisionless MHD codes based on the double adiabatic approximation and the Landau closure model. We 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 observations. Our results showed that once magnetic reconnection takes place, a firehose-sense (p{sub ∥}>p{sub ⊥}) pressure anisotropy arises in the downstream region, and the generated slow shocks are quite weak comparing with those in an isotropic MHD. In spite of the weakness of the shocks, however, the resultant reconnection rate is 10%–30% higher than that in an isotropic case. This 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.
VINETA II: a linear magnetic reconnection experiment.
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. PMID:24593355
VINETA II: A linear magnetic reconnection experiment
Bohlin, H. Von Stechow, A.; Rahbarnia, K.; Grulke, O.; Klinger, T.
2014-02-15
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.
Transition from antiparallel to component magnetic reconnection
NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)
Swisdak, M.; Drake, J. F.; Shay, M. A.; McIlhargey, J. G.
2005-05-01
We study the transition between antiparallel and component collisionless magnetic reconnection with two-dimensional particle-in-cell simulations. The primary finding is that a guide field ≈0.1 times as strong as the asymptotic reconnecting field (roughly the field strength at which the electron Larmor radius is comparable to the width of the electron current layer) is sufficient to magnetize the electrons in the vicinity of the X line, thus causing significant changes to the structure of the electron dissipation region. This implies that great care should be exercised before concluding that magnetospheric reconnection is antiparallel. We also find that even for such weak guide fields, strong inward flowing electron beams form in the vicinity of the magnetic separatrices and Buneman unstable distribution functions arise at the X line itself. As in the calculations of Hesse et al. (2002) and Yin and Winske (2003) the nongyrotropic elements of the electron pressure tensor play the dominant role in decoupling the electrons from the magnetic field at the X line, regardless of the magnitude of the guide field and the associated strong variations in the pressure tensor's spatial structure. Despite these changes, and consistent with previous work, the reconnection rate does not vary appreciably with the strength of the guide field as it changes between 0 and a value equal to the asymptotic reversed field.
Electron nongyrotropy in the context of collisionless magnetic reconnection
Aunai, Nicolas; Hesse, Michael; Kuznetsova, Maria
2013-09-15
Collisionless magnetized plasmas have the tendency to isotropize their velocity distribution function around the local magnetic field direction, i.e., to be gyrotropic, unless some spatial and/or temporal fluctuations develop at the particle gyroscales. Electron gyroscale inhomogeneities are well known to develop during the magnetic reconnection process. Nongyrotropic electron velocity distribution functions have been observed to play a key role in the dissipative process breaking the field line connectivity. In this paper, we present a new method to quantify the deviation of a particle population from gyrotropy. The method accounts for the full 3D shape of the distribution and its analytical formulation allows fast numerical computation. Regions associated with a significant degree of nongyrotropy are shown, as well as the kinetic origin of the nongyrotropy and the fluid signature it is associated with. Using the result of 2.5D Particle-In-Cell simulations of magnetic reconnection in symmetric and asymmetric configurations, it is found that neither the reconnection site nor the topological boundaries are generally associated with a maximized degree of nongyrotropy. Nongyrotropic regions do not correspond to a specific fluid behavior as equivalent nongyrotropy is found to extend over the electron dissipation region as well as in non-dissipative diamagnetic drift layers. The localization of highly nongyrotropic regions in numerical models and their correlation with other observable quantities can, however, improve the characterization of spatial structures explored by spacecraft missions.
Dynamical plasma response during driven magnetic reconnection.
Egedal, J; Fasoli, A; Nazemi, J
2003-04-01
Direct measurements of a collisionless current channel during driven magnetic reconnection are obtained for the first time on the Versatile Toroidal Facility. The size of the diffusion region is found to scale with the electron drift orbit width, independent of the ion mass and plasma density. Based on experimental observations, analytic expressions governing the dynamical evolution of the current profile and the formation of the electrostatic potential that develops in response to the externally imposed reconnection drive are established. This time response is closely linked to the presence of ion polarization currents. PMID:12689297
NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)
Krebs, Isabel; Jardin, Stephen C.; Igochine, Valentin; Guenter, Sibylle; Hoelzl, Matthias; ASDEX Upgrade Team
2014-10-01
We study sawtooth reconnection in ASDEX Upgrade tokamak plasmas by means of 3D non-linear two-fluid MHD simulations in toroidal geometry using the high-order finite element code M3D-C1. Parameters and equilibrium of the simulations are based on typical sawtoothing ASDEX Upgrade discharges. The simulation results are compared to features of the experimental observations such as the sawtooth crash time and frequency, the evolution of the safety factor profile and the 3D evolution of the temperature. 2D ECE imaging measurements during sawtooth crashes in ASDEX Upgrade indicate that the heat is transported out of the core through a narrow poloidally localized region. We investigate if incomplete sawtooth reconnection can be seen in the simulations which is suggested by soft X-ray tomography measurements in ASDEX Upgrade showing that an (m = 1, n = 1) perturbation is typically observed to survive the sawtooth crash and approximately maintain its radial position.
Vortex-induced magnetic reconnection and single X line reconnection at the magnetopause
Fu, S.Y.; Pu, Z.Y.; Liu, Z.X.
1995-04-01
The authors present the results of two-dimensional MHD simulations of two different models of magnetic reconnection, a vortex-induced magnetic reconnection, and a bursty single X line reconnection. They look at the implications of the magnetic topolgy of the magnetopause for the occurrence of conditions conducive to these two processes. They also discuss the physical implications which could be derived from these two models.
Magnetic reconnection as a chondrule heating mechanism
NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)
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.
Relating magnetic reconnection to coronal heating.
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. PMID:25897089
NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)
Ji, Hantao; Yamada, Masaaki; Prager, Stewart; Daughton, William
2012-10-01
A new large plasma experiment, called the Large Reconnection Experiment or LRX, has been proposed to study magnetic reconnection in regimes directly relevant to fusion, space, and astrophysical plasmas. There are at least two possibly coupled mechanisms to explain why reconnection is fast as compared to the MHD predictions: one by physics beyond MHD, and the other by breakdown of the MHD current sheet via plasmoid instabilities into a state of interacting flux ropes. However, the former works only on the ion scales, much smaller than the plasma size, while the latter is only predicted theoretically. Further progress to study these is currently impeded by several severe limitations (1) in realistic simulations (especially in 3D), (2) in space observations due to a small numbers of in-situ measurements, (3) in solar observations due to limited spatial resolution of remote-sensing techniques, (4) in fusion plasmas due to the limited diagnostic accessibility, and (5) in the existing basic laboratory experiments due to limited scale separations. All of these strongly motivate the well-controlled/diagnosed, collaborative LRX project to simultaneously achieve large scale separations and high Lundquist numbers. Major questions and conceptual design for the LRX project will be discussed.
Magnetic Reconnection in Extreme Astrophysical Environments
NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)
Uzdensky, Dmitri A.
2011-10-01
Magnetic reconnection is a fundamental plasma physics process in which ideal-MHD's frozen-in constraints are broken and the magnetic field topology is dramatically re-arranged, which often leads to a violent release of the free magnetic energy. Most of the magnetic reconnection research done to date has been motivated by the applications to systems such as the solar corona, Earth's magnetosphere, and magnetic confinement devices for thermonuclear fusion. These environments have relatively low energy densities and the plasma is adequately described as a mixture of equal numbers of electrons and ions and where the dissipated magnetic energy always stays with the plasma. In contrast, in this paper I would like to introduce a different, new direction of research—reconnection in high energy density radiative plasmas, in which photons play as important a role as electrons and ions; in particular, in which radiation pressure and radiative cooling become dominant factors in the pressure and energy balance. This research is motivated in part by rapid theoretical and experimental advances in High Energy Density Physics, and in part by several important problems in modern high-energy astrophysics. I first discuss some astrophysical examples of high-energy-density reconnection and then identify the key physical processes that distinguish them from traditional reconnection. Among the most important of these processes are: special-relativistic effects; radiative effects (radiative cooling, radiation pressure, and radiative resistivity); and, at the most extreme end—QED effects, including pair creation. The most notable among the astrophysical applications are situations involving magnetar-strength fields (1014-1015 G, exceeding the quantum critical field B ∗≃4×1013 G). The most important examples are giant flares in soft gamma repeaters (SGRs) and magnetic models of the central engines and relativistic jets of Gamma Ray Bursts (GRBs). The magnetic energy density in
Asymmetry Effects in Viscoresistive Magnetic Reconnection
NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)
Tebaldi, C.; Grasso, D.; Hastie, R. J.
2010-04-01
Magnetic reconnection from an asymmetric unreconnected equilibrium is investigated in a viscoresistive plasma via numerical simulations. The instability threshold of the standard stability parameter, Δ', increases with the asymmetry parameter, in a way similar to the effect of increasing viscosity. Also the topology of the velocity field changes significantly, the four-vortex structure typical of the tearing instability evolves into two-vortex structure, with strong increase of the velocity shear across the high magnetic shear rational surface.
Kulsrud, Russell; Ji Hantao; Fox, William; Yamada, Masaaki
2005-08-15
The role which resistivity plays in breaking magnetic field lines, heating the plasma, and plasma-field slippage during magnetic reconnection is discussed. Magnetic fluctuations are observed in the MRX (magnetic reconnection experiment) [M. Yamada, H. Ji, S. Hsu, T. Carter, R. Kulsrud, N. Bertz, F. Jobes, Y. Ono, and F. Perkins, Phys. Plasmas 4, 1936 (1997)] that are believed to provide resistive friction or wave resistivity. A localized linear theory has been proposed for their origin as an obliquely propagating lower hybrid drift instability. In this paper, the linear theory of the instability is summarized, and the resulting heating and slippage are calculated from quasilinear theory. Making use of measured amplitudes of the magnetic fluctuations in the MRX, the amount of these effects is estimated. Within the experimental uncertainties they are shown to be quite important for the magnetic reconnection process.
Russell Kulsrud; Hantao Ji; Will Fox; Masaaki Yamada
2005-06-07
The role which resistivity plays in breaking magnetic field lines, heating the plasma, and plasma field slippage during magnetic reconnection is discussed. Magnetic fluctuations are observed in the MRX (Magnetic Reconnection Experiment) that are believed to provide resistive friction or wave resistivity. A localized linear theory has been proposed for their origin as an obliquely propagating Lower Hybrid Drift Instability. In this paper, the linear theory of the instability is summarized, and the resulting heating and slippage are calculated from quasi-linear theory. Making use of measured amplitudes of the magnetic fluctuations in the MRX the amount of these effects is estimated. Within the experimental uncertainties they are shown to be quite important for the magnetic reconnection process.
Magnetic reconnection in Saturn's magnetotail: A comprehensive magnetic field survey.
NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)
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.
Gyro-induced acceleration of magnetic reconnection
Comisso, L.; Grasso, D.; Waelbroeck, F. L.; Borgogno, D.
2013-09-15
The linear and nonlinear evolution of magnetic reconnection in collisionless high-temperature plasmas with a strong guide field is analyzed on the basis of a two-dimensional gyrofluid model. The linear growth rate of the reconnecting instability is compared to analytical calculations over the whole spectrum of linearly unstable wave numbers. In the strongly unstable regime (large Δ′), the nonlinear evolution of the reconnecting instability is found to undergo two distinctive acceleration phases separated by a stall phase in which the instantaneous growth rate decreases. The first acceleration phase is caused by the formation of strong electric fields close to the X-point due to ion gyration, while the second acceleration phase is driven by the development of an open Petschek-like configuration due to both ion and electron temperature effects. Furthermore, the maximum instantaneous growth rate is found to increase dramatically over its linear value for decreasing diffusion layers. This is a consequence of the fact that the peak instantaneous growth rate becomes weakly dependent on the microscopic plasma parameters if the diffusion region thickness is sufficiently smaller than the equilibrium magnetic field scale length. When this condition is satisfied, the peak reconnection rate asymptotes to a constant value.
Crossed Flux Tubes Magnetic Reconnection Experiment
NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)
Tobin, Zachary; Bellan, Paul
2012-10-01
The dynamics of arched, plasma-filled flux tubes have been studied in experiments at Caltech. These flux tubes expand, undergo kink instabilities, magnetically reconnect, and are subject to magnetohydrodynamic forces. An upgraded experiment will arrange for two of these flux tubes to cross over each other. It is expected then that the flux tubes will undergo magnetic reconnection at the crossover point, forming one long flux tube and one short flux tube. This reconnection should also result in a half-twist in the flux tubes at the crossover point, which will propagate along each tube as Alfv'en waves. The control circuitry requires two independent floating high energy capacitor power supplies to power the plasma loops, which will be put in series when the plasma loops reconnect. Coordinating these two power supplies requires the building of new systems for controlling plasma generation. Unlike with previous designs, all timing functions are contained on a single printed circuit board, allowing the design to be easily replicated for use with each independent capacitor involved. The control circuit sequencing has been tested successfully in generating a single flux tube. The plasma gun is currently under construction, with its installation pending completion of prior experiments.
Magnetic Reconnection in Different Environments: Similarities and Differences
NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)
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.
Fast magnetic reconnection with large guide fields
Stanier, A.; Simakov, Andrei N.; Chacón, L.; Daughton, W.
2015-01-09
Here, we demonstrate using two-fluid simulations that low-βmagnetic reconnection remains fast, regardless of the presence of fast dispersive waves, which have been previously suggested to play a critical role. In order to understand these results, a discrete model is constructed that offers scaling relationships for the reconnection rate and dissipation region (DR) thickness in terms of the upstream magnetic field and DR length. We verify these scalings numerically and show how the DR self-adjusts to process magnetic flux at the same rate that it is supplied to a larger region where two-fluid effects become important. Ultimately, the rate is independent of the DR physics and is in good agreement with kinetic results.
Fast magnetic reconnection with large guide fields
Stanier, A.; Simakov, Andrei N.; Chacón, L.; Daughton, W.
2015-01-09
Here, we demonstrate using two-fluid simulations that low-βmagnetic reconnection remains fast, regardless of the presence of fast dispersive waves, which have been previously suggested to play a critical role. In order to understand these results, a discrete model is constructed that offers scaling relationships for the reconnection rate and dissipation region (DR) thickness in terms of the upstream magnetic field and DR length. We verify these scalings numerically and show how the DR self-adjusts to process magnetic flux at the same rate that it is supplied to a larger region where two-fluid effects become important. Ultimately, the rate is independentmore » of the DR physics and is in good agreement with kinetic results.« less
MICROFLARE ACTIVITY DRIVEN BY FORCED MAGNETIC RECONNECTION
Jess, D. B.; Mathioudakis, M.; Crockett, P. J.; Keenan, F. P.; Browning, P. K.
2010-03-20
High cadence, multiwavelength, optical observations of a solar active region, obtained with the Swedish Solar Telescope, are presented. Two magnetic bright points are seen to separate in opposite directions at a constant velocity of 2.8 km s{sup -1}. After a separation distance of {approx}4400 km is reached, multiple Ellerman bombs are observed in both H{alpha} and Ca-K images. As a result of the Ellerman bombs, periodic velocity perturbations in the vicinity of the magnetic neutral line, derived from simultaneous Michelson Doppler Imager data, are generated with amplitude {+-}6 km s{sup -1} and wavelength {approx}1000 km. The velocity oscillations are followed by an impulsive brightening visible in H{alpha} and Ca-K, with a peak intensity enhancement of 63%. We interpret these velocity perturbations as the magnetic field deformation necessary to trigger forced reconnection. A time delay of {approx}3 minutes between the H{alpha}-wing and Ca-K observations indicates that the observed magnetic reconnection occurs at a height of {approx}200 km above the solar surface. These observations are consistent with theoretical predictions and provide the first observational evidence of microflare activity driven by forced magnetic reconnection.
Three-dimensional lattice Boltzmann model for magnetic reconnection
Mendoza, M.; Munoz, J. D.
2008-02-15
We develop a three-dimensional (3D) lattice Boltzmann model that recovers in the continuous limit the two-fluids theory for plasmas, and consequently includes the generalized Ohm's law. The model reproduces the magnetic reconnection process just by giving the right initial equilibrium conditions in the magnetotail, without any assumption on the resistivity in the diffusive region. In this model, the plasma is handled similar to two fluids with an interaction term, each one with distribution functions associated to a cubic lattice with 19 velocities (D3Q19). The electromagnetic fields are considered as a third fluid with an external force on a cubic lattice with 13 velocities (D3Q13). The model can simulate either viscous fluids in the incompressible limit or nonviscous compressible fluids, and successfully reproduces both the Hartmann flow and the magnetic reconnection in the magnetotail. The reconnection rate in the magnetotail obtained with this model lies between R=0.062 and R=0.073, in good agreement with the observations.
Three-dimensional lattice Boltzmann model for magnetic reconnection.
Mendoza, M; Muñoz, J D
2008-02-01
We develop a three-dimensional (3D) lattice Boltzmann model that recovers in the continuous limit the two-fluids theory for plasmas, and consequently includes the generalized Ohm's law. The model reproduces the magnetic reconnection process just by giving the right initial equilibrium conditions in the magnetotail, without any assumption on the resistivity in the diffusive region. In this model, the plasma is handled similar to two fluids with an interaction term, each one with distribution functions associated to a cubic lattice with 19 velocities (D3Q19). The electromagnetic fields are considered as a third fluid with an external force on a cubic lattice with 13 velocities (D3Q13). The model can simulate either viscous fluids in the incompressible limit or nonviscous compressible fluids, and successfully reproduces both the Hartmann flow and the magnetic reconnection in the magnetotail. The reconnection rate in the magnetotail obtained with this model lies between R=0.062 and R=0.073, in good agreement with the observations. PMID:18352154
Hall magnetic reconnection: Guide field dependence
Huba, J.D.
2005-01-01
Two-dimensional Hall magnetohydrodynamic simulations are used to study the dependence of a guide field on magnetic reconnection. The simulations are run until a steady state is achieved for B{sub gf}/B{sub 0}=0, 0.1, 0.2, 0.5, 1.0, 2.0, and 5.0 where B{sub gf} is the guide field and B{sub 0} is the reversed field. It is found that the reconnection rate and plasma energization are reduced for increasing guide field strength. This is caused by a JxB force associated with Hall currents and the guide field that reduce the inflow and outflow velocities. However, the reconnection rate and plasma energization are only reduced by a factor of 2 for B{sub gf}=5B{sub 0}. Additionally, the quadrupole field associated with Hall reconnection is eliminated for B{sub gf}{approx_equal}B{sub 0}/3. Applications to magnetospheric plasmas are discussed.
Thinning of current sheets and magnetic reconnection
NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)
Singh, N.; Deverapalli, C.
Using three-dimensional particle-in-cell (3DPIC) simulations, we study the formation of a thin current sheet. The processes associated with thin current sheets reported here include its thinning, associated potential well in its central part, ion acceleration into the well, current-driven ion mode instabilities, electron and ion heating, current sheet re- broadening, current disruption in the central part of the current sheet and magnetic reconnection. It is shown that current driven instabilities become explosive when the preferential heating of electrons by the ions make electron temperature higher than that of the ions. This explosive stage is associated with high plasma resistivity, current disruption and bifurcated current sheets. The current disruption is linked to the magnetic reconnection.
FAST MAGNETIC RECONNECTION AND SPONTANEOUS STOCHASTICITY
Eyink, Gregory L.; Lazarian, A.; Vishniac, E. T.
2011-12-10
Magnetic field lines in astrophysical plasmas are expected to be frozen-in at scales larger than the ion gyroradius. The rapid reconnection of magnetic-flux structures with dimensions vastly larger than the gyroradius requires a breakdown in the standard Alfven flux-freezing law. We attribute this breakdown to ubiquitous MHD plasma turbulence with power-law scaling ranges of velocity and magnetic energy spectra. Lagrangian particle trajectories in such environments become 'spontaneously stochastic', so that infinitely many magnetic field lines are advected to each point and must be averaged to obtain the resultant magnetic field. The relative distance between initial magnetic field lines which arrive at the same final point depends upon the properties of two-particle turbulent dispersion. We develop predictions based on the phenomenological Goldreich and Sridhar theory of strong MHD turbulence and on weak MHD turbulence theory. We recover the predictions of the Lazarian and Vishniac theory for the reconnection rate of large-scale magnetic structures. Lazarian and Vishniac also invoked 'spontaneous stochasticity', but of the field lines rather than of the Lagrangian trajectories. More recent theories of fast magnetic reconnection appeal to microscopic plasma processes that lead to additional terms in the generalized Ohm's law, such as the collisionless Hall term. We estimate quantitatively the effect of such processes on the inertial-range turbulence dynamics and find them to be negligible in most astrophysical environments. For example, the predictions of the Lazarian and Vishniac theory are unchanged in Hall MHD turbulence with an extended inertial range, whenever the ion skin depth {delta}{sub i} is much smaller than the turbulent integral length or injection-scale L{sub i} .
Magnetic reconnection in space and laboratory plasmas
NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)
Hones, E. W., Jr.
1984-04-01
AGU is publishing Magnetic Reconnection in Space and Laboratory Plasmas, as volume 30 of the Geophysical Monograph Series (members $23.10; nonmembers $33.00). This volume is based on the Chapman Conference on Magnetic Reconnection, which was held at the Los Alamos National Laboratory in October 1983. Organization of that conference was first considered in early 1981, at a time when the body of evidence for the occurrence and importance of magnetic reconnection in earth's magnetosphere had already become impressive and was continuing to increase rapidly. There had not been a major conference on the subject since 1977, and the intervening years had seen important new strides being made. Initial plans called for holding the conference in October 1982, but conflicts with other conferences forced its postponement for 1 year. The 1-year postponement turned out to be a blessing in disguise because it permitted major new magnetospheric observations, made during that year by the ISEE 3 satellite, to be reported at the conference.
Catastrophic onset of fast magnetic reconnection with a guide field
NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)
Cassak, P. A.; Drake, J. F.; Shay, M. A.
2007-05-01
It was recently shown that the slow (collisional) Sweet-Parker and the fast (collisionless) Hall magnetic reconnection solutions simultaneously exist for a wide range of resistivities; reconnection is bistable [Cassak, Shay, and Drake, Phys. Rev. Lett., 95, 235002 (2005)]. When the thickness of the dissipation region becomes smaller than a critical value, the Sweet-Parker solution disappears and fast reconnection ensues, potentially explaining how large amounts of magnetic free energy can accrue without significant release before the onset of fast reconnection. Two-fluid numerical simulations extending the previous results for anti-parallel reconnection (where the critical thickness is the ion skin depth) to component reconnection with a large guide field (where the critical thickness is the thermal ion Larmor radius) are presented. Applications to laboratory experiments of magnetic reconnection and the sawtooth crash are discussed.
Formation of current sheets in magnetic reconnection
Boozer, Allen H.
2014-07-15
An ideal evolution of magnetic fields in three spatial dimensions tends to cause neighboring field lines to increase their separation exponentially with distance ℓ along the lines, δ(ℓ)=δ(0)e{sup σ(ℓ)}. The non-ideal effects required to break magnetic field line connections scale as e{sup −σ}, so the breaking of connections is inevitable for σ sufficiently large—even though the current density need nowhere be large. When the changes in field line connections occur rapidly compared to an Alfvén transit time, the constancy of j{sub ||}/B along the magnetic field required for a force-free equilibrium is broken in the region where the change occurs, and an Alfvénic relaxation of j{sub ||}/B occurs. Independent of the original spatial distribution of j{sub ||}/B, the evolution is into a sheet current, which is stretched by a factor e{sup σ} in width and contracted by a factor e{sup σ} in thickness with the current density j{sub ||} increasing as e{sup σ}. The dissipation of these sheet currents and their associated vorticity sheets appears to be the mechanism for transferring energy from a reconnecting magnetic field to a plasma. Harris sheets, which are used in models of magnetic reconnection, are shown to break up in the direction of current flow when they have a finite width and are in a plasma in force equilibrium. The dependence of the longterm nature of magnetic reconnection in systems driven by footpoint motion can be studied in a model that allows qualitative variation in the nature of that motion: slow or fast motion compared to the Alfvén transit time and the neighboring footpoints either exponentially separating in time or not.
Magnetic reconnection: from the Sweet–Parker model to stochastic plasmoid chains
NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)
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
Magnetic reconnection driven by current repulsion
NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)
Richard, R. L.; Sydora, R. D.; Ashour-Abdalla, M.
1990-01-01
The evolution of an equilibrium consisting of two magnetic islands with oppositely directed currents embedded in a strong magnetic field is investigated, using numerical simulation methods. The rapid development of an ideal magnetohydrodynamic instability is observed, which first rotates and then expels the islands. The growth rate is on the order of the inverse of the Alfven transit time and is much higher than that for magnetic island coalescence. In the nonlinear stage, resistivity becomes important as the reconnection process ensues and dissipates the magnetic energy. The growth rate of the instability is a weak function of the plasma beta and other plasma parameters such as S, the magnetic Reynolds number. An energy principle analysis, based on eigenfunctions obtained from the simulation, confirms the existence of the instability.
Aspects of Three-Dimensional Magnetic Reconnection - (Invited Review)
NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)
Priest, E. R.; Schrijver, C. J.
1999-12-01
In this review paper we discuss several aspects of magnetic reconnection theory, focusing on the field-line motions that are associated with reconnection. A new exact solution of the nonlinear MHD equations for reconnective annihilation is presented which represents a two-fold generalization of the previous solutions. Magnetic reconnection at null points by several mechanisms is summarized, including spine reconnection, fan reconnection and separator reconnection, where it is pointed out that two common features of separator reconnection are the rapid flipping of magnetic field lines and the collapse of the separator to a current sheet. In addition, a formula for the rate of reconnection between two flux tubes is derived. The magnetic field of the corona is highly complex, since the magnetic carpet consists of a multitude of sources in the photosphere. Progress in understanding this complexity may, however, be made by constructing the skeleton of the field and developing a theory for the local and global bifurcations between the different topologies. The eruption of flux from the Sun may even sometimes be due to a change of topology caused by emerging flux break-out. A CD-ROM attached to this paper presents the results of a toy model of vacuum reconnection, which suggests that rapid flipping of field lines in fan and separator reconnection is an essential ingredient also in real non-vacuum conditions. In addition, it gives an example of binary reconnection between a pair of unbalanced sources as they move around, which may contribute significantly to coronal heating. Finally, we present examples in TRACE movies of geometrical changes of the coronal magnetic field that are a likely result of large-scale magnetic reconnection.
Magnetic Reconnection Rate in Space Plasmas: A Fractal Approach
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 Alfven 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.
Aspects of collisionless magnetic reconnection in asymmetric systems
Hesse, Michael; Aunai, Nicolas; Kuznetsova, Masha; Zenitani, Seiji; Birn, Joachim
2013-06-15
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 nonvanishing 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.
Aspects of Collisionless Magnetic Reconnection in Asymmetric Systems
NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)
Hesse, Michael; Aunai, Nicolas; Zenitani, 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 nonvanishing 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.
Aspects of Collisionless Magnetic Reconnection in Asymmetric Systems
NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)
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.
Role of Magnetic Diffusion Induced by Turbulent Magnetic Reconnection for Star Formation
NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)
Lazarian, Alex; Santos de Lima, R.; de Gouveia Dal Pino, E.
2010-01-01
The diffusion of astrophysical magnetic fields in conducting fluids in the presence of turbulence depends on whether magnetic fields can change their topology or reconnect in highly conducting media. Recent progress in understanding fast magnetic reconnection in the presence of turbulence is reassuring that the magnetic field behavior in the computer simulations and turbulent astrophysical environments is similar, as far as the magnetic reconnection is concerned. This makes it meaningful to perform MHD simulations of turbulent flows in order to understand the diffusion of magnetic field in astrophysical environments. Our study of magnetic field diffusion reveals important propertie s of the process. First of all, our 3D MHD simulations initiated with anti-correlating magnetic field and gaseous density exhibit at later times a decorrelation of the magnetic field and density, which corresponds well to the observations of the interstellar media. In the presence of gravity, our 3D simulations show the decrease of the flux to mass ratio with density concentration when turbulence is present. We observe this effect both in the situations when we start with the equilibrium distributions of gas and magnetic field and when we start with collapsing dynamically unstable configurations. Thus the process of turbulent magnetic field removal should be applicable both to quasistatic subcritical molecular clouds and cores and violently collapsing supercritical entities. The increase of the gravitational potential as well as the magnetization of the gas increases the segregation of the mass and flux in the saturated final state of simulations, supporting the notion that turbulent diffusivity relaxes the magnetic field + gas system in the gravitational field to its minimal energy state. At the same time, turbulence of high level may get the system unbound making the flux to mass ratio more uniform through the simulation box.
The "Newton Challenge": Properties of Forced Magnetic Reconnection
NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)
Pritchett, P. L.
2005-05-01
Inspired by the observations of thin (ion-scale) current sheets at important magnetospheric boundaries, the study of the properties of thin current sheets has become very popular in recent years. Most of these investigations, however, have ignored the question of how the sheets are formed. Instead, usually a simple Harris-type current sheet is postulated at the outset, and the resulting behavior is then determined. Recently, a collaborative effort, dubbed the "Newton Challenge" and involving J. Birn, K. Galsgaard, M. Hesse, M. Hoshino, J. Huba, G. Lapenta, P.~L. Pritchett, K. Schindler, L. Yin, J. Büchner, T. Neukirch, and E.~R. Priest, was begun to investigate the transition from thicker to thin current sheets that can occur as a result of magnetopause deformations imposed by the solar wind. A standard 2-D model problem in which current sheet thinning was forced by imposing a finite deformation of the field above and below the current sheet was studied by a variety of physical models ranging from resistive MHD to fully kinetic particle models. The aim was to determine whether differences would arise between the fluid and kinetic treatments that might affect the onset of magnetic reconnection. The initial results indicate that full-particle, hybrid, and Hall-MHD models lead to fast reconnection and similar final states despite differences in energy transfer and dissipation. Resistive MHD simulations show reduced reconnection rates that depend on the magnitude of the resistivity. These results will be reviewed, and additional features of forced reconnection, including continuous forcing, open boundaries, the presence of a normal field component, and 3-D effects, will be discussed.
Measurements of Fast Magnetic Reconnection Driven by Relativistic Electrons
NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)
Raymond, Anthony; McKelvey, Andrew; Zulick, Calvin; Chuanfei, Dong; Maksimchuk, Anatoly; Thomas, Alexander; Yanovsky, Victor; Krushelnick, Karl; Willingale, Louise; Chykov, Vladimir; Nilson, Phil; Chen, Hui; Williams, Gerald; Bhattacharjee, Amitava; Fox, Will
2015-11-01
Magnetic reconnection is a process whereby opposing magnetic field lines are forced together and topologically rearrange, resulting in lower magnetic potential energy and in corresponding plasma heating. Such occurrences are ubiquitous in astrophysics as well as appearing in laboratory plasmas such as in ICF in the form of instabilities. We report measurements in the domain of ultra-fast, ultra-intense lasers, in which the mechanism responsible follows from radially expanding surface electrons with v ~ c . Results are compared from two laser facilities (HERCULES and Omega EP), both of which produced two relativistic intensity pulses focused within close proximity onto copper foils. A spherical X-ray crystal was used to image the Kα radiation induced by electron currents, revealing the midplane diffusion region wherein electrons are accelerated into the target by the electric field generated during reconnection. The characteristics of this signal are studied as a function of the focal spot separation, laser energy, and pulse duration. The results are then compared to 3D PIC simulations.
Experimental study of ion heating and acceleration during magnetic reconnection
Hsu, S.C.
2000-01-28
This dissertation reports an experimental study of ion heating and acceleration during magnetic reconnection, which is the annihilation and topological rearrangement of magnetic flux in a conductive plasma. Reconnection is invoked often to explain particle heating and acceleration in both laboratory and naturally occurring plasmas. However, a simultaneous account of reconnection and its associated energy conversion has been elusive due to the extreme inaccessibility of reconnection events, e.g. in the solar corona, the Earth's magnetosphere, or in fusion research plasmas. Experiments for this work were conducted on MRX (Magnetic Reconnection Experiment), which creates a plasma environment allowing the reconnection process to be isolated, reproduced, and diagnosed in detail. Key findings of this work are the identification of local ion heating during magnetic reconnection and the determination that non-classical effects must provide the heating mechanism. Measured ion flows are sub-Alfvenic and can provide only slight viscous heating, and classical ion-electron interactions can be neglected due to the very long energy equipartition time. The plasma resistivity in the reconnection layer is seen to be enhanced over the classical value, and the ion heating is observed to scale with the enhancement factor, suggesting a relationship between the magnetic energy dissipation mechanism and the ion heating mechanism. The observation of non-classical ion heating during reconnection has significant implications for understanding the role played by non-classical dissipation mechanisms in generating fast reconnection. The findings are relevant for many areas of space and laboratory plasma research, a prime example being the currently unsolved problem of solar coronal heating. In the process of performing this work, local measurements of ion temperature and flows in a well-characterized reconnection layer were obtained for the first time in either laboratory or observational
Notes on Magnetohydrodynamics of Magnetic Reconnection in Turbulent Media
NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)
Browning, Philippa; Lazarian, Alex
2013-10-01
Astrophysical fluids have very large Reynolds numbers and therefore turbulence is their natural state. Magnetic reconnection is an important process in many astrophysical plasmas, which allows restructuring of magnetic fields and conversion of stored magnetic energy into heat and kinetic energy. Turbulence is known to dramatically change different transport processes and therefore it is not unexpected that turbulence can alter the dynamics of magnetic field lines within the reconnection process. We shall review the interaction between turbulence and reconnection at different scales, showing how a state of turbulent reconnection is natural in astrophysical plasmas, with implications for a range of phenomena across astrophysics. We consider the process of magnetic reconnection that is fast in magnetohydrodynamic (MHD) limit and discuss how turbulence—both externally driven and generated in the reconnecting system—can make reconnection independent on the microphysical properties of plasmas. We will also show how relaxation theory can be used to calculate the energy dissipated in turbulent reconnecting fields. As well as heating the plasma, the energy dissipated by turbulent reconnection may cause acceleration of non-thermal particles, which is briefly discussed here.
Notes on Magnetohydrodynamics of Magnetic Reconnection in Turbulent Media
NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)
Browning, Philippa; Lazarian, Alex
Astrophysical fluids have very large Reynolds numbers and therefore turbulence is their natural state. Magnetic reconnection is an important process in many astrophysical plasmas, which allows restructuring of magnetic fields and conversion of stored magnetic energy into heat and kinetic energy. Turbulence is known to dramatically change different transport processes and therefore it is not unexpected that turbulence can alter the dynamics of magnetic field lines within the reconnection process. We shall review the interaction between turbulence and reconnection at different scales, showing how a state of turbulent reconnection is natural in astrophysical plasmas, with implications for a range of phenomena across astrophysics. We consider the process of magnetic reconnection that is fast in magnetohydrodynamic (MHD) limit and discuss how turbulence—both externally driven and generated in the reconnecting system—can make reconnection independent on the microphysical properties of plasmas. We will also show how relaxation theory can be used to calculate the energy dissipated in turbulent reconnecting fields. As well as heating the plasma, the energy dissipated by turbulent reconnection may cause acceleration of non-thermal particles, which is briefly discussed here.
Magnetic reconnection in Saturn's magnetotail: A comprehensive magnetic field survey
NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)
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.
Preliminary Results of Laboratory Simulation of Magnetic Reconnection
NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)
Zhang, Shou-Biao; Xie, Jin-Lin; Hu, Guang-Hai; Li, Hong; Huang, Guang-Li; Liu, Wan-Dong
2011-10-01
In the Linear Magnetized Plasma (LMP) device of University of Science and Technology of China and by exerting parallel currents on two parallel copper plates, we have realized the magnetic reconnection in laboratory plasma. With the emissive probes, we have measured the parallel (along the axial direction) electric field in the process of reconnection, and verified the dependence of reconnection current on passing particles. Using the magnetic probe, we have measured the time evolution of magnetic flux, and the measured result shows no pileup of magnetic flux, in consistence with the result of numerical simulation.
On the relationship between quadrupolar magnetic field and collisionless reconnection
Smets, R. Belmont, G.; Aunai, N.; Boniface, C.
2014-06-15
Using hybrid simulations, we investigate the onset of fast reconnection between two cylindrical magnetic shells initially close to each other. This initial state mimics the plasma structure in High Energy Density Plasmas induced by a laser-target interaction and the associated self-generated magnetic field. We clearly observe that the classical quadrupolar structure of the out-of-plane magnetic field appears prior to the reconnection onset. Furthermore, a parametric study reveals that, with a non-coplanar initial magnetic topology, the reconnection onset is delayed and possibly suppressed. The relation between the out-of-plane magnetic field and the out-of-plane electric field is discussed.
Reconnection of vorticity lines and magnetic lines
NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)
Greene, John M.
1993-01-01
Magnetic field and fluid vorticity share many features. First, as divergence-free vector fields they are conveniently visualized in terms of their field lines, curves that are everywhere tangent to the field. The lines indicate direction and their density indicates field strength. The question arises of the extent to which the evolution of the fields can be treated in terms of the evolution of their field lines. Newcomb (1958) derived the general conditions on the evolution of vector fields that permit the identification of field lines from one instant to the next. The equations of evolution of the vorticity field and the magnetic field fall within Newcomb's analysis. The dynamics of the flows differ between these two systems, so that geometrically similar phenomena happen in different ways in the two systems. In this paper the geometrical similarities are emphasized. Reconnection will be defined here as evolution in which it is not possible to preserve the global identification of some field lines. There is a close relation between reconnection and the topology of the vector field lines. Nontrivial topology occurs where the field has null points or there are field lines that are closed loops.
Magnetic reconnection in the presence of externally driven and self-generated turbulence
Karimabadi, H.; Lazarian, A.
2013-11-15
Magnetic reconnection is an important process that violates flux freezing and induces change of magnetic field topology in conducting fluids and, as a consequence, converts magnetic field energy into particle energy. It is thought to be operative in laboratory, heliophysical, and astrophysical plasmas. These environments exhibit wide variations in collisionality, ranging from collisionless in the Earth's magnetosphere to highly collisional in molecular clouds. A common feature among these plasmas is, however, the presence of turbulence. We review the present understanding of the effects of turbulence on the reconnection rate, discussing both how strong pre-existing turbulence modifies Sweet-Parker reconnection and how turbulence may develop as a result of reconnection itself. In steady state, reconnection rate is proportional to the aspect ratio of the diffusion region. Thus, two general MHD classes of models for fast reconnection have been proposed, differing on whether they keep the aspect ratio finite by increasing the width due to turbulent broadening or shortening the length of the diffusion layer due to plasmoid instability. One of the consequences of the plasmoid instability model is the possibility that the current sheet thins down to collisionless scales where kinetic effects become dominant. As a result, kinetic effects may be of importance for many astrophysical applications which were considered to be in the realm of MHD. Whether pre-existing turbulence can significantly modify the transition to the kinetic regime is not currently known. Although most studies of turbulent reconnection have been based on MHD, recent advances in kinetic simulations are enabling 3D studies of turbulence and reconnection in the collisionless regime. A summary of these recent works, highlighting similarities and differences with the MHD models of turbulent reconnection, as well as comparison with in situ observations in the magnetosphere and in the solar wind, are presented
High power heating of magnetic reconnection in merging tokamak experimentsa)
NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)
Ono, Y.; Tanabe, H.; Yamada, T.; Gi, K.; Watanabe, T.; , T., Ii; Gryaznevich, M.; Scannell, R.; Conway, N.; Crowley, B.; Michael, C.
2015-05-01
Significant ion/electron heating of magnetic reconnection up to 1.2 keV was documented in two spherical tokamak plasma merging experiment on MAST with the significantly large Reynolds number R˜105. Measured 1D/2D contours of ion and electron temperatures reveal clearly energy-conversion mechanisms of magnetic reconnection: huge outflow heating of ions in the downstream and localized heating of electrons at the X-point. Ions are accelerated up to the order of poloidal Alfven speed in the reconnection outflow region and are thermalized by fast shock-like density pileups formed in the downstreams, in agreement with recent solar satellite observations and PIC simulation results. The magnetic reconnection efficiently converts the reconnecting (poloidal) magnetic energy mostly into ion thermal energy through the outflow, causing the reconnection heating energy proportional to square of the reconnecting (poloidal) magnetic field Brec2 ˜ Bp2. The guide toroidal field Bt does not affect the bulk heating of ions and electrons, probably because the reconnection/outflow speeds are determined mostly by the external driven inflow by the help of another fast reconnection mechanism: intermittent sheet ejection. The localized electron heating at the X-point increases sharply with the guide toroidal field Bt, probably because the toroidal field increases electron confinement and acceleration length along the X-line. 2D measurements of magnetic field and temperatures in the TS-3 tokamak merging experiment also reveal the detailed reconnection heating mechanisms mentioned above. The high-power heating of tokamak merging is useful not only for laboratory study of reconnection but also for economical startup and heating of tokamak plasmas. The MAST/TS-3 tokamak merging with Bp > 0.4 T will enables us to heat the plasma to the alpha heating regime: Ti > 5 keV without using any additional heating facility.
Extended magnetic reconnection across the dayside magnetopause.
Dunlop, M W; Zhang, Q-H; Bogdanova, Y V; Lockwood, M; Pu, Z; Hasegawa, H; Wang, J; Taylor, M G G T; Berchem, J; Lavraud, 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
2011-07-01
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. PMID:21797615
Extended Magnetic Reconnection Across the Dayside Magnetopause
NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)
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.
NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)
Hones, E. W., Jr. (Editor)
1984-01-01
The physics of magnetic reconnection is discussed in reviews and reports of theoretical and experimental investigations. Topics examined include the theory of magnetic reconnection, reconnection in astronomical objects, reconnection in the earth magnetosphere and magnetotail, computer modeling, and laboratory plasmas. Diagrams, spectra, drawings, graphs, and photographs are provided.
Electron acceleration in three-dimensional magnetic reconnection with a guide field
Dahlin, J. T. Swisdak, M.; Drake, J. F.
2015-10-15
Kinetic simulations of 3D collisionless magnetic reconnection with a guide field show a dramatic enhancement of energetic electron production when compared with 2D systems. In the 2D systems, electrons are trapped in magnetic islands that limit their energy gain, whereas in the 3D systems the filamentation of the current layer leads to a stochastic magnetic field that enables the electrons to access volume-filling acceleration regions. The dominant accelerator of the most energetic electrons is a Fermi-like mechanism associated with reflection of charged particles from contracting field lines.
Boosting magnetic reconnection by viscosity and thermal conduction
NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)
Minoshima, Takashi; Miyoshi, Takahiro; Imada, Shinsuke
2016-07-01
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 P r m > 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 P r m > 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.
Enhanced magnetic reconnection in the presence of pressure gradients
Pueschel, M. J.; Terry, P. W.; Told, D.; Jenko, F.
2015-06-15
Magnetic reconnection in the presence of background pressure gradients is studied, with special attention to parallel (compressional) magnetic fluctuations. A process is reported that reconnects fields through coupling of drift-wave-type instabilities with current sheets. Its time scale is set not by the reconnecting field but by inhomogeneities of the background density or temperature. The observed features can be attributed to a pressure-gradient-driven linear instability which interacts with the reconnecting system but is fundamentally different from microtearing. In particular, this mode relies on parallel magnetic fluctuations and the associated drift. For turbulent reconnection, similar or even stronger enhancements are reported. In the solar corona, this yields a critical pressure gradient scale length of about 200 km below which this new process becomes dominant over the tearing instability.
The role of Magnetic Reconnection in flares and prominence eruptions
NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)
Forbes, T. G.
1990-01-01
Magnetic Reconnection is often invoked as the primary mechanism for driving a flare or a prominence eruption. This paper argues that a catastrophic loss of mechanical equilibrium, rather than reconnection, is probably the primary mechanism for driving these phenomena. However, reconnection is still essential in order for any significant amount of energy to be released. To illustrate this idea, some recent results are presented from an MHD simulation based on a catastrophe mechanism first proposed by Van Tend and Kuperus. In order for this mechanism to be effective, a substantial amount of reconnection must occur within a few Alfven-scale times. Such rapid reconnection is plausible since the loss of mechanical equilibrium can generate flows which drive the reconnection at a rapid rate.
Plasma Compression in Magnetic Reconnection Regions in the Solar Corona
NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)
Provornikova, E.; Laming, J. M.; Lukin, V. S.
2016-07-01
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 the 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 the solar corona. Numerical simulations show that strong plasma compressions (≥4) in the reconnection regions can form when the plasma heating due to reconnection is efficiently removed by fast thermal conduction or the radiative cooling process. The radiative cooling process that is negligible in the typical 1 MK corona can play an important role in the low corona/transition region. It is found that plasma compression is expected to be strongest in low-beta plasma β ˜ 0.01–0.07 at reconnection magnetic nulls.
3-D magnetic field calculations for wiggglers using MAGNUS-3D
Pissanetzky, S.; Tompkins, P.
1988-01-01
The recent but steady trend toward increased magnetic and geometric complexity in the design of wigglers and undulators, of which tapered wigglers, hybrid structures, laced electromagnetic wigglers, magnetic cladding, twisters and magic structures are examples, has caused a need for reliable 3-D computer models and a better understanding of the behavior of magnetic systems in three dimensions. The capabilities of the MAGNUS-3D Group of Programs are ideally suited to solve this class of problems and provide insight into 3-D effects. MAGNUS-3D can solve any problem of Magnetostatics involving permanent magnets, linear or nonlinear ferromagnetic materials and electric conductors of any shape in space. The magnetic properties of permanent magnets are described by the complete nonlinear demagnetization curve as provided by the manufacturer, or, at the user's choice, by a simpler approximation involving the coercive force, the residual induction and the direction of magnetization. The ferromagnetic materials are described by a magnetization table and an accurate interpolation relation. An internal library with properties of common industrial steels is available. The conductors are independent of the mesh and are described in terms of conductor elements from an internal library.
Electron-scale measurements of magnetic reconnection in space.
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
2016-06-01
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. PMID:27174677
Studies of Magnetic Reconnection in Colliding Laser-Produced Plasmas
NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)
Rosenberg, Michael
2013-10-01
Novel images of magnetic fields and measurements of electron and ion temperatures have been obtained in the magnetic reconnection region of high- β, laser-produced plasmas. Experiments using laser-irradiated foils produce expanding, hemispherical plasma plumes carrying MG Biermann-battery magnetic fields, which can be driven to interact and reconnect. Thomson-scattering measurements of electron and ion temperatures in the interaction region of two colliding, magnetized plasmas show no thermal enhancement due to reconnection, as expected for β ~ 8 plasmas. Two different proton radiography techniques used to image the magnetic field structures show deformation, pileup, and annihilation of magnetic flux. High-resolution images reveal unambiguously reconnection-induced jets emerging from the interaction region and show instabilities in the expanding plasma plumes and supersonic, hydrodynamic jets due to the plasma collision. Quantitative magnetic flux data show that reconnection in experiments with asymmetry in the scale size, density, temperature, and plasma flow across the reconnection region occurs less efficiently than in similar, symmetric experiments. This result is attributed to disruption of the Hall mechanism mediating collisionless reconnection. The collision of plasmas carrying parallel magnetic fields has also been probed, illustrating the deformation of magnetic field structures in high-energy-density plasmas in the absence of reconnection. These experiments are particularly relevant to high- β reconnection environments, such as the magnetopause. This work was performed in collaboration with C. Li, F. Séguin, A. Zylstra, H. Rinderknecht, H. Sio, J. Frenje, and R. Petrasso (MIT), I. Igumenshchev, V. Glebov, C. Stoeckl, and D. Froula (LLE), J. Ross and R. Town (LLNL), W. Fox (UNH), and A. Nikroo (GA), and was supported in part by the NLUF, FSC/UR, U.S. DOE, LLNL, and LLE.
Preliminary Experimental Result of Magnetic Reconnection in Laboratory Plasma
NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)
Zhang, S. B.; Xie, J. L.; Hu, G. H.; Li, H.; Huang, G. L.; Liu, W. D.
2011-05-01
Magnetic reconnection is one of the most important physical processes in astrophysical plasmas. Lots of theoretical works, numerical simulations and observations have been done. Some experimental programs have been activated to investigate the basic mechanisms of magnetic reconnection. In order to investigate the electron dynamic near the electron diffusion region in magnetic reconnection process, an upgrade is accomplished in the LMP (Linear magnetic plasmas) device at University of Science and Technology of China. The magnetic field of reconnection is produced by passing two identical currents axially through two copper plates. Magnetic field and parallel electric field are measured by magnetic probes and emissive probes, respectively. The existence of a large electric field related to the reconnection process is verified. The plasma is driven by electric field and magnetic field, so the magnetic reconnection appears. The magnitude of axial current is found to scale with the number of passing particles. In the configuration of current bars, passing particles are even more and our measured axial current is about 10 A. Magnetic flux doesn't pile up because of the parameter region in our case, which is consistent with the result of numerical simulation.
NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)
Beidler, Matthew; Cassak, Paul; Jardin, Stephen; Ferraro, Nathaniel
2015-11-01
The sawtooth crash in tokamaks limits the core temperature, harms confinement, and seeds disruptions. A predictive capability of its ramifications has been elusive. Extended-MHD physics is needed to properly analyze the magnetic reconnection that occurs during the crash phase, but it has only recently been integrated into codes using a toroidal geometry. In this study, we employ the three-dimensional toroidal, extended-MHD code M3D-C1 to study reconnection during the sawtooth crash. We study the nonlinear evolution of a test equilibrium in a non-reduced field representation for resistive-MHD and the two-fluid model. We find that the toroidal mode growth rates for the two-fluid reconnection process exhibit a nonlinear acceleration and greatly exceed that of a similar resistive MHD model, more closely in line with experimental results. Furthermore, by sampling the two-fluid simulation data in the plane perpendicular to the helical (m,n) =(1,1) mode, we present the first observation of the quadrupole out-of-plane magnetic field appearing during sawtooth reconnection with the Hall term. We also explore how reconnection as viewed in the helically perpendicular plane varies toroidally, which affects the symmetry of the reconnection geometry and the local diamagnetic effects.
Optimal magnetic susceptibility matching in 3D.
Jia, Feng; Kumar, Rajesh; Korvink, Jan G
2013-04-01
When an object is inserted into the strong homogeneous magnetic field of a magnetic resonance magnet, its intrinsic relative susceptibility can cause unwanted local magnetic field inhomogeneities in the space surrounding the object. As is known, this effect can be partially countered by selectively adding material layers with opposing sign in susceptibility to the part. The determination of an optimal magnetic susceptibility distribution is an inverse problem, in which the susceptibility-induced inhomogeneity of the magnetic field inside a region of interest is reduced by redistributing the placement of materials in the design domain. This article proposes an efficient numerical topology optimization method for obtaining an optimal magnetic susceptibility distribution, in particular, for which the induced spatial magnetic field inhomogeneity is minimized. Using a material density function as a design variable, the value of the magnetic field inside a computational domain is determined using a finite element method. The first-order sensitivity of the objective function is calculated using an adjoint equation method. Numerical examples on a variety of design domain geometries illustrate the effectiveness of the optimization method. The method is of specific interest for the design of interventional magnetic resonance devices. It is a particularly useful method if passive shimming of magnetic resonance equipment is aimed for. PMID:22576319
Energetics of the magnetic reconnection in laboratory and space plasmas
NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)
Yamada, Masaaki
2014-10-01
The essential feature of magnetic reconnection is that it energizes plasma particles by converting magnetic energy to particle energy. This talk addresses this key unresolved question; how is magnetic energy converted to plasma kinetic energy during reconnection? Our recent study on MRX demonstrates that more than half of the incoming magnetic energy is converted to particle energy at a remarkably fast speed (~ 0.2VA) in the reconnection layer. A question arises as to whether the present results should be applied to magnetic reconnection phenomena in the space astrophysical plasmas. In a reconnection region of effectively similar size in the Earth's magnetotail, the energy partition was carefully measured during multiple passages of the Cluster satellites. The half length of the tail reconnection layer (L) was estimated to be 2000-4000 km namely 3-6 di, (ion skin depth); the scale length of this measurement is very similar to the MRX case, L ~ 3di. Reconnection in the magneto-tail is driven by an external force, i.e., the solar wind, and the boundary conditions are very similar to the MRX setup. The observed energy partition is notably similar, namely, more than 50% of the magnetic energy flux is converted to the particle energy flux, which is dominated by the ion enthalpy flux, with smaller contributions from the electron enthalpy and heat flux. A broad implication will be discussed. Supported by DoE, NASA, NSF.
A hybrid simulation study of magnetic reconnection in anisotropic plasmas
NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)
Guo, Jun; Li, Yi; Lu, Quan-ming; Wang, Shui
2003-10-01
The process of magnetic reconnection in anisotropic plasmas is studied numerically using a 2-dimensional, 3-component hybrid simulation. The results of the calculation show that, when the plasma pressure in the direction perpendicular to magnetic field is larger than that in the parallel direction (e.g. P ⊥/P ‖ = 1.5 ), instability may greatly increase, speeding up the rate of reconnection. When P⊥ is smaller than P‖, (e.g., when P ⊥/P ‖ = 0.6 ), fire hose instability appears, which will restrain the tearing mode instability and the process of magnetic reconnection.
Instabilities and Magnetic Reconnection near the Heliopause
NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)
Pogorelov, N. V.; Kryukov, I.; Borovikov, S.; Heerikhuisen, J.
2014-12-01
Recent observations from the Voyager 1 spacecraft show that it is sampling the local interstellar medium (LISM). This is quite surprising because standard steady-state and time-dependent models of the solar wind (SW) interaction with the LISM cannot give the heliopause position at about 120 AU without unrealistic assumptions about the LISM properties. This includes such models that assume a strong redistribution of the ion energy to the tails in the pickup ion distribution function. We investigate the heliopause (HP) stability with increased spatial resolution to reveal the details of the coupling between the heliospheric and interstellar magnetic fields (HMF and ISMF) at the heliospheric interface. In particular, this resolution makes it possible to perform a detailed comparison with Voyager observations. We also analyze magnetic field simulation results to identify the areas of possible magnetic reconnection between the HMF and ISMF lines. The Rayleigh-Taylor instability is considerably suppressed near the HP nose by the heliospheric magnetic field in steady-state models, but reveals itself in the presence of solar cycle effects. We argue that Voyager 1 may have penetrated into the LISM through such instability region. We also compare numerical simulations with the LISM properties taken from either Ulysses or IBEX observations.
MESSENGER observations of magnetic reconnection in Mercury's magnetosphere.
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. PMID:19407194
Magnetically controllable 3D microtissues based on magnetic microcryogels.
Liu, Wei; Li, Yaqian; Feng, Siyu; Ning, Jia; Wang, Jingyu; Gou, Maling; Chen, Huijun; Xu, Feng; Du, Yanan
2014-08-01
Microtissues on the scale of several hundred microns are a promising cell culture configuration resembling the functional tissue units in vivo. In contrast to conventional cell culture, handling of microtissues poses new challenges such as medium exchange, purification and maintenance of the microtissue integrity. Here, we developed magnetic microcryogels to assist microtissue formation with enhanced controllability and robustness. The magnetic microcryogels were fabricated on-chip by cryogelation and micro-molding which could endure extensive external forces such as fluidic shear stress during pipetting and syringe injection. The magnetically controllable microtissues were applied to constitute a novel separable 3D co-culture system realizing functional enhancement of the hepatic microtissues co-cultured with the stromal microtissues and easy purification of the hepatic microtissues for downstream drug testing. The magnetically controllable microtissues with pre-defined shapes were also applied as building blocks to accelerate the tissue assembly process under magnetic force for bottom-up tissue engineering. Finally, the magnetic microcryogels could be injected in vivo as cell delivery vehicles and tracked by MRI. The injectable magnetic microtissues maintained viability at the injection site indicating good retention and potential applications for cell therapy. The magnetic microcryogels are expected to significantly promote the microtissues as a promising cellular configuration for cell-based applications such as in drug testing, tissue engineering and regenerative therapy. PMID:24736804
Magnetic reconnection and Kelvin-Helmholtz instabilities at the Earth's magnetopause
NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)
Faganello, M.; Califano, F.; Pegoraro, F.; Andreussi, T.; Benkadda, S.
2012-12-01
Kelvin-Helmholtz instability (KHI), driven by the velocity inhomogeneity at Earth's magnetopause, has been shown to play a major role in mixing the magnetospheric and the solar wind plasma during northward periods. In fact, when the magnetospheric and interplanetary magnetic fields are mostly perpendicular to the equatorial plane, KHI can develop at a low latitude without being significantly inhibited by the magnetic tension. In contrast, at a high latitude, the more complex magnetic configuration is believed to totally stabilize the instability. This intrinsic 3D dynamics is investigated in a simplified geometry showing that KHI is able to kink the magnetic field lines at a mid-latitude and to create current layers where magnetic reconnection spontaneously develops. It is shown that a mid-latitude reconnection is able to change the global topology of the magnetic field and to connect interplanetary field lines to the Earth's cups, allowing the solar wind to directly enter the magnetosphere.
Small-Scale Magnetic Reconnection at Equatorial Coronal Hole Boundaries
NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)
Lamb, Derek; DeForest, C. E.
2011-05-01
Coronal holes have long been known to be the source of the fast solar wind at both high and low latitudes. The equatorial extensions of polar coronal holes have long been assumed to have substantial magnetic reconnection at their boundaries, because they rotate more rigidly than the underlying photosphere. However, evidence for this reconnection has been sparse until very recently. We present some evidence that reconnection due to the evolution of small-scale magnetic fields may be sufficient to drive coronal hole boundary evolution. We hypothesize that a bias in the direction of that reconnection is sufficient to give equatorial coronal holes their rigid rotation. We discuss the prospects for investigating this using FLUX, a reconnection-controlled coronal MHD simulation framework. This work was funded by the NASA SHP-GI program.
Cross-Scale Observational Signatures of Magnetic Reconnection
NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)
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.
Fast magnetic reconnection in three-dimensional magnetohydrodynamics simulations
Pang Bijia; Pen, U.-L.; Vishniac, Ethan T.
2010-10-15
A constructive numerical example of fast magnetic reconnection in a three-dimensional periodic box is presented. Reconnection is initiated by a strong, localized perturbation to the field lines. The solution is intrinsically three-dimensional and its gross properties do not depend on the details of the simulations. {approx}30% of the magnetic energy is released in an event which lasts about one Alfven time, but only after a delay during which the field lines evolve into a critical configuration. The physical picture of the process is presented. The reconnection regions are dynamical and mutually interacting. In the comoving frame of these regions, reconnection occurs through a x-like point, analogous to Petschek reconnection. The dynamics appear to be driven by global flows, not local processes.
Connection between Magnetic Topology, Mixing and the Reconnection Rate in Asymmetric Layers
NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)
Daughton, W. S.; Nakamura, T.; Roytershteyn, V.; Karimabadi, H.; Hesse, M.; Loring, B.
2013-12-01
The entry of solar wind plasma into the magnetosphere occurs in thin boundary layers, which are typically asymmetric and have large magnetic and/or velocity shear across them. Magnetic reconnection is the dominant entry mechanism, but in regions with strong nearly perpendicular velocity shear, the Kelvin-Helmholtz instability dominates and can lead to vortex induced reconnection [1]. In both of these limits, recent fully kinetic simulations feature the development of 3D turbulence, characterized by electron-scale current sheets and interacting magnetic flux ropes. The 3D magnetic field, characterized by the Lyapunov exponent, reveals a chaotic structure within the reconnection layer in which neighboring field lines undergo rapid separation. In the presence of this complex 3D dynamics, defining and accurately computing the time evolving reconnection rate is a major challenge. One of the leading theoretical ideas [2] for computing the rate is based on integrating the parallel electric field. However, applying this approach is complicated by the chaotic magnetic field, which can lead to different answers on closely neighboring field lines. Furthermore, it is difficult to cleanly identify a transition back into an ideal region where the integration can be terminated. Here we explore a new approach that exploits the connection between the magnetic topology and the mixing of electrons that originate from separate sides of the asymmetric current layer. This idea is motivated by a clear correlation between the Lyapunov exponent for the magnetic field and the boundaries between mixed and unmixed regions. This correlation implies that mixing is a good proxy for quickly identifying 3D surfaces separating different topologies, and thus accurately measuring the time changing flux between topologies. The 3D reconnection rate obtained from this approach is contrasted with corresponding 2D simulations in the limits of both weak and strong velocity shear. [1] T.K.M Nakamura et al
Three-Dimensional Magnetic Field Line Reconnection involving Magnetic Flux Ropes (Invited)
NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)
Gekelman, W. N.; van Compernolle, B.; Lawrence, E.; Vincena, S. T.
2010-12-01
We report on two experiments in which three dimensional magnetic field line reconnection plays a role. Magnetic field line reconnection is a processes in which the magnetic field energy is converted to particle energy and heating accompanied by changes in the magnetic topology. In the first experiment two magnetic flux ropes are generated from initially adjacent pulsed current channels in a background magnetoplasma in the LAPD device at UCLA. The currents exert mutual jXB forces causing them to twist about each other and merge. The currents are not static but move towards or away from each other in time. In addition the currents are observed to filament after merging. Volumetric space-time data show multiple reconnection sites with time-dependent locations. The quasi-separatrix layer (QSL) is a narrow region between the flux ropes. Two field lines on either side of the QSL will have closely spaced foot-points at on end of the flux ropes, but a very different separation at the other end. Outside the QSL, neighboring field lines do not diverge. The QSL has been measured, for the first time in this experiment [1] and its three dimensional development will be shown in movies made from the data. A system involving the reconnection of three flux ropes will also be presented. Three flux ropes are generated by drawing currents through apertures in a carbon shield located in front of a 10 cm diameter cathode immersed in the background magnetoplasma. The currents are observed to twist about themselves, writhe about each other and thrash about due to kink the kink instability. Multiple reconnection regions (which are three dimensional) and a complex QSL are observed. The magnetic helicity is evaluated from volumetric data in both cases and its rate of change is used to estimate the plasma resistivity. These measurements lead one to suspect that magnetic field line reconnection is not an independent topic, which can be studied in isolation, but part of the phenomena associated
Magnetic reconnection physics in the solar wind with Voyager 2
NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)
Stevens, Michael L.
2009-08-01
Magnetic reconnection is the process by which the magnetic topology evolves in collisionless plasmas. This phenomenon is fundamental to a broad range of astrophysical processes such as stellar flares, magnetospheric substorms, and plasma accretion, yet it is poorly understood and difficult to observe in situ . In this thesis, the solar wind plasma permeating interplanetary space is treated as a laboratory for reconnection physics. I present an exhaustive statistical approach to the identification of reconnection outflow jets in turbulent plasma and magnetic field time series data. This approach has been automated and characterized so that the resulting reconnection survey can be put in context with other related studies. The algorithm is shown to perform similarly to ad hoc studies in the inner heliosphere. Based on this technique, I present a survey of 138 outflow jets for the Voyager 2 spacecraft mission, including the most distant in situ evidence of reconnection discovered to date. Reconnection in the solar wind is shown to be strongly correlated with stream interactions and with solar activity. The solar wind magnetic field is found to be reconnecting via large, quasi-steady slow- mode magnetohydrodynamic structures as far out as the orbit of Neptune. The role of slow-mode shocks is explored and, in one instance, a well-developed reconnection structure is shown to be in good agreement with the Petschek theory for fast reconnection. This is the first reported example of a reconnection exhaust that satisfies the full jump conditions for a stationary slow-mode shock pair. A complete investigation into corotating stream interactions over the Voyager 2 mission has revealed that detectable reconnection structure occurs in about 23% of forced, global-scale current sheets. Contrary to previous studies, I find that signatures of this kind are most likely to be observed for current sheets where the magnetic field shear and the plasma-b are high. Evidence has been found
MAGNUS-3D: Accelerator magnet calculations in 3-dimensions
NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)
Pissanetzky, S.
1988-12-01
MAGNUS-3D is a professional finite element code for nonlinear magnetic engineering. MAGNUS-3D can solve numerically any general problem of linear or nonlinear magnetostatics in three dimensions. The problem is formulated in a domain with Dirichlet, Neumann or periodic boundary conditions, that can contain any combination of conductors of any shape in space, nonlinear magnetic materials with magnetic properties specified by magnetization tables, and nonlinear permanent magnets with any given demagnetization curve. MAGNUS-3D uses the two-scalar-potentials formulation of Magnetostatics and the finite element method, has an automatic 3D mesh generator, and advanced post-processing features that include graphics on a variety of supported devices, tabulation, and calculation of design quantities required in Magnetic Engineering. MAGNUS-3D is a general purpose 3D code, but it has been extensively used for accelerator work and many special features required for accelerator engineering have been incorporated into the code. One of such features is the calculation of field harmonic coefficients averaged in the direction of the beam, so important for the design of magnet ends. Another feature is its ability to calculate line integrals of any field component along the direction of the beam, or plot the field as a function of the z coordinate. MAGNUS-3D has found applications to the design of accelerator magnets and spectrometers, steering magnets, wigglers and undulators for free electron lasers, microtrons and magnets for synchrotron light sources, as well as magnets for NMR and medical applications, recording heads and various magnetic devices. There are three more programs closely associated with MAGNUS-3D. MAGNUS-GKS is the graphical postprocessor for the package; it supports a numer of output devices, including color vector or bit map devices. WIRE is an independent program that can calculate the field produced by any configuration of electric conductors in space, at any
A generalized flux function for three-dimensional magnetic reconnection
Yeates, A. R.; Hornig, G.
2011-10-15
The definition and measurement of magnetic reconnection in three-dimensional magnetic fields with multiple reconnection sites is a challenging problem, particularly in fields lacking null points. We propose a generalization of the familiar two-dimensional concept of a magnetic flux function to the case of a three-dimensional field connecting two planar boundaries. In this initial analysis, we require the normal magnetic field to have the same distribution on both boundaries. Using hyperbolic fixed points of the field line mapping, and their global stable and unstable manifolds, we define a unique flux partition of the magnetic field. This partition is more complicated than the corresponding (well-known) construction in a two-dimensional field, owing to the possibility of heteroclinic points and chaotic magnetic regions. Nevertheless, we show how the partition reconnection rate is readily measured with the generalized flux function. We relate our partition reconnection rate to the common definition of three-dimensional reconnection in terms of integrated parallel electric field. An analytical example demonstrates the theory and shows how the flux partition responds to an isolated reconnection event.
Study of driven magnetic reconnection in a laboratory plasma
Yamada, Masaaki; Ji, H.; Hsu, S.; Carter, T.; Kulsrud, R.; Bretz, N.; Jobes, F.; Ono, Yasushi; Perkins, F.
1998-12-31
The Magnetic Reconnection Experiment (MRX) has been constructed to investigate the fundamental physics of magnetic reconnection in a well controlled laboratory setting. This device creates an environment satisfying the criteria for a magnetohydrodynamic (MHD) plasma (S {much_gt} 1, {rho}{sub i} {much_lt} L). The boundary conditions can be controlled externally, and experiments with fully three-dimensional reconnection are now possible. In the initial experiments, the effects of the third vector component of reconnecting fields have been studied. Two distinctively different shapes of neutral sheet current layers, depending on the third component, are identified during driven magnetic reconnection. Without the third component (anti-parallel or null-helicity reconnection), a thin double-Y shaped diffusion region is identified. A neutral sheet current profile is measured accurately to be as narrow as order ion gyro-radius. In the presence of an appreciable third component (co-helicity reconnection), an O-shaped diffusion region appears and grows into a spheromak configuration.
Fast collisionless reconnection and electron heating in strongly magnetized plasmas.
Loureiro, N F; Schekochihin, A A; Zocco, A
2013-07-12
Magnetic reconnection in strongly magnetized (low-beta), weakly collisional plasmas is investigated by using a novel fluid-kinetic model [Zocco and Schekochihin, Phys. Plasmas 18, 102309 (2011)] which retains nonisothermal electron kinetics. It is shown that electron heating via Landau damping (linear phase mixing) is the dominant dissipation mechanism. In time, electron heating occurs after the peak of the reconnection rate; in space, it is concentrated along the separatrices of the magnetic island. For sufficiently large systems, the peak reconnection rate is cE(∥)(max) ≈ 0.2v(A)B(y,0), where v(A) is the Alfvén speed based on the reconnecting field B(y,0). The island saturation width is the same as in magnetohydrodynamics models except for small systems, when it becomes comparable to the kinetic scales. PMID:23889411
Properties of GRB light curves from magnetic reconnection
NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)
Beniamini, Paz; Granot, Jonathan
2016-07-01
The energy dissipation mechanism within gamma-ray burst (GRB) outflows, driving their extremely luminous prompt γ-ray emission is still uncertain. The leading candidates are internal shocks and magnetic reconnection. While the emission from internal shocks has been extensively studied, that from reconnection still has few quantitative predictions. We study the expected prompt-GRB emission from magnetic reconnection and compare its temporal and spectral properties to observations. The main difference from internal shocks is that for reconnection one expects relativistic bulk motions with Lorentz factors Γ'≳ a few in the jet's bulk frame. We consider such motions of the emitting material in two antiparallel directions (e.g. of the reconnecting magnetic-field lines) within an ultrarelativistic (with Γ ≫ 1) thin spherical reconnection layer. The emission's relativistic beaming in the jet's frame greatly affects the light curves. For emission at radii R0 < R < R0 + ΔR (with Γ = const), the observed pulse width is ΔT ˜ (R0/2cΓ2) max (1/Γ', ΔR/R0), i.e. up to ˜Γ' times shorter than for isotropic emission in the jet's frame. We consider two possible magnetic reconnection modes: a quasi-steady state with continuous plasma flow into and out of the reconnection layer, and sporadic reconnection in relativistic turbulence that produces relativistic plasmoids. Both of these modes can account for many observed prompt-GRB properties: variability, pulse asymmetry, the very rapid declines at their end and pulse evolutions that are either hard to soft (for Γ' ≲ 2) or intensity tracking (for Γ' > 2). However, the relativistic turbulence mode is more likely to be relevant for the prompt sub-MeV emission and can naturally account also for the peak luminosity - peak frequency correlation.
The Role of Magnetic Reconnection in Solar Activity
NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)
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.
Plasma Resonance Surfaces in the Magnetic Field Reconnection and Radio Fine Structures
NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)
Karlický, Marian
2003-02-01
Using a 2-D MHD model, the magnetic field reconnection in the current sheet and corresponding plasma resonance lines (surfaces in 3-D), where the upper-hybrid frequency equals one of harmonics of the electron gyrofrequency, ωUH=(ωpe2+ωBe2)1/2=sωBe (ωUH, ωpe, and ωBe are the upper hybrid, electron plasma, and cyclotron frequencies, respectively, and s is the integer harmonic number) are computed. Then at selected times and positions in the magnetic reconnection the spatial and time spectra of upper hybrid frequencies along the resonance lines are calculated. These spectra are discussed from the point of view of radio fine structures as narrowband dm-spikes, zebras, and lace bursts. It is shown that not only turbulent plasma outflows, suggested in the paper by Bárta and Karlický (2001), but also perturbed zones near the reconnection slow-mode shocks can be locations of the narrowband dm-spikes (and/or continua). Sources of the lace bursts (i.e. bursts with irregular lines) can be located in the reconnection space, too. On the other hand, the zebras (bursts with regular separations of zebra lines) need to be generated out of strongly perturbed reconnection areas.
Conversion of magnetic energy in the magnetic reconnection layer of a laboratory plasma.
Yamada, Masaaki; Yoo, Jongsoo; Jara-Almonte, Jonathan; Ji, Hantao; Kulsrud, Russell M; Myers, Clayton E
2014-01-01
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. PMID:25205135
Conversion of magnetic energy in the magnetic reconnection layer of a laboratory plasma
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 toward resolving one of the most important problems in plasma physics.
Conversion of magnetic energy in the magnetic reconnection layer of a laboratory plasma
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 timemore » 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 toward resolving one of the most important problems in plasma physics.« less
Torsional magnetic reconnection at three dimensional null points: A phenomenological study
Wyper, Peter; Jain, Rekha
2010-09-15
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.
A new magnetic reconnection paradigm: Stochastic plasmoid chains
NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)
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.
Magnetic reconnection in turbulence: from Cluster to MMS and beyond
NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)
Retino, Alessandro; Sundkvist, David; Matthaeus, William; Vaivads, Andris; Califano, Francesco; Khotyaintsev, Yuri; LeContel, Olivier; Sorriso-valvo, Luca; Chasapis, Alexandros; Lavraud, Benoit; Valentini, Francesco; Servidio, Sergio; Rossi, Claudia; Camporeale, Enrico
2016-07-01
Magnetic reconnection is a universal energy dissipation mechanism occurring in space and astrophysical magnetized plasmas. Such plasmas are frequently in a turbulent state, raising the fundamental question of the role reconnection for energy dissipation in turbulence. Understanding reconnection in turbulence is of pivotal importance to explain phenomena such as particle acceleration in stellar atmospheres, the heating of interplanetary and interstellar media as well as particle energization in accretion disks and cosmic rays acceleration. Many numerical simulations support the role of reconnection for efficiently dissipate turbulent energy and heat and accelerated particles. Such simulations indicate that reconnection occurs in small-scale current sheets spontaneously forming within the turbulence. Yet experimental evidence of reconnection in turbulence has been provided only recently thanks to high resolution in situ measurements by modern spacecraft. Here we present ESA/Cluster and more recent NASA/MMS observations in near-Earth space showing evidence of reconnection in turbulence and its importance for energy dissipation and particle energization. We also discuss implications for upcoming spacecraft missions such as Solar Orbiter and Solar Probe Plus, as well as for missions currently under study pahse such as ESA/THOR.
Kinetic Vlasov simulations of collisionless magnetic reconnection
Schmitz, H.; Grauer, R.
2006-09-15
A fully kinetic Vlasov simulation of the Geospace Environment Modeling Magnetic Reconnection Challenge is presented. Good agreement is found with previous kinetic simulations using particle in cell (PIC) codes, confirming both the PIC and the Vlasov code. In the latter the complete distribution functions f{sub k} (k=i,e) are discretized on a numerical grid in phase space. In contrast to PIC simulations, the Vlasov code does not suffer from numerical noise and allows a more detailed investigation of the distribution functions. The role of the different contributions of Ohm's law are compared by calculating each of the terms from the moments of the f{sub k}. The important role of the off-diagonal elements of the electron pressure tensor could be confirmed. The inductive electric field at the X line is found to be dominated by the nongyrotropic electron pressure, while the bulk electron inertia is of minor importance. Detailed analysis of the electron distribution function within the diffusion region reveals the kinetic origin of the nongyrotropic terms.
The Role of Compressibility in Energy Release by Magnetic Reconnection
NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)
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.
New Measure of the Dissipation Region in Collisionless Magnetic Reconnection
NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)
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.
New Measure of the Dissipation Region in Collisionless Magnetic Reconnection
Zenitani, Seiji; Hesse, Michael; Klimas, Alex; Kuznetsova, Masha
2011-05-13
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.
ONSET OF FAST MAGNETIC RECONNECTION IN PARTIALLY IONIZED GASES
Malyshkin, Leonid M.; Zweibel, Ellen G. E-mail: zweibel@astro.wisc.edu
2011-10-01
We consider quasi-stationary two-dimensional magnetic reconnection in a partially ionized incompressible plasma. We find that when the plasma is weakly ionized and the collisions between the ions and the neutral particles are significant, the transition to fast collisionless reconnection due to the Hall effect in the generalized Ohm's law is expected to occur at much lower values of the Lundquist number, as compared to a fully ionized plasma case. We estimate that these conditions for fast reconnection are satisfied in molecular clouds and in protostellar disks.
Does the Rate of Collisionless Magnetic Reconnection Depend on the Dissipation Mechanism?
NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)
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.
High power heating of magnetic reconnection in merging tokamak experiments
Ono, Y.; Tanabe, H.; Gi, K.; Watanabe, T.; Ii, T.; Yamada, T.; Gryaznevich, M.; Scannell, R.; Conway, N.; Crowley, B.; Michael, C.
2015-05-15
Significant ion/electron heating of magnetic reconnection up to 1.2 keV was documented in two spherical tokamak plasma merging experiment on MAST with the significantly large Reynolds number R∼10{sup 5}. Measured 1D/2D contours of ion and electron temperatures reveal clearly energy-conversion mechanisms of magnetic reconnection: huge outflow heating of ions in the downstream and localized heating of electrons at the X-point. Ions are accelerated up to the order of poloidal Alfven speed in the reconnection outflow region and are thermalized by fast shock-like density pileups formed in the downstreams, in agreement with recent solar satellite observations and PIC simulation results. The magnetic reconnection efficiently converts the reconnecting (poloidal) magnetic energy mostly into ion thermal energy through the outflow, causing the reconnection heating energy proportional to square of the reconnecting (poloidal) magnetic field B{sub rec}{sup 2} ∼ B{sub p}{sup 2}. The guide toroidal field B{sub t} does not affect the bulk heating of ions and electrons, probably because the reconnection/outflow speeds are determined mostly by the external driven inflow by the help of another fast reconnection mechanism: intermittent sheet ejection. The localized electron heating at the X-point increases sharply with the guide toroidal field B{sub t}, probably because the toroidal field increases electron confinement and acceleration length along the X-line. 2D measurements of magnetic field and temperatures in the TS-3 tokamak merging experiment also reveal the detailed reconnection heating mechanisms mentioned above. The high-power heating of tokamak merging is useful not only for laboratory study of reconnection but also for economical startup and heating of tokamak plasmas. The MAST/TS-3 tokamak merging with B{sub p} > 0.4 T will enables us to heat the plasma to the alpha heating regime: T{sub i} > 5 keV without using any additional heating facility.
Comments on Magnetic Reconnection Models of Canceling Magnetic Features on the Sun
NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)
Litvinenko, Yuri E.
2015-06-01
Data analysis and theoretical arguments support magnetic reconnection in a chromospheric current sheet as the mechanism of the observed photospheric magnetic flux cancellation on the Sun. Flux pile-up reconnection in a Sweet-Parker current sheet can explain the observed properties of canceling mag-netic features, including the speeds of canceling magnetic fragments, the magnetic uxes in the fragments, and the flux cancellation rates, inferred from the data. It is discussed how more realistic chromospheric reconnection models can be developed by relaxing the assumptions of a negligible current sheet curvature and a constant height of the reconnection site above the photosphere.
Experimental study of energy conversion in the magnetic reconnection layer
NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)
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
The local dayside reconnection rate for oblique interplanetary magnetic fields
NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)
Komar, C. M.; Cassak, P. A.
2016-06-01
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 resistivity, although the techniques described here are extensible to any global magnetospheric simulation model. We find that the predicted local reconnection rates scale well with the measured values for all simulations, being nearly exact for due southward IMF. However, the absolute predictions differ by an undetermined constant of proportionality, whose magnitude increases as the IMF clock angle changes from southward to northward. We also show similar scaling agreement in a simulation with oblique southward IMF and a dipole tilt. The present results will be an important component of a full understanding of the local and global properties of dayside reconnection.
Understanding Magnetic Reconnection: The Physical Mechanism Driving Space Weather
NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)
Black, Carrie; Antiochos, Spiro K.; Karpen, Judith T.; Germaschewski, Kai; Bessho, Naoki
2015-04-01
The explosive energy release in solar eruptive events is believed to be due to magnetic reconnection. In the standard model for coronal mass ejections (CME) and/or solar flares, the free energy for the event resides in the strongly sheared magnetic field of a filament channel. The pre-eruption force balance consists of an upward force due to the magnetic pressure of the sheared field countered by the downward tension of the overlying unsheared field. Magnetic reconnection disrupts this force balance. Therefore, to understand CME/flare initiation, it is critical 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 trivial. However, kinetic effects are important 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 nontrivial, 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. In the work presented here, we show reconnection in an X-Point geometry due to a velocity shear driver perpendicular to the plane of reconnection.This material is based upon work supported by the National Science Foundation under Award No. AGS-1331356 and NASA's Living With a Star Targeted Research and Technology program.
Critical Differences of Asymmetric Magnetic Reconnection from Standard Models
NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)
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.
Vlasov simulations of collisionless magnetic reconnection without background density
NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)
Schmitz, H.; Grauer, R.
2008-02-01
A standard starting point for the simulation of collisionless reconnection is the Harris equilibrium which is made up of a current sheet that separates two regions of opposing magnetic field. Magnetohydrodynamic simulations of collisionless reconnection usually include a homogeneous background density for reasons of numerical stability. While, in some cases, this is a realistic assumption, the background density may introduce new effects both due to the more involved structure of the distribution function or due to the fact that the Alfvèn speed remains finite far away from the current sheet. We present a fully kinetic Vlasov simulation of the perturbed Harris equilibrium using a Vlasov code. Parameters are chosen to match the Geospace Environment Modeling (GEM) Magnetic Reconnection Challenge but excluding the background density. This allows to compare with earlier simulations [Schmitz H, Grauer R. Kinetic Vlasov simulations of collisionless magnetic reconnection. Phys Plasmas 2006;13:092309] which include the background density. It is found that the absence of a background density causes the reconnection rate to be higher. On the other hand, the time until the onset of reconnection is hardly affected. Again the off diagonal elements of the pressure tensor are found to be important on the X-line but with modified importance for the individual terms.
NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)
Torbert, R. B.; Burch, J. L.; Russell, C. T.; Magnes, W.; Ergun, R. E.; Lindqvist, P. A.; Le Contel, O.; Vaith, H.; Macri, J.; Myers, S.; Rau, D.; Needell, J.; King, B.; Granoff, M.; Chutter, M.; Dors, I.; Argall, M. R.; Shuster, J. R.; Olsson, G.; Marklund, G. T.; Khotyaintsev, Y. V.; Eriksson, A. I.; Kletzing, C.; Bounds, S. R.; Anderson, B. J.; Baumjohann, W.; Steller, M.; Bromund, K. R.; Le, G.; Nakamura, R.; Strangeway, R. J.; Leinweber, H. K.; Tucker, S.; Westfall, J.; Fischer, D.; Plaschke, F.; Pollock, C. J.; Giles, B. L.; Moore, T. E.; Mauk, B.; Fuselier, S. A.
2015-12-01
The electrodynamics at the magnetopause is key to our understanding of ion and electron acceleration within reconnection regions. The Magnetospheric Multiscale (MMS) fleet of four spacecraft was launched into its Phase-1 equatorial orbit of 12 Re apogee specifically to investigate these regions at the Earth's magnetopause. In addition to a comprehensive suite of particle measurements, MMS makes very high time resolution 3D electric and magnetic field measurements of high accuracy using flux-gate, search coil, 3-axis double probe, and electron drift sensors. In September 2015, the MMS fleet will begin to encounter the dusk-side magnetopause in its initial configuration of approximately 160 km separation, allowing investigation of the spatial and temporal characteristics of important electrodynamics during reconnection. Using these field and particle measurements, we present first observations of 3D magnetic and electric fields (including their parallel component), and inferred current sheets, during active magnetopause crossings using the highest time resolution data available on MMS.
Experimental Study of Current-Driven Turbulence During Magnetic Reconnection
Porkolab, Miklos; Egedal-Pedersen, Jan; Fox, William
2010-08-31
CMPD Final Report Experimental Study of Current-Driven Turbulence During Magnetic Reconnection Miklos Porkolab, PI, Jan Egedal, co-PI, William Fox, graduate student. This is the final report for Grant DE-FC02-04ER54786, MIT Participation in the Center for Multiscale Plasma Dynamics, which was active from 8/1/2004 to 7/31/2010. This Grant supported the thesis work of one MIT graduate student, William Fox, The thesis research consisted of an experimental study of the fluctuations arising during magnetic reconnection in plasmas on the Versatile Toroidal Facility (VTF) at MIT Plasma Science and Fusion Center (PSFC). The thesis was submitted and accepted by the MIT physics Department,. Fox, Experimental Study of Current-Driven Turbulence During Magnetic Reconnection, Ph.D. Thesis, MIT (2009). In the VTF experiment reconnection and current-sheet formation is driven by quickly changing currents in a specially arranged set of internal conductors. Previous work on this device [Egedal, et al, PRL 98, 015003, (2007)] identified a spontaneous reconnection regime. In this work fluctuations were studied using impedance-matched, high-bandwidth Langmuir probes. Strong, broadband fluctuations, with frequencies extending from near the lower-hybrid frequency [fLH = (fcefci)1/2] to the electron cyclotron frequency fce were found to arise during the reconnection events. Based on frequency and wavelength measurements, lower-hybrid waves and Trivelpiece-Gould waves were identified. The lower-hybrid waves are easiest to drive with strong perpendicular drifts or gradients which arise due to the reconnection events; an appealing possibility is strong temperature gradients. The Trivelpiece-Gould modes can result from kinetic, bump-on-tail instability of a runaway electron population energized by the reconnection events. We also observed that the turbulence is often spiky, consisting of discrete positive-potential spikes, which were identified as electron phase-space holes, a class of
Magnetic reconnection in the near-Mars magnetotail: MAVEN observations
NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)
Harada, Y.; Halekas, J. S.; McFadden, J. P.; Mitchell, D. L.; Mazelle, C.; Connerney, J. E. P.; Espley, J.; Larson, D. E.; Brain, D. A.; Andersson, L.; DiBraccio, G. A.; Collinson, G. A.; Livi, R.; Hara, T.; Ruhunusiri, S.; Jakosky, B. M.
2015-11-01
We report Mars Atmosphere and Volatile EvolutioN (MAVEN) observations of electrons, ions, and magnetic fields which provide comprehensive demonstration of magnetic reconnection signatures in the Martian magnetotail. In the near-Mars tail current sheet at XMSO˜-1.3RM, trapped electrons with two-sided loss cones were observed, indicating the closed magnetic field topology. In the closed field region, MAVEN observed Hall magnetic field signatures and Marsward bulk flows of H+, O+, and O2+ ions, which suggest the presence of X lines tailward from the spacecraft. Velocity distribution functions of the reconnection outflow ions exhibit counterstreaming beams separated along the current sheet normal, and their bulk velocities in the outflow direction inversely depend on ion mass. These characteristics are in qualitative agreement with previous multispecies kinetic simulations. The near-Mars magnetotail provides a unique environment for studying multi-ion reconnection.
Orientation of the X-line in asymmetric magnetic reconnection
NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)
Aunai, N.; Hesse, M.; Lavraud, B.; Dargent, J.; Smets, R.
2016-08-01
> Magnetic reconnection can occur in current sheets separating magnetic fields sheared by any angle and of arbitrarily different amplitudes. In such asymmetric and non-coplanar systems, it is not yet understood what the orientation of the X-line will be. Studying how this orientation is determined locally by the reconnection process is important to understand systems such as the Earth magnetopause, where reconnection occurs in regions with large differences in upstream plasma and field properties. This study aims at determining what the local X-line orientation is for different upstream magnetic shear angles in an asymmetric set-up relevant to the Earth's magnetopause. We use two-dimensional hybrid simulations and vary the simulation plane orientation with regard to the fixed magnetic field profile and search for the plane maximizing the reconnection rate. We find that the plane defined by the bisector of upstream fields maximizes the reconnection rate and this appears not to depend on the magnetic shear angle, domain size or upstream plasma and asymmetries.
Fast Magnetic Reconnection: Bridging Laboratory and Space Plasma Physics
Bhattacharjee, Amitava
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.
Cold ion heating at the dayside magnetopause during magnetic reconnection
NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)
Toledo-Redondo, S.; André, M.; Vaivads, A.; Khotyaintsev, Yu. V.; Lavraud, B.; Graham, D. B.; Divin, A.; Aunai, N.
2016-01-01
Cold ions of ionospheric origin are known to be present in the magnetospheric side of the Earth's magnetopause. They can be very abundant, with densities up to 100 cm-3. These cold ions can mass load the magnetosphere, changing global parameters of magnetic reconnection, like the Alfvén speed or the reconnection rate. In addition they introduce a new length scale related to their gyroradius and kinetic effects which must be accounted for. We report in situ observations of cold ion heating in the separatrix owing to time and space fluctuations of the electric field. When this occurs, the cold ions are preheated before crossing the Hall electric field barrier. However, when this mechanism is not present cold ions can be observed well inside the reconnection exhaust. Our observations suggest that the perpendicular cold ion heating is stronger close to the X line owing to waves and electric field gradients linked to the reconnection process.
Full Two-Fluid Collisionless Magnetic Reconnection Simulations
NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)
Gomez, D. O.; Andres, N.; Dmitruk, P.
2015-12-01
Magnetic reconnection is an important energy conversion process in space environments such as the solar corona or planetary magnetospheres. At the theoretical level of resistive one-fluid MHD, the Sweet-Parker model leads to extremely low reconnection rates for virtually all space physics applications. Kinetic plasma effects introduce new spatial and temporal scales into the theoretical description, which are expected to increase the reconnection rates. Within the theoretical framework of two-fluid MHD, we retain the effects of the Hall current and electron inertia and neglect dissipative effects such as viscosity and electric resistivity. This level of description brings two new spatial scales into play, namely, the ion and electron inertial scales. In absence of resistive dissipation, reconnection can only be attained by the action of electron inertia. We performed 2.5D two-fluid simulations using a pseudo-spectral code which yields exact conservation (to round-off errors) of the ideal invariants. Our simulations show that when the effects of electron inertia are retained, magnetic reconnection takes place. In a stationary regime, the reconnection rate is simply proportional to the ion inertial length, as also emerges from a scaling law derived from dimensional arguments.
The Onset of Magnetic Reconnection: Tearing Instability in Current Sheets with a Guide Field
NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)
Daldorff, Lars K. S.; Klimchuk, James A.
2016-05-01
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 behaviour 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.
The Impact of Geometrical Constraints on Collisionless Magnetic Reconnection
NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)
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.
2-D and 3-D computations of curved accelerator magnets
Turner, L.R.
1991-01-01
In order to save computer memory, a long accelerator magnet may be computed by treating the long central region and the end regions separately. The dipole magnets for the injector synchrotron of the Advanced Photon Source (APS), now under construction at Argonne National Laboratory (ANL), employ magnet iron consisting of parallel laminations, stacked with a uniform radius of curvature of 33.379 m. Laplace's equation for the magnetic scalar potential has a different form for a straight magnet (x-y coordinates), a magnet with surfaces curved about a common center (r-{theta} coordinates), and a magnet with parallel laminations like the APS injector dipole. Yet pseudo 2-D computations for the three geometries give basically identical results, even for a much more strongly curved magnet. Hence 2-D (x-y) computations of the central region and 3-D computations of the end regions can be combined to determine the overall magnetic behavior of the magnets. 1 ref., 6 figs.
Electron acceleration from contracting magnetic islands during reconnection.
Drake, J F; Swisdak, M; Che, H; Shay, M A
2006-10-01
A long-standing problem in the study of space and astrophysical plasmas is to explain the production of energetic electrons as magnetic fields 'reconnect' and release energy. In the Earth's magnetosphere, electron energies reach hundreds of thousands of electron volts (refs 1-3), whereas the typical electron energies associated with large-scale reconnection-driven flows are just a few electron volts. Recent observations further suggest that these energetic particles are produced in the region where the magnetic field reconnects. In solar flares, upwards of 50 per cent of the energy released can appear as energetic electrons. Here we show that electrons gain kinetic energy by reflecting from the ends of the contracting 'magnetic islands' that form as reconnection proceeds. The mechanism is analogous to the increase of energy of a ball reflecting between two converging walls--the ball gains energy with each bounce. The repetitive interaction of electrons with many islands allows large numbers to be efficiently accelerated to high energy. The back pressure of the energetic electrons throttles reconnection so that the electron energy gain is a large fraction of the released magnetic energy. The resultant energy spectra of electrons take the form of power laws with spectral indices that match the magnetospheric observations. PMID:17024088
NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)
Fox, W.; Sciortino, F.; Yoo, J.; Jara-Almonte, J.; Na, B.; Ji, H.; Yamada, M.
2015-11-01
In many plasma environments ranging from astrophysics to fusion, magnetic reconnection occurs with a finite guide field ranging from a fraction to many times the upstream reconnecting component. Theory and simulation yields a range of predictions of scaling of the rate of reconnection with guide field. Recent experiments on the Magnetic Reconnection Experiment observed a systematic decrease in reconnection rates with increasing guide field. Here we present a new set of experimental results on MRX with a controlled applied guide magnetic field ranging from 0 to approximately 3 times the upstream reconnection field, where we observe both global and local processes which affect the reconnection rate in the guide field regime. First, we observe and quantify the effects of global force balance, in particular global back pressure due to pileup of magnetic field in the downstream, which decreases the outflow of plasma from the current sheet and hence the reconnection rate. Second, we study the role of electron pressure in the generalized Ohm's law in the guide field regime and its role in setting the reconnection rate.
Multimaterial magnetically assisted 3D printing of composite materials
NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)
Kokkinis, Dimitri; Schaffner, Manuel; Studart, André R.
2015-10-01
3D printing has become commonplace for the manufacturing of objects with unusual geometries. Recent developments that enabled printing of multiple materials indicate that the technology can potentially offer a much wider design space beyond unusual shaping. Here we show that a new dimension in this design space can be exploited through the control of the orientation of anisotropic particles used as building blocks during a direct ink-writing process. Particle orientation control is demonstrated by applying low magnetic fields on deposited inks pre-loaded with magnetized stiff platelets. Multimaterial dispensers and a two-component mixing unit provide additional control over the local composition of the printed material. The five-dimensional design space covered by the proposed multimaterial magnetically assisted 3D printing platform (MM-3D printing) opens the way towards the manufacturing of functional heterogeneous materials with exquisite microstructural features thus far only accessible by biological materials grown in nature.
The use of harmonics in 3-D magnetic fields
Caspi, S.; Helm, M.; Laslett, L.J.
1993-09-01
Motivated by the need for new means for specification and determination of 3-D fields that are produced by electromagnetic lens elements in the region interior to coil windings and seeking to obtain techniques that will be convenient for accurate conductor placement and dynamical study of particle motion, the authors have generalized the representation of a 2-D magnetic field to 3-D. They have shown that the 3-D magnetic field components of a multipole magnet in the curl-free divergence-free region near the axis r = 0 can be derived from one dimensional functions A{sub n}(z) and their derivatives. In this report they apply both methods to the ``end`` region of a 40 mm bore SSC quadrupole, calculating first the field harmonics and then reconstructing the field comparing both results with direct Biot-Savart calculation.
Multimaterial magnetically assisted 3D printing of composite materials
Kokkinis, Dimitri; Schaffner, Manuel; Studart, André R.
2015-01-01
3D printing has become commonplace for the manufacturing of objects with unusual geometries. Recent developments that enabled printing of multiple materials indicate that the technology can potentially offer a much wider design space beyond unusual shaping. Here we show that a new dimension in this design space can be exploited through the control of the orientation of anisotropic particles used as building blocks during a direct ink-writing process. Particle orientation control is demonstrated by applying low magnetic fields on deposited inks pre-loaded with magnetized stiff platelets. Multimaterial dispensers and a two-component mixing unit provide additional control over the local composition of the printed material. The five-dimensional design space covered by the proposed multimaterial magnetically assisted 3D printing platform (MM-3D printing) opens the way towards the manufacturing of functional heterogeneous materials with exquisite microstructural features thus far only accessible by biological materials grown in nature. PMID:26494528
Multimaterial magnetically assisted 3D printing of composite materials.
Kokkinis, Dimitri; Schaffner, Manuel; Studart, André R
2015-01-01
3D printing has become commonplace for the manufacturing of objects with unusual geometries. Recent developments that enabled printing of multiple materials indicate that the technology can potentially offer a much wider design space beyond unusual shaping. Here we show that a new dimension in this design space can be exploited through the control of the orientation of anisotropic particles used as building blocks during a direct ink-writing process. Particle orientation control is demonstrated by applying low magnetic fields on deposited inks pre-loaded with magnetized stiff platelets. Multimaterial dispensers and a two-component mixing unit provide additional control over the local composition of the printed material. The five-dimensional design space covered by the proposed multimaterial magnetically assisted 3D printing platform (MM-3D printing) opens the way towards the manufacturing of functional heterogeneous materials with exquisite microstructural features thus far only accessible by biological materials grown in nature. PMID:26494528
Free-standing magnetic nanopillars for 3D nanomagnet logic.
Gavagnin, Marco; Wanzenboeck, Heinz D; Wachter, Stefan; Shawrav, Mostafa M; Persson, Anders; Gunnarsson, Klas; Svedlindh, Peter; Stöger-Pollach, Michael; Bertagnolli, Emmerich
2014-11-26
Nanomagnet logic (NML) is a relatively new computation technology that uses arrays of shape-controlled nanomagnets to enable digital processing. Currently, conventional resist-based lithographic processes limit the design of NML circuitry to planar nanostructures with homogeneous thicknesses. Here, we demonstrate the focused electron beam induced deposition of Fe-based nanomaterial for magnetic in-plane nanowires and out-of-plane nanopillars. Three-dimensional (3D) NML was achieved based on the magnetic coupling between nanowires and nanopillars in a 3D array. Additionally, the same Fe-based nanomaterial was used to produce tilt-corrected high-aspect-ratio probes for the accurate magnetic force microscopy (MFM) analysis of the fabricated 3D NML gate arrays. The interpretation of the MFM measurements was supported by magnetic simulations using the Object Oriented MicroMagnetic Framework. Introducing vertical out-of-plane nanopillars not only increases the packing density of 3D NML but also introduces an extra magnetic degree of freedom, offering a new approach to input/output and processing functionalities in nanomagnetic computing. PMID:25296008
Evolution of field line helicity during magnetic reconnection
Russell, A. J. B. Hornig, G.; Wilmot-Smith, A. L.; Yeates, A. R.
2015-03-15
We investigate the evolution of field line helicity for magnetic fields that connect two boundaries without null points, 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 connectivity 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 complex magnetic field, the evolution of field line helicity is dominated by a work-like term that is evaluated at the field line endpoints, namely, the scalar product of the generalized field line velocity and the vector potential. Furthermore, the flux integral of this term over certain areas is very small compared to the integral of the unsigned quantity, which indicates that changes of field line helicity happen in a well-organized pairwise manner. It follows that reconnection is very efficient at redistributing helicity in complex magnetic fields despite having little effect on the total helicity.
A Contracting Island Mechanism for Electron Acceleration during Magnetic Reconnection
NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)
Drake, James; Swisdak, M.; Che, H.; Shay, M. A.
2007-05-01
A Fermi-like model for energetic electron production during magnetic reconnection is described that explains key observations in the magnetosphere and solar corona [1]. Magnetic reconnection with a guide field leads to the growth and dynamics of multiple magnetic islands rather than a single large x-line. Above a critical energy electron acceleration is dominated by the Fermi-like reflection of electrons within the resulting magnetic islands rather than by the parallel electric fields associated with the x-line. Particles trapped within islands gain energy as they reflect from ends of contracting magnetic islands. The pressure from energetic electrons rises rapidly until the rate of electron energy gain balances the rate of magnetic energy release, establishing for the first time a link between the energy gain of electrons and the released magnetic energy. The energetic particle pressure therefore throttles the rate of reconnection. A transport equation for the distribution of energetic particles, including their feedback on island contraction, is obtained by averaging over the particle interaction with many islands. The steady state solutions in reconnection geometry result from convective losses balancing the Fermi drive. At high energy distribution functions take the form of a powerlaw whose spectral index depends only on the initial electron β, lower (higher) β producing harder (softer) spectra. The spectral index matches that seen in recent Wind spacecraft observations in the magnetotail. Harder spectra are predicted for the low β conditions of the solar corona. 1. Drake et al., Nature 443, 553, 2006.
The plasmoid instability during asymmetric inflow magnetic reconnection
Murphy, Nicholas A.; Young, Aleida K.; Shen, Chengcai; Lin, Jun; Ni, Lei
2013-06-15
Theoretical studies of the plasmoid instability generally assume that the reconnecting magnetic fields are symmetric. We relax this assumption by performing two-dimensional resistive magnetohydrodynamic simulations of the plasmoid instability during asymmetric inflow magnetic reconnection. Magnetic asymmetry modifies the onset, scaling, and dynamics of this instability. Magnetic islands develop preferentially into the weak magnetic field upstream region. Outflow jets from individual X-points impact plasmoids obliquely rather than directly as in the symmetric case. Consequently, deposition of momentum by the outflow jets into the plasmoids is less efficient, the plasmoids develop net vorticity, and shear flow slows down secondary merging between islands. Secondary merging events have asymmetry along both the inflow and outflow directions. Downstream plasma is more turbulent in cases with magnetic asymmetry because islands are able to roll around each other after exiting the current sheet. As in the symmetric case, plasmoid formation facilitates faster reconnection for at least small and moderate magnetic asymmetries. However, when the upstream magnetic field strengths differ by a factor of 4, the reconnection rate plateaus at a lower value than expected from scaling the symmetric results. We perform a parameter study to investigate the onset of the plasmoid instability as a function of magnetic asymmetry and domain size. There exist domain sizes for which symmetric simulations are stable but asymmetric simulations are unstable, suggesting that moderate magnetic asymmetry is somewhat destabilizing. We discuss the implications for plasmoid and flux rope formation in solar eruptions, laboratory reconnection experiments, and space plasmas. The differences between symmetric and asymmetric simulations provide some hints regarding the nature of the three-dimensional plasmoid instability.
The plasmoid instability during asymmetric inflow magnetic reconnection
NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)
Murphy, Nicholas A.; Young, Aleida K.; Shen, Chengcai; Lin, Jun; Ni, Lei
2013-06-01
Theoretical studies of the plasmoid instability generally assume that the reconnecting magnetic fields are symmetric. We relax this assumption by performing two-dimensional resistive magnetohydrodynamic simulations of the plasmoid instability during asymmetric inflow magnetic reconnection. Magnetic asymmetry modifies the onset, scaling, and dynamics of this instability. Magnetic islands develop preferentially into the weak magnetic field upstream region. Outflow jets from individual X-points impact plasmoids obliquely rather than directly as in the symmetric case. Consequently, deposition of momentum by the outflow jets into the plasmoids is less efficient, the plasmoids develop net vorticity, and shear flow slows down secondary merging between islands. Secondary merging events have asymmetry along both the inflow and outflow directions. Downstream plasma is more turbulent in cases with magnetic asymmetry because islands are able to roll around each other after exiting the current sheet. As in the symmetric case, plasmoid formation facilitates faster reconnection for at least small and moderate magnetic asymmetries. However, when the upstream magnetic field strengths differ by a factor of 4, the reconnection rate plateaus at a lower value than expected from scaling the symmetric results. We perform a parameter study to investigate the onset of the plasmoid instability as a function of magnetic asymmetry and domain size. There exist domain sizes for which symmetric simulations are stable but asymmetric simulations are unstable, suggesting that moderate magnetic asymmetry is somewhat destabilizing. We discuss the implications for plasmoid and flux rope formation in solar eruptions, laboratory reconnection experiments, and space plasmas. The differences between symmetric and asymmetric simulations provide some hints regarding the nature of the three-dimensional plasmoid instability.
NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)
Alvarez Laguna, A.; Lani, A.; Poedts, S.; Mansour, N. N.; Kosovichev, A. G.
2014-12-01
Magnetic reconnection is a physical process enabling for the conversion of so-called free (non-potential) magnetic energy into kinetic and thermal energy by breaking the flux conservation law that exists for ideal (i.e. perfectly conducting) plasmas. This ubiquitous phenomenon in magnetized plasma plays an important role in the Sun's chromosphere as likely being responsible for transient plasma phenomena such as solar flares, spicules and chromospheric jets. In this work, we present a computational model that simulates magnetic reconnection under low chromospheric conditions using a two-fluid (plasma + neutrals) approach introduced by Leake et al. (2012). This model considers non-equilibrium partial ionization effects including ionization, recombination reactions and scattering collisions while simulating the interplay between the charged particles with the electromagnetic field. Previous 2D simulations showed that the dynamics of ions and neutrals are decoupled during the reconnection process. Also, the effect of the chemical non-equilibrium in the reconnection region plays a crucial role, yielding faster reconnection rates. We extended these simulations to study different 3D configurations in order to analyze the impact of non-equilibrium partial ionization effects on the neutral sheet configuration(s) and the reconnection rate of more realistic geometries. The results are compared with the two-dimensional simulations.
Towards magnetic 3D x-ray imaging
NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)
Fischer, Peter; Streubel, R.; Im, M.-Y.; Parkinson, D.; Hong, J.-I.; Schmidt, O. G.; Makarov, D.
2014-03-01
Mesoscale phenomena in magnetism will add essential parameters to improve speed, size and energy efficiency of spin driven devices. Multidimensional visualization techniques will be crucial to achieve mesoscience goals. Magnetic tomography is of large interest to understand e.g. interfaces in magnetic multilayers, the inner structure of magnetic nanocrystals, nanowires or the functionality of artificial 3D magnetic nanostructures. We have developed tomographic capabilities with magnetic full-field soft X-ray microscopy combining X-MCD as element specific magnetic contrast mechanism, high spatial and temporal resolution due to the Fresnel zone plate optics. At beamline 6.1.2 at the ALS (Berkeley CA) a new rotation stage allows recording an angular series (up to 360 deg) of high precision 2D projection images. Applying state-of-the-art reconstruction algorithms it is possible to retrieve the full 3D structure. We will present results on prototypic rolled-up Ni and Co/Pt tubes and glass capillaries coated with magnetic films and compare to other 3D imaging approaches e.g. in electron microscopy. Supported by BES MSD DOE Contract No. DE-AC02-05-CH11231 and ERC under the EU FP7 program (grant agreement No. 306277).
Magnetic Reconnection: A Fundamental Process in Space Plasmas
NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)
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.
Understanding the Global Characteristics of Magnetic Reconnection
NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)
Sibeck, David; Wang, Chi; Branduardi-Raymont, Graziella; Connor, Hyunju; Walsh, Brian
2016-07-01
Reconnection is the fundamental process governing the flow of mass, energy, and momentum through the Sun-Earth system. Single and multipoint in situ observations of the Earth's dayside magnetopause have been interpreted as evidence for steady or transient, localized or extended, component or antiparallel reconnection models for the interaction of the solar wind with the Earth's magnetosphere. Satellite and ground-based images of the dayside auroral ionosphere can help distinguish between these possibilities. However, routine observations of the magnetopause motion that occurs in response to the various modes of reconnection would immediately define the significance of each reconnection mode. Recent technological advances now afford an opportunity to track the location of the entire dayside magnetopause and its extension into the dayside cusps in the soft x-rays emitted when high charge state solar wind ions exchange electrons with exospheric neutrals and emit soft X-rays. This talk presents some of the scientific objectives of forthcoming soft X-ray missions that will look upward from low altitudes into the Earth's cusps and downward from high inclination orbits into the dayside magnetosheath. It shows how the observations can be used to distinguish between proposed models.
Fluid vs. kinetic magnetic reconnection with strong guide fields
NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)
Stanier, A.; Simakov, Andrei N.; Chacón, L.; Daughton, W.
2015-10-01
The fast rates of magnetic reconnection found in both nature and experiments are important to understand theoretically. Recently, it was demonstrated that two-fluid magnetic reconnection remains fast in the strong guide field regime, regardless of the presence of fast-dispersive waves. This conclusion is in agreement with recent results from kinetic simulations, and is in contradiction to the findings in an earlier two-fluid study, where it was suggested that fast-dispersive waves are necessary for fast reconnection. In this paper, we give a more detailed derivation of the analytic model presented in a recent letter and present additional simulation results to support the conclusions that the magnetic reconnection rate in this regime is independent of both collisional dissipation and system-size. In particular, we present a detailed comparison between fluid and kinetic simulations, finding good agreement in both the reconnection rate and overall length of the current layer. Finally, we revisit the earlier two-fluid study, which arrived at different conclusions, and suggest an alternative interpretation for the numerical results presented therein.
Energy balance in the course of relativistic magnetic reconnection
NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)
Semenov, V. S.; Tolstykh, Yu. V.; Dyadechkin, S. A.
Magnetic reconnection plays an important role in space physics, for example, in Earth's magnetosphere, on the Sun, in the magnetospheres of magnetars, pulsars, black holes, etc. Reconnection starts with abrupt drop of plasma conductivity in a small part of a current sheet, so called, diffusion region. As a result electric field is generated and is transferred by relativistic MHD surface wave from the diffusion region to the current sheet which leads to decay of the disturbed part of the current sheet into a system of slow shocks. Plasma is highly accelerated and heated at the shock fronts forming outflow region with relativistic plasma jets and weak magnetic field (Semenov & Bernikov 1991). At some stage the reconnection process has to switch-off, then outflow regions must detach from the site where the electric field was initiated, and propagate along the current sheet as solitary waves (Tolstykh et al. 2005). The energy balance of relativistic reconnection is investigated in details. It is shown that magnetic and thermal energy from the inflow region is spent for acceleration and heating of the plasma in jets. It is interesting that the temperature of the plasma in the wake of the propagating outflow regions drops after each pulse of reconnection. This differ from usual explosion which heats the plasma behind the shock front (Tolstykh et al. 2007).
Fluid vs. kinetic magnetic reconnection with strong guide fields
Stanier, A. Simakov, Andrei N.; Chacón, L.; Daughton, W.
2015-10-15
The fast rates of magnetic reconnection found in both nature and experiments are important to understand theoretically. Recently, it was demonstrated that two-fluid magnetic reconnection remains fast in the strong guide field regime, regardless of the presence of fast-dispersive waves. This conclusion is in agreement with recent results from kinetic simulations, and is in contradiction to the findings in an earlier two-fluid study, where it was suggested that fast-dispersive waves are necessary for fast reconnection. In this paper, we give a more detailed derivation of the analytic model presented in a recent letter and present additional simulation results to support the conclusions that the magnetic reconnection rate in this regime is independent of both collisional dissipation and system-size. In particular, we present a detailed comparison between fluid and kinetic simulations, finding good agreement in both the reconnection rate and overall length of the current layer. Finally, we revisit the earlier two-fluid study, which arrived at different conclusions, and suggest an alternative interpretation for the numerical results presented therein.
Origins of effective resistivity in collisionless magnetic reconnection
Singh, Nagendra
2014-07-15
The mechanisms that provide effective resistivity for supporting collisonless magnetic reconnection have remained unsettled despite numerous studies. Some of these studies demonstrated that the electron pressure nongyrotropy generates the resistivity (η{sub npg}) in the electron diffusion region (EDR). We derive an analytical relation for the effective resistivity (η{sub kin}) by momentum balance in a control volume in the EDR. Both η{sub npg} and η{sub kin} mutually compare well and they also compare well with the resistivity required to support reconnection electric field E{sub rec} in multi-dimensional particle-in-cell simulations as well as in satellite observations when reconnection occurs in an EDR. But they are about an order of magnitude or so smaller than that required when the reconnection occurred in a much wider reconnecting current sheet (RCS) of half width (w) of the order of the ion skin depth (d{sub i}), observed in the Earth magnetosphere. The chaos-induced resistivity reported in the literature is found to be even more deficient. We find that for reconnection in RCS with w ∼ d{sub i}, anomalous diffusion, such as the universal Bhom diffusion and/or that arising from kinetic Alfven waves, could fairly well account for the required resistivity.