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Sample records for axisymmetric reconnection events

  1. The Role of Axisymmetric Reconnection Events in JET Discharges with Extreme Shear Reversal

    SciTech Connect

    B.C. Stratton; J.A. Breslau; R.V. Budny; S.C. Jardin; W. Park; H.R. Strauss; L.E. Zakharov; B. Alper; V. Drozdov; N.C. Hawkes; S. Reyes-Cortes; and Contributors to the EFDA-JET Work Programme

    2001-12-03

    Injection of Lower Hybrid Heating and Current Drive into the current ramp-up phase of Joint European Torus (JET) discharges can produce extremely reversed q-profiles characterized by a core region of very small or zero current density (within Motional Stark Effect diagnostic measurement errors) and q(subscript min) > 1. T(subscript e)-profiles show sawtooth-like collapses and the presence of an internal transport barrier. Accurate equilibrium reconstructions of these discharges are obtained using the ESC code, which was recently extended to allow equilibrium reconstructions in which a free boundary solver determines the plasma boundary and a fixed boundary solver provides the magnetic geometry and current density profile. The core current density does not appear to go negative, although current diffusion calculations indicate that sufficient non-inductive current drive to cause this is present. This is explained by nonlinear resistive MHD simulations in toroidal geometry which predict that these discharges undergo n=0 reconnection events (axisymmetric sawteeth) that redistribute the current to hold the core current density near zero.

  2. Colour Reconnection in WW Events

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    D'Hondt, J.

    2003-07-01

    Preliminary results are presented for a measurement of the κ parameter used in the JETSET SK-I model of Colour Reconnection in {W}+{W}^- -> qbar {q}'bar {q}q^' events at LEP2. An update on the investigation of Colour Reconnection effects in hadronic decays of W pairs, using the particle flow in DELPHI is presented. A second method is based on the observation that two different mW estimators have different sensitivity to the parametrised Colour Reconnection effect. Hence the difference between them is an observable with information content about κ.

  3. Influence of Initial Vorticity Distribution on Axisymmetric Vortex Breakdown and Reconnection

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Young, Larry A.

    2007-01-01

    An analytical treatment has been developed to study some of the axisymmetric vortex breakdown and reconnection fluid dynamic processes underlying body-vortex interactions that are frequently manifested in rotorcraft and propeller-driven fixed-wing aircraft wakes. In particular, the presence of negative vorticity in the inner core of a vortex filament (one example of which is examined in this paper) subsequent to "cutting" by a solid body has a profound influence on the vortex reconnection, leading to analog flow behavior similar to vortex breakdown phenomena described in the literature. Initial vorticity distributions (three specific examples which are examined) without an inner core of negative vorticity do not exhibit vortex breakdown and instead manifest diffusion-like properties while undergoing vortex reconnection. Though this work focuses on laminar vortical flow, this work is anticipated to provide valuable insight into rotary-wing aerodynamics as well as other types of vortical flow phenomena.

  4. Global axisymmetric simulations of two-fluid reconnection in an experimentally relevant geometry

    SciTech Connect

    Murphy, N. A.; Sovinec, C. R.

    2008-04-15

    To address the interplay between local and global effects in magnetic reconnection, axisymmetric numerical simulations for the Magnetic Reconnection Experiment [M. Yamada et al., Phys. Plasmas 4, 1936 (1997)] are performed using the NIMROD code [C. R. Sovinec et al., J. Comput. Phys. 195, 355 (2004)]. The 'pull' and 'push' modes of the device are simulated both with and without two-fluid effects in the generalized Ohm's law. As in experiment, the pull reconnection rate is slowed due to the presence of downstream pressure associated with the outflow. Effects induced by toroidicity include a radially inward drift of the current sheet during pull reconnection and a radially outward displacement of the X-point during push reconnection. These effects result from the inboard side of the current sheet having less volume than the outboard side, facilitating the formation of large scale pressure gradients since the inboard side is more susceptible to a buildup or depletion of density. Toroidicity also leads to asymmetry of the quadrupole field during two-fluid simulations. During pull reconnection, the outboard lobes of the quadrupole typically peak close to the X-point, whereas the inboard quadrupole lobes peak near the flux core surfaces. At experimentally relevant parameters, the reconnection rate is found to depend more on the mode of operation than on the inclusion of two-fluid effects. The current sheet in two-fluid co-helicity simulations tilts due to a Lorentz force associated with the guide field and the outflowing electrons, resulting in asymmetric flow patterns for both ions and electrons. In two-fluid counter-helicity simulations, the Hall effect leads to a radial shift in position of the X-point and an asymmetric outflow pattern, which is examined in terms of separate force-density contributions. In general, asymmetry due to toroidicity or the Hall effect often leads to uneven outflow, which then feeds back on the reconnection process through large scale

  5. A Family of Vortices to Study Axisymmetric Vortex Breakdown and Reconnection

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Young, Larry A.

    2007-01-01

    A new analytic model describing a family of vortices has been developed to study some of the axisymmetric vortex breakdown and reconnection fluid dynamic processes underlying body-vortex interactions that are frequently manifested in rotorcraft and propeller-driven fixed-wing aircraft wakes. The family of vortices incorporates a wide range of prescribed initial vorticity distributions -- including single or dual-core vorticity distributions. The result is analytical solutions for the vorticity and velocities for each member of the family of vortices. This model is of sufficient generality to further illustrate the dependence of vortex reconnection and breakdown on initial vorticity distribution as was suggested by earlier analytical work. This family of vortices, though laminar in nature, is anticipated to provide valuable insight into the vortical evolution of large-scale rotor and propeller wakes.

  6. Are Solar Wind Reconnection Events Fossil Sites?

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Vu, H. X.; Karimabadi, H.; Scudder, J. D.; Roytershteyn, V.; Daughton, W. S.; Gosling, J. T.; Egedal, J.

    2010-12-01

    Studies of reconnection in the solar wind led by Gosling and collaborators have revealed surprising results that are posing serious challenges to current theoretical understanding of the reconnection process. This include observations of prolonged quasi-steady reconnection, low magnetic shear angles, and no real bulk heating (i.e., full thermalization rather than appearance of heating due to two beams) or substantial particle acceleration. In contrast, the theoretical expectations have been that reconnection leads to significant bulk heating and particle acceleration. Similarly, recent full particle simulations indicate that reconnection is generally time dependent. We have recently re-examined this apparent discrepancy between observations and theory and propose a resolution to these puzzling observations based on the concept of fossil reconnection site. We have performed large scale 2D fully kinetic simulations of reconnection to very long times to gain an understanding of reconnection structure as they would be seen in the observations. We find that reconnection weakens in time and approaches an asymptotic state which we refer to as fossil state. The properties of the fossil reconnection state explain several of the puzzling aspects of the observations. The implications of these findings for studies of solar wind reconnection are discussed.

  7. Fluxon Modeling of Eruptive Events With and Without Reconnection

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    DeForest, Craig; Rachmeler, L.; Davey, A.; Kankelborg, C.

    2007-05-01

    Fluxon MHD models represent the coronal magnetic field as a "skeleton" of discretized field lines. This quasi-Lagrangian approach eliminates numerical resistivity and allows 3-D time-dependent plasma simulation in a desktop workstation.Using our fluxon code, FLUX, we have demonstrated that ideal MHD instabilities can drive fast eruptive events even in the complete absence of magnetic reconnection. The mechanism ("herniation") is probably not the main driver of fast CMEs but may be applicable to microjets, macrospicules, or other small scale events where vortical flows are present in the solar atmosphere. In this presentation, we use time-dependent simulations to demonstrate energy release in several idealized plasma systems with and without magnetic reconnection.This work was funded by NASA's LWS and SHP-SR&T programs.

  8. Fast magnetic reconnection with plasmoid / current sheet ejection events in laboratory experiments

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Inomoto, Michiaki; Ono, Yasushi; Hayashi, Yoshinori

    2012-07-01

    Non-steady and fast magnetic reconnections due to plasmoid or current sheet ejection events have been investigated in laboratory experiments using TS-3, TS-4 and UTST plasma merging devices in the University of Tokyo. In these devices, magnetic reconnection is induced by two different schemes, a) push reconnection driven by flux injection from the upstream region, b) pull reconnection driven by flux extraction to the downstream region. Current sheet or plasmoid ejection events are observed in these reconnection experiments particularly with strong guide magnetic field parallel to the reconnection electric field. In push reconnection experiments, anomalous resistivity is induced by the ion's kinetic effect (meandering motion) when the current sheet width is compressed shorter than the ion gyroradius by the strongly injected inflow flux. This fast reconnection regime does not involve plasmoid / current sheet ejection events. On the other hand, the guide field reduces the ion gyroradius and suppresses the onset of the anomalous resistivity, providing slow and steady magnetic reconnection. Impulsive fast reconnection with strong guide field develops, nevertheless, due to plasmoid / current sheet ejection events in pull and push reconnection experiments with extremely large external driving forces. In such a situation, the inflow flux is forcedly pushed into the reconnection region even faster than the maximal reconnection rate, resulting in flux pile up in front of the diffusion region. This piled flux induces large current density inside the current sheet in which plasmoid structure with closed flux surface is formed in pull reconnection case. The induced large current density or plasmoid is then ejected from the diffusion region with significant increase of reconnection electric field. As a result, magnetic reconnection condition with even larger reconnection rate than that obtained by anomalous resistivity was achieved under strong guide field and large external

  9. Flux transfer events: Reconnection without separators. [magnetopause

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

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

    1989-01-01

    A topological analysis of a simple model magnetic field of a perturbation at the magnetopause modeling an apparent flux transfer event is presented. It is shown that a localized perturbation at the magnetopause can in principle open a closed magnetosphere by establishing magnetic connections across the magnetopause. Although the model field exhibits neutral points, these are not involved in the magnetic connection of the flux tubes. The topological substructure of a localized perturbation is analyzed in a simpler configuration. The presence of both signs of the magnetic field component normal to the magnetopause leads to a linkage of topologically different flux tubes, described as a flux knot, and a filamentary substructure of field lines of different topological types which becomes increasingly complicated for decreasing magnetic shear at the magnetopause.

  10. Magnetic topology change induced by reconnection events in RFP plasmas

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Momo, Barbara; Martines, Emilio; Innocente, Paolo; Lorenzini, Rita; Rea, Cristina; Zanca, Paolo; Zuin, Matteo

    2014-10-01

    Magnetic reconnection is a phenomena observed in various plasmas across the Universe, where a conversion of magnetic to kinetic energy of plasma particles is consequent to a change in the global magnetic topology. In laboratory plasmas magnetic reconnections are associated to relaxation processes, like sawtooth crashes in Tokamak dynamics and the so-called dynamo effect in Reversed Filed Pinches (RFPs). In this work we propose the study of magnetic crashes in RFP dynamics, where the recursive transition from a more ordered helical state to a chaotic one is associated with rapid magnetic reconnection events. More into details, we propose to analyse RFX-mod discharges reconstructing the magnetic topology in the whole plasma volume at fixed time snapshots. Times are chosen in a window around the crashes, and the magnetic topology is reconstructed by using the solutions of a Newcomb-type equation, solved consistently with experimental boundary conditions. New boundary conditions are given by internal magnetic measurements coming from the ISIS probe system, in order to detect high frequency dynamics. Poincaré plots are used as a tool for the visualization of magnetic topology changes.

  11. Concerning the Motion and Orientation of Flux Transfer Events Produced by Component and Antiparallel Reconnection

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Sibeck, D. G.; Lin, R.-Q.

    2011-01-01

    We employ the Cooling et al. (2001) model to predict the location, orientation, motion, and signatures of flux transfer events (FTEs) generated at the solstices and equinoxes along extended subsolar component and high ]latitude antiparallel reconnection curves for typical solar wind plasma conditions and various interplanetary magnetic field (IMF) strengths and directions. In general, events generated by the two mechanisms maintain the strikingly different orientations they begin with as they move toward the terminator in opposite pairs of magnetopause quadrants. The curves along which events generated by component reconnection form bow toward the winter cusp. Events generated by antiparallel reconnection form on the equatorial magnetopause during intervals of strongly southward IMF orientation during the equinoxes, form in the winter hemisphere and only reach the dayside equatorial magnetopause during the solstices when the IMF strength is very large and the IMF points strongly southward, never reach the equatorial dayside magnetopause when the IMF has a substantial dawnward or duskward component, and never reach the equatorial flank magnetopause during intervals of northward and dawnward or duskward IMF orientation. Magnetosheath magnetic fields typically have strong components transverse to events generated by component reconnection but only weak components transverse to the axes of events generated by antiparallel reconnection. As a result, much stronger bipolar magnetic field signatures normal to the nominal magnetopause should accompany events generated by component reconnection. The results presented in this paper suggest that events generated by component reconnection predominate on the dayside equatorial and flank magnetopause for most solar wind conditions.

  12. Decay of mesoscale flux transfer events during quasi-continuous spatially extended reconnection at the magnetopause

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hasegawa, H.; Kitamura, N.; Saito, Y.; Nagai, T.; Shinohara, I.; Yokota, S.; Pollock, C. J.; Giles, B. L.; Dorelli, J. C.; Gershman, D. J.; Avanov, L. A.; Kreisler, S.; Paterson, W. R.; Chandler, M. O.; Coffey, V.; Burch, J. L.; Torbert, R. B.; Moore, T. E.; Russell, C. T.; Strangeway, R. J.; Le, G.; Oka, M.; Phan, T. D.; Lavraud, B.; Zenitani, S.; Hesse, M.

    2016-05-01

    We present observations on 2 October 2015 when the Geotail spacecraft, near the Earth's equatorial plane, and the Magnetospheric Multiscale (MMS) spacecraft, at midsouthern latitudes, simultaneously encountered southward jets from dayside magnetopause reconnection under southward interplanetary magnetic field conditions. The observations show that the equatorial reconnection site under modest solar wind Alfvén Mach number conditions remained active almost continuously for hours and, at the same time, extended over a wide range of local times (≥4 h). The reconnection jets expanded toward the magnetosphere with distance from the reconnection site. Geotail, closer to the reconnection site, occasionally encountered large-amplitude mesoscale flux transfer events (FTEs) with durations about or less than 1 min. However, MMS subsequently detected no or only smaller-amplitude corresponding FTE signatures. It is suggested that during quasi-continuous spatially extended reconnection, mesoscale FTEs decay as the jet spatially evolves over distances between the two spacecraft of ≥350 ion inertial lengths.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2015-11-01

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

  14. 3D magnetic field configuration of small-scale reconnection events in the solar plasma atmosphere

    SciTech Connect

    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.

  15. Observational Prediction of High Magnetic Reynolds Number Pre-flare Reconnection Events: An Application of Nitta's Self-similar Reconnection Model

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Nitta, Shin-ya

    2010-08-01

    We applied the "self-similar evolutionary model" of magnetic reconnection to simple pre-flare reconnection events driven by flux emergence as the first step in inspecting the realizability of the reconnection events predicted by this model. Previous works paid scant attention to the dependence of the magnetic Reynolds number (R*em) on reconnection events. We aim to clarify how the pre-flare phase of reconnection events in the high R*em range that is frequently encountered in astrophysical applications is observed. We clarify that (1) the time variation of the emission measure distribution strongly depends on R*em, (2) the expected light curve for sufficiently low R*em shows a long lifetime property while that for high R*em shows an impulsive property, and (3) in the case of recurrent small reconnection events on the same loop, the released magnetic energy scale is inversely correlated to the rear-end speed of the moving bright point along the loop. Note that other reconnection models cannot totally explain integration of these properties. If evidence of phenomena with these properties can be detected from, e.g., the Hinode observation, it strongly supports the validity of the self-similar reconnection model.

  16. Acceleration of cosmic rays by turbulence during reconnection events

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Drake, Jim

    2007-05-01

    A Fermi-like model for energetic electron production during magnetic reconnection is described that converts a substantial fraction of released magnetic energy into energetic electrons [1]. Magnetic reconnection with a guide field leads to the growth and dynamics of multiple magnetic islands rather than a single large x-line. Electrons trapped within islands gain energy as they reflect from ends of contracting magnetic islands. The resulting rate of energy gain dominates that from parallel electric fields. 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 Earth's magnetotail. Harder spectra are predicted for the low β conditions of the solar corona or other astrophysical systems. Ions can be similarly accelerated if they are above an energy threshold. 1. J. F. Drake, M. Swisdak, H. Che and M. Shay, Nature 443, 553, 2006.

  17. A multi-scale magnetotail reconnection event at Saturn and associated flows: Cassini/UVIS observations

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Radioti, A.; Grodent, D.; Jia, X.; Gérard, J.-C.; Bonfond, B.; Pryor, W.; Gustin, J.; Mitchell, D. G.; Jackman, C. M.

    2016-01-01

    We present high-resolution Cassini/UVIS (Ultraviolet Imaging Spectrograph) observations of Saturn's aurora during May 2013 (DOY 140-141). The observations reveal an enhanced auroral activity in the midnight-dawn quadrant in an extended local time sector (∼02 to 05 LT), which rotates with an average velocity of ∼45% of rigid corotation. The auroral dawn enhancement reported here, given its observed location and brightness, is most probably due to hot tenuous plasma carried inward in fast moving flux tubes returning from a tail reconnection site to the dayside. These flux tubes could generate intense field-aligned currents that would cause aurora to brighten. However, the origin of tail reconnection (solar wind or internally driven) is uncertain. Based mainly on the flux variations, which do not demonstrate flux closure, we suggest that the most plausible scenario is that of internally driven tail reconnection which operates on closed field lines. The observations also reveal multiple intensifications within the enhanced region suggesting an x-line in the tail, which extends from 02 to 05 LT. The localised enhancements evolve in arc and spot-like small scale features, which resemble vortices mainly in the beginning of the sequence. These auroral features could be related to plasma flows enhanced from reconnection which diverge into multiple narrow channels then spread azimuthally and radially. We suggest that the evolution of tail reconnection at Saturn may be pictured by an ensemble of numerous narrow current wedges or that inward transport initiated in the reconnection region could be explained by multiple localised flow burst events. The formation of vortical-like structures could then be related to field-aligned currents, building up in vortical flows in the tail. An alternative, but less plausible, scenario could be that the small scale auroral structures are related to viscous interactions involving small-scale reconnection.

  18. Three-dimensional magnetic reconnection and the magnetic topology of coronal mass ejection events

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Gosling, J. T.; Birn, J.; Hesse, M.

    1995-01-01

    Measurements of superthermal electron fluxes in the solar wind indicate that field lines within coronal mass ejections, CMEs, near and beyond 1 AU are normally connected to the Sun at both ends. However, on occasion some field lines embedded deep within CMEs appear to be connected to the Sun at only one end. Here we propose an explanation for how such field lines arise in terms of 3-dimensional reconnection close to the Sun. Such reconnection also provides a natural explanation for the flux rope topology characteristic of many CMEs as well as the coronal loops formed during long-duration, solar X-ray events. Our consideration of the field topologies resulting from 3-dimensional reconnection indicates that field lines within and near CMEs may on occasion be connected to the outer heliosphere at both ends.

  19. Reconnection events in Saturn's magnetotail: Dependence of plasmoid occurrence on planetary period oscillation phase

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Jackman, C. M.; Provan, G.; Cowley, S. W. H.

    2016-04-01

    During its exploration of Saturn's magnetotail the Cassini magnetometer has detected many in situ examples of magnetic reconnection, in the form of plasmoids, traveling compression regions (TCRs), and dipolarizations. Meanwhile, many magnetospheric phenomena have been shown to be organized with particular regularity by planetary period oscillation systems driven separately from the Northern and Southern Hemispheres of the planet. Here we examine the relationship between the occurrence of plasmoids and TCRs and the magnetic phases of the northern and southern systems. We find a striking degree of organization of the events by both northern and southern phases, with events linked preferentially to intervals in which the magnetospheric plasma and field lines are displaced outward from the planet and the current sheet thinned, both effects being likely to favor the occurrence of reconnection and plasmoid-related mass loss. Little evidence is found for significant visibility effects associated with north-south motions of the plasma sheet.

  20. First results from ideal 2-D MHD reconstruction: magnetopause reconnection event seen by Cluster

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Teh, W.-L.; Ã-. Sonnerup, B. U.

    2008-09-01

    We have applied a new reconstruction method (Sonnerup and Teh, 2008), based on the ideal single-fluid MHD equations in a steady-state, two-dimensional geometry, to a reconnection event observed by the Cluster-3 (C3) spacecraft on 5 July 2001, 06:23 UT, at the dawn-side Northern-Hemisphere magnetopause. The event has been previously studied by use of Grad-Shafranov (GS) reconstruction, performed in the deHoffmann-Teller frame, and using the assumption that the flow effects were either negligible or the flow was aligned with the magnetic field. Our new method allows the reconstruction to be performed in the frame of reference moving with the reconnection site (the X-line). In the event studied, this motion is tailward/equatorward at 140 km/s. The principal result of the study is that the new method functions well, generating a magnetic field map that is qualitatively similar to those obtained in the earlier GS-based reconstructions but now includes the reconnection site itself. In comparison with the earlier map by Hasegawa et al. (2004), our new map has a slightly improved ability (cc=0.979 versus cc=0.975) to predict the fields measured by the other three Cluster spacecraft, at distances from C3 ranging from 2132 km (C1) to 2646 km (C4). The new field map indicates the presence of a magnetic X-point, located some 5300 km tailward/equatorward of C3 at the time of its traversal of the magnetopause. In the immediate vicinity of the X-point, the ideal-MHD assumption breaks down, i.e. resistive and/or other effects should be included. We have circumvented this problem by an ad-hoc procedure in which we allow the axial part of convection electric field to be non-constant near the reconnection site. The new reconstruction method also provides a map of the velocity field, in which the inflow into the wedge of reconnected field lines and the plasma jet within it can be seen, and maps of the electric potential and of the electric current distribution. Even though the

  1. The Foggy EUV Corona and Coronal Heating by MHD Waves from Explosive Reconnection Events

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Moore, Ron L.; Cirtain, Jonathan W.; Falconer, David A.

    2008-01-01

    In 0.5 arcsec/pixel TRACE coronal EUV images, the corona rooted in active regions that are at the limb and are not flaring is seen to consist of (1) a complex array of discrete loops and plumes embedded in (2) a diffuse ambient component that shows no fine structure and gradually fades with height. For each of two not-flaring active regions, found that the diffuse component is (1) approximately isothermal and hydrostatic and (2) emits well over half of the total EUV luminosity of the active-region corona. Here, from a TRACE Fe XII coronal image of another not-flaring active region, the large sunspot active region AR 10652 when it was at the west limb on 30 July 2004, we separate the diffuse component from the discrete loop component by spatial filtering, and find that the diffuse component has about 60% of the total luminosity. If under much higher spatial resolution than that of TRACE (e. g., the 0.1 arcsec/pixel resolution of the Hi-C sounding-rocket experiment proposed by J. W. Cirtain et al), most of the diffuse component remains diffuse rather being resolved into very narrow loops and plumes, this will raise the possibility that the EUV corona in active regions consists of two basically different but comparably luminous components: one being the set of discrete bright loops and plumes and the other being a truly diffuse component filling the space between the discrete loops and plumes. This dichotomy would imply that there are two different but comparably powerful coronal heating mechanisms operating in active regions, one for the distinct loops and plumes and another for the diffuse component. We present a scenario in which (1) each discrete bright loop or plume is a flux tube that was recently reconnected in a burst of reconnection, and (2) the diffuse component is heated by MHD waves that are generated by these reconnection events and by other fine-scale explosive reconnection events, most of which occur in and below the base of the corona where they are

  2. Magnetic topologies of coronal mass ejection events: Effects of 3-dimensional reconnection

    SciTech Connect

    Gosling, J.T.

    1995-09-01

    New magnetic loops formed in the corona following coronal mass ejection, CME, liftoffs provide strong evidence that magnetic reconnection commonly occurs within the magnetic ``legs`` of the departing CMEs. Such reconnection is inherently 3-dimensional and naturally produces CMEs having magnetic flux rope topologies. Sustained reconnection behind CMEs can produce a mixture of open and disconnected field lines threading the CMES. In contrast to the results of 2-dimensional reconnection. the disconnected field lines are attached to the outer heliosphere at both ends. A variety of solar and solar wind observations are consistent with the concept of sustained 3-dimensional reconnection within the magnetic legs of CMEs close to the Sun.

  3. Statistical analysis of variations in impurity ion heating at reconnection events in the Madison Symmetric Torus

    SciTech Connect

    Cartolano, M. S.; Craig, D.; Den Hartog, D. J.; Kumar, S. T. A.; Nornberg, M. D.

    2014-01-15

    The connection between impurity ion heating and other physical processes in the plasma is evaluated by studying variations in the amount of ion heating at reconnection events in the Madison Symmetric Torus (MST). Correlation of the change in ion temperature with individual tearing mode amplitudes indicates that the edge-resonant modes are better predictors for the amount of global ion heating than the core-resonant modes. There is also a strong correlation between ion heating and current profile relaxation. Simultaneous measurements of the ion temperature at different toroidal locations reveal, for the first time, a toroidal asymmetry to the ion heating in MST. These results present challenges for existing heating theories and suggest a stronger connection between edge-resonant tearing modes, current profile relaxation, and ion heating than has been previously thought.

  4. Energetic Ion Transport and Concomitant Change of the Fusion Reactivity during Reconnection Events in Spherical Tori

    SciTech Connect

    Ya.I. Kolesnichenko; V.V. Lutsenko; R.B. White; Yu.V. Yakovenko

    2004-07-06

    Effects of MHD reconnection events on the beam-plasma fusion reactivity and transport of the beam ions are studied. Based on the analysis of fusion reactivity changes induced by MHD events, the conclusion is drawn that the strong drops of the neutron yield during sawtooth crashes observed in the National Spherical Torus experiment (NSTX) [M. Ono et al., Nucl. Fusion 40, 557 (2000)] are associated with both a particle redistribution inside the plasma and a loss of the beam ions. Mechanisms of the energetic ion transport during sawtooth crashes are analyzed, in particular, with the use of the resonance adiabatic invariant derived in this paper. A numerical simulation of the particle motion during a sawtooth crash in NSTX is done with the code OFSEF [Ya. I. Kolesnichenko, et al., Nucl. Fusion 40, 1325 (2000)] extended for a better description of the particle precession. It is shown that the motion of toroidally passing particles in NSTX can become stochastic under the influence of a crash. This stochasticity, as well as the motion along the resonance island, leads to the escape of some particles from the plasma.

  5. Topology and signatures of a model for flux transfer events based on vortex-induced reconnection

    SciTech Connect

    Liu, Z.X.; Zhu, Z.W.; Li, F. ); Pu, Z.Y. )

    1992-12-01

    A model of the disturbed magnetic field and disturbed velocity of flux transfer events (FTEs) is deduced on the basis of the vortex-induced reconnection theory. The topology and signatures of FTEs are calculated and discussed. The authors propose that the observed forms of FTE signatures depend on the motional direction of the FTE tube, the positions of the spacecraft relative to the passing FTE tube, and which part of the FTE tube (the magnetosphere part, the magnetopause part, or the magnetosheath part) the spacecraft is passing through. It is found that when a FTE tube moves from south to north along a straight line in the northern hemisphere, positive FTEs appear for most passages; however, reverse FTEs are also observed occasionally while the signatures of B[sub Z] (B[sub L]) appear as a single peak, and the irregular FTEs always correspond to oblique line motions of the FTE tube. The velocity signatures are similar to those of the magnetic field, but in the northern hemisphere their directions are all just opposite to the magnetic field. The calculated results for the magnetic field are compared with 61 observed FTEs. The observed signatures (B[sub N] and B[sub L]) of 52 FTEs are consistent with the calculations. The results indicate that a majority of observed FTEs correspond to passages of spacecraft through the edges of FTE tubes.

  6. Coronal magnetic reconnection driven by CME expansion—the 2011 June 7 event

    SciTech Connect

    Van Driel-Gesztelyi, L.; Baker, D.; Green, L. M.; Williams, D. R.; Carlyle, J.; Kliem, B.; Long, D. M.; Matthews, S. A.; Török, T.; Pariat, E.; Valori, G.; Démoulin, P.; Malherbe, J.-M.

    2014-06-10

    Coronal mass ejections (CMEs) erupt and expand in a magnetically structured solar corona. Various indirect observational pieces of evidence have shown that the magnetic field of CMEs reconnects with surrounding magnetic fields, forming, e.g., dimming regions distant from the CME source regions. Analyzing Solar Dynamics Observatory (SDO) observations of the eruption from AR 11226 on 2011 June 7, we present the first direct evidence of coronal magnetic reconnection between the fields of two adjacent active regions during a CME. The observations are presented jointly with a data-constrained numerical simulation, demonstrating the formation/intensification of current sheets along a hyperbolic flux tube at the interface between the CME and the neighboring AR 11227. Reconnection resulted in the formation of new magnetic connections between the erupting magnetic structure from AR 11226 and the neighboring active region AR 11227 about 200 Mm from the eruption site. The onset of reconnection first becomes apparent in the SDO/AIA images when filament plasma, originally contained within the erupting flux rope, is redirected toward remote areas in AR 11227, tracing the change of large-scale magnetic connectivity. The location of the coronal reconnection region becomes bright and directly observable at SDO/AIA wavelengths, owing to the presence of down-flowing cool, dense (10{sup 10} cm{sup –3}) filament plasma in its vicinity. The high-density plasma around the reconnection region is heated to coronal temperatures, presumably by slow-mode shocks and Coulomb collisions. These results provide the first direct observational evidence that CMEs reconnect with surrounding magnetic structures, leading to a large-scale reconfiguration of the coronal magnetic field.

  7. The observation of possible reconnection events in the boundary changes of solar coronal holes

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Kahler, S. W.; Moses, J. Daniel

    1989-01-01

    Coronal holes are large scale regions of magnetically open fields which are easily observed in solar soft X-ray images. The boundaries of coronal holes are separatrices between large scale regions of open and closed magnetic fields where one might expect to observe evidence of solar magnetic reconnection. Previous studies by Nolte and colleagues using Skylab X-ray images established that large scale (greater than or equal to 9 x 10(4) km) changes in coronal hole boundaries were due to coronal processes, i.e., magnetic reconnection, rather than to photospheric motions. Those studies were limited to time scales of about one day, and no conclusion could be drawn about the size and time scales of the reconnection process at hole boundaries. Sequences of appropriate Skylab X-ray images were used with a time resolution of about 90 min during times of the central meridian passages of the coronal hole labelled Coronal Hole 1 to search for hole boundary changes which can yield the spatial and temporal scales of coronal magnetic reconnection. It was found that 29 of 32 observed boundary changes could be associated with bright points. The appearance of the bright point may be the signature of reconnection between small scale and large scale magnetic fields. The observed boundary changes contributed to the quasi-rigid rotation of Coronal Hole 1.

  8. TWISTING, RECONNECTING MAGNETOSPHERES AND MAGNETAR SPINDOWN

    SciTech Connect

    Parfrey, Kyle; Beloborodov, Andrei M.; Hui, Lam

    2012-07-20

    We present the first simulations of evolving, strongly twisted magnetar magnetospheres. Slow shearing of the magnetar crust is seen to lead to a series of magnetospheric expansion and reconnection events, corresponding to X-ray flares and bursts. The axisymmetric simulations include rotation of the neutron star and the magnetic wind through the light cylinder. We study how the increasing twist affects the spindown rate of the star, finding that a dramatic increase in spindown occurs. Particularly spectacular are explosive events caused by the sudden opening of large amounts of overtwisted magnetic flux, which may be associated with the observed giant flares. These events are accompanied by a short period of ultrastrong spindown, resulting in an abrupt increase in spin period, such as was observed in the giant flare of SGR 1900+14.

  9. MULTIWAVELENGTH OBSERVATIONS OF SMALL-SCALE RECONNECTION EVENTS TRIGGERED BY MAGNETIC FLUX EMERGENCE IN THE SOLAR ATMOSPHERE

    SciTech Connect

    Guglielmino, S. L.; Zuccarello, F.; Bellot Rubio, L. R.; Aulanier, G.; Vargas DomInguez, S.; Kamio, S.

    2010-12-01

    The interaction between emerging magnetic flux and the pre-existing ambient field has become a 'hot' topic for both numerical simulations and high-resolution observations of the solar atmosphere. The appearance of brightenings and surges during episodes of flux emergence is believed to be a signature of magnetic reconnection processes. We present an analysis of a small-scale flux emergence event in NOAA 10971, observed simultaneously with the Swedish 1 m Solar Telescope on La Palma and the Hinode satellite during a joint campaign in 2007 September. Extremely high-resolution G-band, H{alpha}, and Ca II H filtergrams, Fe I and Na I magnetograms, EUV raster scans, and X-ray images show that the emerging region was associated with chromospheric, transition region and coronal brightenings, as well as with chromospheric surges. We suggest that these features were caused by magnetic reconnection at low altitude in the atmosphere. To support this idea, we perform potential and linear force-free field extrapolations using the FROMAGE service. The extrapolations show that the emergence site is cospatial with a three-dimensional null point, from which a spine originates. This magnetic configuration and the overall orientation of the field lines above the emerging flux region are compatible with the structures observed in the different atmospheric layers and remain stable against variations of the force-free field parameter. Our analysis supports the predictions of recent three-dimensional numerical simulations that energetic phenomena may result from the interaction between emerging flux and the pre-existing chromospheric and coronal field.

  10. Meltwater events and the Mediterranean reconnection at the Saalian-Eemian transition in the Black Sea

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wegwerth, Antje; Dellwig, Olaf; Kaiser, Jérôme; Ménot, Guillemette; Bard, Edouard; Shumilovskikh, Lyudmila; Schnetger, Bernhard; Kleinhanns, Ilka C.; Wille, Martin; Arz, Helge W.

    2014-10-01

    The last glacial-interglacial transition or Termination I (T I) is well documented in the Black Sea, whereas little is known about climate and environmental dynamics during the penultimate Termination (T II). Here we present a multi-proxy study based on a sediment core from the SE Black Sea covering the penultimate glacial and almost the entire Eemian interglacial ((133.5±0.7)-(122.5±1.7) ka BP). Proxies comprise ice-rafted debris (IRD), O and Sr isotopes as well as Sr/Ca, Mg/Ca, and U/Ca ratios of benthic ostracods, organic and inorganic sediment geochemistry, as well as TEX86 and UK‧37 derived water temperatures. The ending penultimate glacial (MIS 6, 133.5 to 129.9±0.7 ka BP) is characterised by mean annual lake surface temperatures of about 9 °C as estimated from the TEX86 palaeothermometer. This period is impacted by two Black Sea melt water pulses (BSWP-II-1 and 2) as indicated by very low Sr/Caostracods but high sedimentary K/Al values. Anomalously high radiogenic 87Sr/86Srostracod values (max. 0.70945) during BSWP-II-2 suggest a potential Himalayan source communicated via the Caspian Sea. The T II warming started at 129.9±0.7 ka BP, witnessed by abrupt disappearance of IRD, increasing δ18Oostracod values, and a first TEX86 derived temperature rise of about 2.5 °C. A second, abrupt warming step to ca. 15.5 °C as the prelude of the Eemian warm period is documented at 128.3 ka BP. The Mediterranean-Black Sea reconnection most likely occurred at 128.1±0.7 ka BP as demonstrated by increasing Sr/Caostracods and U/Caostracods values. The disappearance of ostracods and TOC contents >2% document the onset of Eemian sapropel formation at 127.6 ka BP. During sapropel formation, TEX86 temperatures dropped and stabilised at around 9 °C, while UK‧37 temperatures remain on average 17 °C. This difference is possibly caused by a habitat shift of Thaumarchaeota communities from surface towards nutrient-rich deeper and colder waters located above the gradually

  11. Observations of Small-scale IRIS Bombs (Reconnection Events) in an Evolving Active Region

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Madsen, C. A.; Tian, H.; DeLuca, E. E.

    2015-12-01

    We present the first Interface Region Imaging Spectrograph (IRIS) observations of small-scale bombs evolving with their host active region. Bombs appear most clearly in the IRIS 1330 Å and 1400 Å slit-jaw images as small (~1 arcsec), compact, intense brightenings at transition region temperatures. Their NUV/FUV emission spectra exhibit dramatic line splitting and strong absorption features indicative of bidirectional flows from magnetic reconnection embedded deep within the cool lower solar atmosphere. The bombs may contribute significantly to the heating of the solar atmosphere in active regions; however, it's unclear how prevalent the bombs are throughout the lifetime of an active region. Using a semi-automated detection method, we locate bombs within AR 11850 over the course of four observations from 06:00 UT on September 25, 2013 until 11:30 UT the next day. The active region is first observed in an emerging phase and rapidly grows into a mature active region with well-developed sunspots. The bomb occurrence rate drops dramatically as the active region fully emerges. We also find that the bombs fall into two distinct populations: one appears largely during active region emergence and contains a majority of the bombs, while the other population is present regardless of active region age. The first population of bombs is typically found embedded in the low-lying loops prominent in the young active region. Furthermore, we use Solar Dynamics Observatory/Helioseismic and Magnetic Imager (SDO/HMI) line-of-sight magnetograms to show that the bombs associated with the first population occur at the boundaries between the upward and downward flux of small, isolated bipolar regions. These regions dissipate as the active region emerges and reconfigures its magnetic field into two large network patches of upward and downward flux with a clear inversion line. The second, smaller population of bombs usually occurs far from the active region loop structures in the plage and

  12. Reconnections of Wave Vortex Lines

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Berry, M. V.; Dennis, M. R.

    2012-01-01

    When wave vortices, that is nodal lines of a complex scalar wavefunction in space, approach transversely, their typical crossing and reconnection is a two-stage process incorporating two well-understood elementary events in which locally coplanar hyperbolas switch branches. The explicit description of this reconnection is a pedagogically useful…

  13. Magnetic Reconnection

    NASA Video Gallery

    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...

  14. Magnetic Reconnection

    SciTech Connect

    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.

  15. 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.

  16. 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.

  17. Magnetohydrodynamic simulations of turbulent magnetic reconnection

    SciTech Connect

    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.

  18. DIRECT OBSERVATIONS OF TETHER-CUTTING RECONNECTION DURING A MAJOR SOLAR EVENT FROM 2014 FEBRUARY 24 TO 25

    SciTech Connect

    Chen, Huadong; Zhang, Jun; Yang, Shuhong; Li, Ting; Cheng, Xin; Ma, Suli

    2014-12-20

    Using multi-wavelength data from the Atmospheric Imaging Assembly on board the Solar Dynamics Observatory, we investigated two successive solar flares, a C5.1 confined flare and an X4.9 ejective flare with a halo coronal mass ejection, in NOAA active region 11990 from 2014 February 24 to 25. Before the confined flare onset, EUV brightening beneath the filament was detected. As the flare began, a twisted helical flux rope (FR) wrapping around the filament moved upward and then stopped, and in the meantime an obvious X-ray source below it was observed. Prior to the ejective X4.9 flare, some pre-existing loop structures in the active region interacted with each other, which produced a brightening region beneath the filament. Meanwhile, a small flaring loop appeared below the interaction region and some new helical lines connecting the far ends of the loop structures were gradually formed and continually added into the former twisted FR. Then, due to the resulting imbalance between the magnetic pressure and tension, the new FR, together with the filament, erupted outward. Our observations coincide well with a tether-cutting model, suggesting that the two flares probably have the same triggering mechanism, i.e., tether-cutting reconnection. To our knowledge, this is the first direct observation of tether-cutting reconnection occurring between pre-existing loops in an active region. In the ejective flare case, the erupting filament exhibited an Ω-like kinked structure and underwent an exponential rise after a slow-rise phase, indicating that the kink instability might be also responsible for the eruption initiation.

  19. Motion of reconnection region in the Earth's magnetotail. Multiple reconnection.

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Alexandrova, Alexandra; Nakamura, Rumi; Semenov, Vladimir S.; Nakamura, Takuma K. M.

    2016-04-01

    During magnetic reconnection in the Earth's magnetotail, the reconnection site (X-line) can move in a specific direction. We present a detailed statistical study of the X-line motion. Using four-spacecraft Cluster observations, we identify the X-line velocity distinguishing between the single and multiple reconnection events. Most of the X-lines move tailward (radial outward) along the current sheet, however the Earthward motion was estimated for a couple of multiple X-lines. The X-lines also propagate outward from the midnight sector in the dawn-dusk direction in the current sheet plane. We found that the X-line radial motion is consistent with the direction of the radial pressure gradient. Besides, we found that the X-line speed in the Earth-tail direction is comparable and proportional to the reconnection inflow speed and approximately 0.1 of the reconnection outflow speed. These results suggest that both the global pressure distribution and the local reconnection physics may affect the X-line motion. We also discuss the interaction among multiple X-lines based on detailed analysis of an event showing counter-streaming jets from two different X-lines.

  20. Reconnection on the Sun

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kohler, Susanna

    2016-05-01

    Because the Sun is so close, it makes an excellent laboratory to study processes we cant examinein distant stars. One openquestion is that of how solar magnetic fields rearrange themselves, producing the tremendous releases of energy we observe as solar flares and coronal mass ejections (CMEs).What is Magnetic Reconnection?Magnetic reconnection occurs when a magnetic field rearranges itself to move to a lower-energy state. As field lines of opposite polarity reconnect, magnetic energy is suddenly converted into thermal and kinetic energy.This processis believed to be behind the sudden releases of energy from the solar surface in the form of solar flares and CMEs. But there are many different models for how magnetic reconnection could occur in the magnetic field at the Suns surface, and we arent sure which one of these reconnection types is responsible for the events we see.Recently, however, several studies have been published presenting some of the first observational support of specific reconnection models. Taken together, these observations suggest that there are likely several different types of reconnection happening on the solar surface. Heres a closer look at two of these recent publications:A pre-eruption SDO image of a flaring region (b) looks remarkably similar to a 3D cartoon for typical breakout configuration (a). Click for a closer look! [Adapted from Chen et al. 2016]Study 1:Magnetic BreakoutLed by Yao Chen (Shandong University in China), a team of scientists has presented observations made by the Solar Dynamics Observatory (SDO) of a flare and CME event that appears to have been caused by magnetic breakout.In the magnetic breakout model, a series of loops in the Suns lower corona are confined by a surrounding larger loop structure called an arcade higher in the corona. As the lower loops push upward, reconnection occurs in the upper corona, removing the overlying, confining arcade. Without that extra confinement, the lower coronal loops expand upward

  1. Reconnection on the Sun

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kohler, Susanna

    2016-05-01

    Because the Sun is so close, it makes an excellent laboratory to study processes we cant examinein distant stars. One openquestion is that of how solar magnetic fields rearrange themselves, producing the tremendous releases of energy we observe as solar flares and coronal mass ejections (CMEs).What is Magnetic Reconnection?Magnetic reconnection occurs when a magnetic field rearranges itself to move to a lower-energy state. As field lines of opposite polarity reconnect, magnetic energy is suddenly converted into thermal and kinetic energy.This processis believed to be behind the sudden releases of energy from the solar surface in the form of solar flares and CMEs. But there are many different models for how magnetic reconnection could occur in the magnetic field at the Suns surface, and we arent sure which one of these reconnection types is responsible for the events we see.Recently, however, several studies have been published presenting some of the first observational support of specific reconnection models. Taken together, these observations suggest that there are likely several different types of reconnection happening on the solar surface. Heres a closer look at two of these recent publications:A pre-eruption SDO image of a flaring region (b) looks remarkably similar to a 3D cartoon for typical breakout configuration (a). Click for a closer look! [Adapted from Chen et al. 2016]Study 1:Magnetic BreakoutLed by Yao Chen (Shandong University in China), a team of scientists has presented observations made by the Solar Dynamics Observatory (SDO) of a flare and CME event that appears to have been caused by magnetic breakout.In the magnetic breakout model, a series of loops in the Suns lower corona are confined by a surrounding larger loop structure called an arcade higher in the corona. As the lower loops push upward, reconnection occurs in the upper corona, removing the overlying, confining arcade. Without that extra confinement, the lower coronal loops expand upward

  2. Explosive reconnection in magnetars

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lyutikov, Maxim

    2003-12-01

    The X-ray activity of anomalous X-ray pulsars and soft γ-ray repeaters may result from the heating of their magnetic corona by direct currents dissipated by magnetic reconnection. We investigate the possibility that X-ray flares and bursts observed from anomalous X-ray pulsars and soft γ-ray repeaters result from magnetospheric reconnection events initiated by development of the tearing mode in magnetically dominated relativistic plasma. We formulate equations of resistive force-free electrodynamics, discuss the relation of the latter to ideal electrodynamics, and give examples of both ideal and resistive equilibria. Resistive force-free current layers are unstable towards the development of small-scale current sheets where resistive effects become important. Thin current sheets are found to be unstable due to the development of the resistive force-free tearing mode. The growth rate of the tearing mode is intermediate between the short Alfvén time-scale τA and a long resistive time-scale τR: Γ~ 1/(τRτA)1/2, similar to the case of non-relativistic non-force-free plasma. We propose that growth of the tearing mode is related to the typical rise time of flares, ~10 ms. Finally, we discuss how reconnection may explain other magnetar phenomena and ways to test the model.

  3. The distribution of reconnection geometry in flux transfer events using energetic ion, plasma and magnetic data. [on dayside magnetopause

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Daly, P. W.; Rijnbeek, R. P.; Sckopke, N.; Russell, C. T.; Saunders, M. A.

    1984-01-01

    The distribution of energetic ion anisotropies in flux transfer events (FTEs) about the dayside magnetopause has been determined for ISEE 2 crossings of the boundary in 1977 and 1978. When the events are sorted according to the sign of the east-west component of the magnetic field in the magnetosphere, a clear correlation is observed on the northern morningside. When the field is eastward, particles flow antiparallel to the field, implying field line connection to the Northern Hemisphere; when the field is westward, the opposite is true. On the afternoonside, the particle anisotropies are correlated with latitude. Explanations for this pattern are discussed which involve FTE formation at low latitudes with subsequent motion at a velocity given by the vector superposition of the Alfven velocity from the release of magnetic tension and the magnetosheath bulk flow velocity. Evidence that the geomagnetic and not the geocentric solar magnetospheric equator is the source of FTEs is considered.

  4. The reconnection site of temporal cusp structures

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Trattner, K. J.; Fuselier, S. A.; Petrinec, S. M.; Yeoman, T. K.; Escoubet, C. P.; Reme, H.

    2008-07-01

    The strong precipitating particle flux in the cusp regions is the consequence of magnetic reconnection between the interplanetary magnetic field and the geomagnetic field. Magnetic reconnection is thought to be the dominant process for mass, energy, and momentum transfer from the magnetosheath into the magnetosphere. Observations of downward precipitating cusp ions by polar orbiting satellites are instrumental in unlocking many questions about magnetic reconnection, e.g., their spatial and temporal nature and the location of the reconnection site at the magnetopause. In this study we combine cusp observations of structures in the precipitating ion-energy dispersion by the Cluster satellites with Super Dual Auroral Radar Network radar observations to distinguish between the temporal and spatial magnetic reconnection processes at the magnetopause. The location of the cusp structures relative to the convection cells is interpreted as a temporal phenomenon caused by a change in the reconnection rate at the magnetopause. The 3-D plasma observations of the Cluster Ion Spectrometry instruments onboard the Cluster spacecraft also provide the means to estimate the location of the reconnection site. While an earlier study of a spatial cusp structure event revealed bifurcated reconnection locations in different hemispheres as origins for the precipitating ions creating the cusp structures, the same method applied to the temporal cusp structures in this study shows only a single tilted reconnection line close to the subsolar point. Tracing the distance to the reconnection site provides not only the location of the reconnection line but can also be used to distinguish between spatial and temporal cusp structures.

  5. Explosive turbulent magnetic reconnection.

    PubMed

    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

  6. 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.

  7. O+ behavior in magnetopause reconnection and its possible effect on the reconnection rate: Cluster observations

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wang, S.; Mouikis, C.; Kistler, L. M.; Karimabadi, H.; Liu, Y.; Roytershteyn, V.; Genestreti, K.

    2013-12-01

    It is still an open question whether and how heavy ions (e.g., O+) are involved in magnetopause reconnection. From the fluid perspective, the O+ increases the ion mass density, slowing the Alfvén speed and therefore slowing the reconnection rate. However, because of the large O+ gyroradius, O+ is often not fully entrained in the flow, and its effect depends on kinetic processes. In this study, we analyze magnetopause reconnection events when Cluster crosses the diffusion region or the outflow region. The velocity distribution functions (VDF) provide evidence that O+ ions are accelerated in the reconnection process. Using the results from a three-species (O+, H+ and e-) symmetric PIC simulation, we first evaluate methods to calculate the reconnection rate to determine how well they work in different regions in the reconnection geometry. We apply these methods to the magnetopause reconnection events and evaluate their usefulness in this region, where the asymmetric structure and the magnetopause motion need to be taken into account, so that the more solid methods can be used in future studies. The goal is to understand the behavior of the heavy ions and determine whether they affect the reconnection rate.

  8. 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.

  9. Reversible collisionless magnetic reconnection

    SciTech Connect

    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.

  10. Magnetic reconnection in space

    SciTech Connect

    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.

  11. Experimental study of ion heating and acceleration during magnetic reconnection

    SciTech Connect

    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

  12. Discretizations of axisymmetric systems

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Frauendiener, Jörg

    2002-11-01

    In this paper we discuss stability properties of various discretizations for axisymmetric systems including the so-called cartoon method which was proposed by Alcubierre et al. for the simulation of such systems on Cartesian grids. We show that within the context of the method of lines such discretizations tend to be unstable unless one takes care in the way individual singular terms are treated. Examples are given for the linear axisymmetric wave equation in flat space.

  13. Reconnection in Planetary Magnetospheres

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Russell, C. T.

    2000-01-01

    Current sheets in planetary magnetospheres that lie between regions of "oppositely-directed" magnetic field are either magnetopause-like, separating plasmas with different properties, or tail-like, separating plasmas of rather similar properties. The magnetopause current sheets generally have a nearly limitless supply of magnetized plasma that can reconnect, possibly setting up steady-state reconnection. In contrast, the plasma on either side of a tail current sheet is stratified so that, as reconnection occurs, the plasma properties, in particular the Alfven velocity, change. If the density drops and the magnetic field increases markedly perpendicular to the sheet, explosive reconnection can occur. Even though steady state reconnection can take place at magnetopause current sheets, the process often appears to be periodic as if a certain low average rate was demanded by the conditions but only a rapid rate was available. Reconnection of sheared fields has been postulated to create magnetic ropes in the solar corona, at the Earth's magnetopause, and in the magnetotail. However, this is not the only way to produce magnetic ropes as the Venus ionosphere shows. The geometry of the reconnecting regions and the plasma conditions both can affect the rate of reconnection. Sorting out the various controlling factors can be assisted through the examination of reconnection in planetary settings. In particular we observe similar small-scale tearing in the magnetopause current layers of the Earth, Saturn. Uranus and Neptune and the magnetodisk current sheet at Jupiter. These sites may be seeds for rapid reconnection if the reconnection site reaches a high Alfven velocity region. In the Jupiter magnetosphere this appears to be achieved with resultant substorm activity. Similar seeds may be present in the Earth's magnetotail with the first one to reach explosive growth dominating the dynamics of the tail.

  14. 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.

  15. Asymmetric Reconnection in the Terrestrial Reconnection EXperiment

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Olson, Joseph; Egedal, Jan; Forest, Cary; Wallace, John; TREX Team; MPDX Team

    2014-10-01

    The Terrestrial Reconnection EXperiment (TREX) is a new and versatile addition to the Wisconsin Plasma Astrophysics Laboratory (WiPAL) at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. TREX is optimized for the study of kinetic reconnection in various regimes and to provide the first laboratory evidence in support of a new model describing the dynamics of trapped electrons and correlating pressure anisotropy. The initial configuration implemented in TREX is specially designed to study asymmetric reconnection scenarios. These are particularly relevant to the dayside magnetopause in which the plasma beta of the solar wind and of the magnetosphere can differ by factors of 100-1000. The configuration utilizes the Helmholtz coils to produce a static, uniform magnetic field up to 275 G through the 3 m spherical vacuum vessel. Plasma is produced on a 10 s rep rate while two internal coils are pulsed, creating an opposing magnetic field to induce reconnection with asymmetric high and low beta inflows. A Langmuir and Bdot probe array is swept in between pulses to build up the magnetic profiles in the reconnection region. Preliminary data from these initial runs will be presented.

  16. Multi-Scale Modeling of Magnetospheric Reconnection

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Kuznetsova, M. M.; Hesse, M.; Rastatter, L.; Toth, G.; Dezeeuw, D.; Gomobosi, T.

    2007-01-01

    line (NENL). Simulations with non-gyrotropic corrections demonstrate dynamic quasi-periodic response to the steady driving condition. The loading/unloading cycle in non-gyrotropic MHD results has a non-stationary reconnection site in the magnetotail, with the retreating during the stretching phase and then a new NENL forming in the resulting thin plasma sheet. We expect that this model will lead to improved representations of space weather event in the magnetosphere.

  17. Chain Reconnections Observed in Sympathetic Eruptions

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Joshi, Navin Chandra; Schmieder, Brigitte; Magara, Tetsuya; Guo, Yang; Aulanier, Guillaume

    2016-04-01

    The nature of various plausible causal links between sympathetic events is still a controversial issue. In this work, we present multiwavelength observations of sympathetic eruptions, associated flares, and coronal mass ejections (CMEs) occurring on 2013 November 17 in two close active regions. Two filaments, i.e., F1 and F2, are observed in between the active regions. Successive magnetic reconnections, caused for different reasons (flux cancellation, shear, and expansion) have been identified during the whole event. The first reconnection occurred during the first eruption via flux cancellation between the sheared arcades overlying filament F2, creating a flux rope and leading to the first double-ribbon solar flare. During this phase, we observed the eruption of overlying arcades and coronal loops, which leads to the first CME. The second reconnection is believed to occur between the expanding flux rope of F2 and the overlying arcades of filament F1. We suggest that this reconnection destabilized the equilibrium of filament F1, which further facilitated its eruption. The third stage of reconnection occurred in the wake of the erupting filament F1 between the legs of the overlying arcades. This may create a flux rope and the second double-ribbon flare and a second CME. The fourth reconnection was between the expanding arcades of the erupting filament F1 and the nearby ambient field, which produced the bi-directional plasma flows both upward and downward. Observations and a nonlinear force-free field extrapolation confirm the possibility of reconnection and the causal link between the magnetic systems.

  18. Simulation Studies of the Role of Reconnection in the ''Current Hole'' Experiments in the Joint European Torus

    SciTech Connect

    J.A. Breslau; S.C. Jardin; W. Park

    2003-01-21

    Injection of lower-hybrid current drive into the current ramp-up phase of the Joint European Torus (JET) plasma discharges has been observed to produce an annular current distribution with a core region of essentially zero current density [Hawkes, et al., Phys. Rev. Lett. 87 (2001) 115001]. Similar ''current holes'' have been observed in the Japan Atomic Energy Research Institute (JAERI) Tokamak 60 Upgrade (JT-60U) plasma discharges with off-axis current drive supplied by the bootstrap current [T. Fujita, et al., Phys. Rev. Lett. 87 (2001) 245001]. In both cases, the central current does not go negative although current diffusion calculations indicate that there is sufficient noninductive current drive for this to occur. This is explained by the Multi-level 3-D code (M3D) nonlinear 2-D and 3-D resistive magnetohydrodynamic (MHD) simulations in toroidal geometry, which predict that these plasma discharges undergo n = 0 reconnection events--''axisymmetric sawteeth''--that redistribute th e current to hold its core density near zero. Unlike conventional sawteeth, these events retain the symmetry of the equilibrium, and thus are best viewed as a transient loss of equilibrium caused when an iota = 0 rational surface enters the plasma. If the current-density profile has a central minimum, this surface will enter on axis; otherwise it will enter off-axis. In the first case, the reconnection is limited to a small region around the axis and clamps the core current at zero. In the second case, more typical of the JET experiments, the core current takes on a finite negative value before the iota = 0 surface appears, resulting in discrete periodic axisymmetric sawtooth events with a finite minor radius. Interpretation of the simulation results is given in terms of analytic equilibrium theory, and the relation to conventional sawteeth and to a recent reduced-MHD analysis of this phenomenon in cylindrical geometry [Huysmans, et al., Phys. Rev. Lett. 87 (2001) 245002] is

  19. 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.

  20. THEMIS Sees Magnetic Reconnection

    NASA Video Gallery

    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...

  1. Earth Reconnect -- July 2012

    NASA Video Gallery

    A visualization of Earth's magnetosphere on July 15-16, 2012, shows how constant magnetic reconnection caused by an arriving coronal mass ejection, or CME, from the sun disrupted the magnetosphere,...

  2. Model of Hall reconnection.

    PubMed

    Malyshkin, Leonid M

    2008-11-28

    The rate of quasistationary, two-dimensional magnetic reconnection is calculated in the framework of incompressible Hall magnetohydrodynamics, which includes the Hall and electron pressure terms in Ohm's law. The Hall-magnetohydrodynamics equations are solved in a local region across the reconnection electron layer, including only the upstream region and the layer center. In the case when the ion inertial length di is larger than the Sweet-Parker reconnection layer thickness, the dimensionless reconnection rate is found to be independent of the electrical resistivity and equal to di/L, where L is the scale length of the external magnetic field in the upstream region outside the electron layer and the ion layer thickness is found to be di. PMID:19113486

  3. Model of Hall Reconnection

    SciTech Connect

    Malyshkin, Leonid M.

    2008-11-28

    The rate of quasistationary, two-dimensional magnetic reconnection is calculated in the framework of incompressible Hall magnetohydrodynamics, which includes the Hall and electron pressure terms in Ohm's law. The Hall-magnetohydrodynamics equations are solved in a local region across the reconnection electron layer, including only the upstream region and the layer center. In the case when the ion inertial length d{sub i} is larger than the Sweet-Parker reconnection layer thickness, the dimensionless reconnection rate is found to be independent of the electrical resistivity and equal to d{sub i}/L, where L is the scale length of the external magnetic field in the upstream region outside the electron layer and the ion layer thickness is found to be d{sub i}.

  4. Comparison of Secondary Islands in Collisional Reconnection to Hall Reconnection

    SciTech Connect

    Shepherd, L. S.; Cassak, P. A.

    2010-07-02

    Large-scale resistive Hall-magnetohydrodynamic simulations of the transition from Sweet-Parker (collisional) to Hall (collisionless) magnetic reconnection are presented; the first to separate secondary islands from collisionless effects. Three main results are described. There exists a regime with secondary islands but without collisionless effects, and the reconnection rate is faster than Sweet-Parker, but significantly slower than Hall reconnection. This implies that secondary islands do not cause the fastest reconnection rates. The onset of Hall reconnection ejects secondary islands from the vicinity of the X line, implying that energy is released more rapidly during Hall reconnection. Coronal applications are discussed.

  5. Conservation of writhe helicity under anti-parallel reconnection.

    PubMed

    Laing, Christian E; Ricca, Renzo L; Sumners, De Witt L

    2015-01-01

    Reconnection is a fundamental event in many areas of science, from the interaction of vortices in classical and quantum fluids, and magnetic flux tubes in magnetohydrodynamics and plasma physics, to the recombination in polymer physics and DNA biology. By using fundamental results in topological fluid mechanics, the helicity of a flux tube can be calculated in terms of writhe and twist contributions. Here we show that the writhe is conserved under anti-parallel reconnection. Hence, for a pair of interacting flux tubes of equal flux, if the twist of the reconnected tube is the sum of the original twists of the interacting tubes, then helicity is conserved during reconnection. Thus, any deviation from helicity conservation is entirely due to the intrinsic twist inserted or deleted locally at the reconnection site. This result has important implications for helicity and energy considerations in various physical contexts. PMID:25820408

  6. Fast magnetic reconnection in three-dimensional magnetohydrodynamics simulations

    SciTech Connect

    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.

  7. Conservation of writhe helicity under anti-parallel reconnection

    PubMed Central

    Laing, Christian E.; Ricca, Renzo L.; Sumners, De Witt L.

    2015-01-01

    Reconnection is a fundamental event in many areas of science, from the interaction of vortices in classical and quantum fluids, and magnetic flux tubes in magnetohydrodynamics and plasma physics, to the recombination in polymer physics and DNA biology. By using fundamental results in topological fluid mechanics, the helicity of a flux tube can be calculated in terms of writhe and twist contributions. Here we show that the writhe is conserved under anti-parallel reconnection. Hence, for a pair of interacting flux tubes of equal flux, if the twist of the reconnected tube is the sum of the original twists of the interacting tubes, then helicity is conserved during reconnection. Thus, any deviation from helicity conservation is entirely due to the intrinsic twist inserted or deleted locally at the reconnection site. This result has important implications for helicity and energy considerations in various physical contexts. PMID:25820408

  8. 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.

  9. 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.

  10. 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).

  11. Reconnection at Earth's Dayside Magnetopause

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Cassak, P. A.; Fuselier, S. A.

    Magnetic reconnection at Earth's dayside magnetopause plays a crucial role in space weather-related phenomena. The response of the magnetosphere to input from interplanetary space differs greatly depending on where reconnection happens and how efficiently it reconnects magnetic flux from interplanetary space. This chapter is a pedagogical treatment of dayside reconnection. Introductory topics include a guide to the magnetosphere for the uninitiated and a brief history of the field. Technical topics include qualitative properties of dayside reconnection, such as where reconnection occurs and what it looks like, and how reconnection quantitatively depends on ambient conditions, including the effect of asymmetries, the diamagnetic drift, and flow shear. Both observational and theoretical aspects are discussed. The chapter is closed with a discussion of open questions and the outlook for the future of dayside reconnection research.

  12. 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.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2016-06-01

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

  14. 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.

  15. A RECONNECTING CURRENT SHEET IMAGED IN A SOLAR FLARE

    SciTech Connect

    Liu Rui; Liu Chang; Wang Haimin; Lee, Jeongwoo; Wang, Tongjiang; Stenborg, Guillermo

    2010-11-01

    Magnetic reconnection changes the magnetic field topology and powers explosive events in astrophysical, space, and laboratory plasmas. For flares and coronal mass ejections (CMEs) in the solar atmosphere, the standard model predicts the presence of a reconnecting current sheet, which has been the subject of considerable theoretical and numerical modeling over the last 50 years, yet direct, unambiguous observational verification has been absent. In this Letter, we show a bright sheet structure of global length (>0.25 R {sub sun}) and macroscopic width ((5-10)x10{sup 3} km) distinctly above the cusp-shaped flaring loop, imaged during the flare rising phase in EUV. The sheet formed due to the stretch of a transequatorial loop system and was accompanied by various reconnection signatures. This unique event provides a comprehensive view of the reconnection geometry and dynamics in the solar corona.

  16. ISEE observations of the magnetopause - Reconnection and the energy balance

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Paschmann, G.; Papamastorakis, I.; Sckopki, N.; Sonnerup, B. U. O.; Bame, S. J.

    1985-01-01

    The total energy balance for two events with the objective of obtaining check on the interpretation in terms of reconnection is examined. To within experimental uncertainties, the plasma and magnetic field data are consistent with reconnection. An enthalpy increase comparable to the kinetic energy increase occurs in the magnetopause. Thus substantial dissipation is present in the rotational discontinuity. An ion heat flow associated with a beam of reflected magnetosheath particles carried away some 20 percent of the total converted electromagnetic energy.

  17. Axisymmetric multiwormholes revisited

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Clément, Gérard

    2016-06-01

    The construction of stationary axisymmetric multiwormhole solutions to gravitating field theories admitting toroidal reductions to three-dimensional gravitating sigma models is reviewed. We show that, as in the multi-black hole case, strut singularities always appear in this construction, except for very special configurations with an odd number of centers. We also review the analytical continuation of the multicenter solution across the n cuts associated with the wormhole mouths. The resulting Riemann manifold has 2^n sheets interconnected by 2^{n-1}n wormholes. We find that the maximally extended multicenter solution can never be asymptotically locally flat in all the Riemann sheets.

  18. 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.

  19. Magnetic Reconnection in the Earth Magnetotail and Auroral Substorms

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Basu, B.; Coppi, B.

    2014-10-01

    By now it is well-accepted that magnetic reconnection is responsible for the generation of accelerated particle populations in space, such as that proposed to occur in the Earth's magnetotail and generate auroral substorms. In fact, reconnection is the most probable process to explain the observed high-energy particle populations at the edge of the Heliosphere. On the other hand, the theory of this process remains in need of further attention. Since the late sixties, it has been known that departures from Maxwellian distributions for the background plasmas, such as anisotropic electron temperatures, have an important effect on the growth rate of modes producing reconnection. However, the significant effect of transverse (to the field) electron temperature gradients has yet to be included in the theory. The relationship, between the theory of reconnecting modes emerging from plane one-dimensional neutral sheets and modes emerging from cylindrical and axisymmetric toroidal laboratory plasmas, is discussed. In the latter case, a wealth of relevant experimental observations is available. Sponsored in part by the US DOE.

  20. Reconnecting Flux Ropes

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Gekelman, Walter; van Compernolle, Bart

    2012-10-01

    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 is 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 JxB forces causing them to twist about each other and merge. Kink instabilities cause them to violently smash into each other and reconnect at the point of contact. We report on experiments done in the large plasma device (LAPD) at UCLA (L=17m,dia=60cm,0.3<=B0z<=2.5kG,n˜2x10^12cm-3)on three dimensional flux ropes. Two, three or more magnetic flux ropes are generated from initially adjacent pulsed current channels in a background magnetized plasma. The currents and magnetic fields form exotic shapes with no ignorable direction and no magnetic nulls. Volumetric space-time data show multiple reconnection sites with time-dependent locations. The concept of a quasi-separatrix layer (QSL), a tool to understand 3D reconnection without null points. In our experiment the QSL is a narrow ribbon-like region(s) that twists between field lines. Within the QSL(s) field lines that start close to one another rapidly diverge as they pass through one or more reconnection regions. When the field lines are tracked they are observed to slip along the QSL when reconnection occurs. The Heating and other co-existing waves will be presented.

  1. 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.

  2. 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.

  3. Kinetic simulations of secondary reconnection in the reconnection jet

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Huang, S. Y.; Zhou, M.; Yuan, Z. G.; Fu, H. S.; He, J. S.; Sahraoui, F.; Aunai, N.; Deng, X. H.; Fu, S.; Pang, Y.; Wang, D. D.

    2015-08-01

    Magnetic reconnection, as one important energy dissipation process in plasmas, has been extensively studied in the past several decades. Magnetic reconnection occurring in the downstream of a primary X line is referred to as secondary reconnection. In this paper, we used kinetic simulations to investigate the secondary reconnection in detail. We found that secondary reconnection is reversed by the compression caused by the outflowing jet originating from the primary reconnection site, which results in the erosion of the magnetic island between the two X lines within ~3 ωci-1. We show the observational signatures expected in electromagnetic fields and plasma measurements in the Earth's magnetotail, associated with this mechanism. These simulation results could be applied to interpret the signatures associated with the evolution of earthward magnetic islands in the Earth's magnetotail.

  4. Experimental Study of Current-Driven Turbulence During Magnetic Reconnection

    SciTech Connect

    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

  5. Observations of patchy reconnection signatures in the solar wind

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Enzl, Jakub; Prech, Lubomir; Safrankova, Jana; Nemecek, Zdenek

    2016-04-01

    Magnetic reconnection is an important process that changes a magnetic field configuration and converts a magnetic energy to the flow energy and plasma heating. Reconnection events were documented in the magnetosphere as well as in the solar wind at 1 AU. In the set of 485 observed exhausts in the solar wind, we identified a portion of the exhausts accompanied by side jets that are oriented in the same direction as the main exhaust jet but they are spatially separated from it. These side jets can be a signature of patchy magnetic reconnection. We suppose that a source of such side jets is probably multiple reconnection occurring in the vicinity of the main X-line. This structure could give us an additional information about the X-line length which is otherwise hard to estimate. The paper presents characteristics of side jets and their properties.

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

    PubMed

    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

  7. Acceleration during magnetic reconnection

    SciTech Connect

    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.

  8. Reconnection of colliding vortex rings.

    PubMed

    Chatelain, Philippe; Kivotides, Demosthenes; Leonard, Anthony

    2003-02-01

    We investigate numerically the Navier-Stokes dynamics of reconnecting vortex rings at small Reynolds number for a variety of configurations. We find that reconnections are dissipative due to the smoothing of vorticity gradients at reconnection kinks and to the formation of secondary structures of stretched antiparallel vorticity which transfer kinetic energy to small scales where it is subsequently dissipated efficiently. In addition, the relaxation of the reconnection kinks excites Kelvin waves which due to strong damping are of low wave number and affect directly only large scale properties of the flow. PMID:12633362

  9. 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.

  10. Fast magnetic reconnection supported by sporadic small-scale Petschek-type shocks

    SciTech Connect

    Shibayama, Takuya Nakabou, Takashi; Kusano, Kanya; Miyoshi, Takahiro; Vekstein, Grigory

    2015-10-15

    Standard magnetohydrodynamic (MHD) theory predicts reconnection rate that is far too slow to account for a wide variety of reconnection events observed in space and laboratory plasmas. Therefore, it was commonly accepted that some non-MHD (kinetic) effects play a crucial role in fast reconnection. A recently renewed interest in simple MHD models is associated with the so-called plasmoid instability of reconnecting current sheets. Although it is now evident that this effect can significantly enhance the rate of reconnection, many details of the underlying multiple-plasmoid process still remain controversial. Here, we report results of a high-resolution computer simulation which demonstrate that fast albeit intermittent magnetic reconnection is sustained by numerous small-scale Petschek-type shocks spontaneously formed in the current sheet due to its plasmoid instability.

  11. 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

  12. A generalized flux function for three-dimensional magnetic reconnection

    SciTech Connect

    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.

  13. 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.

  14. Observational Signatures of Magnetic Reconnection in the Extended Corona

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2016-05-01

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

  15. Observations of reconnected flux tubes within the midaltitude cusp

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Saflekos, N. A.; Burch, J. L.; Sugiura, M.; Gurnett, D. A.; Horwitz, J. L.

    1990-01-01

    The paper presents three events interpreted as reconnected flux tubes that correspond to the extensions of FTEs which have penetrated deep into the magnetosphere down to the midaltitudes of the polar cusp. Low-energy plasma, high-energy plasma, magnetic fields, and electric fields are used to identify the signatures of reconnected flux tubes. Characteristics of spatial scale, time duration, and frequency of occurrence between flux transfer events and midaltitude cusp reconnected flux tubes are shown to be consistent, although they differ in the direction of motion. However, the merging cell topology and the interplanetary magnetic field effect can explain this difference. Larger-scale events can be explained by motion of the cusp resulting from a quasi-steady reconnection process. The field-aligned currents associated with reconnected flux tubes at midaltitudes within the cusp are shown to be consistent with twisting of magnetic field lines and with closure by Pedersen currents. It is considered possible that what appears to be field-aligned currents closing by Pedersen ionospheric currents may also be interpreted as currents carried by Alfven waves.

  16. Observational Signatures of Magnetic Reconnection in the Extended Corona

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

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

    2016-01-01

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

  17. Brightening and Dimming: Reconnection Signatures in Solar Eruptions

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Qiu, Jiong

    2016-05-01

    An eruptive energy release event in the Sun's corona often consists of a flare, a CME, and coronal dimming. Flare brightenings are the consequence of plasma heating, and coronal dimmings are produced by plasma expulsion. We present observations of eruptive events by AIA and STEREO, showing that both the brightening and dimming are associated with magnetic reconnection, which forms new sets of either closed or open field lines, converting magnetic energy into heat and kinetic energy. The sequence of brightening and dimming provides traces of the CME evolution through a series of reconnection at the low corona.

  18. Axisymmetric magnetic gauges

    SciTech Connect

    Wright, B.L.; Alrick, K.R.; Fritz, J.N.

    1994-05-01

    Axisymmetric magnetic (ASM) gauges are useful diagnostic tools in the study of the conversion of energy from underground explosions to distant seismic signals. Requiring no external power, they measure the strength (particle velocity) of the emerging shock wave under conditions that would destroy most instrumentation. Shock pins are included with each gauge to determine the angle of the shock front. For the Non-Proliferation Experiment, two ASM gauges were installed in the ANFO mixture to monitor the detonation wave and 10 were grouted into boreholes at various ranges in the surrounding rock (10 to 64 m from the center of explosion). These gauges were of a standard 3.8-inch-diameter design. In addition, two unique Jumbo ASM gauges (3-ft by 3-ft in cross section) were grouted to the wall of a drift at a range of 65 m. We discuss issues encountered in data analysis, present the results of our measurements, and compare these results with those of model simulations of the experiment.

  19. Collisionless reconnection in Jupiter's magnetotail

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Zimbardo, G.

    1991-04-01

    Collisionless reconnection in Jupiter's magnetotail is quantitatively studied for the first time. It is proposed that the same tearing mechanism which works in the earth magnetotail also works in Jupiter's. It is shown that collisionless reconnection may occur around 60 R(J) downtail.

  20. Global-scale hybrid simulation of dayside magnetic reconnection under southward IMF: Structure and evolution of reconnection

    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.

  1. Turbulent reconnection and its implications.

    PubMed

    Lazarian, A; Eyink, G; Vishniac, E; Kowal, G

    2015-05-13

    Magnetic reconnection is a process of magnetic field topology change, which is one of the most fundamental processes happening in magnetized plasmas. In most astrophysical environments, the Reynolds numbers corresponding to plasma flows are large and therefore the transition to turbulence is inevitable. This turbulence, which can be pre-existing or driven by magnetic reconnection itself, must be taken into account for any theory of magnetic reconnection that attempts to describe the process in the aforementioned environments. This necessity is obvious as three-dimensional high-resolution numerical simulations show the transition to the turbulence state of initially laminar reconnecting magnetic fields. We discuss ideas of how turbulence can modify reconnection with the focus on the Lazarian & Vishniac (Lazarian & Vishniac 1999 Astrophys. J. 517, 700-718 (doi:10.1086/307233)) reconnection model. We present numerical evidence supporting the model and demonstrate that it is closely connected to the experimentally proven concept of Richardson dispersion/diffusion as well as to more recent advances in understanding of the Lagrangian dynamics of magnetized fluids. We point out that the generalized Ohm's law that accounts for turbulent motion predicts the subdominance of the microphysical plasma effects for reconnection for realistically turbulent media. We show that one of the most dramatic consequences of turbulence is the violation of the generally accepted notion of magnetic flux freezing. This notion is a cornerstone of most theories dealing with magnetized plasmas, and therefore its change induces fundamental shifts in accepted paradigms, for instance, turbulent reconnection entails reconnection diffusion process that is essential for understanding star formation. We argue that at sufficiently high Reynolds numbers the process of tearing reconnection should transfer to turbulent reconnection. We discuss flares that are predicted by turbulent reconnection and relate

  2. Turbulent reconnection and its implications

    PubMed Central

    Lazarian, A.; Eyink, G.; Vishniac, E.; Kowal, G.

    2015-01-01

    Magnetic reconnection is a process of magnetic field topology change, which is one of the most fundamental processes happening in magnetized plasmas. In most astrophysical environments, the Reynolds numbers corresponding to plasma flows are large and therefore the transition to turbulence is inevitable. This turbulence, which can be pre-existing or driven by magnetic reconnection itself, must be taken into account for any theory of magnetic reconnection that attempts to describe the process in the aforementioned environments. This necessity is obvious as three-dimensional high-resolution numerical simulations show the transition to the turbulence state of initially laminar reconnecting magnetic fields. We discuss ideas of how turbulence can modify reconnection with the focus on the Lazarian & Vishniac (Lazarian & Vishniac 1999 Astrophys. J. 517, 700–718 ()) reconnection model. We present numerical evidence supporting the model and demonstrate that it is closely connected to the experimentally proven concept of Richardson dispersion/diffusion as well as to more recent advances in understanding of the Lagrangian dynamics of magnetized fluids. We point out that the generalized Ohm's law that accounts for turbulent motion predicts the subdominance of the microphysical plasma effects for reconnection for realistically turbulent media. We show that one of the most dramatic consequences of turbulence is the violation of the generally accepted notion of magnetic flux freezing. This notion is a cornerstone of most theories dealing with magnetized plasmas, and therefore its change induces fundamental shifts in accepted paradigms, for instance, turbulent reconnection entails reconnection diffusion process that is essential for understanding star formation. We argue that at sufficiently high Reynolds numbers the process of tearing reconnection should transfer to turbulent reconnection. We discuss flares that are predicted by turbulent reconnection and relate this process to

  3. Nonlinear Collisionless Magnetic Reconnection

    SciTech Connect

    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.

  4. Three-dimensional, Impulsive Magnetic Reconnection in a Laboratory Plasma

    SciTech Connect

    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.

  5. Laboratory Experiment of Magnetic Reconnection between Merging Flux Tubes with Strong Guide FIeld

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Inomoto, M.; Kamio, S.; Kuwahata, A.; Ono, Y.

    2013-12-01

    Magnetic reconnection governs variety of energy release events in the universe, such as solar flares, geomagnetic substorms, and sawtooth crash in laboratory nuclear fusion experiments. Differently from the classical steady reconnection models, non-steady behavior of magnetic reconnection is often observed. In solar flares, intermittent enhancement of HXR emission is observed synchronously with multiple ejection of plammoids [1]. In laboratory reconnection experiments, the existence of the guide field, that is perpendicular to the reconnection field, makes significant changes on reconnection process. Generally the guide field will slow down the reconnection rate due to the increased magnetic pressure inside the current sheet. It also brings about asymmetric structure of the separatrices or effective particle acceleration in collisionless conditions. We have conducted laboratory experiments to study the behavior of the guide-field magnetic reconnection using plasma merging technique (push reconnection). Under substantial guide field even larger than the reconnection field, the reconnection generally exhibits non-steady feature which involves intermittent detachment of X-point and reconnection current center[2]. Transient enhancement of reconnection rate is observed simultaneously with the X-point motion[3]. We found two distinct phenomena associated with the guide-field non-steady reconnection. The one is the temporal and localized He II emission from X-point region, suggesting the production of energetic electrons which could excite the He ions in the vicinity of the X-point. The other is the excitation of large-amplitude electromagnetic waves which have similar properties with kinetic Alfven waves, whose amplitude show positive correlation with the enhancement of the reconnection electric field[4]. Electron beam instability caused by the energetic electrons accelerated to more than twice of the electron thermal velocity could be a potential driver of the

  6. Axisymmetric annular curtain stability

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ahmed, Zahir U.; Khayat, Roger E.; Maissa, Philippe; Mathis, Christian

    2012-06-01

    A temporal stability analysis was carried out to investigate the stability of an axially moving viscous annular liquid jet subject to axisymmetric disturbances in surrounding co-flowing viscous gas media. We investigated in this study the effects of inertia, surface tension, the gas-to-liquid density ratio, the inner-to-outer radius ratio and the gas-to-liquid viscosity ratio on the stability of the jet. With an increase in inertia, the growth rate of the unstable disturbances is found to increase. The dominant (or most unstable) wavenumber decreases with increasing Reynolds number for larger values of the gas-to-liquid viscosity ratio. However, an opposite tendency for the most unstable wavenumber is predicted for small viscosity ratio in the same inertia range. The surrounding gas density, in the presence of viscosity, always reduces the growth rate, hence stabilizing the flow. There exists a critical value of the density ratio above which the flow becomes stable for very small viscosity ratio, whereas for large viscosity ratio, no stable flow appears in the same range of the density ratio. The curvature has a significant destabilizing effect on the thin annular jet, whereas for a relatively thick jet, the maximum growth rate decreases as the inner radius increases, irrespective of the surrounding gas viscosity. The degree of instability increases with Weber number for a relatively large viscosity ratio. In contrast, for small viscosity ratio, the growth rate exhibits a dramatic dependence on the surface tension. There is a small Weber number range, which depends on the viscosity ratio, where the flow is stable. The viscosity ratio always stabilizes the flow. However, the dominant wavenumber increases with increasing viscosity ratio. The range of unstable wavenumbers is affected only by the curvature effect.

  7. Magnetic reconnection launcher

    DOEpatents

    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.

  8. 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.

  9. Phenomenology of Internal Reconnections in NSTX

    SciTech Connect

    I. Semenov; S. Mirnov; D. Darrow; L. Roquemore; E.D. Fredrickson; J. Menard; D. Stutman; A. Belov

    2002-06-06

    The behavior of large-scale MHD modes was investigated in the National Spherical Torus Experiment (NSTX) during Reconnection Events (RE) using combined analysis of magnetic probe signals, and soft X-ray (SXR) data. The comparison of mode dynamics during precursor and disruption stages in T-11M (small circular plasma), TFTR (large circular plasma), and NSTX (large spherical plasma) was done. The analysis shows that the sequence of events of minor and major IREs (internal reconnection events) in NSTX is essentially similar to that for disruptions in moderate aspect ratio tokamaks. The main feature of disruption dynamics apparently affected by small aspect ratio in NSTX appears in the relatively slow thermal quench event (5-10 times longer compared to ordinary tokamaks), which precedes the major IRE. The coincidence of the electron and neutron quench times during the major IRE leads us to the conclusion that the fast ions and hot electrons leave the center of a plasma column simultaneously, i.e., convectively.

  10. Reconnection rates of magnetic fields

    SciTech Connect

    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.

  11. Intuitive approach to magnetic reconnection

    SciTech Connect

    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.

  12. Spontaneous magnetic reconnection. Collisionless reconnection and its potential astrophysical relevance

    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

  13. 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.

  14. Fast Magnetic Reconnection in the Plasmoid-Dominated Regime

    SciTech Connect

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

    2010-12-03

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

  15. Direct observation of Kelvin waves excited by quantized vortex reconnection.

    PubMed

    Fonda, Enrico; Meichle, David P; Ouellette, Nicholas T; Hormoz, Sahand; Lathrop, Daniel P

    2014-03-25

    Quantized vortices are key features of quantum fluids such as superfluid helium and Bose-Einstein condensates. The reconnection of quantized vortices and subsequent emission of Kelvin waves along the vortices are thought to be central to dissipation in such systems. By visualizing the motion of submicron particles dispersed in superfluid (4)He, we have directly observed the emission of Kelvin waves from quantized vortex reconnection. We characterize one event in detail, using dimensionless similarity coordinates, and compare it with several theories. Finally, we give evidence for other examples of wavelike behavior in our system. PMID:24704878

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

    PubMed

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

    2010-12-01

    A conceptual model of resistive magnetic reconnection via a stochastic plasmoid chain is proposed. The global reconnection rate is shown to be independent of the Lundquist number. The distribution of fluxes in the plasmoids is shown to be an inverse-square law. It is argued that there is a finite probability of emergence of abnormally large plasmoids, which can disrupt the chain (and may be responsible for observable large abrupt events in solar flares and sawtooth crashes). A criterion for the transition from the resistive magnetohydrodynamic to the collisionless regime is provided. PMID:21231473

  17. Direct observation of Kelvin waves excited by quantized vortex reconnection

    PubMed Central

    Fonda, Enrico; Meichle, David P.; Ouellette, Nicholas T.; Hormoz, Sahand; Lathrop, Daniel P.

    2014-01-01

    Quantized vortices are key features of quantum fluids such as superfluid helium and Bose–Einstein condensates. The reconnection of quantized vortices and subsequent emission of Kelvin waves along the vortices are thought to be central to dissipation in such systems. By visualizing the motion of submicron particles dispersed in superfluid 4He, we have directly observed the emission of Kelvin waves from quantized vortex reconnection. We characterize one event in detail, using dimensionless similarity coordinates, and compare it with several theories. Finally, we give evidence for other examples of wavelike behavior in our system. PMID:24704878

  18. Aeroacoustics of viscous vortex reconnection

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Paredes, Pedro; Nichols, Joseph W.; Duraisamy, Karthik; Hussain, Fazle

    2011-11-01

    Reconnection of two anti-parallel vortex tubes is studied by direct numerical simulations and large-eddy simulations of the incompressible Navier-Stokes equations over a wide range (2000-50,000) of the vortex Reynolds number (Re). A detailed investigation of the flow dynamics is performed and at high Re, multiple reconnections are observed as the newly formed ``bridges'' interact by self and mutual induction. To investigate acoustics produced by the recoil action of the vortex threads, Möhring's theory of vortex sound is applied to the flow field and evaluated at varying far-field locations. The acoustic solver is verified against calculations of laminar vortex ring collision. For anti-parallel vortex reconnection, the resulting far-field spectra are shown to be grid converged at low-to-mid frequencies. To assess the relevance to fully turbulent jet noise, the dependence of reconnection upon Reynolds number is investigated.

  19. Geomagnetically Induced Currents From Reconnection

    NASA Video Gallery

    This animations shows a coronal mass ejections collide with Earth's magnetic fields and the fields change shape and strength. Reconnection in the magnetotail causes currents to follow the field lin...

  20. Vortex reconnection in superfluid helium

    SciTech Connect

    Koplik, J. ); Levine, H. )

    1993-08-30

    A useful physical model for superfluid turbulence considers the flow to consist of a dense tangle of vortex lines which evolve and interact. It has been suggested that these vortex lines can dynamically reconnect upon close approach. Here, we consider the nonlinear Schroedinger equation model of superfluid quantum mechanics, and use numerical simulation to study this topology changing core-scale process. Our results support the idea that vortex reconnection will occur whenever filaments come within a few core lengths of one another.

  1. Reconnection of superfluid vortex bundles.

    PubMed

    Alamri, Sultan Z; Youd, Anthony J; Barenghi, Carlo F

    2008-11-21

    Using the vortex filament model and the Gross-Pitaevskii nonlinear Schroedinger equation, we show that bundles of quantized vortex lines in He II are structurally robust and can reconnect with each other maintaining their identity. We discuss vortex stretching in superfluid turbulence and show that, during the bundle reconnection process, kelvin waves of large amplitude are generated, in agreement with the finding that helicity is produced by nearly singular vortex interactions in classical Euler flows. PMID:19113421

  2. Multiscale modeling of magnetospheric reconnection

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kuznetsova, M. M.; Hesse, M.; RastäTter, L.; Taktakishvili, A.; Toth, G.; de Zeeuw, D. L.; Ridley, A.; Gombosi, T. I.

    2007-10-01

    In our efforts to bridge the gap between small-scale kinetic modeling and global simulations, we introduced an approach that allows to quantify the interaction between large-scale global magnetospheric dynamics and microphysical processes in diffusion regions near reconnection sites. We use the global MHD code BATS-R-US and replace an ad hoc anomalous resistivity often employed by global MHD models with a physically motivated dissipation model. The primary kinetic mechanism controlling the dissipation in the diffusion region in the vicinity of the reconnection site is incorporated into the MHD description in terms of nongyrotropic corrections to the induction equation. We developed an algorithm to search for reconnection sites in north-south symmetric magnetotail. Spatial scales of the diffusion region and magnitude of the reconnection electric field are calculated consistently using local MHD plasma and field parameters. The locations of the reconnection sites are constantly updated during the simulations. To clarify the role of nongyrotropic effects in the diffusion region on the global magnetospheric dynamics, we perform simulations with steady southward interplanetary magnetic field driving of the magnetosphere. Ideal MHD simulations with magnetic reconnection supported by numerical resistivity often produce quasi-steady configuration with almost stationary near-Earth neutral line (NENL). Simulations with nongyrotropic corrections demonstrate dynamic quasi-periodic response to the steady driving conditions. Fast magnetotail reconnection supported by nongyrotropic effects results in tailward retreat of the reconnection site with average speed of the order of 100 km/s followed by a formation of a new NENL in the near-Earth thin current sheet. This approach allowed to model for the first time loading/unloading cycle frequently observed during extended periods of steady low-mach-number solar wind with southward interplanetary magnetic field.

  3. Reconnection Between Twisted Flux Tubes - Implications for Coronal Heating

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Knizhnik, K. J.; Antiochos, S. K.; DeVore, C. R.; Klimchuk, J. A.; Wyper, P. F.

    2015-12-01

    The nature of the heating of the Sun's corona has been a long-standing unanswered problem in solar physics. Beginning with the work of Parker (1972), many authors have argued that the corona is continuously heated through numerous small-scale reconnection events known as nanoflares. In these nanoflare models, stressing of magnetic flux tubes by photospheric motions causes the field to become misaligned, producing current sheets in the corona. These current sheets then reconnect, converting the free energy stored in the magnetic field into heat. In this work, we use the Adaptively Refined MHD Solver (ARMS) to perform 3D MHD simulations that dynamically resolve regions of strong current to study the reconnection between twisted flux tubes in a plane-parallel Parker configuration. We investigate the energetics of the process, and show that the flux tubes accumulate stress gradually before undergoing impulsive reconnection. We study the motion of the individual field lines during reconnection, and demonstrate that the connectivity of the configuration becomes extremely complex, with multiple current sheets being formed, which could lead to enhanced heating. In addition, we show that there is considerable interaction between the twisted flux tubes and the surrounding untwisted field, which contributes further to the formation of current sheets. The implications for observations will be discussed. This work was funded by a NASA Earth and Space Science Fellowship, and by the NASA TR&T Program.

  4. Ion-scale structure in Mercury's magnetopause reconnection diffusion region

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Gershman, Daniel J.; Dorelli, John C.; DiBraccio, Gina A.; Raines, Jim M.; Slavin, James A.; Poh, Gangkai; Zurbuchen, Thomas H.

    2016-06-01

    The strength and time dependence of the electric field in a magnetopause diffusion region relate to the rate of magnetic reconnection between the solar wind and a planetary magnetic field. Here we use ~150 ms measurements of energetic electrons from the Mercury Surface, Space Environment, GEochemistry, and Ranging (MESSENGER) spacecraft observed over Mercury's dayside polar cap boundary (PCB) to infer such small-scale changes in magnetic topology and reconnection rates. We provide the first direct measurement of open magnetic topology in flux transfer events at Mercury, structures thought to account for a significant portion of the open magnetic flux transport throughout the magnetosphere. In addition, variations in PCB latitude likely correspond to intermittent bursts of ~0.3-3 mV/m reconnection electric fields separated by ~5-10 s, resulting in average and peak normalized dayside reconnection rates of ~0.02 and ~0.2, respectively. These data demonstrate that structure in the magnetopause diffusion region at Mercury occurs at the smallest ion scales relevant to reconnection physics.

  5. Statistical study of reconnection exhausts in the solar wind

    SciTech Connect

    Enžl, J.; Přech, L.; Šafránková, J.; Němeček, Z.

    2014-11-20

    Magnetic reconnection is a fundamental process that changes magnetic field configuration and converts a magnetic energy to flow energy and plasma heating. This paper presents a survey of the plasma and magnetic field parameters inside 418 reconnection exhausts identified in the WIND data from 1995-2012. The statistical analysis is oriented on the re-distribution of the magnetic energy released due to reconnection between a plasma acceleration and its heating. The results show that both the portion of the energy deposited into heat as well as the energy spent on the acceleration of the exhaust plasma rise with the magnetic shear angle in accord with the increase of the magnetic flux available for reconnection. The decrease of the normalized exhaust speed with the increasing magnetic shear suggests a decreasing efficiency of the acceleration and/or the increasing efficiency of heating in high-shear events. However, we have found that the already suggested relation between the exhaust speed and temperature enhancement would be rather considered as an upper limit of the plasma heating during reconnection regardless of the shear angle.

  6. 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.

  7. Exploring Magnetopause Reconnection with MMS

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Burch, J. L.; Torbert, R. B.; Moore, T. E.; Pollock, C. J.; Mauk, B.; Fuselier, S. A.; Nakamura, R.; Hesse, M.; Ergun, R.; Giles, B. L.; Phan, T.; Baker, D. N.

    2015-12-01

    Magnetospheric Multiscale is a NASA Solar-Terrestrial Probes mission that is designed to conduct a definitive experiment on magnetic reconnection in the boundary regions of the Earth's magnetoshere. Previous missions have established that reconnection occurs somewhere on the magnetopause and in the geomagnetic tail on a nearly continuous basis. Most of the predictions that have been made about reconnection on the MHD and ion scales have been confirmed and new questions posed, particularly at smaller scales. MMS is designed to probe reconnection down to the smallest scales possible thereby allowing the assessment of electron-scale pressure gradients and inertial effects as possible important drivers of magnetic reconnection. Multipoint measurements of 3D electric and magnetic fields and plasma distributions at the required spatial resolution are required along with plasma waves, energetic particles and ion composition to open this new window on reconnection and solve its remaining mysteries. With a wide range of new and vastly improved measurements at 4 locations with separations down to 10 km, MMS is fully operational and nearing the dayside magnetopause where its exploration begins. In this paper results obtained from the first three months of magnetopause crossings will be presented.

  8. Final Report: Laboratory Studies of Spontaneous Reconnection and Intermittent Plasma Objects

    SciTech Connect

    Egedal-Pedersen, Jan; Porkolab, Miklos

    2011-05-31

    The study of the collisionless magnetic reconnection constituted the primary work carried out under this grant. The investigations utilized two magnetic configurations with distinct boundary conditions. Both configurations were based upon the Versatile Toroidal Facility (VTF) at the MIT Plasma Science and Fusion Center and the MIT Physics Department. The NSF/DOE award No. 0613734, supported two graduate students (now Drs. W. Fox and N. Katz) and material expenses. The grant enabled these students to operate the VTF basic plasma physics experiment on magnetic reconnection. The first configuration was characterized by open boundary conditions where the magnetic field lines interface directly with the vacuum vessel walls. The reconnection dynamics for this configuration has been methodically characterized and it has been shown that kinetic effects related to trapped electron trajectories are responsible for the high rates of reconnection observed. This type of reconnection has not been investigated before. Nevertheless, the results are directly relevant to observations by the Wind spacecraft of fast reconnection deep in the Earth magnetotail. The second configuration was developed to be relevant to specifically to numerical simulations of magnetic reconnection, allowing the magnetic field-lines to be contained inside the device. The configuration is compatible with the presence of large current sheets in the reconnection region and reconnection is observed in fast powerful bursts. These reconnection events facilitate the first experimental investigations of the physics governing the spontaneous onset of fast reconnection. In the Report we review the general motivation of this work and provide an overview of our experimental and theoretical results enabled by the support through the awards.

  9. Definitions of Reconnection Revisited: Distinction Between Magnetic Reconnection and Plasma Reconnection

    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

  10. What Can We Learn about Magnetotail Reconnection from 2D PIC Harris-Sheet Simulations?

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Goldman, M. V.; Newman, D. L.; Lapenta, G.

    2016-03-01

    The Magnetosphere Multiscale Mission (MMS) will provide the first opportunity to probe electron-scale physics during magnetic reconnection in Earth's magnetopause and magnetotail. This article will address only tail reconnection—as a non-steady-state process in which the first reconnected field lines advance away from the x-point in flux pile-up fronts directed Earthward and anti-Earthward. An up-to-date microscopic physical picture of electron and ion-scale collisionless tail reconnection processes is presented based on 2-D Particle-In-Cell (PIC) simulations initiated from a Harris current sheet and on Cluster and Themis measurements of tail reconnection. The successes and limitations of simulations when compared to measured reconnection are addressed in detail. The main focus is on particle and field diffusion region signatures in the tail reconnection geometry. The interpretation of these signatures is vital to enable spacecraft to identify physically significant reconnection events, to trigger meaningful data transfer from MMS to Earth and to construct a useful overall physical picture of tail reconnection. New simulation results and theoretical interpretations are presented for energy transport of particles and fields, for the size and shape of electron and ion diffusion regions, for processes occurring near the fronts and for the j × B (Hall) electric field.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Retinò, Alessandro

    2016-04-01

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

  12. In situ observation of magnetic reconnection in the front of bursty bulk flow

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wang, Rongsheng; Lu, Quanming; Du, Aimin; Nakamura, Rumi; Lu, San; Huang, Can; Liu, Chaoxu; Wu, Mingyu

    2014-12-01

    Using the Cluster observation in the magnetotail, we investigate the dynamic processes associated with a bursty bulk flow (BBF) event. The BBF is inferred to be caused by magnetic reconnection proceeding to the lobe region in its tail, called "primary reconnection." On the BBF front, another reconnection was directly encountered by one of the four Cluster satellites, and no signatures of this reconnection were simultaneously measured by the satellite at the plasma sheet boundary. It indicates that this reconnection on the BBF front remained within the plasma sheet, called "secondary reconnection." The secondary reconnection moved earthward and was followed by a magnetic island. A few earthward moving pulses of Bz were detected between the island and the primary reconnection site. These Bz pulses, propagating faster than the island ahead of it, would lead to a more compressed Bz magnetic field in the wake of the island. The observational scenario is in accordance to the model proposed to explain the generation of dipolarization front in simulations. Furthermore, both electrons and ions were significantly accelerated in this process. The mechanism is discussed also.

  13. Global Simulations of Magnetotail Reconnection

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Kuznetsova, M. M.; Hesse, M.; Rastatter, L.; Toth, G.; Gombosi, T.

    2007-01-01

    There is a growing number of observational evidences of dynamic quasi-periodical magnetosphere response to continuously southward interplan etary magnetic field (IMF). However, traditional global MHD simulatio ns with magnetic reconnection supported by numerical dissipation and ad hoc anomalous resistivity driven by steady southward IMF often prod uce only quasi-steady configurations with almost stationary near-eart h neutral line. This discrepancy can be explained by the assumption that global MHD simulations significantly underestimate the reconnectio n rate in the magnetotail during substorm expansion phase. Indeed, co mparative studies of magnetic reconnection in small scale geometries demonstrated that traditional resistive MHD did not produce the fast r econnection rates observed in kinetic simulations. The major approxim ation of the traditional MHD approach is an isotropic fluid assumption) with zero off-diagonal pressure tensor components. The approximatio n, however, becomes invalid in the diffusion region around the reconn ection site where ions become unmagnetized and experience nongyrotropic behaviour. Deviation from gyrotropy in particle distribution functi on caused by kinetic effects manifests itself in nongyrotropic pressu re tensor with nonzero off-diagonal components. We use the global MHD code BATS-R-US and replace ad hoc parameters such as "critical curren t density" and "anomalous resistivity" with a physically motivated di ssipation model. The key element of the approach is to identify diffusion regions where the isotropic fluid MHD approximation is not applic able. We developed an algorithm that searches for locations of magnet otail reconnection sites. The algorithm takes advantage of block-based domain-decomposition technique employed by the BATS-R-US. Boundaries of the diffusion region around each reconnection site are estimated from the gyrotropic orbit threshold condition, where the ion gyroradius is equal to the distance to the

  14. Mechanics of viscous vortex reconnection

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hussain, Fazle; Duraisamy, Karthik

    2011-02-01

    This work is motivated by our long-standing claim that reconnection of coherent structures is the dominant mechanism of jet noise generation and plays a key role in both energy cascade and fine-scale mixing in fluid turbulence [F. Hussain, Phys. Fluids 26, 2816 (1983); J. Fluid Mech. 173, 303 (1986)]. To shed further light on the mechanism involved and quantify its features, the reconnection of two antiparallel vortex tubes is studied by direct numerical simulation of the incompressible Navier-Stokes equations over a wide range (250-9000) of the vortex Reynolds number, Re (=circulation/viscosity) at much higher resolutions than have been attempted. Unlike magnetic or superfluid reconnections, viscous reconnection is never complete, leaving behind a part of the initial tubes as threads, which then undergo successive reconnections (our cascade and mixing scenarios) as the newly formed bridges recoil from each other by self-advection. We find that the time tR for orthogonal transfer of circulation scales as tR≈Re-3/4. The shortest distance d between the tube centroids scales as d ≈a[Re(t0-t)]3/4 before reconnection (collision) and as d ≈b[Re(t -t0)]2 after reconnection (repulsion), where t0 is the instant of smallest separation between vortex centroids. We find that b is a constant, thus suggesting self-similarity, but a is dependent on Re. Bridge repulsion is faster than collision and is more autonomous as local induction predominates, and, given the associated acceleration of vorticity, is potentially a source of intense sound generation. At the higher Re studied, the tails of the colliding threads are compressed into a planar jet with multiple vortex pairs. For Re>6000, there is an avalanche of smaller scales during the reconnection, the rate of small scale generation and the spectral content (in vorticity, transfer function and dissipation spectra) being quite consistent with the structures visualized by the λ2 criterion. The maximum rate of vortex

  15. Sustained lobe reconnection in Saturn's magnetotail

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Thomsen, M. F.; Jackman, C. M.; Mitchell, D. G.; Hospodarsky, G.; Kurth, W. S.; Hansen, K. C.

    2015-12-01

    The degree to which solar wind driving may affect Saturn's magnetosphere is not yet fully understood. We present observations that suggest that under some conditions the solar wind does govern the character of the plasma sheet in Saturn's outer magnetosphere. On 16 September 2006, the Cassini spacecraft, at a radial distance of 37 Rs near local midnight, observed a sunward flowing ion population for ~5 h, which was accompanied by enhanced Saturn Kilometric Radiation emissions. We interpret this beam as the outflow from a long-lasting episode of Dungey-type reconnection, i.e., reconnection of previously open flux containing magnetosheath material. The beam occurred in the middle of a several-day interval of SKR activity and enhanced lobe magnetic field strength, apparently caused by the arrival of a solar wind compression region with significantly higher than average dynamic pressure. The arrival of the high-pressure solar wind also marked a change in the composition of the plasma-sheet plasma, from water-group-dominated material clearly of inner-magnetosphere origin to material dominated by light-ion composition, consistent with captured magnetosheath plasma. This event suggests that under the influence of prolonged high solar wind dynamic pressure, the tail plasma sheet, which normally consists of inner-magnetospheric plasma, is eroded away by ongoing reconnection that then involves open lobe field lines. This process removes open magnetic flux from the lobes and creates a more Earth-like, Dungey-style outer plasma sheet dominantly of solar wind origin. This behavior is potentially a recurrent phenomenon driven by repeating high-pressure streams (corotating interaction regions) in the solar wind, which also drive geomagnetic storms at Earth.

  16. Dipolarization Fronts from Reconnection Onset

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Sitnov, M. I.; Swisdak, M. M.; Merkin, V. G.; Buzulukova, N.; Moore, T. E.

    2012-12-01

    Dipolarization fronts observed in the magnetotail are often viewed as signatures of bursty magnetic reconnection. However, until recently spontaneous reconnection was considered to be fully prohibited in the magnetotail geometry because of the linear stability of the ion tearing mode. Recent theoretical studies showed that spontaneous reconnection could be possible in the magnetotail geometries with the accumulation of magnetic flux at the tailward end of the thin current sheet, a distinctive feature of the magnetotail prior to substorm onset. That result was confirmed by open-boundary full-particle simulations of 2D current sheet equilibria, where two magnetotails were separated by an equilibrium X-line and weak external electric field was imposed to nudge the system toward the instability threshold. To investigate the roles of the equilibrium X-line, driving electric field and other parameters in the reconnection onset process we performed a set of 2D PIC runs with different initial settings. The investigated parameter space includes the critical current sheet thickness, flux tube volume per unit magnetic flux and the north-south component of the magnetic field. Such an investigation is critically important for the implementation of kinetic reconnection onset criteria into global MHD codes. The results are compared with Geotail visualization of the magnetotail during substorms, as well as Cluster and THEMIS observations of dipolarization fronts.

  17. 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.

  18. Energetic ion acceleration during magnetic reconnection in the Earth's magnetotail

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Imada, Shinsuke; Hirai, Mariko; Hoshino, Masahiro

    2015-12-01

    In this paper, we present a comprehensive study of the energetic ion acceleration during magnetic reconnection in the Earth's magnetosphere using the Geotail data. A clear example of the energetic ion acceleration up to 1 MeV around an X-type neutral line is shown. We find that the energetic ions are localized at far downstream of reconnection outflow. The time variation of energetic ion and electron is almost the same. We observe ˜100 keV ions over the entire observation period. We study ten events in which the Geotail satellite observed in the vicinity of diffusion region in order to understand the reconnection characteristics that determine the energetic ion acceleration efficiency. We find that the reconnection electric field, total amount of reduced magnetic energy, reconnection rate, satellite location in the Earth's magnetosphere (both X GSM and Y GSM) show high correlation with energetic ion acceleration efficiency. Also, ion temperature, electron temperature, ion/electron temperature ratio, current sheet thickness, and electric field normal to the neutral sheet show low correlation. We do not find any correlation with absolute value of outflow velocity and current density parallel to magnetic field. The energetic ion acceleration efficiency is well correlated with large-scale parameters (e.g., total amount of reduced magnetic energy and satellite location), whereas the energetic electron acceleration efficiency is correlated with small-scale parameters (e.g., current sheet thickness and electric field normal to the neutral sheet). We conclude that the spatial size of magnetic reconnection is important for energetic ion acceleration in the Earth's magnetotail.

  19. Reconnection rates, small scale structures and simulations

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Matthaeus, W. H.

    1983-01-01

    The study of reconnection in the context of one fluid, two dimensional magnetohydrodynamics (MHD), with spatially uniform constant density, viscosity and resistivity is though to retain most of the physics important in reconnection. Much of the existing reconnection literature makes use of this approach. This discussion focuses on attempts to determine the properties of reconnection solutions to MHD as precisely as possible without regard to the intrinsic limitations of the model.

  20. Observations of reconnected flux tubes within the midaltitude cusp

    SciTech Connect

    Saflekos, N.A. ); Burch, J.L. ); Sugiura, M. ); Gurnett, D.A. ); Horwitz, J.L. )

    1990-06-01

    Dynamics Explorer 1 observations within the midaltitude polar cusp provide indirect evidence of reconnected flux tubes (RFT) envisioned to be extensions of the flux transfer events reportedly found near the magnetopause. In this study, low-energy plasma, high-energy plasma, magnetic fields, and electric fields were used to identify the signatures of reconnected flux tubes in the midaltitude cusp. Inside isolated flux tubes, low-energy plasma was observed to be transferred from the magnetosheath to the magnetosphere, and relatively hot plasma was observed to be transferred from the magnetosphere to the magnetosheath. The cool magnetosheath plasma and the relatively hot magnetospheric plasma shared the same magnetic flux tube. The RFT signature is most easily identified in electron and ion energy fluxes plotted versus time for all pitch angles. The characteristics of spatial scale, time duration, and frequency of occurrence between flux transfer events and midaltitude cusp reconnected flux tubes are consistent, although they differ in the direction of motion. However, the merging cell topology and the interplanetary magnetic field B{sub y} effect can explain this difference. Larger-scale (space and time) events can be explained by motion of the cusp resulting from a quasi-steady reconnection process. The field-aligned currents associated with reconnected flux tubes are midaltitudes within the cusp are consistent with twisting of magnetic field lines and with closure by Pedersen currents. It is possible that what appear to be field-aligned currents closing by Pedersen ionospheric currents may also be interpreted as currents carried by Alfven waves.

  1. Stability of axisymmetric liquid bridges

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Fel, Leonid G.; Rubinstein, Boris Y.

    2015-12-01

    Based on the Weierstrass representation of second variation, we develop a non-spectral theory of stability for isoperimetric problem with minimized and constrained two-dimensional functionals of general type and free endpoints allowed to move along two given planar curves. We establish the stability criterion and apply this theory to the axisymmetric liquid bridge between two axisymmetric solid bodies without gravity to determine the stability of menisci with free contact lines. For catenoid and cylinder menisci and different solid shapes, we determine the stability domain. The other menisci (unduloid, nodoid and sphere) are considered in a simple setup between two plates. We find the existence conditions of stable unduloid menisci with and without inflection points.

  2. Current Sheet and Reconnection Inflow-Outflow Observations During Solar Eruptions

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Savage, Sabrina; Holman, Gordon; Reeves, Kathy R.; Seaton, Daniel B.; McKenzie, David E.; Su, Yang

    2011-01-01

    Magnetic reconnection is widely accepted as a dominant source of energy during solar flares; however, observations of it have been indirect and/or incomplete. Using the suite of instruments available spanning wavelength space, we will provide observations and measurements of both the inputs and outputs predicted from reconnection in the form of inflows preceding outflows (i.e. supra-arcade downflows, supra-arcade downflowing loops, upflows, and disconnection events). We will also present evidence for current sheets through which reconnection is expected to occur and discuss current sheet motion during flare progression.

  3. Magnetic reconnection launcher

    DOEpatents

    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.

  4. Electron jet of asymmetric reconnection

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Khotyaintsev, Yu. V.; Graham, D. B.; Norgren, C.; Eriksson, E.; Li, W.; Johlander, A.; Vaivads, A.; André, M.; Pritchett, P. L.; Retinò, A.; Phan, T. D.; Ergun, R. E.; Goodrich, K.; Lindqvist, P.-A.; Marklund, G. T.; Le Contel, O.; Plaschke, F.; Magnes, W.; Strangeway, R. J.; Russell, C. T.; Vaith, H.; Argall, M. R.; Kletzing, C. A.; Nakamura, R.; Torbert, R. B.; Paterson, W. R.; Gershman, D. J.; Dorelli, J. C.; Avanov, L. A.; Lavraud, B.; Saito, Y.; Giles, B. L.; Pollock, C. J.; Turner, D. L.; Blake, J. D.; Fennell, J. F.; Jaynes, A.; Mauk, B. H.; Burch, J. L.

    2016-06-01

    We present Magnetospheric Multiscale observations of an electron-scale current sheet and electron outflow jet for asymmetric reconnection with guide field at the subsolar magnetopause. The electron jet observed within the reconnection region has an electron Mach number of 0.35 and is associated with electron agyrotropy. The jet is unstable to an electrostatic instability which generates intense waves with E∥ amplitudes reaching up to 300 mV m-1 and potentials up to 20% of the electron thermal energy. We see evidence of interaction between the waves and the electron beam, leading to quick thermalization of the beam and stabilization of the instability. The wave phase speed is comparable to the ion thermal speed, suggesting that the instability is of Buneman type, and therefore introduces electron-ion drag and leads to braking of the electron flow. Our observations demonstrate that electrostatic turbulence plays an important role in the electron-scale physics of asymmetric reconnection.

  5. Tail reconnection triggering substorm onset.

    PubMed

    Angelopoulos, Vassilis; McFadden, James P; Larson, Davin; Carlson, Charles W; Mende, Stephen B; Frey, Harald; Phan, Tai; Sibeck, David G; Glassmeier, Karl-Heinz; Auster, Uli; Donovan, Eric; Mann, Ian R; Rae, I Jonathan; Russell, Christopher T; Runov, Andrei; Zhou, Xu-Zhi; Kepko, Larry

    2008-08-15

    Magnetospheric substorms explosively release solar wind energy previously stored in Earth's magnetotail, encompassing the entire magnetosphere and producing spectacular auroral displays. It has been unclear whether a substorm is triggered by a disruption of the electrical current flowing across the near-Earth magnetotail, at approximately 10 R(E) (R(E): Earth radius, or 6374 kilometers), or by the process of magnetic reconnection typically seen farther out in the magnetotail, at approximately 20 to 30 R(E). We report on simultaneous measurements in the magnetotail at multiple distances, at the time of substorm onset. Reconnection was observed at 20 R(E), at least 1.5 minutes before auroral intensification, at least 2 minutes before substorm expansion, and about 3 minutes before near-Earth current disruption. These results demonstrate that substorms are likely initiated by tail reconnection. PMID:18653845

  6. 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.

  7. Electron scale structures and magnetic reconnection signatures in the turbulent magnetosheath

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Yordanova, E.; Vörös, Z.; Varsani, A.; Graham, D. B.; Norgren, C.; Khotyaintsev, Yu. V.; Vaivads, A.; Eriksson, E.; Nakamura, R.; Lindqvist, P.-A.; Marklund, G.; Ergun, R. E.; Magnes, W.; Baumjohann, W.; Fischer, D.; Plaschke, F.; Narita, Y.; Russell, C. T.; Strangeway, R. J.; Le Contel, O.; Pollock, C.; Torbert, R. B.; Giles, B. J.; Burch, J. L.; Avanov, L. A.; Dorelli, J. C.; Gershman, D. J.; Paterson, W. R.; Lavraud, B.; Saito, Y.

    2016-06-01

    Collisionless space plasma turbulence can generate reconnecting thin current sheets as suggested by recent results of numerical magnetohydrodynamic simulations. The Magnetospheric Multiscale (MMS) mission provides the first serious opportunity to verify whether small ion-electron-scale reconnection, generated by turbulence, resembles the reconnection events frequently observed in the magnetotail or at the magnetopause. Here we investigate field and particle observations obtained by the MMS fleet in the turbulent terrestrial magnetosheath behind quasi-parallel bow shock geometry. We observe multiple small-scale current sheets during the event and present a detailed look of one of the detected structures. The emergence of thin current sheets can lead to electron scale structures. Within these structures, we see signatures of ion demagnetization, electron jets, electron heating, and agyrotropy suggesting that MMS spacecraft observe reconnection at these scales.

  8. Inertial-Range Reconnection in Magnetohydrodynamic Turbulence and in the Solar Wind.

    PubMed

    Lalescu, Cristian C; Shi, Yi-Kang; Eyink, Gregory L; Drivas, Theodore D; Vishniac, Ethan T; Lazarian, Alexander

    2015-07-10

    In situ spacecraft data on the solar wind show events identified as magnetic reconnection with wide outflows and extended "X lines," 10(3)-10(4) times ion scales. To understand the role of turbulence at these scales, we make a case study of an inertial-range reconnection event in a magnetohydrodynamic simulation. We observe stochastic wandering of field lines in space, breakdown of standard magnetic flux freezing due to Richardson dispersion, and a broadened reconnection zone containing many current sheets. The coarse-grain magnetic geometry is like large-scale reconnection in the solar wind, however, with a hyperbolic flux tube or apparent X line extending over integral length scales. PMID:26207472

  9. Mechanisms for fast flare reconnection

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Vanhoven, G.; Deeds, D.; Tachi, T.

    1988-01-01

    Normal collisional-resistivity mechanisms of magnetic reconnection have the drawback that they are too slow to explain the fast rise of solar flares. Two methods are examined which are proposed for the speed-up of the magnetic tearing instability: the anomalous enhancement of resistivity by the injection of MHD turbulence and the increase of Coulomb resistivity by radiative cooling. The results are described for nonlinear numerical simulations of these processes which show that the first does not provide the claimed effects, while the second yields impressive rates of reconnection, but low saturated energy outputs.

  10. Reconnection brightenings in the quiet solar photosphere

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Rouppe van der Voort, Luc H. M.; Rutten, Robert J.; Vissers, Gregal J. M.

    2016-08-01

    We describe a new quiet-Sun phenomenon which we call quiet-Sun Ellerman-like brightenings (QSEB). QSEBs are similar to Ellerman bombs (EB) in some respects but differ significantly in others. EBs are transient brightenings of the wings of the Balmer Hα line that mark strong-field photospheric reconnection in complex active regions. QSEBs are similar but smaller and less intense Balmer-wing brightenings that occur in quiet areas away from active regions. In the Hα wing, we measure typical lengths of less than 0.5 arcsec, widths of 0.23 arcsec, and lifetimes of less than a minute. We discovered them using high-quality Hα imaging spectrometry from the Swedish 1-m Solar Telescope (SST) and show that, in lesser-quality data, they cannot be distinguished from more ubiquitous facular brightenings, nor in the UV diagnostics currently available from space platforms. We add evidence from concurrent SST spectropolarimetry that QSEBs also mark photospheric reconnection events, but in quiet regions on the solar surface. The movies are available in electronic form at http://www.aanda.org

  11. Experiments in axisymmetric supersonic jets

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Moore, Cyrille Dennis

    An experimental study of the effects of exit Mach number and density ratio on the development of axisymmetric jets is described in this thesis. Jet exit Mach numbers of 1.41, 2.0, and 3.0, were studied for jets of helium, argon, and nitrogen. The jets exit into a gas at rest (velocity ratio = 0), in order to better isolate the effects of compressibility and density ratio. Density ratios vary from 0.23 to 5.5.In order to generate shock free-jets, unique nozzles were designed and constructed for each gas and Mach number combination. A plating method for the construction of the nozzles was developed to ensure high-accuracy and a good surface finish at a cost significantly less than direct-machining techniques.The spreading rate of the jet for several downstream locations is measured with a pitot probe. Centerline data are used to characterise the length of the potential core of the jet, which correlates well with the relative spreading rates. Limited frequency data is obtained through the use of piezo-resistive pressure probes. This method is promising for flows that are not conducive to hot-wire probes.Spark shadography is used to visualize both the mean and instantaneous flow, with the minimum spark time being 20 nanoseconds. The convection velocity of large-scale disturbances is estimated from the visible Mach-type acoustic waves emanating from the jet.For a wide range of jet Mach and Reynolds numbers, the convection velocity of the large scale disturbances in the potential core region of the jet is approximately 0.8 times the jet velocity, the approximate velocity of the first helical instability mode of the jet.The main objectives of the present work were to investigate the effects of compressibility and density on the initial development of the axisymmetric jet. Although the data are not sufficient to determine if the convective Mach number concept used in 2-d shear layer research will work in the case of an axisymmetric jet, it is clear that the axisymmetric

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

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

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

    2010-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-06-10

    We report observations from the Magnetospheric Multiscale satellites of parallel electric fields (E_{∥}) associated with magnetic reconnection in the subsolar region of the Earth's magnetopause. E_{∥} events near the electron diffusion region have amplitudes on the order of 100  mV/m, which are significantly larger than those predicted for an antiparallel reconnection electric field. This Letter addresses specific types of E_{∥} events, which appear as large-amplitude, near unipolar spikes that are associated with tangled, reconnected magnetic fields. These E_{∥} events are primarily in or near a current layer near the separatrix and are interpreted to be double layers that may be responsible for secondary reconnection in tangled magnetic fields or flux ropes. These results are telling of the three-dimensional nature of magnetopause reconnection and indicate that magnetopause reconnection may be often patchy and/or drive turbulence along the separatrix that results in flux ropes and/or tangled magnetic fields. PMID:27341241

  14. Reconnection in thin current sheets

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Tenerani, Anna; Velli, Marco; Pucci, Fulvia; Rappazzo, A. F.

    2016-05-01

    It has been widely believed that reconnection is the underlying mechanism of many explosive processes observed both in nature and laboratory, but the question of reconnection speed and initial trigger have remained mysterious. How is fast magnetic energy release triggered in high Lundquist (S) and Reynolds (R) number plasmas?It has been shown that a tearing mode instability can grow on an ideal timescale, i.e., independent from the the Lundquist number, once the current sheet thickness becomes thin enough, or rather the inverse aspect ratio a/L reaches a scale a/L~S-1/3. As such, the latter provides a natural, critical threshold for current sheets that can be formed in nature before they disrupt in a few Alfvén time units. Here we discuss the transition to fast reconnection extended to simple viscous and kinetic models and we propose a possible scenario for the transition to explosive reconnection in high-Lundquist number plasmas, that we support with fully nonlinear numerical MHD simulations of a collapsing current sheet.

  15. Colour Reconnection at LEP2

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Abreu, P.

    2002-03-01

    The preliminary results on the search of colour reconnection effects (CR) from the four experiments at LEP, Aleph, Delphi, L3 and Opal, are reviewed. Extreme models are excluded by studies of standard variables, and on going studies of a method first suggested by L3, the particle flow method1, are yet inconclusive.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Cassak, P. A.

    2008-05-01

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

  17. Cluster Observations of Energetic Particles at the Reconnecting Magnetopause

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lee, S.; Zhang, H.; Glassmeier, K.; Daly, P. W.; Reme, H.

    2011-12-01

    We present preliminary results on a magnetic reconnection event observed by the Cluster spacecraft at the dayside magnetopause. Cluster 3 crossed the magnetopause at (X, Y, Z) = (8.3, 1.3, 4.5) RE GSM while travelling outbound in the northern hemisphere on March 5, 2007. Bursty high speed flows (Vz~250 km/s, Vx~-200 km/s) were observed from 18:55 UT to 19:10 UT. Meanwhile, energetic protons (> 30 keV) and Oxygen ions were observed by the RAPID instrument. During this time interval, the IMF was southward with (Bx, By, Bz) = (-4, 0, -4) nT GSM and the solar wind speed was -400 km/s. Cold plasmashperic materials were accelerated by the magnetic reconnection. The ion pitch angle measured by the CIS instrument changed from 0 to 180 degree, indicating that the direction of the magnetic field changed from northward to southward, i.e., the spacecraft passed the reconnection outflow region from the magnetospheric side to the magnetosheath side. The energy spectra of ions before and during the outflow region crossing have been investigated. The role played by cold ions in the reconnection process has been discussed.

  18. Magnetotail Reconnection and Flux Circulation: Jupiter and Saturn Compared

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Jackman, C. M.; Vogt, M. F.; Slavin, J. A.; Cowley, S. W. H.; Boardsen, S. A.

    2011-01-01

    The Jovian magnetosphere has been visited by eight spacecraft, and the magnetometer data have been used to identify dozens of plasmoids and 250 field dipolarizations associated with magnetic reconnection in the tail [e.g. Vogt et al., 2010]. Since the arrival of the Cassini spacecraft at Saturn in 2004, the magnetometer instrument has also been used to identify reconnection signatures. The deepest magnetotail orbits were in 2006, and during this time 34 signatures of plasmoids were identified. In this study we compare the statistical properties of plasmoids at Jupiter and Saturn such as duration, size, location, and recurrence period. Such parameters can be influenced by many factors, including the different Dungey cycle timescales and cross-magnetospheric potential drops at the two planets. We present superposed epoch analyses of plasmoids at the two planets to determine their average properties and to infer their role in the reconfiguration of the nightside of the magnetosphere. We examine the contributions of plasmoids to the magnetic flux transfer cycle at both planets. At Jupiter, there is evidence of an extended interval after reconnection where the field remains northward (analogous to the terrestrial post-plasmoid plasma sheet). At Saturn we see a similar feature, and calculate the amount of flux closed on average in reconnection events, leading us to an estimation of the recurrence rate of plasmoid release.

  19. Possible two-step solar energy release mechanism due to turbulent magnetic reconnection

    SciTech Connect

    Fan Quanlin; Feng Xueshang; Xiang Changqing

    2005-05-15

    In this paper, a possible two-step solar magnetic energy release process attributed to turbulent magnetic reconnection is investigated by magnetohydrodynamic simulation for the purpose of accounting for the closely associated observational features including canceling magnetic features and different kinds of small-scale activities such as ultraviolet explosive events in the lower solar atmosphere. Numerical results based on realistic transition region physical parameters show that magnetic reconnections in a vertical turbulent current sheet consist of two stages, i.e., a first slow Sweet-Parker-like reconnection and a later rapid Petschek-like reconnection, where the latter fast reconnection phase seems a direct consequence of the initial slow reconnection phase when a critical state is reached. The formation of coherent plasmoid of various sizes and their coalescence play a central role in this complex nonlinear evolution. The 'observed' values of the rate of cancellation flux as well as the approaching velocity of magnetic fragments of inverse polarity in present simulation are well consistent with the corresponding measurements in the latest observations. The difference between our turbulent magnetic reconnection two-step energy release model and other schematic two-step models is discussed and then possible application of present outcome to solar explosives is described.

  20. Multiple Spacecraft Study of the Impact of Turbulence on Reconnection Rates

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Wendel, Deirdre; Goldstein, Melvyn; Figueroa-Vinas, Adolfo; Adrian, Mark; Sahraoui, Fouad

    2011-01-01

    Magnetic turbulence and secondary island formation have reemerged as possible explanations for fast reconnection. Recent three-dimensional simulations reveal the formation of secondary islands that serve to shorten the current sheet and increase the accelerating electric field, while both simulations and observations witness electron holes whose collapse energizes electrons. However, few data studies have explicitly investigated the effect of turbulence and islands on the reconnection rate. We present a more comprehensive analysis of the effect of turbulence and islands on reconnection rates observed in space. Our approach takes advantage of multiple spacecraft to find the location of the spacecraft relative to the inflow and the outflow, to estimate the reconnection electric field, to indicate the presence and size of islands, and to determine wave vectors indicating turbulence. A superposed epoch analysis provides independent estimates of spatial scales and a reconnection electric field. We apply k-filtering and a new method adopted from seismological analyses to identify the wavevectors. From several case studies of reconnection events, we obtain preliminary estimates of the spectral scaling law, identify wave modes, and present a method for finding the reconnection electric field associated with the wave modes.

  1. A dynamo model for axisymmetric and non-axisymmetric solar magnetic fields

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Jiang, J.; Wang, J. X.

    2007-05-01

    More and more observations are showing a relatively weak, but persistent, non-axisymmetric magnetic field co-existing with the dominant axisymmetric field on the Sun. Its existence indicates that the non-axisymmetric magnetic field plays an important role in the origin of solar activity. A linear non-axisymmetric α2-Ω dynamo model is derived to explore the characteristics of the axisymmetric (m = 0) and the first non-axisymmetric (m = 1) modes and to provide a theoretical basis with which to explain the `active longitude', `flip-flop' and other non-axisymmetric phenomena. The model consists of an updated solar internal differential rotation, a turbulent diffusivity varying with depth, and an α-effect working at the tachocline in a rotating spherical system. The difference between the α2-Ω and the α-Ω models and the conditions that favour the non-axisymmetric modes under solar-like parameters are also presented.

  2. Non-axisymmetric annular curtain stability

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ahmed, Zahir U.; Khayat, Roger E.; Maissa, Philippe; Mathis, Christian

    2013-08-01

    A stability analysis of non-axisymmetric annular curtain is carried out for an axially moving viscous jet subject in surrounding viscous gas media. The effect of inertia, surface tension, gas-to-liquid density ratio, inner-to-outer radius ratio, and gas-to-liquid viscosity ratio on the stability of the jet is studied. In general, the axisymmetric disturbance is found to be the dominant mode. However, for small wavenumber, the non-axisymmetric mode is the most unstable mode and the one likely observed in reality. Inertia and the viscosity ratio for non-axisymmetric disturbances show a similar stability influence as observed for axisymmetric disturbances. The maximum growth rate in non-axisymmetric flow, interestingly, appears at very small wavenumber for all inertia levels. The dominant wavenumber increases (decreases) with inertia for non-axisymmetric (axisymmetric) flow. Gas-to-liquid density ratio, curvature effect, and surface tension, however, exhibit an opposite influence on growth rate compared to axisymmetric disturbances. Surface tension tends to stabilize the flow with reductions of the unstable wavenumber range and the maximum growth rate as well as the dominant wavenumber. The dominant wavenumber remains independent of viscosity ratio indicating the viscosity ratio increases the breakup length of the sheet with very little influence on the size of the drops. The range of unstable wavenumbers is affected only by curvature in axisymmetric flow, whereas all the stability parameters control the range of unstable wavenumbers in non-axisymmetric flow. Inertia and gas density increase the unstable wavenumber range, whereas the radius ratio, surface tension, and the viscosity ratio decrease the unstable wavenumber range. Neutral curves are plotted to separate the stable and unstable domains. Critical radius ratio decreases linearly and nonlinearly with the wavenumber for axisymmetric and non-axisymmetric disturbances, respectively. At smaller Weber numbers, a

  3. Galaxies, Axisymmetric Systems and Relativity

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    MacCallum, M. A. H.

    2011-06-01

    List of contributors; Preface; Prof. W. B. Bonnor: a biological sketch; Part I. Galaxies and Cosmology: 1. The origin of large scale cosmic structure B. J. T. Jones and P. L. Palmer; 2. The problem of origin of the primordial pertubations and the modern cosmology V. N. Lukash and I. D. Novikov; 3. The automorphism group and field equations for Bianchi universes W. L. Rogue and G. F. R. Ellis; 4. New perspectives on galaxy formation J. Silk; Part II. Axisymmetric Systems: 5. On exact radiative solutions representing finite sources J. Bicak; 6. Proof of a generalized Geroch conjecture I. Hauser and F. J. Ernst; 7. Limits of the double Kerr solution C. Hoenselaers; 8. Non-inheritance of static symmetry by Maxwell fields M. A. H. MacCallum and N. Van den Bergh; 9. Stationary axisymmetric electrovacuum fields in general relativity G. Neugebauer and D. Kramer; 10. An almost conformal approach to axial symmetry Z. Perjes; 11. Conformally stationary axisymmetric space-times J. Winicour; Part III. Relativity: 12. A family of conformally flat space-times having the same curvature tensor in a given co-ordinate frame C. D. Collinson; 13. On the Bell-Szekeres solution for colliding electromagnetic waves J. B. Griffiths; 14. A remark on the Hauser metric A. Held; 15. Numerical relativity by power series R. Penrose; 16. Projective relativity and the equation of motion E. Schmutzer; 17. On generalized equations of goedesic deviation B. F. Schutz; 18. Lobatchevski plane gravitational waves S. T. C. Siklos; 19. Perfect fluid and vacuum solutions of Einstein's field equations with flat 3-dimensional slices H. Stephani and Th. Wolf; 20. Self-similar solutions of Einstein's equations J. Wainwright.

  4. Colour annealing - a toy model of colour reconnections

    SciTech Connect

    Sandhoff, Marisa; Skands, Peter; /Fermilab

    2005-12-01

    We present a simple toy model for colour reconnections at the nonperturbative level. The model resembles an annealing-type algorithm and is applicable to any collider and process type, though we argue for a possible enhancement of the effect in hadron-hadron collisions. We present a simple application and study of the consequences for semileptonic t{bar t} events at the Tevatron.

  5. CORE ELECTRON HEATING IN SOLAR WIND RECONNECTION EXHAUSTS

    SciTech Connect

    Pulupa, M. P.; Salem, C.; Phan, T. D.; Bale, S. D.; Gosling, J. T.

    2014-08-10

    We present observational evidence of core electron heating in solar wind reconnection exhausts. We show two example events, one which shows clear heating of the core electrons within the exhaust, and one which demonstrates no heating. The event with heating occurred during a period of high inflow Alfvén speed (V {sub AL}), while the event with no heating had a low V {sub AL}. This agrees with the results of a recent study of magnetopause exhausts, and suggests that similar core electron heating can occur in both symmetric (solar wind) and asymmetric (magnetopause) exhausts.

  6. Theoretical issues on the spontaneous rotation of axisymmetric plasmas

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Coppi, B.; Zhou, T.

    2014-09-01

    An extensive series of experiments have confirmed that the observed ‘spontaneous rotation’ phenomenon in axisymmetric plasmas is related to the confinement properties of these plasmas and connected to the excitation of collective modes associated with these properties (Coppi 2000 18th IAEA Fusion Energy Conf. (Sorrento, Italy, 2000) THP 1/17, www-pub.iaea.org/MTCD/publications/PDF/csp_008c/html/node343.htm and Coppi 2002 Nucl. Fusion 42 1). In particular, radially localized modes can extract angular momentum from the plasma column from which they grow while the background plasma has to recoil in the direction opposite to that of the mode phase velocity. In the case of the excitation of the plasma modes at the edge, the loss of their angular momentum can be connected to the directed particle ejection to the surrounding medium. The recoil angular momentum is then redistributed inside the plasma column mainly by the combination of an effective viscous diffusion and an inward angular momentum transport velocity that is connected, for instance, to ion temperature gradient (ITG) driven modes. The linear and quasi-linear theories of the collisionless trapped electron modes and of the toroidal ITG driven modes are re-examined in the context of their influence on angular momentum transport. Internal modes that produce magnetic reconnection and are electromagnetic in nature, acquire characteristic phase velocity directions in high temperature regimes and become relevant to the ‘generation’ of angular momentum. The drift-tearing mode, the ‘complex’ reconnecting mode and the m0 = 1 internal mode belong to this category, the last mode acquiring different features depending on the strength of its driving factor. Toroidal velocity profiles that reproduce the experimental observations are obtained considering a global angular momentum balance equation that includes the localized sources associated with the excited internal electrostatic and electromagnetic modes

  7. On phase diagrams of magnetic reconnection

    SciTech Connect

    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.

  8. Local stability of axisymmetric plumes

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    R. v. K., Chakravarthy; Lesshafft, Lutz; Huerre, Patrick

    2014-11-01

    A linear stability analysis of a forced plume with non-zero momentum at the inlet is performed for Pr = 1 , Re = 100 and Ri near 1. The steady base flow is obtained as a laminar solution of the steady Navier Stokes equations. The base flow asymptotes to a self-similar solution as it evolves downstream. In the non-self-similar regime close to the inlet, both axisymmetric mode (m = 0) and the helical mode (m = 1) are convectively unstable at sufficiently low Richardson number. In the self-similar regime, only the helical mode is absolutely unstable and the axisymmetric mode is stable. Higher helical modes (m >= 2) are seen to be convectively unstable very close to the inlet and become stable as the flow evolves downstream. The transition from convective to absolute instability makes the flow a good candidate for observing steep nonlinear global modes associated with buoyancy. This work is supported by a PhD scholarship from Ecole polytechnique.

  9. Magnetic Reconnection Onset and Energy Release at Current Sheets

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    DeVore, C. R.; Antiochos, Spiro K.

    2015-04-01

    Reconnection and energy release at current sheets are important at the Sun (coronal heating, coronal mass ejections, flares, and jets) and at the Earth (magnetopause flux transfer events and magnetotail substorms) and other magnetized planets, and occur also at the interface between the Heliosphere and the interstellar medium, the heliopause. The consequences range from relatively quiescent heating of the ambient plasma to highly explosive releases of energy and accelerated particles. We use the Adaptively Refined Magnetohydrodynamics Solver (ARMS) model to investigate the self-consistent formation and reconnection of current sheets in an initially potential 2D magnetic field containing a magnetic null point. Unequal stresses applied to the four quadrants bounded by the X-line separatrix distort the potential null into a double-Y-type current sheet. We find that this distortion eventually leads to onset of fast magnetic reconnection across the sheet, with copious production, merging, and ejection of magnetic islands due to plasmoid instability. In the absence of a mechanism for ideal instability or loss of equilibrium of the global structure, however, this reconnection leads to minimal energy release. Essentially, the current sheet oscillates about its force-free equilibrium configuration. When the structure is susceptible to a large-scale rearrangement of the magnetic field, on the other hand, the energy release becomes explosive. We identify the conditions required for reconnection to transform rapidly a large fraction of the magnetic free energy into kinetic and other forms of plasma energy, and to restructure the current sheet and its surrounding magnetic field dramatically. We discuss the implications of our results for understanding heliophysical activity, particularly eruptions, flares, and jets in the corona.Our research was supported by NASA’s Heliophysics Supporting Research and Living With a Star Targeted Research and Technology programs.

  10. 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.

  11. The plasmoid instability during asymmetric inflow magnetic reconnection

    SciTech Connect

    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.

  12. Transient auroral emissions at Jupiter and Saturn associated with magnetic reconnection (Arne Richter Award for Outstanding Young Scientists Lecture)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Radioti, A.

    2012-04-01

    The auroral activity is the visible signature of a long chain of interactions and provides a picture of the magnetospheric processes. Ionospheric and magnetospheric coupling at Jupiter and Saturn associated with magnetospheric processes such as magnetic reconnection gives rise to precipitating energetic particles and auroral emissions. This lecture discusses the auroral dynamics with emphasis on the auroral counterpart of magnetic reconnection at Jupiter and Saturn, based on combined studies of remote auroral, in-situ magnetospheric data and simulations. In particular it is shown that periodic ejected plasma flow during magnetic reconnection in Jupiter's tail couples with the ionosphere and creates periodic auroral features. At Saturn, plasma flow produced by consecutive reconnection events in the flank of the magnetopause creates transient auroral emissions at the end of the ionospheric footprint of the newly open field lines. Finally, injected plasma populations in the magnetosphere, possibly associated with magnetic reconnection, trigger auroral features located equatorward of the main auroral ring of emission at Saturn.

  13. SIGNATURES OF MAGNETIC RECONNECTION AT BOUNDARIES OF INTERPLANETARY SMALL-SCALE MAGNETIC FLUX ROPES

    SciTech Connect

    Tian Hui; Yao Shuo; Zong Qiugang; Qi Yu; He Jiansen

    2010-09-01

    The interaction between interplanetary small-scale magnetic flux ropes and the magnetic field in the ambient solar wind is an important topic in the understanding of the evolution of magnetic structures in the heliosphere. Through a survey of 125 previously reported small flux ropes from 1995 to 2005, we find that 44 of them reveal clear signatures of Alfvenic fluctuations and thus classify them as Alfven wave trains rather than flux ropes. Signatures of magnetic reconnection, generally including a plasma jet of {approx}30 km s{sup -1} within a magnetic field rotational region, are clearly present at boundaries of about 42% of the flux ropes and 14% of the wave trains. The reconnection exhausts are often observed to show a local increase in the proton temperature, density, and plasma beta. About 66% of the reconnection events at flux rope boundaries are associated with a magnetic field shear angle larger than 90{sup 0} and 73% of them reveal a decrease of 20% or more in the magnetic field magnitude, suggesting a dominance of anti-parallel reconnection at flux rope boundaries. The occurrence rate of magnetic reconnection at flux rope boundaries through the years 1995-2005 is also investigated and we find that it is relatively low around the solar maximum and much higher when approaching solar minima. The average magnetic field depression and shear angle for reconnection events at flux rope boundaries also reveal a similar trend from 1995 to 2005. Our results demonstrate for the first time that boundaries of a substantial fraction of small-scale flux ropes have properties similar to those of magnetic clouds, in the sense that both of them exhibit signatures of magnetic reconnection. The observed reconnection signatures could be related either to the formation of small flux ropes or to the interaction between flux ropes and the interplanetary magnetic fields.

  14. Indeterminacy and instability in Petschek reconnection

    SciTech Connect

    Forbes, Terry G.; Priest, Eric R.; Seaton, Daniel B.; Litvinenko, Yuri E.

    2013-05-15

    We explain two puzzling aspects of Petschek's model for fast reconnection. One is its failure to occur in plasma simulations with uniform resistivity. The other is its inability to provide anything more than an upper limit for the reconnection rate. We have found that previously published analytical solutions based on Petschek's model are structurally unstable if the electrical resistivity is uniform. The structural instability is associated with the presence of an essential singularity at the X-line that is unphysical. By requiring that such a singularity does not exist, we obtain a formula that predicts a specific rate of reconnection. For uniform resistivity, reconnection can only occur at the slow, Sweet-Parker rate. For nonuniform resistivity, reconnection can occur at a much faster rate provided that the resistivity profile is not too flat near the X-line. If this condition is satisfied, then the scale length of the nonuniformity determines the reconnection rate.

  15. The Plasmaspheric Plume and Magnetopause Reconnection

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Walsh, B. M.; Phan, T. D.; Sibeck, D. G.; Souza, V. M.

    2014-01-01

    We present near-simultaneous measurements from two THEMIS spacecraft at the dayside magnetopause with a 1.5 h separation in local time. One spacecraft observes a high-density plasmaspheric plume while the other does not. Both spacecraft observe signatures of magnetic reconnection, providing a test for the changes to reconnection in local time along the magnetopause as well as the impact of high densities on the reconnection process. When the plume is present and the magnetospheric density exceeds that in the magnetosheath, the reconnection jet velocity decreases, the density within the jet increases, and the location of the faster jet is primarily on field lines with magnetosheath orientation. Slower jet velocities indicate that reconnection is occurring less efficiently. In the localized region where the plume contacts the magnetopause, the high-density plume may impede the solar wind-magnetosphere coupling by mass loading the reconnection site.

  16. Vortex reconnection in a swirling flow

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Alekseenko, S. V.; Kuibin, P. A.; Shtork, S. I.; Skripkin, S. G.; Tsoy, M. A.

    2016-04-01

    Processes of vortex reconnection on a helical vortex, which is formed in a swirling flow in a conical diffuser, have been studied experimentally. It has been shown that reconnection can result in the formation of both an isolated vortex ring and a vortex ring linked with the main helical vortex. A number of features of vortex reconnection, including the effects of asymmetry, generation of Kelvin waves, and formation of various bridges, have been described.

  17. Magnetic reconnection in a compressible MHD plasma

    SciTech Connect

    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.

  18. Final Report for DoE Grant DE-FG02-06ER54878, Laboratory Studies of Reconnection in Magnetically Confined Plasmas

    SciTech Connect

    Jan Egedal-Pedersen

    2010-01-29

    The study of the collisionless magnetic reconnection constituted the primary work carried out under this grant. The investigations utilized two magnetic configurations with distinct boundary conditions. Both configurations were based upon the Versatile Toroidal Facility (VTF). The first configuration is characterized by open boundary conditions where the magnetic field lines interface directly with the vacuum vessel walls. The reconnection dynamics for this configuration has been methodically characterized and it has been shown that kinetic effects related to trapped electron trajectories are responsible for the high rates of reconnection observed. This type of reconnection has not been investigated before. Nevertheless, the results are directly relevant to observations by the Wind spacecraft of fast reconnection deep in the Earth magnetotail. The second configuration was developed to be specifically relevant to numerical simulations of magnetic reconnection, allowing the magnetic field-lines to be contained inside the device. The configuration is compatible with the presence of large current sheets in the reconnection region and reconnection is observed in fast powerful bursts. These reconnection events facilitate the first experimental investigations of the physics governing the spontaneous onset of fast reconnection. In this Report we review the general motivation of this work, the experimental set-up, and the main physics results.

  19. Collisionless Reconnection and Electron Demagnetization

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Scudder, J. D.

    Observable, dimensionless properties of the electron diffusion region of collisionless magnetic reconnection are motivated and benchmarked in two and three dimensional Particle In Cell (PIC) simulations as appropriate for measurements with present state of the art spacecraft. The dimensionless quantities of this paper invariably trace their origin to breaking the magnetization of the thermal electrons. Several observable proxies are also motivated for the rate of frozen flux violation and a parameter \\varLambda _{\\varPhi } that when greater than unity is associated with close proximity to the analogue of the saddle point region of 2D reconnection usually called the electron diffusion region. Analogous regions to the electron diffusion region of 2D reconnection with \\varLambda _{\\varPhi } > 1 have been identified in 3D simulations. 10-20 disjoint diffusion regions are identified and the geometrical patterns of their locations illustrated. First examples of associations between local observables based on electron demagnetization and global diagnostics (like squashing) are also presented. A by product of these studies is the development of a single spacecraft determinations of gradient scales in the plasma.

  20. Experimental investigation of impulsive magnetic reconnection induced by large amplitude electromagnetic fluctuations in the presence of a guide field

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kuwahata, Akihiro; Inomoto, Michiaki; Yanai, Ryoma; Ono, Yasushi

    2015-11-01

    Impulsive enhancement of magnetic reconnection is one of the potential candidates to invoke various explosive events observed in nature and laboratory plasmas. In TS-3 laboratory experiment with a guide field of Bguide /Brec = 1-2.5, impulsive growth of the reconnection electric field was observed just behind the onset of large-amplitude electromagnetic fluctuations (f = 1.5-2 fci and the amplitude was 0.1Brec). It was found that both the fluctuation amplitude and the enhanced reconnection electric field during the fluctuation period showed positive correlation with the guide field. The normalized reconnection rate of about 0.03 before the onset of fluctuations was reasonably comparable with the classical reconnection rate of Sweet-Parker model. However, the reconnection rate rose up to 0.11 after the fluctuations onset, suggesting that the transition from slow steady reconnection to fast impulsive reconnection took place. Since the fluctuation amplitude was so large that the nonlinear terms of the induced electric field was not negligible. The electric field enhancement due to the nonlinear contribution from the observed fluctuation was 650 V/m, which showed good agreement with the experimentally observed electric field increment of about 800 V/m.

  1. Dissipation in Relativistic Pair-Plasma Reconnection

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Hesse, Michael; Zenitani, Seiji

    2007-01-01

    We present an investigation of the relativistic dissipation in magnetic reconnection. The investigated system consists of an electron-positron plasma. A relativistic generalization of Ohm's law is derived. We analyze a set of numerical simulations, composed of runs with and without guide magnetic field, and of runs with different species temperatures. The calculations indicate that the thermal inertia-based dissipation process survives in relativistic plasmas. For anti-parallel reconnection, it is found that the pressure tensor divergence remains the sole contributor to the reconnection electric field, whereas relativistic guide field reconnection exhibits a similarly important role of the bulk inertia terms.

  2. Dissipation in relativistic pair-plasma reconnection

    SciTech Connect

    Hesse, Michael; Zenitani, Seiji

    2007-11-15

    An investigation into the relativistic dissipation in magnetic reconnection is presented. The investigated system consists of an electron-positron plasma. A relativistic generalization of Ohm's law is derived. A set of numerical simulations is analyzed, composed of runs with and without guide magnetic field, and of runs with different species temperatures. The calculations indicate that the thermal inertia-based dissipation process survives in relativistic plasmas. For antiparallel reconnection, it is found that the pressure tensor divergence remains the sole contributor to the reconnection electric field, whereas relativistic guide field reconnection exhibits a similarly important role of the bulk inertia terms.

  3. Slipping magnetic reconnection in coronal loops.

    PubMed

    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

  4. Laboratory Reconnection Experiments - heating and particle acceleration

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ono, Yasushi

    Recent laboratory merging/ reconnection experiments have solved a number of key physics of magnetic reconnection: 1) reconnection heating/ acceleration, 2) fast reconnection mechanisms, 3) plasmoid reconnection, 4) non-steady reconnection and 5) non-thermal particle acceleration using new kinetic interpretations. Especially, significant ion temperatures 1.2keV were documented in the world-largest tokamak merging experiment: MAST after detailed 2D elucidation of ion and electron heating characteristics in TS-3 and 4 merging experiments. The measured 2D contours of ion and electron temperatures in TS-3, 4 and MAST reveal ion heating in the downstream by reconnection outflow and electron heating around the X-point by ohmic heating of current sheet. Their detailed heating mechanisms were further investigated by comparing those results with particle simulations developed by NIFS. The ion acceleration mechanism is mostly parallel acceleration by reconnection electric field and partly perpendicular acceleration by electrostatic potential. The fast shock and ion viscosity are the major dumping (heating) mechanisms for the accelerated ions. We successfully applied the reconnection heating - typically 10-50MW to the high-beta spherical tokamak formation and heating. This paper will review major progresses in those international and interdisciplinary merging tokamak experiments.

  5. Particle acceleration by magnetic reconnection in unstable twisted coronal loop

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Gordovskyy, Mykola; Browning, Philippa; Vekstein, Grigory

    Photospheric motions may result in twisting of a coronal loop magnetic field. Such a field configuration contains free energy that may be released by reconnection with the magnetic field relaxing to the linear force-free configuration. Browning & Van der Linden (2003) suggested that such a relaxation event may be triggered by onset of ideal kink instability. In the present work we study the evolution of a twisted magnetic fluxtube with zero net ax-ial current following Browning et al. (2008). Further, proton and electron trajectories are investigated using the test-particle approach consistently with the time-dependent reconnec-tion model. We discuss temporal evolution of proton and electron energy spectra and possible observational implications.

  6. 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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2015-01-01

    Magnetic reconnection, a change of magnetic field connectivity, is a fundamental physical process in which magnetic energy is released explosively, and it is responsible for various eruptive phenomena in the universe. However, this process is difficult to observe directly. Here, the magnetic topology associated with a solar reconnection event is studied in three dimensions using the combined perspectives of two spacecraft. The sequence of extreme ultraviolet images clearly shows that two groups of oppositely directed and non-coplanar magnetic loops gradually approach each other, forming a separator or quasi-separator and then reconnecting. The plasma near the reconnection site is subsequently heated from ∼1 to ≥5 MK. Shortly afterwards, warm flare loops (∼3 MK) appear underneath the hot plasma. Other observational signatures of reconnection, including plasma inflows and downflows, are unambiguously revealed and quantitatively measured. These observations provide direct evidence of magnetic reconnection in a three-dimensional configuration and reveal its origin. PMID:26113464

  8. Ion heating during reconnection in the Madison Symmetric Torus reversed field pinch

    SciTech Connect

    Gangadhara, S.; Ennis, D. A.; Hartog, D. J. den; Fiksel, G.; Prager, S. C.; Craig, D.

    2008-05-15

    Measurements of localized ion heating during magnetic reconnection in the Madison Symmetric Torus reversed field pinch [R. N. Dexter, D. W. Kerst, T. W. Lovell, S. C. Prager, and J. C. Sprott, Fusion Technol. 19, 131 (1991)] are presented using two beam-based diagnostics: Charge exchange recombination spectroscopy and Rutherford scattering. Data have been collected from three types of impulsive reconnection event, in which the resistive tearing mode activity associated with reconnection is present either in the edge plasma, the core plasma, or throughout the plasma volume. A drop in the stored magnetic energy is required for ion heating to be observed during magnetic reconnection, and when this occurs, heating is concentrated in regions where reconnection is taking place. The magnitude of the observed temperature rise during reconnection varies with ion species, suggesting that the heating mechanism has a mass and/or charge dependence. Both the magnitude and spatial structure of the observed temperature rise also depend on the plasma current and density. Nonetheless, the fraction of released magnetic energy converted to ion thermal energy remains roughly constant over a range of plasma conditions.

  9. Ion heating during reconnection in the Madison Symmetric Torus reversed field pincha)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Gangadhara, S.; Craig, D.; Ennis, D. A.; Den Hartog, D. J.; Fiksel, G.; Prager, S. C.

    2008-05-01

    Measurements of localized ion heating during magnetic reconnection in the Madison Symmetric Torus reversed field pinch [R. N. Dexter, D. W. Kerst, T. W. Lovell, S. C. Prager, and J. C. Sprott, Fusion Technol. 19, 131 (1991)] are presented using two beam-based diagnostics: Charge exchange recombination spectroscopy and Rutherford scattering. Data have been collected from three types of impulsive reconnection event, in which the resistive tearing mode activity associated with reconnection is present either in the edge plasma, the core plasma, or throughout the plasma volume. A drop in the stored magnetic energy is required for ion heating to be observed during magnetic reconnection, and when this occurs, heating is concentrated in regions where reconnection is taking place. The magnitude of the observed temperature rise during reconnection varies with ion species, suggesting that the heating mechanism has a mass and/or charge dependence. Both the magnitude and spatial structure of the observed temperature rise also depend on the plasma current and density. Nonetheless, the fraction of released magnetic energy converted to ion thermal energy remains roughly constant over a range of plasma conditions.

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-01-01

    Magnetic reconnection, a change of magnetic field connectivity, is a fundamental physical process in which magnetic energy is released explosively, and it is responsible for various eruptive phenomena in the universe. However, this process is difficult to observe directly. Here, the magnetic topology associated with a solar reconnection event is studied in three dimensions using the combined perspectives of two spacecraft. The sequence of extreme ultraviolet images clearly shows that two groups of oppositely directed and non-coplanar magnetic loops gradually approach each other, forming a separator or quasi-separator and then reconnecting. The plasma near the reconnection site is subsequently heated from ∼1 to ≥5 MK. Shortly afterwards, warm flare loops (∼3 MK) appear underneath the hot plasma. Other observational signatures of reconnection, including plasma inflows and downflows, are unambiguously revealed and quantitatively measured. These observations provide direct evidence of magnetic reconnection in a three-dimensional configuration and reveal its origin. PMID:26113464

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

    PubMed

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

    2011-06-01

    During magnetic reconnection, the field lines must break and reconnect to release the energy that drives solar and stellar flares and other explosive events in space and in the laboratory. Exactly how this happens has been unclear, because dissipation is needed to break magnetic field lines and classical collisions are typically weak. Ion-electron drag arising from turbulence, dubbed 'anomalous resistivity', and thermal momentum transport are two mechanisms that have been widely invoked. Measurements of enhanced turbulence near reconnection sites in space and in the laboratory support the anomalous resistivity idea but there has been no demonstration from measurements that this turbulence produces the necessary enhanced drag. Here we report computer simulations that show that neither of the two previously favoured mechanisms controls how magnetic field lines reconnect in the plasmas of greatest interest, those in which the magnetic field dominates the energy budget. Rather, we find that when the current layers that form during magnetic reconnection become too intense, they disintegrate and spread into a complex web of filaments that causes the rate of reconnection to increase abruptly. This filamentary web can be explored in the laboratory or in space with satellites that can measure the resulting electromagnetic turbulence. PMID:21633355

  12. Tail reconnection at Saturn: An overview of local plasmoid properties and the role of reconnection in global magnetospheric dynamics

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Jackman, C. M.; Slavin, J. A.; Kivelson, M. G.; Southwood, D. J.; Achilleos, N.; Thomsen, M. F.; DiBraccio, G. A.; Eastwood, J. P.; Freeman, M. P.; Dougherty, M. K.; Vogt, M. F.

    2014-04-01

    We present a comprehensive review of the magnetic field and plasma signatures of reconnection events observed with the Cassini spacecraft during the tail orbits of 2006. We examine their "local" properties in terms of magnetic field reconfiguration and changing plasma flows. We also describe the "global" impact of reconnection in terms of the contribution to mass loss, flux closure, and large scale tail structure. The signatures of 69 plasmoids, 17 travelling compression regions (TCRs), and 13 planetward-moving structures have been found in total to date in the tail orbits of 2006. The direction of motion is inferred from the sign of the change in the Bθ component of the magnetic field in the first instance, and confirmed through plasma flow data where available (for 30 events). We discuss the location spread of the observations, showing that where spacecraft coverage is symmetric about midnight, reconnection signatures are observed more frequently on the dawn flank than on the dusk flank and comment on the importance of this in terms of understanding Dungey- and Vasyliunas-cycle flows. We probe the interior structure of plasmoids and find a preference for loops over flux ropes at Saturn, exploring the implications of this for large-scale tail structure. We estimate the mass lost downtail through reconnection and suggest that the apparent imbalance between mass input and observed plasmoid ejection may mean that alternative mass loss methods contribute to balancing Saturn's mass budget. We also estimate the rate of magnetic flux closure in the tail and find that, where open field line closure is active, it plays a very significant role in flux cycling at Saturn.

  13. Frontiers for Laboratory Research of Magnetic Reconnection

    SciTech Connect

    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.

  14. 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.

  15. Role of reconnection in AGN jets

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lyutikov, Maxim

    2003-10-01

    We discuss the possible role of reconnection in electro-magnetically dominated cores of relativistic AGN jets. We suggest that reconnection may proceed in a two-fold fashion: initial explosive collapse on the Alfvén time-scale of a current-carrying jet (which is of the order of the light crossing time) and subsequent slow quasi-steady reconnection. Sites of explosive collapse are associated with bright knots, while steady-state reconnection re-energizes particles in the 'bridges' between the knots. Ohmic dissipation in reconnection layers leads to particle acceleration either by inductive electric fields or by stochastic particle acceleration in the ensuing electro-magnetic turbulence.

  16. 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.

  17. 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.

  18. Radiation from Axisymmetric Waveguide Fed Horns

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Chinn, G. C.; Hoppe, D. J.; Epp, L. W.

    1995-01-01

    Return losses and radiation patterns for axisymmetric waveguide fed horns are calculated with the finite element method (FEM) in conjunction with the method of moments (MoM) and the mode matching technique (MM).

  19. Axisymmetric Coanda-assisted vectoring

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Allen, Dustin; Smith, Barton L.

    2009-01-01

    An experimental demonstration of a jet vectoring technique used in our novel spray method called Coanda-assisted Spray Manipulation (CSM) is presented. CSM makes use of the Coanda effect on axisymmetric geometries through the interaction of two jets: a primary jet and a control jet. The primary jet has larger volume flow rate but generally a smaller momentum flux than the control jet. The primary jet flows through the center of a rounded collar. The control jet is parallel to the primary and is adjacent to the convex collar. The Reynolds number range for the primary jet at the exit plane was between 20,000 and 80,000. The flow was in the incompressible Mach number range (Mach < 0.3). The control jet attaches to the convex wall and vectors according to known Coanda effect principles, entraining and vectoring the primary jet, resulting in controllable r - θ directional spraying. Several annular control slots and collar radii were tested over a range of momentum flux ratios to determine the effects of these variables on the vectored jet angle and spreading. Two and Three-component Particle Image Velocimetry systems were used to determine the vectoring angle and the profile of the combined jet in each experiment. The experiments show that the control slot and expansion radius, along with the momentum ratios of the two jets predominantly affected the vectoring angle and profile of the combined jets.

  20. Investigation of the Neutral Sheet Profile during Magnetic Reconnection in a Laboratory Plasma

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Yamada, Masaaki

    1999-11-01

    Recent detailed data from laboratory plasma experiments, satellite observations, theoretical analyses, and computer simulations have contributed significantly to the understanding of magnetic reconnection both in space and laboratory plasmas. As magnetic field lines break and reconnect around the neutral region, a neutral sheet current is generated. This current then heats the plasma, and the opposing magnetic fields form a stationary equilibrium with the plasma thermal pressure. This region is a focal point of reconnection since it requires proper treatment of local non-MHD effects in a plasma which is highly conductive globally (with large Lundquist number S). Particularly, the profile of the neutral sheet current is a very good indicator of the nature of reconnection. In this talk, we focus on the diverse and very intriguing features of the neutral sheet in driven magnetic reconnection experiments on MRX(M. Yamada et al., Phys. Rev. Lett. 78), 3117 (1997); M. Yamada et al., Phys. Plasmas 4, 1936 (1997)., which was built to investigate the fundamental physics of magnetic reconnection. The MHD approximation (S >> 1, ρi << L, v_A<< c) is satisfied globally in MRX plasmas. In recent MRX experiments, the magnetic field profile of the neutral sheet was measured precisely by magnetic probes with a spatial resolution of 0.25-0.5ρ_i, and B(x) data fit excellently to the Harris profile(E. G. Harris, Il Nuovo Cimento 23), 115 (1962); S. M. Mahajan, Phys. Fluids B 1, 43 (1989). B(x) ~ tanh[(x-x_0)/δ], indicating the formation of a stable, axisymmetric neutral sheet. The sheet thickness δ is found to be equal to the ion skin depth c/ω_pi, which is in very good agreement with recent numerical simulations(J. F. Drake et al., Geophys. Res. Lett. 24), 2921 (1997); D. Biskamp et al., Phys. Rev. Lett. 75, 3850 (1995); R. Horiuchi and T. Sato, Phys. Plasmas 4, 277 (1997).. These data are also consistent with space observations both in the geotail region and the magnetopause

  1. Magnetic Reconnection During Flux Conversion in a Driven Spheromak

    SciTech Connect

    Hooper, E B; Kopriva, T A; Cohen, B I; Hill, D N; McLean, H S; Wood, R D; Woodruff, S; Sovinec, C R

    2005-06-07

    During buildup of a spheromak by helicity injection, magnetic reconnection converts toroidal flux into poloidal flux. This physics is explored in the resistive magnetohydrodynamic code, NIMROD [C.R. Sovinec, A.H. Glasser, T.A. Gianakon, D.C. Barnes, R.A. Nebel, S.E. Kruger, D.D. Schnack, S.J. Plimpton, A. Tarditi, and M.S. Chu, J. Comp. Phys., 195, 355-386 (2004)], which reveals negative current sheets with {lambda} = {mu}{sub 0}j {center_dot} B/B{sup 2}reversed relative to the applied current. The simulated event duration is consistent with magnetic diffusion on the sheet thickness and is accompanied by cathode voltage spikes and poloidal field increases similar to those seen in the Sustained Spheromak Physics Experiment, SSPX [E. B. Hooper, L. D. Pearlstein, and R. H. Bulmer, Nucl. Fusion 39, 863 (1999)]. All magnetic fieldlines are open during reconnection and their trajectories are very sensitive to their starting points, resulting in chaos. The current sheets are most intense inside the separatrix near the X-point of the mean-field spheromak, suggesting that the reconnection occurs near fieldlines which are closed in the azimuthal average.

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

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Slavin. James A.

    2009-01-01

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

  3. Statistics of energetic electrons in the magnetotail reconnection

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Zhou, Meng; Li, Tangmu; Deng, Xiaohua; Pang, Ye; Xu, Xiaojun; Tang, Rongxin; Huang, Shiyong; Li, Huimin

    2016-04-01

    Magnetic reconnection has long been regarded as an important site for producing energetic electrons in solar terrestrial and astrophysical plasmas. The motivation of this paper is to provide the average properties of energetic electrons in reconnection region, which are crucial for understanding electron energization mechanism but are rarely known. We statistically analyzed the energetic electrons through 21 magnetotail reconnection events observed by Cluster spacecraft during the years of 2001-2005. Approximately 1200 data points with time resolution of 8 s have been collected for each spacecraft. Two parameters are examined: energetic electron rate (EER) and power law index. EER, which is defined as the ratio of the integrated energetic electron flux to the lower energy electron flux, is used to quantify the electron acceleration efficiency. We find that EER and energetic electron flux (EEF) are positively correlated with the power law index, i.e., the higher rate and flux generally corresponds to softer spectrum. This unexpected correlation is probably caused by some nonadiabatic heating/acceleration mechanisms that tend to soft the spectrum with high temperature. EER is much larger within the earthward flow than the tailward flow. It is positively correlated with the outflow speed Vx, while the correlation between EER and Bz is less clear. With the increment of earthward outflow speed, the occurrence rate of high EER also monotonically increases. We find that EER generally does not increase with the increment of perpendicular electric field |E⊥|, suggesting that adiabatic betatron and Fermi acceleration probably play minor roles in electron energization during magnetotail reconnection.

  4. Physics of Reconnection and MMS Mission

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Kuznetsova, M. M.; Hesse, M.; Gombosi, T.

    2009-01-01

    Reconnection is the most important process driving the Earth's magnetosphere. Key to the success of the MMS science plan is the coupling of theory and observation. Determining the kinetic processes occurring in the diffusion region and physical parameters that control the rate of magnetic reconnection are among primary objectives of the MMS mission. Analysis of the role played by particle inertial effects in the diffusion region where the plasma is unmagnetized will be presented. The reconnection electric field in he diffusion region is supported primarily by particle non-gyrotropic effects. At the quasi-steady stage the reconnection electric field serves to accelerate and heat the incoming plasma population to maintain the current flow in the diffusion region the pressure balance. The primary mechanism controlling the dissipation in the vicinity of the reconnection site is incorporated into the fluid description in terms of non-gyrotropic corrections to the. induction and energy equations. The results of kinetic and fluid simulations illustrating the physics of magnetic reconnection will be presented. We will dem:tistrate that kinetic nongyrotropic effects can significantly alter the global magnetosphere evolution and location of reconnection sites.

  5. Reconnection in semicollisional, low-{beta} plasmas

    SciTech Connect

    Schmidt, S.; Guenter, S.; Lackner, K.

    2009-07-15

    Reconnection of semicollisional, low-{beta} plasmas is studied numerically for two model problems using a two-field description of the plasma including electron pressure effects (and hence kinetic Alfven-wave dynamics). The tearing unstable Harris sheet, with the global parameters of the Geospace Environment Modeling-challenge case, shows a linear growth of the peak reconnection rate with the drift parameter {rho}{sub s} when this scale is significantly larger than the resistive skin depth, and the island is smaller than the Harris sheet current layer width. As exemplary for a driven, rather than a spontaneous reconnection situation we study as second model system two coalescing islands, starting from a nonequilibrium situation. The peak reconnection rate again increases initially linearly with {rho}{sub s} but saturates and becomes {rho}{sub s} independent for larger values. In this saturated regime, no flux pileup occurs, and the reconnection is limited by the rate of approach of the two coalescing islands. The qualitative differences between spontaneous and driven reconnection cases and their scaling behavior are best understood by considering the reconnection rate as a triple product of outflow Mach number, outflow to inflow channel width ratio, and magnetic energy density at a height {rho}{sub s} above the X point.

  6. Evolutions of nonsteady state magnetic reconnection

    SciTech Connect

    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.

  7. Continuous magnetic reconnection at Earth's magnetopause.

    PubMed

    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

  8. 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.

  9. MHD study of three-dimensional spontaneous fast magnetic reconnection for cross-tail plasma inflows in magnetotail

    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.

  10. 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.

  11. Magnetic reconnection in a weakly ionized plasma

    SciTech Connect

    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.

  12. 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.

  13. 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.

  14. New expression for collisionless magnetic reconnection rate

    SciTech Connect

    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.

  15. Kinetic Structure of the Reconnection Diffusion Region

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Khotyaintsev, Yuri

    2016-04-01

    We present high-resolution multi-spacecraft observations of electromagnetic fields and particle distributions by Magnetospheric Multiscale (MMS) mission throughout a reconnection layer at the sub-solar magnetopause. We study which terms in the generalized Ohm's law balance the observed electric field throughout the region. We also study waves and particle distribution functions in order to identify kinetic boundaries created due to acceleration and trapping of electrons and ions as well as mixing of electron populations from different sides of the reconnecting layer. We discuss the interplay between particles, waves, and DC electric and magnetic fields, which clearly demonstrates kinetic and multi-scale nature of the reconnection diffusion region.

  16. Driven reconnection in the earth's magnetotail

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Forbes, T. G.

    1991-01-01

    In the standard reconnection model, a low flow speed leads to steady reconnection at a distant-tail x-line, but a high flow speed leads to the formation of a near-earth x-line and the onset of an auroral substorm. This paper discusses recent work which suggests that a pile-up of magnetic flux in the earth's magnetotail will occur whenever reconnection is strongly driven by the solar wind and that the near-earth x-line might result from a flux pile-up at the distant-tail x-line.

  17. Vortex-induced magnetic reconnection and single X line reconnection at the magnetopause

    SciTech Connect

    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.

  18. Particle Acceleration by Magnetic Reconnection in a Twisted Coronal Loop

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Gordovskyy, Mykola; Browning, Philippa K.

    2011-03-01

    Photospheric motions may lead to twisted coronal magnetic fields which contain free energy that can be released by reconnection. Browning & Van der Linden suggested that such a relaxation event may be triggered by the onset of ideal kink instability. In the present work, we study the evolution of a twisted magnetic flux tube with zero net axial current following Hood et al. Based on the obtained magnetic and electric fields, proton and electron trajectories are calculated using the test-particle approach. We discuss resulting particle distributions and possible observational implications, for example, for small solar flares.

  19. Spontaneous reconnection at a separator current layer: 1. Nature of the reconnection

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Stevenson, J. E. H.; Parnell, C. E.

    2015-12-01

    Magnetic separators, which lie on the boundary between four topologically distinct flux domains, are prime locations in three-dimensional magnetic fields for reconnection, especially in the magnetosphere between the planetary and interplanetary magnetic fields and also in the solar atmosphere. Little is known about the details of separator reconnection, and so the aim of this paper, which is the first of two, is to study the properties of magnetic reconnection at a single separator. Three-dimensional, resistive magnetohydrodynamic numerical experiments are run to study separator reconnection starting from a magnetohydrostatic equilibrium which contains a twisted current layer along a single separator linking a pair of opposite-polarity null points. The resulting reconnection occurs in two phases. The first is short involving rapid reconnection in which the current at the separator is reduced by a factor of around 2.3. Most (75%) of the magnetic energy is converted during this phase, via Ohmic dissipation, directly into internal energy, with just 0.1% going into kinetic energy. During this phase the reconnection occurs along most of the separator away from its ends (the nulls) but in an asymmetric manner which changes both spatially and temporally over time. The second phase is much longer and involves slow impulsive bursty reconnection. Again, Ohmic heating dominates over viscous damping. Here the reconnection occurs in small localized bursts at random anywhere along the separator.

  20. 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.

  1. On the electron dynamics during island coalescence in asymmetric magnetic reconnection

    SciTech Connect

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

    2015-09-15

    We present an analysis of the electron dynamics during rapid island merging in asymmetric magnetic reconnection. We consider a doubly periodic system with two asymmetric transitions. The upper layer is an asymmetric Harris sheet of finite width perturbed initially to promote a single reconnection site. The lower layer is a tangential discontinuity that promotes the formation of many X-points, separated by rapidly merging islands. Across both layers, the magnetic field and the density have a strong jump, but the pressure is held constant. Our analysis focuses on the consequences of electron energization during island coalescence. We focus first on the parallel and perpendicular components of the electron temperature to establish the presence of possible anisotropies and non-gyrotropies. Thanks to the direct comparison between the two different layers simulated, we can distinguish three main types of behavior characteristic of three different regions of interest. The first type represents the regions where traditional asymmetric reconnections take place without involving island merging. The second type of regions instead shows reconnection events between two merging islands. Finally, the third regions identify the regions between two diverging island and where typical signature of reconnection is not observed. Electrons in these latter regions additionally show a flat-top distribution resulting from the saturation of a two-stream instability generated by the two interacting electron beams from the two nearest reconnection points. Finally, the analysis of agyrotropy shows the presence of a distinct double structure laying all over the lower side facing the higher magnetic field region. This structure becomes quadrupolar in the proximity of the regions of the third type. The distinguishing features found for the three types of regions investigated provide clear indicators to the recently launched Magnetospheric Multiscale NASA mission for investigating magnetopause

  2. The role of magnetic reconnection on jet/accretion disk systems

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    de Gouveia Dal Pino, E. M.; Piovezan, P. P.; Kadowaki, L. H. S.

    2010-07-01

    Context. It was proposed earlier that the relativistic ejections observed in microquasars could be produced by violent magnetic reconnection episodes at the inner disk coronal region (de Gouveia Dal Pino & Lazarian 2005). Aims: Here we revisit this model, which employs a standard accretion disk description and fast magnetic reconnection theory, and discuss the role of magnetic reconnection and associated heating and particle acceleration in different jet/disk accretion systems, namely young stellar objects (YSOs), microquasars, and active galactic nuclei (AGNs). Methods: In microquasars and AGNs, violent reconnection episodes between the magnetic field lines of the inner disk region and those that are anchored in the black hole are able to heat the coronal/disk gas and accelerate the plasma to relativistic velocities through a diffusive first-order Fermi-like process within the reconnection site that will produce intermittent relativistic ejections or plasmons. Results: The resulting power-law electron distribution is compatible with the synchrotron radio spectrum observed during the outbursts of these sources. A diagram of the magnetic energy rate released by violent reconnection as a function of the black hole (BH) mass spanning 109 orders of magnitude shows that the magnetic reconnection power is more than sufficient to explain the observed radio luminosities of the outbursts from microquasars to low luminous AGNs. In addition, the magnetic reconnection events cause the heating of the coronal gas, which can be conducted back to the disk to enhance its thermal soft X-ray emission as observed during outbursts in microquasars. The decay of the hard X-ray emission right after a radio flare could also be explained in this model due to the escape of relativistic electrons with the evolving jet outburst. In the case of YSOs a similar magnetic configuration can be reached that could possibly produce observed X-ray flares in some sources and provide the heating at the

  3. Near-tail reconnection as the cause of cometary tail disconnections

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Russell, C. T.; Saunders, M. A.; Phillips, J. L.; Fedder, J. A.

    1986-01-01

    In a cometary tail disconnection event the plasma tail appears to separate from the coma and to accelerate away from it. As this occurs a new tail begins to form. It is proposed that these disconnections arise in a manner analogous to geomagnetic substorms, i.e., by the formation of a strongly reconnecting region in the near tail that forms a magnetic island in the coma and ejects the plasma tail by strengthening the magnetic 'slingshot' within the tail. This reconnection process may be triggered by several different processes, such as interplanetary shocks or variations in the Alfven Mach number.

  4. Relating magnetic reconnection to coronal heating

    PubMed Central

    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

  5. 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.

  6. 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.

  7. Forcing continuous reconnection in hybrid simulations

    SciTech Connect

    Laitinen, T. V. Janhunen, P.; Jarvinen, R.; Kallio, E.

    2014-07-15

    We have performed hybrid simulations of driven continuous reconnection with open boundary conditions. Reconnection is started by a collision of two subsonic plasma fronts with opposite magnetic fields, without any specified magnetic field configuration as initial condition. Due to continued forced plasma inflow, a current sheet co-located with a dense and hot plasma sheet develops. The translational symmetry of the current sheet is broken by applying a spatial gradient in the inflow speed. We compare runs with and without localized resistivity: reconnection is initiated in both cases, but localized resistivity stabilizes it and enhances its efficiency. The outflow speed reaches about half of Alfvén speed. We quantify the conversion of magnetic energy to kinetic energy of protons and to Joule heating and show that with localized resistivity, kinetic energy of protons is increased on average five-fold in the reconnection in our simulation case.

  8. 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.

  9. Model of two-fluid reconnection.

    PubMed

    Malyshkin, Leonid M

    2009-12-01

    A theoretical model of quasistationary, two-dimensional magnetic reconnection is presented in the framework of incompressible two-fluid magnetohydrodynamics. The results are compared with recent numerical simulations and experiment. PMID:20366155

  10. Characterization of reconnecting vortices in superfluid helium.

    PubMed

    Bewley, Gregory P; Paoletti, Matthew S; Sreenivasan, Katepalli R; Lathrop, Daniel P

    2008-09-16

    When two vortices cross, each of them breaks into two parts and exchanges part of itself for part of the other. This process, called vortex reconnection, occurs in classical and superfluids, and in magnetized plasmas and superconductors. We present the first experimental observations of reconnection between quantized vortices in superfluid helium. We do so by imaging micrometer-sized solid hydrogen particles trapped on quantized vortex cores and by inferring the occurrence of reconnection from the motions of groups of recoiling particles. We show that the distance separating particles on the just-reconnected vortex lines grows as a power law in time. The average value of the scaling exponent is approximately 1/2, consistent with the self-similar evolution of the vortices. PMID:18768790

  11. 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.

  12. Characterization of reconnecting vortices in superfluid helium

    PubMed Central

    Bewley, Gregory P.; Paoletti, Matthew S.; Sreenivasan, Katepalli R.; Lathrop, Daniel P.

    2008-01-01

    When two vortices cross, each of them breaks into two parts and exchanges part of itself for part of the other. This process, called vortex reconnection, occurs in classical and superfluids, and in magnetized plasmas and superconductors. We present the first experimental observations of reconnection between quantized vortices in superfluid helium. We do so by imaging micrometer-sized solid hydrogen particles trapped on quantized vortex cores and by inferring the occurrence of reconnection from the motions of groups of recoiling particles. We show that the distance separating particles on the just-reconnected vortex lines grows as a power law in time. The average value of the scaling exponent is approximately ½, consistent with the self-similar evolution of the vortices. PMID:18768790

  13. Patchy reconnection in the solar corona

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Guidoni, Silvina Esther

    2011-05-01

    Magnetic reconnection in plasmas, a process characterized by a change in connectivity of field lines that are broken and connected to other ones with different topology, owes its usefulness to its ability to unify a wide range of phenomena within a single universal principle. There are newly observed phenomena in the solar corona that cannot be reconciled with two-dimensional or steady-state standard models of magnetic reconnection. Supra-arcade downflows (SADs) and supra-arcade downflowing loops (SADLs) descending from reconnection regions toward solar post-flare arcades seem to be two different observational signatures of retracting, isolated reconnected flux tubes with irreducible three-dimensional geometries. This dissertation describes work in refining and improving a novel model of patchy reconnection, where only a small bundle of field lines is reconnected across a current sheet (magnetic discontinuity) and forms a reconnected thin flux tube. Traditional models have not been able to explain why some of the observed SADs appear to be hot and relatively devoid of plasma. The present work shows that plasma depletion naturally occurs in flux tubes that are reconnected across nonuniform current sheets and slide trough regions of decreasing magnetic field magnitude. Moreover, through a detailed theoretical analysis of generalized thin flux tube equations, we show that the addition to the model of pressure-driven parallel dynamics, as well as temperature-dependent, anisotropic viscosity and thermal conductivity is essential for self-consistently producing gas-dynamic shocks inside reconnected tubes that heat and compress plasma to observed temperatures and densities. The shock thickness can be as long as the entire tube and heat can be conducted along tube's legs, possibly driving chromospheric evaporation. We developed a computer program that solves numerically the thin flux tube equations that govern the retraction of reconnected tubes. Simulations carried out

  14. 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

  15. Supersonic quasi-axisymmetric vortex breakdown

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Kandil, Osama A.; Kandil, Hamdy A.; Liu, C. H.

    1991-01-01

    An extensive computational study of supersonic quasi-axisymmetric vortex breakdown in a configured circular duct is presented. The unsteady, compressible, full Navier-Stokes (NS) equations are used. The NS equations are solved for the quasi-axisymmetric flows using an implicit, upwind, flux difference splitting, finite volume scheme. The quasi-axisymmetric solutions are time accurate and are obtained by forcing the components of the flowfield vector to be equal on two axial planes, which are in close proximity of each other. The effect of Reynolds number, for laminar flows, on the evolution and persistence of vortex breakdown, is studied. Finally, the effect of swirl ration at the duct inlet is investigated.

  16. 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

  17. 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.

  18. 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.

  19. Temperature and Energy of 4-Dimensional Axisymmetric Black Holes from Entropic Force

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Zhao, Ren; Zhang, Li-Chun; Wu, Yue-Qin; Li, Huai-Fan

    2011-01-01

    We investigate the temperature and energy on holographic screens for 4-dimensional axisymmetric black holes with the entropic force idea proposed by Verlinde. According to the principle of thermal equilibrium, the location of holographic screen outside the axisymmetric black hole horizon is not a equivalent radius surface. The location of isothermal holographic screen outside the axisymmetric black hole horizon is obtained. Using the equipartition rule, we derive the correction expression of energy of isothermal holographic screen. When holographic screens are far away the black hole horizon, the entropic force of charged rotating particles can be expressed as Newton's law of gravity. When the screen crosses the event horizon, the temperature of the screen agrees with the Hawking temperature and the entropic force gives rise to the surface gravity for both of the black holes.

  20. Magnetic reconnection at the magnetopause: Low-energy ions and modification of the Hall physics

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    André, Mats; Li, Wenya; Toledo-Redondo, Sergio; Vaivads, Andris; Khotyaintsev, Yuri; Graham, Daniel; Norgren, Cecilia; Burch, James; Lindqvist, Per-Arne; Ergun, Robert; Torbert, Roy; Magnes, Werner; Russell, Christopher; Giles, Barbara; Pollock, Craig

    2016-04-01

    We use statistics from the Cluster spacecraft and show that low-energy ions with energies less than tens of eV originating from the ionosphere are common just inside the magnetopause. During magnetopause magnetic reconnection events, these low-energy ions remain magnetized down to smaller length-scales than the hot (keV) magnetospheric ions, introducing a new scale. When magnetized low-energy ions are present, the Hall currents carried by electrons can be partially cancelled by these ions. The electrons and the magnetized low-energy ions ExB drift together. We investigate magnetic reconnection separatrices at various magnetopause locations, using MMS and Cluster spacecraft observations. We verify that when a mixture of ions of very different temperatures is present in reconnecting plasmas, the microphysics related to the Hall effect is significantly modified.

  1. Magnetopause reconnection diffusion regions resolved by the NASA Magnetospheric Multiscale mission

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Chen, Li-Jen

    2016-07-01

    Our understanding of how magnetic reconnection occurs in collisionless plasmas depends highly on our ability to resolve structures of the diffusion region. Unraveling the physical processes in the diffusion region is the primary goal of the NASA mission Magnetospheric Multiscale (MMS). With its first science phase began in September, 2015, the four MMS satellites have encountered both ion and electron diffusion regions during magnetopause reconnection. We will discuss a few diffusion region events including cases with negligible and finite guide fields, and compare the results with particle-in-cell (PIC) simulations. In particular, a close comparison between particle distribution functions observed by MMS and those predicted by PIC will be made to highlight how the unprecedented high-resolution MMS measurements advance the current state-of-knowledge on collisionless reconnection.

  2. Fermi I electron acceleration by magnetic reconnection exhausts on closely stacked current sheets near the heliopause

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Czechowski, A.; Grzedzielski, S.; Strumik, M.

    2010-03-01

    Recent observations (up to 32 AU) of solar wind reconnection exhausts suggest fairly frequent occurrence of such events on current sheets associated with the ICME fronts and on the heliospheric current sheet (HCS). Comparison of relevant plasma β values and magnetic field strengths with conditions in the heliosheath indicates that reconnection may also take place in the heliosheath, especially towards the heliopause where the folds of HCS are expected to be pressed together by the slowing of solar plasma flow. We propose a Fermi I type acceleration mechanism in which particles gain energy by random collisions reconnection exhausts expanding typically with local Alfven speed. The most probable place for this process is a (several wide) region of tightly folded HCS near the nose of heliopause. The process may in particular provide the mechanism of accelerating the electrons needed for generation of 2-3 kHz heliospheric emissions.

  3. The variation of reconnection rate at the dayside magnetopause and cusp ion precipitation

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Lockwood, M.; Smith, M. F.

    1992-01-01

    A method is presented which allows estimation of the variation of the rate of magnetic reconnection at the dayside magnetopause. This is achieved using observations of the cusp particle precipitation made by low-altitude polar-orbiting spacecraft. In this paper we apply the technique to a previously published example of a cusp intersection by the DMSP F7 satellite. It is shown that the cusp signature in this case was produced by three separate bursts of reconnection which were of the order of 10 min apart, each lasting roughly 1 min. This is similar to the variation of reconnection rate which is required to explain typical flux transfer event signatures at the magnetopause.

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-06-10

    The dynamics of magnetic reconnection is investigated in a laboratory experiment consisting of two magnetic flux ropes, with currents slightly above the threshold for the kink instability. The evolution features periodic bursts of magnetic reconnection. To diagnose this complex evolution, volumetric three-dimensional data were acquired for both the magnetic and electric fields, allowing key field-line mapping quantities to be directly evaluated for the first time with experimental data. The ropes interact by rotating about each other and periodically bouncing at the kink frequency. During each reconnection event, the formation of a quasiseparatrix layer (QSL) is observed in the magnetic field between the flux ropes. Furthermore, a clear correlation is demonstrated between the quasiseparatrix layer and enhanced values of the quasipotential computed by integrating the parallel electric field along magnetic field lines. These results provide clear evidence that field lines passing through the quasiseparatrix layer are undergoing reconnection and give a direct measure of the nonlinear reconnection rate. The measurements suggest that the parallel electric field within the QSL is supported predominantly by electron pressure; however, resistivity may play a role. PMID:27341240

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2016-06-01

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

  6. Experimental onset threshold and magnetic pressure pileup for 3D Sweet-Parker reconnection

    SciTech Connect

    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.

  7. Evidence of electron acceleration around the reconnection X-point in a solar flare

    SciTech Connect

    Narukage, Noriyuki; Shimojo, Masumi; Sakao, Taro

    2014-06-01

    Particle acceleration is one of the most significant features that are ubiquitous among space and cosmic plasmas. It is most prominent during flares in the case of the Sun, with which huge amounts of electromagnetic radiation and high-energy particles are expelled into the interplanetary space through acceleration of plasma particles in the corona. Though it has been well understood that energies of flares are supplied by the mechanism called magnetic reconnection based on the observations in X-rays and EUV with space telescopes, where and how in the flaring magnetic field plasmas are accelerated has remained unknown due to the low plasma density in the flaring corona. We here report the first observational identification of the energetic non-thermal electrons around the point of the ongoing magnetic reconnection (X-point), with the location of the X-point identified by soft X-ray imagery and the localized presence of non-thermal electrons identified from imaging-spectroscopic data at two microwave frequencies. Considering the existence of the reconnection outflows that carries both plasma particles and magnetic fields out from the X-point, our identified non-thermal microwave emissions around the X-point indicate that the electrons are accelerated around the reconnection X-point. Additionally, the plasma around the X-point was also thermally heated up to 10 MK. The estimated reconnection rate of this event is ∼0.017.

  8. Low-Frequency Waves in the Tail Reconnection Region

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Shinohara, I.; Fujimoto, M.; Nagai, T.; Zenitani, S.; Kojima, H.

    2016-02-01

    The wave modes in the ion-electron hybrid scales, such as the lower hybrid drift wave, has been the center of attention because they enable coupling between electron and ion dynamics and thus can be the agent for the anomalous resistivity. This chapter reports the results of a statistical survey on the wave activity in the lower hybrid frequency range. First, it briefly describes what the Geotail's best X-line crossing event tells us. Then, the chapter labels 16 flow reversals as "nonactive" flow reversal events, contrariwise to the 30 "active" X-line events. An important result in the chapter is the dawn-dusk asymmetry in the spatial distribution of the electric wave energy densities that coincides with the spatial structure of the reconnection region.

  9. 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.

  10. Impulsive Reconnection in the Sun's Atmosphere

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Antiochos, Spiro K.

    2009-01-01

    Recent high-resolution observations from the Hinode mission show dramatically that the Sun's atmosphere is filled with explosive activity ranging from chromospheric explosions that reach heights of Mm, to coronal jets that can extend to solar radii, to giant coronal mass ejections (CME) that reach the edge of the heliosphere. The driver for all this activity is believed to be 3D magnetic reconnection. From the large variation observed in the temporal behavior of solar activity, it is clear that reconnection in the corona must take on a variety of distinct forms. The explosive nature of jets and CMEs requires that the reconnection be impulsive in that it stays off until a substantial store of free energy has been accumulated, but then turns on abruptly and stays on until much of this free energy is released. The key question, therefore, is what determines whether the reconnection is impulsive or not. We present some of the latest observations and numerical models of explosive and non-explosive solar activity. We argue that, in order for the reconnection to be impulsive, it must be driven by a quasi-ideal instability. We discuss the generality of our results for understanding 31) reconnection in other contexts.