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Sample records for collisionless current sheets

  1. Numerical simulation of three-dimensional reconnection due to the instability of collisionless current sheets

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Büchner, J.; Kuska, J.-P.

    1997-01-01

    Based on analytical calculations we have currently argued that spontaneous reconnection through thin collisionless current sheets is an essentially three-dimensional (3 D) process (Büchner, 1996 a, b). Since 3 D kinetic PIC codes have become available, the three dimensional nature of the collisionless current sheet decay are now illustrated by numerical simulations (Büchner and Kuska, 1996; Pritchett and Coroniti, 1996; Zhu and Winglee, 1996). While the latter two claim a coupling to a longer wavelength kink mode as a main factor, destabilizing thin current sheets in 3 D, our simulations have revealed that even shorter scale perturbations in the current direction suffice to destabilize thin sheets very quickly. Since past simulation runs, however, were limited to mass ratios near unity, the influence of the electrons was not treated adequately. We have now investigated the stability of thin collisionless current sheets including 64 times lighter negatively charged particles. We can now show that while the two-dimensional tearing instability slows down for M = M_p/m_e = 64, the three-dimensional current sheet decay is a much faster process - practically as fast as the mass ratio M = 1 3 D sheet decay, even without kinking the sheet. We further conclude that, unlike the two-dimensional tearing instability, the three-dimensional decay of thin current sheets is not controlled by the electrons. For a sheet width comparable with the ion inertial length, we also recovered signatures of the Hall effect as predicted by Vasyliunas (1975) in the mass ratio M = 64 case. The ion inertial length seems to be the critical scale at which the sheet starts to decay.

  2. Electromagnetic fluctuations due to current sheet instabilities in collisionless magnetic reconnection

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Jain, Neeraj; Büchner, Jörg; Munoz Sepulveda, Patricio Alejandro

    2016-07-01

    In collisionless magnetic reconnection, dissipation region, where frozen-in condition of magnetic field breaks down, develops two scale structure, viz., electron current sheets embedded inside ion current sheets. Instabilities of these current sheets lead to the development of electromagnetic turbulence which can cause anomalous dissipation enhancing the reconnection rate. Laboratory experiments, e.g., Magnetic Reconnection Experiment and VINETA-II have measured fluctuations in electron current sheets in the lower hybrid frequency range. We present simulations of the electromagnetic turbulence generated by current sheet instabilities. The characteristic features of the electromagnetic turbulence, which can be used to identify the unstable modes responsible for the turbulence, will be studied. The results will be compared with the laboratory experiments.

  3. Instabilities of collisionless current sheets revisited: The role of anisotropic heating

    SciTech Connect

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

    2014-11-15

    In this work, we investigate the influence of the anisotropic heating on the spontaneous instability and evolution of thin Harris-type collisionless current sheets, embedded in antiparallel magnetic fields. In particular, we explore the influence of the macroparticle shape-function using a 2D version of the PIC code ACRONYM. We also investigate the role of the numerical collisionality due to the finite number of macroparticles in PIC codes. It is shown that it is appropriate to choose higher order shape functions of the macroparticles compared to a larger number of macroparticles per cell. This allows to estimate better the anisotropic electron heating due to the collisions of macroparticles in a PIC code. Temperature anisotropies can stabilize the tearing mode instability and trigger additional current sheet instabilities. We found a good agreement between the analytically derived threshold for the stabilization of the anisotropic tearing mode and other instabilities, either spontaneously developing or initially triggered ones. Numerical effects causing anisotropic heating at electron time scales become especially important for higher mass ratios (above m{sub i}/m{sub e}=180). If numerical effects are carefully taken into account, one can recover the theoretical estimated linear growth rates of the tearing instability of thin isotropic collisionless current sheets, also for higher mass ratios.

  4. Thin current sheets in collisionless plasma: Equilibrium structure, plasma instabilities, and particle acceleration

    SciTech Connect

    Zelenyi, L. M.; Malova, H. V.; Artemyev, A. V.; Popov, V. Yu.; Petrukovich, A. A.

    2011-02-15

    The review is devoted to plasma structures with an extremely small transverse size, namely, thin current sheets that have been discovered and investigated by spacecraft observations in the Earth's magnetotail in the last few decades. The formation of current sheets is attributed to complicated dynamic processes occurring in a collisionless space plasma during geomagnetic perturbations and near the magnetic reconnection regions. The models that describe thin current structures in the Earth's magnetotail are reviewed. They are based on the assumption of the quasi-adiabatic ion dynamics in a relatively weak magnetic field of the magnetotail neutral sheet, where the ions can become unmagnetized. It is shown that the ion distribution can be represented as a function of the integrals of particle motion-the total energy and quasi-adiabatic invariant. Various modifications of the initial equilibrium are considered that are obtained with allowance for the currents of magnetized electrons, the contribution of oxygen ions, the asymmetry of plasma sources, and the effects related to the non-Maxwellian particle distributions. The theoretical results are compared with the observational data from the Cluster spacecraft mission. Various plasma instabilities developing in thin current sheets are investigated. The evolution of the tearing mode is analyzed, and the parameter range in which the mode can grow are determined. The paradox of complete stabilization of the tearing mode in current sheets with a nonzero normal magnetic field component is thereby resolved based on the quasi-adiabatic model. It is shown that, over a wide range of current sheet parameters and the propagation directions of large-scale unstable waves, various modified drift instabilities-kink and sausage modes-can develop in the system. Based on the concept of a turbulent electromagnetic field excited as a result of the development and saturation of unstable waves, a mechanism for charged particle acceleration in

  5. Metastability of collisionless current sheets. Hannes Alfven Lecture on behalf of Albert Galeev

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Zelenyi, L.; Galeev, A.

    2009-04-01

    Complicated magnetic configurations containing numerous magnetic field reversals are widespread in nature. Each of such reversals is supported by corresponding current sheet (CS) which could often have very small thickness comparable to ion skin depth. Since the beginning of Space Age "in situ" investigations of current sheets in the Earth's magnetosphere (magnetopause and magnetotail) acquired one of the highest priorities in national space programs and became one of the cornerstones of various international activities, like ISTP, IACG, and ILWS, which appeared to be very effective. Intense theoretical efforts were undertaken by theorists all over the world to develop both equilibrium models of current sheets and analyze its stability and further nonlinear evolution. Lack of collisions and smallness of many characteristic scales in comparison with ion Larmor radius made an application of straightforward MHD approach dramatically questionable. Professor Alfven was one of the first who suggested in 1968 simple but very physical self-consistent particle model of CS. One of the most intriguing features of current sheets in collisionless plasma is their ability to accumulate tremendous amounts of magnetic energy (1015 J for magnetospheric substorms , 1024 J for solar flare associated sheets) and then suddenly sometimes almost explosively release them. We will demonstrate in this talk that such METASTABILITY is a principal intrinsic feature of current sheets in hot plasma. Very intense theoretical debates of 80-ies and late 90-ies resulted in some consensus that current sheets with the small component of magnetic field normal to their plane become overstable for spontaneous reconnection (i.e. versus the development of ion tearing mode). Analysis of INTERBALL and especially 4- point CLUSTER data have shown that real current sheets observed in the Earth's magnetotail very rarely resemble simplistic HARRIS current sheets which have been used for an early stability

  6. Three dimensional instabilities of an electron scale current sheet in collisionless magnetic reconnection

    SciTech Connect

    Jain, Neeraj; Büchner, Jörg

    2014-06-15

    In collisionless magnetic reconnection, electron current sheets (ECS) with thickness of the order of an electron inertial length form embedded inside ion current sheets with thickness of the order of an ion inertial length. These ECS's are susceptible to a variety of instabilities which have the potential to affect the reconnection rate and/or the structure of reconnection. We carry out a three dimensional linear eigen mode stability analysis of electron shear flow driven instabilities of an electron scale current sheet using an electron-magnetohydrodynamic plasma model. The linear growth rate of the fastest unstable mode was found to drop with the thickness of the ECS. We show how the nature of the instability depends on the thickness of the ECS. As long as the half-thickness of the ECS is close to the electron inertial length, the fastest instability is that of a translational symmetric two-dimensional (no variations along flow direction) tearing mode. For an ECS half thickness sufficiently larger or smaller than the electron inertial length, the fastest mode is not a tearing mode any more and may have finite variations along the flow direction. Therefore, the generation of plasmoids in a nonlinear evolution of ECS is likely only when the half-thickness is close to an electron inertial length.

  7. Characteristics of a current sheet shear mode in collisionless magnetic reconnection

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Fujimoto, Keizo

    2016-05-01

    The current study shows the characteristics of the kink-type electromagnetic mode excited in the thin current layer formed around the x-line during the quasi-steady phase of magnetic reconnection. The linear wave analyses are carried out for the realistic current sheet profile which differs significantly from the Harris current sheet. It is found that the peak growth rate is very sensitive to the current sheet width even though the relative drift velocity at the center of the current sheet is fixed. This indicates that the mode is excited by the velocity shear rather than the relative drift velocity. Thus, the mode is termed here a current sheet shear mode. It is also shown that the wavenumber ky has a clear mass ratio dependency as ky λi ∝ (mi /me )1/4, implying the coupling of the ion and electron dynamics, where λi is the ion inertia length.

  8. Self-Consistent Current Sheets and Filaments in Relativistic Collisionless Plasma with Arbitrary Energy Distribution of Particles

    SciTech Connect

    Kocharovsky, V. V.; Kocharovsky, Vl. V.; Martyanov, V. Ju.

    2010-05-28

    A new class of self-consistent planar current sheets and cylindrical current filaments with a functional freedom for the resultant spatial profiles is found analytically for collisionless plasma. Invariants of particle motion are employed to obtain exact stationary solutions of Vlasov-Maxwell equations for arbitrary energy distribution of particles. This method automatically takes into account complicated particle motion in a self-consistent magnetic field, can be equally well applied to relativistic and nonrelativistic plasma, and yields a much wider class of solutions as compared to models of the Harris-Bennett type and their known generalizations. We discuss typical analytical solutions and general properties of magnetostatic neutral structures: spatial scales, magnitudes of current and magnetic field, degree of anisotropy of particle distributions, and possible equipartition of magnetic and particle energies.

  9. The evolution of the ion diffusion region during collisionless magnetic reconnection in a force-free current sheet

    SciTech Connect

    Zhou, Fushun; Huang, Can Lu, Quanming; Wang, Shui; Xie, Jinlin

    2015-09-15

    Two-dimensional particle-in-cell simulation is performed to investigate magnetic reconnection in a force-free current sheet. The results show that the evolution of the ion diffusion region has two different phases. In the first phase, the electrons flow toward the X line along one pair of separatrices and away from the X line along the other pair of separatrices. Therefore, in the ion diffusion region, a distorted quadrupole structure of the out-of-plane magnetic field is formed, which is similar to that of a typical guide field reconnection in the Harris current sheet. In the second phase, the electrons move toward the X line along the separatrices and then flow away from the X line at the inner side of the separatrices. In the ion diffusion region, the out-of-plane magnetic field exhibits a characteristic quadrupole pattern with a good symmetry, which is similar to that of antiparallel reconnection in the Harris current sheet.

  10. Numerical Studies of Collisionless Current Layers

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Quest, Kevin B.

    1993-01-01

    The purpose of this proposal was to investigate collisionless current layers using a variety of analytic and numerical tools. The first year of the contract was dedicated to analytical studies, to the porting and adaption of codes being used in this study, and to the numerical simulation of collisionless current layers. The second year entailed the development of multi-dimensional hybrid algorithms as well as the re-examination of the problem of integro-differential equations that occur in the linear stage of plasma instabilities.

  11. Current sheet model

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    1981-01-01

    The model of a rectenna based on the current sheet equivalency of a large planar array is described. The model is mathematically characterized by expression for the fraction of the incident plane wave that is reflected from the sheet. The model is conceptually justified for normal incidence by comparing it to the waveguide model in which evanescent modes, present as beyond and cutoff, correspond to the near field components which become negligible at any significant distance from the antenna array.

  12. Current collection in an anisotropic collisionless plasma

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Li, Wei-Wei

    1992-01-01

    A general method is given to derive the current-potential relations in anisotropic plasmas. Orbit limit current is assumed. The collector is a conductive sphere or an infinite cylinder. Any distribution which is an arbitrary function of the velocity vector can be considered as a superposition of many mono-energetic beams whose current-potential relations are known. The results for two typical pitch angle distributions are derived and discussed in detail. The general properties of the current potential relations are very similar to that of a Maxwellian plasma except for an effective temperature which varies with the angle between the magnetic field and the charging surface. The conclusions are meaningful to generalized geometries.

  13. An exact collisionless equilibrium for the Force-Free Harris Sheet with low plasma beta

    SciTech Connect

    Allanson, O. Neukirch, T. Wilson, F. Troscheit, S.

    2015-10-15

    We present a first discussion and analysis of the physical properties of a new exact collisionless equilibrium for a one-dimensional nonlinear force-free magnetic field, namely, the force-free Harris sheet. The solution allows any value of the plasma beta, and crucially below unity, which previous nonlinear force-free collisionless equilibria could not. The distribution function involves infinite series of Hermite polynomials in the canonical momenta, of which the important mathematical properties of convergence and non-negativity have recently been proven. Plots of the distribution function are presented for the plasma beta modestly below unity, and we compare the shape of the distribution function in two of the velocity directions to a Maxwellian distribution.

  14. Current sheets and pressure anisotropy in the reconnection exhaust

    SciTech Connect

    Le, A.; Karimabadi, H.; Roytershteyn, V.; Egedal, J.; Ng, J.; Scudder, J.; Daughton, W.; Liu, Y.-H.

    2014-01-15

    A particle-in-cell simulation shows that the exhaust during anti-parallel reconnection in the collisionless regime contains a current sheet extending 100 inertial lengths from the X line. The current sheet is supported by electron pressure anisotropy near the X line and ion anisotropy farther downstream. Field-aligned electron currents flowing outside the magnetic separatrices feed the exhaust current sheet and generate the out-of-plane, or Hall, magnetic field. Existing models based on different mechanisms for each particle species provide good estimates for the levels of pressure anisotropy. The ion anisotropy, which is strong enough to reach the firehose instability threshold, is also important for overall force balance. It reduces the outflow speed of the plasma.

  15. Dynamic of Current Sheets and Their Associated Particle Energization

    SciTech Connect

    Li, Hui; Guo, Fan; Makwan, Kirit; Li, Xiaocan; Zhandrin, Vladimir; Daughton, William Scott

    2015-08-19

    Magnetic reconnection in current sheets has relevance to Earth's magnetosphere, solar flares, high-energy astrophysics (pulsar wind nebula (e.g. Crab Nebula), gamma-ray bursts, black hole jets), and laboratory plasma/fusion. Data are shown for several cases with varying values of configuration energy Ec and β. Several conclusions were drawn: Depending on the “configuration energy”, the formation, shape, and lifetime of current sheets can vary. Plasma condition (configuration, β, driving, etc.) strongly affect the efficiency of particle acceleration. For low β and general “configuration energy”, particle heating is expected. For low β, large and long-lived current sheets, it is possible to produce highly non-thermal particles via collisionless plasmoid reconnection.

  16. Collisionless tearing in a field-reversed sheet pinch assuming nonparallel propagation

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Quest, K. B.; Coroniti, F. V.

    1985-01-01

    The problem of collisionless linear tearing is examined assuming a wave vector with a component normal to the equilibrium field. The geometry is defined and the general form of the linear dispersion equation is calculated. The linear theory results when k is parallel to B are reviewed, and Ampere's law is calculated for the external adiabatic region when k times B does not equal zero, using two-fluid theory. A solution is obtained for the approximate form of the perturbed currents and vector potential assuming quasi-parallel k. The resonant current contributions within the singular layer are calculated, obtaining an estimate of the dispersion equation. The form of the adiabatic currents within the singular layer is calculated, showing that an x-z current system persists even in the limit k perpendicular to B goes to zero. Finally, the perturbed vector potential solutions across the singular layer are matched to obtain the shape of the complete eigenfunction.

  17. The magnetohydrodynamics of current sheets

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Priest, E. R.

    1985-01-01

    Examples of current sheets are summarized and their formation is described. A universal phenomenon in cosmic plasmas is the creation of sheets off intense current near X-type neutral points (where the magnetic field vanishes). These sheets are important as sites where the magnetic-field energy is converted efficiently into heat and bulk kinetic energy and where particles can be accelerated to high energies. Examples include disruptions in laboratory tokamaks, substorms in the earth's magnetosphere, and flares on the sun. The basic behavior of a one-dimensional sheet is presented, together with an account of the linear tearing-mode instability that can cause the field lines in such a sheet to reconnect. Such reconnection may develop in different ways: it may arise from a spontaneous instability or it may be driven, either from outside by motions or locally by a resistivity enhancement. Various processes are described that may occur during the nonlinear development of tearing, along with the many numerical and laboratory experiments that are aiding our understanding of this intriguing cosmical process.

  18. 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.

  19. Suppression of Collisionless Magnetic Reconnection in Asymmetric Current Sheets

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Liu, Yi-Hsin; Hesse, Michael

    2016-01-01

    Using fully kinetic simulations, we study the suppression of asymmetric reconnection in the limit where the diamagnetic drift speed >> Alfven speed and the magnetic shear angle is moderate. We demonstrate that the slippage between electrons and the magnetic flux mitigates the suppression and can even result in fast reconnection that lacks one of the outflow jets. Through comparing a case where the diamagnetic drift is supported by the temperature gradient with a companion case that has a density gradient instead, we identify a robust suppression mechanism. The drift of the x-line is slowed down locally by the asymmetric nature of the x-line, and then the x-line is run over and swallowed by the faster-moving following flux.

  20. Suppression of collisionless magnetic reconnection in asymmetric current sheets

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Liu, Yi-Hsin; Hesse, Michael

    2016-06-01

    Using fully kinetic simulations, we study the suppression of asymmetric reconnection in the limit where the diamagnetic drift speed ≫ Alfvén speed and the magnetic shear angle is moderate. We demonstrate that the slippage between electrons and the magnetic flux mitigates the suppression and can even result in fast reconnection that lacks one of the outflow jets. Through comparing a case where the diamagnetic drift is supported by the temperature gradient with a companion case that has a density gradient instead, we identify a robust suppression mechanism. The drift of the x-line is slowed down locally by the asymmetric nature of the x-line, and then the x-line is run over and swallowed by the faster-moving following flux.

  1. Modeling Harris Current Sheets with Themis Observations

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Kepko, L.; Angelopoulos, V.; McPherron, R. L.; Apatenkov, S.; Glassmeier, K.-H.

    2010-01-01

    Current sheets are ubiquitous in nature. occurring in such varied locations as the solar atmosphere. the heliosphere, and the Earth's magnetosphere. The simplest current sheet is the one-dimensional Harris neutral sheet, with the lobe field strength and scale-height the only free parameters. Despite its simplicity, confirmation of the Harris sheet as a reasonable description of the Earth's current sheet has remained elusive. In early 2009 the orbits of the 5 THEMIS probes fortuitously aligned such that profiles of the Earth's current sheet could be modeled in a time dependent manner. For the few hours of alignment we have calculated the time history of the current sheet parameters (scale height and current) in the near-Earth region. during both quiet and active times. For one particular substorm. we further demonstrate good quantitative agreement with the diversion of cross tail current inferred from the Harris modeling with the ionospheric current inferred from ground magnetometer data.

  2. Ohm's law for a current sheet

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Lyons, L. R.; Speiser, T. W.

    1985-01-01

    The paper derives an Ohm's law for single-particle motion in a current sheet, where the magnetic field reverses in direction across the sheet. The result is considerably different from the resistive Ohm's law often used in MHD studies of the geomagnetic tail. Single-particle analysis is extended to obtain a self-consistency relation for a current sheet which agrees with previous results. The results are applicable to the concept of reconnection in that the electric field parallel to the current is obtained for a one-dimensional current sheet with constant normal magnetic field. Dissipated energy goes directly into accelerating particles within the current sheet.

  3. Influence of the dissipation mechanism on collisionless magnetic reconnection in symmetric and asymmetric current layers

    SciTech Connect

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

    2013-04-15

    Numerical studies implementing different versions of the collisionless Ohm's law have shown a reconnection rate insensitive to the nature of the non-ideal mechanism occurring at the X line, as soon as the Hall effect is operating. Consequently, the dissipation mechanism occurring in the vicinity of the reconnection site in collisionless systems is usually thought not to have a dynamical role beyond the violation of the frozen-in condition. The interpretation of recent studies has, however, led to the opposite conclusion that the electron scale dissipative processes play an important dynamical role in preventing an elongation of the electron layer from throttling the reconnection rate. This work re-visits this topic with a new approach. Instead of focusing on the extensively studied symmetric configuration, we aim to investigate whether the macroscopic properties of collisionless reconnection are affected by the dissipation physics in asymmetric configurations, for which the effect of the Hall physics is substantially modified. Because it includes all the physical scales a priori important for collisionless reconnection (Hall and ion kinetic physics) and also because it allows one to change the nature of the non-ideal electron scale physics, we use a (two dimensional) hybrid model. The effects of numerical, resistive, and hyper-resistive dissipation are studied. In a first part, we perform simulations of symmetric reconnection with different non-ideal electron physics. We show that the model captures the already known properties of collisionless reconnection. In a second part, we focus on an asymmetric configuration where the magnetic field strength and the density are both asymmetric. Our results show that contrary to symmetric reconnection, the asymmetric model evolution strongly depends on the nature of the mechanism which breaks the field line connectivity. The dissipation occurring at the X line plays an important role in preventing the electron current layer

  4. Runaway electrons in plasma current sheets

    SciTech Connect

    Gurevich, A.V.; Sudan, R.N. )

    1994-01-31

    It is shown that a runaway electron population accelerates along the main magnetic field in a Sweet-Parker current sheet. After a characteristic distance the entire current is carried by runaways. The thickness of this runaway sheet is much smaller than the original Ohmic sheet. The influence of microinstabilities is discussed.

  5. Thinning of current sheets and magnetic reconnection

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Singh, N.; Deverapalli, C.

    Using three-dimensional particle-in-cell (3DPIC) simulations, we study the formation of a thin current sheet. The processes associated with thin current sheets reported here include its thinning, associated potential well in its central part, ion acceleration into the well, current-driven ion mode instabilities, electron and ion heating, current sheet re- broadening, current disruption in the central part of the current sheet and magnetic reconnection. It is shown that current driven instabilities become explosive when the preferential heating of electrons by the ions make electron temperature higher than that of the ions. This explosive stage is associated with high plasma resistivity, current disruption and bifurcated current sheets. The current disruption is linked to the magnetic reconnection.

  6. Topology and Stability of EMHD Current Sheets

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Urrutia, J. M.; Stenzel, R. L.

    1997-11-01

    Thin current sheets (c/ω_pe < d < r_ci) are governed by electron MHD effects. Their width, stability, and current limitations are important to the magnetic reconnection problem.(J. F. Drake et al, Phys. Rev. Lett. 73), 1251 (1994); S. V. Bulanov et al, Phys. Fluids B 4, 36 (1992). Using a large laboratory plasma we generate thin current sheets by drawing pulsed currents to a sheet electrode. The space-time evolution of the current sheet is obtained from three-dimensional magnetic probe measurements and J = nabla × B / μ_0. The current sheet is guided by a uniform axial magnetic field B_0. Time variations in the current sheet, accompanied by induced return currents, propagate in the whistler mode along B_0. While force-free EMHD fields usually produce stable current sheets, on longer time scales the ion motion can lead to current disruptions.(J. M. Urrutia and R. L. Stenzel, Phys. Plasmas 4), 36 (1997). Electron compressibility (d < c/ω_ce) and the role of B0 are investigated.

  7. Theory of a Stationary Current-Free Double Layer in a Collisionless Plasma

    SciTech Connect

    Ahedo, Eduardo; Martinez Sanchez, Manuel

    2009-09-25

    Current-free double layers can develop in a collisionless, inertia-controlled plasma with two electron populations, expanding in a convergent-divergent nozzle. The double layer characteristics depend on whether they develop at the nozzle divergent side, convergent side, or throat. The divergent-geometry double layer describes faithfully the Hairapetian-Stenzel experiment [Phys. Rev. Lett. 65, 175 (1990)], whereas the two other types correspond with those studied in self-similar expansions and wall-collection models of similar plasmas.

  8. Current sheets in the solar corona

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Strauss, H. R.; Otani, N. F.

    1988-01-01

    Coronal magnetic fields are twisted up by motion of their footpoints in the photosphere. When the twist exceeds a critical amount, kink-ballooning instabilities occur. These instabilities are studied numerically, in long, thin, axially bounded magnetic fields. Nonlinearly, the three-dimensional kinking motion compresses magnetic flux, forming a current sheet. Magnetic energy can be dissipated at a rate orders of magnitude greater than without the current sheets. The energy of footpoint motion can then go into coronal heating, via Ohmic dissipation in the current sheets.

  9. Origin of the warped heliospheric current sheet

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wilcox, J. M.; Hoeksema, J. T.; Scherrer, P. H.

    1980-08-01

    The warped heliospheric current sheet for early 1976 is calculated from the observed photospheric magnetic field by a potential field method. Comparisons with measurements of the interplanetary magnetic field polarity for early 1976 obtained at several locations in the heliosphere by Helios 1, Helios 2, Pioneer 11, and at the earth show a rather detailed agreement between the computed current sheet and the observations. It appears that the large-scale structure of the warped heliospheric current sheet is determined by the structure of the photospheric magnetic field and that 'ballerina skirt' effects may add small scale ripples.

  10. A Semianalytical Ion Current Model for Radio Frequency Driven Collisionless Sheaths

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Bose, Deepak; Govindan, T. R.; Meyyappan, M.; Arnold, Jim (Technical Monitor)

    2001-01-01

    We propose a semianalytical ion dynamics model for a collisionless radio frequency biased sheath. The model uses bulk plasma conditions and electrode boundary condition to predict ion impact energy distribution and electrical properties of the sheath. The proposed model accounts for ion inertia and ion current modulation at bias frequencies that are of the same order of magnitude as the ion plasma frequency. A relaxation equation for ion current oscillations is derived which is coupled with a damped potential equation in order to model ion inertia effects. We find that inclusion of ion current modulation in the sheath model shows marked improvements in the predictions of sheath electrical properties and ion energy distribution function.

  11. Particle dynamics and resistivity characteristics in bifurcated current sheets

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Andriyas, Tushar

    Charged particle chaos and its collective effects in different magnetic geometries are investigated in a sequence of various numerical experiments. The fields generated by the particles as a result of interaction with the background electric and magnetic fields is not accounted for in the simulation. An X-line is first used to describe the geometry of the magnetotail prior to magnetic reconnection and a study of the behavior of charged particles is done from a microscopic viewpoint. Another important geometry in the magnetotail prior to substorm onset is Bifurcated Current Sheet. The same analysis is done for this configuration. The existence of at least one positive Lyapunov exponent shows that the motion of the particles is chaotic. By using statistical mechanics, the macroscopic properties of this chaotic motion are studied. Due to particles being charged, an electric field (perpendicular to the magnetic field in weak magnetic field region) accelerates the particles on average. Finite average velocity in the direction of electric field gives rise to an effective resistivity even in a collisionless regime such as solar corona and the magnetotail. Starting from initial velocities that are chosen randomly from a uniform distribution, the evolution of these distributions tends to a Maxwellian by the end of the simulation that is somewhat analogous to collisions in a Lorentz gas model. The effective resistivity due to such collisions is estimated. Ohmic heating is found to occur as a result of such an effective resistivity. Such collisions due to collective particle effects are essentially a different mechanism from classical collision notion. These experiments are done for two types of ions found in the plasma sheet prior to substorm onset, viz., protons and oxygen ions. Observational evidence of oxygen ions in the central plasma sheet, which flow out along open field lines from the ionosphere, were also simulated in the same manner. Oxygen ions have been found to

  12. Current layer cascade in collisionless electron-magnetohydrodynamic reconnection and electron compressibility effects

    SciTech Connect

    Del Sarto, D.; Califano, F.; Pegoraro, F.

    2005-01-01

    The nonlinear phase of a magnetic field line reconnection instability in a collisionless two-dimensional cold plasma is investigated in the Hall dominated regime, described by the electron-magnetohydrodynamic equations, which corresponds to the frequency range of whistler waves. It is found that the regular pattern of current density layers that forms in the initial nonlinear phase of the reconnection instability is destroyed by the onset of a Kelvin-Helmholtz-type instability and the formation of current jets that develop into vortex rings. These processes can be interpreted in terms of a Hasegawa-Mima-type regime inside the magnetic island and lead to the creation of magnetic vortices. It is shown that electron compressibility, which is related to charge separation, tends to stabilize these processes.

  13. Structure of the Magnetotail Current Sheet

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Larson, Douglas J.; Kaufmann, Richard L.

    1996-01-01

    An orbit tracing technique was used to generate current sheets for three magnetotail models. Groups of ions were followed to calculate the resulting cross-tail current. Several groups then were combined to produce a current sheet. The goal is a model in which the ions and associated electrons carry the electric current distribution needed to generate the magnetic field B in which ion orbits were traced. The region -20 R(E) less than x less than -14 R(E) in geocentric solar magnetospheric coordinates was studied. Emphasis was placed on identifying the categories of ion orbits which contribute most to the cross-tail current and on gaining physical insight into the manner by which the ions carry the observed current distribution. Ions that were trapped near z = 0, ions that magnetically mirrored throughout the current sheet, and ions that mirrored near the Earth all were needed. The current sheet structure was determined primarily by ion magnetization currents. Electrons of the observed energies carried relatively little cross-tail current in these quiet time current sheets. Distribution functions were generated and integrated to evaluate fluid parameters. An earlier model in which B depended only on z produced a consistent current sheet, but it did not provide a realistic representation of the Earth's middle magnetotail. In the present study, B changed substantially in the x and z directions but only weakly in the y direction within our region of interest. Plasmas with three characteristic particle energies were used with each of the magnetic field models. A plasma was found for each model in which the density, average energy, cross-tail current, and bulk flow velocity agreed well with satellite observations.

  14. Structure of the Magnetotail Current Sheet

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Larson, Douglas J.; Kaufmann, Richard L.

    1996-01-01

    An orbit tracing technique was used to generate current sheets for three magnetotail models. Groups of ions were followed to calculate the resulting cross-tail current. Several groups then were combined to produce a current sheet. The goal is a model in which the ions and associated electrons carry the electric current distribution needed to generate the magnetic field B in which ion orbits were traced. The region -20 R(sub E) less than x less than - 14 R(sub E) in geocentric solar magnetospheric coordinates was studied. Emphasis was placed on identifying the categories of ion orbits which contribute most to the cross-tail current and on gaining physical insight into the manner by which the ions carry the observed current distribution. Ions that were trapped near z = 0, ions that magnetically mirrored throughout the current sheet, and ions that mirrored near the Earth all were needed. The current sheet structure was determined primarily by ion magnetization currents. Electrons of the observed energies carried relatively little cross-tail current in these quiet time current sheets. Distribution functions were generated and integrated to evaluate fluid parameters. An earlier model in which B depended only on z produced a consistent current sheet, but it did not provide a realistic representation of the Earth's middle magnetotail. In the present study, B changed substantially in the x and z directions but only weakly in the y direction within our region of interest. Plasmas with three characteristic particle energies were used with each of the magnetic field models. A plasma was found for each model in which the density, average energy, cross-tail current, and bulk flow velocity agreed well with satellite observations.

  15. Reconnection properties in collisionless plasma with open boundary conditions

    SciTech Connect

    Sun, H. E.; Ma, Z. W.; Huang, J.

    2014-07-15

    Collisionless magnetic reconnection in a Harris current sheet with different initial thicknesses is investigated using a 21/2 -D Darwin particle-in-cell simulation with the magnetosonic open boundary condition. It is found that the thicknesses of the ion dissipation region and the reconnection current sheet, when the reconnection rate E{sub r} reaches its first peak, are independent of the initial thickness of the current sheet; while the peak reconnection rate depends on it. The peak reconnection rate increases with decrease of the current sheet thickness as E{sub r}∼a{sup −1/2}, where a is the initial current sheet half-thickness.

  16. Experimental Study of Lower-hybrid Drift Turbulence in a Reconnecting Current Sheet

    SciTech Connect

    Carter, T. A.; Yamada, M.; Ji, H.; Kulsrud, R. M.; Trintchouck, F.

    2002-06-18

    The role of turbulence in the process of magnetic reconnection has been the subject of a great deal of study and debate in the theoretical literature. At issue in this debate is whether turbulence is essential for fast magnetic reconnection to occur in collisionless current sheets. Some theories claim it is necessary in order to provide anomalous resistivity, while others present a laminar fast reconnection mechanism based on the Hall term in the generalized Ohm's law. In this work, a thorough study of electrostatic potential fluctuations in the current sheet of the Magnetic Reconnection Experiment (MRX) [M. Yamada et al., Phys. Plasmas 4, 1936 (1997)] was performed in order to ascertain the importance of turbulence in a laboratory reconnection experiment. Using amplified floating Langmuir probes, broadband fluctuations in the lower hybrid frequency range (fLH approximately 5-15 MHz) were measured which arise with the formation of the current sheet in MRX. The frequency spectrum, spatial amplitude profile, and spatial correlation characteristics of the measured turbulence were examined carefully, finding consistency with theories of the lower-hybrid drift instability (LHDI). The LHDI and its role in magnetic reconnection has been studied theoretically for decades, but this work represents the first detection and detailed study of the LHDI in a laboratory current sheet. The observation of the LHDI in MRX has provided the unique opportunity to uncover the role of this instability in collisionless reconnection. It was found that: (1) the LHDI fluctuations are confined to the low-beta edge of current sheets in MRX; (2) the LHDI amplitude does not correlate well in time or space with the reconnection electric field, which is directly related to the rate of reconnection; and (3) significant LHDI amplitude persists in high collisionality current sheets where the reconnection rate is classical. These findings suggest that the measured LHDI fluctuations do not play an

  17. RADIATING CURRENT SHEETS IN THE SOLAR CHROMOSPHERE

    SciTech Connect

    Goodman, Michael L.; Judge, Philip G. E-mail: judge@ucar.edu

    2012-05-20

    An MHD model of a hydrogen plasma with flow, an energy equation, NLTE ionization and radiative cooling, and an Ohm's law with anisotropic electrical conduction and thermoelectric effects is used to self-consistently generate atmospheric layers over a 50 km height range. A subset of these solutions contains current sheets and has properties similar to those of the lower and middle chromosphere. The magnetic field profiles are found to be close to Harris sheet profiles, with maximum field strengths {approx}25-150 G. The radiative flux F{sub R} emitted by individual sheets is {approx}4.9 Multiplication-Sign 10{sup 5}-4.5 Multiplication-Sign 10{sup 6} erg cm{sup -2} s{sup -1}, to be compared with the observed chromospheric emission rate of {approx}10{sup 7} erg cm{sup -2} s{sup -1}. Essentially all emission is from regions with thicknesses {approx}0.5-13 km containing the neutral sheet. About half of F{sub R} comes from sub-regions with thicknesses 10 times smaller. A resolution {approx}< 5-130 m is needed to resolve the properties of the sheets. The sheets have total H densities {approx}10{sup 13}-10{sup 15} cm{sup -3}. The ionization fraction in the sheets is {approx}2-20 times larger, and the temperature is {approx}2000-3000 K higher than in the surrounding plasma. The Joule heating flux F{sub J} exceeds F{sub R} by {approx}4%-34%, the difference being balanced in the energy equation mainly by a negative compressive heating flux. Proton Pedersen current dissipation generates {approx}62%-77% of the positive contribution to F{sub J} . The remainder of this contribution is due to electron current dissipation near the neutral sheet where the plasma is weakly magnetized.

  18. The Jovian magnetotail and its current sheet

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Behannon, K. W.; Burlaga, L. F.; Ness, N. F.

    1980-01-01

    Analyses of Voyager magnetic field measurements have extended the understanding of the structural and temporal characteristics of Jupiter's magnetic tail. The magnitude of the magnetic field in the lobes of the tail is found to decrease with Jovicentric distance approximately as r to he-1.4, compared with the power law exponent of -1.7 found for the rate of decrease along the Pioneer 10 outbound trajectory. Voyager observations of magnetic field component variations with Jovicentric distance in the tail do not support the uniform radial plasma outflow model derived from Pioneer data. Voyager 2 has shown that the azimuthal current sheet which surrounds Jupiter in the inner and middle magnetosphere extends tailward (in the anti-Sun direction) to a distance of at least 100 R sub J. In the tail this current sheet consists of a plasma sheet and embedded neutral sheet. In the region of the tail where the sheet is observed, the variation of the magnetic field as a result of the sheet structure and its 10 hr periodic motion is the dominant variation seen.

  19. Charged particle dynamics in turbulent current sheets

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Artemyev, A. V.; Vainchtein, D. L.; Neishtadt, A. I.; Zelenyi, L. M.

    2016-05-01

    We study dynamics of charged particle in current sheets with magnetic fluctuations. We use the adiabatic theory to describe the nonperturbed charged particle motion and show that magnetic field fluctuations destroy the adiabatic invariant. We demonstrate that the evolution of particle adiabatic invariant's distribution is described by a diffusion equation and derive analytical estimates of the rate of adiabatic invariant's diffusion. This rate is proportional to power density of magnetic field fluctuations. We compare analytical estimates with numerical simulations. We show that adiabatic invariant diffusion results in transient particles trapping in the current sheet. For magnetic field fluctuation amplitude a few times larger than a normal magnetic field component, more than 50% of transient particles become trapped. We discuss the possible consequences of destruction of adiabaticity of the charged particle motion on the state of the current sheets.

  20. Collisionless current collection by a spherical particle in a flowing, weakly magnetized plasma

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Patacchini, Leonardo; Hutchinson, Ian H.

    2007-04-01

    Collisionless-plasma current collection by a spherical object such as a dust particle or probe under weakly magnetized conditions (Larmor radius larger than particle radius) is an important, long-studied, but analytically intractable problem. We solve it computationally by means of the hybrid Boltzmann/Particle-in-Cell code SCEPTIC[1] for a wide range of parameters, with finite Debye length. In addition to reducing the ion current, the magnetic field is shown to cancel the ion focusing effects present in an unmagnetized plasma when the drift velocity is comparable to the sound speed. Thus, the magnetic field prevents such phenomena as the reversal of angular flux density asymmetry (greater collection on the downstream side) or the local maximum of the drag force. The floating potential dependence on the ratio of the probe radius to Larmor radius is computed using a newly developed empirical formula for the electron current, which is also documented. [1] I.H. Hutchinson, Plasma Phys. Control. Fusion 45 (2003)

  1. Birkeland currents in the plasma sheet

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Tsyganenko, Nikolai A.; Stern, David P.; Kaymaz, Zerefsan

    1993-01-01

    A search was conducted for the signatures of Birkeland currents in the Earth's magnetic tail, using observed values of B(sub x) and B(sub y) from large sets of spacecraft data. The data were binned by x and y for -10 greater than x(sub GSM) greater than -35 and absolute value of y(sub GSM) less than or equal to 20 R(sub E) (less than or equal to 30 R(sub E) for x(sub GSM) less than or equal to -25 R(sub E)) and in each bin their distribution in the (B(sub x), B(sub y)) plane was fitted by least squares to a piecewise linear function. That gave average x-y distributions of the flaring angle between B(sub xy) and the x direction, as well as that angle's variation across the thickness of the plasma sheet. Angles obtained in the central plasma sheet differed from those derived near the lobe boundary. That is the expected signature if earthward or tailward Birkeland current sheets are embedded in the plasma sheet, and from this dfiference we derived the dawn-dusk profiles of the tail Birkeland currents for several x(sub GSM) intervals. It was found that (1) the Birkeland currents have the sense of region 1 currents, when mapped to the ionosphere; (2) both the linear current density (kiloamperes/R(sub E)) and the net magnitude of the field-aligned currents decrease rapidly down the tail; (3) the total Birkeland current at x approximately equals -10 R(sub E) equals approximately equals 500-700 kA, which is approx. 30% of the net region 1 current observed at ionospheric altitudes, in agreement with model mapping results; and (4) the B(sub z) and B(sub y) components of the interplanetary magnetic field influence the distribution of Birkeland currents in the tail.

  2. On ballooning instability in current sheets

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Leonovich, Anatoliy; Kozlov, Daniil

    2015-06-01

    The problem of instability of the magnetotail current sheet to azimuthally small-scale Alfvén and slow magnetosonic (SMS) waves is solved. The solutions describe unstable oscillations in the presence of a current sheet and correspond to the region of stretched closed field lines of the magnetotail. The spectra of eigen-frequencies of several basic harmonics of standing Alfvén and SMS waves are found in the local and WKB approximation, which are compared. It is shown that the oscillation properties obtained in these approximations differ radically. In the local approximation, the Alfvén waves are stable in the entire range of magnetic shells. SMS waves go into the aperiodic instability regime (the regime of the "ballooning" instability), on magnetic shells crossing the current sheet. In the WKB approximation, both the Alfvén and SMS oscillations go into an unstable regime with a non-zero real part of their eigen-frequency, on magnetic shells crossing the current sheet. The structure of azimuthally small-scale Alfvén waves across magnetic shells is determined.

  3. Current Sheet Thinning Associated with Dayside Reconnection

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hsieh, M.; Otto, A.; Ma, X.

    2011-12-01

    The thinning of the near-Earth current sheet during the growth phase is of critical importance to understand geomagnetic substorms and the conditions that lead to the onset of the expansion phase. We have proposed that convection from the midnight tail region to the dayside as the cause for this current sheet thinning. Adiabatic convection from the near-Earth tail region toward the dayside must conserve the entropy on magnetic field lines. This constraint prohibits a source of the magnetic flux from a region further out in the magnetotail. Thus the near-Earth tail region is increasingly depleted of magnetic flux (the Erickson and Wolf [1980] problem) with entropy matching that of flux tubes that are eroded on the dayside. The process is examined by three-dimensional MHD simulations. The properties of the current sheet thinning are determined as a function of the magnitude of convection toward the dayside and the lobe boundary conditions. It is shown that the model yields a time scale, location, and other general characteristics of the current sheet evolution consistent with observations during the substorm growth phase.

  4. The current-voltage relationship in auroral current sheets

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Weimer, D. R.; Gurnett, D. A.; Goertz, C. K.; Menietti, J. D.; Burch, J. L.

    1987-01-01

    The current-voltage relation within narrow auroral current sheets is examined through the use of high-resolution data from the high altitude Dynamics Explorer 1 satellite. The north-south perpendicular electric field and the east-west magnetic field are shown for three cases in which there are large amplitude, oppositely directed paired electric fields and narrow current sheets. These data are shown to indicate that there is a linear Ohm's law relationship between the current density and the parallel potential drop within the narrow current sheets. This linear relationship had previously been verified for large-scale auroral formations greater than 20 km wide at the ionosphere. The evidence shown here extends our knowledge down to the scale size of discrete auroral arcs.

  5. Can prominences form in current sheets

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Malherbe, J. M.; Forbes, T. G.

    1986-01-01

    Two-dimensional numerical simulations of the formation of cold condensations in a vertical current sheet have been performed using the radiative, resistive MHD equations with line-tied boundary conditions at one end of the sheet. Prominence-like condensations are observed to appear above and below an X-line produced by the onset of the tearing-mode instability. Cooling in the sheet is initiated by Ohmic decay, with the densest condensations occurring in the region downstream of a fast-mode shock. This shock, which is due to the line-tied boundary conditions, terminates one of the two supermagnetosonic reconnection jets that develop when the tearing is fully developed. The condensation properties of shock waves, which may trigger or considerably enhance the conditions for thermal condensation are emphasized.

  6. Hybrid simulations of thin current sheets

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Burkhart, G. R.; Dusenbery, P. B.; Speiser, T. W.

    1993-01-01

    A one-dimensional, hybrid simulation code is used to study current sheets with a nonzero normal magnetic field B(sub z) and a dawn-to-dusk electric field E(sub y). Such configurations are dependent upon only two parameters: we use the normalized normal magnetic field B-normalized (sub z) = B(sub z)/(4(pi)(n(sub b)) (v(exp 2 sub T))(exp 1/2) and normalized electric field V-normalized (sub D) = (1/V(sub T)(cE(sub y)/B(sub z)), where V(sub T) is the thermal velocity of ions prior to their interaction with the current sheet and n(sub b) is the number density outside the current sheet (at the simulation boundary). A third parameter that is relevant to the motion of particles in current sheets is kappa(sub A), the value of kappa = (R(sub min)/rho(sub max))(exp 1/2) for particles of average energy. We find that if either B-normalized (sub z) is close to or greater than 1, or if kappa(sub A) is close to 1, a rotational mode develops in which the z = 0 current rotates with the ion sense about the normal magnetic field, while for small values of both B-normalized (sub z) or kappa(sub A), the configuration is quasi-steady. To achieve values of kappa(sub A) of the order of or larger than 1, we decrease the value of V-normalized (sub D) uniformly. We find that the magnetic field fluctuations and particle distribution functions are similar in many respects to what was observed in the day 240, 1986, Active Magnetospheric Particle Tracer Explorer (AMPTE)/CCE current disruption event, an event that appears to be located at the site of initiation of current disruption and related particle energization.

  7. Formation of current sheets in magnetic reconnection

    SciTech Connect

    Boozer, Allen H.

    2014-07-15

    An ideal evolution of magnetic fields in three spatial dimensions tends to cause neighboring field lines to increase their separation exponentially with distance ℓ along the lines, δ(ℓ)=δ(0)e{sup σ(ℓ)}. The non-ideal effects required to break magnetic field line connections scale as e{sup −σ}, so the breaking of connections is inevitable for σ sufficiently large—even though the current density need nowhere be large. When the changes in field line connections occur rapidly compared to an Alfvén transit time, the constancy of j{sub ||}/B along the magnetic field required for a force-free equilibrium is broken in the region where the change occurs, and an Alfvénic relaxation of j{sub ||}/B occurs. Independent of the original spatial distribution of j{sub ||}/B, the evolution is into a sheet current, which is stretched by a factor e{sup σ} in width and contracted by a factor e{sup σ} in thickness with the current density j{sub ||} increasing as e{sup σ}. The dissipation of these sheet currents and their associated vorticity sheets appears to be the mechanism for transferring energy from a reconnecting magnetic field to a plasma. Harris sheets, which are used in models of magnetic reconnection, are shown to break up in the direction of current flow when they have a finite width and are in a plasma in force equilibrium. The dependence of the longterm nature of magnetic reconnection in systems driven by footpoint motion can be studied in a model that allows qualitative variation in the nature of that motion: slow or fast motion compared to the Alfvén transit time and the neighboring footpoints either exponentially separating in time or not.

  8. Cusp-points and current sheet dynamics

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Vainshtein, S. I.

    1990-04-01

    Cusp points are produced in magnetic streamers of the solar corona. They may also be produced in the tail region of the earth's magnetosphere. This paper makes an analysis of such points in an equilibrium plasma. It is found that the very presence of a cusp point is inevitably associated with current sheets; these are the site of magnetic-field line reconnection. Special attention is paid to two examples. One examines a current sheet in a very much rarefield plasma (a problem formulated by Syrovatskii, 1966). The other one investigates the rosette structure of two merging magnetic islands. Analysis of the plasma behavior in the vicinity of the cusp points shows that, in the latter case, equilibrium cannot be realized. Therefore reconnection must proceed violently, at the high rates observed in numerical simulations.

  9. Thin current sheets in the deep geomagnetic tail

    SciTech Connect

    Pulkkinen, T.I. ); Baker, D.N.; Owen, C.J. ); Gosling, J.T. ); Murphy, N. )

    1993-11-19

    The ISEE-3 magnetic field and plasma electron data from Jan-March 1983 have been searched to study thin current sheets in the deep tail region. 33 events were selected where the spacecraft crossed through the current sheet from lobe to lobe within 15 minutes. The average thickness of the observed current sheets was 2.45R[sub E], and in 24 cases the current sheet was thinner than 3.0R[sub E]; 6 very thin current sheets (thickness [lambda] < 0.5R[sub E]) were found. The electron data show that the very thin current sheets are associated with considerable temperature anisotropy. On average, the electron gradient current was [approximately]17% of the total current, whereas the current arising from the electron temperature anisotropy varied between 8-45% of the total current determined from the lobe field magnitude. 21 refs., 5 figs.

  10. Thin current sheets in the deep geomagnetic tail

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Pulkkinen, T. I.; Baker, D. N.; Owen, C. J.; Gosling, J. T.; Murphy, N.

    1993-01-01

    The International Sun-Earth Explorer 3 (ISEE-3) magnetic field and plasma electron data from Jan - March 1983 have been searched to study thin current sheets in the deep tail region. 33 events were selected where the spacecraft crossed through the current sheet from lobe to lobe within 15 minutes. The average thickness of the observed current sheets was 2.45 R(sub E), and in 24 cases the current sheet was thinner than 3.0 R(sub E); 6 very thin current sheets (thickness lambda less than 0.5 R(sub E) were found. The electron data show that the very thin current sheets are associated with considerable temperature anisotropy. On average, the electron gradient current was about 17% of the total current, whereas the current arising from the electron temperature anisotropy varied between 8-45% of the total current determined from the lobe field magnitude.

  11. Observational evidence for large-scale current sheets

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lin, Jun

    One of the most significant predictions of the catastrophe model of solar eruptions developed by Lin Forbes (2000) that a current sheet forms following the onset of the eruption. Various modes of plasma turbulence as a result of plasma instabilities are invoked inside the current sheet, yielding fast dissipation of the magnetic field, namely magnetic reconnection, through the sheet. Because the timescale of reconnection is long compared to the timescale of the onset stage, dissipation of the sheet is slow, so the current sheet is able to become fairly long. The evolution in the global feature of the current sheet is significant constrained by the local Alfven speed, and the internal properties and features of the sheet, on the other hand, are dependent in an apparent way on the development of the turbulence caused by the instabilities. The tearing mode instability among those that may occur in the sheet is the most important one that accounts for the large thickness and high electric resistivity of the current sheet. In the present work, we show a set of events that were observed to develop thick current sheets with several apparent features indicating the progress of the turbulence in the sheet, and the results for the sheet thickness determined by UVCS and LASCO experiments on SOHO, and deduce from these results the effective resistivity that is responsible for the rapid reconnection. We suggest that the high effective resistivity is related to the so-called hyper-resistivity that is produced by the tearing mode.

  12. Radiation-Dominated Relativistic Current Sheets

    SciTech Connect

    Jaroschek, C. H.; Hoshino, M.

    2009-08-14

    Relativistic current sheets (RCSs) feature plasma instabilities considered as the potential key to magnetic energy dissipation in Poynting-flux-dominated plasma flows. Kinetic plasma simulations show that the physical nature of RCS evolution changes in the presence of radiation losses: In the ultrarelativistic regime (i.e., magnetization parameter sigma=10{sup 4} defined as the ratio of magnetic to plasma rest frame energy density), the combined effect of nonlinear RCS dynamics and synchrotron emission introduces a temperature anisotropy triggering the growth of the relativistic tearing mode. In contrast to previous studies of the RCS with sigmaapprox1, the relativistic tearing mode then prevails over the drift kink mode. The ultrarelativistic RCS shows a typical life cycle from radiation-induced collapse towards a radiation-quiescent phase with topology analogous to that introduced by Sweet and Parker.

  13. Plasma in the Jovian current sheet

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Goertz, C. K.; Van Allen, J. A.; Parish, J. L.; Schardt, A. W.

    1979-01-01

    A large body of spectral data for protons with energies greater than 200 keV has been analyzed. It is concluded that the main body of plasma in the Jovian current sheet observed by Pioneer 10 on its outbound pass probably has an energy well below the lowest threshold of the Pioneer 10 detectors. This premise is examined using a semiempirical model of the magnetic field in the magnetodisk and simple magnetohydrodynamic theory. Results indicate that the dominant contribution to the plasma pressure in the region from 25 to 65 Jovian radii is from as yet unobserved protons (ions) with energies of the order of 0.1 to 10 keV.

  14. Plasmoid instability in double current sheets

    SciTech Connect

    Nemati, M. J.; Wang, Z. X. Wei, L.; Selim, B. I.

    2015-01-15

    The linear behavior of plasmoid instability in double current sheet configurations, namely, double plasmoid mode (DPM), is analytically and numerically investigated within the framework of a reduced magnetohydrodynamic model. Analytical analysis shows that if the separation of double current sheets is sufficiently small [κx{sub s}≪κ{sup 2/9}S{sub L}{sup 1/3}], the growth rate of DPMs scales as κ{sup 2/3}S{sub L}{sup 0} in the non-constant-ψ regime, where κ=kL{sub CS}/2 is the wave vector measured by the half length of the system L{sub CS}/2, 2x{sub s} is the separation between two resonant surfaces, and S{sub L}=L{sub CS}V{sub A}/2η is Lundquist number with V{sub A} and η being Alfven velocity and resistivity, respectively. If the separation is very large [κx{sub s}≫κ{sup 2/9}S{sub L}{sup 1/3}], the growth rate scales as κ{sup −2/5}S{sub L}{sup 2/5} in the constant-ψ regime. Furthermore, it is also analytically found that the maximum wave number scales as x{sub s}{sup −9/7}S{sub L}{sup 3/7} at the transition position between these two regimes, and the corresponding maximum growth rate scales as x{sub s}{sup −6/7}S{sub L}{sup 2/7} there. The analytically predicted scalings are verified in some limits through direct numerical calculations.

  15. The Dynamical Generation of Current Sheets in Astrophysical Plasma Turbulence

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Howes, Gregory G.

    2016-08-01

    Turbulence profoundly affects particle transport and plasma heating in many astrophysical plasma environments, from galaxy clusters to the solar corona and solar wind to Earth's magnetosphere. Both fluid and kinetic simulations of plasma turbulence ubiquitously generate coherent structures, in the form of current sheets, at small scales, and the locations of these current sheets appear to be associated with enhanced rates of dissipation of the turbulent energy. Therefore, illuminating the origin and nature of these current sheets is critical to identifying the dominant physical mechanisms of dissipation, a primary aim at the forefront of plasma turbulence research. Here, we present evidence from nonlinear gyrokinetic simulations that strong nonlinear interactions between counterpropagating Alfvén waves, or strong Alfvén wave collisions, are a natural mechanism for the generation of current sheets in plasma turbulence. Furthermore, we conceptually explain this current sheet development in terms of the nonlinear dynamics of Alfvén wave collisions, showing that these current sheets arise through constructive interference among the initial Alfvén waves and nonlinearly generated modes. The properties of current sheets generated by strong Alfvén wave collisions are compared to published observations of current sheets in the Earth's magnetosheath and the solar wind, and the nature of these current sheets leads to the expectation that Landau damping of the constituent Alfvén waves plays a dominant role in the damping of turbulently generated current sheets.

  16. Conditions for the formation of nongyrotropic current sheets in slowly evolving plasmas

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Schindler, Karl; Hesse, Michael

    2010-08-01

    This paper addresses the formation of nongyrotropic current sheets resulting from slow external driving. The medium is a collisionless plasma with one spatial dimension and a three-dimensional velocity space. The study is based on particle simulation and an analytical approach. Earlier results that apply to compression of an initial Harris sheet are generalized in several ways. In a first step a general sufficient criterion for the presence of extra ion and electron currents due to nongyrotropic plasma conditions is derived. Then cases with antisymmetric magnetic and electric fields are considered. After establishing consistency of the criterion with the earlier case, the usefulness of this concept is illustrated in detail by two further particle simulations. The results indicate that the formation of nongyrotropic current sheets is a ubiquitous phenomenon for plasmas with antisymmetric fields that have evolved slowly from initial gyrotropic states. A fourth case concerns a plasma with a unidirectional magnetic field. Consistent with the general criterion, the observed final state is fluidlike in that it is approximately gyrotropic. Momentum balance is shown to include a contribution that results from accumulation of an off-diagonal pressure tensor component during the evolution. Heat flux also plays an important role.

  17. A comparison of coronal and interplanetary current sheet inclinations

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Behannon, K. W.; Burlaga, L. F.; Hundhausen, A. J.

    1983-01-01

    The HAO white light K-coronameter observations show that the inclination of the heliospheric current sheet at the base of the corona can be both large (nearly vertical with respect to the solar equator) or small during Cararington rotations 1660 - 1666 and even on a single solar rotation. Voyager 1 and 2 magnetic field observations of crossing of the heliospheric current sheet at distances from the Sun of 1.4 and 2.8 AU. Two cases are considered, one in which the corresponding coronameter data indicate a nearly vertical (north-south) current sheet and another in which a nearly horizontal, near equatorial current sheet is indicated. For the crossings of the vertical current sheet, a variance analysis based on hour averages of the magnetic field data gave a minimum variance direction consistent with a steep inclination. The horizontal current sheet was observed by Voyager as a region of mixed polarity and low speeds lasting several days, consistent with multiple crossings of a horizontal but irregular and fluctuating current sheet at 1.4 AU. However, variance analysis of individual current sheet crossings in this interval using 1.92 see averages did not give minimum variance directions consistent with a horizontal current sheet.

  18. A two-fluid study of oblique tearing modes in a force-free current sheet

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Akçay, Cihan; Daughton, William; Lukin, Vyacheslav S.; Liu, Yi-Hsin

    2016-01-01

    Kinetic simulations have demonstrated that three-dimensional reconnection in collisionless regimes proceeds through the formation and interaction of magnetic flux ropes, which are generated due to the growth of tearing instabilities at multiple resonance surfaces. Since kinetic simulations are intrinsically expensive, it is desirable to explore the feasibility of reduced two-fluid models to capture this complex evolution, particularly, in the strong guide field regime, where two-fluid models are better justified. With this goal in mind, this paper compares the evolution of the collisionless tearing instability in a force-free current sheet with a two-fluid model and fully kinetic simulations. Our results indicate that the most unstable modes are oblique for guide fields larger than the reconnecting field, in agreement with the kinetic results. The standard two-fluid tearing theory is extended to address the tearing instability at oblique angles. The resulting theory yields a flat oblique spectrum and underestimates the growth of oblique modes in a similar manner to kinetic theory relative to kinetic simulations.

  19. A two-fluid study of oblique tearing modes in a force-free current sheet

    DOE PAGESBeta

    Akçay, Cihan; Daughton, William; Lukin, Vyacheslav S.; Liu, Yi-Hsin

    2016-01-01

    Kinetic simulations have demonstrated that three-dimensional reconnection in collisionless regimes proceeds through the formation and interaction of magnetic flux ropes, which are generated due to the growth of tearing instabilities at multiple resonance surfaces. Because kinetic simulations are intrinsically expensive, it is desirable to explore the feasibility of reduced two-fluid models to capture this complex evolution, particularly, in the strong guide field regime, where two-fluid models are better justified. With this goal in mind, this paper compares the evolution of the collisionless tearing instability in a force-free current sheet with a two-fluid model and fully kinetic simulations. Our results indicatemore » that the most unstable modes are oblique for guide fields larger than the reconnecting field, in agreement with the kinetic results. The standard two-fluid tearing theory is extended to address the tearing instability at oblique angles. As a results this theory yields a flat oblique spectrum and underestimates the growth of oblique modes in a similar manner to kinetic theory relative to kinetic simulations.« less

  20. A two-fluid study of oblique tearing modes in a force-free current sheet

    SciTech Connect

    Akçay, Cihan; Daughton, William; Lukin, Vyacheslav S.; Liu, Yi-Hsin

    2016-01-01

    Kinetic simulations have demonstrated that three-dimensional reconnection in collisionless regimes proceeds through the formation and interaction of magnetic flux ropes, which are generated due to the growth of tearing instabilities at multiple resonance surfaces. Because kinetic simulations are intrinsically expensive, it is desirable to explore the feasibility of reduced two-fluid models to capture this complex evolution, particularly, in the strong guide field regime, where two-fluid models are better justified. With this goal in mind, this paper compares the evolution of the collisionless tearing instability in a force-free current sheet with a two-fluid model and fully kinetic simulations. Our results indicate that the most unstable modes are oblique for guide fields larger than the reconnecting field, in agreement with the kinetic results. The standard two-fluid tearing theory is extended to address the tearing instability at oblique angles. As a results this theory yields a flat oblique spectrum and underestimates the growth of oblique modes in a similar manner to kinetic theory relative to kinetic simulations.

  1. Chaotic Scattering In Magnetic Current Sheets

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Martin, R.; Holland, D.; Matsuoka, H.; Rappa, R.

    We revisit the subject of nonlinear charged particle dynamics and chaos in current sheet magnetic fields using the modified Harris magnetic field. While much has been written on this subject in the last decade we feel there are some as-yet-unanswered fundamental questions as well as some "folklore" which is in need of clarification. We begin by demonstrating that the general behavior of the average exponential di- vergence rate (AEDR) of individual orbits is strongly correlated with the phase space partitions, i.e. the AEDR for integrable orbits goes to zero for long times, the AEDR of stochastic orbits approaches an asymptotic value for long times, and the AEDR of transient orbits (and short lived stochastic orbits) is not well defined. Furthermore, we show that the Lyapunov exponent for a distribution of particles only has well de- fined values at the resonant energy surfaces defined by Burkhart and Chen. Next it is shown that the "chaos" of the system is maximum at = 1 only in the sense that a lot of particles enter the stochastic region of phase space for this energy. The average Lyapunov exponent at = 1 actually approaches zero, and for those energies where the Lyapunov exponent is defined, it increases as the ratio of normal component of the field to the asymptotic field strength increases. Finally, we present particle escape rate and fractal invariant set results corroborating these conclusions and consider the consequences for anomalous transport in these fields.

  2. Bashful Ballerina: Southward shifted Heliospheric Current Sheet

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Mursula, K.; Hiltula, T.

    It is known since long (Rosenberg and Coleman, 1969) that one of the two sectors of the interplanetary magnetic field (IMF) observed at the Earth's orbit dominates at high heliographic latitudes during solar minimum times, reflecting the poloidal structure of the global solar magnetic field at these times. Here we find that while this latitudinal variation of the dominant IMF sector around the solar equator is valid for both solar hemispheres during the last four solar minima covered by direct observations, it is systematically more strongly developed in the northern heliographic hemisphere. This implies that the average heliospheric current sheet is shifted or coned southward during solar minimum times, suggesting that the temporary southward shift of the heliosheet found earlier by Ulysses observations in 1995 is a persistent pattern. This also implies that the open solar magnetic field is north-south asymmetric at these times, suggesting that the solar dynamo has an asymmetric component. Accordingly, the Sun with the heliosheet is like a bashful ballerina who is repeatedly trying to push her excessively high flaring skirt downward. However, the effective shift at 1 AU is only a few degrees, allowing the Rosenberg-Coleman rule to be valid, on an average, in both hemispheres during solar minima.

  3. Bashful ballerina: Southward shifted heliospheric current sheet

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Mursula, K.; Hiltula, T.

    2003-11-01

    It is known since long [Rosenberg and Coleman, 1969] that one of the two sectors of the interplanetary magnetic field (IMF) observed at the Earth's orbit dominates at high heliographic latitudes during solar minimum times, reflecting the poloidal structure of the global solar magnetic field at these times. Here we find that while this latitudinal variation of the dominant IMF sector around the solar equator is valid for both solar hemispheres during the last four solar minima covered by direct observations, it is systematically more strongly developed in the northern heliographic hemisphere. This implies that the average heliospheric current sheet is shifted or coned southward during solar minimum times, suggesting that the temporary southward shift of the heliosheet found earlier by Ulysses observations in 1995 is a persistent pattern. This also implies that the open solar magnetic field is north-south asymmetric at these times, suggesting that the solar dynamo has an asymmetric component. Accordingly, the Sun with the heliosheet is like a bashful ballerina who is repeatedly trying to push her excessively high flaring skirt downward. However, the effective shift at 1 AU is only a few degrees, allowing the Rosenberg-Coleman rule to be valid, on an average, in both hemispheres during solar minima.

  4. MESSENGER Observations of Asymmetries at Mercury's Magnetotail Current Sheet

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Poh, Gangkai; Slavin, James; Jia, Xianzhe; Raines, Jim; Sun, Wei-Jie; Genestreti, Kevin; Smith, Andy; Gershman, Daniel; Anderson, Brian

    2016-04-01

    Dawn-dusk asymmetries in the Earth's magnetotail current sheet have been observed and remain an active area of research. With an internal magnetic dipole field structure similar to Earth's, similar dawn-dusk asymmetries might be expected in Mercury's magnetotail current sheet. However, no observation of dawn-dusk asymmetries has been reported in the structure of Mercury's magnetotail. Using 4 years of MESSENGER's magnetic field and plasma data, we analyzed 319 current sheet crossings. From the polarity of Bz in the cross-tail current sheet, we determined that MESSENGER is on closed field lines about 90% of the time. During the other 10% MESSENGER observed negative Bz indicating that it was tailward of the Near Mercury Neutral Line (NMNL). The Bz magnetic field is also observed to be higher at the dawnside than the duskside of the magnetotail current sheet by approximately a factor of three. Further the asymmetry decreases with increasing downstream distance. A reduction (enhancement) in Bz should correspond to a more (less) stretched and thinned (thickened) current sheet. Analysis of current sheet thickness based upon MESSENGER's observations confirms this behavior with mean current sheet thickness and Bz intensity having dawn-dusk asymmetries with the same sense. Plasma β in the current sheet also exhibits a dawn-dusk asymmetry opposite to that of Bz. This is consistent with expectations based on MHD stress balance. Earlier studies had shown a dawn-dusk asymmetry in the heavy ion in Mercury's magnetotail. We suggest that this enhancement of heavy ions in the duskside current sheet, due to centrifugal acceleration of ions from the cusp and gradient-curvature drift from the NMNL, may provide a partial explanation of the dawn-dusk current sheet asymmetries found in this study.

  5. Current status of liquid sheet radiator research

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Chubb, Donald L.; Calfo, Frederick D.; Mcmaster, Matthew S.

    1993-01-01

    Initial research on the external flow, low mass liquid sheet radiator (LSR), has been concentrated on understanding its fluid mechanics. The surface tension forces acting at the edges of the sheet produce a triangular planform for the radiating surface of width, W, and length, L. It has been experimentally verified that (exp L)/W agrees with the theoretical result, L/W = (We/8)exp 1/2, where We is the Weber number. Instability can cause holes to form in regions of large curvature such as where the edge cylinders join the sheet of thickness, tau. The W/tau limit that will cause hole formation with subsequent destruction of the sheet has yet to be reached experimentally. Although experimental measurements of sheet emissivity have not yet been performed because of limited program scope, calculations of the emissivity and sheet lifetime is determined by evaporation losses were made for two silicon based oils; Dow Corning 705 and Me(sub 2). Emissivities greater than 0.75 are calculated for tau greater than or equal to 200 microns for both oils. Lifetimes for Me(sub 2) are much longer than lifetimes for 705. Therefore, Me(sub 2) is the more attractive working fluid for higher temperatures (T greater than or equal to 400 K).

  6. The current-voltage relationship in auroral current sheets

    SciTech Connect

    Weimer, D.R. ); Gurnett, D.A.; Goertz, C.K. ); Menietti, J.D.; Burch, J.L. ); Sugiura, M. )

    1987-01-01

    The current-voltage relation within narrow auroral current sheets is examined through the use of high-resolution data from the high-altitude Dynamics Explorer 1 satellite. The north-south perpendicular electric field and the east-west magnetic field are shown for three cases in which there are large amplitude, oppositely directed paired electric fields which are confined to a region less than 20 km wide. The magnetic field variations are found to be proportional to the second integral of the high-altitude perpendicular electric field. It is shown that at the small-scale limit, this relationship between {Delta}B and E is consistent with a linear Ohm's law relationship between the current density and the parallel potential drop along the magnetic field line. This linear relationship had previously been verified for large-scale auroral formations greater than 20 km wide at the ionosphere. The evidence shown here extends the knowledge down to the scale size of discrete auroral arcs.

  7. Dynamics of thin current sheets: Cluster observations

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Baumjohann, W.; Roux, A.; Le Contel, O.; Nakamura, R.; Birn, J.; Hoshino, M.; Lui, A. T. Y.; Owen, C. J.; Sauvaud, J.-A.; Vaivads, A.; Fontaine, D.; Runov, A.

    2007-06-01

    The paper tries to sort out the specific signatures of the Near Earth Neutral Line (NENL) and the Current Disruption (CD) models, and looks for these signatures in Cluster data from two events. For both events transient magnetic signatures are observed, together with fast ion flows. In the simplest form of NENL scenario, with a large-scale two-dimensional reconnection site, quasi-invariance along Y is expected. Thus the magnetic signatures in the S/C frame are interpreted as relative motions, along the X or Z direction, of a quasi-steady X-line, with respect to the S/C. In the simplest form of CD scenario an azimuthal modulation is expected. Hence the signatures in the S/C frame are interpreted as signatures of azimuthally (along Y) moving current system associated with low frequency fluctuations of Jy and the corresponding field-aligned currents (Jx). Event 1 covers a pseudo-breakup, developing only at high latitudes. First, a thin (H≍2000 km≍2ρi, with ρi the ion gyroradius) Current Sheet (CS) is found to be quiet. A slightly thinner CS (H≍1000-2000 km≍1-2ρi), crossed about 30 min later, is found to be active, with fast earthward ion flow bursts (300-600 km/s) and simultaneous large amplitude fluctuations (δB/B~1). In the quiet CS the current density Jy is carried by ions. Conversely, in the active CS ions are moving eastward; the westward current is carried by electrons that move eastward, faster than ions. Similarly, the velocity of earthward flows (300-600 km/s), observed during the active period, maximizes near or at the CS center. During the active phase of Event 1 no signature of the crossing of an X-line is identified, but an X-line located beyond Cluster could account for the observed ion flows, provided that it is active for at least 20 min. Ion flow bursts can also be due to CD and to the corresponding dipolarizations which are associated with changes in the current density. Yet their durations are shorter than the duration of the active

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

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

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

    2008-01-01

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

  9. Fine-scale structure of the Jovian magnetotail current sheet

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Behannon, K. W.

    1983-01-01

    During the outbound leg of its passage through the Jovian magnetosphere in the Voyager 2 spacecraft observed 50 traversals of the magnetotail current sheet during a 10 day period at distances between 30 and 130 R sub j. Analysis of these observations shown that the Jovian tail sheet tends to lie approximately parallel to the ecliptic plane and to oscillate about the tail axis with the 10 hour planetary rotation period. The magnetic structure near and within the current sheet was variable with time and distance from Jupiter, but generally corresponded to one of the following: (1) simple rotation of field across the sheet, with an approximately southward direction in the sheet (generally northward beyond a distance from Jupiter of approximately 84 R sub j; (2) field having a southward component in a broad region near the sheet, but northward in a restricted region at the sheet itself; or (3) a clear bipolar variation of the sheet normal field component as the sheet was crossed (i.e., the field became northward and then southward, or vice versa, in crossing the sheet).

  10. Multipoint studies of 2D magnetotail current sheet

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Petrukovich, Anatoli; Zelenyi, Lev; Nakamura, Rumi; Artemyev, Anton

    2016-07-01

    CLUSTER and Themis projects provide unique tools for magnetotail current sheet studies at a wide range of downtail distances: multipoint curlometer allows to measure electric current density, whereas regular electron data contains information on largescale tail structure. Observations show that moderately thin ion-scale embedded sheet is formed during substorm growth phase. Comparison of curlometer with particle data helps to estimate contributions of transient and magnetized ions as well as electrons to current density. Thin intense sheet with sub-ion scale is appearing after onset near reconnection zones, but vertical pressure balance requirement substantially limits the possible range of sheet thickness. Horizontal (along the tail) gradients become more important only in the near tail, within 10-12 Earth radii. Essential quantitative characteristics of ions-scale embedded sheet are boundary field b0 and maximal possible intensity of ion current.

  11. Magnetorotational instability, current relaxation, and current-vortex sheet

    SciTech Connect

    Silveira, F. E. M.; Galvão, R. M. O.

    2013-08-15

    The conjugate effect of current relaxation and of current-vortex sheet formation on the magnetorotational instability is explored in a conducting fluid. It is found that the relative amplification of the magnetic viscosity from marginal stability to the instability determined by the maximum growth rate is around 924% when resistive effects dominate, while the corresponding quantity is around 220% in the ideal limit. This shows that the conjugate influence is much more efficient to amplify the magnetic viscosity than just the effect due to the standard magnetic tension. It is also found that the magnitude of the magnetic viscosity is effectively enhanced by the conjugate influence. The results presented here may contribute to the understanding of the various processes that play a significant role in the mechanism of anomalous viscosity observed in Keplerian disks. It is argued that the new effect shall be relevant in thin accretion disks. It is also mentioned that the proposed formulation may be of interest for some theories of magnetic reconnection. Possible extensions of this work are suggested.

  12. Eruptive Current Sheets Trailing SOHO/LASCO CMEs

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Webb, David F.

    2015-04-01

    Current sheets are important signatures of magnetic reconnection during the eruption of solar magnetic structures. Many models of eruptive flare/Coronal Mass Ejections (CMEs) involve formation of a current sheet connecting the ejecting CME flux rope with the post-eruption magnetic loop arcade. Current sheets have been interpreted in white light images as narrow rays trailing the outward-moving CME, in ultraviolet spectra as narrow, bright hot features, and with different manifestations in other wavebands. This study continues that of Webb et al. (2003), who analyzed SMM white light CMEs having candidate magnetic disconnection features at the base of the CME. About half of those were followed by coaxial, bright rays suggestive of newly formed current sheets, and Webb et al. (2003) presented detailed results of analysis of those structures. In this work we extend the study of white light eruptive current sheets to the more sensitive and extensive SOHO/LASCO coronagraph data on CMEs. We comprehensively examined all LASCO CMEs during two periods that we identify with the minimum and maximum activity of solar cycle 23. We identified ~130 ray/current sheets during these periods, nearly all of which trailed CMEs with concave-outward backs. The occurrence rate of the ray/current sheets is 6-7% of all CMEs, irrespective of the solar cycle. We analyze the rays for durations, speeds, alignments, and motions and compare the observational results with some model predictions.

  13. Dynamic Response of Magnetic Reconnection Due to Current Sheet Variability

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    George, D. E.; Jahn, J. M.; Burch, J. L.; Hesse, M.; Pollock, C. J.

    2014-12-01

    Magnetic reconnection is a process which regulates the interaction between regions of magnetized plasma. While many factors have an impact on the evolution of this process, there still remains a lack of understanding of the key behaviors involved in the triggering of fast reconnection. Despite an abundance of in-situ measurements, indicating the high degree of variability in the thickness, density and composition along the current sheet, no simulation studies exist which account for such current sheet variations. 2D and 3D simulations have a periodic boundary in the dimension along the current sheet and so tend to neglect these variations in the current sheet originating external to the modeled reconnection region. Here we focus on the effects on reconnection due to the variability in the thickness and density of the current sheet. Using 2.5D kinetic simulations of 2-species plasma, we isolate and explore the dynamic effects on reconnection associated with variations in the current sheet originating externally to the reconnection region. While periodic boundary conditions are still used, in the direction along the current sheet, a step-change perturbation in thickness or density of the current sheet is introduced once a stable reconnection rate is reached. The dynamic response of the overall system, after introducing the perturbation, is then evaluated, with a focus on the reconnection rate. When the reconnection rate is slowed significantly over time, loading of the inflow region occurs (a build-up of plasma and magnetic energy/pressure. This state is indicated by an asymptotic behavior in the reconnection rate over time. If a sudden variation in the current sheet is introduced under these conditions, a resultant triggering of fast reconnection may occur, which could lead to an episode of fast reconnection, saw-tooth-crash condition or even act as a trigger for sub-storms.

  14. Lower-hybrid instabilities and turbulence associated with reconnection in asymmetric current sheets

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Roytershteyn, V.; Daughton, W.; Karimabadi, H.

    2011-10-01

    The role of microscopic plasma turbulence in enabling magnetic reconnection is a long-standing problem in plasma physics. In this work, we consider reconnection in asymmetric current sheets as encountered for example at the Earth's magnetopause and laboratory experiments, such as MRX. Using 3D PIC simulations with Monte-Carlo treatment of Coulomb collisions, we demonstrate that Lower-Hybrid (LH) turbulence naturally arises in this configuration in both collisionless and weakly collisional plasma. Two sources of LH turbulence are identified. In regimes with moderate ratio of electron-to-ion temperature Te <=Ti and low overall β, electromagnetic LH instability with hybrid wavelength k(ρeρi) 1 / 2 ~ 1 (Daughton, 2003) localized near the X-line can reach large amplitude. This mode produces substantial modifications to the average force balance in the form of fluctuation-induced drag and stress terms and significantly alters the structure of the diffusion region. It persists in weakly collisional regimes typical of MRX. Under parameters typical of the magnetopause, LH turbulence is predominantly localized around the separatrices on the low- β side of the current sheet, where it is driven by short-wavelength instability with kρe ~ 1 (e.g. Davidson, 1977). Under these conditions, the overall structure of the reconnection region is not appreciably modified compared to 2D simulations.

  15. Active current sheets and candidate hot flow anomalies upstream of Mercury's bow shock

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Uritsky, V. M.; Slavin, J. A.; Boardsen, S. A.; Sundberg, T.; Raines, J. M.; Gershman, D. J.; Collinson, G.; Sibeck, D.; Khazanov, G. V.; Anderson, B. J.; Korth, H.

    2014-02-01

    Hot flow anomalies (HFAs) represent a subset of solar wind discontinuities interacting with collisionless bow shocks. They are typically formed when the normal component of the motional (convective) electric field points toward the embedded current sheet on at least one of its sides. The core region of an HFA contains hot and highly deflected ion flows and rather low and turbulent magnetic field. In this paper, we report observations of possible HFA-like events at Mercury identified over a course of two planetary years. Using data from the orbital phase of the MESSENGER mission, we identify a representative ensemble of active current sheets magnetically connected to Mercury's bow shock. We show that some of these events exhibit magnetic and particle signatures of HFAs similar to those observed at other planets, and present their key physical characteristics. Our analysis suggests that Mercury's bow shock does not only mediate the flow of supersonic solar wind plasma but also provides conditions for local particle acceleration and heating as predicted by previous numerical simulations. Together with earlier observations of HFA activity at Earth, Venus, Mars, and Saturn, our results confirm that hot flow anomalies could be a common property of planetary bow shocks and show that the characteristic size of these events is controlled by the bow shock standoff distance and/or local solar wind conditions.

  16. The origin of the warped heliospheric current sheet

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wilcox, J. M.; Scherrer, P. H.; Hoeksema, J. T.

    1980-03-01

    The warped heliospheric current sheet in early 1976 was calculated from the observed photospheric magnetic field using a potential field method. Comparisons with measurements of the interplanetary magnetic field polarity in early 1976 obtained at several locations in the heliosphere at Helios 1, Helios 2, Pioneer 11 and Earth show a rather detailed agreement between the computed current sheet and the observations. It appears that the large scale structure of the warped heliospheric current sheet is determined by the structure of the photospheric magnetic field, and that "ballerina skirt" effects may add small scale ripples.

  17. The origin of the warped heliospheric current sheet

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Wilcox, J. M.; Scherrer, P. H.; Hoeksema, J. T.

    1980-01-01

    The warped heliospheric current sheet in early 1976 was calculated from the observed photospheric magnetic field using a potential field method. Comparisons with measurements of the interplanetary magnetic field polarity in early 1976 obtained at several locations in the heliosphere at Helios 1, Helios 2, Pioneer 11 and Earth show a rather detailed agreement between the computed current sheet and the observations. It appears that the large scale structure of the warped heliospheric current sheet is determined by the structure of the photospheric magnetic field, and that "ballerina skirt" effects may add small scale ripples.

  18. Prediction of the heliospheric current sheet tilt: 1992-1996

    SciTech Connect

    Suess, S.T. ); McComas, D.J. ); Hoeksema, J.T. )

    1993-02-05

    Heliospheric current sheet tilt evolves systematically over the solar cycle. Here the authors show that this evolution is different than the sunspot cycle and that tilt for the period 1992-1996 can be predicted using persistence. That is, the tilt over the coming cycle will be the same as for the past cycle. The Ulysses spacecraft has passed Jupiter and is moving out of the plane of the ecliptic, so they use the prediction of the changing heliospheric current sheet tilt to predict that Ulysses will pass beyond the envelope, or maximum latitude, of the heliospheric current sheet in November 1993. 10 refs., 6 figs.

  19. Verification of gyrokinetic particle simulation of current-driven instability in fusion plasmas. III. Collisionless tearing mode

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Liu, Dongjian; Bao, Jian; Han, Tao; Wang, Jiaqi; Lin, Zhihong

    2016-02-01

    A finite-mass electron fluid model for low frequency electromagnetic fluctuations, particularly the collisionless tearing mode, has been implemented in the gyrokinetic toroidal code. Using this fluid model, linear properties of the collisionless tearing mode have been verified. Simulations verify that the linear growth rate of the single collisionless tearing mode is proportional to De2, where De is the electron skin depth. On the other hand, the growth rate of a double tearing mode is proportional to De in the parameter regime of fusion plasmas.

  20. Diffusive shock acceleration in the presence of current sheets

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Kota, J.; Jokipii, J. R.

    1994-01-01

    We study the nature of diffusive shock acceleration in the presence of current sheets which are oriented normal to the shock, so that the drift along the sheets carries particles either away from or toward the shock plane. We consider a system with periodic regions of alternating magnetic field direction. This can be taken to be a very crude representation of the termination of the solar wind, with the equator being one sheet and the pole, with its rapid opposite drift, being another. We find very important effects of the current sheets. For example, particle intensities at the shock will be enhanced near one sheet and depressed at the other. Furthermore, the intensity at high energies (averaged over the shock plane) may in fact be considerably larger than in the standard one-dimensional infinite shock case. Implications of these results for the possible acceleration of cosmic electrons up to high energies at the solar-wind termination shock will briefly be discussed.

  1. Eigenmodes of quasi-static magnetic islands in current sheet

    SciTech Connect

    Li Yi; Cai Xiaohui; Chai Lihui; Wang Shui; Zheng Huinan; Shen Chao

    2011-12-15

    As observation have shown, magnetic islands often appear before and/or after the onset of magnetic reconnections in the current sheets, and they also appear in the current sheets in the solar corona, Earth's magnetotail, and Earth's magnetopause. Thus, the existence of magnetic islands can affect the initial conditions in magnetic reconnection. In this paper, we propose a model of quasi-static magnetic island eigenmodes in the current sheet. This model analytically describes the magnetic field structures in the quasi-static case, which will provide a possible approach to reconstructing the magnetic structures in the current sheet via observation data. This model is self-consistent in the kinetic theory. Also, the distribution function of charged particles in the magnetic island can be calculated.

  2. Structure of the Jovian Magnetodisk Current Sheet: Initial Galileo Observations

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Russell, C. T.; Huddleston, D. E.; Khurana, K. K.; Kivelson, M. G.

    2001-01-01

    The ten-degree tilt of the Jovian magnetic dipole causes the magnetic equator to move back and forth across Jupiter's rotational equator and tile Galileo orbit that lies therein. Beyond about 24 Jovian radii, the equatorial current sheet thins and tile magnetic structure changes from quasi-dipolar into magnetodisk-like with two regions of nearly radial but antiparallel magnetic field separated by a strong current layer. The magnetic field at the center of the current sheet is very weak in this region. Herein we examine tile current sheet at radial distances from 24 55 Jovian radii. We find that the magnetic structure very much resembles tile structure seen at planetary magnetopause and tail current sheet crossings. Tile magnetic field variation is mainly linear with little rotation of the field direction, At times there is almost no small-scale structure present and the normal component of the magnetic field is almost constant through the current sheet. At other times there are strong small-scale structures present in both the southward and northward directions. This small-scale structure appears to grow with radial distance and may provide the seeds for tile explosive reconnection observed at even greater radial distances oil tile nightside. Beyond about 40 Jovian radii, the thin current sheet also appears to be almost constantly in oscillatory motion with periods of about 10 min. The amplitude of these oscillations also appears to grow with radial distance. The source of these fluctuations may be dynamical events in tile more distant magnetodisk.

  3. Collisionless tearing instability of a bi-Maxwellian neutral sheet - An integrodifferential treatment with exact particle orbits

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Burkhart, G. R.; Chen, J.

    1989-01-01

    The integrodifferential equation describing the linear tearing instability in the bi-Maxwellian neutral sheet is solved without approximating the particle orbits or the eigenfunction psi. Results of this calculation are presented. Comparison between the exact solution and the three-region approximation motivates the piecewise-straight-line approximation, a simplification that allows faster solution of the integrodifferential equation, yet retains the important features of the exact solution.

  4. Visco-resistive tearing in thin current sheets.

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Velli, M. M. C.; Tenerani, A.; Rappazzo, A. F.; Pucci, F.

    2014-12-01

    How fast magnetic energy release is triggered and occurs in high Lundquist (S) and high Reynolds number ( R ) plasmas such as that of the solar corona is a fundamental problem for understanding phenomena ranging from coronal heating to flares and CMEs. Diffusion or collisional reconnection driven by macroscopic flows in quasi-steady Sweet-Parker (SP) current sheets are processes far too slow to fit observational data. Spontaneous reconnection, driven by the onset of the tearing instability inside current sheets, provides an alternative paradigm to SP reconnection. Nevertheless, as long as macroscopic current layers are considered, the growth of such an instability is also a slow process. Recently it has been shown that SP current sheets are rapidly unstable in high S plasmas, indeed have a growth rate diverging with increasing S. It has been suggested that such instabilities are triggered during the nonlinear stage of the primary tearing instability of a macroscopic layer. The formation of plasmoids in this presumed SP sheet speeds up the reconnection rate to ideal values. Recently, we have suggested that SP sheets can not be realized in quasi-ideal plasmas, and that the plasmoid instability is triggered on a much larger scale (i.e. with current sheets having a much larger ration of thickness to length than SP). Here we present a linear parametric study of the tearing instability for a Harris current sheet, while taking into account both viscosity and current sheets of variable aspect ratios. The present study shows that an explosive growth of the reconnection rate may be reached during the linear stage, once a critical width of the current layer is reached. In the absence of a strong guide field this depends on viscosity and a range of critical aspect ratios can be found for different values of S, R, or S and Prandtl number.

  5. Thin current sheet embedded within a thicker plasma sheet: Self-consistent kinetic theory

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Sitnov, M. I.; Zelenyi, L. M.; Malova, H. V.; Sharma, A. S.

    2000-06-01

    A self-consistent theory of thin current sheets, where the magnetic field line tension is balanced by the ion inertia rather than by the pressure gradient, is presented. Assuming that ions are the main current carriers and their dynamics is quasi-adiabatic, the Maxwell-Vlasov equations are reduced to the nonlocal analogue of the Grad-Shafranov equation using a new set of integrals of motion, namely, the particle energy and the sheet invariant of the quasi-adiabatic motion. It is shown that for a drifting Maxwellian distribution of ions outside the sheet the equilibrium equation can be reduced in the limits of strong and weak anisotropy to universal equations that determine families of equilibria with similar profiles of the magnetic field. In the region Bn/B0sheet and close to its central plane, the ion drift velocity outside the sheet, and the ion thermal velocity, respectively) the thickness of such similar profiles is of the order of (vT/vD)1/3ρ0, where ρ0 is the thermal ion gyroradius outside the sheet. In the limit of weak anisotropy (vT/vD>>1) the self-consistent current sheet equilibrium may also exist with no indications of the catastrophe reported earlier by Burkhart et al. [1992a]. On the contrary, it is found that in this limit the magnetic field profiles again become similar to each other with the characteristic thickness ~ρ0. The profiles of plasma and current densities as well as the components of the pressure tensor are calculated for arbitrary ion anisotropy outside the sheet. It is shown that the thin current sheet for the equilibrium considered here is usually embedded into a much thicker plasma sheet. Moreover, in the case of weak anisotropy the perturbation of the plasma density inside the sheet is shown to be proportional to the parameter vD/vT, and as a result the electrostatic effects should be small, consistent with observations. This model of the thin current sheet

  6. Solar wind and substorm excitation of the wavy current sheet

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Forsyth, C.; Lester, M.; Fear, R. C.; Lucek, E.; Dandouras, I.; Fazakerley, A. N.; Singer, H.; Yeoman, T. K.

    2009-06-01

    Following a solar wind pressure pulse on 3 August 2001, GOES 8, GOES 10, Cluster and Polar observed dipolarizations of the magnetic field, accompanied by an eastward expansion of the aurora observed by IMAGE, indicating the occurrence of two substorms. Prior to the first substorm, the motion of the plasma sheet with respect to Cluster was in the ZGSM direction. Observations following the substorms show the occurrence of current sheet waves moving predominantly in the -YGSM direction. Following the second substorm, the current sheet waves caused multiple current sheet crossings of the Cluster spacecraft, previously studied by Zhang et al. (2002). We further this study to show that the velocity of the current sheet waves was similar to the expansion velocity of the substorm aurora and the expansion of the dipolarization regions in the magnetotail. Furthermore, we compare these results with the current sheet wave models of Golovchanskaya and Maltsev (2005) and Erkaev et al. (2008). We find that the Erkaev et al. (2008) model gives the best fit to the observations.

  7. Current Sheet Formation and Reconnection at a Magnetic X Line

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    DeVore, C. Richard; Antiochos, S. K.

    2011-05-01

    Phenomena ranging from the quiescent heating of the ambient plasma to the highly explosive release of energy and acceleration of particles in flares are conjectured to result from magnetic reconnection at electric current sheets in the Sun's corona. We are investigating numerically the formation and eventual reconnection of a current sheet in an initially potential 2D magnetic field containing a null. Subjecting this simple configuration to unequal stresses in the four quadrants bounded by the X-line separatrix distorts the potential null into a double-Y-line current sheet. Although the gas pressure is finite in our simulations, so that the plasma beta is infinite at the null, we find that even small distortions of the magnetic field induce the formation of a tangential discontinuity there. This result is well known to occur in the zero-beta, force-free limit; surprisingly, it persists into the high-beta regime where, in principle, a small plasma pressure inhomogeneity could balance all of the magnetic stress. In addition to working to understand the dynamical details of this ideal process, we are examining the effect of resistive dissipation on the development of the current sheet and are seeking to determine the critical condition for fast-reconnection onset in the sheet. Our progress on understanding these issues, and the implications for the dynamic activity associated with current sheets in the solar corona, will be reported at the conference. We gratefully acknowledge NASA sponsorship of our research.

  8. Phenomenological Model of Current Sheet Canting in Pulsed Electromagnetic Accelerators

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Markusic, Thomas; Choueiri, E. Y.

    2003-01-01

    The phenomenon of current sheet canting in pulsed electromagnetic accelerators is the departure of the plasma sheet (that carries the current) from a plane that is perpendicular to the electrodes to one that is skewed, or tipped. Review of pulsed electromagnetic accelerator literature reveals that current sheet canting is a ubiquitous phenomenon - occurring in all of the standard accelerator geometries. Developing an understanding of current sheet canting is important because it can detract from the propellant sweeping capabilities of current sheets and, hence, negatively impact the overall efficiency of pulsed electromagnetic accelerators. In the present study, it is postulated that depletion of plasma near the anode, which results from axial density gradient induced diamagnetic drift, occurs during the early stages of the discharge, creating a density gradient normal to the anode, with a characteristic length on the order of the ion skin depth. Rapid penetration of the magnetic field through this region ensues, due to the Hall effect, leading to a canted current front ahead of the initial current conduction channel. In this model, once the current sheet reaches appreciable speeds, entrainment of stationary propellant replenishes plasma in the anode region, inhibiting further Hall-convective transport of the magnetic field; however, the previously established tilted current sheet remains at a fairly constant canting angle for the remainder of the discharge cycle, exerting a transverse J x B force which drives plasma toward the cathode and accumulates it there. This proposed sequence of events has been incorporated into a phenomenological model. The model predicts that canting can be reduced by using low atomic mass propellants with high propellant loading number density; the model results are shown to give qualitative agreement with experimentally measured canting angle mass dependence trends.

  9. Explosive magnetic reconnection caused by an X-shaped current-vortex layer in a collisionless plasma

    SciTech Connect

    Hirota, M.; Hattori, Y.; Morrison, P. J.

    2015-05-15

    A mechanism for explosive magnetic reconnection is investigated by analyzing the nonlinear evolution of a collisionless tearing mode in a two-fluid model that includes the effects of electron inertia and temperature. These effects cooperatively enable a fast reconnection by forming an X-shaped current-vortex layer centered at the reconnection point. A high-resolution simulation of this model for an unprecedentedly small electron skin depth d{sub e} and ion-sound gyroradius ρ{sub s}, satisfying d{sub e}=ρ{sub s}, shows an explosive tendency for nonlinear growth of the tearing mode, where it is newly found that the explosive widening of the X-shaped layer occurs locally around the reconnection point with the length of the X shape being shorter than the domain length and the wavelength of the linear tearing mode. The reason for the onset of this locally enhanced reconnection is explained theoretically by developing a novel nonlinear and nonequilibrium inner solution that models the local X-shaped layer, and then matching it to an outer solution that is approximated by a linear tearing eigenmode with a shorter wavelength than the domain length. This theoretical model proves that the local reconnection can release the magnetic energy more efficiently than the global one and the estimated scaling of the explosive growth rate agrees well with the simulation results.

  10. On spontaneous formation of current sheets: Untwisted magnetic fields

    SciTech Connect

    Bhattacharyya, R.; Low, B. C.; Smolarkiewicz, P. K.

    2010-11-15

    This is a study of the spontaneous formation of electric current sheets in an incompressible viscous fluid with perfect electrical conductivity, governed by the magnetohydrodynamic Navier-Stokes equations. Numerical solutions to two initial value problems are presented for a three-dimensional, periodic, untwisted magnetic field evolving, with no change in magnetic topology under the frozen-in condition and at characteristic fluid Reynolds numbers of the order of 500, from a nonequilibrium initial state with the fluid at rest. The evolution converts magnetic free energy into kinetic energy to be all dissipated away by viscosity so that the field settles into a minimum-energy, static equilibrium. The solutions demonstrate that, as a consequence of the frozen-in condition, current sheets must form during the evolution despite the geometric simplicity of the prescribed initial fields. In addition to the current sheets associated with magnetic neutral points and field reversal layers, other sheets not associated with such magnetic features are also in evidence. These current sheets form on magnetic flux surfaces. This property is used to achieve a high degree of the frozen-in condition in the simulations, by describing the magnetic field entirely in terms of the advection of its flux surfaces and integrating the resulting governing equations with a customized version of a general-purpose high-resolution (viz., nonoscillatory) hydrodynamical simulation code EULAG [J. M. Prusa et al., Comput. Fluids 37, 1193 (2008)]. Incompressibility imposes the additional global constraint that the flux surfaces must evolve with no change in the spatial volumes they enclose. In this approach, current sheet formation is demonstrated graphically by the progressive pressing together of suitably selected flux surfaces until their separation has diminished below the minimal resolved distance on a fixed grid. The frozen-in condition then fails in the simulation as the field reconnects through

  11. New insights from modeling the neutral heliospheric current sheet

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Raath, J. L.; Strauss, R. D.; Potgieter, M. S.

    2015-12-01

    Recently, the modulation of cosmic rays in the heliosphere has increasingly been studied by solving the well known transport equation via an approach based on stochastic differential equations. This approach, which is now well-established and published, allows for an in depth study of the modulation effects of the wavy heliospheric current sheet, in particular as its waviness increases with solar activity up to extreme maximum conditions. This is possible because of the numerical stability of the approach as well as its ability to trace pseudo-particles so that insightful trajectories of how they respond to the wavy heliospheric current sheet can be computed and displayed. Utilising such a stochastic model, we present valuable new insights into how the geometry of the wavy current sheet can affect the modulation of cosmic rays, especially at the highest levels of solar activity. This enables us to show, from a modeling perspective, why a certain choice for the current sheet profile is more suited than another at these high solar activity levels. We emphasise the importance of an effective tilt angle and illustrate how this concept can be employed effectively in interpreting results pertaining to the wavy current sheet as well as the modulation associated with this important heliospheric structure.

  12. Experimental study of the dynamics of a thin current sheet

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Gekelman, W.; DeHaas, T.; Van Compernolle, B.; Daughton, W.; Pribyl, P.; Vincena, S.; Hong, D.

    2016-05-01

    Many plasmas in natural settings or in laboratory experiments carry currents. In magnetized plasmas the currents can be narrow field-aligned filaments as small as the electron inertial length ≤ft(\\tfrac{c}{{ω }pe}\\right) in the transverse dimension or fill the entire plasma column. Currents can take the form of sheets, again with the transverse dimension the narrow one. Are laminar sheets of electric current in a magnetized plasma stable? This became an important issue in the 1960s when current-carrying plasmas became key in the quest for thermonuclear fusion. The subject is still under study today. The conditions necessary for the onset for tearing are known, the key issue is that of the final state. Is there a final state? One possibility is a collection of stable tubes of current. On the other hand, is the interaction between the current filaments which are the byproduct endless, or does it go on to become chaotic? The subject of three-dimensional current systems is intriguing, rich in a variety of phenomena on multiple scale sizes and frequencies, and relevant to fusion studies, solar physics, space plasmas and astrophysical phenomena. In this study a long (δz = 11 m) and narrow (δx = 1 cm, δy = 20 cm) current sheet is generated in a background magnetoplasma capable of supporting Alfvén waves. The current is observed to rapidly tear into a series of magnetic islands when viewed in a cross-sectional plane, but they are in essence three-dimensional flux ropes. At the onset of the current, magnetic field line reconnection is observed between the flux ropes. The sheet on the whole is kink-unstable, and after kinking exhibits large-scale, low-frequency (f ≪ f ci ) rotation about the background field with an amplitude that grows with distance from the source of the current. Three-dimensional data of the magnetic and electric fields is acquired throughout the duration of the experiment and the parallel resistivity is derived from it. The parallel

  13. What causes the warp in the heliospheric current sheet

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Wilcox, J. M.; Scherrer, P. H.

    1981-01-01

    A comparative discussion of the warp in the heliospheric current sheet is presented. Pioneer 10 and 11 data of the interplanetary magnetic field compared with earlier data (Helios 1 and 2) show a good agreement on the phenomenon of the warp; however, the interpretations differ. One theory (Thomas and Smith, 1980) proposes that fast solar wind streams associated with interaction regions may move the current sheet higher to heliospheric latitudes, thus causing the warp; while the earlier theory (1976) adequately explained the phenomenon by using the observed photospheric magnetic field and the Zeeman effect but omitted the solar wind dynamical considerations as part of the computations. It is shown that the Helios data of the polarity of the interplanetary magnetic field are in good agreement with the computed location of the current sheet, confirming the earlier theory.

  14. On current sheet approximations in models of eruptive flares

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Bungey, T. N.; Forbes, T. G.

    1994-01-01

    We consider an approximation sometimes used for current sheets in flux-rope models of eruptive flares. This approximation is based on a linear expansion of the background field in the vicinity of the current sheet, and it is valid when the length of the current sheet is small compared to the scale length of the coronal magnetic field. However, we find that flux-rope models which use this approximation predict the occurrence of an eruption due to a loss of ideal-MHD equilibrium even when the corresponding exact solution shows that no such eruption occurs. Determination of whether a loss of equilibrium exists can only be obtained by including higher order terms in the expansion of the field or by using the exact solution.

  15. Current Sheet Formation and Reconnection Dynamics in the Solar Corona

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Edmondson, Justin K.; Antiochos, S. K.; DeVore, C.; Zurbuchen, T. H.

    2009-05-01

    Current sheet formation is a necessary consequence of the evolution of the multi-polar magnetic field topologies that are ubiquitous throughout the solar corona. We present a very high-resolution study of 3D MHD current sheet formation and the resulting reconnection dynamics in an environment appropriate for the corona. The initial field consists of a translationally invariant, potential field with a null-point topology (i.e., 4-flux systems) and a low-beta plasma. A finite-extent, 3D Syrovatskii-type current sheet forms as a result of stressing of this system by a uniform, incompressible flow applied at the line-tied photospheric boundary. The system is assumed to be ideal, except for the presence of numerical resistivity. The fully 3-D evolution is calculated with very high resolution (9x and 10x refinement across the full extent of the current sheet) using the Adaptively Refined MHD Solver (ARMS). The initial evolution of this computationally-intensive simulation results in a current sheet with a nearly 30-to-1 aspect ratio, a significant fraction of the system characteristic length, that unexpectedly appears to be stable. In addition, up to this point in the evolution any magnetic reconnection that we observe is of the slow Sweet-Parker type. We expect, however, that as we continue stressing the field, the current sheet will become unstable and develop explosive dynamics. We discuss the implications of our results on coronal structure and activity, such as heating and eruptions. This work has been supported, in part, by the NASA HTP and SR&T programs.

  16. 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.

  17. Electric fields and current sheet structure in magnetospheric plasmas

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Cully, C. M.

    The electric currents of the central plasma sheet play a pivotal role in the dynamics of the Earth's magnetosphere. I describe new instrumentation developed for measuring its properties, and analyze data from existing instruments. The analysis shows the structure and physical current-carrying mechanisms of the quiescent central plasma sheet in new detail. Electric field observations are critical for this work. I discuss two aspects of space-based double-probe electric field experiments: the probe design and the signal processing. I develop a numerical model that self-consistently solves for the interaction between the probes and the nearby plasma environment, including the effects of the spacecraft and its attendant photoelectrons. I also describe the signal processing hardware developed for the 5-satellite THEMIS mission, known as the Digital Fields Boards (DFB). THEMIS was launched in February 2007, and all 5 DFBs are working as intended. Since THEMIS is only recently launched, I analyze data from the 4-satellite Cluster mission, which has similar instrumentation. With Cluster data, the position of the current sheet relative to the satellite can be determined, allowing direct comparisons between observations and models. To encompass the wide variety of possible current-carrying mechanisms, I develop a kinetic model based on the quasi-isotropic formalism of Schindler and Birn [2002]. The model fits many of the observed sheets well. The observations reveal a wide variety of current-carrying mechanisms. Some of the thinnest currents consist entirely of a pair of electron Hall currents which together form a bifurcated current sheet driven by strong inward-pointing electric fields.

  18. 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.

  19. Relation of anomalous resistivity and current intensity in turbulent collisionless plasma cascades in the geospace

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lapenta, Giovanni; Kemel, Koen; Henri, Pierre; Califano, Francesco; Markidis, Stefano

    2015-11-01

    Using the full kinetic implicit PIC code, iPiC3D, we studied the properties of plasma kinetic turbulence, such as would be found at the interface between the solar wind and the Earth magnetosphere at low latitude during northwards periods. In this case, in the presence of a magnetic field oriented mostly perpendicular to the velocity shear, turbulence is fed by the disruption of a Kelvin-Helmholtz vortex chain via secondary instabilities, vortex pairing and non-linear interactions. We found that the magnetic energy spectral cascade between ion and electron inertial scales is in agreement with satellite observations and previous numerical simulations; however, in our case the spectrum ends with a peak beyond de due to the occurrence of the lower hybrid drift instability. The electric energy spectrum is influenced by secondary instabilities: anomalous resistivity, fed by the development of the lower hybrid drift instability, steepens the spectral decay and, depending on the alignment of B and the shear vorticity, peaks due to ion-Bernstein waves may dominate the spectrum around di. A key conclusion of the study is that the anomalous resistivity produced by these complex wave and instabilities can indeed very accurately be described in terms of a proportionality with the current. This research used resources of NERSC, a DOE Office of Science User Facility supported by the Office of Science of the U.S. DOE under Contract No. DE-AC02-05CH11231.

  20. Kinetic Simulations of Thinnest Current Sheets as detected by Cluster.

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Singh, N.; Deverapllai, C.

    Recently reported observations from Cluster in the magneto-tail show existence of extremely thin current sheets ETCSs They have thickness of just a few electron skin depth L e in contrast to the previously reported thin current sheets TCSs having thickness of ion skin depth L i This suggests that the reconnecting current sheets evolve over scale size ranging from much larger than L i to ones to the limiting smallest width sim L e The phase of the current sheet CS evolution when the magnetic reconnection occurs in such a CS has remained a nagging challenge We report here three-dimensional kinetic simulations of ETCSs using a particle-in-cell code with electron to ion mass ratio M m 1836 Our simulation results show the following important features of an evolving CS i Thinning process of a non-equilibrium CS when started with a CS of scale size several L e ii The thinning occurs via counter propagating magneto-sonic waves iii Setting of convergent electric fields pointing toward the CS center during the course of the thinning iv Direct acceleration of un-magnetized ions by the electric fields toward the CS center setting counter-streaming in ion flow v E times B drift of the electrons which completely support the current in the CS vi Current-sheet-driven electrostatic instabilities CSDEI mostly confined within the CS vii Electron drift and developing shear in the drift provide free energy for the CSDEI viii Electron heating transverse to the anti-parallel magnetic field generating

  1. Coronal Current Sheet Evolution in the Aftermath of a CME

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Bemporad, A.; Poletto, G.; Suess, S. T.; Ko, Y.-K.; Schwadron, N. A.; Elliott, H. A.; Raymond, J. C.

    2005-01-01

    We report on SOHO-UVCS observations of coronal restructuring following a Coronal Mass Ejection (CME) on November 26, 2002, at the time of a SOHO-Ulysses quadrature campaign. Starting about 3 hours after the CME, which was directed towards Ulysses, UVCS began taking spectra at 1.7 solar radii, covering emission from both cool and hot plasma. Observations continued, with occasional gaps, for more than 2 days. Emission in the 974.8 Angstrom line of [Fe XVIII], indicating temperatures above 6x10(6) K, was observed throughout the campaign in a spatially limited location. Comparison with EIT images shows the [Fe XVIII] emission to overlie a growing post-flare loop system formed in the aftermath of the CME. The emission most likely originates in a current sheet overlying the arcade. Analysis of the [Fe XVIII] emission allows us to infer the evolution of physical parameters in the current sheet over the entire span of our observations: in particular, we give the temperature vs. time in the current sheet and estimate the density. Ulysses was directly above the location of the CME and intercepted the ejecta. High ionization state Fe was detected by SWICS throughout the magnetic cloud associated with the CME, although the rapid temporal variation suggests bursty, rather than smooth, reconnection in the coronal current sheet. Both the remote and in situ observations are compared with predictions of theoretical CME models.

  2. Energy dynamics and current sheet structure in fluid and kinetic simulations of decaying magnetohydrodynamic turbulence

    SciTech Connect

    Makwana, K. D. Cattaneo, F.; Zhdankin, V.; Li, H.; Daughton, W.

    2015-04-15

    Simulations of decaying magnetohydrodynamic (MHD) turbulence are performed with a fluid and a kinetic code. The initial condition is an ensemble of long-wavelength, counter-propagating, shear-Alfvén waves, which interact and rapidly generate strong MHD turbulence. The total energy is conserved and the rate of turbulent energy decay is very similar in both codes, although the fluid code has numerical dissipation, whereas the kinetic code has kinetic dissipation. The inertial range power spectrum index is similar in both the codes. The fluid code shows a perpendicular wavenumber spectral slope of k{sub ⊥}{sup −1.3}. The kinetic code shows a spectral slope of k{sub ⊥}{sup −1.5} for smaller simulation domain, and k{sub ⊥}{sup −1.3} for larger domain. We estimate that collisionless damping mechanisms in the kinetic code can account for the dissipation of the observed nonlinear energy cascade. Current sheets are geometrically characterized. Their lengths and widths are in good agreement between the two codes. The length scales linearly with the driving scale of the turbulence. In the fluid code, their thickness is determined by the grid resolution as there is no explicit diffusivity. In the kinetic code, their thickness is very close to the skin-depth, irrespective of the grid resolution. This work shows that kinetic codes can reproduce the MHD inertial range dynamics at large scales, while at the same time capturing important kinetic physics at small scales.

  3. Observational support for the current sheet catastrophe model of substorm current disruption

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Burkhart, G. R.; Lopez, R. E.; Dusenbery, P. B.; Speiser, T. W.

    1992-01-01

    The principles of the current sheet catastrophe models are briefly reviewed, and observations of some of the signatures predicted by the theory are presented. The data considered here include AMPTE/CCE observations of fifteen current sheet disruption events. According to the model proposed here, the root cause of the current disruption is some process, as yet unknown, that leads to an increase in the k sub A parameter. Possible causes for the increase in k sub A are discussed.

  4. Current Sheet Evolution In The Aftermath Of A CME Event

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Bemporad, A.; Poletto, G.; Seuss, S. T.; Schwardron, N. A.; Elliott, H. A.; Raymond, J. C.

    2006-01-01

    We report on SOHO UVCS observations of the coronal restructuring following a coronal mass ejection (CME) on 2002 November 26, at the time of a SOHO-Ulysses quadrature campaign. Starting about 1.5 hr after a CME in the northwest quadrant, UVCS began taking spectra at 1.7 R, covering emission from both cool and hot plasma. Observations continued, with occasional gaps, for more than 2 days. Emission in the 974.8 A line of [Fe XVIII], indicating temperatures above 6 x 10(exp 6) K, was observed throughout the campaign in a spatially limited location. Comparison with EIT images shows the [Fe XVIII] emission to overlie a growing post-flare loop system formed in the aftermath of the CME. The emission most likely originates in a current sheet overlying the arcade. Analysis of the [Fe XVIII] emission allows us to infer the evolution of physical parameters in the current sheet over the entire span of our observations: in particular, we give the temperature versus time in the current sheet and estimate its density. At the time of the quadrature, Ulysses was directly above the location of the CME and intercepted the ejecta. High ionization state Fe was detected by the Ulysses SWICS throughout the magnetic cloud associated with the CME, although its rapid temporal variation suggests bursty, rather than smooth, reconnection in the coronal current sheet. The SOHO-Ulysses data set provided us with the unique opportunity of analyzing a current sheet structure from its lowest coronal levels out to its in situ properties. Both the remote and in situ observations are compared with predictions of theoretical CME models.

  5. Trigger of Fast Reconnection via Collapsing Current Sheets

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Tenerani, A.; Velli, M.; Rappazzo, A. F.; Pucci, F.

    2015-12-01

    It has been widely believed that reconnection is the underlying mechanism of many explosive processes observed both in astrophysical and laboratory plasmas. However, both the questions of how magnetic reconnection is triggered in high Lundquist (S) and Reynolds (R) number plasmas, and how it can then occur on fast, ideal, time-scales remain open. Indeed, it has been argued that fast reconnection rates could be achieved once kinetic scales are reached, or, alternatively, by the onset of the so-called plasmoid instability within Sweet-Parker current sheets. However, it has been shown recently that a tearing mode instability (the "ideal tearing") can grow on an ideal, i.e., S-independent, timescale once the width a of a current sheet becomes thin enough with respect to its macroscopic length L, a/L ~ S-1/3. This suggests that current sheet thinning down to such a threshold aspect ratio —much larger, for S>>1, than the Sweet-Parker one that scales as a/L ~ S-1/2— might provide the trigger for fast reconnection even within the fluid plasma framework. Here we discuss the transition to fast reconnection by studying with visco-resistive MHD simulations the onset and evolution of the tearing instability within a single collapsing current sheet. We indeed show that the transition to a fast tearing mode instability takes place when an inverse aspect ratio of the order of the threshold a/L ~ S-1/3 is reached, and that the secondary current sheets forming nonlinearly become the source of a succession of recursive tearing instabilities. The latter is reminiscent of the fractal reconnection model of flares, which we modify in the light of the "ideal tearing" scenario.

  6. Energization of Ions in near-Earth current sheet disruptions

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Taktakishvili, A.; Lopez, R. E.; Goodrich, C. C.

    1995-01-01

    In this study we examine observations made by AMPTE/CCE of energetic ion bursts during seven substorm periods when the satellite was located near the neutral sheet, and CCE observed the disruption cross-tail current in situ. We compare ion observations to analytic calculations of particle acceleration. We find that the acceleration region size, which we assume to be essentially the current disruption region, to be on the order of 1 R(sub E). Events exhibiting weak acceleration had either relatively small acceleration regions (apparently associated with pseudobreakup activity on the ground) or relatively small changes in the local magnetic field (suggesting that the magnitude of the local current disruption region was limited). These results add additional support for the view that the particle bursts observed during turbulent current sheet disruptions are due to inductive acceleration of ions.

  7. 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

  8. Vlasov simulations of collisionless magnetic reconnection without background density

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Schmitz, H.; Grauer, R.

    2008-02-01

    A standard starting point for the simulation of collisionless reconnection is the Harris equilibrium which is made up of a current sheet that separates two regions of opposing magnetic field. Magnetohydrodynamic simulations of collisionless reconnection usually include a homogeneous background density for reasons of numerical stability. While, in some cases, this is a realistic assumption, the background density may introduce new effects both due to the more involved structure of the distribution function or due to the fact that the Alfvèn speed remains finite far away from the current sheet. We present a fully kinetic Vlasov simulation of the perturbed Harris equilibrium using a Vlasov code. Parameters are chosen to match the Geospace Environment Modeling (GEM) Magnetic Reconnection Challenge but excluding the background density. This allows to compare with earlier simulations [Schmitz H, Grauer R. Kinetic Vlasov simulations of collisionless magnetic reconnection. Phys Plasmas 2006;13:092309] which include the background density. It is found that the absence of a background density causes the reconnection rate to be higher. On the other hand, the time until the onset of reconnection is hardly affected. Again the off diagonal elements of the pressure tensor are found to be important on the X-line but with modified importance for the individual terms.

  9. 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.

  10. 3-D Particle Simulation of Current Sheet Instabilities

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wang, Zhenyu; Lin, Yu; Wang, Xueyi; Tummel, Kurt; Chen, Liu

    2015-11-01

    The electrostatic (ES) and electromagnetic (EM) instabilities of a Harris current sheet are investigated using a 3-D linearized (δf) gyrokinetic (GK) electron and fully kinetic (FK) ion (GeFi) particle simulation code. The equilibrium magnetic field consists of an asymptotic anti-parallel Bx 0 and a guide field BG. The ES simulations show the excitation of lower-hybrid drift instability (LHDI) at the current sheet edge. The growth rate of the 3-D LHDI is scanned through the (kx ,ky) space. The most unstable modes are found to be at k∥ = 0 for smaller ky. As ky increases, the growth rate shows two peaks at k∥ ≠ 0 , consistent with analytical GK theory. The eigenmode structure and growth rate of LHDI obtained from the GeFi simulation agree well with those obtained from the FK PIC simulation. Decreasing BG, the asymptotic βe 0, or background density can destabilize the LHDI. In the EM simulation, tearing mode instability is dominant in the cases with ky kx , there exist two unstable modes: a kink-like (LHDI) mode at the current sheet edge and a sausage-like mode at the sheet center. The results are compared with the GK eigenmode theory and the FK simulation.

  11. Intermittent dissipation at kinetic scales in collisionless plasma turbulence.

    PubMed

    Wan, M; Matthaeus, W H; Karimabadi, H; Roytershteyn, V; Shay, M; Wu, P; Daughton, W; Loring, B; Chapman, S C

    2012-11-01

    High resolution kinetic simulations of collisionless plasma driven by shear show the development of turbulence characterized by dynamic coherent sheetlike current density structures spanning a range of scales down to electron scales. We present evidence that these structures are sites for heating and dissipation, and that stronger current structures signify higher dissipation rates. Evidently, kinetic scale plasma, like magnetohydrodynamics, becomes intermittent due to current sheet formation, leading to the expectation that heating and dissipation in astrophysical and space plasmas may be highly nonuniform and patchy. PMID:23215389

  12. Structure of current sheets in magnetic holes at 1 AU

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Fitzenreiter, R. J.; Burlaga, L. F.

    1978-01-01

    Current density profiles in several types of interplanetary magnetic holes have been calculated using high-resolution Imp 6 magnetic field data (12.5 vector measurements/s), assuming that the currents flow in planar sheets and that the magnetic field varies only in the direction normal to the sheet. The planarity was verified in four holes which were observed by two suitably spaced spacecraft. Four types of simple magnetic holes are discussed, in which B varies nearly monotonically on each side of the hole. In two of the holes, B varies in intensity but not in direction as a result of currents normal to B. In the other two holes, B changes in both magnitude and direction as a result of currents both normal and parallel to B. The observed structures are found to be qualitatively consistent with the models of Burlaga and Lemaire (1978). Examples of complex irregular magnetic holes are also presented, and they are shown to contain multiple current sheets in which currents flow parallel to one another at various angles with respect to B. There is no model of such magnetic holes at present.

  13. Observations of Current Sheets Passing Through the Near Lunar Wake

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Xu, X.; Wong, H. C.; Ma, Y.; Zhou, M.

    2015-12-01

    Two reconnection exhausts were detected by one of the dual ARTEMIS orbiters in the solar wind near the Moon. Almost meanwhile, the other ARTEMIS orbiter encountered the two corresponding (to the exhausts) current sheets that show no reconnection signals at the relatively central and marginal locations in the near lunar wake. In the ``Margin Event", a strong magnetic enhancement in the normal direction has been found peaking near the neutral line. In the ``Center Event", the current sheet was significantly broadened in thickness. The rotations of magnetic field direction of the two current sheets became more smooth than those of the exhausts. It is the dropout currents which cannot penetrate into the near wake that mainly caused these observational magnetic features. Such magnetic configuration is very similar to the magnetic geometry between two anti-polarity permanent magnets parallel to each other in non conducting context. The essential reason is that the extremely low density plasma in the near wake can no longer carry as strong currents as in the solar wind to support the curl of the magnetic fields.

  14. Current Sheets in the Heliosheath: Voyager 1, 2009

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Burlaga, L. F.; Ness, N. F.

    2011-01-01

    We identified all of the current sheets for which we have relatively complete and accurate magnetic field (B) data from Voyager 1 (V1) from days of year (DOYs) 1 to 331, 2009, which were obtained deep in the heliosheath between 108.5 and 111.8 AU. Three types of current sheets were found: (1) 15 proton boundary layers (PBLs), (2) 10 and 3 magnetic holes and magnetic humps, respectively, and (3) 3 sector boundaries. The magnetic field strength changes across PBL, and the profile B(t) is linearly related to the hyperbolic tangent function, but the direction of B does not change. For each of the three sector boundaries, B rotated in a plane normal to the minimum variance direction, and the component of B along the minimum variance direction was zero within the uncertainties, indicating that the sector boundaries were tangential discontinuities. The structure of the sector boundaries was not as simple as that for PBLs. The average thickness of magnetic holes and humps (approx.30 RL) was twice that of the PBLs (approx.15 RL). The average thickness of the current sheets associated with sector boundaries was close to the thickness of the PBLs. Our observations are consistent with the hypothesis that magnetic holes and humps are solitons, which are initiated by the mirror mode instability, and evolve by nonlinear kinetic plasma processes to pressure balanced structures maintained by magnetization currents and proton drift currents in the gradients of B.

  15. Current Sheets Formation in Tangled Coronal Magnetic Fields

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Rappazzo, A. F.; Parker, E. N.

    2013-08-01

    We investigate the dynamical evolution of magnetic fields in closed regions of solar and stellar coronae. To understand under which conditions current sheets form, we examine dissipative and ideal reduced magnetohydrodynamic models in Cartesian geometry, where two magnetic field components are present: the strong guide field B 0, extended along the axial direction, and the dynamical orthogonal field b. Magnetic field lines thread the system along the axial direction that spans the length L and are line-tied at the top and bottom plates. The magnetic field b initially has only large scales, with its gradient (current) length scale of the order of l b . We identify the magnetic intensity threshold b/B 0 ~ l b /L. For values of b below this threshold, field-line tension inhibits the formation of current sheets, while above the threshold they form quickly on fast ideal timescales. In the ideal case, above the magnetic threshold, we show that current sheets thickness decreases in time until it becomes smaller than the grid resolution, with the analyticity strip width δ decreasing at least exponentially, after which the simulations become underresolved.

  16. CURRENT SHEETS FORMATION IN TANGLED CORONAL MAGNETIC FIELDS

    SciTech Connect

    Rappazzo, A. F.; Parker, E. N. E-mail: parker@oddjob.uchicago.edu

    2013-08-10

    We investigate the dynamical evolution of magnetic fields in closed regions of solar and stellar coronae. To understand under which conditions current sheets form, we examine dissipative and ideal reduced magnetohydrodynamic models in Cartesian geometry, where two magnetic field components are present: the strong guide field B{sub 0}, extended along the axial direction, and the dynamical orthogonal field b. Magnetic field lines thread the system along the axial direction that spans the length L and are line-tied at the top and bottom plates. The magnetic field b initially has only large scales, with its gradient (current) length scale of the order of l{sub b}. We identify the magnetic intensity threshold b/B{sub 0} {approx} l{sub b}/L. For values of b below this threshold, field-line tension inhibits the formation of current sheets, while above the threshold they form quickly on fast ideal timescales. In the ideal case, above the magnetic threshold, we show that current sheets thickness decreases in time until it becomes smaller than the grid resolution, with the analyticity strip width {delta} decreasing at least exponentially, after which the simulations become underresolved.

  17. Wavy Current Sheet in Space and on the Ground

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Volwerk, Martin; Nakamura, Rumi; Zhang, Tielong; Boakes, Peter; Wang, Guoqiang

    2014-05-01

    One event from the ECLAT wavy current sheet event list (15 October 2004) is studied where the Cluster spacecraft are located near the dusk flank of the Earth's magnetotail (-12, 7, 4) Re in GSM coordinates. It is the purpose of this investigation to see whether the waves measured in the Earth's magnetotail have a counterpart in the magnetometer measurements on the ground. For the event under consideration, the Cluster data show a fast earthward plasma flow, after which the current sheet starts to oscillate with "harmonic" waves near the Pi2 frequency band. Investigating the normals of the current sheet during these waves shows that this is magnetotail flapping. The magnetic foot points of the Cluster spacecraft are near the 210 meridian stations TIK and KTN. Only TIK shows power at the same frequency as Cluster, whereas KTN does not show any signature of these waves. The curlometer technique applied to the Cluster data shows that there are strong, variable, field-aligned currents during the flapping period, which may couple the flapping to the ground over a small range of longitudes.

  18. Current carriers in the near-earth cross-tail current sheet during substorm growth phase

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Mitchell, D. G.; Williams, D. J.; Huang, C. Y.; Frank, L. A.; Russell, C. T.

    1990-01-01

    Throughout most of the growth phase of a substorm, the cross-tail current at x about -10 Re can be supplied by the curvature drift of a bi-directional field aligned distribution of 1 keV electrons. Just prior to its local disruption after substorm onset, the cross-tail current in the now thin (about 400 km) current sheet is carried by the cross-tail serpentine motion of non-adiabatic ions (Speiser, 1965). The instability of this latter current leads to the local disruption of the near-earth current sheet.

  19. Configuration of Jupiter's magnetic tail and equatorial current sheet

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Ness, N. F.; Behannon, K. W.; Burlaga, L. F.

    1981-01-01

    Recent research reports by Behannon et al. (1981) and Connerney et al. (1981) are summarized. It is noted that the analysis made of the detailed neutral sheet crossings by the minimum variance method shows a consistent result with regard to the orientation of the neutral sheet in the magnetic tail as a two-dimensional surface rocking back and forth about the Jupiter sun-line as the rotation of the planet leads to a precession of the tilted dipole magnetic axis. The occurrence of neutral sheet crossings is found not to be consistent with any of the axially symmetric theoretical models proposed earlier on the basis of the 1974 Pioneer 10 observations. It is noted that a simple nonaxially symmetric model has been developed on the basis of the Voyager results which indicates the strong control upon orientation by the interaction of the solar wind with the Jovian magnetosphere. The model is described as simple because it improves the fit of theory to observation but uses fewer parameters. A quantitative model of the magnetodisc equatorial current sheet has been developed for the inner magnetosphere region which matches well the in-situ magnetic field observations.

  20. Morphology and Density Structure of Post-CME Current Sheets

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Vrsnak, B.; Poletto, G.; Vujic, E.; Vourlidas, A.

    2009-01-01

    Eruption of a coronal mass ejection (CME) is believed to drag and open the coronal magnetic field, presumably leading to the formation of a large-scale current sheet and field relaxation by magnetic reconnection. This paper analyzes the physical characteristics of ray-like coronal features formed in the aftermath of CMEs, to confirm whether interpreting such phenomena in terms of a reconnecting current sheet is consistent with observations. Methods: The study focuses on UVCS/SOHO and LASCO/SOHO measurements of the ray width, density excess, and coronal velocity field as a function of the radial distance. The morphology of the rays implies that they are produced by Petschek-like reconnection in the large-scale current sheet formed in the wake of CME. The hypothesis is supported by the flow pattern, often showing outflows along the ray, and sometimes also inflows into the ray. The inferred inflow velocities range from 3 to 30 km/s, and are consistent with the narrow opening-angle of rays, which add up to a few degrees. The density of rays is an order of magnitude higher than in the ambient corona. The model results are consistent with the observations, revealing that the main cause of the density excess in rays is a transport of the dense plasma from lower to higher heights by the reconnection outflow.

  1. Heliospheric current sheet inclinations predicted from source surface maps

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Shodhan, S.; Crooker, N. U.; Hughes, W. J.; Siscoe, G. L.

    1994-01-01

    The inclinations of the neutral line at the ecliptic plane derived from source surface model maps of coronal fields are measured for the interval from June 1976 to March 1992. The mean and median values of 53 deg and 57 deg are close to the average inclinations determined earlier from minimum variance analyses of solar wind measurements at sector boundaries, but the mode falls in the 80 deg - 90 deg bin. This result, which is based on the model assumptions implicit in deriving the source surface maps, predicts that the heliospheric current sheet typically intersects the ecliptic plane nearly at right angles, even without steepening by stream interaction regions. High inclinations dominate the solar cycle for about 7 years around solar maximum. Dips to lower inclination occur near solar minimum, but high variance admits a wide range of inclinations throughout the cycle. Compared to the smooth solar cycle variation of the maximum latitudinal excursion of the neutral line, often treated as the tilt angle of a flat heliospheric current sheet, the noisy variation of the inclinations reflects the degree to which the neutral line deviates from a sine wave, implying warps and corrugations in the current sheet. About a third of the time the neutral line so deviates that it doubles back in longitude.

  2. Current Sheet Evolution in the Aftermath of a CME Event

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Bemporad, A.; Poletto, G.; Suess, S. T.; Ko, Y.-K.; Schwadron, N. A.; Elliott, H. A.; Raymond, J. C.

    2005-01-01

    We report on SOHO-UVCS observations of the coronal restructuring following a Coronal Mass Ejection (CME) on November 26,2002, at the time of a SOHO-Ulysses quadrature campaign. Starting about 3 hours after a CME in the NW quadrant, UVCS began taking spectra at 1.7 solar radius, covering emission from both cool and hot plasma. Observations continued, with occasional gaps, for more than 2 days. Emission in the 974.8 Angstrom line of [Fe XVIII], indicating temperatures above 6 x 10(exp 6) K, was observed throughout the campaign in a spatially limited location. Comparison with EIT images shows the Fe XVIII emission to overlie a growing post-flare loop system formed in the aftermath of the CME. The emission most likely originates in a current sheet overlying the arcade. Analysis of the [Fe XVIII] emission allows us to infer the evolution of physical parameters in the current sheet over the entire span of our observations: in particular, we give the temperature vs. time in the current sheet and estimate the density. At the time of the quadrature, Ulysses was directly above the location of the CME and intercepted the ejecta. High ionization state Fe was detected by Ulysses-SWICS throughout the magnetic cloud associated with the CME. Both the remote and in situ observations are compared with predictions of theoretical CME models.

  3. Pulsar Wind Nebulae as Cosmic Pevatrons: A Current Sheet's Tale

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Arons, Jonathan

    2012-11-01

    I outline, from a theoretical and somewhat personal perspective, significant features of Pulsar Wind Nebulae (PWNe) as Cosmic Accelerators. I pay special attention to the recently discovered gamma ray "flares" in the Crab Nebula's emission, focusing on the possibility, raised by the observations, that the accelerating electric field exceeds the magnetic field, suggesting that reconnection in the persistent current layer (a "current sheet") plays a significant role in the behavior of this well studied Pevatron. I address the present status of the termination shock model for the particle accelerator that converts the wind flow energy to the observed non-thermal particle spectra, concluding that it has a number of major difficulties related to the transverse magnetic geometry of the shock wave. I discuss recent work on the inferred pair outflow rates, which are in excess of those predicted by existing theories of pair creation, and use those results to point out that the consequent mass loading of the wind reduces the wind's bulk flow 4-velocity to the point that dissipation of the magnetic field in a pulsar's wind upstream of the termination shock is restored to life as a viable model for the solution of the " σ" problem. I discuss some suggestions that current starvation in the current flow supporting the structured ("striped") upstream magnetic field perhaps induces a transition to superluminal wave propagation. I show that current starvation probably does not occur, because those currents are carried in the current sheet separating the stripes rather than in the stripes themselves.

  4. Instabilities in a thin current sheet and their consequences

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Singh, N.

    2004-04-01

    Using a fully 3-D particle in-cell simulation, we studied the electrodynamics of a thin current sheet (CS). Starting with a uniform plasma and anti-parallel magnetic field, Harris equilibrium is achieved during the early stage of the simulation. In the processes of reaching the equilibrium, both electrons and ions in the newly formed CS are energized and develop pitch-angle anisotropies. We find two distinct stages of primarily electrostatic instabilities; in the first stage the relative drift between electrons and ions drives the instability in the central regions of the CS. The electrostatic fluctuations scatter electrons causing current disruption in the central region. The associated reduction in the average drift velocity of the current-carrying electrons generates sheared flow. The second stage of the instability begins when the drift velocity develops a minimum in the central plane. Then the shear and the growing electrostatic fluctuations under the condition of the maintained anti-parallel driving magnetic field configuration feed each other making the instability explosive. The growing fluctuations create plasma clumps as the electrons and ions are progressively trapped in the large-amplitude waves. The density clumping also generates clumps in the current. The non-uniform current distribution causes magnetic reconnection, accompanied by heating of electrons and ion at a fast rate and nearly complete bifurcation of the current sheet. Anomalous resistivity during different stages of the evolution of the CS is calculated and compared against theory.

  5. Instabilities in a Thin Current Sheet and Their Consequences

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Singh, N.

    Using a fully 3-D particle in-cell simulation, we studied the electrodynamics of a thin current sheet (CS). Starting with a uniform plasma and anti-parallel magnetic field, Harris equilibrium is achieved during the early stage of the simulation. In the processes of reaching the equilibrium, both electrons and ions in the newly formed CS are energized and develop pitch-angle anisotropies. We find two distinct stages of primarily electrostatic instabilities; in the first stage the relative drift between electrons and ions drives the instability in the central regions of the CS. The electrostatic fluctuations scatter electrons causing current disruption in the central region. The associated reduction in the average drift velocity of the current-carrying electrons generates sheared flow. The second stage of the instability begins when the drift velocity develops a minimum in the central plane. Then the shear and the growing electrostatic fluctuations under the condition of the maintained anti-parallel driving magnetic field configuration feed each other making the instability explosive. The growing fluctuations create plasma clumps as the electrons and ions are progressively trapped in the large-amplitude waves. The density clumping also generates clumps in the current. The non-uniform current distribution causes magnetic reconnection, accompanied by heating of electrons and ion at a fast rate and nearly complete bifurcation of the current sheet. Anomalous resistivity during different stages of the evolution of the CS is calculated and compared against theory.

  6. Heliospheric current sheet and its interaction with solar cosmic rays

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Malova, Helmi; Popov, Victor; Grigorenko, Elena; Dunko, Andrey; Petrukovich, Anatoly

    2016-04-01

    We investigated effects resulting from the interaction of solar cosmic rays (SCR) with the heliospheric current sheet (HCS) in the solar wind. Self-consistent kinetic model of the HCS is developed, where ions demonstrate quasi-adiabatic dynamics. HCS is considered as the equilibrium embedded current structure, where the two main kinds of plasma with different temperatures give the main contribution to the current (low-energy background plasma and SCR). It is shown that HCS is a relatively thin multiscale configuration of the current sheet, embedded in a thicker plasma layer. The taking into account of SCR particles in HCS could lead to a change of its structure and to enhancement of its properties such as the embedding and multi-scaling. Parametric family of solutions is considered where the current balance in HCS is provided at different temperatures of SCR and different concentrations of high-energy plasma. Concentrations of SCR are determined which may contribute to the thickening of the HCS that can be observed in satellite studies. The possibility to apply this modeling for the explanation of experimental observations is considered.

  7. A new stationary analytical model of the heliospheric current sheet and the plasma sheet

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kislov, Roman A.; Khabarova, Olga V.; Malova, Helmi V.

    2015-10-01

    We develop a single-fluid 2-D analytical model of the axially symmetric thin heliospheric current sheet (HCS) embedded into the heliospheric plasma sheet (HPS). A HCS-HPS system has a shape of a relatively thin plasma disk limited by separatrices that also represent current sheets, which is in agreement with Ulysses observations in the aphelion, when it crossed the HCS perpendicular to its plane. Our model employs a differential rotation of the solar photosphere that leads to unipolar induction in the corona. Three components of the interplanetary magnetic field (IMF), the solar wind speed, and the thermal pressure are taken into account. Solar corona conditions and a HCS-HPS system state are tied by boundary conditions and the "frozen-in" equation. The model allows finding spatial distributions of the magnetic field, the speed within the HPS, and electric currents within the HCS. An angular plasma speed is low within the HPS due to the angular momentum conservation (there is no significant corotation with the Sun), which is consistent with observations. We found that the HPS thickness L decreases with distance r, becoming a constant far from the Sun (L ~2.5 solar radii (R0) at 1 AU). Above the separatrices and at large heliocentric distances, the solar wind behavior obeys Parker's model, but the magnetic field spiral form may be different from Parker's one inside the HPS. At r ≤ 245 R0, the IMF spiral may undergo a turn simultaneously with a change of the poloidal current direction (from sunward to antisunward).

  8. Generation of sheet currents by high frequency fast MHD waves

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Núñez, Manuel

    2016-07-01

    The evolution of fast magnetosonic waves of high frequency propagating into an axisymmetric equilibrium plasma is studied. By using the methods of weakly nonlinear geometrical optics, it is shown that the perturbation travels in the equatorial plane while satisfying a transport equation which enables us to predict the time and location of formation of shock waves. For plasmas of large magnetic Prandtl number, this would result into the creation of sheet currents which may give rise to magnetic reconnection and destruction of the original equilibrium.

  9. Kinetic scale current sheet observed at the magnetopause

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Norgren, Cecilia; Graham, Daniel; Khotyaintsev, Yuri; André, Mats; Vaivads, Andris

    2016-04-01

    Kinetic scale current sheets associated with sharp plasma boundaries are often formed in plasmas. Studying the processes responsible for plasma transport and acceleration operating within these thin boundaries require high-resolution data. We present an event observed by the Magnetospheric Multiscale (MMS) mission as the spacecraft cross a reconnection diffusion region at the magnetopause. We investigate the kinetic structure of the reconnection layer including particle distribution functions and waves and find what terms in the generalized Ohm's law balances the observed electric field.

  10. 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

  11. Energy dynamics and current sheet structure in fluid and kinetic simulations of decaying magnetohydrodynamic turbulence

    DOE PAGESBeta

    Makwana, K. D.; Zhdankin, V.; Li, H.; Daughton, W.; Cattaneo, F.

    2015-04-10

    We performed simulations of decaying magnetohydrodynamic (MHD) turbulence with a fluid and a kinetic code. The initial condition is an ensemble of long-wavelength, counter-propagating, shear-Alfvén waves, which interact and rapidly generate strong MHD turbulence. The total energy is conserved and the rate of turbulent energy decay is very similar in both codes, although the fluid code has numerical dissipation, whereas the kinetic code has kinetic dissipation. The inertial range power spectrum index is similar in both the codes. The fluid code shows a perpendicular wavenumber spectral slope of k-1.3⊥k⊥-1.3. The kinetic code shows a spectral slope of k-1.5⊥k⊥-1.5 for smallermore » simulation domain, and k-1.3⊥k⊥-1.3 for larger domain. We then estimate that collisionless damping mechanisms in the kinetic code can account for the dissipation of the observed nonlinear energy cascade. Current sheets are geometrically characterized. Their lengths and widths are in good agreement between the two codes. The length scales linearly with the driving scale of the turbulence. In the fluid code, their thickness is determined by the grid resolution as there is no explicit diffusivity. In the kinetic code, their thickness is very close to the skin-depth, irrespective of the grid resolution. Finally, this work shows that kinetic codes can reproduce the MHD inertial range dynamics at large scales, while at the same time capturing important kinetic physics at small scales.« less

  12. Energy dynamics and current sheet structure in fluid and kinetic simulations of decaying magnetohydrodynamic turbulence

    SciTech Connect

    Makwana, K. D.; Zhdankin, V.; Li, H.; Daughton, W.; Cattaneo, F.

    2015-04-10

    We performed simulations of decaying magnetohydrodynamic (MHD) turbulence with a fluid and a kinetic code. The initial condition is an ensemble of long-wavelength, counter-propagating, shear-Alfvén waves, which interact and rapidly generate strong MHD turbulence. The total energy is conserved and the rate of turbulent energy decay is very similar in both codes, although the fluid code has numerical dissipation, whereas the kinetic code has kinetic dissipation. The inertial range power spectrum index is similar in both the codes. The fluid code shows a perpendicular wavenumber spectral slope of k-1.3⊥k⊥-1.3. The kinetic code shows a spectral slope of k-1.5⊥k⊥-1.5 for smaller simulation domain, and k-1.3⊥k⊥-1.3 for larger domain. We then estimate that collisionless damping mechanisms in the kinetic code can account for the dissipation of the observed nonlinear energy cascade. Current sheets are geometrically characterized. Their lengths and widths are in good agreement between the two codes. The length scales linearly with the driving scale of the turbulence. In the fluid code, their thickness is determined by the grid resolution as there is no explicit diffusivity. In the kinetic code, their thickness is very close to the skin-depth, irrespective of the grid resolution. Finally, this work shows that kinetic codes can reproduce the MHD inertial range dynamics at large scales, while at the same time capturing important kinetic physics at small scales.

  13. Electromagnetic Perturbations in the Reconnecting Current Sheet in MRX

    SciTech Connect

    Dorfman, Seth; Ji, Hantao; Yamada, MasAki; Ren Yang; Gerhardt, Stefan; Kulsrud, Russell; McGeehan, Brendan; Wang Yansong

    2006-11-30

    Magnetic reconnection is a fundamental plasma process in which magnetic field lines break and reconnect, converting magnetic field energy into particle kinetic energy. Electromagnetic fluctuations, which may play a role in fast reconnection, are studied from both an experimental and theoretical standpoint. The waves, which are in the lower hybrid range of frequencies, may be produced by a plasma instability known as the oblique lower hybrid drift instability. When the electron drift velocity is large, the theory predicts coupling between whistler and acoustic waves in the ion frame that may lead to an instability in the vicinity of the current sheet. On the experimental side, an antenna placed in the Magnetic Reconnection Experiment (MRX) at the Princeton Plasma Physics Laboratory is used to apply perturbations, and their propagation characteristics are measured. Results from a 2mm diameter antenna indicate that any induced fluctuations are confined to the current sheet and are preferentially excited in the direction of electron flow within the layer. Preliminary data from a 2cm diameter antenna shows a wave propagating in the electron flow direction at the local electron drift velocity. Thus electron drift appears to play a crucial role in the appearance of fluctuations.

  14. Current Sheet Formation, Equilibria and Heating in the Closed Corona

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Rappazzo, A. F.

    2014-12-01

    Parker model for coronal heating is investigated within theframework of reduced magnetohydrodynamics (RMHD) in cartesian geometry. A popular hypothesis is that in response to slow photospheric motionsthe magnetic field evolves quasi-statically through a seriesof unstable equilibria. Instabilities, e.g., kink modes or else,allow the release of energy while the field relaxes to a new equilibrium.On the other hand it has long been suggested that the dynamics relevant to the basic heating of coronal loops may not entaila quasi-static evolution (Parker 1972, 1994), and recently it has beenshown that the relaxation of an initial configuration out of equilibriumdevelops current sheets without accessing intermediate equilibria (Rappazzo & Parker 2013).The properties of the equilibria are therefore key in understanding thedynamics of coronal heating both in the case of low-frequency photospheric motions (DC) and for propagating waves (AC).Equilibria and nonlinear dynamics are studied numerically and theoretically,explaining why dynamics are inhibited below a critical twist, while for highervalues of the fluctuations nonlinear dynamics lead to the formation of current sheets (and magnetic reconnection in the non ideal case), whose thickness istracked with the analiticity strip method and shown to decrease at least exponentiallydown to dissipative lenght-scales on fast ideal Alfvenic timescales. The impact onthe heating of solar and stellar coronae will be discussed.

  15. Reconnection in photospheric-chromospheric current sheet and coronal heating

    SciTech Connect

    Kumar, P.; Kumar, N.; Uddin, W.

    2011-02-15

    It has been observed by various ground and space based solar missions that magnetic reconnection occurs frequently in the photosphere-chromosphere region as well as in the solar corona. The purpose of this article is to examine the process of reconnection in thin current sheet formed between two oppositely directed magnetic flux tubes in photospheric-chromospheric region. Using the data of different atmospheric models for the solar photosphere and chromosphere, we have estimated the rate of magnetic reconnection in terms of Alfvenic Mach number, growth rate of tearing mode, island length scales, and energy dissipation rate necessary to heat the chromospheric plasma. It is found that magnetic Reynolds number for the current sheet in the chromosphere varies from 1.14 Multiplication-Sign 10{sup 3} to 7.14 Multiplication-Sign 10{sup 6} which indicates that the field lines in the photosphere and chromosphere reconnect with speed, that is, 0.00034 to 0.0297 times the Alfven speed. Frequency of the MHD waves generated in the chromosphere reconnection region is of the order of 100 Hz, so these high-frequency waves may be the sources of coronal heating and solar wind acceleration.

  16. Thin Current Sheets and Associated Electron Heating in Turbulent Space Plasma

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Chasapis, A.; Retinò, A.; Sahraoui, F.; Vaivads, A.; Khotyaintsev, Yu. V.; Sundkvist, D.; Greco, A.; Sorriso-Valvo, L.; Canu, P.

    2015-05-01

    Intermittent structures, such as thin current sheets, are abundant in turbulent plasmas. Numerical simulations indicate that such current sheets are important sites of energy dissipation and particle heating occurring at kinetic scales. However, direct evidence of dissipation and associated heating within current sheets is scarce. Here, we show a new statistical study of local electron heating within proton-scale current sheets by using high-resolution spacecraft data. Current sheets are detected using the Partial Variance of Increments (PVI) method which identifies regions of strong intermittency. We find that strong electron heating occurs in high PVI (>3) current sheets while no significant heating occurs in low PVI cases (<3), indicating that the former are dominant for energy dissipation. Current sheets corresponding to very high PVI (>5) show the strongest heating and most of the time are consistent with ongoing magnetic reconnection. This suggests that reconnection is important for electron heating and dissipation at kinetic scales in turbulent plasmas.

  17. Earth magnetotail current sheet near and beyond the Lunar orbit

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Vasko, I.; Petrukovich, A. A.; Artemyev, A.; Nakamura, R.; Zelenyi, L. M.

    2015-12-01

    We analyze the structure of the Earth magnetotail current sheet (CS) in middle, -50 REcurrent sheet thickness L, current density amplitude j0 and velocity vD=j0/e n0 (n0 is the plasma density). We analyze dawn-dusk distributions of the CS parameters: L is about 3000 km at the dusk flank and grows up to 12000 km toward the dawn flank; j0 grows toward the dusk flank by a factor of 2-3; the most intense CSs (with higher vD) are observed near the midnight. We show that ion-scale CSs with the thickness of several ion thermal gyroradii (say less than seven) are observed in middle and distant tail regions in more than 50% of crossings. For observed CSs electrons provide likely the dominant contribution to the current density. We divide the subset into intense and weak CSs (using parameter vD). The weak CSs have thickness of about 20 ion thermal gyroradii and Bz of about 1.5 nT. The intense CSs have thickness of about 3-7 thermal gyroradii and much smaller Bz implying a more stretched field line configuration. For intense CSs velocity vD is larger for larger amplitudes of ion bulk velocity vx that is likely due to larger contribution of Speiser ions. Intense CSs may be responsible for the Bursty Bulk Flow generation in the middle and distant tail regions.

  18. COLLISIONLESS DAMPING AT ELECTRON SCALES IN SOLAR WIND TURBULENCE

    SciTech Connect

    TenBarge, J. M.; Howes, G. G.; Dorland, W.

    2013-09-10

    The dissipation of turbulence in the weakly collisional solar wind plasma is governed by unknown kinetic mechanisms. Two candidates have been suggested to play an important role in the dissipation, collisionless damping via wave-particle interactions and dissipation in small-scale current sheets. High resolution spacecraft measurements of the turbulent magnetic energy spectrum provide important constraints on the dissipation mechanism. The limitations of popular fluid and hybrid numerical schemes for simulation of the dissipation of solar wind turbulence are discussed, and instead a three-dimensional kinetic approach is recommended. We present a three-dimensional nonlinear gyrokinetic simulation of solar wind turbulence at electron scales that quantitatively reproduces the exponential form of the turbulent magnetic energy spectrum measured in the solar wind. A weakened cascade model that accounts for nonlocal interactions and collisionless Landau damping also quantitatively agrees with the observed exponential form. These results establish that a turbulent cascade of kinetic Alfven waves that is terminated by collisionless Landau damping is sufficient to explain the observed magnetic energy spectrum in the dissipation range of solar wind turbulence.

  19. Catapult current sheet relaxation model confirmed by THEMIS observations

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Machida, S.; Miyashita, Y.; Ieda, A.; Nose, M.; Angelopoulos, V.; McFadden, J. P.

    2014-12-01

    In this study, we show the result of superposed epoch analysis on the THEMIS probe data during the period from November, 2007 to April, 2009 by setting the origin of time axis to the substorm onset determined by Nishimura with THEMIS all sky imager (THEMS/ASI) data (http://www.atmos.ucla.edu/~toshi/files/paper/Toshi_THEMIS_GBO_list_distribution.xls). We confirmed the presence of earthward flows which can be associated with north-south auroral streamers during the substorm growth phase. At around X = -12 Earth radii (Re), the northward magnetic field and its elevation angle decreased markedly approximately 4 min before substorm onset. A northward magnetic-field increase associated with pre-onset earthward flows was found at around X = -17Re. This variation indicates the occurrence of the local depolarization. Interestingly, in the region earthwards of X = -18Re, earthward flows in the central plasma sheet (CPS) reduced significantly about 3min before substorm onset. However, the earthward flows enhanced again at t = -60 sec in the region around X = -14 Re, and they moved toward the Earth. At t = 0, the dipolarization of the magnetic field started at X ~ -10 Re, and simultaneously the magnetic reconnection started at X ~ -20 Re. Synthesizing these results, we can confirm the validity of our catapult current sheet relaxation model.

  20. Near-earth Thin Current Sheets and Birkeland Currents during Substorm Growth Phase

    SciTech Connect

    Sorin Zaharia; C.Z. Cheng

    2003-04-30

    Two important phenomena observed during the magnetospheric substorm growth phase are modeled: the formation of a near-Earth (|X| {approx} 9 R{sub E}) thin cross-tail current sheet, as well as the equatorward shift of the ionospheric Birkeland currents. Our study is performed by solving the 3-D force-balance equation with realistic boundary conditions and pressure distributions. The results show a cross-tail current sheet with large current (J{sub {phi}} {approx} 10 nA/m{sup 2}) and very high plasma {beta} ({beta} {approx} 40) between 7 and 10 R{sub E}. The obtained region-1 and region-2 Birkeland currents, formed on closed field lines due to pressure gradients, move equatorward and become more intense (J{sub {parallel}max} {approx} 3 {micro}A/m{sup 2}) compared to quiet times. Both results are in agreement with substorm growth phase observations. Our results also predict that the cross-tail current sheet maps into the ionosphere in the transition region between the region-1 and region-2 currents.

  1. Wavelet-based coherent vorticity sheet and current sheet extraction from three-dimensional homogeneous magnetohydrodynamic turbulence

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Yoshimatsu, Katsunori; Kondo, Yuji; Schneider, Kai; Okamoto, Naoya; Hagiwara, Hiroyuki; Farge, Marie

    2009-08-01

    A method for extracting coherent vorticity sheets and current sheets out of three-dimensional homogeneous magnetohydrodynamic (MHD) turbulence is proposed, which is based on the orthogonal wavelet decomposition of the vorticity and current density fields. Thresholding the wavelet coefficients allows both fields to be split into coherent and incoherent parts. The fields to be analyzed are obtained by direct numerical simulation (DNS) of forced incompressible MHD turbulence without mean magnetic field, using a classical Fourier spectral method at a resolution of 5123. Coherent vorticity sheets and current sheets are extracted from the DNS data at a given time instant. It is found that the coherent vorticity and current density preserve both the vorticity sheets and the current sheets present in the total fields while retaining only a few percent of the degrees of freedom. The incoherent vorticity and current density are shown to be structureless and of mainly dissipative nature. The spectral distributions of kinetic and magnetic energies of the coherent fields only differ in the dissipative range, while the corresponding incoherent fields exhibit near-equipartition of energy. The probability distribution functions of total and coherent fields for both vorticity and current density coincide almost perfectly, while the incoherent fields have strongly reduced variances. Studying the energy flux confirms that the nonlinear dynamics is fully captured by the coherent fields only.

  2. Analytical theory of a current sheet formed between the magnetized and nonmagnetized plasmas with arbitrary energy distribution of particles

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Martyanov, Vladimir; Kocharovsky, Vladimir; Kocharovsky, Vitaly

    We present analytical description of a self-consistent stationary boundary layer formed between the magnetized and nonmagnetized collisionless plasmas with arbitrary energy distribution of particles. Various spatial profiles of the current and respective particle distributions in the neutral current sheets are found on the basis of the self-consistency equation of the Grad-Shafranov type, which takes into account a homogeneous external magnetic field. The solutions are obtained due to development of the method of invariants of particle motion (Astron. Lett. 36, 396 (2010)) and provide, for the first time, a detailed description of various transition domains in the magnetospheres of stars and planets, in particular, boundary regions formed by an interaction of a solar wind with an interstellar medium or Earth magnetosphere. We restrict ourselves to the shearless magnetic field configurations and consider four special dependencies of particle distribution function on momentum parallel to current direction, which make it possible to detail the relations between the magnetic field profile, plasma density, and particle anisotropy gradient, including both thin and thick (with respect to a particle gyroradius) layers. Special attention is paid to the cases of an utmost sharp boundary between the magnetized and nonmagnetized plasmas and to the cases where there are sections of a boundary current sheet with magnetic field energy density exceeding kinetic energy density of plasma particles. The kinetic instabilities and reconnection phenomena are also discussed, especially the ones related to the Weibel instability in the weakly magnetized parts of the boundary layer. These analytical results are applied to the analysis of the spacecraft observations of the magnetized-nonmagnetized boundaries in cosmic plasma.

  3. NO EVIDENCE FOR HEATING OF THE SOLAR WIND AT STRONG CURRENT SHEETS

    SciTech Connect

    Borovsky, Joseph E.; Denton, Michael H.

    2011-10-01

    It has been conjectured that strong current sheets are the sites of proton heating in the solar wind. For the present study, a strong current sheet is defined by a >45{sup 0} rotation of the solar-wind magnetic-field direction in 128 s. A total of 194,070 strong current sheets at 1 AU are analyzed in the 1998-2010 ACE solar-wind data set. The proton temperature, proton specific entropy, and electron temperature at each current sheet are compared with the same quantities in the plasmas adjacent to the current sheet. Statistically, the plasma at the current sheets is not hotter or of higher entropy than the plasmas just outside the current sheets. This is taken as evidence that there is no significant localized heating of the solar-wind protons or electrons at strong current sheets. Current sheets are, however, found to be more prevalent in hotter solar-wind plasma. This is because more current sheets are counted in the fast solar wind than in the slow solar wind, and the fast solar wind is hotter than the slow solar wind.

  4. Collisional Behaviors of Astrophysical Collisionless Plasmas

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bret, A.

    2015-12-01

    In collisional fluids, a number of key processes rely on the frequency of binary collisions. Collisions seem necessary to generate a shock wave when two fluids collide fast enough, to fulfill the Rankine-Hugoniot (RH) relations, to establish an equation of state or a Maxwellian distribution. Yet, these seemingly collisional features are routinely either observed or assumed, in relation with collisionless astrophysical plasmas. This article will review our current answers to the following questions: How do colliding collisionless plasmas end-up generating a shock as if they were fluids? To which extent are the RH relations fulfilled in this case? Do collisionless shocks propagate like fluid ones? Can we use an equation of state to describe collisionless plasmas, like MHD codes for astrophysics do? Why are Maxwellian distributions ubiquitous in particle-in-cell simulations of collisionless shocks? Time and length scales defining the border between the collisional and the collisionless behavior will be given when relevant. In general, when the time and length scales involved in the collisionless processes responsible for the fluid-like behavior may be neglected, the system may be treated like a fluid.

  5. The peculiarities of formation of thin current sheet in the Earth's magnetotail

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kropotkin, Alexey; Artemyev, Anton; Malova, Helmi; Domrin, Vladimir

    We investigate the process of self-consistent thinning of magnetotail current sheet in the presence of the evolving magnetic field normal component Bz, which usually decreases during the substorm growth phase. Using PIC codes to describe plasma processes with ions becoming demagnetized and electrons being considered as the cold neutralizing background, we show that the appearance of the self-consistent electric field component inside CS can lead to the current sheet thinning and to the appearance of an extremely thin current sheet with thickness close to the ion gyroradius. Due to particle [ExB] drift during the current sheet evolution, the enhanced trapping of ions near the current sheet central plane takes place. It is shown that the density of quasi-trapped particles around current sheet at the final stage depends on both the value of the initial magnetic field normal component Bz, and the speed of the Bz decrease. If the initial magnetic field normal component is less than about 0.14 of the tangential field at the edges, the trapped plasma density near the current sheet is small. As a result, the above mentioned extremely thin current sheet is formed. In the opposite case, when the initial normal component related to the tangential field is larger than 0.14, the density of trapped particles is much higher, which produces effective thickening of the current sheet. In both cases transient (Speiser) ions are the main current carriers, but in the second case local diamagnetic currents of the trapped plasma perturb the сurrent sheet profile making it thicker. Also trapped particles can be responsible for intense negative currents at the current sheet edges. During the Bz decrease, an additional effect of ion polarization drifts in the Y direction can compete with these negative diamagnetic fields of quasi-trapped ions. Therefore the ion dynamics is probably the general mechanism which contributes to the formation of thin current sheet and its fine structure.

  6. THEMIS two-point measurements of the cross-tail current density: A thick bifurcated current sheet in the near-Earth plasma sheet

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Saito, Miho

    2015-08-01

    The basic properties of the near-Earth current sheet from 8 RE to 12 RE were determined based on Time History of Events and Macroscale Interactions during Substorms (THEMIS) observations from 2007 to 2013. Ampere's law was used to estimate the current density when the locations of two spacecraft were suitable for the calculation. A total of 3838 current density observations were obtained to study the vertical profile. For typical solar wind conditions, the current density near (off) the central plane of the current sheet ranged from 1 to 2 nA/m2 (1 to 8 nA/m2). All the high current densities appeared off the central plane of the current sheet, indicating the formation of a bifurcated current sheet structure when the current density increased above 2 nA/m2. The median profile also showed a bifurcated structure, in which the half thickness was about 3 RE. The distance between the peak of the current density and the central plane of the current sheet was 0.5 to 1 RE. High current densities above 4 nA/m2 were observed in some cases that occurred preferentially during substorms, but they also occurred in quiet times. In contrast to the commonly accepted picture, these high current densities can form without a high solar wind dynamic pressure. In addition, these high current densities can appear in two magnetic configurations: tail-like and dipolar structures. At least two mechanisms, magnetic flux depletion and new current system formation during the expansion phase, other than plasma sheet compression are responsible for the formation of the bifurcated current sheets.

  7. Analogies between Jovian magnetodisk and heliospheric current sheet

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kislov, Roman; Khabarova, Olga; Malova, Helmi

    Recently due to the development of spatial missions the famous model by E. Parker [1] faced with some problems, such as the effect of magnetic flux excess and the existence of latitude component of magnetic field [2]. Thus the incomplete knowledge about large scale current system of heliospheric current sheet (HCS) motivated us to construct and investigate the self-consistent axisymmetric stationary MHD model of HCS and to compare it with earlier presented model of Jupiterian magnetodisk [3]. Both HCS and magnetodisk have inner plasma sources (i.e. the Sun in case of HCS and satellite Io in case of Jupiter); also they depend on the centrifugal force at small distances and on corotation processes. They both have strong radial component of current density, thin elongated structure etc. Thus in the frame of the MHD model we have calculated for HCS the parallel currents (analogous to Jovian Birkeland currents) and we obtained the latitude component of the magnetic field. The results of the model allowed us to explain the magnetic flux excess by the existence of the self-consistent HCS magnetic field. The decrease of radial magnetic field from the distance from the Sun as the power -5/3 obtained by numerical calculations is in good agreement with experimental data. Generally this model can be applied for the quiet period of the low solar activity when the perturbation of HCS structure named “ballerina skirt” does not play any role. References: 1. Parker E. N., Astrophys. J., V. 128, 664, pp. 664-676, 1958. 2. Khabarova O. V., Астрономический журнал, V. 90, №11, pp. 919-935, 2013. 3. Kislov R.A. et al., Bull. MSU, Physics and Astron., 2013

  8. Particle energization and current sheets in Alfvenic plasma turbulence

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Makwana, Kirit; Li, Hui; Guo, Fan; Daughton, William; Cattaneo, Fausto

    2015-11-01

    Plasma turbulence is driven by injecting energy at large scales through stirring or instabilities. This energy cascades forward to smaller scales by nonlinear interactions, described by magnetohydrodynamics (MHD) at scales larger than the ion gyroradius. At smaller scales, the fluid description of MHD breaks down and kinetic mechanisms convert turbulent energy into particle energy. We investigate this entire process by simulating the cascade of strongly interacting Alfven waves using MHD and particle-in-cell (PIC) simulations. The plasma beta is varied and particle heating is analyzed. Anisotropic heating of particles is observed. We calculate the fraction of injected energy converted into non-thermal energy. At low beta we obtain a significant non-thermal component to the particle energy distribution function. We investigate the mechanisms behind this acceleration. The velocity distribution function is correlated with the sites of turbulent current sheets. The different dissipative terms due to curvature drift, gradB drift, polarization drifts, and parallel current density are also calculated. This has applications for understanding particle energization in turbulent space plasmas.

  9. Current sheet thinning, reconnection onset, and auroral morphology during geomagnetic substorms

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Otto, A.; Hsieh, M. S.

    2015-12-01

    Geomagnetic substorms represent a fundamental energy release mechanism for the terrestrial magnetosphere. Specifically, the evolution of thin currents sheets during the substorm growth phase plays a key role for substorms because such current sheets present a much lower threshold for the onset of tearing modes and magnetic reconnection than the usually thick magnetotail current sheet. Here we examine and compare two basic processes for current sheet thinning in the Earth's magnetotail: Current sheet thinning (1) through closed magnetic flux depletion (MFD) in the near Earth magnetotail caused by divergent flux transport to replace closed flux on the dayside and (2) through accumulation of open flux magnetic flux in the tail lobes also caused by dayside reconnection. Both processes are expected to operate during any period of enhanced dayside reconnection. It is demonstrated that closed magnetic flux depletion (MFD) in the near Earth magnetotail and the increase of open lobe magnetic flux can lead to the evolution of two separate thin current sheets in the near Earth and the mid tail regions of the magnetosphere. While the auroral morphology associated with MFD and near Earth current sheet formation is well consistent with typical substorm growth observation, midtail current sheet formation through lobe flux increase shows only a minor influence on the auroral ionosphere. We discuss the physics of the dual current sheet formation and local and auroral properties of magnetic reconnection in either current sheet. It is suggested that only reconnection onset in the near Earth current sheet may be consistent with substorm expansion because the flux tube entropy depletion of mid tail reconnection appears insufficient to cause geosynchronous particle injection and dipolarization. Therefore reconnection in the mid tail current sheet is more likely associated with bursty bulk flows or dipolarization fronts which stop short of geosynchronous distances.

  10. Earth's distant magnetotail current sheet near and beyond lunar orbit

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Vasko, I. Y.; Petrukovich, A. A.; Artemyev, A. V.; Nakamura, R.; Zelenyi, L. M.

    2015-10-01

    We analyze the structure of the Earth magnetotail current sheet (CS) in middle, X∈[-50,-20] RE, and distant, X∈[-100,-80] RE, regions using data set of 573 CS crossings by Geotail in 1994-1995. For a subset of 213 CSs we determine the CS thickness L, average current density j0, and velocity vD=j0/en0 (n0 is the ion number density). We find similar dawn-dusk distributions of CS parameters for middle and distant tail: L is about 3000 km at the dusk flank and grows up to 12,000 km toward the dawn flank; j0 grows toward the dusk flank by a factor of 2-3; and the most intense CSs (with higher vD) are observed near midnight. We show that ion-scale CSs with the thickness of several ion thermal gyroradii (say less than seven) are observed in middle and distant tail in more than 50% of crossings. For observed CSs electrons likely provide the dominant contribution to the current density. We divide the subset into intense and weak CSs (using parameter vD). Weak CSs have thickness of about 20 ion thermal gyroradii and Bz of about 1.5 nT. Intense CSs have thickness of about 3-7 thermal gyroradii and much smaller Bz implying more stretched field line configuration. Intense CSs are accompanied by fast ion flows: vD is larger for larger amplitudes of ion bulk velocity vx that is likely due to larger contribution of Speiser ions. The properties of the CS in middle and distant tail are compared with those found for the near-Earth tail.

  11. Growth-phase thinning of the near-Earth current sheet during the CDAW 6 substorm

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Sanny, Jeff; Mcpherron, R. L.; Russell, C. T.; Baker, D. N.; Pulkkinen, T. I.; Nishida, A.

    1994-01-01

    The thinning of the near-Earth current sheet during the growth phase of the Coordinated Data Analysis Workshop (CDAW) 6 magnetospheric substorm is studied. The expansion onset of the substorm occurred at 1054 UT, March 22, 1979. During the growth phase, two spacecraft, International Sun Earth Explorer (ISEE) 1 and ISEE 2, were within the current sheet approximately 13 R(sub E) from the Earth and obtained simultaneous high-resolution magnetic data at two points in the current sheet. Plasma data were also provided by the ISEE spacecraft and solar wind data by IMP 8. To facilitate the analysis, the GSM magnetic field data are transformed to a 'neutral sheet coordinate system' in which the new x axis is parallel to the average magnetic field above and below the neutral sheet and the new y axis lies in the GSM equatorial plane. A model based on the assumption that the current sheet is a time-invariant structure fails to predict neutral sheet crossing times. Consequently, the Harris sheet model, which allows one to remove the restriction of time invariancy, is used instead. It is found that during the growth phase, a model parameter corresponding to the thickness of the current sheet decreased exponentially from about 5 R(sub E) to 1 R(sub E) with a time constant of about 14 min. In addition, the ISEE 1 and ISEE 2 neutral sheet crossings after expansion onset indicate that the neutral sheet was moving upward at 7 km/s relative to the spacecraft. Since both crossings occurred in approximately 80 s, the current sheet thickness is estimated to be about 500 km. These results demonstrate that the near-Earth current sheet undergoes dramatic thinning during the substorm growth phase and expansion onset.

  12. The evolution of plane current{endash}vortex sheets

    SciTech Connect

    Dahlburg, R.B.; Boncinelli, P.; Einaudi, G.

    1997-05-01

    The linear and nonlinear evolution of the plane current{endash}vortex sheet, with a basic magnetic field given by B{sub 0}(y)=tanhy{bold {cflx e}}{sub z}, and a basic velocity field given by W{sub 0}(y)=VtanhRy{bold {cflx e}}{sub z}, is examined. The discovery of an ideal instability in a large region of parameter space previously found to be stable is reported. In this paper numerical evidence is presented that this parameter regime is in fact highly unstable, with growth rates exceeding those of the modes existing in the region of parameter space previously found to be unstable. An examination of the perturbation energy balance indicates that enhanced energy transfer from the basic velocity field to the perturbed velocity and magnetic fields is responsible for the enhanced growth rate. This occurs due to processes absent from both the resistive and Kelvin{endash}Helmholtz instabilities. Nonlinearly it is found that magnetic reconnection can occur on an ideal time scale in certain cases. These faster instabilities lead to a more violent cascade of excitation in the streamwise direction, as evidenced by the rapid formation of higher harmonics of the initial disturbance. A nonlinear saturation due to increased correlation of the perturbed velocity and magnetic field occurs for all cases. {copyright} {ital 1997 American Institute of Physics.}

  13. Modeling the heliospheric current sheet: Solar cycle variations

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Riley, Pete; Linker, J. A.; Mikić, Z.

    2002-07-01

    In this report we employ an empirically driven, three-dimensional MHD model to explore the evolution of the heliospheric current sheet (HCS) during the course of the solar cycle. We compare our results with a simpler ``constant-speed'' approach for mapping the HCS outward into the solar wind to demonstrate that dynamic effects can substantially deform the HCS in the inner heliosphere (<~5 AU). We find that these deformations are most pronounced at solar minimum and become less significant at solar maximum, when interaction regions are less effective. Although solar maximum is typically associated with transient, rather than corotating, processes, we show that even under such conditions, the HCS can maintain its structure over the course of several solar rotations. While the HCS may almost always be topologically equivalent to a ``ballerina skirt,'' we discuss an interval approaching the maximum of solar cycle 23 (Carrington rotations 1960 and 1961) when the shape would be better described as ``conch shell''-like. We use Ulysses magnetic field measurements to support the model results.

  14. Current sheet oscillations in the magnetic filament approach

    SciTech Connect

    Erkaev, N. V.; Semenov, V. S.; Biernat, H. K.

    2012-06-15

    Magnetic filament approach is applied for modeling of nonlinear 'kink'-like flapping oscillations of thin magnetic flux tubes in the Earth's magnetotail current sheet. A discrete approximation for the magnetic flux tube was derived on a basis of the Hamiltonian formulation of the problem. The obtained system of ordinary differential equations was integrated by method of Rosenbrock, which is suitable for stiff equations. The two-dimensional exact Kan's solution of the Vlasov equations was used to set the background equilibrium conditions for magnetic field and plasma. Boundary conditions for the magnetic filament were found to be dependent on the ratio of the ionospheric conductivity and the Alfven conductivity of the magnetic tube. It was shown that an enhancement of this ratio leads to the corresponding increase of the frequency of the flapping oscillations. For some special case of boundary conditions, when the magnetic perturbations vanish at the boundaries, the calculated frequency of the 'kink'-like flapping oscillations is rather close to that predicted by the 'double gradient' analytical model. For others cases, the obtained frequency of the flapping oscillations is somewhat larger than that from the 'double gradient' theory. The frequency of the nonlinear flapping oscillations was found to be a decreasing function of the amplitude.

  15. Review on Current Sheets in CME Development: Theories and Observations

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lin, Jun; Murphy, Nicholas A.; Shen, Chengcai; Raymond, John C.; Reeves, Katharine K.; Zhong, Jiayong; Wu, Ning; Li, Yan

    2015-11-01

    We introduce how the catastrophe model for solar eruptions predicted the formation and development of the long current sheet (CS) and how the observations were used to recognize the CS at the place where the CS is presumably located. Then, we discuss the direct measurement of the CS region thickness by studying the brightness distribution of the CS region at different wavelengths. The thickness ranges from 104 km to about 105 km at heights between 0.27 and 1.16 R_{⊙} from the solar surface. But the traditional theory indicates that the CS is as thin as the proton Larmor radius, which is of order tens of meters in the corona. We look into the huge difference in the thickness between observations and theoretical expectations. The possible impacts that affect measurements and results are studied, and physical causes leading to a thick CS region in which reconnection can still occur at a reasonably fast rate are analyzed. Studies in both theories and observations suggest that the difference between the true value and the apparent value of the CS thickness is not significant as long as the CS could be recognised in observations. We review observations that show complex structures and flows inside the CS region and present recent numerical modelling results on some aspects of these structures. Both observations and numerical experiments indicate that the downward reconnection outflows are usually slower than the upward ones in the same eruptive event. Numerical simulations show that the complex structure inside CS and its temporal behavior as a result of turbulence and the Petschek-type slow-mode shock could probably account for the thick CS and fast reconnection. But whether the CS itself is that thick still remains unknown since, for the time being, we cannot measure the electric current directly in that region. We also review the most recent laboratory experiments of reconnection driven by energetic laser beams, and discuss some important topics for future works.

  16. Magnetic Reconnection Onset via Disruption of a Forming Current Sheet by the Tearing Instability

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2016-03-01

    The recent realization that Sweet-Parker current sheets are violently unstable to the secondary tearing (plasmoid) instability implies that such current sheets cannot occur in real systems. This suggests that, in order to understand the onset of magnetic reconnection, one needs to consider the growth of the tearing instability in a current layer as it is being formed. Such an analysis is performed here in the context of nonlinear resistive magnetohydrodynamics for a generic time-dependent equilibrium representing a gradually forming current sheet. It is shown that two onset regimes, single-island and multi-island, are possible, depending on the rate of current sheet formation. A simple model is used to compute the criterion for transition between these two regimes, as well as the reconnection onset time and the current sheet parameters at that moment. For typical solar corona parameters, this model yields results consistent with observations.

  17. Current sheets with inhomogeneous plasma temperature: Effects of polarization electric field and 2D solutions

    SciTech Connect

    Catapano, F. Zimbardo, G.; Artemyev, A. V. Vasko, I. Y.

    2015-09-15

    We develop current sheet models which allow to regulate the level of plasma temperature and density inhomogeneities across the sheet. These models generalize the classical Harris model via including two current-carrying plasma populations with different temperature and the background plasma not contributing to the current density. The parameters of these plasma populations allow regulating contributions of plasma density and temperature to the pressure balance. A brief comparison with spacecraft observations demonstrates the model applicability for describing the Earth magnetotail current sheet. We also develop a two dimensional (2D) generalization of the proposed model. The interesting effect found for 2D models is the nonmonotonous profile (along the current sheet) of the magnetic field component perpendicular to the current sheet. Possible applications of the model are discussed.

  18. Magnetic Reconnection Onset via Disruption of a Forming Current Sheet by the Tearing Instability.

    PubMed

    Uzdensky, D A; Loureiro, N F

    2016-03-11

    The recent realization that Sweet-Parker current sheets are violently unstable to the secondary tearing (plasmoid) instability implies that such current sheets cannot occur in real systems. This suggests that, in order to understand the onset of magnetic reconnection, one needs to consider the growth of the tearing instability in a current layer as it is being formed. Such an analysis is performed here in the context of nonlinear resistive magnetohydrodynamics for a generic time-dependent equilibrium representing a gradually forming current sheet. It is shown that two onset regimes, single-island and multi-island, are possible, depending on the rate of current sheet formation. A simple model is used to compute the criterion for transition between these two regimes, as well as the reconnection onset time and the current sheet parameters at that moment. For typical solar corona parameters, this model yields results consistent with observations. PMID:27015487

  19. Statistical Analysis of Current Sheets in Three-dimensional Magnetohydrodynamic Turbulence

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Zhdankin, Vladimir; Uzdensky, Dmitri A.; Perez, Jean C.; Boldyrev, Stanislav

    2013-07-01

    We develop a framework for studying the statistical properties of current sheets in numerical simulations of magnetohydrodynamic (MHD) turbulence with a strong guide field, as modeled by reduced MHD. We describe an algorithm that identifies current sheets in a simulation snapshot and then determines their geometrical properties (including length, width, and thickness) and intensities (peak current density and total energy dissipation rate). We then apply this procedure to simulations of reduced MHD and perform a statistical analysis on the obtained population of current sheets. We evaluate the role of reconnection by separately studying the populations of current sheets which contain magnetic X-points and those which do not. We find that the statistical properties of the two populations are different in general. We compare the scaling of these properties to phenomenological predictions obtained for the inertial range of MHD turbulence. Finally, we test whether the reconnecting current sheets are consistent with the Sweet-Parker model.

  20. Particle distributions in collisionless magnetic reconnection: An implicit Particle-In-Cell (PIC) description

    SciTech Connect

    Hewett, D.W.; Francis, G.E.; Max, C.E.

    1990-06-29

    Evidence from magnetospheric and solar flare research supports the belief that collisionless magnetic reconnection can proceed on the Alfven-wave crossing timescale. Reconnection behavior that occurs this rapidly in collisionless plasmas is not well understood because underlying mechanisms depend on the details of the ion and electron distributions in the vicinity of the emerging X-points. We use the direct implicit Particle-In-Cell (PIC) code AVANTI to study the details of these distributions as they evolve in the self-consistent E and B fields of magnetic reconnection. We first consider a simple neutral sheet model. We observe rapid movement of the current-carrying electrons away from the emerging X-point. Later in time an oscillation of the trapped magnetic flux is found, superimposed upon continued linear growth due to plasma inflow at the ion sound speed. The addition of a current-aligned and a normal B field widen the scope of our studies.

  1. The influence of the heliospheric current sheet and angular separation on flare-accelerated solar wind

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Henning, H. M.; Scherrer, P. H.; Hoeksema, J. T.

    1985-01-01

    A complete set of major flares was used to investigate the effect of the heliospheric current sheet on the magnitude of the flare associated disturbance measured at earth. It was also found that the angular separation tended to result in a smaller disturbance. Thirdly, it was determined that flares tend to occur near the heliospheric current sheet.

  2. The influence of the heliospheric current sheet and angular separation on flare accelerated solar wind

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Henning, H. M.; Scherrer, P. H.; Hoeksema, J. T.

    1985-01-01

    A complete set of major flares was used to investigate the effect of the heliospheric current sheet on the magnitude of the flare associated disturbance measured at Earth. It was also found that the angular separation tended to result in a smaller disturbance. Thirdly, it was determined that flares tend to occur near the heliospheric current sheet.

  3. Periodic Crossings of Saturn's Current Sheet by Cassini: Observations and Modeling

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Khurana, K. K.; Arridge, C. S.; Dougherty, M. K.; Russell, C. T.

    2006-12-01

    Cassini continues to provide exciting new observations from the magnetosphere of Saturn. These observations are helping us understand the structure and dynamics of this rotationally dominant magnetosphere. One of the puzzling observations from the latest magnetotail passes is the occurrence of periodic current sheet crossings in a magnetosphere known for its almost axis-symmetric magnetic field. In these crossings, the radial and azimuthal components of the magnetic field reverse sign twice during a spin period of Saturn in a manner similar to the dipole tilt induced motions of the Jovian current sheet. As the dipole tilt of Saturn's magnetic field is less than 0.2 degree, it is not clear how the current sheet can flap up and down over the spacecraft when it is located quite far from the nominal location of the current sheet. In this presentation, we will examine all of the data so far collected by Cassini to catalogue all of the periodic current sheet crossings in the data. We will examine parameters like the radial distance, latitude, longitude and local time of the spacecraft to understand under what conditions the current sheet crossings are observed. We comment on the relationship between these periodic current sheet crossings to periodicities in the quasi- dipolar region of the magnetosphere. Finally, we will explore models of Saturn's current sheet that can explain the periodicities of the observed magnetic field.

  4. Galactic Cosmic Ray Modulation near the Heliospheric Current Sheet

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Thomas, S. R.; Owens, M. J.; Lockwood, M.; Scott, C. J.

    2014-07-01

    Galactic cosmic rays (GCRs) are modulated by the heliospheric magnetic field (HMF) both over decadal time scales (due to long-term, global HMF variations), and over time scales of a few hours (associated with solar wind structures such as coronal mass ejections or the heliospheric current sheet, HCS). Due to the close association between the HCS, the streamer belt, and the band of slow solar wind, HCS crossings are often associated with corotating interaction regions where fast solar wind catches up and compresses slow solar wind ahead of it. However, not all HCS crossings are associated with strong compressions. In this study we categorize HCS crossings in two ways: Firstly, using the change in magnetic polarity, as either away-to-toward (AT) or toward-to-away (TA) magnetic field directions relative to the Sun and, secondly, using the strength of the associated solar wind compression, determined from the observed plasma density enhancement. For each category, we use superposed epoch analyses to show differences in both solar wind parameters and GCR flux inferred from neutron monitors. For strong-compression HCS crossings, we observe a peak in neutron counts preceding the HCS crossing, followed by a large drop after the crossing, attributable to the so-called `snow-plough' effect. For weak-compression HCS crossings, where magnetic field polarity effects are more readily observable, we instead observe that the neutron counts have a tendency to peak in the away magnetic field sector. By splitting the data by the dominant polarity at each solar polar region, we find that the increase in GCR flux prior to the HCS crossing is primarily from strong compressions in cycles with negative north polar fields due to GCR drift effects. Finally, we report on unexpected differences in GCR behavior between TA weak compressions during opposing polarity cycles.

  5. The Venus ionopause current sheet - Thickness length scale and controlling factors

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Elphic, R. C.; Russell, C. T.; Luhmann, J. G.; Scarf, F. L.; Brace, L. H.

    1981-01-01

    Data from the fluxgate magnetometer, plasma wave experiment and Langmuir probe aboard Pioneer Venus are used to investigate the characteristic thickness length scale of the ionopause current sheet, as well as how this length scale is controlled. Thickness is found to be a bistatic quality, large scales being associated with high field strengths and current sheet altitudes below 300 km, while smaller scales are found with lower field strengths and ionopause altitudes above 300 km. Ion collisions and plasma wave activity contribute to the formation of the broader, low-altitude ionopause current sheets. Although evidence suggests that the wave activity influences the thin ionopause current sheets, a simple model points to the control of the thin ionopause current sheets by ionospheric ion and electron temperatures

  6. A new fast reconnection model in a collisionless regime

    SciTech Connect

    Tsiklauri, David

    2008-11-15

    Based on the first principles [i.e., (i) by balancing the magnetic field advection with the term containing electron pressure tensor nongyrotropic components in the generalized Ohm's law; (ii) using the conservation of mass; and (iii) assuming that the weak magnetic field region width, where electron meandering motion supports electron pressure tensor off-diagonal (nongyrotropic) components, is of the order of electron Larmor radius] a simple model of magnetic reconnection in a collisionless regime is formulated. The model is general, resembling its collisional Sweet-Parker analog in that it is not specific to any initial configuration, e.g., Harris-type tearing unstable current sheet, X-point collapse or otherwise. In addition to its importance from the fundamental point of view, the collisionless reconnection model offers a much faster reconnection rate [M{sub c{sup '}}{sub less}=(c/{omega}{sub pe}){sup 2}/(r{sub L,e}L)] than Sweet-Parker's classical one (M{sub sp}=S{sup -1/2}). The width of the diffusion region (current sheet) in the collisionless regime is found to be {delta}{sub c{sup '}}{sub less}=(c/{omega}{sub pe}){sup 2}/r{sub L,e}, which is independent of the global reconnection scale L and is only prescribed by microphysics (electron inertial length, c/{omega}{sub pe}, and electron Larmor radius, r{sub L,e}). Amongst other issues, the fastness of the reconnection rate alleviates, e.g., the problem of interpretation of solar flares by means of reconnection, as for the typical solar coronal parameters the obtained collisionless reconnection time can be a few minutes, as opposed to Sweet-Parker's equivalent value of less than a day. The new theoretical reconnection rate is compared to the Magnetic Reconnection Experiment device experimental data by Yamada et al. [Phys. Plasmas 13, 052119 (2006)] and Ji et al. [Geophys. Res. Lett. 35, 13106 (2008)], and a good agreement is obtained.

  7. Current Sheet Formation in a Conical Theta Pinch Faraday Accelerator with Radio-frequency Assisted Discharge

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Polzin, Kurt A.; Hallock, Ashley K.; Choueiri, Edgar Y.

    2008-01-01

    Data from an inductive conical theta pinch accelerator are presented to gain insight into the process of inductive current sheet formation in the presence of a preionized background gas produced by a steady-state RF-discharge. The presence of a preionized plasma has been previously shown to allow for current sheet formation at lower discharge voltages and energies than those found in other pulsed inductive accelerator concepts, leading to greater accelerator efficiencies at lower power levels. Time-resolved magnetic probe measurements are obtained for different background pressures and pulse energies to characterize the effects of these parameters on current sheet formation. Indices are defined that describe time-resolved current sheet characteristics, such as the total current owing in the current sheet, the time-integrated total current ('strength'), and current sheet velocity. It is found that for a given electric field strength, maximums in total current, strength, and velocity occur for one particular background pressure. At other pressures, these current sheet indices are considerably smaller. The trends observed in these indices are explained in terms of the principles behind Townsend breakdown that lead to a dependence on the ratio of the electric field to the background pressure. Time-integrated photographic data are also obtained at the same experimental conditions, and qualitatively they compare quite favorably with the time-resolved magnetic field data.

  8. Bifurcated current sheets produced by magnetic reconnection in the solar wind

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Gosling, J. T.; Szabo, A.

    2008-10-01

    We report observations from the Wind spacecraft of Petschek-like magnetic reconnection exhausts and thin current sheets in the solar wind on 19 and 20 November 2007, encompassing a solar wind disturbance driven by a magnetic cloud and followed by a corotating high-speed stream. We have identified an unusually large number (11) of reconnection exhausts in this 2-day interval using 3-s plasma and magnetic field data. Despite the relatively smooth large-scale field rotation associated with the magnetic cloud, five of the exhausts occurred within the cloud; three of those exhausts were associated with extremely small (<18°) local field shear angles. All 11 exhausts contained double-step magnetic field rotations; such double-step rotations are called bifurcated current sheets since they result from the splitting of reconnecting current sheets as an after-effect of the reconnection process. We have also identified 27 current sheets in this 2-day interval that were too thin to be adequately resolved by the 3-s plasma measurement cadence. All of these thin current sheets were well resolved by the 92 ms magnetic field measurement. At least three, and possibly six, of these relatively thin current sheets had double-step magnetic field rotations, indicating the underlying current sheets had probably been disrupted by magnetic reconnection. Current sheets thinner than ˜3 ion inertial lengths were not present in this data set. The relative lack of such ultrathin current sheets in the solar wind in general suggests that such current sheets usually are quickly disrupted by magnetic reconnection.

  9. Bifurcated Current Sheets Produced by Magnetic Reconnection in the Solar Wind

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Gosling, J. T.; Szabo, A.

    2008-12-01

    We report observations from the Wind spacecraft of Petschek-like magnetic reconnection exhausts and thin current sheets in the solar wind on 19 and 20 November 2007, encompassing a solar wind disturbance driven by a magnetic cloud and followed by a corotating high-speed stream. We have identified an unusually large number (11) of reconnection exhausts in this 2-day interval using 3-s plasma and magnetic field data. Despite the relatively smooth, large-scale field rotation associated with the magnetic cloud, 5 of the exhausts occurred within the cloud; 3 of those exhausts were associated with extremely small (less than 18 deg) local field shear angles. All 11 exhausts contained double-step magnetic field rotations; such double-step rotations are called bifurcated current sheets since they result from the splitting of reconnecting current sheets as an after-effect of the reconnection process. We have also identified 27 current sheets in this 2-day interval that were too thin to be adequately resolved by the 3-s plasma measurement cadence. All of these thin current sheets were well resolved by the 92 ms magnetic field measurement. At least 3, and possibly 6, of these relatively thin current sheets had double-step magnetic field rotations, indicating the underlying current sheets had probably been disrupted by magnetic reconnection. Current sheets thinner than about 3 ion inertial lengths were not present in this data set. The relative lack of such ultra-thin current sheets in the solar wind in general suggests that such current sheets usually are quickly disrupted by magnetic reconnection.

  10. Formation of coherent structures in kinetic simulations of collisionless turbulence

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Roytershteyn, V.; Karimabadi, H.

    2014-12-01

    We discuss recent large-scale kinetic simulations of collisionless turbulence in two environments, the solar wind and the Earth's magnetosheath. Formation of copious coherent structures is observed in both cases, despite the facts that the geometry, characteristic plasma parameters, and driving mechanisms are drastically different between the two systems. In addition to the traditional planar current sheets, other types of coherent current structures have been observed in 3D fully kinetic simulations with initial conditions relevant to the solar wind. These structures are discussed in detail. In 3D global hybrid simulations of the interaction between solar wind and planetary magnetospheres, the foreshock dynamics driven by reflected ions is shown to have a significant impact on the structure of the bow shock, as well as on the magnetosheath turbulence. A complicated interaction between turbulence, bow shock, and global flow leads to global perturbations in the Earth's magnetosphere.

  11. Nonlinear evolution of three-dimensional instabilities of thin and thick electron scale current sheets: Plasmoid formation and current filamentation

    SciTech Connect

    Jain, Neeraj; Büchner, Jörg

    2014-07-15

    Nonlinear evolution of three dimensional electron shear flow instabilities of an electron current sheet (ECS) is studied using electron-magnetohydrodynamic simulations. The dependence of the evolution on current sheet thickness is examined. For thin current sheets (half thickness =d{sub e}=c/ω{sub pe}), tearing mode instability dominates. In its nonlinear evolution, it leads to the formation of oblique current channels. Magnetic field lines form 3-D magnetic spirals. Even in the absence of initial guide field, the out-of-reconnection-plane magnetic field generated by the tearing instability itself may play the role of guide field in the growth of secondary finite-guide-field instabilities. For thicker current sheets (half thickness ∼5 d{sub e}), both tearing and non-tearing modes grow. Due to the non-tearing mode, current sheet becomes corrugated in the beginning of the evolution. In this case, tearing mode lets the magnetic field reconnect in the corrugated ECS. Later thick ECS develops filamentary structures and turbulence in which reconnection occurs. This evolution of thick ECS provides an example of reconnection in self-generated turbulence. The power spectra for both the thin and thick current sheets are anisotropic with respect to the electron flow direction. The cascade towards shorter scales occurs preferentially in the direction perpendicular to the electron flow.

  12. In situ observations of ion scale current sheet and associated electron heating in Earth's magnetosheath turbulence

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Chasapis, Alexandros; Retinò, Alessandro; Sahraoui, Fouad; Greco, Antonella; Vaivads, Andris; Sundkvist, David; Canu, Patrick

    2014-05-01

    Magnetic reconnection occurs in thin current sheets that form in turbulent plasmas. Numerical simulations indicate that turbulent reconnection contributes to the dissipation of magnetic field energy and results in particle heating and non-thermal acceleration. Yet in situ measurements are required to determine its importance as a dissipation mechanism at those scales. The Earth's magnetosheath downstream of the quasi-parallel shock is a turbulent near-Earth environment that offers a privileged environment for such a study. Here we present a study of the properties of thin current sheets by using Cluster data. We studied the distribution of the current sheets as a function of their magnetic shear angle, the PVI index and the electron heating. The properties of the observed current sheets were different for high shear (θ > 90 degrees) and low shear current sheets (θ < 90 degrees). These high-shear current sheets account for about ˜ 20% of the total and have an average thickness comparable to the ion inertial length. Enhancement of electron temperature within these current sheets suggest that they are important for local electron heating and energy dissipation.

  13. On the role of topological complexity in spontaneous development of current sheets

    SciTech Connect

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

    2015-08-15

    The computations presented in this work aim to asses the importance of field line interlacing on spontaneous development of current sheets. From Parker's magnetostatic theorem, such development of current sheets is inevitable in a topologically complex magnetofluid, with infinite electrical conductivity, at equilibrium. Relevant initial value problems are constructed by superposition of two untwisted component fields, each component field being represented by a pair of global magnetic flux surface. The intensity of field line interlacing is then specified by the relative amplitude of the two superposed fields. The computations are performed by varying this relative amplitude. Also to have a direct visualization of current sheet formation, we follow the evolution of flux surfaces instead of the vector magnetic field. An important finding of this paper is in the demonstration that initial field lines having intense interlacing tend to develop current sheets which are distributed throughout the computational domain with no preference for topologically favorable sites like magnetic nulls or field reversal layers. The onsets of these current sheets are attributed to favorable contortions of magnetic flux surfaces where two oppositely directed parts of the same field line or different field lines come to close proximity. However, for less intensely interlaced field lines, the simulations indicate development of current sheets at sites only where the magnetic topology is favorable. These current sheets originate as two sets of anti-parallel complimentary field lines press onto each other.

  14. On the role of topological complexity in spontaneous development of current sheets

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2015-08-01

    The computations presented in this work aim to asses the importance of field line interlacing on spontaneous development of current sheets. From Parker's magnetostatic theorem, such development of current sheets is inevitable in a topologically complex magnetofluid, with infinite electrical conductivity, at equilibrium. Relevant initial value problems are constructed by superposition of two untwisted component fields, each component field being represented by a pair of global magnetic flux surface. The intensity of field line interlacing is then specified by the relative amplitude of the two superposed fields. The computations are performed by varying this relative amplitude. Also to have a direct visualization of current sheet formation, we follow the evolution of flux surfaces instead of the vector magnetic field. An important finding of this paper is in the demonstration that initial field lines having intense interlacing tend to develop current sheets which are distributed throughout the computational domain with no preference for topologically favorable sites like magnetic nulls or field reversal layers. The onsets of these current sheets are attributed to favorable contortions of magnetic flux surfaces where two oppositely directed parts of the same field line or different field lines come to close proximity. However, for less intensely interlaced field lines, the simulations indicate development of current sheets at sites only where the magnetic topology is favorable. These current sheets originate as two sets of anti-parallel complimentary field lines press onto each other.

  15. A coronal magnetic field model with horizontal volume and sheet currents

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Zhao, Xuepu; Hoeksema, J. Todd

    1994-01-01

    When globally mapping the observed photospheric magnetic field into the corona, the interaction of the solar wind and magnetic field has been treated either by imposing source surface boundary conditions that tacitly require volume currents outside the source surface or by limiting the interaction to thin current sheets between oppositely directed field regions. Yet observations and numerical Magnetohydrodynamic (MHD) calculations suggest the presence of non-force-free volume currents throughout the corona as well as thin current sheets in the neighborhoods of the interfaces between closed and open field lines or between oppositely directed open field lines surrounding coronal helmet-streamer structures. This work presents a model including both horizontal volume currents and streamer sheet currents. The present model builds on the magnetostatic equilibria developed by Bogdan and Low and the current-sheet modeling technique developed by Schatten. The calculation uses synoptic charts of the line-of-sight component of the photospheric magnetic field measured at the Wilcox Solar Observatory. Comparison of an MHD model with the calculated model results for the case of a dipole field and comparison of eclipse observations with calculations for CR 1647 (near solar minimum) show that this horizontal current-current-sheet model reproduces polar plumes and axes of corona streamers better than the source-surface model and reproduces polar plumes and axes of corona streamers better than the source-surface model and reproduces coro nal helmet structures better than the current-sheet model.

  16. Differential measurement of cosmic-ray gradient with respect to interplanetary current sheet

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Christon, S. P.; Cummings, A. C.; Stone, E. C.; Behannon, K. W.; Burlaga, L. F.

    1985-01-01

    Simultaneous magnetic field and charged particle measurements from the Voyager spacecraft at heliographic latitude separations from 10 deg. to 21 deg. are used to determine the latitude gradient of the galactic cosmic ray flux with respect to the interplanetary current sheet. By comparing the ratio of cosmic ray flux at Voyager 1 to that a Voyager 2 during periods when both spacecraft are first nort and then south of the interplanetary current sheet, we find an estimate of the latitudinal gradient with respect to the current sheet of approximately -0.15 + or 0.05% deg under restricted interplanetary conditions.

  17. Differential measurement of cosmic-ray gradient with respect to interplanetary current sheet

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Christon, S. P.; Cummings, A. C.; Stone, E. C.; Behannon, K. W.; Burlaga, L. F.

    1985-01-01

    Simultaneous magnetic field and charged particle measurements from the Voyager pacecraft at heliographic latitude separations from 10 deg to 21 deg are used to determine the latitude gradient of the galactic cosmic ray flux with respect to the interplanetary current sheet. By comparing the ratio of cosmic ray flux at Voyager 1 to that at Voyager 2 during periods when both spacecraft are first north and then south of the interplanetary current sheet, we find an estimate of the latitudinal gradient with respect to the current sheet of approximately -0.15 + or- 0.05%/deg under restricted interplanetary conditions.

  18. Radial deformation of the solar current sheet as a cause of geomagnetic storms

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Akasofu, S.-I.

    1979-01-01

    It is suggested that the solar current sheet, extending from a coronal streamer, develops a large-scale radial deformation, at times with a very steep gradient at the earth's distance. The associated magnetic field lines (namely, the interplanetary magnetic field (IMF) lines) are expected to have also a large gradient in the vicinity of the current sheet. It is also suggested that some of the major geomagnetic storms occur when the earth is located in the region where IMF field lines have a large dip angle with respect to the ecliptic plane for an extended period (6-48 h), as a result of a steep radial deformation of the current sheet.

  19. Magnetic Reconnection Onset via Disruption of a Forming Current Sheet by the Plasmoid Instability

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Loureiro, Nuno; Uzdensky, Dmitri

    The recent realization that Sweet-Parker reconnection current sheets are violently unstable to the secondary tearing (plasmoid) instability implies that such current sheets are unlikely to be realized in real systems. This suggests that, in order to understand the onset of magnetic reconnection, one needs to consider the growth of the tearing instability in a current layer as it is just being formed. We present such an analysis in the context of nonlinear resistive MHD for a generic time-dependent equilibrium representing a gradually forming current sheet. It is shown that, under most conditions, the longest-wavelength mode dominates, resulting in just one or two big plasmoids produced in the immediate aftermath of current sheet formation. Specific examples pertaining to solar flares and to parasitic modes of the magnetorotational instability are provided.

  20. A hybrid-Vlasov model based on the current advance method for the simulation of collisionless magnetized plasma

    SciTech Connect

    Valentini, F. . E-mail: valentin@fis.unical.it; Travnicek, P.; Califano, F.; Hellinger, P.; Mangeney, A.

    2007-07-01

    We present a numerical scheme for the integration of the Vlasov-Maxwell system of equations for a non-relativistic plasma, in the hybrid approximation, where the Vlasov equation is solved for the ion distribution function and the electrons are treated as a fluid. In the Ohm equation for the electric field, effects of electron inertia have been retained, in order to include the small scale dynamics up to characteristic lengths of the order of the electron skin depth. The low frequency approximation is used by neglecting the time derivative of the electric field, i.e. the displacement current in the Ampere equation. The numerical algorithm consists in coupling the splitting method proposed by Cheng and Knorr in 1976 [C.Z. Cheng, G. Knorr, J. Comput. Phys. 22 (1976) 330-351.] and the current advance method (CAM) introduced by Matthews in 1994 [A.P. Matthews, J. Comput. Phys. 112 (1994) 102-116.] In its present version, the code solves the Vlasov-Maxwell equations in a five-dimensional phase space (2-D in the physical space and 3-D in the velocity space) and it is implemented in a parallel version to exploit the computational power of the modern massively parallel supercomputers. The structure of the algorithm and the coupling between the splitting method and the CAM method (extended to the hybrid case) is discussed in detail. Furthermore, in order to test the hybrid-Vlasov code, the numerical results on propagation and damping of linear ion-acoustic modes and time evolution of linear elliptically polarized Alfven waves (including the so-called whistler regime) are compared to the analytical solutions. Finally, the numerical results of the hybrid-Vlasov code on the parametric instability of Alfven waves are compared with those obtained using a two-fluid approach.

  1. Reconnection of Quasi-singular Current Sheets: The "Ideal" Tearing Mode

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Pucci, Fulvia; Velli, Marco

    2014-01-01

    A strong indication that fast reconnection regimes exist within resistive magnetohydrodynamics was given by the proof that the Sweet-Parker current sheet, maintained by a flow field with an appropriate inflow-outflow structure, could be unstable to a reconnecting instability which grows without bound as the Lundquist number, S, tends to infinity. The requirement of a minimum value for S in order for the plasmoid instability to kick in does little to resolve the paradoxical nature of the result. Here we argue against the realizability of Sweet-Parker current sheets in astrophysical plasmas with very large S by showing that an "ideal" tearing mode takes over before current sheets reach such a thickness. While the Sweet-Parker current sheet thickness scales as ~S -1/2, the tearing mode becomes effectively ideal when a current sheet collapses to a thickness of the order of ~S -1/3, up to 100 times thicker than S -1/2, when (as happens in many astrophysical environments) S is as large as 1012. Such a sheet, while still diffusing over a very long time, is unstable to a tearing mode with multiple x-points: here we detail the characteristics of the instability and discuss how it may help solve the flare trigger problem and effectively initiate the turbulent disruption of the sheet.

  2. In Situ Observations of Ion Scale Current Sheets and Associated Electron Heating in Turbulent Space Plasmas

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Chasapis, A.; Retino, A.; Sahraoui, F.; Greco, A.; Vaivads, A.; Khotyaintsev, Y. V.; Sundkvist, D. J.; Canu, P.

    2014-12-01

    We present a statistical study of ion-scale current sheets in turbulent space plasma. The study was performed using in situ measurements from the Earth's magnetosheath downstream of the quasi-parallel shock. Intermittent structures were identified using the Partial Variance of Increments method. We studied the distribution of the identified structures as a function of their magnetic shear angle, the PVI index and the electron heating. The properties of the observed current sheets were different for high (>3) and low (<3) values of the PVI index. We observed a distinct population of high PVI (>3) structures that accounted for ~20% of the total. Those current sheets have high magnetic shear (>90 degrees) and were observed mostly in close proximity to the bow shock with their numbers reducing towards the magnetopause. Enhancement of the estimated electron temperature within these current sheets suggest that they are important for local electron heating and energy dissipation.

  3. Motion of non-uniform double current-vortex sheets in magnetohydrodynamic flows

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Matsuoka, Chihiro

    2016-03-01

    A nonlinear motion of vortex sheets with a non-uniform current is investigated using the vortex blob method. The fluid interface forms a double layered current-vortex sheet due to the boundary condition possessing the induction equation. We can prove that the current only flows on the interface and that does not appear in the bulk when we apply the initial magnetic field to be parallel to the interface. We show that the current induced on a vortex sheet leads to a strong amplification of the magnetic field, taking the motion of vortex sheets in magnetohydrodynamic Richtmyer-Meshkov instability as an example. When the initial Lorentz force term is large, an oscillation due to the Alfvén wave appears and the nonlinear growth is suppressed.

  4. Spontaneous formation of electric current sheets and the origin of solar flares

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Low, B. C.; Wolfson, R.

    1988-01-01

    It is demonstrated that the continuous boundary motion of a sheared magnetic field in a tenuous plasma with an infinite electrical conductivity can induce the formation of multiple electric current sheets in the interior plasma. In response to specific footpoint displacements, the quadrupolar magnetic field considered is shown to require the formation of multiple electric current sheets as it achieves a force-free state. Some of the current sheets are found to be of finite length, running along separatrix lines of force which separate lobes of magnetic flux. It is suggested that current sheets in the form of infinitely thin magnetic shear layers may be unstable to resistive tearing, a process which may have application to solar flares.

  5. Dielectric and permeability effects in collisionless plasmas. [in collisionless plasmas

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Cole, K. D.

    1984-01-01

    Using the unabridged Maxwell equations (including vectors D, E and H) new effects in collisionless plasmas are uncovered. In a steady state, it is found that spatially varying energy density of the electric field (E perpendicular) orthogonal to B produces electric current leading, under certain conditions, to the relationship P perpendicular + B(2)/8 pi-epsilon E perpendicular(2)/8 pi = constant, where epsilon is the dielectric constant of the plasma for fields orthogonal to B. In steady state quasi-two-dimensional flows in plasmas, a general relationship between the components of electric field parallel and perpendicular to B is found. These effects are significant in geophysical and astrophysical plasmas. The general conditions for a steady state in collisionless plasma are deduced. With time variations in a plasma, slow compared to ion-gyroperiod, there is a general current, (j-asterisk), which includes the well-known polarization current, given by J-asterisk = d/dt (E x M) + (P x B) x B B(-2) where M and P are the magnetization and polarization vectors respectively.

  6. An Observational Research on Magnetic Reconnection Current Sheet Occurred in Two Solar Eruptions

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Cai, Q. W.; Wu, N.; Lin, J.

    2015-11-01

    The coronal magnetic configuration is severely stretched by the disruption in the process of coronal mass ejection (CME), pushing the magnetic fields of opposite polarity to approach one another, and creating a magnetic neutral region (current sheet) behind CME. Magnetic reconnection taking place inside the current sheet converts the magnetic energy into heat and kinetic energy of the plasma, and the kinetic energy of energetic particles. The role of the current sheet in this process is two-fold: the region where reconnection occurs, and connecting the flare to the associated CME. We studied the events of 2003 January 3 and 2003 November 4, respectively. Development of the current sheet was observed in both cases. We investigated the dynamic features of the two events, as well as physical properties of the current sheet, on the basis of analyzing the observational data from LASCO (Large Angle and Spectrometric Coronagraph) and UVCS (Ultraviolet Coronagraph Spectrometer) on board SOHO (Solar and Heliospheric Observatory), and the Hα data from BBSO (Big Bear Solar Observatory) and YNAO (Yunnan Observatories). The existence of ions with high ionization state, such as Fe^{+17} and Si^{+11}, indicated a high temperature up to 3×10^{6}-5×10^{6} K. Direct measurements showed that the apparent thickness of the current sheet varies from 1.3×10^{4} to 1.1×10^{5} km, which increases first and then decreases with time. Using the CHIANTI code (v.7.1), we further calculated the averages of the electron temperature and the corresponding emission measure in the current sheet of the 2003 January 3 event, which were about 3.86× 10^{6} K and 6.1× 10^{24} cm^{-5}, respectively. We also noticed that the current sheet twisted forth and back in a quasi-periodical fashion during the event on 2003 November 4 by analyzing the data from SOHO/UVCS.

  7. Electron Force Balance in Steady Collisionless-Driven Reconnection

    SciTech Connect

    Li Bin; Horiuchi, Ritoku

    2008-11-21

    Steady collisionless-driven reconnection in an open system is investigated by means of full-particle simulations. A long thin electron current sheet extends towards the outflow direction when the system relaxes to a steady state. Although the pressure tensor term along the reconnection electric field contributes to the violation of the electron frozen-in condition, a new force balance in the inflow direction is realized between the Lorentz and electrostatic forces, which is quite different from that in Harris equilibrium. The strong electrostatic field is generated through the combined effect of the Hall term and a driving inflow. This new force balance is more evident in the three-dimensional case due to the growth of an instability along the reconnection electric field. It is also found that the normalized charge density is in proportion to the square of the electron Alfven velocity averaged over the electron dissipation region.

  8. Collisionless reconnection in two-dimensional magnetotail equilibria

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Pritchett, P. L.; Coroniti, F. V.; Pellat, R.; Karimabadi, H.

    1991-01-01

    A two-dimensional particle simulation model based on the Darwin approximation to Maxwell's equations for studying collisionless reconnection in the magnetotail has been developed. Simulations of the pure ion tearing mode in a thin current sheet with normal B(z) field component demonstrate that in this limit this mode grows more slowly than expected based on previous analytic estimates. The saturation level of the tearing instability greatly surpasses estimates based on a simple trapping argument. The effect of the normal field component on the evolution of the tearing instability is considered. It is found that a normal field of even a few percent on axis strongly inhibits the growth of the instability.

  9. Glaciological constraints on current ice mass changes from modelling the ice sheets over the glacial cycles

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Huybrechts, P.

    2003-04-01

    The evolution of continental ice sheets introduces a long time scale in the climate system. Large ice sheets have a memory of millenia, hence the present-day ice sheets of Greenland and Antarctica are still adjusting to climatic variations extending back to the last glacial period. This trend is separate from the direct response to mass-balance changes on decadal time scales and needs to be correctly accounted for when assessing current and future contributions to sea level. One way to obtain estimates of current ice mass changes is to model the past history of the ice sheets and their underlying beds over the glacial cycles. Such calculations assist to distinguish between the longer-term ice-dynamic evolution and short-term mass-balance changes when interpreting altimetry data, and are helpful to isolate the effects of postglacial rebound from gravity and altimetry trends. The presentation will discuss results obtained from 3-D thermomechanical ice-sheet/lithosphere/bedrock models applied to the Antarctic and Greenland ice sheets. The simulations are forced by time-dependent boundary conditions derived from sediment and ice core records and are constrained by geomorphological and glacial-geological data of past ice sheet and sea-level stands. Current simulations suggest that the Greenland ice sheet is close to balance, while the Antarctic ice sheet is still losing mass, mainly due to incomplete grounding-line retreat of the West Antarctic ice sheet since the LGM. The results indicate that altimetry trends are likely dominated by ice thickness changes but that the gravitational signal mainly reflects postglacial rebound.

  10. The Helium Abundance at Quiescent Current Sheets and the Slow Solar Wind

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Suess, Steven T.; Ko, Y.-K.; VonSteiger, R.

    2008-01-01

    Ulysses MAG data were used to identify current sheets during sunspot minimum years of 1994-1997 and 2004-2006. The purpose of limiting the dates was to focus attention on 'quiescent current sheets' with as little influence from ICMEs as possible. SWOOPS data were then used in a superposed epoch analysis to study Helium abundance in the vicinity of the current sheet, similar to the study done by Borrini et al. (1981). That earlier study found a narrow (ca. 2 day) minimum in He/H around the current sheet that is extremely variable from one year to the next in the period 1971-1978. A similar result is found here for data at all latitudes and distances in 2004-2006. Conversely, data from 1994-1997 produce a deep minimum several times wider (ca. 10 days). The reason for this is found to be that low He/H is more closely associated with slow wind than the current sheet per se. There are thus apparently at least two sources of slow wind, one associated with very low He/H of 0-0.02 and one associated with moderate abundance of 0.03-0.05. The large variability is a consequence of the relatively small number of current sheet encounters around solar minimum and the random distribution of low He/H intervals, lasting less than 1 day to more than 7 days, throughout slow wind.

  11. An Empirical Model of Saturn's Current Sheet Based on Global MHD Modeling of Saturn's Magnetosphere

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hansen, K. C.; Nickerson, J. S.; Gombosi, T. I.

    2014-12-01

    Cassini observations imply that during southern summer Saturn's magnetospheric current sheet is displaced northward above the rotational equator and should be similarly displaced southward during northern summer [C.S. Arridge et al., Warping of Saturn's magnetospheric and magnetotail current sheets, Journal of Geophysical Research, Vol. 113, August 2008]. Arridge et al. show that Cassini data from the noon, midnight and dawn local time sectors clearly indicate this bending and they present an azimuthally independent model to describe this bowl shaped geometry. We have used our global MHD model, BATS-R-US/SWMF, to study Saturn's magnetospheric current sheet under different solar wind dynamic pressures and solar zenith angle conditions. We find that under typical conditions the current sheet does bend upward and take on a basic shape similar to the Arridge model in the noon, midnight, and dawn sectors. However, the MHD model results show significant variations from the Arridge model including the degree of bending, variations away from a simple bowl shape, non-uniformity across local time sectors, drastic deviations in the dusk sector, and a dependence on the solar wind dynamic pressure. We will present a detailed description of our 3D MHD model results and the characteristics of the current sheet in the model. We will point out variations from the Arridge model. In addition, we will present a new empirical model of Saturn's current sheet that attempts to characterize the dependences on the local time sector and the solar wind dynamic pressure.

  12. A Theoretical Model of a Thinning Current Sheet in the Low-β Plasmas

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Takeshige, Satoshi; Takasao, Shinsuke; Shibata, Kazunari

    2015-07-01

    Magnetic reconnection is an important physical process in various explosive phenomena in the universe. In previous studies, it was found that fast reconnection takes place when the thickness of a current sheet becomes on the order of a microscopic length such as the ion Larmor radius or the ion inertial length. In this study, we investigated the pinching process of a current sheet by the Lorentz force in a low-β plasma using one-dimensional magnetohydrodynamics (MHD) simulations. It is known that there is an exact self-similar solution for this problem that neglects gas pressure. We compared the non-linear MHD dynamics with the analytic self-similar solution. From the MHD simulations, we found that with the gas pressure included the implosion process deviates from the analytic self-similar solution as t\\to {t}0, where t0 is the explosion time when the thickness of a current sheet of the analytic solution becomes 0. We also found that a pair of MHD fast-mode shocks is generated and propagates after the formation of the pinched current sheet as t\\to {t}0. On the basis of the Rankine-Hugoniot relations, we derived the scaling law of the physical quantities with respect to the initial plasma beta in the pinched current sheet. Our study could help us estimate the physical quantities in the pinched current sheet formed in a low-β plasma.

  13. Fast magnetic reconnection in thin current sheets: effects of different current profiles and electron inertia in Ohm's law.

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Pucci, Fulvia; Del Sarto, Daniele; Tenerani, Anna; Velli, Marco

    2015-04-01

    By examining sheets with thicknesses scaling as different powers of the Lundquist number S, we previously showed (Pucci and Velli, 2014) that the growth rate of the tearing mode increases as current sheets thin and, once the inverse aspect ratio reaches a scaling a/L = S-1/3, the time-scale for the instability to develop becomes of the order of the Alfvén time. That means that a fast instability sets in well before Sweet-Parker type current sheets can form. In addition, such an instability produces many islands in the sheet, leading to fast nonlinear evolution and most probably a turbulent disruption of the sheet itself. This has fundamental implications for magnetically driven reconnection throughout the corona, and in particular for coronal heating and the triggering of coronal mass ejections. Here we extend the study of reconnection instabilities to magnetic fields of grater complexity, displaying different current structures such as, for example, multiple or asymmetric current layers. We also consider the possibility of a Δ' dependence on wave-number k-p for different values of p, studying analogies and variations of the trigger scaling relation a/L ~ S-1/3 with respect to the Harris current sheet equilibrium. At large Lundquist numbers in typical Heliospheric plasmas kinetic effects become more important in Ohm's law: we consider the effects of electron skin depth reconnection, showing that we can define a trigger relation similar to the resistive case. The results are important to the transition to fast reconnection in the solar corona, solar wind, magnetosphere as well as laboratory plasmas. F. Pucci and M. Velli, "Reconnection of quasi-singular current sheets: the 'ideal" tearing mode" ApJ 780:L19, 2014.

  14. Excitation of an electrostatic wave by a cold electron current sheet of finite thickness

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Hwang, K. S.; Fontheim, E. G.; Ong, R. S. B.

    1983-01-01

    Calculations for the threshold of current-driven instabilities and the growth rates of ion acoustic and electrostatic ion cyclotron instabilities in a magnetized plasma driven a current sheet with a finite width are presented. Maxwellian equations are employed to model the velocity distributions of electrons and ions in a direction perpendicular to the sheet. A dispersion relation is defined for the regions of instability, and boundary conditions are characterized in order to obtain a set of eigenvalue equations. Thresholds are delineated for various regions, including ducted mode solutions where only ion-acoustic waves are excited in areas where the frequency range significantly exceeds the ion cyclotron frequency. When a constant electron drift velocity is present, a thick current sheet is more unstable than a thin one. Fewer modes become unstable with a thinner sheet.

  15. Magnetohydrodynamic Simulations of Current-Sheet Formation and Reconnection at a Magnetic X Line

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    DeVore, C. R.; Antiochos, S. K.; Karpen, J. T.; Black, C.

    2011-12-01

    Phenomena ranging from the quiescent heating of the ambient plasma to the highly explosive release of energy and acceleration of particles in flares are conjectured to result from magnetic reconnection at electric current sheets in the Sun's corona. We are investigating numerically, using a macroscopic magnetohydrodynamic (MHD) model with adaptive mesh refinement, the formation and reconnection of a current sheet in an initially potential 2D magnetic field containing a null. Subjecting this simple configuration to unequal stresses in the four quadrants bounded by the X-line separatrix distorts the potential null into a double-Y-line current sheet. We find that even small distortions of the magnetic field induce the formation of a tangential discontinuity in the high-beta region around the null. A continuously applied stress eventually leads to the onset of fast magnetic reconnection across the sheet, with copious production, merging, and ejection of magnetic islands. We compare the current-sheet development and evolution for three cases: quasi-ideal MHD with numerical resistivity only; uniformly resistive MHD; and MHD with an embedded kinetic reconnection model. Analogous kinetic simulations using particle-in-cell (PIC) methods to investigate the small-scale dynamics of the system also are being pursued (C. Black et al., this meeting). Our progress toward understanding this simple system will be reported, as will the implications of our results for the dynamic activity associated with coronal current sheets and for general multiscale modeling of magnetized plasmas in the Heliosphere. Our research was supported by NASA.

  16. Field reversing magnetotail current sheets: earth, Venus, and Comet Giacobini-Zinner

    SciTech Connect

    McComas, D.J.

    1986-09-01

    This dissertation examines the field reversing magnetotail current sheets at the earth, Venus, and Comet Giacobini-Zinner. In the near earth study a new analysis technique is developed to calculate the detailed current density distributions within the cross tail current sheet for the first time. This technique removes the effects of a variable sheet velocity by inverting intersatellite timings between the co-orbiting satellites ISEE-1 and -2. Case studies of three relatively geomagnetically quiet crossings are made; sheet thicknesses and peak current densities are approx.1-5 x 10/sup 4/ km and approx.5-50 nA/m/sup 2/. Current density distributions reveal a high density central region, lower density shoulders, and considerable fine structure throughout. In the Venus study another new analysis technique is developed to reconstruct the average tail configuration from a correlation between field magnitude and draping angle in a large statistical data set. In the comet study, high resolution magnetic field and plasma electron data from the ICE traversal of Giacobini-Zinner are combined for the first time to determine the tail/current sheet geometry and calculate certain important but unmeasured local ion and upstream properties. Pressure balance across the tail gives ion temperatures and betas of approx.1.2 x 10/sup 5/ K and approx.40 in the center of the current sheet to approx.1 x 10/sup 6/ K and approx.3 in the outer lobes. Axial stress balance shows that the velocity shear upstream near the nucleus is >6 (approx.1 at ICE), and that a region of strongly enhanced mass loading (ion source rate approx.24 times that upstream from lobes) exists upstream from the current sheet. The integrated downtail mass flux is approx.2.6 x 10/sup 26/ H/sub 2/O+/sec, which is only approx.1% of the independently determined total cometary efflux. 79 refs., 37 figs.

  17. Self-organization in space plasma: formation of magnetic shear in current sheets

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Zelenyi, Lev; Delcourt, Dominique; Mingalev, Oleg; Malova, Helmi; Popov, Victor; Grigorenko, Elena; Petrukovich, Anatoli

    2016-07-01

    Thin current sheets are plasma structures that usually appear near reconnection regions. The presence of the shear magnetic field is characteristic for these structures. Self-consistent kinetic model of magnetotail thin current sheet (TCS) is used to understand the mechanisms of self-organization of sheared thin current sheets in a space plasma. It is shown that these configurations appear as a result of self-consistent evolution of some initial magnetic perturbation at current sheet center. Two general shapes of shear TCS components are found as a function of the transverse coordinate: symmetric and antisymmetric. We show that TCS formation goes together with the emergence of field-aligned currents in the center of the current sheet, as a result of north-south asymmetry of quasi-adiabatic ion motions. Ion drift currents can also contribute to the magnetic shear evolution, but their role is much less significant, their contribution depending upon the normal component Bz and the amplitude of the initial perturbation in TCS. Parametric maps illustrating different types of TCS equilibria are presented.

  18. Distributions of the ion temperature, ion pressure, and electron density over the current sheet surface

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kyrie, N. P.; Markov, V. S.; Frank, A. G.; Vasilkov, D. G.; Voronova, E. V.

    2016-06-01

    The distributions of the ion temperature, ion pressure, and electron density over the width (the major transverse dimension) of the current sheet have been studied for the first time. The current sheets were formed in discharges in argon and helium in 2D and 3D magnetic configurations. It is found that the temperature of argon ions in both 2D and 3D magnetic configurations is almost uniform over the sheet width and that argon ions are accelerated by the Ampère force. In contrast, the distributions of the electron density and the temperature of helium ions are found to be substantially nonuniform. As a result, in the 2D magnetic configuration, the ion pressure gradient across the sheet width makes a significant contribution (comparable with the Ampère force) to the acceleration of helium ions, whereas in the 3D magnetic configuration, the Ampère force is counterbalanced by the pressure gradient.

  19. Gamma-ray bursts and collisionless shocks

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Waxman, E.

    2006-12-01

    Particle acceleration in collisionless shocks is believed to be responsible for the production of cosmic-rays over a wide range of energies, from a few GeV to > 1020 eV, as well as for the non-thermal emission of radiation from a wide variety of high energy astrophysical sources. A theory of collisionless shocks based on first principles does not, however, exist. Observations of γ-ray burst (GRB) 'afterglows' provide a unique opportunity for diagnosing the physics of relativistic collisionless shocks. Most GRBs are believed to be associated with explosions of massive stars. Their 'afterglows', delayed low energy emission following the prompt burst of γ-rays, are well accounted for by a model in which afterglow radiation is due to synchrotron emission of electrons accelerated in relativistic collisionless shock waves driven by the explosion into the surrounding plasma. Within the framework of this model, some striking characteristics of collisionless relativistic shocks are implied. These include the generation of downstream magnetic fields with energy density exceeding that of the upstream field by ~8 orders of magnitude, the survival of this strong field at distances ~1010 skin-depths downstream of the shock and the acceleration of particles to a power-law energy spectrum, d log n/d logɛ ap -2, possibly extending to 1020 eV. I review in this talk the phenomenological considerations, based on which these characteristics are inferred, and the challenges posed to our current models of particle acceleration and magnetic field generation in collisionless shocks. Some recent theoretical results derived based on the assumption of a self-similar shock structure are briefly discussed. Invited review presented at the 33rd annual European Physical Society Conference, Rome, 2006.

  20. A Tailward Moving Current Sheet Normal Magnetic Field Front Followed by an Earthward Moving Dipolarization Front

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Hwang, K.-J.; Goldstein, M. L.; Moore, T. E.; Walsh, B. M.; Baishev, D. G.; Moiseyev, A. V.; Shevtsov, B. M.; Yumoto, K.

    2014-01-01

    A case study is presented using measurements from the Cluster spacecraft and ground-based magnetometers that show a substorm onset propagating from the inner to outer plasma sheet. On 3 October 2005, Cluster, traversing an ion-scale current sheet at the near-Earth plasma sheet, detected a sudden enhancement of Bz, which was immediately followed by a series of flux rope structures. Both the local Bz enhancement and flux ropes propagated tailward. Approximately 5 min later, another Bz enhancement, followed by a large density decrease, was observed to rapidly propagate earthward. Between the two Bz enhancements, a significant removal of magnetic flux occurred, possibly resulting from the tailward moving Bz enhancement and flux ropes. In our scenario, this flux removal caused the magnetotail to be globally stretched so that the thinnest sheet formed tailward of Cluster. The thinned current sheet facilitated magnetic reconnection that quickly evolved from plasma sheet to lobe and generated the later earthward moving dipolarization front (DF) followed by a reduction in density and entropy. Ground magnetograms located near the meridian of Cluster's magnetic foot points show two-step bay enhancements. The positive bay associated with the first Bz enhancement indicates that the substorm onset signatures propagated from the inner to the outer plasma sheet, consistent with the Cluster observation. The more intense bay features associated with the later DF are consistent with the earthward motion of the front. The event suggests that current disruption signatures that originated in the near-Earth current sheet propagated tailward, triggering or facilitating midtail reconnection, thereby preconditioning the magnetosphere for a later strong substorm enhancement.

  1. A tailward moving current sheet normal magnetic field front followed by an earthward moving dipolarization front

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hwang, K.-J.; Goldstein, M. L.; Moore, T. E.; Walsh, B. M.; Baishev, D. G.; Moiseyev, A. V.; Shevtsov, B. M.; Yumoto, K.

    2014-07-01

    A case study is presented using measurements from the Cluster spacecraft and ground-based magnetometers that show a substorm onset propagating from the inner to outer plasma sheet. On 3 October 2005, Cluster, traversing an ion-scale current sheet at the near-Earth plasma sheet, detected a sudden enhancement of Bz, which was immediately followed by a series of flux rope structures. Both the local Bz enhancement and flux ropes propagated tailward. Approximately 5 min later, another Bz enhancement, followed by a large density decrease, was observed to rapidly propagate earthward. Between the two Bz enhancements, a significant removal of magnetic flux occurred, possibly resulting from the tailward moving Bz enhancement and flux ropes. In our scenario, this flux removal caused the magnetotail to be globally stretched so that the thinnest sheet formed tailward of Cluster. The thinned current sheet facilitated magnetic reconnection that quickly evolved from plasma sheet to lobe and generated the later earthward moving dipolarization front (DF) followed by a reduction in density and entropy. Ground magnetograms located near the meridian of Cluster's magnetic foot points show two-step bay enhancements. The positive bay associated with the first Bz enhancement indicates that the substorm onset signatures propagated from the inner to the outer plasma sheet, consistent with the Cluster observation. The more intense bay features associated with the later DF are consistent with the earthward motion of the front. The event suggests that current disruption signatures that originated in the near-Earth current sheet propagated tailward, triggering or facilitating midtail reconnection, thereby preconditioning the magnetosphere for a later strong substorm enhancement.

  2. Convection Constraints and Current Sheet Thinning During the Substorm Growth Phase

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Otto, A.; Hsieh, M.

    2012-12-01

    A typical property during the growth phase of geomagnetic substorms is the thinning of the near-Earth current sheet, most pronounced in the region between 6 and 15 RE. We propose that the cause for this current sheet thinning is convection from the midnight tail region to the dayside to replenish magnetospheric magnetic flux that is eroded at the dayside as a result of dayside reconnection. Slow (adiabatic) convection from the near-Earth tail region toward the dayside must conserve the entropy on magnetic field lines. This constraint prohibits a source of magnetic flux from a region further out in the magnetotail. Thus the near-Earth tail region is increasingly depleted of magnetic flux (the Erickson and Wolf [1980] problem) with entropy matching that of flux tubes that are eroded on the dayside. It is proposed that the magnetic flux depletion in the near-Earth tail forces the formation of thin current layers. The process is illustrated and examined by three-dimensional meso-scale MHD simulations. It is shown that the simulations yield a time scale, location, and other general characteristics of the current sheet evolution consistent with observations during the substorm growth phase. The developing thin current sheet is easily destabilized and can undergo localized reconnection events. We present properties of the thinning current sheet, the associated entropy evolution, examples of localized reconnection onset and we discuss the dependence of this process on external parameters such the global reconnection rate.

  3. Fast magnetic-field annihilation in the relativistic collisionless regime driven by two ultrashort high-intensity laser pulses.

    PubMed

    Gu, Y J; Klimo, O; Kumar, D; Liu, Y; Singh, S K; Esirkepov, T Zh; Bulanov, S V; Weber, S; Korn, G

    2016-01-01

    The magnetic quadrupole structure formation during the interaction of two ultrashort high power laser pulses with a collisionless plasma is demonstrated with 2.5-dimensional particle-in-cell simulations. The subsequent expansion of the quadrupole is accompanied by magnetic-field annihilation in the ultrarelativistic regime, when the magnetic field cannot be sustained by the plasma current. This results in a dominant contribution of the displacement current exciting a strong large scale electric field. This field leads to the conversion of magnetic energy into kinetic energy of accelerated electrons inside the thin current sheet. PMID:26871179

  4. Plasmoid instability in a large post-CME current sheet system

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Guo, L.; Bhattacharjee, A.; Huang, Y.; CenterIntegrated Computation; Analysis of Reconnection; Turbulence

    2011-12-01

    Solar flares and CME that cause violent space weather change have been studied for years. The standard model suggests that there is a current sheet connecting the CME and the site of the post-CME flare after the eruption, but understanding of the detailed physical mechanism of dynamical processes in the current sheet remains incomplete. Recently, the secondary plasmoid instabilities of large scale current sheet in high Lundquist number environment such as solar corona and the change of magnetic topology in such a current sheet system has become a subject of great interest (Bhattacharjee et al. 2009). In our work, we study a post-CME current sheet via both observation and simulation. We use SOHO/LASCO observations of a fast halo CME as well as a slow CME. After the fast halo CME event on January 8, 2002, we observe a long, thin current sheet which connects the CME to a flare site on the surface of the sun. In this current sheet we identify over 60 bright plasmoid-like blobs in 39 hours. In the slow CME event on June 25, 2005, we observe 32 such blobs in 18 hours after the formation of the current sheet. We simulate both cases using high-Lundquist-number resistive MHD simulations of the model of Lin & Forbes (2000), and demonstrate that the distribution of plasmoid size in both cases appears to conform well to a distribution function that is independent of the Lundquist number and predicted by theory. The average observed plasmoid speed in both cases is a fraction of the typical Alfven speed, qualitatively consistent with the simulations. Thus, we propose that these observations can be plausibly accounted for by the plasmoid instability of the large-scale current sheet. The observed bright blobs are probably evidence of large-scale plasmoids, and their behavior appears to be qualitatively consistent with high-Lundquist-number MHD simulations.
    observation case summary

  5. Study of the magnetotail current sheet properties using observations from the MMS mission

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Andriopoulou, Maria; Nakamura, Rumi; Baumjohann, Wolfgang; Artemyev, Anton V.; Torkar, Klaus; Russell, Christopher T.; Torbert, Roy B.; Lindqvist, Per-Arne; Khotyaintsev, Yuri V.; Pollock, Craig J.; Fuselier, Stephen A.; Burch, James L.; Genestreti, Kevin J.

    2016-04-01

    The small interspacecraft distances of the recently launched Magnetospheric Multiscale (MMS) mission and the unprecedented time resolution of the plasma and field measurements of the instruments onboard each spacecraft allow us to study the properties of magnetotail current sheet crossings in great detail in terms of their spatial and temporal evolution and resolve several cases in ion and electron scales. In the present study we focus on some case studies of thin current sheets during the MMS commissioning phase, which lasted till August 2015. For this analysis, we use plasma density data obtained from plasma detectors and plasma density proxi estimated from spacecraft potential variations by taking into account the effect of the ASPOC ion beam current. The results of this study could be a useful input for current sheet models and simulations.

  6. Relating thin current sheet formation and tail reconnection to substorm development

    SciTech Connect

    Birn, J.; Schindler, K.

    2002-01-01

    Observations and simulations have demonstrated the important role of thin current sheet formation and magnetic reconnection in the course of substorms. We discuss new results on the formation of thin current sheets, obtained both within MHD and kinetic theory. They demonstrate when kinetic effects become important and indicate the possibility of a catastrophic onset of substorm dynamics and the potential association with arc brightening. MHD simulations show the role of reconnection in the buildup of the substorm current wedge and the influence of the underlying configuration on the quasi-static and dynamic evolution.

  7. 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

  8. Current and future darkening of the Greenland ice sheet

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Tedesco, Marco; Stroeve, Julienne; Fettweis, Xavier; Warren, Stephen; Doherty, Sarah; Noble, Erik; Alexander, Patrick

    2015-04-01

    Surface melting over the Greenland ice sheet (GIS) promotes snow grains growth, reducing albedo and further enhancing melting through the increased amount of absorbed solar radiation. Using a combination of remote sensing data and outputs of a regional climate model, we show that albedo over the GIS decreased significantly from 1996 to 2012. Further, we show that most of this darkening can be accounted for by enhanced snow grain growth and the expansion of areas where bare ice is exposed, both of which are driven by increases in snow warming. An analysis of the impact of light-absorbing impurities on albedo trends detected from spaceborne measurements was inconclusive because the estimated impact for concentrations of impurities of order of magnitude found in Greenland is within the albedo uncertainty retrievable from space-based instruments. However, neither models nor observations show an increase in pollutants (black carbon and associated organics) in the atmosphere over the GIS in this time period. Additionally, we could not identify trends in the number of fires over North America and Russia, assumed to be among the sources of soot for Greenland. We did find that a 'dark band' of tilted ice plays a crucial role in decreasing albedo along the west margin, and there is some indication that dust deposition to the GIS may be decreasing albedo in this region but this is not conclusive. In addition to looking at the direct impact of impurities on albedo, we estimated the impact of impurities on albedo via their influence on grain growth and found it is relatively small (~ 1- 2 %), though more sophisticated analysis needs to be carried out. Projections obtained under different warming scenarios consistently point to a continued darkening, with anomalies in albedo driven solely by the effects of climate warming of as much as -0.12 along the west margin of the GIS by the end of this century (with respect to year 2000). Projected darkening is likely underestimated

  9. Detection of thin current sheets and associated reconnection in the Earth's turbulent magnetosheath using cluster multi-point measurements

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Chasapis, Alexandros; Retino, Alessandro; Sahraoui, Fouad; Greco, Antonella; Vaivads, Andris; Sundkvist, David; Canu, Patrick

    2013-04-01

    Magnetic reconnection occurs in turbulent plasma within a large number of volume-filling thin current sheets and is one major candidate for energy dissipation of turbulent plasma. Such dissipation results in particle heating and non-thermal particle acceleration. In situ observations are needed to study the detailed properties of thin current sheets and associated reconnection, in order to determine its importance as a dissipation mechanism at small scales. In particular, multi-point measurements are crucial to unambiguously identify spatial scales (e.g current sheet thickness) and estimate key quantities such as E*J. Here we present a study of the properties of thin current sheets detected in the Earths magnetosheath downstream of the quasi-parallel shock by using Cluster spacecraft data. The current sheets were detected by the rotation of the magnetic field as computed by four-point measurements. We study the distribution of current sheets as a function of the magnetic shear angle θ, their duration and the waiting time between consecutive current sheets. We found that high shear (θ > 90 degrees) current sheets show different properties with respect to low shear current sheets (θ < 90 degrees). These high-shear current sheets account for about ˜ 20% of the total and have an average thickness comparable to the ion inertial length. We also compare our four-point detection method with other single-point methods (e.g. Partial Variance of Increments - PVI) and we discuss the results of such comparison.

  10. The generation of rapid solar flare hard X-ray and microwave fluctuations in current sheets

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Holman, Gordon D.

    1986-01-01

    The generation of rapid fluctuations, or spikes, in hard X-ray and microwave bursts via the disruption of electron heating and acceleration in current sheets is studied. It is found that 20 msec hard X-ray fluctuations can be thermally generated in a current sheet if the resistivity in the sheet is highly anomalous, the plasma density in the emitting region is relatively high, and the volume of the emitting region is greater than that of the current sheet. A specific mechanism for producing the fluctuations, involving heating in the presence of ion acoustic turbulence and a constant driving electric field, and interruption of the heating by a strong two-stream instability, is discussed. Variations upon this mechanism are also discussed. This mechanism also modulates electron acceleration, as required for the microwave spike emission. If the hard X-ray emission at energies less than approx. 1000 keV is nonthermal bremsstrahlung, the coherent modulation of electron acceleration in a large number of current sheets is required.

  11. How to identify reconnecting current sheets in incompressible Hall MHD turbulence

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Donato, S.; Greco, A.; Matthaeus, W. H.; Servidio, S.; Dmitruk, P.

    2013-07-01

    Using high Reynolds number simulations of two-dimensional Hall magnetohydrodynamics (HMHD) turbulence, a statistical association between magnetic discontinuities and magnetic reconnection is demonstrated. We find that sets of discontinuities, identified using the normalized partial variance of vector increments (PVI method), strongly depend on threshold in PVI statistic that is used as an identifying condition and on the strength of the Hall term. The analysis confirms that the Hall term plays an important role in turbulence and it affects the methods employed for detection of reconnecting current sheets. In particular, we found the following: (1) Among all the discontinuities detected by the PVI method, the reconnecting ones are on average thinner. (2) A reduction in size of all discontinuities and of reconnecting current sheets is observed as the threshold θ grows. (3) The average width of the reconnecting current sheets decreases as the strength of the Hall term grows and the ion inertial scale di increases with respect to the dissipative scale.

  12. RICHTMYER-MESHKOV-TYPE INSTABILITY OF A CURRENT SHEET IN A RELATIVISTICALLY MAGNETIZED PLASMA

    SciTech Connect

    Inoue, Tsuyoshi

    2012-11-20

    The linear stability of a current sheet that is subject to an impulsive acceleration due to shock passage with the effect of a guide magnetic field is studied. We find that a current sheet embedded in relativistically magnetized plasma always shows a Richtmyer-Meshkov-type instability, while the stability depends on the density structure in the Newtonian limit. The growth of the instability is expected to generate turbulence around the current sheet, which can induce the so-called turbulent reconnection, the rate of which is essentially free from plasma resistivity. Thus, the instability can be applied as a triggering mechanism for rapid magnetic energy release in a variety of high-energy astrophysical phenomena such as pulsar wind nebulae, gamma-ray bursts, and active galactic nuclei, where the shock wave is thought to play a crucial role.

  13. Kinetic models of two-dimensional plane and axially symmetric current sheets: Group theory approach

    SciTech Connect

    Vasko, I. Y.; Artemyev, A. V.; Popov, V. Y.; Malova, H. V.

    2013-02-15

    In this paper, we present new class of solutions of Grad-Shafranov-like (GS-like) equations, describing kinetic plane and axially symmetric 2D current sheets. We show that these equations admit symmetry groups only for Maxwellian and {kappa}-distributions of charged particles. The admissible symmetry groups are used to reduce GS-like equations to ordinary differential equations for invariant solutions. We derive asymptotes of invariant solutions, while invariant solutions are found analytically for the {kappa}-distribution with {kappa}=7/2. We discuss the difference of obtained solutions from equilibria widely used in other studies. We show that {kappa} regulates the decrease rate of plasma characteristics along the current sheet and determines the spatial distribution of magnetic field components. The presented class of plane and axially symmetric (disk-like) current sheets includes solutions with the inclined neutral plane.

  14. Polarization features of solar radio emission and possible existence of current sheets in active regions

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Gopalswamy, N.; Zheleznyakov, V. V.; White, S. M.; Kundu, M. R.

    1994-01-01

    We show that it is possible to account for the polarization features of solar radio emission provided the linear mode coupling theory is properly applied and the presence of current sheets in the corona is taken into account. We present a schematic model, including a current sheet that can explain the polarization features of both the low frequency slowly varying component and the bipolar noise storm radiation; the two radiations face similar propagation conditions through a current sheet and hence display similar polarization behavior. We discuss the applications of the linear mode coupling theory to the following types of solar emission: the slowly varying component, the microwave radio bursts, metric type U bursts, and bipolar noise storms.

  15. Intermittent Turbulence and SOC Dynamics in a 2-D Driven Current-Sheet Model

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Klimas, A. J.; Uritsky, V.; Vinas, A. F.; Vassiliasdis, D.; Baker, D. N.

    2005-01-01

    Borovsky et al. have shown that Earth's magnetotail plasma sheet is strongly turbulent. More recently, Borovsky and Funsten have shown that eddy turbulence dominates and have suggested that the eddy turbulence is driven by fast flows that act as jets in the plasma. Through basic considerations of energy and magnetic flux conservation, these fast flows are thought to be localized to small portions of the total plasma sheet and to be generated by magnetic flux reconnection that is similarly localized. Angelopoulos et al., using single spacecraft Geotail data, have shown that the plasma sheet turbulence exhibits signs of intermittence and Weygand et al., using four spacecraft Cluster data, have confirmed and expanded on this conclusion. Uritsky et al., using Polar UVI image data, have shown that the evolution of bright, nightside, UV auroral emission regions is consistent with many of the properties of systems in self-organized criticality (SOC). Klimas et al. have suggested that the auroral dynamics is a reflection of the dynamics of the fast flows in the plasma. sheet. Their hypothesis is that the transport of magnetic fludenergy through the magnetotail is enabled by scale-free avalanches of localized reconnection whose SOC dynamics are reflected in the auroral UV emission dynamics. A corollary of this hypothesis is that the strong, intermittent, eddy turbulence of the plasma sheet is closely related to its critical dynamics. The question then arises: Can in situ evidence for the SOC dynamics be found in the properties of the plasma sheet turbulence? A 2-dimensional numerical driven current-sheet model of the central plasma sheet has been developed that incorporates an idealized current-driven instability with a resistive MHD system. It has been shown that the model can evolve into SOC in a physically relevant parameter regime. Initial results from a study of intermittent turbulence in this model and the relationship of this turbulence to the model's known SOC

  16. Neoclassical tearing mode saturation in periodic current sheets

    SciTech Connect

    Militello, F.

    2008-04-15

    The saturation of Neoclassical Tearing Mode islands in a periodic slab configuration is investigated. Several theoretical models, all based on a generalization of Rutherford's procedure, that aim at reducing the complete system to a single equation of the magnetic island width, are compared against numerical simulations. When the effects of the bootstrap current and of the second derivative of the equilibrium current profile are included, the numerical saturation levels are well matched with the predictions of this equation in a wide region of the stability diagram. However, the numerical results diverge from the standard theory when evaluating the threshold for nonlinear destabilization, since the theoretical value appears to be strongly conservative. In other words, the standard generalization of Rutherford's equation is not able to capture the minimum value of the linear stability parameter and of the island width such that below them the Neoclassical Tearing Mode is always suppressed. To correct this discrepancy, a new theoretical model in which the transverse propagation of the island affects the bootstrap current term is proposed.

  17. Laboratory Observation of Resistive Electron Tearing in a Two-Fluid Reconnecting Current Sheet.

    PubMed

    Jara-Almonte, Jonathan; Ji, Hantao; Yamada, Masaaki; Yoo, Jongsoo; Fox, William

    2016-08-26

    The spontaneous formation of plasmoids via the resistive electron tearing of a reconnecting current sheet is observed in the laboratory. These experiments are performed during driven, antiparallel reconnection in the two-fluid regime within the Magnetic Reconnection Experiment. It is found that plasmoids are present even at a very low Lundquist number, and the number of plasmoids scales with both the current sheet aspect ratio and the Lundquist number. The reconnection electric field increases when plasmoids are formed, leading to an enhanced reconnection rate. PMID:27610861

  18. 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.

  19. Current-sheet velocity oscillation and radiation emission in plasma focus discharges

    SciTech Connect

    Melzacki, K.; Nardi, V.

    1995-12-31

    A phenomenon of current sheet velocity oscillation during the compression phase in plasma focus discharge has been found with a Schlieren photography technique. The oscillation period has been determined as about 17 ns and coincided with the period of the simultaneously measured time derivative of the current. The same velocity behavior has been observed with magnetic probes. A microwave emission burst (in 3 cm and 10 cm bands) consisting of a sequence of very narrow (FWHM < 1 ns) peaks, 17 ns apart one another, has also been observed before, during, and after the pinch. The microwave was polarized with the electric field parallel to the electrode axis. All these effects have been recorded on the same PF device (6 kJ). The origin of these oscillations can be interpreted in a few ways, e.g. as related to the electrode-plasma sheath RLC circuit, or to the j{sub s}xB of the plasma current sheet, where j{sub s} is the current density component perpendicular to the current sheet surface. The j{sub s} is related to the current sheet velocity. These results provide the basis of the analysis.

  20. Confinement of pure ion plasma in a cylindrical current sheet

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Paul, Stephen F.; Chao, Edward H.; Davidson, Ronald C.; Phillips, Cynthia K.

    1999-12-01

    A novel method for containing a pure ion plasma at thermonuclear densities and temperatures has been modeled. The method combines the confinement principles of a Penning-Malmberg trap and a pulsed theta-pinch. A conventional Penning trap can confine a uniform-density plasma of about 5×1011cm-3 with a 30-Tesla magnetic field. However, if the axial field is ramped, a much higher local ion density can be obtained. Starting with a 107cm-3 trapped deuterium plasma at the Brillouin limit (B=0.6 Tesla), the field is ramped to 30 Tesla. Because the plasma is comprised of particles of only one sign of charge, transport losses are very low, i.e., the conductivity is high. As a result, the ramped field does not penetrate the plasma and a diamagnetic surface current is generated, with the ions being accelerated to relativistic velocities. To counteract the inward j×B forces from this induced current, additional ions are injected into the plasma along the axis to increase the density (and mutual electrostatic repulsion) of the target plasma. In the absence of the higher magnetic field in the center, the ions drift outward until a balance is established between the outward driving forces (centrifugal, electrostatic, pressure gradient) and the inward j×B force. An equilibrium calculation using a relativistic, 1-D, cold-fluid model shows that a plasma can be trapped in a hollow, 49-cm diameter, 0.2-cm thick cylinder with a density exceeding 4×1014cm-3.

  1. Mutual Inductance Problem for a System Consisting of a Current Sheet and a Thin Metal Plate

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Fulton, J. P.; Wincheski, B.; Nath, S.; Namkung, M.

    1993-01-01

    Rapid inspection of aircraft structures for flaws is of vital importance to the commercial and defense aircraft industry. In particular, inspecting thin aluminum structures for flaws is the focus of a large scale R&D effort in the nondestructive evaluation (NDE) community. Traditional eddy current methods used today are effective, but require long inspection times. New electromagnetic techniques which monitor the normal component of the magnetic field above a sample due to a sheet of current as the excitation, seem to be promising. This paper is an attempt to understand and analyze the magnetic field distribution due to a current sheet above an aluminum test sample. A simple theoretical model, coupled with a two dimensional finite element model (FEM) and experimental data will be presented in the next few sections. A current sheet above a conducting sample generates eddy currents in the material, while a sensor above the current sheet or in between the two plates monitors the normal component of the magnetic field. A rivet or a surface flaw near a rivet in an aircraft aluminum skin will disturb the magnetic field, which is imaged by the sensor. Initial results showed a strong dependence of the flaw induced normal magnetic field strength on the thickness and conductivity of the current-sheet that could not be accounted for by skin depth attenuation alone. It was believed that the eddy current imaging method explained the dependence of the thickness and conductivity of the flaw induced normal magnetic field. Further investigation, suggested the complexity associated with the mutual inductance of the system needed to be studied. The next section gives an analytical model to better understand the phenomenon.

  2. Modeling of different scenarios of thin current sheet equilibria in the Earth’s magnetotail

    SciTech Connect

    Ul’kin, A. A.; Malova, H. V. Popov, V. Yu.; Zelenyi, L. M.

    2015-02-15

    The Earth’s magnetosphere is an open dynamic system permanently interacting with the solar wind, i.e., the plasma flow from the Sun. Some plasma processes in the magnetosphere are of spontaneous explosive character, while others develop rather slowly as compared to the characteristic times of plasma particle motion in it. The large-scale current sheet in the magnetotail can be in an almost equilibrium state both in quiet periods and during geomagnetic perturbations, and its variations can be considered quasistatic. Thus, under some conditions, the magnetotail current sheet can be described as an equilibrium plasma system. Its state depends on various parameters, in particular, on those determining the dynamics of charged particles. Knowing the main governing parameters, one can study the structure and properties of the current sheet equilibrium. This work is devoted to the self-consistent modeling of the equilibrium thin current sheet (TCS) of the Earth’s magnetotail, the thickness of which is comparable with the ion gyroradius. The main objective of this work is to examine how the TCS structure depends on the parameters characterizing the particle dynamics and magnetic field geometry. A numerical hybrid self-consistent TCS model in which the tension of magnetic field lines is counterbalanced by the inertia of ions moving through the sheet is constructed. The ion dynamics is considered in the quasi-adiabatic approximation, while the electron motion, in the conductive fluid approximation. Depending on the values of the adiabaticity parameter κ (which determines the character of plasma particle motion) and the dimensionless normal component of the magnetic field b{sub z}, the following two scenarios are considered: (A) the adiabaticity parameter is proportional to the particle energy and b{sub z} = const and (B) the particle energy is fixed and the adiabaticity parameter is proportional to b{sub z}. The structure of the current sheet and particle dynamics in it

  3. The effect of coronal mass ejections on the structure of the heliospheric current sheet

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Zhao, Xuepu; Hoeksema, J. Todd

    1994-01-01

    The existence of a stable heliospheric current sheet (HCS) structure near solar cycle maximum was questioned since the recognition that coronal mass ejections (CME's) occur in coronal helmet streamers. Evidence is presented suggesting that pre-existing helmet streamers disrupted or blown out by CME's reform in a time interval much shorter than the life time of the HCS, and that the concept of the HCS has a meaning at any time of thesolar cycle. It appears that the HCS, the current layer that separates adjacent interplanetary magnetic field regions with opposite magnetic polarity, exists throughout the solar cycle, though not always as a thin disk-like sheet. The sheet may be thickened by embedded magnetic ropes formed by CME's, especially near sunspot maximum. The HCS may be used as timing mark in identifying or predicting CME's in the interplanetary medium.

  4. Fe, O, and C Charge States Associated with Quiescent Versus Active Current Sheets in the Solar Wind

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Suess, S. T.; Ko, Y.-K.; vonSteiger, R.

    2008-01-01

    Ulysses MAG data were used to locate the heliospheric current sheet in data from 1991 through 2006. The purpose was to characterize typical charge states for Fe, O, and C in the vicinity of the current sheet and provide insight into the physical sources for these charge states in the corona. A study of He/H around the current sheets has led to a clear distinction between quiescent current sheets at times of low solar activity and active current sheets associated with magnetic clouds (and, presumably, ICMES). It has been shown that high ionization state Fe is produced in the corona in current sheets associated with CMEs through spectroscopic observations of the corona and through in situ detection at Ulysses. Here we show that the ionization state of Fe is typically only enhanced around active current sheets while the ionization states of O and C are commonly enhanced around both quiescent and active current sheets. This is consistent with UV coronal spectroscopy, which has shown that reconnection in current sheets behind CMEs leads to high temperatures not typically seen above quiet streamers.

  5. Analysis of the heliospheric current sheet at Earth's orbit and model comparisons

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Lepping, R. P.; Szabo, A.; Peredo, M.; Hoeksema, T.

    1995-01-01

    IMP 8 magnetic field data for the first half of the year 1994, i.e., for about 6 solar rotations, are analyzed around regions of sector boundary crossings with the purpose of obtaining both gross- and fine-scale characteristics of the related heliospheric current sheets separating the observed sectors. For purposes of estimating the attitudes of the normals to the sector boundaries. analysis intervals (sometimes 30 min or more in length) allowing the field to fully complete an excursion of about 180 deg were used in the study, which consisted of variance analyses of the field within those intervals. The resulting boundary normals were analyzed and compared to known (generic) models of projected heliospheric current sheets and to a coronal field model for the same time period. One of the most outstanding features of the resulting ensemble of estimated boundary normals for this period is that they strongly prefer low inclinations, indicating that the observations do not support a 1 AU model that predicts a current sheet whose surface is approximately parallel with the sun's equator, such as the 'sombrero' model. They instead support a model that predicts a relatively high inclination current sheet at 1 AU. Also the normals assume a surprisingly large range of longitudes, somewhat favoring those consistent with a Parker model (45 deg and 225 deg) and/or radial alignment (0 deg and 180 deg). These boundary structures, as defined, are shown typically to be as broad as several hundred proton gyroradii, but having embedded within them very thin structures associated with stronger currents. Such thin structures have normals usually differing markedly from the gross boundary. For some crossings there are indications of a wave-like structure in the current sheet as it passed the spacecraft.

  6. Evidence for two separate heliospheric current sheets of cylindrical shape during MID-2012

    SciTech Connect

    Wang, Y.-M.; Young, P. R.; Muglach, K. E-mail: pyoung@ssd5.nrl.navy.mil

    2014-01-01

    During the reversal of the Sun's polar fields at sunspot maximum, outward extrapolations of magnetograph measurements often predict the presence of two or more current sheets extending into the interplanetary medium, instead of the single heliospheric current sheet (HCS) that forms the basis of the standard 'ballerina skirt' picture. By comparing potential-field source-surface models of the coronal streamer belt with white-light coronagraph observations, we deduce that the HCS was split into two distinct structures with circular cross sections during mid-2012. These cylindrical current sheets were centered near the heliographic equator and separated in longitude by roughly 180°; a corresponding four-sector polarity pattern was observed at Earth. Each cylinder enclosed a negative-polarity coronal hole that was identifiable in extreme ultraviolet images and gave rise to a high-speed stream. The two current sheet systems are shown to be a result of the dominance of the Sun's nonaxisymmetric quadrupole component, as the axial dipole field was undergoing its reversal during solar cycle 24.

  7. Evidence for Two Separate Heliospheric Current Sheets of Cylindrical Shape During Mid-2012

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Wang, Y.-M.; Young, P. R.; Muglach, K.

    2013-01-01

    During the reversal of the Sun's polar fields at sunspot maximum, outward extrapolations of magnetograph measurements often predict the presence of two or more current sheets extending into the interplanetary medium, instead of the single heliospheric current sheet (HCS) that forms the basis of the standard 'ballerina skirt' picture. By comparing potential-field source-surface models of the coronal streamer belt with white-light coronagraph observations, we deduce that the HCS was split into two distinct structures with circular cross sections during mid-2012. These cylindrical current sheets were centered near the heliographic equator and separated in longitude by roughly 180 deg; a corresponding four-sector polarity pattern was observed at Earth. Each cylinder enclosed a negative-polarity coronal hole that was identifiable in extreme ultraviolet images and gave rise to a high-speed stream. The two current sheet systems are shown to be a result of the dominance of the Sun's nonaxisymmetric quadrupole component, as the axial dipole field was undergoing its reversal during solar cycle 24.

  8. Tearing mode in a neutral current sheet in a plasma flow

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Gubchenko, V. M.

    1982-09-01

    The linear stage of the tearing mode is analyzed for a diffuse neutral current sheet in a plasma flow along the magnetic field. It follows from the dispersion characteristics derived that the flow tends to stabilize the tearing mode and gives rise to a drift phase velocity.

  9. The Self-Consistent Generation of Current Sheets in Astrophysical Plasma Turbulence

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Howes, Gregory

    2014-10-01

    In space and astrophysical plasma turbulence, it has long been recognized that dissipation occurs predominantly in intermittent current sheets, with vigorous activity in the past few years focused on obtaining observational evidence for such localized dissipation in the near-Earth solar wind. The nature of these magnetic discontinuities and their associated current sheets measured in the solar wind remains unclear--are these discontinuities due to filamentary magnetic structure in the solar wind, or do they arise dynamically from turbulent interactions? Recent analytical solution, numerical validation, and experimental verification of the nonlinear energy transfer in Alfven wave collisions, the nonlinear interactions between counterpropagating Alfven waves, has established this interaction as the fundamental building block of astrophysical plasma turbulence. Here I will present first-principles analytical calculations and supporting numerical simulations that Alfven wave collisions in the strong turbulence limit naturally produce current sheets, providing the first theoretical unification of models of plasma turbulence mediated by Alfven waves with ideas on localized dissipation in current sheets. Supported by NSF CAREER Award AGS-1054061, NSF Grant PHY-10033446, and NASA Grant NNX10AC91G.

  10. Instability of current sheets with a localized accumulation of magnetic flux

    SciTech Connect

    Pritchett, P. L.

    2015-06-15

    The longstanding problem of whether a current sheet with curved magnetic field lines associated with a small “normal” B{sub z} component is stable is investigated using two-dimensional electromagnetic particle-in-cell simulations, employing closed boundary conditions analogous to those normally assumed in energy principle calculations. Energy principle arguments [Sitnov and Schindler, Geophys. Res. Lett. 37, L08102 (2010)] have suggested that an accumulation of magnetic flux at the tailward end of a thin current sheet could produce a tearing instability. Two classes of such current sheet configurations are probed: one with a monotonically increasing B{sub z} profile and the other with a localized B{sub z} “hump.” The former is found to be stable (in 2D) over any reasonable time scale, while the latter is prone to an ideal-like instability that shifts the hump peak in the direction of the curvature normal and erodes the field on the opposite side. The growth rate of this instability is smaller by an order of magnitude than previous suggestions of an instability in an open system. An example is given that suggests that such an unstable hump configuration is unlikely to be produced by external driving of a current sheet with no B{sub z} accumulation even in the presence of open boundary conditions.

  11. Evidence for Two Separate Heliospheric Current Sheets of Cylindrical Shape During Mid-2012

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wang, Y.-M.; Young, P. R.; Muglach, K.

    2014-01-01

    During the reversal of the Sun's polar fields at sunspot maximum, outward extrapolations of magnetograph measurements often predict the presence of two or more current sheets extending into the interplanetary medium, instead of the single heliospheric current sheet (HCS) that forms the basis of the standard "ballerina skirt" picture. By comparing potential-field source-surface models of the coronal streamer belt with white-light coronagraph observations, we deduce that the HCS was split into two distinct structures with circular cross sections during mid-2012. These cylindrical current sheets were centered near the heliographic equator and separated in longitude by roughly 180° a corresponding four-sector polarity pattern was observed at Earth. Each cylinder enclosed a negative-polarity coronal hole that was identifiable in extreme ultraviolet images and gave rise to a high-speed stream. The two current sheet systems are shown to be a result of the dominance of the Sun's nonaxisymmetric quadrupole component, as the axial dipole field was undergoing its reversal during solar cycle 24.

  12. MAGNETAR GIANT FLARES AND THEIR PRECURSORS-FLUX ROPE ERUPTIONS WITH CURRENT SHEETS

    SciTech Connect

    Yu Cong

    2013-07-10

    We propose a catastrophic magnetospheric model for magnetar precursors and their successive giant flares. Axisymmetric models of the magnetosphere, which contain both a helically twisted flux rope and a current sheet, are established based on force-free field configurations. In this model, the helically twisted flux rope would lose its equilibrium and erupt abruptly in response to the slow and quasi-static variations at the ultra-strongly magnetized neutron star's surface. In a previous model without current sheets, only one critical point exists in the flux rope equilibrium curve. New features show up in the equilibrium curves for the flux rope when current sheets appear in the magnetosphere. The causal connection between the precursor and the giant flare, as well as the temporary re-entry of the quiescent state between the precursor and the giant flare, can be naturally explained. Magnetic energy would be released during the catastrophic state transitions. The detailed energetics of the model are also discussed. The current sheet created by the catastrophic loss of equilibrium of the flux rope provides an ideal place for magnetic reconnection. We point out the importance of magnetic reconnection for further enhancement of the energy release during eruptions.

  13. MAGNETIC RECONNECTION IN THE SOLAR WIND AT CURRENT SHEETS ASSOCIATED WITH EXTREMELY SMALL FIELD SHEAR ANGLES

    SciTech Connect

    Gosling, J. T.; Phan, T. D.

    2013-02-01

    Using Wind 3 s plasma and magnetic field data, we have identified nine reconnection exhausts within a solar wind disturbance on 1998 October 18-20 driven by a moderately fast interplanetary coronal mass ejection (ICME). Three of the exhausts within the ICME were associated with current sheets having local field shear angles, {theta}, ranging from 4 Degree-Sign to 9 Degree-Sign , the smallest reported values of {theta} yet associated with reconnection exhausts in a space plasma. They were observed in plasma characterized by extremely low (0.02-0.04) plasma {beta}, and very high (281-383 km s{sup -1}) Alfven speed, V{sub A}. Low {beta} allows reconnection to occur at small {theta} and high V{sub A} leads to exhaust jets that are fast enough relative to the surrounding solar wind to be readily identified. Very small-{theta} current sheets are common in the solar wind at 1 AU, but typically are not associated with particularly low plasma {beta} or high V{sub A}. On the other hand, small-{theta} current sheets should be common in the lower solar corona, a plasma regime of extremely low {beta} and extremely high V{sub A}. Our observations lend credence to models that predict that reconnection at small-{theta} current sheets is primarily responsible for coronal heating.

  14. Exploring reconnection, current sheets, and dissipation in a laboratory MHD turbulence experiment

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Schaffner, D. A.

    2015-12-01

    The Swarthmore Spheromak Experiment (SSX) can serve as a testbed for studying MHD turbulence in a controllable laboratory setting, and in particular, explore the phenomena of reconnection, current sheets and dissipation in MHD turbulence. Plasma with turbulently fluctuating magnetic and velocity fields can be generated using a plasma gun source and launched into a flux-conserving cylindrical tunnel. No background magnetic field is applied so internal fields are allowed to evolve dynamically. Point measurements of magnetic and velocity fluctuations yield broadband power-law spectra with a steepening breakpoint indicative of the onset of a dissipation scale. The frequency range at which this steepening occurs can be correlated to the ion inertial scale of the plasma, a length which is characteristic of the size of current sheets in MHD plasmas and suggests a connection to dissipation. Observation of non-Gaussian intermittent jumps in magnetic field magnitude and angle along with measurements of ion temperature bursts suggests the presence of current sheets embedded within the turbulent plasma, and possibly even active reconnection sites. Additionally, structure function analysis coupled with appeals to fractal scaling models support the hypothesis that current sheets are associated with dissipation in this system.

  15. Global and local current sheet thickness estimates during the late growth phase

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Pulkkinen, T. I.; Baker, D. N.; Mitchell, D. G.; Mcpherron, Robert L.; Huang, C. Y.; Frank, L. A.

    1992-01-01

    The thinning and intensification of the cross tail current sheet during the substorm growth phase are analyzed during the CDAW 6 substorm (22 Mar. 1979) using two complementary methods. The magnetic field and current sheet development are determined using data from two spacecraft and a global magnetic field model with several free parameters. These results are compared with the local calculation of the current sheet location and structure previously done by McPherron et al. Both methods lead to the conclusion that an extremely thin current sheet existed prior to the substorm onset, and the thicknesses estimated by the two methods at substorm onset agree relatively well. The plasma data from the ISEE 1 spacecraft at 13 R(sub E) show an anisotropy in the low energy electrons during the growth phase which disappears just before the substorm onset. The global magnetic model results suggest that the field is sufficiently stretched to scatter such low energy electrons. The strong stretching may improve the conditions for the growth of the ion tearing instability in the near Earth tail at substorm onset.

  16. 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.

  17. Numerical study of the current sheet and PSBL in a magnetotail model

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Doxas, I.; Horton, W.; Sandusky, K.; Tajima, T.; Steinolfson, R.

    1989-01-01

    The current sheet and plasma sheet boundary layer (PSBL) in a magnetotail model are discussed. A test particle code is used to study the response of ensembles of particles to a two-dimensional, time-dependent model of the geomagnetic tail, and test the proposition (Coroniti, 1985a, b; Buchner and Zelenyi, 1986; Chen and Palmadesso, 1986; Martin, 1986) that the stochasticity of the particle orbits in these fields is an important part of the physical mechanism for magnetospheric substorms. The realistic results obtained for the fluid moments of the particle distribution with this simple model, and their insensitivity to initial conditions, is consistent with this hypothesis.

  18. 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.

  19. FORMATION AND RECONNECTION OF THREE-DIMENSIONAL CURRENT SHEETS IN THE SOLAR CORONA

    SciTech Connect

    Edmondson, J. K.; Antiochos, S. K.; DeVore, C. R.; Zurbuchen, T. H.

    2010-07-20

    Current-sheet formation and magnetic reconnection are believed to be the basic physical processes responsible for much of the activity observed in astrophysical plasmas, such as the Sun's corona. We investigate these processes for a magnetic configuration consisting of a uniform background field and an embedded line dipole, a topology that is expected to be ubiquitous in the corona. This magnetic system is driven by a uniform horizontal flow applied at the line-tied photosphere. Although both the initial field and the driver are translationally symmetric, the resulting evolution is calculated using a fully three-dimensional (3D) magnetohydrodynamic simulation with adaptive mesh refinement that resolves the current sheet and reconnection dynamics in detail. The advantage of our approach is that it allows us to directly apply the vast body of knowledge gained from the many studies of two-dimensional (2D) reconnection to the fully 3D case. We find that a current sheet forms in close analogy to the classic Syrovatskii 2D mechanism, but the resulting evolution is different than expected. The current sheet is globally stable, showing no evidence for a disruption or a secondary instability even for aspect ratios as high as 80:1. The global evolution generally follows the standard Sweet-Parker 2D reconnection model except for an accelerated reconnection rate at a very thin current sheet, due to the tearing instability and the formation of magnetic islands. An interesting conclusion is that despite the formation of fully 3D structures at small scales, the system remains close to 2D at global scales. We discuss the implications of our results for observations of the solar corona.

  20. Formation and Reconnection of Three-Dimensional Current Sheets in the Solar Corona

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Edmondson, J. K.; Antiochos, S. K.; DeVore, C. R.; Zurbuchen, T. H.

    2010-01-01

    Current-sheet formation and magnetic reconnection are believed to be the basic physical processes responsible for much of the activity observed in astrophysical plasmas, such as the Sun s corona. We investigate these processes for a magnetic configuration consisting of a uniform background field and an embedded line dipole, a topology that is expected to be ubiquitous in the corona. This magnetic system is driven by a uniform horizontal flow applied at the line-tied photosphere. Although both the initial field and the driver are translationally symmetric, the resulting evolution is calculated using a fully three-dimensional magnetohydrodynamic (3D MHD) simulation with adaptive mesh refinement that resolves the current sheet and reconnection dynamics in detail. The advantage of our approach is that it allows us to apply directly the vast body of knowledge gained from the many studies of 2D reconnection to the fully 3D case. We find that a current sheet forms in close analogy to the classic Syrovatskii 2D mechanism, but the resulting evolution is different than expected. The current sheet is globally stable, showing no evidence for a disruption or a secondary instability even for aspect ratios as high as 80:1. The global evolution generally follows the standard Sweet- Parker 2D reconnection model except for an accelerated reconnection rate at a very thin current sheet, due to the tearing instability and the formation of magnetic islands. An interesting conclusion is that despite the formation of fully 3D structures at small scales, the system remains close to 2D at global scales. We discuss the implications of our results for observations of the solar corona. Subject Headings: Sun: corona Sun: magnetic fields Sun: reconnection

  1. Current sheet in plasma as a system with a controlling parameter

    SciTech Connect

    Fridman, Yu. A. Chukbar, K. V.

    2015-08-15

    A simple kinetic model describing stationary solutions with bifurcated and single-peaked current density profiles of a plane electron beam or current sheet in plasma is presented. A connection is established between the two-dimensional constructions arising in terms of the model and the one-dimensional considerations by Bernstein−Greene−Kruskal facilitating the reconstruction of the distribution function of trapped particles when both the profile of the electric potential and the free particles distribution function are known.

  2. Current sheet in plasma as a system with a controlling parameter

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Fridman, Yu. A.; Chukbar, K. V.

    2015-08-01

    A simple kinetic model describing stationary solutions with bifurcated and single-peaked current density profiles of a plane electron beam or current sheet in plasma is presented. A connection is established between the two-dimensional constructions arising in terms of the model and the one-dimensional considerations by Bernstein-Greene-Kruskal facilitating the reconstruction of the distribution function of trapped particles when both the profile of the electric potential and the free particles distribution function are known.

  3. Statistical and spectral properties of magnetic islands in reconnecting current sheets during two-ribbon flares

    SciTech Connect

    Shen, Chengcai; Lin, Jun; Murphy, Nicholas A.; Raymond, John C.

    2013-07-15

    We perform a set of two dimensional resistive magnetohydrodynamic simulations to study the reconnection process occurring in current sheets that develop during solar eruptions. Reconnection commences gradually and produces small-scale structures inside the current sheet, which has one end anchored to the bottom boundary and the other end open. The main features we study include plasmoids (or plasma blobs) flowing in the sheet, and X-points between pairs of adjacent islands. The statistical properties of the fine structure and the dependence of the spectral energy on these properties are examined. The flux and size distribution functions of plasmoids roughly follow inverse square power laws at large scales. The mass distribution function is steep at large scales and shallow at small scales. The size distribution also shows that plasmoids are highly asymmetric soon after being formed, while older plasmoids tend to be more circular. The spectral profiles of magnetic and kinetic energy inside the current sheet are both consistent with a power law. The corresponding spectral indices γ are found to vary with the magnetic Reynolds number R{sub m} of the system, but tend to approach a constant for large R{sub m} (>10{sup 5}). The motion and growth of blobs change the spectral index. The growth of new islands causes the power spectrum to steepen, but it becomes shallower when old and large plasmoids leave the computational domain.

  4. A current disruption mechanism in the neutral sheet - A possible trigger for substorm expansions

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Lui, A. T. Y.; Mankofsky, A.; Chang, C.-L.; Papadopoulos, K.; Wu, C. S.

    1990-01-01

    A linear analysis is performed to investigate the kinetic cross-field streaming instability in the earth's magnetotail neutral sheet region. Numerical solution of the dispersion equation shows that the instability can occur under conditions expected for the neutral sheet just prior to the onset of substorm expansion. The excited waves are obliquely propagating whistlers with a mixed polarization in the lower hybrid frequency range. The ensuing turbulence of this instability can lead to a local reduction of the cross-tail current causing it to continue through the ionosphere to form a substorm current wedge. A substorm expansion onset scenario is proposed based on this instability in which the relative drift between ions and electrons is primarily due to unmagnetized ions undergoing current sheet acceleration in the presence of a cross-tail electric field. The required electric field strength is within the range of electric field values detected in the neutral sheet region during substorm intervals. The skew in local time of substorm onset location and the three conditions under which substorm onset is observed can be understood on the basis of the proposed scenario.

  5. Kinetic electron bounce instability in a 2D current sheet - Implication for substorm dynamics

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Fruit, G.; Tur, A.; Louarn, P.

    2013-12-01

    In the general context of understanding the possible destabilization of the magnetotail before a substorm, we propose a kinetic model for electromagnetic ballooning-type instabilities in resonant interaction with trapped bouncing electrons in a 2D current sheet. Tur et al. 2010 and Fruit et al. 2013 already used this model to investigate the possibilities of electrostatic instabilities. Here, we generalize the model for full electromagnetic perturbations. Starting with a modified Harris sheet as equilibrium state, the linearized gyrokinetic Vlasov equation is solved for electromagnetic fluctuations with period of the order of the electron bounce period. The particle motion is restricted to its first Fourier component along the magnetic field and this allows the complete time integration of the non local perturbed distribution functions. The dispersion relation for electromagnetic modes is finally obtained through the quasineutrality condition and the Ampere's law for the current density. It is found that for mildly stretched current sheet (Bz > 0.1 Blobes) undamped and stable modes oscillate at typical electron bounce frequency with wavelength (in y) of the order of the plasma sheet thickness. As the stretching of the plasma sheet becomes more intense, the frequency of these normal modes decreases and beyond a certain threshold in epsilon=Bz/Blobes < 0.05 typically, the mode becomes explosive (pure imaginary frequency) with typical growing rate of a few tens of seconds. The free energy contained in the electron bouncing motion could thus trigger and drive an electromagnetic instability able to disrupt the cross-tail current in a few seconds. The role of the temperature ratio Te/Ti is also evaluated.

  6. Effect of Time Dependent Bending of Current Sheets in Response to Generation of Plasma Jets and Reverse Currents

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Frank, Anna

    Magnetic reconnection is a basis for many impulsive phenomena in space and laboratory plasmas accompanied by effective transformation of magnetic energy. Reconnection processes usually occur in relatively thin current sheets (CSs), which separate magnetic fields of different or opposite directions. We report on recent observations of time dependent bending of CSs, which results from plasma dynamics inside the sheet. The experiments are carried out with the CS-3D laboratory device (Institute of General Physics RAS, Moscow) [1]. The CS magnetic structure with an X line provides excitation of the Hall currents and plasma acceleration from the X line to both side edges [2]. In the presence of the guide field By the Hall currents give rise to bending of the sheet: the peripheral regions located away from the X line are deflected from CS middle plane (z=0) in the opposite directions ±z [3]. We have revealed generation of reverse currents jy near the CS edges, i.e. the currents flowing in the opposite direction to the main current in the sheet [4]. There are strong grounds to believe that reverse currents are generated by the outflow plasma jets [5], accelerated inside the sheet and penetrated into the regions with strong normal magnetic field component Bz [4]. An impressive effect of sudden change in the sign of the CS bend has been disclosed recently, when analyzing distributions of plasma density [6] and current away from the X line, in the presence of the guide field By. The CS configuration suddenly becomes opposite from that observed at the initial stage, and this effect correlates well with generation of reverse currents. Consequently this effect can be related to excitation of the reverse Hall currents owing to generation of reverse currents jy in the CS. Hence it may be concluded that CSs may exhibit time dependent vertical z-displacements, and the sheet geometry depends on excitation of the Hall currents, acceleration of plasma jets and generation of reverse

  7. On the radial force balance in the quiet time magnetotail current sheet

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Artemyev, A. V.; Angelopoulos, V.; Runov, A.

    2016-05-01

    Using Time History of Events and Macroscale Interactions spacecraft observations of the quite magnetotail current sheet within the r∈[9,35]RE region (r is the radial distance from Earth and RE is Earth's radius), we investigate the thermal plasma pressure distribution along the magnetotail. Taking advantage of flapping motions of an ensemble of current sheets at various distances, we estimate the current density magnitude jy (in GSM coordinates). Comparing the tension force jyBz (Bz is the magnetic field component) with the radial gradient of the plasma pressure demonstrates that this gradient is only a small fraction, ˜10-15%, of the Ampere force exerted on the cross-tail current, in the r > 15RE region. We also estimate the contribution of the electron temperature anisotropy to the pressure balance: in the r > 15RE region the corresponding force can balance only 10-15% of the observed tension force jyBz. Thus, we conclude that about 70% of the tension force is not balanced by the combination of isotropic radial pressure gradient or the electron anisotropy. We discuss mechanisms that could be responsible for balancing the magnetotail current sheet.

  8. Magnetic Reconnection: Recursive Current Sheet Collapse Triggered by “Ideal” Tearing

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Tenerani, Anna; Velli, Marco; Rappazzo, Antonio Franco; Pucci, Fulvia

    2015-11-01

    We study, by means of MHD simulations, the onset and evolution of fast reconnection via the “ideal” tearing mode within a collapsing current sheet at high Lundquist numbers (S\\gg {10}4). We first confirm that as the collapse proceeds, fast reconnection is triggered well before a Sweet-Parker-type configuration can form: during the linear stage, plasmoids rapidly grow in a few Alfvén times when the predicted “ideal” tearing threshold S-1/3 is approached from above; after the linear phase of the initial instability, X-points collapse and reform nonlinearly. We show that these give rise to a hierarchy of tearing events repeating faster and faster on current sheets at ever smaller scales, corresponding to the triggering of “ideal” tearing at the renormalized Lundquist number. In resistive MHD, this process should end with the formation of sub-critical (S ≤ 104) Sweet-Parker sheets at microscopic scales. We present a simple model describing the nonlinear recursive evolution that explains the timescale of the disruption of the initial sheet.

  9. Dynamical and Physical Properties of a Post-Coronal Mass Ejection Current Sheet

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Ko, Yuan-Kuen; Raymond, John C.; Lin, Jun; Lawrence, Gareth; Li, Jing; Fludra, Andrzej

    2003-01-01

    In the eruptive process of the Kopp-Pneuman type, the closed magnetic field is stretched by the eruption so much that it is usually believed to be " open " to infinity. Formation of the current sheet in such a configuration makes it possible for the energy in the coronal magnetic field to quickly convert into thermal and kinetic energies and cause significant observational consequences, such as growing postflare/CME loop system in the corona, separating bright flare ribbons in the chromosphere, and fast ejections of the plasma and the magnetic flux. An eruption on 2002 January 8 provides us a good opportunity to look into these observational signatures of and place constraints on the theories of eruptions. The event started with the expansion of a magnetic arcade over an active region, developed into a coronal mass ejection (CME), and left some thin streamer-like structures with successively growing loop systems beneath them. The plasma outflow and the highly ionized states of the plasma inside these streamer-like structures, as well as the growing loops beneath them, lead us to conclude that these structures are associated with a magnetic reconnection site, namely, the current sheet, of this eruptive process. We combine the data from the Ultraviolet Coronagraph Spectrometer, Large Angle and Spectrometric Coronagraph Experiment, EUV Imaging Telescope, and Coronal Diagnostic Spectrometer on board the Solar and Heliospheric Observatory, as well is from the Mauna Loa Solar Observatory Mark IV K-coronameter, to investigate the morphological and dynamical properties of this event, as well as the physical properties of the current sheet. The velocity and acceleration of the CME reached up to 1800 km/s and 1 km/sq s, respectively. The acceleration is found to occur mainly at the lower corona (<2.76 Solar Radius). The post-CME loop systems showed behaviors of both postflare loops (upward motion with decreasing speed) and soft X-ray giant arches (upward motion with constant

  10. Temporal evolution of a Current Sheet with Initial Finite Perturbations by Three-dimensional MHD Simulations

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Yokoyama, Takaaki

    Temporal evolution of a current sheet with initial perturbations is studied by using the threedimensional resistive magnetohydrodynamic (MHD) simulations. The magnetic reconnection is considered to be the main engine of the energy rele ase in solar flares. The structure of the diffusion region is, however, not stil l understood under the circumstances with enormously large magnetic Reynolds num ber as the solar corona. In particular, the relationship between the flare's macroscopic physics and the microscopic ones are unclear. It is generally believed that the MHD turbulence s hould play a role in the intermediate scale. The initial current sheet is in an approximately hydromagnetic equilibrium with anti-parallel magnetic field in the y-direction. We imposed a finite-amplitude perturbations (=50ee what happens. Special attention is paid upon the evolution of a three-dimens ional structure in the direction along the initial electric current (z-direction ). Our preliminary results are as follows: (1) In the early phase of the evolut ion, high wavenumber modes in the z-direction are excited and grow. (2) Many "X "-type neutral points (lines) are generated along the magnetic neutral line (pla ne) in the current sheet. When they evolve into the non-linear phase, three-dime nsional structures in the z-direction also evolve. The spatial scale in the z-di rection seems to be almost comparable with that in the xy-plane. (3) The energy release rate is reduced in case of 3D simulations compared with 2D ones probably because of the reduction of the inflow cross sections by the formation of pattc hy structures in the current sheet.

  11. Effect of Inductive Coil Geometry and Current Sheet Trajectory of a Conical Theta Pinch Pulsed Inductive Plasma Accelerator

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Hallock, Ashley K.; Polzin, Kurt A.; Bonds, Kevin W.; Emsellem, Gregory D.

    2011-01-01

    Results are presented demonstrating the e ect of inductive coil geometry and current sheet trajectory on the exhaust velocity of propellant in conical theta pinch pulsed induc- tive plasma accelerators. The electromagnetic coupling between the inductive coil of the accelerator and a plasma current sheet is simulated, substituting a conical copper frustum for the plasma. The variation of system inductance as a function of plasma position is obtained by displacing the simulated current sheet from the coil while measuring the total inductance of the coil. Four coils of differing geometries were employed, and the total inductance of each coil was measured as a function of the axial displacement of two sep- arate copper frusta both having the same cone angle and length as the coil but with one compressed to a smaller size relative to the coil. The measured relationship between total coil inductance and current sheet position closes a dynamical circuit model that is used to calculate the resulting current sheet velocity for various coil and current sheet con gura- tions. The results of this model, which neglects the pinching contribution to thrust, radial propellant con nement, and plume divergence, indicate that in a conical theta pinch ge- ometry current sheet pinching is detrimental to thruster performance, reducing the kinetic energy of the exhausting propellant by up to 50% (at the upper bound for the parameter range of the study). The decrease in exhaust velocity was larger for coils and simulated current sheets of smaller half cone angles. An upper bound for the pinching contribution to thrust is estimated for typical operating parameters. Measurements of coil inductance for three di erent current sheet pinching conditions are used to estimate the magnetic pressure as a function of current sheet radial compression. The gas-dynamic contribution to axial acceleration is also estimated and shown to not compensate for the decrease in axial electromagnetic acceleration

  12. Magnetoacoustic waves propagating along a dense slab and Harris current sheet and their wavelet spectra

    SciTech Connect

    Mészárosová, Hana; Karlický, Marian; Jelínek, Petr; Rybák, Ján

    2014-06-10

    Currently, there is a common endeavor to detect magnetoacoustic waves in solar flares. This paper contributes to this topic using an approach of numerical simulations. We studied a spatial and temporal evolution of impulsively generated fast and slow magnetoacoustic waves propagating along the dense slab and Harris current sheet using two-dimensional magnetohydrodynamic numerical models. Wave signals computed in numerical models were used for computations of the temporal and spatial wavelet spectra for their possible comparison with those obtained from observations. It is shown that these wavelet spectra allow us to estimate basic parameters of waveguides and perturbations. It was found that the wavelet spectra of waves in the dense slab and current sheet differ in additional wavelet components that appear in association with the main tadpole structure. These additional components are new details in the wavelet spectrum of the signal. While in the dense slab this additional component is always delayed after the tadpole head, in the current sheet this component always precedes the tadpole head. It could help distinguish a type of the waveguide in observed data. We present a technique based on wavelets that separates wave structures according to their spatial scales. This technique shows not only how to separate the magnetoacoustic waves and waveguide structure in observed data, where the waveguide structure is not known, but also how propagating magnetoacoustic waves would appear in observations with limited spatial resolutions. The possibilities detecting these waves in observed data are mentioned.

  13. Quasi-adiabatic dynamics of ions in a bifurcated current sheet

    SciTech Connect

    Kartsev, Yu. I.; Artemyev, A. V.; Malova, H. V. Zelenyi, L. M.

    2013-04-15

    The study is devoted to ion dynamics in bifurcated current sheets with a two-peak current-density distribution observed in the Earth's magnetotail and solar wind. The ion motion is described by a Hamiltonian system with two degrees of freedom. The presence of a small parameter {kappa} characterizing the ratio between the amplitudes of the normal and tangential magnetic field components allows one to separate variables into fast and slow ones and introduce the quasi-adiabatic invariant of motion I{sub z}. Conservation of this invariant makes it possible to analytically describe the dynamics of charged particles. Deviations of the particle dynamics from the quasi-adiabatic one, which are caused by the nonconservation of the quasi-adiabatic invariant, are investigated. The jump of the invariant {Delta}I{sub z} is shown to depend on the small parameter according to the power-law {Delta}I{sub z} {approx} {kappa}{sup h}, where the exponent h varies between unity and 3/4, depending on the level of current sheet bifurcation. The obtained dependence of {Delta}I{sub z} on {kappa} coincides with analytic expressions in the limiting cases of nonbifurcated and completely bifurcated current sheets.

  14. CURRENT SHEET THINNING AND ENTROPY CONSTRAINTS DURING THE SUBSTORM GROWTH PHASE

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Otto, A.; Hall, F., IV

    2009-12-01

    A typical property during the growth phase of geomagnetic substorms is the thinning of the near-Earth current sheet, most pronounced in the region between 6 and 15 R_E. We propose that the cause for the current sheet thinning is convection from the midnight tail region to the dayside to replenish magnetospheric magnetic flux which is eroded at the dayside as a result of dayside reconnection. Adiabatic convection from the near-Earth tail region toward the dayside must conserve the entropy on magnetic field lines. This constraint prohibits a source of the magnetic flux from a region further out in the magnetotail. Thus the near-Earth tail region is increasingly depleted of magnetic flux (the Erickson and Wolf [1980] problem) with entropy matching that of flux tubes that are eroded on the dayside. It is proposed that the magnetic flux depletion in the near-Earth tail forces the formation of thin current layers. The process is documented by three-dimensional MHD simulations. It is shown that the simulations yield a time scale, location, and other general characteristics of the current sheet evolution during the substorm growth phase.

  15. Collisionless tearing instability in magnetotail plasmas

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Wang, Xiaogang; Bhattacharjee, A.; Lui, A. T. Y.

    1990-01-01

    The problem of the linear stability of collisionless tearing modes in the earth's magnetotail is revisited. It is found that the collisionless tearing mode is linearly unstable with wavelengths of the order of 10 R(E). It is shown that an important feature neglected in earlier theories is a nonzero equilibrium B(y)-field. The physics of the instability is elucidated in the context of a simple slab model and a sheared parabolic model which is representative of the magnetotail in which all three components of the magnetic field are nonzero. The dispersion equation for the instability is obtained by a boundary-layer analysis. The implications of the theory for recent observations on current disruption and diversion during substorms is discussed.

  16. Particle Dynamics Discrimination Between Current Sheet Magnetic Field Reversal and Magnetic Neutral Line Fields

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Martin, R. F., Jr.; Holland, D. L.; Svetich, J.

    2014-12-01

    We consider dynamical signatures of ion motion that discriminate between a current sheet magnetic field reversal and a magnetic neutral line field. These two related dynamical systems have been studied previously as chaotic scattering systems with application to the Earth's magnetotail. Both systems exhibit chaotic scattering over a wide range of parameter values. The structure and properties of their respective phase spaces have been used to elucidate potential dynamical signatures that affect spacecraft measured ion distributions. In this work we consider the problem of discrimination between these two magnetic structures using charged particle dynamics. For example we show that signatures based on the well known energy resonance in the current sheet field provide good discrimination since the resonance is not present in the neutral line case. While both fields can lead to fractal exit region structuring, their characteristics are different and also may provide some field discrimination. Application to magnetotail field and particle parameters will be presented

  17. The heliospheric current sheet and cosmic-ray transport in the heliosheath

    SciTech Connect

    Florinski, V.

    2012-05-21

    I propose a new mechanism of energetic particle transport in a heliosheath plasma that involves a tightly folded heliospheric current sheet. The distance between magnetic sectors of opposite polarity decreases with increasing heliocentric distance from the termination shock toward the heliopause, due to a slowdown of the flow of heliosheath plasma. If the sector width is comparable or smaller than the cyclotron radius of a galactic cosmic ray ion, the latter can efficiently traverse a stack of sectors via a drift-like or a diffusive mechanism. This mechanism could be responsible for record high intensities of galactic cosmic rays measured by Voyager 1 during 2010-2011. I also discuss the effects of the solar-cycle variations of the current sheet tilt for magnetic field topology in the vicinity of the heliopause and its implications for particle transport in that region.

  18. Instability of the current sheet in the Earth's magnetotail with normal magnetic field

    SciTech Connect

    Bessho, N.; Bhattacharjee, A.

    2014-10-15

    Instability of a current sheet in the Earth's magnetotail has been investigated by two-dimensional fully kinetic simulations. Two types of magnetic configuration have been studied; those with uniform normal magnetic field along the current sheet and those in which the normal magnetic field has a spatial hump. The latter configuration has been proposed by Sitnov and Schindler [Geophys. Res. Lett. 37, L08102 (2010)] as one in which ion tearing modes might grow. The first type of configuration exhibits electron tearing modes when the normal magnetic field is small. The second type of configuration exhibits an instability which does not tear or change the topology of magnetic field lines. The hump in the initial configuration can propagate Earthward in the nonlinear regime, leading to the formation of a dipolarization front. Secondary magnetic islands can form in regions where the normal magnetic field is very weak. Under no conditions do we find the ion tearing instability.

  19. Observations of steady anomalous magnetic heating in thin current sheets. [of solar corona

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Martens, P. C. H.; Van Den Oord, G. H. J.; Hoyng, P.

    1985-01-01

    The Hard X-ray Imaging Spectrometer of the Solar Maximum Mission has yielded observations of a faint, steadily emitting loop-like structure, which have allowed the thermal evolution of this loop over a period of about 15 hr to be followed. Only 0.1 percent of the volume of the loop appears to be steadily heated, at the large rate of 0.6 erg/cu cm sec; this suggests that the heating represents the dissipation of magnetic fields in thin current sheets. Ion-kinetic tearing, as proposed by Galeev et al. (1981), is noted to be especially consonant with these observations. The source of the present X-ray emission is identified with the H-alpha filament in the same region. The present findings are held to constitute the first direct evidence for the steady dissipation of coronal magnetic fields via enhanced thin current sheet resistivity.

  20. 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.

  1. Flapping current sheet with superposed waves seen in space and on the ground

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wang, Guoqiang; Volwerk, Martin; Nakamura, Rumi; Boakes, Peter; Zhang, Tielong; Ge, Yasong; Yoshikawa, Akimasa; Baishev, Dmitry

    2015-04-01

    A wavy current sheet event observed on 15th of October 2004 between 1235 and 1300 UT has been studied by using Cluster and ground-based magnetometer data. Waves propagating from the tail centre to the duskside flank with a period ~30 s and wavelength ~1 RE, are superimposed on a flapping current sheet, accompanied with a bursty bulk flow (BBF). Three Pi2 pulsations, with onset at ~1236, ~1251 and ~1255 UT, respectively, are observed at the Tixie (TIK) station located near the foot-points of Cluster. The mechanism creating the Pi2 (period ~40 s) onset at ~1236 UT is unclear. The second Pi2 (period ~90 s, onset at ~1251 UT) is associated with a strong field-aligned current, which has a strong transverse component of the magnetic field, observed by Cluster with a time delay ~60 s. We suggest that it is caused by bouncing Alfvén waves between the northern and southern ionosphere which transport the field-aligned current. For the third Pi2 (period ~60 s) there is almost no damping at the first three periods. They occur in conjunction with periodic field-aligned currents one-on-one with 72s delay. We suggest that it is generated by these periodic field-aligned currents. We conclude that the strong field-aligned currents generated in the plasma sheet during flapping with superimposed higher frequency waves can drive Pi2 pulsations on the ground, and periodic field-aligned currents can even control the period of the Pi2s.

  2. Flapping current sheet with superposed waves seen in space and on the ground

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wang, G. Q.; Volwerk, M.; Nakamura, R.; Boakes, P.; Zhang, T. L.; Yoshikawa, A.; Baishev, D. G.

    2014-12-01

    A wavy current sheet event observed on 15 October 2004 between 1235 and 1300 UT has been studied by using Cluster and ground-based magnetometer data. Waves propagating from the tail center to the duskside flank with a period ~30 s and wavelength ~1 RE are superimposed on a flapping current sheet, accompanied with a bursty bulk flow. Three Pi2 pulsations, with onset at ~1236, ~1251, and ~1255 UT, respectively, are observed at the Tixie station located near the foot points of Cluster. The mechanism creating the Pi2 (period ~40 s) onset at ~1236 UT is unclear. The second Pi2 (period ~90 s, onset at ~1251 UT) is associated with a strong field-aligned current, which has a strong transverse component of the magnetic field, observed by Cluster with a time delay ~60 s. We suggest that it is caused by bouncing Alfvén waves between the northern and southern ionosphere which transport the field-aligned current. For the third Pi2 (period ~60 s) there is almost no damping at the first three periods. They occur in conjunction with periodic field-aligned currents one-on-one with 72 s delay. We suggest that it is generated by these periodic field-aligned currents. We conclude that the strong field-aligned currents generated in the plasma sheet during flapping with superimposed higher-frequency waves can drive Pi2 pulsations on the ground, and periodic field-aligned currents can even control the period of the Pi2s.

  3. Current sheet Formation in a Conical Theta Pinch Faraday Accelerator with Radio-Frequency Assisted Discharge

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Hallock, Ashley K.; Choueiri, Edgar Y.; Polzin, Kurt A.

    2007-01-01

    The inductive formation of current sheets in a conical theta pinch FARAD (Faraday Accelerator with Radio-frequency Assisted Discharge) thruster is investigated experimentally with time-integrated photography. The goal is to help in understanding the mechanisms and conditions controlling the strength and extent of the current sheet, which are two indices important for FARAD as a propulsion concept. The profiles of these two indices along the inside walls of the conical acceleration coil are assumed to be related to the profiles of the strength and extent of the luminosity pattern derived from photographs of the discharge. The variations of these profiles as a function of uniform back-fill neutral pressure (with no background magnetic field and all parameters held constant) provided the first clues on the nature and qualitative dependencies of current sheet formation. It was found that there is an optimal pressure for which both indices reach a maximum and that the rate of change in these indices with pressure differs on either side of this optimal pressure. This allowed the inference that current sheet formation follows a Townsend-like breakdown mechanism modified by the existence of a finite pressure-dependent radio-frequency-generated electron density background. The observation that the effective location of the luminosity pattern favors the exit-half of the conical coil is explained as the result of the tendency of the inductive discharge circuit to operate near its minimal self-inductance. Movement of the peak in the luminosity pattern towards the upstream side of the cone with increasing pressure is believed to result from the need of the circuit to compensate for the increase in background plasma resistivity due to increasing pressure.

  4. The 3-D description of vertical current sheets with application to solar flares

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Fontenla, Juan M.; Davis, J. M.

    1991-01-01

    Following a brief review of the processes which have been suggested for explaining the occurrence of solar flares we suggest a new scenario which builds on the achievements of the previous suggestion that the current sheets, which develop naturally in 3-D cases with gravity from impacting independent magnetic structures (i.e., approaching current systems), do not consist of horizontal currents but are instead predominantly vertical current systems. This suggestion is based on the fact that as the subphotospheric sources of the magnetic field displace the upper photosphere and lower chromosphere regions, where plasma beta is near unity, will experience predominantly horizontal mass motions which will lead to a distorted 3-D configurations of the magnetic field having stored free energy. In our scenario, a vertically flowing current sheet separates the plasma regions associated with either of the subphotospheric sources. This reflects the balanced tension of the two stressed fields which twist around each other. This leads naturally to a metastable or unstable situation as the twisted field emerges into a low beta region where vertical motions are not inhibited by gravity. In our flare scenario the impulsive energy release occurs, initially, not by reconnection but mainly by the rapid change of the magnetic field which has become unstable. During the impulsive phase the field lines contort in such way as to realign the electric current sheet into a minimum energy horizontal flow. This contortion produces very large electric fields which will accelerate particles. As the current evolves to a horizontal configuration the magnetic field expands vertically, which can be accompanied by eruptions of material. The instability of a horizontal current is well known and causes the magnetic field to undergo a rapid outward expansion. In our scenario, fast reconnection is not necessary to trigger the flare, however, slow reconnection would occur continuously in the current layer

  5. DISTRIBUTION OF PLASMOIDS IN POST-CORONAL MASS EJECTION CURRENT SHEETS

    SciTech Connect

    Guo, L.-J.; Bhattacharjee, A.; Huang, Y.-M. E-mail: amitava@princeton.edu

    2013-07-01

    Recently, the fragmentation of a current sheet in the high-Lundquist-number regime caused by the plasmoid instability has been proposed as a possible mechanism for fast reconnection. In this work, we investigate this scenario by comparing the distribution of plasmoids obtained from Large Angle and Spectrometric Coronagraph (LASCO) observational data of a coronal mass ejection event with a resistive magnetohydrodynamic simulation of a similar event. The LASCO/C2 data are analyzed using visual inspection, whereas the numerical data are analyzed using both visual inspection and a more precise topological method. Contrasting the observational data with numerical data analyzed with both methods, we identify a major limitation of the visual inspection method, due to the difficulty in resolving smaller plasmoids. This result raises questions about reports of log-normal distributions of plasmoids and other coherent features in the recent literature. Based on nonlinear scaling relations of the plasmoid instability, we infer a lower bound on the current sheet width, assuming the underlying mechanism of current sheet broadening is resistive diffusion.

  6. The Role of Current Sheets in Solar Eruptive Events: An ISSI International Team Project

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Suess, Steven T.; Poletto, Giannina

    2006-01-01

    Current sheets (CSs) are a prerequisite for magnetic reconnection. An International Space Science Institute (ISSI, of Bern, Switzerland) research team will work to empirically define current sheet properties in the solar atmosphere and their signatures in the interplanetary medium, and to understand their role in the development of solar eruptive events. The project was inspired by recently acquired ground and space based observations that reveal CS signatures at the time of flares and Coronal Mass Ejections (CMEs), in the chromosphere, in the corona and in the interplanetary medium. At the same time, theoretical studies predict the formation of CSs in different models and configurations, but theories and observational results have not yet developed an interaction efficient enough to allow us to construct a unified scenario. The team will generate synergy between observers, data analysts, and theoreticians, so as to enable a significant advance in understanding of current sheet behavior and properties. A further motivation for studying CSs is related to the expected electric fields in CSs that may be the source of solar energetic particles (SEPs). The team has 14 members from Europe and the US. The first meeting is in October 2006 and the second is late in 2007.

  7. Existence of Compressible Current-Vortex Sheets: Variable Coefficients Linear Analysis

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Trakhinin, Yuri

    2005-09-01

    We study the initial-boundary value problem resulting from the linearization of the equations of ideal compressible magnetohydrodynamics and the Rankine-Hugoniot relations about an unsteady piecewise smooth solution. This solution is supposed to be a classical solution of the system of magnetohydrodynamics on either side of a surface of tangential discontinuity (current-vortex sheet). Under some assumptions on the unperturbed flow, we prove an energy a priori estimate for the linearized problem. Since the tangential discontinuity is characteristic, the functional setting is provided by the anisotropic weighted Sobolev space W21,σ. Despite the fact that the constant coefficients linearized problem does not meet the uniform Kreiss-Lopatinskii condition, the estimate we obtain is without loss of smoothness even for the variable coefficients problem and nonplanar current-vortex sheets. The result of this paper is a necessary step in proving the local-in-time existence of current-vortex sheet solutions of the nonlinear equations of magnetohydrodynamics.

  8. Dependence of Current-Sheet-like Structure on the Solar Wind Type from the ACE Observation

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Arnold, L. E.; Li, G.

    2012-12-01

    Solar wind is an ideal testbed for studying various properties of magnetohydrodynamics turbulence (MHD), including its intermittent characteristics. One type of intermittent structure in the solar wind is current-sheet-like structures. These structures may originate from the solar surface or may emerge as a result of non-linear interactions in the solar wind. Depending on how they form, in particular whether or not they are formed in the solar wind, their occurrence rate may be a function of the solar wind type. In this work, we examine how the current sheet occurrence rate depend on the solar wind type. In classifying the solar wind type, we follow the criteria given in Zhao and Fisk (2009) and use the Advanced Composition Explorer (ACE) plasma data in the year of 2010. The current sheets are identified using the method developed in Li (2008) and Miao et al. (2011). Our results show that the occurrence rate has a different solar wind speed dependence for the coronal hole wind (CHW) and the non coronal hole wind (NCHW).

  9. Multiple Current Sheet Systems in the Outer Heliosphere: Energy Release and Turbulence

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Burgess, D.; Gingell, P. W.; Matteini, L.

    2016-05-01

    In the outer heliosphere, beyond the solar wind termination shock, it is expected that the warped heliospheric current sheet forms a region of closely packed, multiple, thin current sheets. Such a system may be subject to the ion-kinetic tearing instability, and hence may generate magnetic islands and hot populations of ions associated with magnetic reconnection. Reconnection processes in this environment have important implications for local particle transport, and for particle acceleration at reconnection sites and in turbulence. We study this complex environment by means of three-dimensional hybrid simulations over long timescales, in order to capture the evolution from linear growth of the tearing instability to a fully developed turbulent state at late times. The final state develops from the highly ordered initial state via both forward and inverse cascades. Component and spectral anisotropy in the magnetic fluctuations is present when a guide field is included. The inclusion of a population of newborn interstellar pickup protons does not strongly affect these results. Finally, we conclude that reconnection between multiple current sheets can act as an important source of turbulence in the outer heliosphere, with implications for energetic particle acceleration and propagation.

  10. Ion velocity distributions in the vicinity of the current sheet in Earth's distant magnetotail

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Frank, L. A.; Paterson, W. R.; Ackerson, K. L.; Kokubun, S.; Kivelson, M. G.; Yamamoto, T.; Fairfield, D. H.

    1994-01-01

    Observations of the three-dimensional velocity distributions of positive ions and electrons have been recently gained for the first time in Earth's distant magnetotail with the Galileo and Geotail spacecraft. For this brief discussion of these exciting results the focus is on the overall character of the ion velocity distributions during substorm activity. The ion velocity distributions within and near the magnetotail current sheet are not accurately described as convecting, isotropic Maxwellians. The observed velocity distributions are characterized by at least two robust types. The first type is similar to the 'lima bean'-shaped velocity distributions that are expected from the nonadiabatic acceleration of ions which execute Speiser-type trajectories in the current sheet. The second distribution is associated with the presence of cold ion beams that presumably also arise from the acceleration of plasma mantle ions in the electric and weak magnetic fields in the current sheet. The ion velocity distributions in a magnetic field structure that is similar to that for plasmoids are also examined. Again the velocity distributions are not Maxwellian but are indicative of nonadiabatic acceleration. An example of the pressure tensor within the plasmoid-like event is also presented because it is anticipated that the off-diagonal elements are important in a description of magnetotail dynamics. Thus our concept of magnetotail dynamics must advance from the present assumption of co-moving electron and ion Maxwellian distributions into reformulations in terms of global kinematical models and nonadiabatic particle motion.

  11. Field Emission Properties of Carbon Nanotube Fibers and Sheets for a High Current Electron Source

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Christy, Larry

    Field emission (FE) properties of carbon nanotube (CNT) fibers from Rice University and the University of Cambridge have been studied for use within a high current electron source for a directed energy weapon. Upon reviewing the performance of these two prevalent CNT fibers, cathodes were designed with CNT fibers from the University of Cincinnati Nanoworld Laboratory. Cathodes composed of a single CNT fiber, an array of three CNT fibers, and a nonwoven CNT sheet were investigated for FE properties; the goal was to design a cathode with emission current in excess of 10 mA. Once the design phase was complete, the cathode samples were fabricated, characterized, and then analyzed to determine FE properties. Electrical conductivity of the CNT fibers was characterized with a 4-probe technique. FE characteristics were measured in an ultra-high vacuum chamber at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base. The arrayed CNT fiber and the enhanced nonwoven CNT sheet emitter design demonstrated the most promising FE properties. Future work will include further analysis and cathode design using this nonwoven CNT sheet material to increase peak current performance during electron emission.

  12. Kinetic model of force-free current sheets with non-uniform temperature

    SciTech Connect

    Kolotkov, D. Y.; Nakariakov, V. M.; Vasko, I. Y.

    2015-11-15

    The kinetic model of a one-dimensional force-free current sheet (CS) developed recently by Harrison and Neukirch [Phys. Rev. Lett. 102(13), 135003 (2009)] predicts uniform distributions of the plasma temperature and density across the CS. However, in realistic physical systems, inhomogeneities of these plasma parameters may arise quite naturally due to the boundary conditions or local plasma heating. Moreover, as the CS spatial scale becomes larger than the characteristic kinetic scales (the regime often referred to as the MHD limit), it should be possible to set arbitrary density and temperature profiles. Thus, an advanced model has to allow for inhomogeneities of the macroscopic plasma parameters across the CS, to be consistent with the MHD limit. In this paper, we generalise the kinetic model of a force-free current sheet, taking into account the inhomogeneity of the density and temperature across the CS. In the developed model, the density may either be enhanced or depleted in the CS central region. The temperature profile is prescribed by the density profile, keeping the plasma pressure uniform across the CS. All macroscopic parameters, as well as the distribution functions for the protons and electrons, are determined analytically. Applications of the developed model to current sheets observed in space plasmas are discussed.

  13. Nonlinear motion of non-uniform current-vortex sheets in MHD Richtmyer-Meshkov instability

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Matsuoka, Chihiro; Nishihara, Katsunobu; Sano, Takayoshi

    2013-10-01

    When a supernova explosion occurs, materials that composed the star scatter in a high speed with a strong shock wave. These scattered materials, called ``supernova remnants'' (SNR), expand into the space and finally become a source in order to create new solar systems. It is known that SNR have a strong magnetic field compared to the surrounding interstellar medium; however, there exist few models to explain this extraordinary magnetic amplification mechanism in SNR. Here, we consider the Richtmyer-Meshkov instability in magnetohydrodynamic flows (MHD-RMI) and construct a model in order to describe the magnetic amplification in SNR. Due to the existence of the density jump, the tangential component of the magnetic field between the interface is different; therefore, the interface in MHD-RMI becomes a (non-uniform) current-vortex sheet. In this study, we investigate motion of this current-vortex sheet using the vortex blob method. We show that the current induced on a vortex sheet leads to a strong amplification of the magnetic field when the Lorenz force term is sufficiently small, and present various interfacial profiles depending on the magnitude of the Atwood number and Lorenz force. This work was supported by a Grant-in-Aid for Scientific Research (C) from the Japan Society for the Promotion of Science.

  14. Current Sheet Statistics in Three-Dimensional Simulations of Coronal Heating

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lin, L.; Ng, C. S.; Bhattacharjee, A.

    2013-04-01

    In a recent numerical study [Ng et al., Astrophys. J. 747, 109, 2012], with a three-dimensional model of coronal heating using reduced magnetohydrodynamics (RMHD), we have obtained scaling results of heating rate versus Lundquist number based on a series of runs in which random photospheric motions are imposed for hundreds to thousands of Alfvén time in order to obtain converged statistical values. The heating rate found in these simulations saturate to a level that is independent of the Lundquist number. This scaling result was also supported by an analysis with the assumption of the Sweet-Parker scaling of the current sheets, as well as how the width, length and number of current sheets scale with Lundquist number. In order to test these assumptions, we have implemented an automated routine to analyze thousands of current sheets in these simulations and return statistical scalings for these quantities. It is found that the Sweet-Parker scaling is justified. However, some discrepancies are also found and require further study.

  15. Three-Dimensional MHD Simulation of Current Sheet Evolution During the Growth Phase of Magnetospheric Substorms

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hall, F.; Otto, A.

    2004-12-01

    Current sheet thinning in the near-Earth magnetotail is an important element of growth phase dynamics since it determines the conditions for substorm onset. The growth phase is initiated by the erosion of closed dayside magnetic flux. This flux is replenished by convection of closed magnetic flux from the near-Earth tail region to the dayside. However, this process of magnetic flux replenishment is subject to the entropy and mass conservation constraints imposed on the slow quasi-static convection of magnetic flux tubes from the mid- and far-tail regions, first identified by Erickson and Wolf (1980). We examine whether the depletion of flux from a finite reservoir in the near-Earth tail region leads to the observed current sheet thinning. This hypothesis is tested using a self-consistent three-dimensional MHD code which is coupled to a semi-empirical magnetic field model. The resulting system was relaxed to an equilibrium state using a modification of a `ballistic relaxation' method. We discuss the structure of the equilibrium near-Earth magnetotail. A plasma outflow is prescribed in the near-Earth magnetotail to model the depletion of the `flux reservoir' described above. The resulting evolution of the current sheet is discussed.

  16. Active current sheets and hot flow anomalies in Mercury's bow shock

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Uritsky, V. M.; Slavin, J. A.; Boardsen, S. A.; Sundberg, T.; Raines, J. M.; Anderson, B. J.; Korth, H.

    2012-12-01

    Hot flow anomalies (HFAs) represent a subset of heliospheric current sheets interacting with planetary bow shocks. They are typically formed when the normal component of the motional (convective) electric field is directed toward the embedded current sheet on at least one side. The core region of an HFA contains hot and highly deflected ion flows and rather low and turbulent magnetic field. In this talk, we report the first observations of HFA-like events at Mercury. Using the data from the orbital phase of the MErcury Surface, Space ENvironment, GEochemistry, and Ranging (MESSENGER) mission, we identify a representative ensemble of active current sheets magnetically connected to Mercury's bow shock. We show that some of these events exhibit unambiguous signatures of HFAs similar to those observed at other planets, and present their key physical characteristics. Our analysis suggests that Mercury's bow shock does not only mediate the flow of supersonic solar wind plasma but also provides conditions for local particle acceleration and heating as predicted by previous numerical simulations. Together with earlier studies of HFA activity at Earth, Venus, and Saturn, our results confirm that hot flow anomalies could be a common property of planetary bow shocks.

  17. A current disruption mechanism in the neutral sheet for triggering substorm expansions

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Lui, A. T. Y.; Mankofsky, A.; Chang, C.-L.; Papadopoulos, K.; Wu, C. S.

    1989-01-01

    Two main areas were addressed in support of an effort to understand mechanism responsible for the broadband electrostatic noise (BEN) observed in the magnetotail. The first area concerns the generation of BEN in the boundary layer region of the magnetotail whereas the second area concerns the occassional presence of BEN in the neutral sheet region. For the generation of BEN in the boundary layer region, a hybrid simulation code was developed to perform reliable longtime, quiet, highly resolved simulations of field aligned electron and ion beam flow. The result of the simulation shows that broadband emissions cannot be generated by beam-plasma instability if realistic values of the ion beam parameters are used. The waves generated from beam-plasma instability are highly discrete and are of high frequencies. For the plasma sheet boundary layer condition, the wave frequencies are in the kHz range, which is incompatible with the observation that the peak power in BEN occur in the 10's of Hz range. It was found that the BEN characteristics are more consistent with lower hybrid drift instability. For the occasional presence of BEN in the neutral sheet region, a linear analysis of the kinetic cross-field streaming instability appropriate to the neutral sheet condition just prior to onset of substorm expansion was performed. By solving numerically the dispersion relation, it was found that the instability has a growth time comparable to the onset time scale of substorm onset. The excited waves have a mixed polarization in the lower hybrid frequency range. The imposed drift driving the instability corresponds to unmagnetized ions undergoing current sheet acceleration in the presence of a cross-tail electric field. The required electric field strength is in the 10 mV/m range which is well within the observed electric field values detected in the neutral sheet during substorms. This finding can potentially account for the disruption of cross-tail current and its diversion to

  18. Role of Plasma Sheet Source Population in Ring Current Dynamics (Invited)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Jordanova, V.; Yu, Y.; Reeves, G. D.; Kletzing, C.; Spence, H.; Sazykin, S. Y.

    2013-12-01

    Understanding the dynamics of ring current particles during disturbed conditions remains a long-standing challenge, moreover these particles represent a seed population for the hazardous radiation belts. The formation of the storm-time ring current depends on two main factors: 1) the plasma sheet as a reservoir supplying particles that are transported earthward, and 2) the electric field as a mechanism that energizes them. To investigate ring current development on a global scale, we use our four-dimensional (4-D) ring current-atmosphere interactions model (RAM-SCB) [Jordanova et al., 2010; Zaharia et al., 2010] which solves the kinetic equation for H+, O+, and He+ ions and electrons using a self-consistently calculated magnetic field in force balance with the anisotropic ring current plasma pressure. The model boundary was recently expanded from geosynchronous orbit to 9 RE, where the plasma boundary conditions are specified from the empirical plasma sheet model TM03 [Tsyganenko and Mukai, 2003] based on Geotail data. We simulate the transport, acceleration, and loss of energetic particles from the magnetotail to the inner magnetosphere during several geomagnetic storms that occurred since the launch of the Van Allen Probes in August 2012. We compare our results with simultaneous plasma and field observations from the Energetic particle, Composition, and Thermal plasma (ECT) [Spence et al., 2013] and the Electric and Magnetic Field Instrument Suite and Integrated Science (EMFISIS) [Kletzing et al., 2013] investigations on the Van Allen Probes. We investigate the role of the plasma sheet source population in global ring current simulations considering various boundary conditions and electric field formulations. An improved understanding of the highly coupled inner magnetosphere system is provided.

  19. The equatorial current sheet and other interesting features of the pulsar magnetosphere

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Contopoulos, Ioannis

    2016-06-01

    > We want to understand what drives magnetospheric dissipation in the equatorial current sheet. Numerical simulations have limitations and, unless we have a clear a priori understanding of the physical processes involved, their results can be misleading. We argue that the canonical pulsar magnetosphere is strongly dissipative and that a large fraction (up to 30-40 % in an aligned rotator) of the spindown luminosity is redirected towards the equator where it is dissipated into particle acceleration and emission of radiation. We show that this is due to the failure of the equatorial electric current to cross the Y-point at the tip of the corotating zone.

  20. Formation of sheet plumes, current coils, and helical magnetic fields in a spherical magnetohydrodynamic dynamo

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Miyagoshi, Takehiro; Kageyama, Akira; Sato, Tetsuya

    2011-07-01

    Aiming at understanding of magnetic field generation process in rapidly rotating stars and planets represented by the Earth, computer simulations of magnetohydrodynamic (MHD) dynamo were performed in a rotating spherical shell geometry. Thermal convection and dynamo process with Ekman number of the order of 10-7 were studied. New structures of convection motion, dynamo-generated electrical current, and magnetic field are found. The flow is organized as a set of thin, sheet-like plumes. The current is made of small-scale coil structure with magnetic flux tubes within each of the coil. These flux tubes are connected each other to form a large scale helical magnetic field structure.

  1. Formation of discontinuities and expansion waves in the outflow region of magnetic reconnection in an asymmetric current sheet

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lee, L. C.; Hsupeng, B. Y.; Lee, K. H.; Chao, J. K.

    2015-12-01

    The current sheets observed in the solar wind, magnetopause, and nightside plasma sheet can be asymmetric, in which the plasma densities and/or magnetic field magnitudes on the two sides of the current sheet are not equal. A hybrid code is used to simulate the 1-D Riemann problem for the generation and evolution of MHD discontinuities and expansion waves in the outflow region of magnetic reconnection in an asymmetric current sheet. In a symmetric current sheet, four types of compound structures are found: (a) RD-SS compound structure: show shock (SS) is attached to the downstream of rotational discontinuity (RD), (b) SS-RD: SS is followed by an adjacent RD, (c) SS-RD-SS: RD is trapped inside SS, and (d) switch-off slow shock (SSS). In the asymmetric current sheet, the rotational angle of magnetic field across an RD on the side with a higher plasma density is usually larger than that with a lower plasma density. In the asymmetric cases, a pure RD, a single SS, or a pure slow expansion wave (SE) may appear. When the asymmetry is further increased, RD may become absent in the low density side. For a highly asymmetric current sheet, a slow expansion wave (SE) is formed behind the SS-RD compound structure on the side with a very high plasma density.

  2. On the contribution of plasma sheet bubbles to the storm time ring current

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Yang, Jian; Toffoletto, Frank R.; Wolf, Richard A.; Sazykin, Stanislav

    2015-09-01

    Particle injections occur frequently inside 10 Re during geomagnetic storms. They are commonly associated with bursty bulk flows or plasma sheet bubbles transported from the tail to the inner magnetosphere. Although observations and theoretical arguments have suggested that they may have an important role in storm time dynamics, this assertion has not been addressed quantitatively. In this paper, we investigate which process is dominant for the storm time ring current buildup: large-scale enhanced convection or localized bubble injections. We use the Rice Convection Model-Equilibrium (RCM-E) to model a series of idealized storm main phases. The boundary conditions at 14-15 Re on the nightside are adjusted to randomly inject bubbles to a degree roughly consistent with observed statistical properties. A test particle tracing technique is then used to identify the source of the ring current plasma. We find that the contribution of plasma sheet bubbles to the ring current energy increases from ~20% for weak storms to ~50% for moderate storms and levels off at ~61% for intense storms, while the contribution of trapped particles decreases from ~60% for weak storms to ~30% for moderate and ~21% for intense storms. The contribution of nonbubble plasma sheet flux tubes remains ~20% on average regardless of the storm intensity. Consistent with previous RCM and RCM-E simulations, our results show that the mechanisms for plasma sheet bubbles enhancing the ring current energy are (1) the deep penetration of bubbles and (2) the bulk plasma pushed ahead of bubbles. Both the bubbles and the plasma pushed ahead typically contain larger distribution functions than those in the inner magnetosphere at quiet times. An integrated effect of those individual bubble injections is the gradual enhancement of the storm time ring current. We also make two predictions testable against observations. First, fluctuations over a time scale of 5-20 min in the plasma distributions and electric field

  3. Thin current sheets in the magnetotail during substorms: CDAW 6 revisited

    SciTech Connect

    Pulkkinen, T.I.; Baker, D.N.; Mitchell, D.G.

    1994-04-01

    The global magnetic field configuration during the growth phase of the CDAW 6 substorm is modeled using data from two suitably located spacecraft and temporally evolving variations of the Ysyganenko magnetic field model. These results are compared with a local calculation of the current sheet location and thickness carried out by McPherron et al. and Sanney et al. Both models suggest that during the growth phase the current sheet rotated away from its nominal location, and simultaneously thinned strongly. The locations and thicknesses obtained from the two models are in good agreement. The global model suggests that the peak current density is {approximately}120 nA/m{sup 2}, and that the cross-tail current almost doubled its intensity during this very strong growth phase. The global model predicts a field configuration that is sufficiently stretched to scatter thermal electrons, which may be conducive to the onset of ion tearing in the tail. The electron plasma data further support this scenario, as the anisotropy present in the low-energy electrons disappears close to the substorm onset. The electron contribution to the intensifying current in this case is of the order of 10% before the isotropization of the distribution. 23 refs., 6 figs.

  4. Thin current sheets in the magnetotail during substorms: CDAW 6 revisited

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Pulkkinen, T. I.; Baker, D. N.; Mitchell, D. G.; Mcpherron, R. L.; Huang, C. Y.; Frank, L. A.

    1994-01-01

    The global magnetic field configuration during the growth phase of the Coordinated Data Analysis Workshop (CDAW) 6 substorm (March 22, 1979, 1054 UT) is modeled using data from two suitably located spacecraft and temporally evolving variations of the Tsyganenko magnetic field model. These results are compared with a local calculation of the current sheet location and thickness carried out by McPherron et al. (1987) and Sanny et al. (this issue). Both models suggest that during the growth phase the current sheet rotated away from its nominal location, and simultaneously thinned strongly. The locations and thickness obtained from the two models are in good agreement. The global model suggests that the peak current density is approximately 120 nA/sq m and that the cross-tail current almost doubled its intensity during this very strong growth phase. The global model predicts a field configuration that is sufficiently stretched to scatter thermal electrons, which may be conducive to the onset of ion tearing in the tail. The electron plasma data further support this scenario, as the anisotropy present in the low-energy electrons disappears close to the substorm onset. The electron contribution to the intensifying current in this case is of the order of 10% before the isotropization of the distribution.

  5. Kelvin-Helmholtz instability in a current-vortex sheet at a 3D magnetic null

    SciTech Connect

    Wyper, P. F.; Pontin, D. I.

    2013-03-15

    We report here, for the first time, an observed instability of a Kelvin-Helmholtz nature occurring in a fully three-dimensional (3D) current-vortex sheet at the fan plane of a 3D magnetic null point. The current-vortex layer forms self-consistently in response to foot point driving around the spine lines of the null. The layer first becomes unstable at an intermediate distance from the null point, with the instability being characterized by a rippling of the fan surface and a filamentation of the current density and vorticity in the shear layer. Owing to the 3D geometry of the shear layer, a branching of the current filaments and vortices is observed. The instability results in a mixing of plasma between the two topologically distinct regions of magnetic flux on either side of the fan separatrix surface, as flux is reconnected across this surface. We make a preliminary investigation of the scaling of the system with the dissipation parameters. Our results indicate that the fan plane separatrix surface is an ideal candidate for the formation of current-vortex sheets in complex magnetic fields and, therefore, the enhanced heating and connectivity change associated with the instabilities of such layers.

  6. Structure of current sheets in magnetic holes at 1 AU. [regions of low magnetic field intensity in the solar wind

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Fitzenreiter, R. J.; Burlaga, L. F.

    1978-01-01

    Current density profiles in several types of interplanetary magnetic holes were calculated assuming that the currents flow in planar sheets and that the magnetic field varies only in the direction normal to the sheet. The planarity was verified in four holes which were observed by two suitably spaced spacecraft. The structure of the current sheets ranges from very simple in some holes to very complex in others. The observed structures are found to be qualitatively consistent with models based on self-consistent solutions of Vlasov's equation and Maxwell's equations. Examples of complex, irregular magnetic holes are also presented, and they are shown to contain multiple, current sheets in which currents flow parallel to one another.

  7. The Role of Plasma Sheet Conditions in Ring Current Formation and Energetic Neutral Atom Emissions: TWINS Results and CRCM Comparison

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Fok, M.; Buzulukova, N.; McComas, D.; Brandt, P.; Goldstein, J.; Valek, P.; Alquiza, J.

    2009-05-01

    The dynamics of the ring current is sensitive to plasma sheet density and temperature. The situation is further complicated by ionospheric feedback and the existence of electric shielding at low latitudes. Most of the ring current pressure is carried by ions with energies of ~5-50 keV. In this energy range, H-H+ charge exchange cross section falls sharply with increasing energy. As a result, the intensity of energetic neutral atoms (ENA) emitted from the ring current is very sensitive to the ion energy distribution, which, in turn, is controlled by the plasma sheet temperature. Using the Comprehensive Ring Current Model (CRCM) with different plasma sheet models, we calculate ENA emissions during several moderate storms in years 2008 and 2009. We compare the simulated images with those from the TWINS imagers and study the effects of plasma sheet conditions on the ring current and the associated ENA emissions.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Andrés, Nahuel; Dmitruk, Pablo; Gómez, Daniel

    2016-02-01

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

  9. Destabilization of 2D magnetic current sheets by resonance with bouncing electron - a new theory

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Fruit, Gabriel; Louarn, Philippe; Tur, Anatoly

    2016-07-01

    In the general context of understanding the possible destabilization of the magnetotail before a substorm, we propose a kinetic model for electromagnetic instabilities in resonant interaction with trapped bouncing electrons. The geometry is clearly 2D and uses Harris sheet profile. Fruit et al. 2013 already used this model to investigate the possibilities of electrostatic instabilities. Tur et al. 2014 generalizes the model for full electromagnetic perturbations. Starting with a modified Harris sheet as equilibrium state, the linearized gyrokinetic Vlasov equation is solved for electromagnetic fluctuations with period of the order of the electron bounce period (a few seconds). The particle motion is restricted to its first Fourier component along the magnetic field and this allows the complete time integration of the non local perturbed distribution functions. The dispersion relation for electromagnetic modes is finally obtained through the quasi neutrality condition and the Ampere's law for the current density. The present talk will focus on the main results of this theory. The electrostatic version of the model may be applied to the near-Earth environment (8-12 R_{E}) where beta is rather low. It is showed that inclusion of bouncing electron motion may enhance strongly the growth rate of the classical drift wave instability. This model could thus explain the generation of strong parallel electric fields in the ionosphere and the formation of aurora beads with wavelength of a few hundreds of km. In the electromagnetic version, it is found that for mildly stretched current sheet (B_{z} > 0.1 B _{lobes}) undamped modes oscillate at typical electron bounce frequency with wavelength of the order of the plasma sheet thickness. As the stretching of the plasma sheet becomes more intense, the frequency of these normal modes decreases and beyond a certain threshold in B_{z}/B _{lobes}, the mode becomes explosive (pure imaginary frequency) with typical growing rate of a few

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Daldorff, Lars K. S.; Klimchuk, James A.

    2016-05-01

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

  11. Kinetic theory of collisionless tearing at the magnetopause

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Daughton, William; Karimabadi, H.

    2005-03-01

    This paper is the first in a series of three with the aim of addressing one of the controversial issues at the magnetopause, namely the location where reconnection first occurs during periods of a large interplanetary magnetic field By. In this first paper, the linear properties of the collisionless tearing mode are reexamined as a function of the guide field By using a formally exact approach for computing the nonlocal Vlasov stability of a current layer. Three distinct parameter regimes are identified depending on the degree to which electron orbits are modified by the guide field in the central region of the current layer. In the limit of both weak and strong guide field, the fastest-growing tearing mode has a wave vector kx perpendicular to the direction of the current, in agreement with previous theoretical treatments. However, for intermediate values of the guide field where the electrons begin to transition to magnetized orbits, the fastest-growing modes have a finite wave vector ky in the direction of the current. In this newly discovered regime, the so-called drift tearing modes have finite real frequency and propagate in the direction of the electron diamagnetic drift with growth rates 10-50% larger than the conventional tearing instability. Maximum growth occurs for a propagation angle in the range θ = tan-1(ky/kx) ≈ 6-10°. These new predictions are confirmed using fully kinetic particle-in-cell simulations. The structure of the out-of-plane magnetic field perturbation predicted by nonlocal Vlasov theory is examined as a function of guide field. In the limit of a neutral sheet, the quadrupole structure has a characteristic scale near the electron meandering width and shows significant differences with the predictions of linear Hall MHD. The addition of a guide field strongly distorts the quadrupole structure and compresses the spatial extent. In the strong guide field limit, the width of the out-of-plane magnetic field perturbation is reduced to the

  12. Asymmetric evolution of magnetic reconnection in collisionless accretion disk

    SciTech Connect

    Shirakawa, Keisuke Hoshino, Masahiro

    2014-05-15

    An evolution of a magnetic reconnection in a collisionless accretion disk is investigated using a 2.5 dimensional hybrid code simulation. In astrophysical disks, magnetorotational instability (MRI) is considered to play an important role by generating turbulence in the disk and contributes to an effective angular momentum transport through a turbulent viscosity. Magnetic reconnection, on the other hand, also plays an important role on the evolution of the disk through a dissipation of a magnetic field enhanced by a dynamo effect of MRI. In this study, we developed a hybrid code to calculate an evolution of a differentially rotating system. With this code, we first confirmed a linear growth of MRI. We also investigated a behavior of a particular structure of a current sheet, which would exist in the turbulence in the disk. From the calculation of the magnetic reconnection, we found an asymmetric structure in the out-of-plane magnetic field during the evolution of reconnection, which can be understood by a coupling of the Hall effect and the differential rotation. We also found a migration of X-point whose direction is determined only by an initial sign of J{sub 0}×Ω{sub 0}, where J{sub 0} is the initial current density in the neutral sheet and Ω{sub 0} is the rotational vector of the background Keplerian rotation. Associated with the migration of X-point, we also found a significant enhancement of the perpendicular magnetic field compared to an ordinary MRI. MRI-Magnetic reconnection coupling and the resulting magnetic field enhancement can be an effective process to sustain a strong turbulence in the accretion disk and to a transport of angular momentum.

  13. Differential measurement and model calculations of cosmic ray latitudinal gradient with respect to the heliospheric current sheet

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Christon, S. P.; Cummings, A. C.; Stone, E. C.; Behannon, K. W.; Burlaga, L. F.

    1986-01-01

    Simultaneous magnetic field and charged particle measurements from the Voyager spacecraft with heliographic latitude separations of more than 10 deg are used to investigate the distribution of about 1-GeV galactic cosmic ray protons with respect to the heliospheric current sheet in the outer solar system. By comparing the ratio of cosmic ray flux at Voyager 1 to that at Voyager 2 during periods of relatively quiet interplanetary conditions when the spacecraft are either both north or both south of the heliospheric current sheet, an average latitude component of the gradient of the cosmic ray flux on opposite sides of the current sheet is derived under restricted interplanetary conditions of -0.22 + or - 0.03 pct/deg, equivalent to a decrease of about 1 percent/AU away from the current sheet at about 12 AU. The results for these limited periods are in qualitative agreement with propagation models incorporating particle drifts.

  14. Linear theory for fast collisionless magnetic reconnection in the lower-hybrid frequency range

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Jovanović, D.; Shukla, P. K.

    2005-05-01

    A linear theory is presented for the interplay between the fast collisionless magnetic reconnection and the lower-hybrid waves that has been observed in recent computer simulations [J. F. Drake, M. Swisdak, C. Cattell et al., Science 299, 873 (2003)]. In plasma configurations with a strong guide field and anisotropic electron temperature, the electron dynamics is described within the framework of standard electron magnetohydrodynamic equations, accounting also for the effects of the electron polarization and ion motions in the presence of perpendicular electric fields. In the linear phase, we find two types of instabilities of a thin current sheet with steep edges, corresponding to its filamentation (or tearing) and bending. Using a surface-wave formalism for the perturbations whose wavelength is larger than the thickness of the current sheet, the corresponding growth rates are calculated as the contributions of singularities in the plasma dispersion function. These are governed by the electron inertia and the linear coupling of the reconnecting magnetic field with local plasma modes propagating in the perpendicular direction that are subject to the Buneman instability. The linear surface wave instability may be particularly important as a secondary instability, dissipating the thin current sheets that develop in the course of the fast reconnection in the shear-Alfvén and kinetic-Alfvén regimes, and providing the anomalous resistivity for the growth of magnetic islands beyond the shear-Alfvén and kinetic-Alfvén scales.

  15. Three-dimensional stability of thin quasi-neutral current sheets

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Pritchett, P. L.; Coroniti, F. V.; Decyk, V. K.

    1996-12-01

    In a thin current sheet (ρi0/L<~1, where ρi0 is the ion gyroradius in the lobe field and L is the current sheet half thickness) of the generalized Harris type, the relative ion-electron cross-field drift is comparable to the ion thermal velocity. The three-dimensional stability properties of such a thin current sheet are investigated by means of nonlocal two-fluid theory and two-dimensional and three-dimensional full particle simulations. As was suggested originally by Zhu et al. [1992], the drift kink mode is found to be of critical importance. For the simple case of no initial Bz field the fluid theory demonstrates that the drift kink mode is a non-MHD mode with a polarization structure such that E1y is an antisymmetric function of z while E1z is a symmetric function with E1z(0)≠0. Two-dimensional (y,z) particle simulations indicate that the nonlinear behavior of this mode is dominated by long-wavelength modes with kyL~1 and frequency ωτ~Ωi0, where Ωi0 is the ion gyrofrequency in the lobe field. Three-dimensional particle simulations performed on a massively parallel computer show that while the growth rates for the drift kink mode are reduced by the finite Bz, they can still be appreciable (γ/Ωi0<~0.05-0.10). The kyL~1 drift kink modes are always the first to grow in the simulations; subsequently, tearing-like modes with a dominant kx wave vector also become unstable. Implications of these results for the triggering of substorms are discussed.

  16. Nonlinear analysis of explosive growth of collisionless magnetic reconnection in the presence of the effect of finite electron temperature

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hirota, Makoto; Hattori, Yuji

    2014-10-01

    Explosive behavior of collisionless magnetic reconnection is investigated by analyzing a two-fluid model that includes the effects of the electron inertia and the electron temperature (or compressibility). By micrifying both the electron skin depth de and the ion-sound gyroradius ρs such that ρs =de < 0 . 01 L (where L is the system size), a direct numerical simulation is performed to enlarge strongly nonlinear regime of a collisionless tearing instability. The nonlinear evolution is shown to be explosive when the inverse of the tearing index 1 /Δ' is smaller than ρs =de , whereas the maximum reconnection speed at the fully reconnected state does not significantly depend on the size of ρs =de . The singular current-vortex sheets are generated in the form of the X shape. In the explosive phase, the expansion of this X shape as well as the magnetic island occurs locally near the reconnection point. By taking an approach similar to the asymptotic matching, the dynamics of the current-vortex sheets is analyzed and the explosive reconnection speed is estimated theoretically. This work is supported by JSPS Grant-in-Aid for Young Scientists(B) (No. 25800308).

  17. Particle acceleration in 3D single current sheets formed in the solar corona and heliosphere: PIC approach

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Zharkova, V. V.; Siversky, T.

    2015-09-01

    Acceleration of protons and electrons in a reconnecting current sheet (RCS) is investigated with the test particle and particle-in-cell (PIC) approaches in a 3D magnetic topology. PIC simulations confirm a spatial separation of electrons and protons with respect to the midplane depending on the guiding field. Simulation reveals that the separation occurs in magnetic topologies with strong guiding fields and lasts as long as the particles are kept dragged into a current sheet. This separation produces a polarisation electric field induced by the plasma feedback to a presence of accelerated particles, which shape can change from symmetric towards the midplane (for weak guiding field) to fully asymmetric (for strong guiding field). Particles are found accelerated at a midplane of any current sheets present in the heliosphere to the energies up to hundred keV for electrons and hundred MeV for protons. The maximum energy gained by particles during their motion inside the current sheet is defined by its magnetic field topology (the ratio of magnetic field components), the side and location from the X-nullpoint, where the particles enter a current sheet. In strong magnetic fields of the solar corona with weaker guiding fields, electrons are found circulating about the midplane to large distances where proton are getting accelerated, creating about the current sheet midplane clouds of high energy electrons, which can be the source of hard X-ray emission in the coronal sources of flares. These electrons are ejected into the same footpoint as protons after the latter reach the energy sufficicent to break from a current sheet. In a weaker magnetic field of the heliosphere the bounced electrons with lower energies cannot reach the midplane turning instead at some distance D before the current sheet midplane by 180 degrees from their initial motion. Also the beams of accelerated transit and bounced particles are found to generate turbulent electric fields in a form of Langmuir

  18. Accessing the new collisionless reconnection regime in laboratory experiment

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Olson, Joseph; Egedal, Jan; Greess, Samuel; Wallace, John; Clark, Michael; Forest, Cary

    2015-11-01

    The Terrestrial Reconnection Experiment (TREX), the largest dedicated reconnection experiment to date, is currently in operation at the Wisconsin Plasma Astrophysics Laboratory (WiPAL). In its inaugural run, TREX demonstrated its ability to operate in what has traditionally been called the collisionless reconnection regime by observing the out-of-plane magnetic field characteristic of Hall reconnection. Additionally, TREX is projected to access even more collisionless parameters in which electron pressure anisotropy develops, greatly influencing the dynamics of the reconnection process beyond two fluid effects. For example, spacecraft observations and kinetic simulations show that large-scale current layers are driven by this pressure anisotropy. In the last year, TREX has undergone upgrades to its plasma heating, reconnection drive, and diagnostic suite in order to study these features exclusive to truly collisionless reconnection. Preliminary results from the newly optimized experimental runs will be presented. Supported in part by DoE grant DE-SC0010463.

  19. Analysis of induction-type coilgun performance based on cylindrical current sheet model

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    He, J. L.; Levi, E.; Zabar, Z.; Birenbaum, L.; Naot, Y.

    1991-01-01

    A method which is based on a cylindrical current sheet model for the analysis and design of induction-type coilguns is presented. The work starts with a derivation of closed-form formulas which relate the dimensions of the gun to the performance expressed in terms of propulsive and local maximum forces on the projectile, power factor and efficiency of the system, thermal stress of the projectile armature, distributions of the flux density around the launcher, and the system parameters in a multisection coilgun. A numerical example is given.

  20. Analysis of induction-type coilgun performance based on cylindrical current sheet model

    SciTech Connect

    He, J.L.; Levi, E.; Zabar, Z.; Birenbaum, L.; Naot, Y. )

    1991-01-01

    This paper presents a method based on a cylindrical current sheet model for the analysis and design of induction-type coilguns. The paper starts with a derivation of closed-form formulas which relate the dimensions of the gun to the performance expressed in terms of propulsive and local maximum forces on the projectile, power factor and efficiency of the system, thermal stress of the projectile armature, distributions of the flux density around the launcher, and the system parameters in a multisection coilgun. The paper ends with a numerical example.

  1. Electrostatic Solitary Waves in the Solar Wind: Evidence for Instability at Solar Wind Current Sheets

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Malaspina, David M.; Newman, David L.; Wilson, Lynn Bruce; Goetz, Keith; Kellogg, Paul J.; Kerstin, Kris

    2013-01-01

    A strong spatial association between bipolar electrostatic solitary waves (ESWs) and magnetic current sheets (CSs) in the solar wind is reported here for the first time. This association requires that the plasma instabilities (e.g., Buneman, electron two stream) which generate ESWs are preferentially localized to solar wind CSs. Distributions of CS properties (including shear angle, thickness, solar wind speed, and vector magnetic field change) are examined for differences between CSs associated with ESWs and randomly chosen CSs. Possible mechanisms for producing ESW-generating instabilities at solar wind CSs are considered, including magnetic reconnection.

  2. Existence of three-dimensional ideal-magnetohydrodynamic equilibria with current sheets

    SciTech Connect

    Loizu, J.; Hudson, S. R.; Bhattacharjee, A.; Lazerson, S.; Helander, P.

    2015-09-15

    We consider the linear and nonlinear ideal plasma response to a boundary perturbation in a screw pinch. We demonstrate that three-dimensional, ideal-MHD equilibria with continuously nested flux-surfaces and with discontinuous rotational-transform across the resonant rational-surfaces are well defined and can be computed both perturbatively and using fully nonlinear equilibrium calculations. This rescues the possibility of constructing MHD equilibria with current sheets and continuous, smooth pressure profiles. The results predict that, even if the plasma acts as a perfectly conducting fluid, a resonant magnetic perturbation can penetrate all the way into the center of a tokamak without being shielded at the resonant surface.

  3. MODELING THE SUN'S OPEN MAGNETIC FLUX AND THE HELIOSPHERIC CURRENT SHEET

    SciTech Connect

    Jiang, J.; Cameron, R.; Schmitt, D.; Schuessler, M.

    2010-01-20

    By coupling a solar surface flux transport model with an extrapolation of the heliospheric field, we simulate the evolution of the Sun's open magnetic flux and the heliospheric current sheet (HCS) based on observational data of sunspot groups since 1976. The results are consistent with measurements of the interplanetary magnetic field near Earth and with the tilt angle of the HCS as derived from extrapolation of the observed solar surface field. This opens the possibility for an improved reconstruction of the Sun's open flux and the HCS into the past on the basis of empirical sunspot data.

  4. Numerical experiments of magnetic reconnection in the solar flare and CME current sheet

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Mei, Zhixing; Lin, Jun; Shen, Chengcai

    2012-07-01

    Magnetic reconnection plays a critical role in the energy conversion in the solar eruption. This paper performs a set of MHD experiments for the magnetic reconnection process in a current sheet formed in a disrupting magnetic configuration. The eruption results from the loss of equilibrium in the magnetic configuration that includes a current-carrying flux rope, which is used to model the filament floating in the corona. In order to study the fine structure and micro process inside the current sheet (CS), the mesh refinement technology is used to depress the numerical diffusion. A uniform physical diffusion is applied and results in a Lundquist number S=10^4 in the vicinity of CS. Because of the advantage of the foregoing setting, some features appear with high resolution, including plasmoids due to the tearing mode and the plasmoid instabilities, turbulence regions, and the slow mode shocks. Inside CS, magnetic reconnection goes through the Sweet-Parker and the fractal fashions, and eventually, it displays a time-dependent Petschek pattern. Our results seem to support the concept of fractal reconnection suggested by Shibata et al. (1995) and Shibata & Tanuma (2001). And our results suggest that the CS evolves through a Sweet-Parker reconnection prior to the fast reconnection stage. For the first time, the detailed features and/or fine structures inside the CME/flare CS in the eruption were investigated in this work.

  5. Particle scattering and current sheet stability in the geomagnetic tail during the substorm growth phase

    SciTech Connect

    Pulkkinen, T.I.; Pellinen, R.J.; Koskinen, H.E.J. ); Baker, D.N. ); Buechner, J. ); Lopez, R.E. ); Dyson, R.L.; Frank, L.A. )

    1992-12-01

    The degree of pitch angle scattering and chaotization of various particle populations in the geomagnetic tail during the substorm growth phase is studied by utilizing the Tsyganenko 1989 magnetic field model. A temporally evolving magnetic field model for the growth phase is constructed by enhancing the near-Earth currents and thinning the current sheet from the values given by the static Tsyganenko model. Changing the field geometry toward an increasingly taillike configuration leads to pitch angle scattering of particles whose Larmor radii become comparable to the field line radius of curvature. Several different cases representing substorms with varying levels of magnetic disturbance have been studied. In each case, the field development during the growth phase leads to considerable scattering of the thermal electrons relatively close to the Earth. The current sheet regions where the electron motion is chaotic are magnetically mapped to the ionosphere and compared with low-altitude measurements of electron precipitation. The chaotization of the thermal electron population occurs within a few minutes of the substorm onset, and the ionospheric mappings of the chaotic regions in the equatorial plane compare well with the region of brightening auroras. Even though the temporal evolution of the complex plasma system cannot be self-consistently described by the temporal evolution of the empirical field model, these models can provide the most accurate estimates of the field parameters for tail stability calculations.

  6. The Impact of Geometrical Constraints on Collisionless Magnetic Reconnection

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

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

    2012-01-01

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

  7. Theory and simulation of lower-hybrid drift instability for current sheet with guide field

    SciTech Connect

    Yoon, P. H.; Lin, Y.; Wang, X. Y.; Lui, A. T. Y.

    2008-11-15

    The stability of a thin current sheet with a finite guide field is investigated in the weak guide-field limit by means of linear theory and simulation. The emphasis is placed on the lower-hybrid drift instability (LHDI) propagating along the current flow direction. Linear theory is compared against the two-dimensional linear simulation based on the gyrokinetic electron/fully kinetic ion code. LHDI is a flute mode characterized by k{center_dot}B{sub total}=0; hence, it is stabilized by a finite guide field if one is confined to k vector strictly parallel to the cross-field current. Comparison of the theory and simulation shows qualitatively good agreement.

  8. Weighted current sheets supported in normal and inverse configurations - A model for prominence observations

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Demoulin, P.; Forbes, T. G.

    1992-01-01

    A technique which incorporates both photospheric and prominence magnetic field observations is used to analyze the magnetic support of solar prominences in two dimensions. The prominence is modeled by a mass-loaded current sheet which is supported against gravity by magnetic fields from a bipolar source in the photosphere and a massless line current in the corona. It is found that prominence support can be achieved in three different kinds of configurations: an arcade topology with a normal polarity; a helical topology with a normal polarity; and a helical topology with an inverse polarity. In all cases the important parameter is the variation of the horizontal component of the prominence field with height. Adding a line current external to the prominence eliminates the nonsupport problem which plagues virtually all previous prominence models with inverse polarity.

  9. Space Technology 5 measurements of auroral field-aligned current sheet motion

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wang, Y.; Le, G.; Slavin, J. A.; Boardsen, S. A.; Strangeway, R. J.

    2009-01-01

    During the 90-day Space Technology 5 (ST-5) mission, a total of 2535 auroral field-aligned current (FAC) signatures were identified. Of these 1030 were suitable to be modeled as semi-infinite current sheets aligned with L-shells and moving with constant speed in the north or south directions (hereafter called FAC speed). FAC speeds were found to range from -1 to 1 km/s with larger mean magnitude during intervals of higher geomagnetic activity. At ST-5 altitudes, ~300 to 4500 km, the median relative errors in FAC thickness and current density, when stationary FAC is assumed, are 4%. When the ST-5 FAC speed determinations are extrapolated along the IGRF-10 magnetic field lines, these errors increase to 23% and 24% at 4 RE, and 65% and 124% at 8 RE, respectively.

  10. Electrodynamics in a Very Thin Current Sheet Leading to Magnetic Reconnection

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Singh, Nagendra; Deverapalli, Chakri; Khazanov, George

    2006-01-01

    We study the formation of a very thin current sheet (CS) and associated plasma electrodynamics using three-dimensional (3-D) particle-in-cell simulations with ion to electron mass ratio M/m=1836. The CS is driven by imposed anti-parallel magnetic fields. The noteworthy features of the temporal evolution of the CS are the following: (i) Steepening of the magnetic field profile B,(z) in the central part of the CS, (ii) Generation of three-peak current distribution with the largest peak in the CS center as B,(z) steepens, (iii) Generation of converging electric fields forming a potential well in the CS center in which ions are accelerated. (iv) Electron and ion heating in the central part of the CS by current-driven instabilities (CDI). (v) Re-broadening of the CS due to increased kinetic plasma pressure in the CS center. (vi) Generation of electron temperature anisotropy with temperature perpendicular to the magnetic field being larger than the parallel one. (vii) Current disruption by electron trapping in an explosively growing electrostatic instability (EGEI) and electron tearing instability (ETI). (viii)The onset of EGEI coincides with an increase in the electron temperature above the temperature of the initially hot ions as well as the appearance of new shear in the electron drift velocity. (ix) Bifurcation of the central CS by the current disruption. (x) Magnetic reconnection (MR) beginning near the null in B, and spreading outward. (xi) Generation of highly energized electrons reaching relativistic speeds and having isotropic pitch-angle distribution in the region of reconnected magnetic fields. We compare some of these features of the current sheet with results from laboratory and space experiments.

  11. Field-Aligned Current Sheet Motion and Its Correlation with Solar Wind Conditions and Geomagnetic Activities

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wang, Y.; Le, G.; Boardsen, S. A.; Slavin, J. A.; Strangeway, R. J.

    2008-05-01

    Field-aligned currents (FACs) are the currents flowing into and out of the ionosphere which connect to the magnetosphere. They provide an essential linkage between the solar wind - magnetosphere system and the ionosphere, and the understanding of these currents is important for global magnetosphere dynamics and space weather prediction. The three spacecraft ST-5 constellation provides an unprecedented opportunity to study in situ FAC dynamics in time scales (10 sec to 10 min) that can not be achieved previously with single spacecraft studies or large-spaced conjugate spacecraft studies. In this study, we use the magnetic field observations during the whole ST-5 mission and their corresponding solar wind conditions to study the dependence of FAC current sheet motion and intensity on solar wind conditions. FAC peak current densities show very good correlations with some solar wind parameters, including IMF Bz, dynamic pressure, Ey, and some IMF angles, but not with other parameters. Instant FAC speeds show generally much weaker dependence on solar wind conditions comparing to FAC peak current densities. This obvious uncorrelation between FAC peak current densities and speeds implies that FAC peak current densities are more consistently controlled by solar wind conditions and geomagnetic activities, while FAC speeds are more oscillatory, sometimes with higher speeds during quieter times and lower speeds during more turbulent times.

  12. Plasmoid and Kelvin-Helmholtz instabilities in Sweet-Parker current sheets

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2013-01-01

    A two-dimensional (2D) linear theory of the instability of Sweet-Parker (SP) current sheets is developed in the framework of reduced magnetohydrodynamics. A local analysis is performed taking into account the dependence of a generic equilibrium profile on the outflow coordinate. The plasmoid instability [Loureiro , Phys. Plasmas 14, 100703 (2007)] is recovered, i.e., current sheets are unstable to the formation of a large-wave-number chain of plasmoids (kmaxLCS˜S3/8, where kmax is the wave number of fastest growing mode, S=LCSVA/η is the Lundquist number, LCS is the length of the sheet, VA is the Alfvén speed, and η is the plasma resistivity), which grows super Alfvénically fast (γmaxτA˜S1/4, where γmax is the maximum growth rate, and τA=LCS/VA). For typical background profiles, the growth rate and the wave number are found to increase in the outflow direction. This is due to the presence of another mode, the Kelvin-Helmholtz (KH) instability, which is triggered at the periphery of the layer, where the outflow velocity exceeds the Alfvén speed associated with the upstream magnetic field. The KH instability grows even faster than the plasmoid instability γmaxτA˜kmaxLCS˜S1/2. The effect of viscosity (ν) on the plasmoid instability is also addressed. In the limit of large magnetic Prandtl numbers Pm=ν/η, it is found that γmax˜S1/4Pm-5/8 and kmaxLCS˜S3/8Pm-3/16, leading to the prediction that the critical Lundquist number for plasmoid instability in the Pm≫1 regime is Scrit˜104Pm1/2. These results are verified via direct numerical simulation of the linearized equations, using an analytical 2D SP equilibrium solution.

  13. The link between shocks, turbulence, and magnetic reconnection in collisionless plasmas

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Karimabadi, H.; Roytershteyn, V.; Vu, H. X.; Omelchenko, Y. A.; Scudder, J.; Daughton, W.; Dimmock, A.; Nykyri, K.; Wan, M.; Sibeck, D.; Tatineni, M.; Majumdar, A.; Loring, B.; Geveci, B.

    2014-06-01

    Global hybrid (electron fluid, kinetic ions) and fully kinetic simulations of the magnetosphere have been used to show surprising interconnection between shocks, turbulence, and magnetic reconnection. In particular, collisionless shocks with their reflected ions that can get upstream before retransmission can generate previously unforeseen phenomena in the post shocked flows: (i) formation of reconnecting current sheets and magnetic islands with sizes up to tens of ion inertial length. (ii) Generation of large scale low frequency electromagnetic waves that are compressed and amplified as they cross the shock. These "wavefronts" maintain their integrity for tens of ion cyclotron times but eventually disrupt and dissipate their energy. (iii) Rippling of the shock front, which can in turn lead to formation of fast collimated jets extending to hundreds of ion inertial lengths downstream of the shock. The jets, which have high dynamical pressure, "stir" the downstream region, creating large scale disturbances such as vortices, sunward flows, and can trigger flux ropes along the magnetopause. This phenomenology closes the loop between shocks, turbulence, and magnetic reconnection in ways previously unrealized. These interconnections appear generic for the collisionless plasmas typical of space and are expected even at planar shocks, although they will also occur at curved shocks as occur at planets or around ejecta.

  14. The Link Between Shocks, Turbulence, and Magnetic Reconnection in Collisionless Plasmas

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Karimabadi, H.; Roytershteyn, V.; Vu, H. X.; Omelchenko, Y. A.; Scudder, J.; Daughton, W.; Dimmock, A.; Nykyri, K.; Wan, M.; Sibeck, D.; Tatineni, M.; Majumdar, A.; Loring, B.; Geveci, B.

    2014-01-01

    Global hybrid (electron fluid, kinetic ions) and fully kinetic simulations of the magnetosphere have been used to show surprising interconnection between shocks, turbulence and magnetic reconnection. In particular collisionless shocks with their reflected ions that can get upstream before retransmission can generate previously unforeseen phenomena in the post shocked flows: (i) formation of reconnecting current sheets and magnetic islands with sizes up to tens of ion inertial length. (ii) Generation of large scale low frequency electromagnetic waves that are compressed and amplified as they cross the shock. These 'wavefronts' maintain their integrity for tens of ion cyclotron times but eventually disrupt and dissipate their energy. (iii) Rippling of the shock front, which can in turn lead to formation of fast collimated jets extending to hundreds of ion inertial lengths downstream of the shock. The jets, which have high dynamical pressure, 'stir' the downstream region, creating large scale disturbances such as vortices, sunward flows, and can trigger flux ropes along the magnetopause. This phenomenology closes the loop between shocks, turbulence and magnetic reconnection in ways previously unrealized. These interconnections appear generic for the collisionless plasmas typical of space, and are expected even at planar shocks, although they will also occur at curved shocks as occur at planets or around ejecta.

  15. The link between shocks, turbulence, and magnetic reconnection in collisionless plasmas

    SciTech Connect

    Karimabadi, H.; Omelchenko, Y. A.; Roytershteyn, V.; Vu, H. X.; Scudder, J.; Daughton, W.; Dimmock, A.; Nykyri, K.; Wan, M.; Sibeck, D.; Tatineni, M.; Majumdar, A.; Loring, B.; Geveci, B.

    2014-06-15

    Global hybrid (electron fluid, kinetic ions) and fully kinetic simulations of the magnetosphere have been used to show surprising interconnection between shocks, turbulence, and magnetic reconnection. In particular, collisionless shocks with their reflected ions that can get upstream before retransmission can generate previously unforeseen phenomena in the post shocked flows: (i) formation of reconnecting current sheets and magnetic islands with sizes up to tens of ion inertial length. (ii) Generation of large scale low frequency electromagnetic waves that are compressed and amplified as they cross the shock. These “wavefronts” maintain their integrity for tens of ion cyclotron times but eventually disrupt and dissipate their energy. (iii) Rippling of the shock front, which can in turn lead to formation of fast collimated jets extending to hundreds of ion inertial lengths downstream of the shock. The jets, which have high dynamical pressure, “stir” the downstream region, creating large scale disturbances such as vortices, sunward flows, and can trigger flux ropes along the magnetopause. This phenomenology closes the loop between shocks, turbulence, and magnetic reconnection in ways previously unrealized. These interconnections appear generic for the collisionless plasmas typical of space and are expected even at planar shocks, although they will also occur at curved shocks as occur at planets or around ejecta.

  16. The Effect of Electric Current and Strain Rate on Serrated Flow of Sheet Aluminum Alloy 5754

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Zhao, Kunmin; Fan, Rong; Wang, Limin

    2016-03-01

    Electrically assisted tensile tests are carried out on sheet aluminum alloy AA5754 at electric current densities ranging from 0 to 30.4 A/mm2 and strain rates ranging from 10-3 to 10-1 s-1. The strain rate sensitivity and the serrated flow behavior are investigated in accordance with dynamic strain aging mechanism. The strain rate sensitivity changes from negative to positive and keeps increasing with current density. The tendency toward serrated flow is characterized by the onset of Portevin-Le Chatelier (PLC) instabilities, which are influenced by strain rate, temperature, and electric current. The evolutions of three types of serrated flow are observed and analyzed with respect to strain rate and current density. The magnitude of serration varies with strain rate and current density. The serrated flow can be suppressed by a high strain rate, a high temperature, or a strong electric current. The threshold values of these parameters are determined and discussed. Conventional oven-heated tensile tests are conducted to distinguish the electroplasticity. The flow stress reduces more in electrically assisted tension compared to oven-heated tension at the same temperature level. The electric current helps suppress the serrated flow at the similar temperature level of oven-heating.

  17. Lower-hybrid drift and Buneman instabilities in current sheets with guide field

    SciTech Connect

    Yoon, P. H.; Lui, A. T. Y.

    2008-11-15

    Lower-hybrid drift and Buneman instabilities operate in current sheets with or without the guide field. The lower-hybrid drift instability is a universal instability in that it operates for all parameters. In contrast, the excitation of Buneman instability requires sufficiently thin current sheet. That is, the relative electron-ion drift speed must exceed the threshold in order for Buneman instability to operate. Traditionally, the two instabilities were treated separately with different mathematical formalisms. In a recent paper, an improved electrostatic dispersion relation was derived that is valid for both unstable modes [P. H. Yoon and A. T. Y. Lui, Phys. Plasmas 15, 072101 (2008)]. However, the actual numerical analysis was restricted to a one-dimensional situation. The present paper generalizes the previous analysis and investigates the two-dimensional nature of both instabilities. It is found that the lower-hybrid drift instability is a flute mode satisfying k{center_dot}B=0 and k{center_dot}{nabla}n=0, where k represents the wave number for the most unstable mode, B stands for the total local magnetic field, and {nabla}n is the density gradient. This finding is not totally unexpected. However, a somewhat surprising finding is that the Buneman instability is a field-aligned mode characterized by kxB=0 and k{center_dot}{nabla}n=0, rather than being a beam-aligned instability.

  18. Current Sheet Boundaries in MHD Turbulence and in the Solar Wind

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Zhdankin, Vladimir; Boldyrev, Stanislav; Perez, Jean; Mason, Joanne

    2011-10-01

    Current sheets inside of plasmas are characterized by strong changes in the magnetic field direction. We study this property of current sheets by measuring the angular change of the magnetic field direction across fixed spatial increments throughout the plasma domain. Using data from turbulent MHD simulations, we find that the probability distribution of angular change obeys an exponential law, with a scaling that is largely independent of the choice of spatial increment. In the first case, reduced MHD is used with a strong guide field (δb/B0 = 1 / 5), and the scaling is approximately fit by exp(- θ / 6 . 5). In the second case, full MHD is used with a weak guide field, and the fit is exp(- θ / 21 . 7). It is proposed that the difference in scaling parameters between the two regimes is due to the strength of the background magnetic field. This may explain the observations of spacecraft in the solar wind, which found two distinct populations of magnetic discontinuities with different exponential distributions of angular change in magnetic field, e.g. Borovsky (2008) and Miao et al. (2011).

  19. Macroscale coherence of the heliospheric current sheet: Pioneers 10 and 11 comparisons

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Siscoe, George; Intriligator, Devrie

    1994-01-01

    We use the near radial alignments of Pioneers 10 and 11 during 1974 to study the macroscale geometry of the heliospheric current sheet (HCS). The interval of near alignment gave eight analyzable cases of encounters of both spacecraft with the same HCS and one case in which the IMP and Pioneer 11 spacecraft, while nearly radially aligned, encountered the same current sheet. The degree of macroscale coherence of the HCS was judged by comparing observed solar wind speeds against solar wind speeds calculated on the bases of HCS encounter times and ideal Parker spiral geometry. The correlation coefficient between the two sets of speeds is 0.53. The difference between the calculated and observed speeds can be understood in terms of observed deviations from ideal spiral geometry in the ecliptic plane or in terms of typical corrections to the calculations from small latitudinal factors. One case, however, defies explanation in these terms. This range of behavior demonstrates that the HCS is a useful probe of heliospheric dynamics.

  20. A cylindrical current sheet over the South solar pole observed by Ulysses

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Khabarova, Olga; Kislov, Roman; Malova, Helmi; Obridko, Vladimir

    2016-04-01

    We provide the first evidence for the existence of a quasi-stable cylindrical current sheet over the South solar pole as observed by Ulysses in 2006, near the solar minimum, when it reached maximal heliolatitude of 79.7 degrees at 2.4 AU. It took place inside a fast speed stream from the coronal hole, and the tube was presumably crossed rather far from the center within two degrees of heliolatitude and ~10 degrees of heliolongitude. During the spacecraft passage throughout the structure, the solar wind velocity was approximately twice as little, the solar wind density was 20 times lower than the surrounded plasma values, but the temperature was twice as large in the point closest to the pole. The interplanetary magnetic field (IMF) strongly decreased due to sharp variations in the IMF radial component (RTN) that changed its sign twice, but other components did not show changes out of usual stochastic behavior. Both the behavior of the IMF, rotation of the plasma flow direction and other features indicate the occurrence of cylindrical current sheet. We discuss its solar origin and present modeling that can explain the observations.

  1. PERISTALTIC PUMPING NEAR POST-CORONAL MASS EJECTION SUPRA-ARCADE CURRENT SHEETS

    SciTech Connect

    Scott, Roger B.; Longcope, Dana W.; McKenzie, David E.

    2013-10-10

    Temperature and density measurements near supra-arcade current sheets suggest that plasma on unreconnected field lines may experience some degree of 'pre-heating' and 'pre-densification' prior to reconnection. Models of patchy reconnection allow for heating and acceleration of plasma along reconnected field lines but do not offer a mechanism for transport of thermal energy across field lines. Here, we present a model in which a reconnected flux tube retracts, deforming the surrounding layer of unreconnected field. The deformation creates constrictions that act as peristaltic pumps, driving plasma flow along affected field lines. Under certain circumstances, these flows lead to shocks that can extend far out into the unreconnected field, altering the plasma properties in the affected region. These findings have direct implications for observations in the solar corona, particularly in regard to such phenomena as high temperatures near current sheets in eruptive solar flares and wakes seen in the form of descending regions of density depletion or supra-arcade downflows.

  2. Thermal Structure of Current Sheets and Supra-Arcade Downflows in the Solar Corona

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hanneman, Will; Reeves, K.

    2013-01-01

    Data has been collected from the Atmospheric Imaging Assembly (AIA) on the Solar Dynamics Observatory (SDO) to determine the thermal structure of supra-arcade downflows (SADs) in the solar corona. SADs, first discovered by Yohkoh in 1999 January 20 (McKenzie & Hudson 1999) can be described as inward flowing density depletions, often observed in post flare current sheets. Some models of this phenomenon have suggested that the plasma in the dark lanes is heated to temperatures of ~8 MK (Maglione et al. 2011). The three flares examined here took place on 2011 October 22, 2012 January 14 and 2012 January 27. Using the relation between temperature and the different sensitivity of the 94Å, 131Å, and 171Å channels, colour-temperature maps are made for each flare, and contours are added to indicate the distribution of very hot plasma (> 5.5 MK) and slightly cooler plasma (> 3 MK). We find that the hottest areas in the current sheet are located near the top of the arcade. We also compare the colour-temperatures in the SADs to that of the surrounding plasma. Cross sections of emission in the AIA bandpasses through the dark lanes are quantitatively measured and compared with the predictions made by Maglione et al. The levels of emission in relation to background determine whether these predictions can be ruled out.

  3. Streaming sausage, kink and tearing instabilities in a current sheet with applications to the earth's magnetotail

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Lee, L. C.; Wang, S.; Wei, C. Q.; Tsurutani, B. T.

    1988-01-01

    This paper investigates the growth rates and eigenmode structures of the streaming sausage, kink, and tearing instabilities in a current sheet with a super-Alfvenic flow. The growth rates and eigenmode structures are first considered in the ideal incompressible limit by using a four-layer model, as well as a more realistic case in which all plasma parameters and the magnetic field vary continuously along the direction perpendicular to the magnetic field and plasma flow. An initial-value method is applied to obtain the growth rate and eigenmode profiles of the fastest growing mode, which is either the sausage mode or kink mode. It is shown that, in the earth's magnetotail, where super-Alfvenic plasma flows are observed in the plasma sheet and the ratio between the plasma and magnetic pressures far away from the current layer is about 0.1-0.3 in the lobes, the streaming sausage and streaming tearing instabilities, but not kink modes, are likely to occur.

  4. Multi-spacecraft Characterization of Current Sheet Crossings in the Dynamic Solar Wind

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Foster, N. D.; Stevens, M. L.; Biesecker, D. A.; Case, A. W.; Kasper, J. C.; Koval, A.; Szabo, A.

    2015-12-01

    The sun releases immense amounts of energy in the form of interplanetary coronal mass ejections (ICMEs) that can propagate through the solar wind towards Earth. Dragged along with it is a superconducting plasma of highly ionized gas that carries a "frozen-in" magnetic field. DSCOVR was recently launched and has joined Wind, ACE, and SOHO at L1 in order to make independent magnetic field measurements of the solar wind. These data, in conjunction with velocity measurements and the DSCOVR Faraday Cup ion spectra, can give us a sense of what shape the current sheets have as they pass through the spacecraft. Magnetic reconnection occurs as a result of the squeezing of opposing field lines to a cusp in a direction perpendicular to the direction of travel, and can continue to occur out to interplanetary distances due to the large amount of energy stored in ICME field lines. In particular, we are interested in high-density pile-up regions where the B-field components change sign during the June 22-23 ICME of this year. With at least three spacecraft, we are able to map the current sheet crossings in the solar wind at snapshots in time through planar timing calculations and minimum variance analysis. The advantages of multi-point and high time resolution plasma measurements will be assessed in determining large scale morphology, and for small scale dynamics of ICMEs, respectively.

  5. Magnetic relaxation, current sheets, and structure formation in an extremely Tenuous fluid medium

    SciTech Connect

    Bajer, K.; Moffatt, H. K.

    2013-12-20

    The process of relaxation of a unidirectional magnetic field in a highly conducting tenuous fluid medium is considered. Null points of the field play a critical role in this process. During an initial stage of relaxation, variations in magnetic pressure are eliminated, and current sheets build up in the immediate neighborhood of null points. This initial phase is followed by a long diffusive phase of slow algebraic decay of the field, during which fluid is continuously sucked into the current sheets, leading to exponential growth of fluid density and concentration of mass around the null points, which show a tendency to cluster. Ultimately, this second phase of algebraic decay gives way to a final period of exponential decay of the field. The peaks of density at the null points survive as a fossil relic of the decay process. Numerical solution of the governing equations provides convincing confirmation of this three-stage scenario. Generalizations to two- and three-dimensional fields are briefly considered.

  6. A numerical simulation of magnetic reconnection and radiative cooling in line-tied current sheets

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Forbes, T. G.; Malherbe, J. M.

    1991-01-01

    Radiative MHD equations are used for an optically thin plasma to carry out a numerical experiment related to the formation of 'postflare' loops. The numerical experiment starts with a current sheet that is in mechanical and thermal equilibrium but is unstable to both tearing-mode and thermal-condensation instabilities. The current sheet is line-tied at one end to a photospheric-like boundary and evolves asymmetrically. The effects of thermal conduction, resistivity variation, and gravity are ignored. In general, reconnection in the nonlinear stage of the tearing-mode instability can strongly affect the onset of condensations unless the radiative-cooling time scale is much smaller than the tearing-mode time scale. When the ambient plasma is less than 0.2, the reconnection enters a regime where the outflow from the reconnection region is supermagnetosonic with respect to the fast-mode wave speed. In the supermagnetosonic regime the most rapidly condensing regions occur downstream of a fast-mode shock that forms where the outflow impinges on closed loops attached to the photospheric-like boundary. A similar shock-induced condensation might occur during the formation of 'postflare' loops.

  7. Electron acceleration in the turbulent reconnecting current sheets in solar flares

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wu, G. P.; Huang, G. L.

    2009-07-01

    Context: We investigate the nonlinear evolution of the electron distribution in the presence of the strong inductive electric field in the reconnecting current sheets (RCS) of solar flares. Aims: We aim to study the characteristics of nonthermal electron-beam plasma instability and its influence on electron acceleration in RCS. Methods: Including the external inductive field, the one-dimensional Vlasov simulation is performed with a realistic mass ratio for the first time. Results: Our principal findings are as follows: 1) the Buneman instability can be quickly excited on the timescale of 10-7 s for the typical parameters of solar flares. After saturation, the beam-plasma instabilities are excited due to the non-Maxwellian electron distribution; 2) the final velocity of the electrons trapped by these waves is of the same order as the phase speed of the waves, while the untrapped electrons continue to be accelerated; 3) the inferred anomalous resistance of the current sheet and the energy conversion rate are basically of the same order as those previously estimated, e.g., “the analysis of Martens”. Conclusions: The Buneman instability is excited on the timescale of 10-7 s and the wave-particle resonant interaction limits the low-energy electrons to be further accelerated in RCS.

  8. Collisionless Weibel shocks: Full formation mechanism and timing

    SciTech Connect

    Bret, A.; Stockem, A.; Narayan, R.; Silva, L. O.

    2014-07-15

    Collisionless shocks in plasmas play an important role in space physics (Earth's bow shock) and astrophysics (supernova remnants, relativistic jets, gamma-ray bursts, high energy cosmic rays). While the formation of a fluid shock through the steepening of a large amplitude sound wave has been understood for long, there is currently no detailed picture of the mechanism responsible for the formation of a collisionless shock. We unravel the physical mechanism at work and show that an electromagnetic Weibel shock always forms when two relativistic collisionless, initially unmagnetized, plasma shells encounter. The predicted shock formation time is in good agreement with 2D and 3D particle-in-cell simulations of counterstreaming pair plasmas. By predicting the shock formation time, experimental setups aiming at producing such shocks can be optimised to favourable conditions.

  9. Experiments on the tearing of a current sheet into a bundle of interacting flux ropes

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Gekelman, Walter; Dehaas, Tim; van Compernolle, Bart; Latshaw, Alex; Daughton, William

    2014-10-01

    A narrow (δ/L ~ . 05 , δ ~= 3 - 10c/ωpe , δ = 1 cm) current sheet is established in a magnetized (B0z = 200 G, He, Len = 17 m, Dia = 60 cm) plasma column. The current sheet is observed to tear into multiple magnetic islands in several Alfvén transit times. Volumetric magnetic field data is acquired at 16,500 spatial locations and 16,000 time steps (δt = .34 μs). The flux ropes appear as multiple ``O'' and ``X'' points when viewed in a plane perpendicular to the local current but, in fact are three-dimensional. The kink unstable ropes writhe, and twist about each other as the ensemble of ropes spin about the background axial magnetic field. Fast framing camera images (τexp = 1 μs , 34,000 fps) clearly show the motion but differ from shot to shot. The movies are analyzed using correlation techniques. The rope dynamics becomes chaotic therefore correlation techniques using a fixed magnetic probe as well a He II line (λ = 303 A) are used to generate 3D images of the ropes. An emissive probe is used to measure the plasma potential and the total electric field, E-> = - ∇ ϕ -∂/A-> ∂ t , and plasma resistivity are evaluated. The perpendicular electric fields are two orders of magnitude larger than the parallel ones. The entropy and complexity of the flux ropes are evaluated. Work supported by a UC-LANL Lab fund and the Basic Plasma Science Facility which is funded by DOE and NSF.

  10. MMS Spacecraft Observation of Near Tail Thin Current Sheets: Their Locations, Conditions for Formation and Relation to Geomagnetic Activity

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Zhao, C.; Russell, C. T.; Strangeway, R. J.; Anderson, B. J.; Baumjohann, W.; Bromund, K. R.; Chutter, M.; Fischer, D.; Kepko, L.; Le Contel, O.; Leinweber, H. K.; Magnes, W.; Nakamura, R.; Plaschke, F.; Slavin, J. A.; Torbert, R. B.

    2015-12-01

    During the commissioning phase of the MMS mission, when the apogee (~12Re) of MMS orbit swept from the pre-midnight to the dusk section of the magnetosphere, the four spacecraft probed the dynamic region of the near-Earth magnetotail. The MMS fleet encountered many structures with unambiguously small-scale spatial gradient in magnetic field (comparable to the separation of the fleet), indicating the existence of very thin current sheets in this near-tail region. During this commissioning phase, the MMS spacecraft were in a string of pearls configuration, not ideally suitable for "curlometer" determination of the current density. Thus the current density and thickness of the sheets are only roughly determined using reasonable assumptions. In this study we correlate the current sheet's location and thickness with solar wind conditions and the ground magnetic field records.

  11. Two-fluid numerical simulations of turbulence inside Kelvin-Helmholtz vortices: Intermittency and reconnecting current sheets

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Rossi, C.; Califano, F.; Retinò, A.; Sorriso-Valvo, L.; Henri, P.; Servidio, S.; Valentini, F.; Chasapis, A.; Rezeau, L.

    2015-12-01

    The turbulence developing inside Kelvin-Helmholtz vortices has been studied using a two-fluid numerical simulation. From an initial large-scale velocity shear, the nonlinear evolution of the instability leads to the formation of a region inside the initial vortex characterized by small-scale fluctuations and structures. The magnetic energy spectrum is compatible with a Kolmogorov-like power-law decay, followed by a steeper power-law below proton scales, in agreement with other studies. The magnetic field increments show non-Gaussian distributions with increasing tails going towards smaller scales, consistent with presence of intermittency. The strong magnetic field fluctuations populating the tails of the distributions have been identified as current sheets by using the Partial Variance of the Increments (PVI) method. The strongest current sheets (largest PVI) appear around proton scales and below. By selecting several of such current sheets, it has been found that most of them are consistent with ongoing magnetic reconnection. The detailed study of one reconnecting current sheet as crossed by a virtual spacecraft is also presented. Inflow and outflow regions have been identified and the reconnection rate has been estimated. The observation of reconnection rates higher than typical fast rate ˜0.1 suggests that reconnection in turbulent plasma can be faster than laminar reconnection. This study indicates that intermittency and reconnecting current sheets are important ingredients of turbulence within Kelvin-Helmholtz vortices and that reconnection can play an important role for energy dissipation therein.

  12. Magnetic reconnection at the solar wind current sheets as a possible cause of strahl electrons acceleration and SEP dropouts

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Khabarova, O.; Zharkova, V. V.

    2014-12-01

    According to the shape of the electron velocity distribution function, there are two populations of suprathermal electrons: halo and strahls (beams). The halo electrons are omni-directional, and strahls are magnetic field aligned beams of electrons that predominantly move in the anti-sunward direction. Properties of strahls represent a great interest, because this population is most energetic, but its origination is still unclear. Usually, it is supposed that strahls is a focused part of halo electrons, non-scattered during their propagation from the Sun. We demonstrate a possibility to better understand nature of strahls if to suggest their acceleration directly in the solar wind due to a magnetic reconnection, occurring at current sheets. We use results of our PIC-simulation of particles behaviour at reconnecting current sheets (Zharkova, Khabarova, ApJ, 2012) in order to explain such effects as:- mismatches between a position of suprathermal electrons pitch-angle changes and real crossing of the heliospheric current sheet,- correlation between heat flux/solar energetic particles dropouts and high plasma beta,- occurrence of counterstreaming electrons at the ICME front and at corotating shocks at r > 2 AU,- radial evolution of strahls/halo density.Multi-spacecraft observations (STEREO, ACE, Ulysses) of properties of suprathermal electrons attributed to crossings of the heliospheric current sheet as well as smaller-scale current sheets during SEP events and CME-CIR interactions will be discussed.

  13. Particle scattering and current sheet stability in the geomagnetic tail during the substorm growth phase

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Pulkkinen, T. I.; Baker, D. N.; Pellinen, R. J.; Buechner, J.; Koskinen, H. E. J.; Lopez, R. E.; Dyson, R. L.; Frank, L. A.

    1992-01-01

    The particle scattering and current sheet stability features in the geomagnetic tail during the phase of substorm growth were investigated using Tsyganenko's (1989) magnetic field model. In a study of four substorm events which were observed both in the high-altitude nightside tail and in the auroral ionosphere, the model magnetic field was adjusted to each case so as to represent the global field development during the growth phase of the substorms. The model results suggest that the auroral brightenings are connected with processes taking place in the near-earth region inside about 15 earth radii. The results also suggest that there is a connection between the chaotization of the electrons and the auroral brightenings at substorm onset.

  14. Sharp edges in solar microwave spectra - Neutral current sheets or cyclotron lines?

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Schmahl, E. J.; Kundu, M. R.; Shevgaonkar, R. K.; Mcconnell, D.

    1984-01-01

    Two solar active regions have been mapped using the VLA at three closely spaced frequencies (4496, 4716, and 4996 MHz) in an attempt to determine the origin of the steep spectra (index gamma equal to about -5 to -8) sometimes observed with large single telescopes. One of the regions observed indeed shows an anomalously large slope (gamma equal to about -6) compared to the usual (gamma equal to about -2 to -2.5). The other region shows a similar slope (gamma equal to about -5) but with a larger range of statistical error. Two possible explanations for such steep edges in solar spectra are (1) transmission effects of neutral current sheets, and (2) the appearance of cyclotron lines. The internal evidence of the microwave maps and simultaneous optical observations favor an explanation in terms of cyclotron lines.

  15. Imaging of the relative saturation current density and sheet resistance of laser doped regions via photoluminescence

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Yang, Xinbo; Macdonald, D.; Fell, A.; Shalav, A.; Xu, Lujia; Walter, D.; Ratcliff, T.; Franklin, E.; Weber, K.; Elliman, R.

    2013-08-01

    We present an approach to characterize the relative saturation current density (Joe) and sheet resistance (RSH) of laser doped regions on silicon wafers based on rapid photoluminescence (PL) imaging. In the absence of surface passivation layers, the RSH of laser doped regions using a wide range of laser parameters is found to be inversely proportional to the PL intensity (IPL). We explain the underlying mechanism for this correlation, which reveals that, in principle, IPL is inversely proportional to Joe at any injection level. The validity of this relationship under a wide range of typical experimental conditions is confirmed by numerical simulations. This method allows the optimal laser parameters for achieving low RSH and Joe to be determined from a simple PL image.

  16. Observation of the Evolution of a Current Sheet in a Solar Flare

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Zhu, Chunming; Liu, Rui; Alexander, David; McAteer, James

    2016-05-01

    We report multi-wavelength and multi-viewpoint observations of a solar eruptive event which involves loop-loop interactions. During a C2.0 flare, motions associated with inflowing and outflowing plasma provide evidence for ongoing magnetic reconnection. The flare loop top and a rising "concave-up" feature are connected by a current-sheet-like structure (CSLS). The physical properties (thickness, length, temperature, and density) of the CSLS are evaluated. In regions adjacent to the CSLS, the EUV emission (characteristic temperature at 1.6 MK) begins to increase more than ten minutes prior to the onset of the flare, and steeply decreases during the decay phase. The reduction of the emission resembles that expected from coronal dimming. The dynamics of this event imply a magnetic reconnection rate in the range 0.01--0.05.

  17. Observation of the Evolution of a Current Sheet in a Solar Flare

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Zhu, Chunming; Liu, Rui; Alexander, David; McAteer, R. T. James

    2016-04-01

    We report multi-wavelength and multi-viewpoint observations of a solar eruptive event that involves loop-loop interactions. During a C2.0 flare, motions associated with inflowing and outflowing plasma provide evidence for ongoing magnetic reconnection. The flare loop top and a rising “concave-up” feature are connected by a current-sheet-like structure (CSLS). The physical properties (thickness, length, temperature, and density) of the CSLS are evaluated. In regions adjacent to the CSLS, the EUV emission (characteristic temperature at 1.6 MK) begins to increase more than 10 minutes prior to the onset of the flare, and steeply decreases during the decay phase. The reduction of the emission resembles that expected from coronal dimming. The dynamics of this event imply a magnetic reconnection rate in the range 0.01-0.05.

  18. Plasmoid and Kelvin-Helmholtz instabilities in Sweet-Parker current sheets.

    PubMed

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

    2013-01-01

    A two-dimensional (2D) linear theory of the instability of Sweet-Parker (SP) current sheets is developed in the framework of reduced magnetohydrodynamics. A local analysis is performed taking into account the dependence of a generic equilibrium profile on the outflow coordinate. The plasmoid instability [Loureiro et al., Phys. Plasmas 14, 100703 (2007)] is recovered, i.e., current sheets are unstable to the formation of a large-wave-number chain of plasmoids (k(max)L(CS)~S(3/8), where k(max) is the wave number of fastest growing mode, S=L(CS)V(A)/η is the Lundquist number, L(CS) is the length of the sheet, V(A) is the Alfvén speed, and η is the plasma resistivity), which grows super Alfvénically fast (γ(max)τ(A)~S(1/4), where γ(max) is the maximum growth rate, and τ(A)=L(CS)/V(A)). For typical background profiles, the growth rate and the wave number are found to increase in the outflow direction. This is due to the presence of another mode, the Kelvin-Helmholtz (KH) instability, which is triggered at the periphery of the layer, where the outflow velocity exceeds the Alfvén speed associated with the upstream magnetic field. The KH instability grows even faster than the plasmoid instability γ(max)τ(A)~k(max)L(CS)~S(1/2). The effect of viscosity (ν) on the plasmoid instability is also addressed. In the limit of large magnetic Prandtl numbers Pm=ν/η, it is found that γ(max)~S(1/4)Pm(-5/8) and k(max)L(CS)~S(3/8)Pm(-3/16), leading to the prediction that the critical Lundquist number for plasmoid instability in the Pm>1 regime is S(crit)~10(4)Pm(1/2). These results are verified via direct numerical simulation of the linearized equations, using an analytical 2D SP equilibrium solution. PMID:23410441

  19. World line dependence of current sheet normals inferred by minimum variance techniques

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Scudder, J. D.; Ma, Z.-W.; Omidi, N.; Puhl-Quinn, P.

    2005-08-01

    The reconstruction of current sheet geometry is investigated as a function of paths through an oblique two-dimensional (2-D) hybrid supercritical shock and two fluid simulations of the magnetopause with no, small, and large guide fields, respectively. For world lines near the separator or 2-D structures in shocks, systematic errors swamp statistical ones tenfold. The systematic angular errors of the magnetopause surface normal determined by minimum variance analysis (MVA) using >100,000 world lines are contrasted with recommended statistical error cones. The systematic errors range as high as 90° but typically more than 20°. Errors do not have a most probable value at the magnetopause when using MVA on the magnetic data, MnVA(B), and remain substantial when the Faraday residue, MnVA(FR), is minimized. The 68% confidence error on MnVA(FR) normals is 0-15°. "Skimming" world lines oblique to the current sheet normal are the most susceptible to the MnVA(B) and MnVA(FR) systematic errors discussed here, whether or not the world line pierces the separator. MnVA(B) almost always erroneously insists that a guide field is present when none is present in the simulation. MnVA(FR) does a better job at guide field recovery, although it too can be error prone. Similar issues are demonstrated for oblique world lines through a 2-D hybrid simulation of an oblique supercritical shock. Shock normal systematic errors are 35° and 20° at the 68% confidence for MnVA(B) and MnVA(FR), respectively. The eigenvalue ratios that accompany the least error prone MnVA(FR) reconstructions usually satisfy λ2/λ1 > 10. Eigenvalue ratios for MVA(B) are rarely this large, and the errors reported here reflect this circumstance.

  20. The microphysics of collisionless shocks

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wilson, Lynn Bruce, III

    2010-11-01

    collisionless shock energy dissipation, but they have raised many questions regarding our current theories. We have raised doubts regarding the use of the solar wind electron distributions as one particle population. We have showed evidence to support the energy dependence of wave-particle interactions between low frequency whistler waves and ≥1 keV electrons. Thus, we conclude that in the analysis of IP shocks the microphysics can no longer be disregarded.

  1. Transient, small-scale field-aligned currents in the plasma sheet boundary layer during storm time substorms

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Nakamura, R.; Sergeev, V. A.; Baumjohann, W.; Plaschke, F.; Magnes, W.; Fischer, D.; Varsani, A.; Schmid, D.; Nakamura, T. K. M.; Russell, C. T.; Strangeway, R. J.; Leinweber, H. K.; Le, G.; Bromund, K. R.; Pollock, C. J.; Giles, B. L.; Dorelli, J. C.; Gershman, D. J.; Paterson, W.; Avanov, L. A.; Fuselier, S. A.; Genestreti, K.; Burch, J. L.; Torbert, R. B.; Chutter, M.; Argall, M. R.; Anderson, B. J.; Lindqvist, P.-A.; Marklund, G. T.; Khotyaintsev, Y. V.; Mauk, B. H.; Cohen, I. J.; Baker, D. N.; Jaynes, A. N.; Ergun, R. E.; Singer, H. J.; Slavin, J. A.; Kepko, E. L.; Moore, T. E.; Lavraud, B.; Coffey, V.; Saito, Y.

    2016-05-01

    We report on field-aligned current observations by the four Magnetospheric Multiscale (MMS) spacecraft near the plasma sheet boundary layer (PSBL) during two major substorms on 23 June 2015. Small-scale field-aligned currents were found embedded in fluctuating PSBL flux tubes near the separatrix region. We resolve, for the first time, short-lived earthward (downward) intense field-aligned current sheets with thicknesses of a few tens of kilometers, which are well below the ion scale, on flux tubes moving equatorward/earthward during outward plasma sheet expansion. They coincide with upward field-aligned electron beams with energies of a few hundred eV. These electrons are most likely due to acceleration associated with a reconnection jet or high-energy ion beam-produced disturbances. The observations highlight coupling of multiscale processes in PSBL as a consequence of magnetotail reconnection.

  2. Formation of a very thin current sheet in the near-earth magnetotail and the explosive growth phase of substorms

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Lee, L. C.; Zhang, L.; Choe, G. S.; Cai, H. J.

    1995-01-01

    A magnetofricional method is used to construct two-dimensional MHD equilibria of the Earth's magnetosphere for a given distribution of entropy functions(S = pV(exp gamma), where p is the plasma pressure and V is the tube volume per unit magnetic flux. It is found that a very thin current sheet with B (sub zeta) is less than 0.5 nu T and thickness less than 1000 km can be formed in the near-earth magnetotail (x is approximately -8 to -20R(sub e) during the growth phase of substorm. The tail current sheets are found to become thinner as the entropy or the entropy gradient increases. It is suggested that the new entropy anti-diffusion instability associated with plasma transport across field lines leads to magnetic field dipolarization and accelerates the formation of thin current sheet, which may explain the observed explosive growth phase of substorms.

  3. Cluster electric current density measurements within a magnetic flux rope in the plasma sheet

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Slavin, J. A.; Lepping, R. P.; Gjerloev, J.; Goldstein, M. L.; Fairfield, D. H.; Acuna, M. H.; Balogh, A.; Dunlop, M.; Kivelson, M. G.; Khurana, K.

    2003-01-01

    On August 22, 2001 all 4 Cluster spacecraft nearly simultaneously penetrated a magnetic flux rope in the tail. The flux rope encounter took place in the central plasma sheet, Beta(sub i) approx. 1-2, near the leading edge of a bursty bulk flow. The "time-of-flight" of the flux rope across the 4 spacecraft yielded V(sub x) approx. 700 km/s and a diameter of approx.1 R(sub e). The speed at which the flux rope moved over the spacecraft is in close agreement with the Cluster plasma measurements. The magnetic field profiles measured at each spacecraft were first modeled separately using the Lepping-Burlaga force-free flux rope model. The results indicated that the center of the flux rope passed northward (above) s/c 3, but southward (below) of s/c 1, 2 and 4. The peak electric currents along the central axis of the flux rope predicted by these single-s/c models were approx.15-19 nA/sq m. The 4-spacecraft Cluster magnetic field measurements provide a second means to determine the electric current density without any assumption regarding flux rope structure. The current profile determined using the curlometer technique was qualitatively similar to those determined by modeling the individual spacecraft magnetic field observations and yielded a peak current density of 17 nA/m2 near the central axis of the rope. However, the curlometer results also showed that the flux rope was not force-free with the component of the current density perpendicular to the magnetic field exceeding the parallel component over the forward half of the rope, perhaps due to the pressure gradients generated by the collision of the BBF with the inner magnetosphere. Hence, while the single-spacecraft models are very successful in fitting flux rope magnetic field and current variations, they do not provide a stringent test of the force-free condition.

  4. PARTICLE DYNAMICS IN THE RECONNECTING HELIOSPHERIC CURRENT SHEET: SOLAR WIND DATA VERSUS THREE-DIMENSIONAL PARTICLE-IN-CELL SIMULATIONS

    SciTech Connect

    Zharkova, Valentina V.; Khabarova, Olga V. E-mail: habarova@izmiran.ru

    2012-06-10

    In this paper, we apply an assumption of the reconnecting heliospheric current sheet (HCS) for explanation of some contradictory results in the experimental detection of the sector boundaries (SBs) from the interplanetary magnetic field and electron pitch-angle measurements. Trajectories, densities, velocity, and pitch-angle distributions of particles accelerated by a super-Dreicer electric field are investigated with 2.5D full kinetic particle-in-cell approach in the HCS assumed to undergo a slow magnetic reconnection process with magnetic field configurations deduced from the solar wind observations. This approach reveals that during motion in a current sheet both kinds of particles, electrons and protons, are to be separated, either fully or partially, with respect to its midplane that can lead to their ejection to the opposite semiplanes that was also observed during the HCS crossings. This separation is found to form Hall's currents and polarization electric field across the current sheet, which distribution over the current sheets allows us to reproduce the magnitudes and temporal profiles of proton and ion velocities measured across the SB (current sheet midplane). This separation process, in turn, divides both kinds of particles on 'transit' and 'bounced' ones depending on a side of the current sheet where they enter it and where they are supposed to be ejected. The transit and bounced protons reproduce rather closely the measured distributions of proton/ion densities about the current sheet midplane with a larger maximum occurring at the heliospheric SB to be formed by the bounced protons and the other two smaller maximums on both sides from the central one to be formed by 'transit' protons. The observed electron distributions of density and energy before and after sector boundary crossings are found to fit the simulated ones for electrons accelerated in a current sheet revealing a sharp increase of density from one side from the HCS boundary and a

  5. Cluster observations of broadband electromagnetic waves in and around a reconnection region in the Earth's magnetotail current sheet

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Petkaki, P.; Freeman, M. P.; Walsh, A. P.

    2006-08-01

    We present an analysis of the electric and magnetic wave spectra on kinetic scales during several crossings of a reconnecting current sheet. The spectra were measured from 1 Hz or less up to 4096 Hz by the EFW, FGM and STAFF instruments onboard the Cluster spacecraft between 3 and 4 UT on 11 October 2001. During the event plasma flows of order of the local Alfvén speed reversed from tailward to earthward, suggesting that a reconnection site moved over the spacecraft. We ordered the observed electric and magnetic field wave spectrum by the position within the current sheet using the magnitude of the magnetic field B. We found that the electric and magnetic wave power decreased considerably at all frequencies towards the center of the current sheet (B ~ 0 nT). The electric energy density decreases 5 orders of magnitude from the edge of the current sheet (B = 19 nT) to the center and the magnetic energy density peaks within the current sheet (B = 13 nT) and is decreased by 2.5 orders of magnitude at the center. Within the current sheet, the electric and magnetic wave spectra were dominantly broadband electromagnetic noise (i.e., power law spectra with exponents ~-1.4 and ~-2.4, respectively) throughout the frequency range ~0.1-1000 Hz, spanning from MHD (i.e., ion cyclotron frequency ~0.2 Hz) to almost the electron plasma frequency (~4000 Hz). We argue that the wave activity is likely to be whistler wave turbulence and discuss the implications of these results for reconnection from wave-particle interactions.

  6. Cluster observations of broadband electromagnetic waves in and around a reconnection region in the Earth's magnetotail current sheet.

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Petkaki, P.; Freeman, M. P.; Walsh, A. P.

    2006-12-01

    We present an analysis of the electric and magnetic wave spectra on kinetic scales during several crossings of a reconnecting current sheet. The spectra were measured from 1 Hz or less up to 4096 Hz by the EFW, FGM and STAFF instruments onboard the Cluster spacecraft between 3 and 4 UT on 11 October 2001. During the event plasma flows of order of the local Alfvén speed reversed from tailward to earthward, suggesting that a reconnection site moved over the spacecraft. We ordered the observed electric and magnetic field wave spectrum by the position within the current sheet using the magnitude of the magnetic field B. We found that the electric and magnetic wave power decreased considerably at all frequencies towards the center of the current sheet (B ≍ 0~nT). The electric energy density decreases 5 orders of magnitude from the edge of the current sheet (B = 19~nT) to the center and the magnetic energy density peaks within the current sheet (B = 13~nT) and is decreased by 2.5 orders of magnitude at the center. Within the current sheet, the electric and magnetic wave spectra were dominantly broadband electromagnetic noise (i.e., power law spectra with exponents ≍ -1.4 and ≍ -2.4, respectively) throughout the frequency range ~ 0.1 - 1000~Hz, spanning from MHD (i.e., ion cyclotron frequency ≍ 0.2~Hz) to almost the electron plasma frequency (≍ 4000~Hz). We argue that the wave activity is likely to be whistler wave turbulence and discuss the implications of these results for reconnection from wave-particle interactions.

  7. PLASMOID RELEASES IN THE HELIOSPHERIC CURRENT SHEET AND ASSOCIATED CORONAL HOLE BOUNDARY LAYER EVOLUTION

    SciTech Connect

    Foullon, C.; Lavraud, B.; Opitz, A.; Sauvaud, J.-A.; Luhmann, J. G.; Farrugia, C. J.; Simunac, K. D. C.; Galvin, A. B.; Kucharek, H.; Popecki, M.; Retino, A.; Wardle, N. C.; Owen, C. J.

    2011-08-10

    As the heliospheric current sheet (HCS) is corotating past STEREO-B, near-Earth spacecraft ACE, Wind and Cluster, and STEREO-A over more than three days between 2008 January 10 and 14, we observe various sections of (near-pressure-balanced) flux-rope- and magnetic-island-type plasmoids in the associated heliospheric plasma sheet (HPS). The plasmoids can qualify as slow interplanetary coronal mass ejections and are relatively low proton beta (<0.5) structures, with small length scales (an order of magnitude lower than typical magnetic cloud values) and low magnetic field strengths (2-8 nT). One of them, in particular, detected at STEREO-B, corresponds to the first reported evidence of a detached plasmoid in the HPS. The in situ signatures near Earth are associated with a long-decay X-ray flare and a slow small-scale streamer ejecta, observed remotely with white-light coronagraphs aboard STEREO-B and SOHO and tracked by triangulation. Before the arrival of the HPS, a coronal hole boundary layer (CHBL) is detected in situ. The multi-spacecraft observations indicate a CHBL stream corotating with the HCS but with a decreasing speed distribution suggestive of a localized or transient nature. While we may reasonably assume that an interaction between ejecta and CHBL provides the source of momentum for the slow ejecta's acceleration, the outstanding composition properties of the CHBL near Earth provide here circumstantial evidence that this interaction or possibly an earlier one, taking place during streamer swelling when the ejecta rises slowly, results in additional mixing processes.

  8. Field-aligned current signatures in the near-tail region. I - ISEE observations in the plasma sheet boundary layer

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Ohtani, S.; Kokubun, S.; Elphic, R. C.; Russell, C. T.

    1988-01-01

    Field-aligned currents in the near-tail region are examined using ISEE magnetometer data. Two substorms (the 1054 UT and the 1436 UT substorms on March 22, 1979) were examined, demonstrating the consistency of the current polarity and intensity with observations at lower altitudes, which suggests that field-aligned currents in the plasma sheet boundary layer are parts of the large-scale current system, the region-1 system. An examination of the steplike changes of the magnetic field direction, which correspond to the spacecraft crossing of a net field-aligned current, showed that the field-aligned currents in the plasma sheet boundary layer have the same polarity as the region-1 system.

  9. Oblique tearing of a thin current sheet: Implications for patchy magnetopause reconnection

    SciTech Connect

    Cao, F.; Kan, J.R. )

    1991-04-01

    A linear resistive tearing instability of thin magnetic reversal layer, with thickness down to the order of the ion inertial length, is analyzed under an incompressible approximation. The growth rate is calculated numerically for an oblique tearing mode exp(ik(z cos{theta} + y sin{theta})), where {theta} is the propagation angle between the wave vector k and the z axis parallel to the reversal magnetic fields. In the MHD limit, it is known that the maximally growing mode is centered about {theta} = O, and the growth rate decreases monotonically with increasing {vert bar}{theta}{vert bar}. When the finite-ion-inertial-length effect is included, the tearing instability is either enhanced or suppressed depending on the propagation angle {theta}. The authors find that only waves in several relatively narrow bands of the angle {theta} are unstable and that the unstable tearing modes become highly drifting for oblique propagations. Either the ion-inertial-length effect or the oblique propagation can lead to a vortex electric current which is responsible for magnetic field B{sub y} components normal to the tearing plane. The structure of magnetic islands is fully three dimensional and is carefully examined. Implications of the results for the patchy and intermittent reconnection of a finite-size current sheet at the dayside magnetopause are discussed.

  10. On the linear stability of sheared and magnetized jets without current sheets - non-relativistic case

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kim, Jinho; Balsara, Dinshaw S.; Lyutikov, Maxim; Komissarov, Serguei S.

    2016-05-01

    In a prior paper (Kim et al. 2015) we considered the linear stability of magnetized jets that carry no net electric current and do not have current sheets. In this paper, in addition to physically well-motivated magnetic field structures, we also include the effects of jet shear. The jets we study have finite thermal pressure in addition to having realistic magnetic field structures and velocity shear. We find that shear has a strongly stabilizing effect on various modes of jet instability. Increasing shear stabilizes the fundamental pinch modes at long wavelengths and short wavelengths. Increasing shear also stabilizes the first reflection pinch modes at short wavelengths. Increasing shear has only a very modest stabilizing effect on the fundamental kink modes at long wavelengths; however, increasing shear does have a strong stabilizing effect on the fundamental kink modes at short wavelengths. The first reflection kink modes are strongly stabilized by increasing shear at shorter wavelengths. Overall, we find that the combined effect of magnetic field and shear stabilizes jets more than shear alone. In addition to the results from a formal linear stability analysis, we present a novel way of visualizing and understanding jet stability. This gives us a deeper understanding of the enhanced stability of sheared, magnetized jets. We also emphasize the value of our numerical approach in understanding the linear stability of jets with realistic structure.

  11. Numerical experiments on magnetic reconnection in solar flare and coronal mass ejection current sheets

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Mei, Z.; Shen, C.; Wu, N.; Lin, J.; Murphy, N. A.; Roussev, I. I.

    2012-10-01

    Magnetic reconnection plays a critical role in energy conversion during solar eruptions. This paper presents a set of magnetohydrodynamic experiments for the magnetic reconnection process in a current sheet (CS) formed in the wake of the rising flux rope. The eruption results from the loss of equilibrium in a magnetic configuration that includes a current-carrying flux rope, representing a pre-existing filament. In order to study the fine structure and micro processes inside the CS, mesh refinement is used to reduce the numerical diffusion. We start with a uniform, explicitly defined resistivity which results in a Lundquist number S = 104 in the vicinity of CS. The use of mesh refinement allows the simulation to capture high-resolution features such as plasmoids from the tearing mode and plasmoid instability regions of turbulence and slow-mode shocks. Inside the CS, magnetic reconnection goes through the Sweet-Parker and the fractal stages, and eventually displays a time-dependent Petschek pattern. Our results support the concept of fractal reconnection suggested by Shibata et al. and Shibata & Tanuma, and also suggest that the CS evolves through Sweet-Parker reconnection prior to the fast reconnection stage. For the first time, the detailed features and/or fine structures inside the coronal mass ejection/flare CS in the eruption were investigated in this work.

  12. On the linear stability of sheared and magnetized jets without current sheets - non-relativistic case

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kim, Jinho; Balsara, Dinshaw S.; Lyutikov, Maxim; Komissarov, Serguei S.

    2016-09-01

    In a prior paper, we considered the linear stability of magnetized jets that carry no net electric current and do not have current sheets. In this paper, in addition to physically well-motivated magnetic field structures, we also include the effects of jet shear. The jets we study have finite thermal pressure in addition to having realistic magnetic field structures and velocity shear. We find that shear has a strongly stabilizing effect on various modes of jet instability. Increasing shear stabilizes the fundamental pinch modes at long wavelengths and short wavelengths. Increasing shear also stabilizes the first reflection pinch modes at short wavelengths. Increasing shear has only a very modest stabilizing effect on the fundamental kink modes at long wavelengths; however, increasing shear does have a strong stabilizing effect on the fundamental kink modes at short wavelengths. The first reflection kink modes are strongly stabilized by increasing shear at shorter wavelengths. Overall, we find that the combined effect of magnetic field and shear stabilizes jets more than shear alone. In addition to the results from a formal linear stability analysis, we present a novel way of visualizing and understanding jet stability. This gives us a deeper understanding of the enhanced stability of sheared, magnetized jets. We also emphasize the value of our numerical approach in understanding the linear stability of jets with realistic structure.

  13. The resolved layer of a collisionless, high beta, supercritical, quasi-perpendicular shock wave. I - Rankine-Hugoniot geometry, currents, and stationarity

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Scudder, J. D.; Aggson, T. L.; Mangeney, A.; Lacombe, C.; Harvey, C. C.

    1986-01-01

    Data collected by the ISEE dual-spacecraft mission (on November 7, 1977) on a slowly moving, supercritical, high-beta, quasi-perpendicular bow shock are presented, and the local geometry, spatial scales, and stationarity of this shock wave are assessed in a self-consistent Rankine-Hugoniot-constrained frame of reference. Included are spatial profiles of the ac and dc magnetic and electric fields, electron and proton fluid velocities, current densities, electron and proton number densities, temperatures, pressures, and partial densities of the reflected protons. The observed layer profile is shown to be nearly phase standing and one-dimensional in a Rankine-Hugoniot frame, empirically determined by the magnetofluid parameters outside the layer proper.

  14. Verification of quantitative relationship among Birkeland current sheet motion, intensity, and convective velocity, and also of criterion for expansion onset

    SciTech Connect

    Atkinson, G.

    1986-08-01

    In this paper, 14 substorms are used to verify the conclusions of an earlier paper on current sheet motions. These conclusions can be summarized as follows: (1) The quantitative relationship V-italic/sub N-italic/ = V-italic/sub C-italic//sub N-italic/ -k-italic/sub V-italic/I-italic/sub parallel/ is valid when applied to the upward current sheet in the premidnight quadrant except during the expansion and early recovery phases of substorms (V-italic/sub i//sub N-italic/ and V-italic/sub C-italic//sub N-italic/ are the components, normal to the sheet, of the sheet velocity and the convection velocity, k-italic/sub v-italic/ is a constant, and I-italic/sub parallel/ is the current sheet intensity). (2) At the time of local northward expansion of the auroras there appears to be a decrease by 1 order of magnitude of the amount of plasma on the flux tubes. (3) The time of initiation of local northward expansion occurs when V-italic/sub C-italic//sub N-italic/ = k-italic/sub V-italic/I-italic/sub parallel/. A few additional points emerge from this study: The above relationships are not valid at stations east of the location of initial onset of expansion, and the amount of plasma on flux tubes tends to return to its preexpansion value after a substorm. Further conclusions are (1) that the physical mechanism responsible for the northward expansion in a westward traveling surge is the same as in the initial near-midnight expansion, (2) that the triggering of expansion occurs just as the tail begins to recede away from the earth, and (3) that the apparent decrease in plasma content is consistent with the formation of a near-earth neutral line; however, it could also result from the breakdown of the sheet approximation for the currents.

  15. Solar wind velocity distribution on the heliospheric current sheet during Carrington rotations 1787-1795

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bala, B.; Prabhakaran Nayar, S. R.

    1995-08-01

    The solar wind velocity distribution in the heliosphere is best represented using a v-map, where velocity contours are plotted in heliographic latitude-longitude coordinates. It has already been established that low-speed regions of the solar wind on the source surface correspond to the maximum bright regions of the K-corona and the neutral line of the coronal magnetic field. In this analysis, v-maps on the source surface for Carrington rotations (CRs) 1787-1795, during 1987, have been prepared using the interplanetary scintillation measurements at Research Institute of Atmospherics (RIA), Nagoya Univ., Japan. These v-maps were then used to study the time evolution of the low-speed (leq450 km s-1) belt of the solar wind and to deduce the distribution of solar wind velocity on the heliospheric current sheet. The low-speed belt of the solar wind on the source surface was found to change from one CR to the next, implying a time evolution. Instead of a slow and systematic evolution, the pattern of distribution of solar wind changed dramatically at one particular solar rotation (CR 1792) and the distributions for the succeeding rotations were similar to this pattern. The low-speed region, in most cases, was found to be close to the solar equator and almost parallel to it. However, during some solar rotations, they were found to be organised in certain longitudes, leaving regions with longitudinal width greater than 30° free of low-speed solar wind, i.e. these regions were occupied by solar wind with velocities greater than 450 km s-1. It is also noted from this study that the low-speed belt, in general, followed the neutral line of the coronal magnetic field, except in certain cases. The solar wind velocity on the heliospheric current sheet (HCS) varied in the range 300-585 km s-1 during the period of study, and the pattern of velocity distribution varied from rotation to rotation.

  16. Particle description of the electron diffusion region in collisionless magnetic reconnection

    SciTech Connect

    Fujimoto, Keizo; Sydora, Richard D.

    2009-11-15

    The present study clarifies the dissipation mechanism of collisionless magnetic reconnection in two-dimensional system based on particle dynamics. The electrons are accelerated without thermalization in the electron diffusion region, carry out the meandering oscillation, and are ejected away from the X-line. This electron behavior not only generates the electron inertia resistivity based on the particle description, but also it can be the origin of the electron viscosity resulting in the off-diagonal pressure tensor term in the generalized Ohm's law near the X-line. We derive an analytical profile for the electron pressure tensor term and confirm that the profile is consistent with the particle-in-cell simulation. The present results demonstrate that the magnetic dissipation due to the electron viscosity in the fluid picture is equivalent to that due to the inertia resistivity in the particle description. It is also suggested that the width of the electron current sheet is on the order of the electron inertia length in the case without electron scattering and thermalization, while it is expected that the width is broadened if the electron scattering occurs in the current sheet.

  17. HYBRID AND HALL-MHD SIMULATIONS OF COLLISIONLESS RECONNECTION: EFFECTS OF PLASMA PRESSURE TENSOR

    SciTech Connect

    L. YIN; D. WINSKE; ET AL

    2001-05-01

    In this study we performed two-dimensional hybrid (particle ions, massless fluid electrons) and Hall-MHD simulations of collisionless reconnection in a thin current sheet. Both calculations include the full electron pressure tensor (instead of a localized resistivity) in the generalized Ohm's law to initiate reconnection, and in both an initial perturbation to the Harris equilibrium is applied. First, electron dynamics from the two calculations are compared, and we find overall agreement between the two calculations in both the reconnection rate and the global configuration. To address the issue of how kinetic treatment for the ions affects the reconnection dynamics, we compared the fluid-ion dynamics from the Hall-MHD calculation to the particle-ion dynamics obtained from the hybrid simulation. The comparison demonstrates that off-diagonal elements of the ion pressure tensor are important in correctly modeling the ion out-of-plane momentum transport from the X point. It is that these effects can be modeled efficiently using a particle Hall-MHD simulation method in which particle ions used in a predictor/corrector to implement the ion gyro-radius corrections. We also investigate the micro- macro-scale coupling in the magnetotail dynamics by using a new integrated approach in which particle Hall-MHD calculations are embedded inside a MHD simulation. Initial results of the simulation concerning current sheet thinning and reconnection dynamics are discussed.

  18. Are current sheets the boundary of fluxtubes in the solar wind? -- A study from multiple spacecraft observation

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Li, G.; Arnold, L.; Miao, B.; Yan, Y.

    2011-12-01

    G. Li (1,2), L. Arnold (1), B. Miao (3) and Y. Yan (4) (1) Department of Physics, University of Alabama in Huntsville Huntsville, AL, 35899 (2) CSPAR, University of Alabama in Huntsville Huntsville, AL, 35899 (3) School of Earth and Space Sciences, University of Science and Technology of CHINA, Hefei, China (4) Key Laboratory of Solar Activity, National Astronomical Observatories, Chinese Academy of Science, Beijing 100012, China Current sheets is a common structure in the solar wind and is a significant source of solar wind MHD turbulence intermittency. The origin of these structure is presently unknown. Non-linear interactions of the solar wind MHD turbulence can spontaneously generate these structures. On the other hand, there are proposals that these structures may represent relic structures having solar origins. Using a technique developed in [1], we examine current sheets in the solar wind from multiple spacecraft. We identify the "single-peak" and "double-peak" events in the solar wind and discuss possible scenarios for these events and its implication of the origin of the current sheets. [1] Li, G., "Identify current-sheet-like structures in the solar wind", ApJL 672, L65, 2008.

  19. Development of a Current Sheet in the Wake of a Fast Coronal Mass Ejection

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ling, A. G.; Webb, D. F.; Burkepile, J. T.; Cliver, E. W.

    2014-04-01

    A bright ray that developed in the wake of a fast coronal mass ejection (CME) on 2005 September 7 presents a unique opportunity to study the early development and physical characteristics of a reconnecting current sheet (CS). Polarization brightness images from the Mk4 K-Coronameter at the Mauna Loa Solar Observatory are used to determine the structure of the ray along its axis low in the corona as it progressed outward. Coverage of the early development of the ray out to ~1.3 R ⊙ for a period of ~27 hr after the start of the event enables for the first time in white light a measurement of a CME CS from the top of the arcade to the base of the flux rope. Measured widths of the ray are combined to obtain the kinematics of the upper and lower "Y"-points described in reconnection flux-rope models such as that of Lin & Forbes. The time dependence of these points are used to derive values for the speed and acceleration of the growth of the CS. We note the appearance of a large structure which increases in size as it expands outward in the early development of the ray and an apparent oscillation with a period of ~0.5 hr in the position angle of the ray.

  20. PARTICLE ACCELERATION IN FRAGMENTING PERIODIC RECONNECTING CURRENT SHEETS IN SOLAR FLARES

    SciTech Connect

    Gordovskyy, M.; Browning, P. K.; Vekstein, G. E.

    2010-09-10

    Proton and electron acceleration in a fragmenting periodic current sheet (CS) is investigated, based on the forced magnetic reconnection scenario. The aim is to understand the role of CS fragmentation in high-energy beam generation in solar flares. We combine magnetohydrodynamics and test-particle models to consider particle trajectories consistent with a time-dependent reconnection model. It is shown that accelerated particles in such a model form two distinct populations. Protons and electrons moving in open magnetic field have energy spectra that are a combination of the initial Maxwellian distribution and a power-law high-energy (E>20 keV) part. The second population contains particles moving in a closed magnetic field around O-points. These particles move predominantly along the guiding field and their energies fall within quite a narrow range between {approx}1 MeV and {approx}10 MeV. It is also found that particles moving in an open magnetic field have a considerably wider pitch-angle distribution.

  1. Distribution of Nanoflares as Spatially Resolved Current Sheets in the Solar Corona

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ng, C. S.; Lin, L.

    2014-05-01

    In a recent numerical study [Ng et al., Astrophys. J. 747, 109, 2012], based on a three-dimensional model of coronal heating using reduced magnetohydrodynamics, we have obtained scaling results of heating rate versus Lundquist number S based on a series of runs in which random photospheric motions are imposed for hundreds to thousands of Alfvén time in order to obtain converged statistical values. The heating rate found in these simulations saturates to a level that is independent of S in the high S limit and is consistent with the required level for coronal heating. In a previous study based on the total heating rate time series [Ng and Lin, AIP Conf. Proc. 1500, 38, 2012] in these simulations, we have also calculated heating events distributions, which are consistent with observations but do not support the nanoflares scenario [Parker, Astrophys. J. 330, 474, 1988]. This method has a limitation of not distinguishing individual heating events. We now extend this analysis to investigate the distribution of energy release events defined as spatially resolved current sheets [Lin et el., ASP Conf. Ser. 474, 159, 2013]. We report preliminary results and compare to results obtained using only time-series analysis.

  2. Reconnection Properties of Large-scale Current Sheets During Coronal Mass Ejection Eruptions

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lynch, B. J.; Edmondson, J. K.; Kazachenko, M. D.; Guidoni, S. E.

    2016-07-01

    We present a detailed analysis of the properties of magnetic reconnection at large-scale current sheets (CSs) in a high cadence version of the Lynch & Edmondson 2.5D MHD simulation of sympathetic magnetic breakout eruptions from a pseudostreamer source region. We examine the resistive tearing and break-up of the three main CSs into chains of X- and O-type null points and follow the dynamics of magnetic island growth, their merging, transit, and ejection with the reconnection exhaust. For each CS, we quantify the evolution of the length-to-width aspect ratio (up to ∼100:1), Lundquist number (∼103), and reconnection rate (inflow-to-outflow ratios reaching ∼0.40). We examine the statistical and spectral properties of the fluctuations in the CSs resulting from the plasmoid instability, including the distribution of magnetic island area, mass, and flux content. We show that the temporal evolution of the spectral index of the reconnection-generated magnetic energy density fluctuations appear to reflect global properties of the CS evolution. Our results are in excellent agreement with recent, high-resolution reconnection-in-a-box simulations even though our CSs’ formation, growth, and dynamics are intrinsically coupled to the global evolution of sequential sympathetic coronal mass ejection eruptions.

  3. Reconnection Properties of Large-scale Current Sheets During Coronal Mass Ejection Eruptions

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lynch, B. J.; Edmondson, J. K.; Kazachenko, M. D.; Guidoni, S. E.

    2016-07-01

    We present a detailed analysis of the properties of magnetic reconnection at large-scale current sheets (CSs) in a high cadence version of the Lynch & Edmondson 2.5D MHD simulation of sympathetic magnetic breakout eruptions from a pseudostreamer source region. We examine the resistive tearing and break-up of the three main CSs into chains of X- and O-type null points and follow the dynamics of magnetic island growth, their merging, transit, and ejection with the reconnection exhaust. For each CS, we quantify the evolution of the length-to-width aspect ratio (up to ˜100:1), Lundquist number (˜103), and reconnection rate (inflow-to-outflow ratios reaching ˜0.40). We examine the statistical and spectral properties of the fluctuations in the CSs resulting from the plasmoid instability, including the distribution of magnetic island area, mass, and flux content. We show that the temporal evolution of the spectral index of the reconnection-generated magnetic energy density fluctuations appear to reflect global properties of the CS evolution. Our results are in excellent agreement with recent, high-resolution reconnection-in-a-box simulations even though our CSs’ formation, growth, and dynamics are intrinsically coupled to the global evolution of sequential sympathetic coronal mass ejection eruptions.

  4. The neutral current sheet and its radiation pairs of side sources in coronal mass ejections

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ji, Shu-Chen

    Using the data observed with the soft X-ray telescope, hard X-ray telescope aboard on Yohkoh and the Nobeyama Radioheliograph on 1998 April 23, a comprehensive study on soft X-ray coronal mass ejection (SXRCME) and radio Type IV burst is carried out and some significant results are obtained as follows: A magnetic capacity belt (MCB) between two magnetic dipole sources (MDSs) was found and there were only a few activitation sources (ASs). During the MCB changed into a magnetic energy belt (MEB) by the ASs, activating energy and shining material both concentrated to the neutral current sheet (NCS) in the course of its formation. When two MDSs were put through by the MEB, the NCS formed and the SXRCME occurred. The matter ejected not only from the NCS, but also from the whole MEB. The expanding loop of the SXRCME had two foot points, both were just two MDSs. The head of the expanding loop always tended to the foot point of the weak source, because it was equilibrium point of magnetic pressures coming from two foot points. For this reason, its locus was neutral line. From this, the neutral line can also determine the position of NCS. Finally, the radiation pairs of side sources of NCS on the MEB are found.

  5. Current Sheets in the Corona and the Complexity of Slow Wind

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Antiochos, Spiro

    2010-01-01

    The origin of the slow solar wind has long been one of the most important problems in solar/heliospheric physics. Two observational constraints make this problem especially challenging. First, the slow wind has the composition of the closed-field corona, unlike the fast wind that originates on open field lines. Second, the slow wind has substantial angular extent, of order 30 degrees, which is much larger than the widths observed for streamer stalks or the widths expected theoretically for a dynamic heliospheric current sheet. We propose that the slow wind originates from an intricate network of narrow (possibly singular) open-field corridors that emanate from the polar coronal hole regions. Using topological arguments, we show that these corridors must be ubiquitous in the solar corona. The total solar eclipse in August 2008, near the lowest point of cycle 23 affords an ideal opportunity to test this theory by using the ultra-high resolution Predictive Science's (PSI) eclipse model for the corona and wind. Analysis of the PSI eclipse model demonstrates that the extent and scales of the open-field corridors can account for both the angular width of the slow wind and its closed-field composition. We discuss the implications of our slow wind theory for the structure of the corona and heliosphere at solar minimum and describe further observational and theoretical tests.

  6. Interactive desktop analysis of high resolution simulations: application to turbulent plume dynamics and current sheet formation

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Clyne, John; Mininni, Pablo; Norton, Alan; Rast, Mark

    2007-08-01

    The ever increasing processing capabilities of the supercomputers available to computational scientists today, combined with the need for higher and higher resolution computational grids, has resulted in deluges of simulation data. Yet the computational resources and tools required to make sense of these vast numerical outputs through subsequent analysis are often far from adequate, making such analysis of the data a painstaking, if not a hopeless, task. In this paper, we describe a new tool for the scientific investigation of massive computational datasets. This tool (VAPOR) employs data reduction, advanced visualization, and quantitative analysis operations to permit the interactive exploration of vast datasets using only a desktop PC equipped with a commodity graphics card. We describe VAPORs use in the study of two problems. The first, motivated by stellar envelope convection, investigates the hydrodynamic stability of compressible thermal starting plumes as they descend through a stratified layer of increasing density with depth. The second looks at current sheet formation in an incompressible helical magnetohydrodynamic flow to understand the early spontaneous development of quasi two-dimensional (2D) structures embedded within the 3D solution. Both of the problems were studied at sufficiently high spatial resolution, a grid of 5042 by 2048 points for the first and 15363 points for the second, to overwhelm the interactive capabilities of typically available analysis resources.

  7. WKB approach to the problem of MHD shock propagation through the heliospheric current sheet

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Uralova, S. V.; Uralov, A. M.

    1994-07-01

    The interplanetary shock wave front shape and intensity are calculated numerically by means of the Wentzel-Kramer-Brillouin (WKB)-approach, with nonlinear effects taken into account. The solar flare is modelled as an isotropic point explosion at the solar wind base. The heliospheric current sheet (HCS) is represented by a radially diverging stream with a higher plasma concentration and a lower wind speed. Fast magnetosonic shock wave propagation along the HCS is connected with the effect of regular accumulation of the wave energy in the vicinity of the HCS. In this place the wave intensity is increased, and the corresponding front fragments go ahead to form a shock-wave forerunner as a 'pimple'. The 'pimple', in turn, is located inside quite a large, but less-contrast, 'dimple' in the wave surface. This 'dimple' approximately coincides with the HCS stream contours. If the flare is outside the HCS boundaries, the picture discussed above is conserved, but asymmetry effects arise. Thus the interplanetary shock is stronger when the Earth's observer and the flare are on the same side of the HCS and is weaker in the opposite case.

  8. Repetitive formation and decay of current sheets in magnetic loops: An origin of diverse magnetic structures

    SciTech Connect

    Kumar, Dinesh; Bhattacharyya, R.; Smolarkiewicz, P. K.

    2015-01-15

    In this work, evolution of an incompressible, thermally homogeneous, infinitely conducting, viscous magnetofluid is numerically explored as the fluid undergoes repeated events of magnetic reconnection. The initial magnetic field is constructed by a superposition of two linear force-free fields and has similar morphology as the magnetic loops observed in the solar corona. The results are presented for computations with three distinct sets of footpoint geometries. To onset reconnection, we rely on numerical model magnetic diffusivity, in the spirit of implicit large eddy simulation. It is generally expected that in a high Lundquist number fluid, repeated magnetic reconnections are ubiquitous and hence can lead to a host of magnetic structures with considerable observational importance. In particular, the simulations presented here illustrate formations of magnetic islands, rotating magnetic helices and rising flux ropes—depending on the initial footpoint geometry but through the common process of repeated magnetic reconnections. Further, we observe the development of extended current sheets in two case studies, where the footpoint reconnections generate favorable dynamics.

  9. Development of a current sheet in the wake of a fast coronal mass ejection

    SciTech Connect

    Ling, A. G.; Webb, D. F.; Burkepile, J. T.

    2014-04-01

    A bright ray that developed in the wake of a fast coronal mass ejection (CME) on 2005 September 7 presents a unique opportunity to study the early development and physical characteristics of a reconnecting current sheet (CS). Polarization brightness images from the Mk4 K-Coronameter at the Mauna Loa Solar Observatory are used to determine the structure of the ray along its axis low in the corona as it progressed outward. Coverage of the early development of the ray out to ∼1.3 R {sub ☉} for a period of ∼27 hr after the start of the event enables for the first time in white light a measurement of a CME CS from the top of the arcade to the base of the flux rope. Measured widths of the ray are combined to obtain the kinematics of the upper and lower {sup Y-}points described in reconnection flux-rope models such as that of Lin and Forbes. The time dependence of these points are used to derive values for the speed and acceleration of the growth of the CS. We note the appearance of a large structure which increases in size as it expands outward in the early development of the ray and an apparent oscillation with a period of ∼0.5 hr in the position angle of the ray.

  10. ASYMMETRIC SUNSPOT ACTIVITY AND THE SOUTHWARD DISPLACEMENT OF THE HELIOSPHERIC CURRENT SHEET

    SciTech Connect

    Wang, Y.-M.; Robbrecht, E. E-mail: eva.robbrecht@oma.be

    2011-08-01

    Observations of the interplanetary magnetic field (IMF) have suggested a statistical tendency for the heliospheric current sheet (HCS) to be shifted a few degrees southward of the heliographic equator during the period 1965-2010, particularly in the years near sunspot minimum. Using potential-field source-surface extrapolations and photospheric flux-transport simulations, we demonstrate that this southward displacement follows from Joy's law and the observed hemispheric asymmetry in the sunspot numbers, with activity being stronger in the southern (northern) hemisphere during the declining (rising) phase of cycles 20-23. The hemispheric asymmetry gives rise to an axisymmetric quadrupole field, whose equatorial zone has the sign of the leading-polarity flux in the dominant hemisphere; during the last four cycles, the polarity of the IMF around the equator thus tended to match that of the north polar field both before and after polar field reversal. However, large fluctuations are introduced by the nonaxisymmetric field components, which depend on the longitudinal distribution of sunspot activity in either hemisphere. Consistent with this model, the HCS showed an average northward displacement during cycle 19, when the 'usual' alternation was reversed and the northern hemisphere became far more active than the southern hemisphere during the declining phase of the cycle. We propose a new method for determining the north-south displacement of the HCS from coronal streamer observations.

  11. The Svalbard-Barents Sea ice-sheet - Historical, current and future perspectives

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ingólfsson, Ólafur; Landvik, Jon Y.

    2013-03-01

    The history of research on the Late Quaternary Svalbard-Barents Sea ice sheet mirrors the developments of ideas and the shifts of paradigms in glacial theory over the past 150 years. Since the onset of scientific research there in the early 19th Century, Svalbard has been a natural laboratory where ideas and concepts have been tested, and played an important (but rarely acknowledged) role in the break-through of the Ice Age theory in the 1870's. The history of how the scientific perception of the Svalbard-Barents sea ice sheet developed in the mid-20th Century also tells a story of how a combination of fairly scattered and often contradictory observational data, and through both deductive and inductive reasoning, could outline a major ice sheet that had left but few tangible fingerprints. Since the 1980's, with increased terrestrial stratigraphical data, ever more marine geological evidence and better chronological control of glacial events, our perception of the Svalbard-Barents Sea ice sheet has changed. The first reconstructions depicted it as a static, concentric, single-domed ice sheet, with ice flowing from an ice divide over the central northern Barents Sea that expanded and declined in response to large-scale, Late Quaternary climate fluctuations, and which was more or less in tune with other major Northern Hemisphere ice sheets. We now increasingly perceive it as a very dynamic, multidomed ice sheet, controlled by climate fluctuations, relative sea-level change, as well as subglacial topography, substrate properties and basal temperature. In this respect, the Svalbard-Barents Sea ice sheet will increasingly hold the key for understanding the dynamics and processes of how marine-based ice sheets build-up and decay.

  12. Metallurgical Effects of Shunting Current on Resistance Spot-Welded Joints of AA2219 Sheets

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Jafari Vardanjani, M.; Araee, A.; Senkara, J.; Jakubowski, J.; Godek, J.

    2016-06-01

    Shunting effect is the loss of electrical current via the secondary circuit provided due to the existence of previous nugget in a series of welding spots. This phenomenon influences on metallurgical aspects of resistance spot-welded (RSW) joints in terms of quality and performance. In this paper RSW joints of AA2219 sheets with 1 mm thickness are investigated metallurgically for shunted and single spots. An electro-thermal finite element analysis is performed on the RSW process of shunted spot and temperature distribution and variation are obtained. These predictions are then compared with experimental micrographs. Three values of 5 mm, 20 mm, and infinite (i.e., single spot) are assumed for welding distance. Numerical and experimental results are matching each other in terms of nugget and HAZ geometry as increasing distance raised nugget size and symmetry of HAZ. In addition, important effect of shunting current on nugget thickness, microstructure, and Copper segregation on HAZ grain boundaries were discovered. A quantitative analysis is also performed about the influence of welding distance on important properties including ratio of nugget thickness and diameter (r t), ratio of HAZ area on shunted and free side of nugget (r HA), and ratio of equivalent segregated and total amount of Copper, measured in sample (r Cu) on HAZ. Increasing distance from 5 mm to infinite, indicated a gain of 111.04, -45.55, and -75.15% in r t, r HA, and r Cu, respectively, while obtained ratios for 20 mm welding distance was suitable compared to single spot.

  13. A statistical study of the THEMIS satellite data for plasma sheet electrons carrying auroral upward field-aligned currents

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lee, S.; Shiokawa, K.; McFadden, J. P.

    2010-12-01

    The magnetospheric electron precipitation along the upward field-aligned currents without the potential difference causes diffuse aurora, and the magnetospheric electrons accelerated by a field-aligned potential difference cause the intense and bright type of aurora, namely discrete aurora. In this study, we are trying to find out when and where the aurora can be caused with or without electron acceleration. We statistically investigate electron density, temperature, thermal current, and conductivity in the plasma sheet using the data from the electrostatic analyzer (ESA) onboard the THEMIS-D satellite launched in 2007. According to Knight (Planet. Space Sci., 1973) and Lyons (JGR, 1980), the thermal current, jth(∝ nT^(1/2) where n is electron density and T is electron temperature in the plasma sheet), represents the upper limit to field aligned current that can be carried by magnetospheric electrons without field-aligned potential difference. The conductivity, K(∝ nT^(-1/2)), represents the efficiency of the upward field-aligned current (j) that the field-aligned potential difference (V) can produce (j=KV). Therefore, estimating jth and K in the plasma sheet is important in understanding the ability of plasma sheet electrons to carry the field-aligned current which is driven by various magnetospheric processes such as flow shear and azimuthal pressure gradient. Similar study was done by Shiokawa et al. (2000) based on the auroral electron data obtained by the DMSP satellites above the auroral oval and the AMPTE/IRM satellite in the near Earth plasma sheet at 10-18 Re on February-June 1985 and March-June 1986 during the solar minimum. The purpose of our study is to examine auroral electrons with pitch angle information inside 12 Re where Shiokawa et al. (2000) did not investigate well. For preliminary result, we found that in the dawn side inner magnetosphere (source of the region 2 current), electrons can make sufficient thermal current without field

  14. Simplex-in-cell technique for collisionless plasma simulations

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kates-Harbeck, Julian; Totorica, Samuel; Zrake, Jonathan; Abel, Tom

    2016-01-01

    We extend the simplex-in-cell (SIC) technique recently introduced in the context of collisionless dark matter fluids [1,2] to the case of collisionless plasmas. The six-dimensional phase space distribution function f (x , v) is represented by an ensemble of three-dimensional manifolds, which we refer to as sheets. The electric potential field is obtained by solving the Poisson equation on a uniform mesh, where the charge density is evaluated by a spatial projection of the phase space sheets. The SIC representation of phase space density facilitates robust, high accuracy numerical evolution of the Vlasov-Poisson system using significantly fewer tracer particles than comparable particle-in-cell (PIC) approaches by reducing the numerical shot-noise associated with the latter. We introduce the SIC formulation and describe its implementation in a new code, which we validate using standard test problems including plasma oscillations, Landau damping, and two stream instabilities in one dimension. Merits of the new scheme are shown to include higher accuracy and faster convergence rates in the number of particles. We finally motivate and outline the efficient application of SIC to higher dimensional problems.

  15. Nonlinear evolution of the Kelvin-Helmholtz instability in the double current sheet configuration

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Mao, Aohua; Li, Jiquan; Liu, Jinyuan; Kishimoto, Yasuaki

    2016-03-01

    The nonlinear evolution of the Kelvin-Helmholtz (KH) instability driven by a radially antisymmetric shear flow in the double current sheet configuration is numerically investigated based on a reduced magnetohydrodynamic model. Simulations reveal different nonlinear fate of the KH instability depending on the amplitude of the shear flow, which restricts the strength of the KH instability. For strong shear flows far above the KH instability threshold, the linear electrostatic-type KH instability saturates and achieves a vortex flow dominated quasi-steady state of the electromagnetic (EM) KH turbulence with large-amplitude zonal flows as well as zonal fields. The magnetic surfaces are twisted significantly due to strong vortices but without the formation of magnetic islands. However, for the shear flow just over the KH instability threshold, a weak EM-type KH instability is saturated and remarkably damped by zonal flows through modifying the equilibrium shear flow. Interestingly, a secondary double tearing mode (DTM) is excited subsequently in highly damped KH turbulence, behaving as a pure DTM in a flowing plasma as described in Mao et al. [Phys. Plasmas 21, 052304 (2014)]. However, the explosive growth phenomenon is replaced by a gradually growing oscillation due to the extremely twisted islands. As a result, the release of the magnetic energy becomes slow and the global magnetic reconnection tends to be gentle. A complex nonlinear interaction between the EM KH turbulence and the DTMs occurs for the medium shear flows above the KH instability threshold, turbulent EM fluctuations experience oscillatory nonlinear growth of the DTMs, finally achieves a quasi-steady state with the interplay of the fluctuations between the DTMs and the EM KH instability.

  16. ASYMMETRIC MAGNETIC RECONNECTION IN SOLAR FLARE AND CORONAL MASS EJECTION CURRENT SHEETS

    SciTech Connect

    Murphy, N. A.; Miralles, M. P.; Pope, C. L.; Raymond, J. C.; Winter, H. D.; Reeves, K. K.; Van Ballegooijen, A. A.; Lin, J.; Seaton, D. B.

    2012-05-20

    We present two-dimensional resistive magnetohydrodynamic simulations of line-tied asymmetric magnetic reconnection in the context of solar flare and coronal mass ejection current sheets. The reconnection process is made asymmetric along the inflow direction by allowing the initial upstream magnetic field strengths and densities to differ, and along the outflow direction by placing the initial perturbation near a conducting wall boundary that represents the photosphere. When the upstream magnetic fields are asymmetric, the post-flare loop structure is distorted into a characteristic skewed candle flame shape. The simulations can thus be used to provide constraints on the reconnection asymmetry in post-flare loops. More hard X-ray emission is expected to occur at the footpoint on the weak magnetic field side because energetic particles are more likely to escape the magnetic mirror there than at the strong magnetic field footpoint. The footpoint on the weak magnetic field side is predicted to move more quickly because of the requirement in two dimensions that equal amounts of flux must be reconnected from each upstream region. The X-line drifts away from the conducting wall in all simulations with asymmetric outflow and into the strong magnetic field region during most of the simulations with asymmetric inflow. There is net plasma flow across the X-line for both the inflow and outflow directions. The reconnection exhaust directed away from the obstructing wall is significantly faster than the exhaust directed toward it. The asymmetric inflow condition allows net vorticity in the rising outflow plasmoid which would appear as rolling motions about the flux rope axis.

  17. Magnetar giant flares in multipolar magnetic fields. II. Flux rope eruptions with current sheets

    SciTech Connect

    Huang, Lei; Yu, Cong E-mail: cyu@ynao.ac.cn

    2014-11-20

    We propose a physical mechanism to explain giant flares and radio afterglows in terms of a magnetospheric model containing both a helically twisted flux rope and a current sheet (CS). With the appearance of a CS, we solve a mixed boundary value problem to get the magnetospheric field based on a domain decomposition method. We investigate properties of the equilibrium curve of the flux rope when the CS is present in background multipolar fields. In response to the variations at the magnetar surface, it quasi-statically evolves in stable equilibrium states. The loss of equilibrium occurs at a critical point and, beyond that point, it erupts catastrophically. New features show up when the CS is considered. In particular, we find two kinds of physical behaviors, i.e., catastrophic state transition and catastrophic escape. Magnetic energy would be released during state transitions. This released magnetic energy is sufficient to drive giant flares, and the flux rope would, therefore, go away from the magnetar quasi-statically, which is inconsistent with the radio afterglow. Fortunately, in the latter case, i.e., the catastrophic escape, the flux rope could escape the magnetar and go to infinity in a dynamical way. This is more consistent with radio afterglow observations of giant flares. We find that the minor radius of the flux rope has important implications for its eruption. Flux ropes with larger minor radii are more prone to erupt. We stress that the CS provides an ideal place for magnetic reconnection, which would further enhance the energy release during eruptions.

  18. CURRENT SHEET REGULATION OF SOLAR NEAR-RELATIVISTIC ELECTRON INJECTION HISTORIES

    SciTech Connect

    Agueda, N.; Sanahuja, B.; Vainio, R.; Dalla, S.; Lario, D.

    2013-03-10

    We present a sample of three large near-relativistic (>50 keV) electron events observed in 2001 by both the ACE and the Ulysses spacecraft, when Ulysses was at high-northern latitudes (>60 Degree-Sign ) and close to 2 AU. Despite the large latitudinal distance between the two spacecraft, electrons injected near the Sun reached both heliospheric locations. All three events were associated with large solar flares, strong decametric type II radio bursts and accompanied by wide (>212 Degree-Sign ) and fast (>1400 km s{sup -1}) coronal mass ejections (CMEs). We use advanced interplanetary transport simulations and make use of the directional intensities observed in situ by the spacecraft to infer the electron injection profile close to the Sun and the interplanetary transport conditions at both low and high latitudes. For the three selected events, we find similar interplanetary transport conditions at different heliolatitudes for a given event, with values of the mean free path ranging from 0.04 AU to 0.27 AU. We find differences in the injection profiles inferred for each spacecraft. We investigate the role that sector boundaries of the heliospheric current sheet (HCS) have on determining the characteristics of the electron injection profiles. Extended injection profiles, associated with coronal shocks, are found if the magnetic footpoints of the spacecraft lay in the same magnetic sector as the associated flare, while intermittent sparse injection episodes appear when the spacecraft footpoints are in the opposite sector or a wrap in the HCS bounded the CME structure.

  19. Multi-spacecraft analysis of local structure of Heliospheric Current Sheet

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Arrazola, D.; Blanco, Juan Jose; Rodriguez-Pacheco, Javier; Hidalgo, Miguel Angel; Medina, Jose

    Local variability of the Heliospheric Current Sheet (HCS) has been studied. Its local magnetic structure is observed as a boundary through which the magnetic field inverts its direction toward or away from Sun. In this work, we have used data from ACE, WIND, STEREO A and B spacecrafts. Solar wind features and magnetic field variations obtained from each spacecraft and for each event analyzed have been used to estimate temporal and spatial dependences in the local HCS structure. Their connection with the neutral line at the corona has been also determined. We have grouped the selected events according to their magnetic connection, with the aim of analyzing possible variations on the local orientation. Events studied cover from the ascending phase of solar cycle 23 to the next minimum around 2007. It has been observed that when spacecrafts are close to each other and/or magnetically well connected, clear variations on the local orientation are not observed. In these cases, the elapsed time was less than 2 hours. This fact could be interpreted as if there were not temporal variations on the local structure of the HCS in the range of 2 hours. On the other hand, the analysis shows that angular variation has a growing trend with elapsed time between different spacecraft. This can be related to the fact that spacecrafts are magnetically bad connected. In these cases, variations in local HCS orientation are observed. To evaluate changes of the HCS local orientations it has been used MVA, CVA and HYTARO methods. Results and future goals are summarized in this work.

  20. An estimation of the electric field in the magnetotail current sheet using the observed energetic ion bulk flow

    SciTech Connect

    Xiaolin Li; Speiser, T.W. NOAA/SEL, Boulder, CO )

    1991-11-01

    It is important to know the electric field in the tail current sheet in order to understand how particles behave and how much energy is being dissipated. The electric field is also a measurement of the reconnection rate during substorms. For the CDAW-6 substorm period of March 22, 1979, the authors used the ion data from the medium energy particles experiment (MEPE) on the ISEE-1 satellite, and studied nine measurements of the 3D distribution function centered on the center of the current sheet. The measured distribution function was then integrated to obtain the average of bulk flow velocity in the geocentric solar ecliptic (GSE) frame. This bulk flow velocity was then broken up into its components perpendicular and parallel to the magnetic field for the nine cases. It was further assumed that the perpendicular component was due, in part, to an energy dependent drift and to an energy independent electric field drift. Using the bulk flow velocities from any two energy channels they can separate out the electric and energy dependent drifts and thus obtain electric field and energy dependent components. The two lowest energy channels (34.3 keV and 54.9 keV) give the main results, and the 80.4 keV and 118.8 keV channels are used as a cross check. They find that E{sub x} fluctuates approximately {plus minus}5 mV/m, and E{sub y} {plus minus} 10 mV/m, in reasonable agreement with measurements by the electric field instrument, with most of the fluctuation presumably due to the motion of the current sheet. Using current sheet oscillation theory and the central current sheet data points, they can estimate E{sub y} in the frame of the current sheet and find a positive average E{sub y} with a magnitude of {approx} 0.1 mV/m, which is also consistent with that expected for reconnection in this substorm time period.

  1. Collisionless Reconnection in an Electron-Positron Plasma

    SciTech Connect

    Bessho, N.; Bhattacharjee, A.

    2005-12-09

    Electromagnetic particle-in-cell simulations of fast collisionless reconnection in a two-dimensional electron-positron plasma (without an equilibrium guide field) are presented. A generalized Ohm's law in which the Hall current cancels out exactly is given. It is suggested that the key to fast reconnection in this plasma is the localization caused by the off-diagonal components of the pressure tensors, which produce an effect analogous to a spatially localized resistivity.

  2. Collisionless reconnection in an electron-positron plasma.

    PubMed

    Bessho, N; Bhattacharjee, A

    2005-12-01

    Electromagnetic particle-in-cell simulations of fast collisionless reconnection in a two-dimensional electron-positron plasma (without an equilibrium guide field) are presented. A generalized Ohm's law in which the Hall current cancels out exactly is given. It is suggested that the key to fast reconnection in this plasma is the localization caused by the off-diagonal components of the pressure tensors, which produce an effect analogous to a spatially localized resistivity. PMID:16384388

  3. Investigation of a large solid angle pion channel for a medical application utilizing current sheets and solenoid elements

    SciTech Connect

    Sugimitsu, T.; Swenson, D.A.

    1980-05-01

    For the treatment of tumors with pi-minus mesons (pions), a pion channel with a large solid angle is essential. A parallel beam of uniform density and reasonable size at the patient position is favored from the practical point of view. A new pion channel with sixty toroidal current sheets and some solenoids is shown to meet these requirements. It would also be useful for some physics experiments using low-energy pion and muon beam.

  4. MODELING UV AND X-RAY EMISSION IN A POST-CORONAL MASS EJECTION CURRENT SHEET

    SciTech Connect

    Ko, Yuan-Kuen; Raymond, John C.; Vrsnak, Bojan; Vujic, Eugen

    2010-10-10

    A post-coronal mass ejection (CME) current sheet (CS) is a common feature developed behind an erupting flux rope in CME models. Observationally, white light observations have recorded many occurrences of a thin ray appearing behind a CME eruption that closely resembles a post-CME CS in its spatial correspondence and morphology. UV and X-ray observations further strengthen this interpretation by the observations of high-temperature emission at locations consistent with model predictions. The next question then becomes whether the properties inside a post-CME CS predicted by a model agree with observed properties. In this work, we assume that the post-CME CS is a consequence of Petschek-like reconnection and that the observed ray-like structure is bounded by a pair of slow mode shocks developed from the reconnection site. We perform time-dependent ionization calculations and model the UV line emission. We find that such a model is consistent with SOHO/UVCS observations of the post-CME CS. The change of Fe XVIII emission in one event implies an inflow speed of {approx}10 km s{sup -1} and a corresponding reconnection rate of M{sub A} {approx} 0.01. We calculate the expected X-ray emission for comparison with X-ray observations by Hinode/XRT, as well as the ionic charge states as would be measured in situ at 1 AU. We find that the predicted count rate for Hinode/XRT agrees with what was observed in a post-CME CS on 2008 April 9, and the predicted ionic charge states are consistent with high ionization states commonly measured in the interplanetary CMEs. The model results depend strongly on the physical parameters in the ambient corona, namely the coronal magnetic field, the electron density, and temperature during the CME event. It is crucial to obtain these ambient coronal parameters and as many facets of the CS properties as possible by observational means so that the post-CME CS models can be scrutinized more effectively.

  5. The North-South Asymmetry of the Heliospheric Current Sheet: Results of an MHD Simulation

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Usmanov, Arcadi V.; Goldstein, Melvyn L.

    2013-01-01

    A displacement of the heliospheric current sheet (HCS) south of the helioequator by approx.10deg was proposed by Simpson et al. (1996) as a possible explanation of the north-south asymmetry in the galactic cosmic rays observed by Ulysses during its first fast transit in 1994-1995. The idea was not supported by magnetic field measurements on Ulysses and, on this ground, was dismissed by Simpson et al. (1996). In addition, Erdos & Balogh (1998) argued that any north-south symmetry was unlikely as there should be flux balance between the magnetic sectors of opposite polarity. Nonetheless, many in the scientific community have accepted the original suggestion of Simpson et al. (1996) that a displacement of the HCS was responsible for the cosmic ray asymmetry. In this paper, using a magnetohydrodynamic model of the solar corona and solar wind that includes both dipole and quadrupole magnetic source terms, we show that a north-south asymmetry of the magnetic field on the Sun does not give rise to a displacement of the HCS. The lack of displacement of the HCS results from a latitudinal redistribution of magnetic flux near the Sun where the plasma beta much < 1. The latitudinal redistribution is a direct consequence of the magnetic field gradient between pole and equator. Near the Sun, the latitudinal gradient in magnetic field generates meridional flows directed equatorward that tend to relax the gradient in the magnetic field (to make it more latitude-independent) as heliocentric distance increases. If there is an asymmetry between north and south magnetic field strength then the meridional flows are also asymmetric (i.e., stronger in the hemisphere of stronger magnetic field). Because the magnetic fluxes (positive and negative) in the hemispheres must be equal, the redistribution shifts the HCS into balance by approx. 16 R(solar mass). At larger distances, where the magnetic field is relatively weak (beta much > 1), the HCS can be displaced if there is a difference in

  6. The role of microturbulence on collisionless reconnection. [in magnetospheric plasmas

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Papadopoulos, K.

    1980-01-01

    The linear, non-linear and anomalous transport properties associated with various microinstabilities driven by cross field currents in reconnecting geometries are reviewed. An assessment of their role in collisionless tearing based on analytic theory, computer simulations and experimental evidence, supports the dominant role of lower hybrid waves. The relevance of microturbulence on macroscopic stationary and time dependent models of merging is presented. It is concluded that a fluid-numerical simulation approach that includes (at each space and time step) the effects of anomalous transport in a self consistent manner, similar to the one used for laboratory collisionless shocks, represents the best method for studying and modeling the details of the reconnection process.

  7. Physics of collisionless phase mixing

    SciTech Connect

    Tsiklauri, D.; Haruki, T.

    2008-11-15

    Previous studies of phase mixing of ion cyclotron (IC), Alfvenic, waves in the collisionless regime have established the generation of parallel electric field and hence acceleration of electrons in the regions of transverse density inhomogeneity. However, outstanding issues were left open. Here we use the 2.5 D, relativistic, fully electromagnetic particle-in-cell code and an analytic magnetohydrodynamic (MHD) formulation, to establish the following points: (i) Using the generalized Ohm's law we find that the parallel electric field is supported mostly by the electron pressure tensor, with a smaller contribution from the electron inertia term. (ii) The generated parallel electric field and the fraction of accelerated electrons are independent of the IC wave frequency remaining at a level of six orders of magnitude larger than the Dreicer value and approximately 20%, respectively. The generated parallel electric field and the fraction of accelerated electrons increase with the increase of IC wave amplitude. The generated parallel electric field seems to be independent of plasma beta, while the fraction of accelerated electrons strongly increases with the decrease of plasma beta (for plasma beta of 0.0001 the fraction of accelerated electrons can be as large as 47%). (iii) In the collisionless regime IC wave dissipation length (that is defined as the distance over which the wave damps) variation with the driving frequency shows a deviation from the analytical MHD result, which we attribute to a possible frequency dependence of the effective resistivity. (iv) Effective anomalous resistivity, inferred from our numerical simulations, is at least four orders of magnitude larger than the classical Spitzer value.

  8. Sweet's mechanism in the solar wind. [magnetic field dissipation near current sheets

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Burlaga, L. F.; Scudder, J. D.

    1974-01-01

    Sweet (1956, 1958) proposed a mechanism for the rapid, steady-state dissipation of a magnetic field in a resistive plasma. It is shown that Sweet's mechanism operates in the interplanetary medium near 1 AU in structures which Burlaga and Ness (1968) have identified and called D-sheets. The basic equations are considered of a specific mathematical model provided by Parker (1963) for the case of antiparallel fields and incompressible flow. The theoretical conclusions are related to interplanetary observations.

  9. Linear collisionless Landau damping in Hilbert space

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Zocco, Alessandro

    2015-08-01

    The equivalence between the Laplace transform (Landau, J. Phys. USSR 10 (1946), 25) and Hermite transform (Zocco and Schekochihin, Phys. Plasmas 18, 102309 (2011)) solutions of the linear collisionless Landau damping problem is proven.

  10. Pulsed high-energy γ-rays from thermal populations in the current sheets of pulsar winds

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Arka, I.; Dubus, G.

    2013-02-01

    Context. More than one hundred pulsars have been detected up to now at GeV energies by the Large Area Telescope (LAT) on the Fermi gamma-ray observatory. Current modelling proposes that the high-energy emission comes from outer magnetospheric gaps, but radiation from the equatorial current sheet that separates the two magnetic hemispheres outside the light cylinder has also been investigated. Aims: We discuss the region outside the light cylinder, the "near wind" zone. We investigate the possibility that synchrotron radiation emitted by thermal populations in the equatorial current sheet of the pulsar wind in this region can explain the lightcurves and spectra observed by Fermi/LAT. Methods: We used analytical estimates as well as detailed numerical computation to calculate the γ-ray luminosities, lightcurves, and spectra of γ-ray pulsars. Results: Many of the characteristics of the γ-ray pulsars observed by Fermi/LAT can be reproduced by our model, most notably the position of these objects in the P - Ṗ diagram, and the range of γ-ray luminosities. A testable result is a sub-exponential cutoff with an index b = 0.35. We also predict the existence of a population of pulsars with cutoff energies in the MeV range. These have systematically lower spindown luminosities than the Fermi/LAT-detected pulsars. Conclusions: It is possible for relativistic populations of electrons and positrons in the current sheet of a pulsar's wind immediately outside the light cylinder to emit synchrotron radiation that peaks in the sub-GeV to GeV regime, with γ-ray efficiencies similar to those observed for the Fermi/LAT pulsars.

  11. THE TOPOLOGICAL CHANGES OF SOLAR CORONAL MAGNETIC FIELDS. III. RECONNECTED FIELD TOPOLOGY PRODUCED BY CURRENT-SHEET DISSIPATION

    SciTech Connect

    Janse, A. M.; Low, B. C.

    2010-10-20

    In this paper, the third in a series of papers on topological changes of magnetic fields, we study how the dissipation of an initial current sheet (CS) in a closed three-dimensional (3D) field affects the field topology. The initial field is everywhere potential except at the location of the CS which is in macroscopic equilibrium under the condition of perfect conductivity. In the physical world of extremely high, but finite, conductivity, the CS dissipates and the field seeks a new equilibrium state in the form of an everywhere potential field since the initial field is everywhere untwisted. Our semi-analytical study indicates that the dissipation of the single initial CS must induce formation of additional CSs in extensive parts of the magnetic volume. The subsequent dissipation of these other sheets brings about topological changes by magnetic reconnection in order for the global field to become potential. In 2D fields, the magnetic reconnection due to the dissipation of a CS is limited to the magnetic vicinity of the dissipating sheet. Thus, the consequence of CS dissipation is physically and topologically quite different in 2D and 3D fields. A discussion of this result is given in general relation to the Parker theory of spontaneous CSs and heating in the solar corona and solar flares.

  12. Effect of Current Sheets on the Solar Wind Magnetic Field Power Spectrum from the Ulysses Observation: From Kraichnan to Kolmogorov Scaling

    SciTech Connect

    Li, G.; Miao, B.; Hu, Q.; Qin, G.

    2011-03-25

    The MHD turbulence theory developed by Iroshnikov and Kraichnan predicts a k{sup -1.5} power spectrum. Solar wind observations, however, often show a k{sup -5/3} Kolmogorov scaling. Based on 3 years worth of Ulysses magnetic field data where over 28 000 current sheets are identified, we propose that the current sheet is the cause of the Kolmogorov scaling. We show that for 5 longest current-sheet-free periods the magnetic field power spectra are all described by the Iroshnikov-Kraichnan scaling. In comparison, for 5 periods that have the most number of current sheets, the power spectra all exhibit Kolmogorov scaling. The implication of our results is discussed.

  13. Effect of current sheets on the solar wind magnetic field power spectrum from the Ulysses observation: from Kraichnan to Kolmogorov scaling.

    PubMed

    Li, G; Miao, B; Hu, Q; Qin, G

    2011-03-25

    The MHD turbulence theory developed by Iroshnikov and Kraichnan predicts a k(-1.5) power spectrum. Solar wind observations, however, often show a k(-5/3) Kolmogorov scaling. Based on 3 years worth of Ulysses magnetic field data where over 28,000 current sheets are identified, we propose that the current sheet is the cause of the Kolmogorov scaling. We show that for 5 longest current-sheet-free periods the magnetic field power spectra are all described by the Iroshnikov-Kraichnan scaling. In comparison, for 5 periods that have the most number of current sheets, the power spectra all exhibit Kolmogorov scaling. The implication of our results is discussed. PMID:21517318

  14. 3D electrostatic gyrokinetic electron and fully kinetic ion simulation of lower-hybrid drift instability of Harris current sheet

    DOE PAGESBeta

    Wang, Zhenyu; Lin, Yu; Wang, Xueyi; Tummel, Kurt; Chen, Liu

    2016-07-07

    The eigenmode stability properties of three-dimensional lower-hybrid-drift-instabilities (LHDI) in a Harris current sheet with a small but finite guide magnetic field have been systematically studied by employing the gyrokinetic electron and fully kinetic ion (GeFi) particle-in-cell (PIC) simulation model with a realistic ion-to-electron mass ratio mi/me. In contrast to the fully kinetic PIC simulation scheme, the fast electron cyclotron motion and plasma oscillations are systematically removed in the GeFi model, and hence one can employ the realistic mi/me. The GeFi simulations are benchmarked against and show excellent agreement with both the fully kinetic PIC simulation and the analytical eigenmode theory. Our studies indicate that, for small wavenumbers, ky, along the current direction, the most unstable eigenmodes are peaked at the location wheremore » $$\\vec{k}$$• $$\\vec{B}$$ =0, consistent with previous analytical and simulation studies. Here, $$\\vec{B}$$ is the equilibrium magnetic field and $$\\vec{k}$$ is the wavevector perpendicular to the nonuniformity direction. As ky increases, however, the most unstable eigenmodes are found to be peaked at $$\\vec{k}$$ •$$\\vec{B}$$ ≠0. Additionally, the simulation results indicate that varying mi/me, the current sheet width, and the guide magnetic field can affect the stability of LHDI. Simulations with the varying mass ratio confirm the lower hybrid frequency and wave number scalings.« less

  15. 3D electrostatic gyrokinetic electron and fully kinetic ion simulation of lower-hybrid drift instability of Harris current sheet

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wang, Zhenyu; Lin, Yu; Wang, Xueyi; Tummel, Kurt; Chen, Liu

    2016-07-01

    The eigenmode stability properties of three-dimensional lower-hybrid-drift-instabilities (LHDI) in a Harris current sheet with a small but finite guide magnetic field have been systematically studied by employing the gyrokinetic electron and fully kinetic ion (GeFi) particle-in-cell (PIC) simulation model with a realistic ion-to-electron mass ratio mi/me . In contrast to the fully kinetic PIC simulation scheme, the fast electron cyclotron motion and plasma oscillations are systematically removed in the GeFi model, and hence one can employ the realistic mi/me . The GeFi simulations are benchmarked against and show excellent agreement with both the fully kinetic PIC simulation and the analytical eigenmode theory. Our studies indicate that, for small wavenumbers, ky, along the current direction, the most unstable eigenmodes are peaked at the location where k →.B → =0 , consistent with previous analytical and simulation studies. Here, B → is the equilibrium magnetic field and k → is the wavevector perpendicular to the nonuniformity direction. As ky increases, however, the most unstable eigenmodes are found to be peaked at k →.B → ≠0 . In addition, the simulation results indicate that varying mi/me , the current sheet width, and the guide magnetic field can affect the stability of LHDI. Simulations with the varying mass ratio confirm the lower hybrid frequency and wave number scalings.

  16. Collisionless relaxation in beam-plasma systems

    SciTech Connect

    Backhaus, Ekaterina Yu.

    2001-05-01

    This thesis reports the results from the theoretical investigations, both numerical and analytical, of collisionless relaxation phenomena in beam-plasma systems. Many results of this work can also be applied to other lossless systems of plasma physics, beam physics and astrophysics. Different aspects of the physics of collisionless relaxation and its modeling are addressed. A new theoretical framework, named Coupled Moment Equations (CME), is derived and used in numerical and analytical studies of the relaxation of second order moments such as beam size and emittance oscillations. This technique extends the well-known envelope equation formalism, and it can be applied to general systems with nonlinear forces. It is based on a systematic moment expansion of the Vlasov equation. In contrast to the envelope equation, which is derived assuming constant rms beam emittance, the CME model allows the emittance to vary through coupling to higher order moments. The CME model is implemented in slab geometry in the absence of return currents. The CME simulation yields rms beam sizes, velocity spreads and emittances that are in good agreement with particle-in-cell (PIC) simulations for a wide range of system parameters. The mechanism of relaxation is also considered within the framework of the CME system. It is discovered that the rapid relaxation or beam size oscillations can be attributed to a resonant coupling between different modes of the system. A simple analytical estimate of the relaxation time is developed. The final state of the system reached after the relaxation is complete is investigated. New and accurate analytical results for the second order moments in the phase-mixed state are obtained. Unlike previous results, these connect the final values of the second order moments with the initial beam mismatch. These analytical estimates are in good agreement with the CME model and PIC simulations. Predictions for the final density and temperature are developed that show

  17. Collisionless Three-dimensional Reconnection In Impulsive Solar Flares

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Somov, Boris V.; Kosugi, Takeo; Sakao, Taro

    1998-04-01

    Two subclasses of impulsive solar flares, observed with the Hard X-Ray Telescope (HXT) onboard Yohkoh, have been discovered by Sakao et al. The two subclasses can be characterized as more impulsive (MI) and less impulsive (LI) flares, the former having a shorter total duration of the impulsive phase in the hard X-ray emission than the latter. We assume that in both subclasses, the collisionless three-dimensional reconnection process occurs at the separator with a longitudinal magnetic field. The high-temperature turbulent-current sheet (HTTCS), located along the separator, generates accelerated particles and fast outflows of ``superhot'' (T >= 30 MK) plasma. Powerful anomalous heat-conductive fluxes along the reconnected field lines maintain a high temperature in the superhot plasma. The difference between the LI and MI flares presumably appears because the footpoint separation (the distance between two brightest hard X-ray sources) increases in time in the LI flares, but decreases in the MI flares. According to our model, in the LI flares the three-dimensional reconnection process accompanies an increase in the longitudinal magnetic field at the separator. In contrast, in the MI flares the reconnection proceeds with a decrease of the longitudinal field; hence, the reconnection rate is higher in the MI flares. Since reconnection in the MI flares proceeds with a decrease of the longitudinal field, the reconnected field lines become shorter in this process. As the reconnected lines become shorter, accelerated electron beams arrive at the upper chromosphere faster. So, in the MI flares chromospheric evaporation begins earlier than in the LI flares. The evaporation process driven by accelerated electron beams generates upflows of ``warm'' (T <= 10 MK) plasma that interacts with downflows of superhot plasma and can switch off the accumulation of superhot plasma in the MI flares during the impulsive phase. In the LI flares, however, an observable amount of superhot

  18. Collisionless Trapped Electron Mode Turbulence

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lang, Jianying; Chen, Yang; Parker, Scott

    2006-10-01

    Collisionless Trapped Electron Mode (CTEM) turbulence is a likely canidate for explaining anomolous transport in tokamak discharges that have a strong density gradient relative to the ion temperature gradient. Here, CTEM turbulence is investigated using the Gyrokinetic δf GEM code. GEM is electromagnetic, includes full drift-kinetic electrons, generaly axisymmetric equilbria, collisions and minority species. Here, the flux-tube limit is taken and β is so small that the simulations are essentially electrostatic. Linear theory predicts that the instability occurs at √2ɛRLn>1, which agrees very well with the simulation results. With increasing density gradient, it is observed that the most unstable mode transitions from a CTEM to drift wave mode and the short-wavelength modes are most unstable ( 2 > kρi> 1). Nonlinear simulations are underway to address the parametric dependence of particle and energy transport. The importance of zonal flows for CTEM turbulence, is still not well understood and is under investigation. D. R. Ernst et. al., Phys. Plasma 11 (2004) 2637 T. Dannert and F. Jenko, Phys. Plasma 12 (2005) 072309 R. Gatto et. al., Phys. Plasma 13 (2006) 022306 Y. Chen and S. E. Parker, J. Comput. Phys. 189 (2003) 463 Y. Chen ad S.E. Parker, accepted, to appear in J. Comput. Phys. (2006) J. Wesson (1997) Tokamaks, Oxford Science

  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. Collisional versus Collisionless Dark Matter.

    PubMed

    Moore; Gelato; Jenkins; Pearce; Quilis

    2000-05-20

    We compare the structure and substructure of dark matter halos in model universes dominated by collisional, strongly self-interacting dark matter (SIDM) and collisionless, weakly interacting dark matter (CDM). While SIDM virialized halos are more nearly spherical than CDM halos, they can be rotationally flattened by as much as 20% in their inner regions. Substructure halos suffer ram-pressure truncation and drag, which are more rapid and severe than their gravitational counterparts tidal stripping and dynamical friction. Lensing constraints on the size of galactic halos in clusters are a factor of 2 smaller than predicted by gravitational stripping, and the recent detection of tidal streams of stars escaping from the satellite galaxy Carina suggests that its tidal radius is close to its optical radius of a few hundred parsecs-an order of magnitude smaller than predicted by CDM models but consistent with SIDM models. The orbits of SIDM satellites suffer significant velocity bias, sigmaSIDM&solm0;sigmaCDM=0.85, and are more circular than CDM satellites, betaSIDM approximately 0.5, in agreement with the inferred orbits of the Galaxy's satellites. In the limit of a short mean free path, SIDM halos have singular isothermal density profiles; thus, in its simplest incarnation SIDM, is inconsistent with galactic rotation curves. PMID:10828999

  1. Nonlinear theory of collisionless trapped ion modes

    SciTech Connect

    Hahm, T.S.; Tang, W.M.

    1996-03-01

    A simplified two field nonlinear model for collisionless trapped-ion-mode turbulence has been derived from nonlinear bounce-averaged drift kinetic equations. The renormalized thermal diffusivity obtained from this analysis exhibits a Bohm-like scaling. A new nonlinearity associated with the neoclassical polarization density is found to introduce an isotope-dependent modification to this Bohm-like diffusivity. The asymptotic balance between the equilibrium variation and the finite banana width induced reduction of the fluctuation potential leads to the result that the radial correlation length decreases with increasing plasma current. Other important conclusions from the present analysis include the predictions that (i) the relative density fluctuation level {delta}n/n{sub 0} is lower than the conventional mixing length estimate, {Delta}r/L{sub n} (ii) the ion temperature fluctuation level {delta}T{sub i}/T{sub i} significantly exceeds the density fluctuation level {delta}n/n{sub 0}; and (iii) the parallel ion velocity fluctuation level {delta}v{sub i}{sub {parallel}}/v{sub Ti} is expected to be negligible.

  2. Nonlinear gyrofluid simulations of collisionless reconnection

    SciTech Connect

    Grasso, D.; Tassi, E.; Waelbroeck, F. L.

    2010-08-15

    The Hamiltonian gyrofluid model recently derived by Waelbroeck et al. [Phys. Plasmas 16, 032109 (2009)] is used to investigate nonlinear collisionless reconnection with a strong guide field by means of numerical simulations. Finite ion Larmor radius gives rise to a cascade of the electrostatic potential to scales below both the ion gyroradius and the electron skin depth. This cascade is similar to that observed previously for the density and current in models with cold ions. In addition to density cavities, the cascades create electron beams at scales below the ion gyroradius. The presence of finite ion temperature is seen to modify, inside the magnetic island, the distribution of the velocity fields that advect two Lagrangian invariants of the system. As a consequence, the fine structure in the electron density is confined to a layer surrounding the separatrix. Finite ion Larmor radius effects produce also a different partition between the electron thermal, potential, and kinetic energy, with respect to the cold-ion case. Other aspects of the dynamics such as the reconnection rate and the stability against Kelvin-Helmholtz modes are similar to simulations with finite electron compressibility but cold ions.

  3. Quantum current of a molecular photo-switch between two graphene sheets

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Brivio, G. P.; Motta, C.; Trioni, M. I.; Sebastian, K. L.

    2011-03-01

    Light responsive materials that reversibly change shape under alternate UV and visible irradiation have attracted much interest because they can be used as optical switches, since the isomers show different features in the dimension, HOMO-LUMO gap and transmission spectrum. In view to integrate the photo-switch in the carbon based electronics devices, the conductance of a system constituted by a photochromic molecule between two graphene electrodes is investigated. In this work the conductance of the junction formed by diarylperfluorocyclopentene between two semi-infinite graphene sheets was computed using the non-equilibrium Green's function method combined with density functional theory via the TranSiesta code. The results emphasize the role of the graphene and the molecular electronic states in the switching behaviour of this hybrid system.

  4. Simulation of electrostatic turbulence in the plasma sheet boundary layer with electron currents and bean-shaped ion beams

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Nishikawa, K.-I.; Frank, L. A.; Huang, C. Y.

    1988-01-01

    Plasma data from ISEE-1 show the presence of electron currents as well as energetic ion beams in the plasma sheet boundary layer. Broadband electrostatic noise and low-frequency electromagnetic bursts are detected in the plasma sheet boundary layer, especially in the presence of strong ion flows, currents, and steep spacial gradients in the fluxes of few-keV electrons and ions. Particle simulations have been performed to investigate electrostatic turbulence driven by a cold electron beam and/or ion beams with a bean-shaped velocity distribution. The simulation results show that the counterstreaming ion beams as well as the counterstreaming of the cold electron beam and the ion beam excite ion acoustic waves with a given Doppler-shifted real frequency. However, the effect of the bean-shaped ion velocity distributions reduces the growth rates of ion acoustic instability. The simulation results also show that the slowing down of the ion bean is larger at the larger perpendicular velocity. The wave spectra of the electric fields at some points of the simulations show turbulence generated by growing waves.

  5. Controlling Influence of Magnetic Field on Solar Wind Outflow: An Investigation using Current Sheet Source Surface Model

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Poduval, B.

    2016-08-01

    This Letter presents the results of an investigation into the controlling influence of large-scale magnetic field of the Sun in determining the solar wind outflow using two magnetostatic coronal models: current sheet source surface (CSSS) and potential field source surface. For this, we made use of the Wang and Sheeley inverse correlation between magnetic flux expansion rate (FTE) and observed solar wind speed (SWS) at 1 au. During the period of study, extended over solar cycle 23 and beginning of solar cycle 24, we found that the coefficients of the fitted quadratic equation representing the FTE–SWS inverse relation exhibited significant temporal variation, implying the changing pattern of the influence of FTE on SWS over time. A particularly noteworthy feature is an anomaly in the behavior of the fitted coefficients during the extended minimum, 2008–2010 (CRs 2073–2092), which is considered due to the particularly complex nature of the solar magnetic field during this period. However, this variation was significant only for the CSSS model, though not a systematic dependence on the phase of the solar cycle. Further, we noticed that the CSSS model demonstrated better solar wind prediction during the period of study, which we attribute to the treatment of volume and sheet currents throughout the corona and the more accurate tracing of footpoint locations resulting from the geometry of the model.

  6. Impact of Temperature-dependent Resistivity and Thermal Conduction on Plasmoid Instabilities in Current Sheets in the Solar Corona

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ni, Lei; Roussev, Ilia I.; Lin, Jun; Ziegler, Udo

    2012-10-01

    In this paper, we investigate, by means of two-dimensional magnetohydrodynamic simulations, the impact of temperature-dependent resistivity and thermal conduction on the development of plasmoid instabilities in reconnecting current sheets in the solar corona. We find that the plasma temperature in the current-sheet region increases with time and it becomes greater than that in the inflow region. As secondary magnetic islands appear, the highest temperature is not always found at the reconnection X-points, but also inside the secondary islands. One of the effects of anisotropic thermal conduction is to decrease the temperature of the reconnecting X-points and transfer the heat into the O-points, the plasmoids, where it gets trapped. In the cases with temperature-dependent magnetic diffusivity, η ~ T -3/2, the decrease in plasma temperature at the X-points leads to (1) an increase in the magnetic diffusivity until the characteristic time for magnetic diffusion becomes comparable to that of thermal conduction, (2) an increase in the reconnection rate, and (3) more efficient conversion of magnetic energy into thermal energy and kinetic energy of bulk motions. These results provide further explanation of the rapid release of magnetic energy into heat and kinetic energy seen during flares and coronal mass ejections. In this work, we demonstrate that the consideration of anisotropic thermal conduction and Spitzer-type, temperature-dependent magnetic diffusivity, as in the real solar corona, are crucially important for explaining the occurrence of fast reconnection during solar eruptions.

  7. The relation between ion temperature anisotropy and formation of slow shocks in collisionless magnetic reconnection

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Higashimori, K.; Hoshino, M.

    2012-01-01

    We perform a two-dimensional simulation by using an electromagnetic hybrid code to study the formation of slow-mode shocks in collisionless magnetic reconnection in low beta plasmas, and we focus on the relation between the formation of slow shocks and the ion temperature anisotropy enhanced at the shock downstream region. It is known that as magnetic reconnection develops, the parallel temperature along the magnetic field becomes large in association with the anisotropic plasma sheet boundary layer ion beams, and this temperature anisotropy has a tendency to suppress the formation of slow shocks. On the basis of our simulation result, we found that the slow shock formation is suppressed due to the large temperature anisotropy near the X-type region, but the ion temperature anisotropy relaxes with increasing the distance from the magnetic neutral point. As a result, two pairs of current structures, which are the strong evidence of dissipation of magnetic field in slow shocks, are formed at the distance ∣x∣ ≥ 115 λi from the neutral point.

  8. High-order continuum Vlasov-Maxwell simulations of collisionless plasmas

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Vogman, G. V.; Colella, P.; Shumlak, U.

    2015-11-01

    Plasma kinetic theory treats each constituent species as a probability distribution function in phase space. Numerically, the velocity dependence of the distribution function can be sampled discretely as in particle-in-cell methods, or represented smoothly as in continuum methods. Continuum methods for solving kinetic theory governing equations are advantageous in that they can be cast in conservation-law form, are not susceptible to noise, and can be implemented using high-order numerical methods, which provide enhanced solution accuracy. A fourth-order accurate finite volume method has been developed to solve the continuum kinetic Vlasov-Maxwell equation system in 2D2V phase space using the Chombo library. The evolving species are collisionless, and are coupled through electromagnetic fields. The algorithm is validated against theoretical predictions using benchmarks based on the Dory-Guest-Harris instability and the Harris current sheet. Extension of the algorithm to cylindrical coordinates and its application to axisymmetric plasma configurations like the Z-pinch are also presented.

  9. Particle-in-Cell Simulation of Collisionless Driven Reconnection with Open Boundaries

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Kimas, Alex; Hesse, Michael; Zenitani, Seiji; Kuznetsova, Maria

    2010-01-01

    First results are discussed from an ongoing study of driven collisionless reconnection using a 2 1/2-dimensional electromagnetic particle-in-cell simulation model with open inflow and outflow boundaries. An extended electron diffusion region (EEDR) is defined as that region surrounding a reconnecting neutral line in which the out-of-plane nonideal electric field is positive. It is shown that the boundaries of this region in the directions of the outflow jets are at the positions where the electrons make the transition from unfrozen meandering motion in the current sheet to outward drifting with the magnetic field in the outflow jets; a turning length scale is defined to mark these positions, The initial width of the EEDR in the inflow directions is comparable to the electron bounce width. Later. as shoulders develop to form a two-scale structure. thc EEDR width expands to the ion bounce width scale. The inner portion of the EEDR or the electron diffusion region proper remains at the electron bounce width. Two methods are introduced for predicting the reconnection electric field using the dimensions of the EEDR. These results are interpreted as further evidence that the EEDR is the region that is relevant to understanding the electron role in the neutral line vicinity.

  10. Electrostatic drift waves in a 2D magnetic current sheet - a new kinetic theory

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Fruit, G.; Louarn, P.; Tur, A.

    2015-12-01

    In the general context of understanding the possible destabilization of the magnetotail before a substorm, a kinetic model for electromagnetic instabilities in resonant interaction with trapped bouncing electrons has been proposed for several years. Fruit et al. 2013 already used it to investigate the possibilities for electrostatic instabilities. Tur et al. 2014 generalizes the model for full electromagnetic perturbations.It turns out that some corrections should be added to the electrostatic version of Fruit et al. 2013. We propose to revist the theory in this present paper.Starting with a modified 2D Harris sheet as equilibrium state, the linearized gyrokinetic Vlasov equation is solved for electrostatic fluctuations with period of the order of the electron bounce period (a few seconds). The particle motion is restricted to its first Fourier component along the magnetic field and this allows the complete time integration of the non local perturbed distribution functions. The dispersion relation for electrostatic modes is finally obtained through the quasineutrality condition.The new feature of the present model is the inclusion of diamagnetic drift effects due to the density gradient in the tail. It is well known in MHD theory that drift waves are driven unstable through collisions or other dissipative effects. Here electrostatic drift waves are revisited in this more complete kinetic model including bouncing electrons and finite Larmor radius effects. A new mode has been found with original propagation proprieties. It is moreover mildly unstable due to electron or ion damping (dissipative instability).

  11. Thermal structure of current sheets and supra-arcade downflows in the solar corona

    SciTech Connect

    Hanneman, Will J.; Reeves, Katharine K. E-mail: kreeves@cfa.harvard.edu

    2014-05-10

    After the peak intensity of many large solar flares, magnetic and thermodynamic processes give rise to a phenomenon known as supra-arcade downflows (SADs). SADs are sunward flowing density depletions, often observed in post-flare plasma sheets. Some models have suggested that the plasma in the dark lanes is heated to temperatures of 20-80 MK, which is much hotter than temperatures of the surrounding plasma. In this work, we use data from the Atmospheric Imaging Assembly on the Solar Dynamics Observatory and the X-Ray Telescope on the Hinode satellite to determine the thermal structure of SADs in the solar corona. We examine four flares that took place on 2011 October 22, 2012 January 14, 2012 January 16, and 2012 January 27. Differential emission measures are calculated for each flare and we compare the temperatures in the SADs to those of the surrounding plasma. We find that the SADs are hotter than the background, but cooler than the surrounding plasma in most cases, with only 1 out of the 11 SADs examined here having a slightly higher temperature than its surroundings.

  12. A mean field Ohm's law for collisionless plasmas

    SciTech Connect

    Biglari, H. ); Diamond, P.H. )

    1993-11-01

    A mean field Ohm's law valid for collisionless plasmas is derived kinetically. It is shown that contrary to conventional thinking, the resulting hyperresistivity is significantly smaller than its fluid counterpart due to the fact that the turbulent decorrelation rate is linked to the rapid electron ballistic motion rather than the slower nonlinear mixing time. Moreover, the off-diagonal contributions to the parallel electron momentum flux are shown to result in Ohm's law renormalizations that dwarf the current diffusivity and break radial parity symmetry.

  13. Magnetic Reconnection in the Heliospheric Current Sheet: The Implications of the Different Environments Seen by the VoyagerSpacecraft

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2014-12-01

    The magnetic field abutting the heliospheric current sheet (HCS) is primarily in the azimuthal direction, either east-to-west or west-to-east. Mis-alignment of the solar rotational and magnetic axesleads to the characteristic ballerina-skirt shape of the HCS and during the solar cycle there can be large excursions in the sheet's latitudinal extent. Voyager 2's observations of energetic electrondropouts are related to its crossing of this boundary. Magnetic reconnection is also thought to occur as the HCS compresses and narrows between the termination shock and the heliopause. Near theequator the two HCS field alignments are present in roughly equal amounts, while near the edges the distribution can be considerably skewed. This will lead to substantial differences in the environmentsof the two Voyager spacecraft since Voyager 1 is north of the equator, but firmly in the sector region, while Voyager 2 is south of the equator and skirting the edges of the sector region. We presentparticle-in-cell simulations demonstrating the consequences of the reconnection of asymmetric amounts of flux. In particular, we will discuss Voyager 2's remaining time in the heliosphere -- including theimplications for the solar wind velocity, energetic particle transport, and the expected structure of Voyager 2's heliopause crossing -- and compare it with the data collected from Voyager 1.

  14. 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.

  15. MMS observations of small-scale field-aligned currents in the plasma sheet boundary layer during storm-time substorms

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Nakamura, Rumi

    2016-04-01

    During major substorms at 0315 and 0505 UT on June 23 2015, the four MMS spacecraft, located near the center of the current wedge, enabled us to resolve detailed properties of the field-aligned currents in the plasma sheet boundary layer during its thinning and expansion. In particular, during the expansion of the plasma sheet, transient small-scale field-aligned currents were detected near the large-scale separatrix region. In this study we analyze their temporal and spatial evolution based on multi-point measurements of fields and plasma. We found ion-scale downward field-aligned currents, which are well correlated with the field-aligned upward electron beams. These upward electrons are most likely accelerated between the ionosphere and the spacecraft, and are associated with the intensified reconnection jets that cause the expansion of the plasma sheet.

  16. Time-resolved characterization of the formation of a collisionless shock.

    PubMed

    Ahmed, H; Dieckmann, M E; Romagnani, L; Doria, D; Sarri, G; Cerchez, M; Ianni, E; Kourakis, I; Giesecke, A L; Notley, M; Prasad, R; Quinn, K; Willi, O; Borghesi, M

    2013-05-17

    We report on the temporally and spatially resolved detection of the precursory stages that lead to the formation of an unmagnetized, supercritical collisionless shock in a laser-driven laboratory experiment. The measured evolution of the electrostatic potential associated with the shock unveils the transition from a current free double layer into a symmetric shock structure, stabilized by ion reflection at the shock front. Supported by a matching particle-in-cell simulation and theoretical considerations, we suggest that this process is analogous to ion reflection at supercritical collisionless shocks in supernova remnants. PMID:25167421

  17. Electric fields associated with small-scale magnetic holes in the plasma sheet: Evidence for electron currents

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Goodrich, Katherine A.; Ergun, Robert E.; Stawarz, Julia E.

    2016-06-01

    We report observations of magnetic holes (MHs) in the near-Earth (8 RE to 12 RE) plasma sheet that have physical sizes perpendicular to the magnetic field (B) on the order of the ion Larmor radius (ρi) and, more importantly, have current layers less than ρi in thickness. Small-scale MHs can have >90% depletion in |B| and are commonly associated with the braking of bursty bulk flow events. The generation of MHs is often attributed to magnetohydrodynamic (MHD) instabilities, which requires a size greater than ρi; the depletion in |B| is from an ion current consistent with a pressure gradient. Electric field (E) observations indicate a negative potential inside of small-scale MHs that creates an outward E at the boundary, which drives an E × B electron current in a thin layer. These observations indicate that a Hall electron current is primarily responsible for the depletion of |B| in small-scale magnetic holes, rather than the ion pressure gradient.

  18. Dynamic topology and flux rope evolution during non-linear tearing of 3D null point current sheets

    SciTech Connect

    Wyper, P. F. Pontin, D. I.

    2014-10-15

    In this work, the dynamic magnetic field within a tearing-unstable three-dimensional current sheet about a magnetic null point is described in detail. We focus on the evolution of the magnetic null points and flux ropes that are formed during the tearing process. Generally, we find that both magnetic structures are created prolifically within the layer and are non-trivially related. We examine how nulls are created and annihilated during bifurcation processes, and describe how they evolve within the current layer. The type of null bifurcation first observed is associated with the formation of pairs of flux ropes within the current layer. We also find that new nulls form within these flux ropes, both following internal reconnection and as adjacent flux ropes interact. The flux ropes exhibit a complex evolution, driven by a combination of ideal kinking and their interaction with the outflow jets from the main layer. The finite size of the unstable layer also allows us to consider the wider effects of flux rope generation. We find that the unstable current layer acts as a source of torsional magnetohydrodynamic waves and dynamic braiding of magnetic fields. The implications of these results to several areas of heliophysics are discussed.

  19. Lightning as a space-weather hazard: UK thunderstorm activity modulated by the passage of the heliospheric current sheet

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Owens, M. J.; Scott, C. J.; Bennett, A. J.; Thomas, S. R.; Lockwood, M.; Harrison, R. G.; Lam, M. M.

    2015-11-01

    Lightning flash rates, RL, are modulated by corotating interaction regions (CIRs) and the polarity of the heliospheric magnetic field (HMF) in near-Earth space. As the HMF polarity reverses at the heliospheric current sheet (HCS), typically within a CIR, these phenomena are likely related. In this study, RL is found to be significantly enhanced at the HCS and at 27 days prior/after. The strength of the enhancement depends on the polarity of the HMF reversal at the HCS. Near-Earth solar and galactic energetic particle fluxes are also ordered by HMF polarity, though the variations qualitatively differ from RL, with the main increase occurring prior to the HCS crossing. Thus, the CIR effect on lightning is either the result of compression/amplification of the HMF (and its subsequent interaction with the terrestrial system) or that energetic particle preconditioning of the Earth system prior to the HMF polarity change is central to solar wind lightning coupling mechanism.

  20. Solar wind helium and hydrogen structure near the heliospheric current sheet - A signal of coronal streamers at 1 AU

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Borrini, G.; Wilcox, J. M.; Gosling, J. T.; Bame, S. J.; Feldman, W. C.

    1981-01-01

    Solar wind flow properties associated with very low helium to hydrogen abundance ratios have been observed with Los Alamos instruments on IMP 6, 7, and 8 during 1971-1978. A characteristic pattern has been discovered consisting of correlated interplanetary field reversals, high plasma density, low and nearly identical H(+) and He(2+) bulk velocities, low H(+) and He(2+) kinetic temperatures, and minima in their ratios. Because coronal streamers straddle the current sheet close to the sun, the pattern discovered is the 'signal' of a coronal streamer at 1 AU. A superposed epoch analysis of 74 well-defined sector boundary crossings provides verification of the above correlation featuring a pronounced minimum in the helium to hydrogen abundance ratio at the sector boundary passage.

  1. DOES THE COMPRESSION OR THE EXPANSION OF A SIMPLE TOPOLOGY POTENTIAL MAGNETIC FIELD LEAD TO THE DEVELOPMENT OF CURRENT SHEETS?

    SciTech Connect

    Aly, J. J.; Amari, T.

    2010-02-01

    Janse and Low have most recently addressed the following question. Consider a cylindrical domain containing a simple topology potential magnetic field threading its lower and upper horizontal faces, and a perfectly conducting plasma. Suppose that this domain is made to slowly contract or expand in the vertical direction, so driving the field into a quasi-static evolution through a series of force-free configurations. Then are these configurations smooth, or do they contain current sheets (CSs)? We reexamine here their three-step argument leading to the conclusion that CSs form most generally. We prove analytically that the field has to evolve through 'topologically untwisted' and 'nonpotential' configurations, thus confirming the first two steps. However, we find the third step-leading to the conclusion that a smooth untwisted force-free field is necessarily potential-to be very disputable.

  2. IMPACT OF TEMPERATURE-DEPENDENT RESISTIVITY AND THERMAL CONDUCTION ON PLASMOID INSTABILITIES IN CURRENT SHEETS IN THE SOLAR CORONA

    SciTech Connect

    Ni Lei; Roussev, Ilia I.; Lin Jun; Ziegler, Udo E-mail: iroussev@ifa.hawaii.edu

    2012-10-10

    In this paper, we investigate, by means of two-dimensional magnetohydrodynamic simulations, the impact of temperature-dependent resistivity and thermal conduction on the development of plasmoid instabilities in reconnecting current sheets in the solar corona. We find that the plasma temperature in the current-sheet region increases with time and it becomes greater than that in the inflow region. As secondary magnetic islands appear, the highest temperature is not always found at the reconnection X-points, but also inside the secondary islands. One of the effects of anisotropic thermal conduction is to decrease the temperature of the reconnecting X-points and transfer the heat into the O-points, the plasmoids, where it gets trapped. In the cases with temperature-dependent magnetic diffusivity, {eta} {approx} T {sup -3/2}, the decrease in plasma temperature at the X-points leads to (1) an increase in the magnetic diffusivity until the characteristic time for magnetic diffusion becomes comparable to that of thermal conduction, (2) an increase in the reconnection rate, and (3) more efficient conversion of magnetic energy into thermal energy and kinetic energy of bulk motions. These results provide further explanation of the rapid release of magnetic energy into heat and kinetic energy seen during flares and coronal mass ejections. In this work, we demonstrate that the consideration of anisotropic thermal conduction and Spitzer-type, temperature-dependent magnetic diffusivity, as in the real solar corona, are crucially important for explaining the occurrence of fast reconnection during solar eruptions.

  3. Transition from Collisionless to Collisional MRI

    SciTech Connect

    Prateek Sharma; Gregory W. Hammett; Eliot Quataert

    2003-07-24

    Recent calculations by Quataert et al. (2002) found that the growth rates of the magnetorotational instability (MRI) in a collisionless plasma can differ significantly from those calculated using MHD. This can be important in hot accretion flows around compact objects. In this paper, we study the transition from the collisionless kinetic regime to the collisional MHD regime, mapping out the dependence of the MRI growth rate on collisionality. A kinetic closure scheme for a magnetized plasma is used that includes the effect of collisions via a BGK operator. The transition to MHD occurs as the mean free path becomes short compared to the parallel wavelength 2*/k(sub)||. In the weak magnetic field regime where the Alfven and MRI frequencies w are small compared to the sound wave frequency k(sub)||c(sub)0, the dynamics are still effectively collisionless even if omega << v, so long as the collision frequency v << k(sub)||c(sub)0; for an accretion flow this requires n less than or approximately equal to *(square root of b). The low collisionality regime not only modifies the MRI growth rate, but also introduces collisionless Landau or Barnes damping of long wavelength modes, which may be important for the nonlinear saturation of the MRI.

  4. Variation of cosmic rays and solar wind properties with respect to the heliospheric current sheet. II - Rigidity dependence of the latitudinal gradient of cosmic rays at 1 AU

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Newkirk, G., Jr.; Asbridge, J.; Lockwood, J. A.; Garcia-Munoz, M.; Simpson, J. A.

    1986-01-01

    The role which empirical determinations of the latitudinal variation of cosmic rays with respect to the current sheet may have in illuminating the importance of the cross-field drift of particles in the large-scale heliospheric magnetic field is discussed. Using K coronameter observations and measured solar wind speeds, the latitudinal gradients have been determined with respect to the current sheet for cosmic rays in four rigidity ranges. Gradients vary between approximately -2 and -50 pct/AU. The rigidity dependence of the decrease of cosmic ray flux with distance from the current sheet lies between the -0.72 to -0.86 power of the rigidity, with the exact dependence being determined by the definition used for the median rigidity of each monitor.

  5. Variation of cosmic rays and solar wind properties with respect to the heliospheric current sheet. I - Five-GeV protons and solar wind speed

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Newkirk, G., Jr.; Fisk, L. A.

    1985-01-01

    One of the principal uncertainties in understanding the propagation of cosmic rays in the heliosphere is related to the role of latitudinal transport by gradient and curvature drifts. The steady state distribution of cosmic rays with respect to the heliospheric current sheet or in latitude may possibly provide some information regarding the existing problems. Newkirk and Lockwood (1981) have considered the current sheet with respect to its role as a natural surface of symmetry for the propagation of cosmic rays in the heliosphere. The present investigation represents an extension of this study. Central objectives are related to a determination of the gradient of 5-GeV cosmic rays with respect to the heliospheric current sheet at 1 AU, the possible effect of the solar cycle upon such gradients, and an evaluation of the ability of several theoretical models to explain the gradients.

  6. A theory of field-aligned current generation from the plasma sheet and the poleward expansion of aurora sub-storms

    SciTech Connect

    Yamauchi, Masatoshi.

    1990-01-01

    Generation of field-aligned currents in the plasma sheet in terms of magnetosphere-ionosphere coupling was studied. The plasma sheet and the ionosphere were treated as two-dimensional layers by height integration. In the magnetosphere between them, the Alfven-wave transition time through this region is assumed to be zero. The ionospheric momentum is allowed to be transferred to the plasma sheet. Both linear analyses and numerical simulation are performed to study the field-aligned current generation. In the linear analysis, evolution from initial perturbations is studied. Zero-order configurations are steady state without field-aligned currents. The field-aligned currents are treated as a perturbed quantity and linearly related with the other perturbed quantities. One result for the linear waves is that the magnetohydrodynamics (MHD) fast mode and Alfven mode are coupled through the ionospheric Hall current. The Hall current causes the dawn-dusk asymmetry: a westward-travelling wave is amplified on the region 1 current system, while an eastward-travelling wave is amplified elsewhere. The expansion phase of the magnetospheric substorm after the onset is numerically simulated on the near-earth plasma sheet.

  7. Collisionless Reconnection with Weak Slow Shocks Under Anisotropic MHD Approximation

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hirabayashi, K.; Hoshino, M.

    2014-12-01

    Magnetic reconnection accompanied by a pair of slow-mode shock waves, known as Petschek's theory, has been widely studied as an efficient mechanism to convert magnetically stored energy to thermal and/or kinetic energy in plasmas. Satellite observations in the Earth's magnetotail, on the other hand, report that the detection of slow shocks is rare compared with the theory. As an important step to bridge the gap between the observational fact and the Petschek-type reconnection, we performed one- and two- dimensional collisionless magnetohydrodynamic (MHD) simulations of magnetic reconnection paying special attention to the effect of temperature anisotropy. In high-beta plasmas such as a plasma sheet in the magnetotail, it is expected that even weak temperature anisotropy can greatly modify the dynamics. We demonstrate that the slow shocks do exist in the reconnection layer even under the anisotropic temperature. The resultant shocks, however, are weaker than those in isotropic MHD in terms of plasma compression. In addition, the amount of magnetic energy released across the shock is extremely small, that is, the shock is no longer switch-off type. In spite of the weakness of the shocks, the reconnection rates measured by the inflow velocities are kept at the same level as the isotropic cases. Once the slow shock forms, the downstream plasma is heated in highly anisotropic manner, and the firehose-sense anisotropy affects the wave structure in the system. In particular, it is remarkable that the sequential order of propagation of slow shocks and rotational discontinuities reverses depending upon the magnitude of a superposed guide field. Our result is consistent with the rareness of the slow shock detection in the magnetotail, and implies that shocks do not necessarily play an important role. Furthermore, a variety of wave structure of a reconnection layer shown here will help interpretation of observational data in collisionless reconnection.

  8. Interactions of the heliospheric current and plasma sheets with the bow shock: Cluster and Polar observations in the magnetosheath

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Maynard, Nelson C.; Farrugia, Charles J.; Burke, William J.; Ober, Daniel M.; Scudder, Jack D.; Mozer, Forrest S.; Russell, Christopher T.; Rème, Henri; Mouikis, Christopher; Siebert, Keith D.

    2011-01-01

    On 12 March 2001, the Polar and Cluster spacecraft were at subsolar and cusp latitudes in the dayside magnetosheath, respectively, where they monitored the passage by Earth of a large-scale planar structure containing the high-density heliospheric plasma sheet (HPS) and the embedded current sheet. Over significant intervals, as the magnetic hole of the HPS passed Cluster and Polar, magnetic field strengths ∣B∣ were much smaller than expected for the shocked interplanetary magnetic field. For short periods, ∣B∣ even fell below values measured by ACE in the upstream solar wind. Within the magnetic hole the ratio of plasma thermal and magnetic pressures (plasma β) was consistently >100 and exceeded 1000. A temporary increase in lag times for identifiable features in B components to propagate from the location of ACE to those of Cluster and Polar was associated with the expansion (and subsequent compression) of the magnetic field and observed low ∣B∣. Triangulation of the propagation velocity of these features across the four Cluster spacecraft configuration showed consistency with the measured component of ion velocity normal to the large-scale planar structure. B experienced large-amplitude wave activity, including fast magnetosonic waves. Within the low ∣B∣ region, guiding center behavior was disrupted and ions were subject to hydrodynamic rather than magnetohydrodynamic forcing. Under the reported conditions, a significant portion of the interplanetary coupling to the magnetosphere should proceed through interaction with the low-latitude boundary layer. Data acquired during a nearly simultaneous high-latitude pass of a Defense Meteorological Satellites Program satellite are consistent with this conjecture.

  9. On the "bowl-shaped" deformation of planetary equatorial current sheets

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Tsyganenko, N. A.; Andreeva, V. A.

    2014-02-01

    Arridge et al. (2008) reported evidence for the formation of a "bowl-shaped" equatorial current disk in Saturn's magnetosphere during epochs with large planetary dipole tilt angle from perpendicularity with the Sun-planet axis. Using a large multiyear set of Geotail, Polar, and Time History of Events and Macroscale Interactions spacecraft data and a simple model of the magnetic field reversal surface, we found that a similar kind of the tilt-related magnetic field deformation is present in the Earth's magnetosphere. Based on the properties of a tilted vacuum magnetic field configuration, we conclude that the bowl-shaped distortion is a universal feature of magnetospheres with a tilted planetary dipole, resulting from the joint effect of the north-south asymmetry due to the tilt and of the day-night asymmetry imposed by the solar wind flow.

  10. Controlling Influence of Magnetic Field on Solar Wind Outflow: An Investigation using Current Sheet Source Surface Model

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Poduval, Bala

    2016-05-01

    The Wang and Sheeley empirical relationship between magnetic flux tube expansion (FTE) in the inner corona and the solar wind speed (SWS) observed near the Earth's orbit forms the basis of current solar wind prediction techniques such as WSA/ENLIL. Based on this concept, the Current Sheet Source Surface (CSSS) model, built on a corona in magnetostatic equilibrium incorporating electric currents, has recently been validated for solar wind prediction. We present the initial results of an investigation of the influence of solar magnetic field in determining the solar wind outflow using the CSSS model. We found that there is significant temporal variation in the functional form of FTE--SWS relation and that the accuracy of CSSS predictions are nearly twice better than the PFSS predcitions. We attribute the greater accuracy of CSSS predictions to the model's capability to trace the solar wind sources better than the PFSS model and, perhaps, the treatment of electric currents in the inner corona in the CSSS model.Synoptic maps of coronal magnetic field, similar to the photospheric ones, are still a long way away, though techniques are under development, especially using the Coronal Multi-Channel Polarimeter data. And the near--Sun regions below 0.3 AU remain unexplored until Solar Probe Plus and Solar Orbiter are launched. A well-validated model of the corona capable of providing reliable solar wind conditions in the near-Sun region will be of great use in interpreting the data collected by these spacecraft. The magnetohydrodynamic models such as ENLIL for space weather prediction, require ambient plasma and magnetic field information at their inner boundaries, usually provided by magnetostatic models, such as PFSS, in the absence of sufficient observational data. Our present work is an attempt to provide methods to generate reliable solar wind conditions in the near-Sun region.

  11. Superposed Epoch Analysis of Ring Current Geoeffectiveness Related to Solar Wind and Plasma Sheet Drivers

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Liemohm, M. W.; Kozyra, J. U.; Thomsen, M. F.; Borovsky, J. E.; Gahurthakurta, Madulika (Technical Monitor)

    2004-01-01

    The goal of that proposal was to examine the relationship between solar wind drivers and ring current dynamics through data analysis and numerical simulations. The data analysis study was a statistical examination (via superposed epoch analyses) of a solar cycle's worth of storm data. Solar wind data, geophysical indices, and geosynchronous plasma data were collected for every time period with Dst< -50 nT from 1989 through 2002, and the storm list now exceeds 400 entries. This work was first conducted by a summer undergraduate student, Mr. John Vann (University of Kansas), with funding from the NSF Research Experience for Undergraduates program. It was then continued by a University of Michigan graduate student, Mr. Jichun Zhang. Mr. Zhang is now in his fourth year at U-M and is progressing very well toward a PhD in space science. His dissertation will be based on his data analysis and modeling efforts using this geomagnetic storm database. The results of the data analysis study have been the focus of several conference presentations, and the first manuscript has just been published. Two additional papers are presently being prepared, one on average (superposed) solar wind features for various storm subsets (e.g., intense storms at solar maximum), and another on geosynchronous plasma features for these same storm subsets. The latter result was highlighted by the TR&T program director in his presentation at the COSPAR meeting this summer.

  12. Landmark Report Analyzes Current State of U.S. Offshore Wind Industry (Fact Sheet)

    SciTech Connect

    Not Available

    2011-09-01

    New report assesses offshore wind industry, offshore wind resource, technology challenges, economics, permitting procedures, and potential risks and benefits. The National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) recently published a new report that analyzes the current state of the offshore wind energy industry, Large-Scale Offshore Wind Power in the United States. It provides a broad understanding of the offshore wind resource, and details the associated technology challenges, economics, permitting procedures, and potential risks and benefits of developing this clean, domestic, renewable resource. The United States possesses large and accessible offshore wind energy resources. The availability of these strong offshore winds close to major U.S. coastal cities significantly reduces power transmission issues. The report estimates that U.S. offshore winds have a gross potential generating capacity four times greater than the nation's present electric capacity. According to the report, developing the offshore wind resource along U.S. coastlines and in the Great Lakes would help the nation: (1) Achieve 20% of its electricity from wind by 2030 - Offshore wind could supply 54 gigawatts of wind capacity to the nation's electrical grid, increasing energy security, reducing air and water pollution, and stimulating the domestic economy. (2) Provide clean power to its coastal demand centers - Wind power emits no carbon dioxide (CO2) and there are plentiful winds off the coasts of 26 states. (3) Revitalize its manufacturing sector - Building 54 GW of offshore wind energy facilities would generate an estimated $200 billion in new economic activity, and create more than 43,000 permanent, well-paid technical jobs in manufacturing, construction, engineering, operations and maintenance. NREL's report concludes that the development of the nation's offshore wind resources can provide many potential benefits, and with effective research, policies, and commitment, offshore wind energy can

  13. Full particle-in-cell simulations of kinetic equilibria and the role of the initial current sheet on steady asymmetric magnetic reconnection

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Dargent, J.; Aunai, N.; Belmont, G.; Dorville, N.; Lavraud, B.; Hesse, M.

    2016-06-01

    Tangential current sheets are ubiquitous in space plasmas and yet hard to describe with a kinetic equilibrium. In this paper, we use a semi-analytical model, the BAS model, which provides a steady ion distribution function for a tangential asymmetric current sheet and we prove that an ion kinetic equilibrium produced by this model remains steady in a fully kinetic particle-in-cell simulation even if the electron distribution function does not satisfy the time independent Vlasov equation. We then apply this equilibrium to look at the dependence of magnetic reconnection simulations on their initial conditions. We show that, as the current sheet evolves from a symmetric to an asymmetric upstream plasma, the reconnection rate is impacted and the X line and the electron flow stagnation point separate from one another and start to drift. For the simulated systems, we investigate the overall evolution of the reconnection process via the classical signatures discussed in the literature and searched in the Magnetospheric MultiScale data. We show that they seem robust and do not depend on the specific details of the internal structure of the initial current sheet.

  14. Multi-point, multi-scale observation of the near-Earth current sheet reconfiguration during storm-time multi-onset substorms

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Nakamura, R.; Baumjohann, W.; Plaschke, F.; Narita, Y.; Schmid, D.; Panov, E. V.; Andriopoulou, M.; Voros, Z.; Magnes, W.; Fischer, D.; Steller, M.; Burch, J. L.; Torbert, R. B.; Russell, C. T.; Strangeway, R. J.; Leinweber, H. K.; Le, G.; Bromund, K. R.; Anderson, B. J.; Chutter, M.; Slavin, J. A.; Kepko, L.; Vaith, H.; Le Contel, O.; Argall, M. R.; Ergun, R. E.; Lindqvist, P. A.; Marklund, G. T.; Khotyaintsev, Y. V.; Pollock, C. J.; Dorelli, J.; Gershman, D. J.; Fuselier, S. A.; Mauk, B.; Baker, D. N.; Giles, B. L.; Moore, T. E.; Singer, H. J.; Sergeev, V. A.; Escoubet, C. P.

    2015-12-01

    On June 23, 2015 between 03 and 06 UT, during the recovery phase of a storm, signatures of two major substorms with multiple-onsets are detected by a fleet of spacecraft in the near-Earth region providing an unique opportunity to study the evolution of the near-Earth current sheet reconfiguration from sub-ion scale to larger scale across the inner magnetosphere. The two onsets around 0315 and 0505 are observed by MMS near the boundary of the premidnight-plasma sheet as a thinning of the current sheet and as dipolarization at GOES 13 and 15 in the dusk to premidnight region, then followed by crossing of an active separatrix region. By using high-resolution magnetic field data onboard MMS, we investigate the detailed propagation properties of the disturbances and structures based on different multi-point analysis techniques (timing, gradient, and wave telescope analysis). By also comparing with current wedge model from ground-based data we identify the 3D evolution of the near-Earth current sheet.

  15. Supermagnetosonic Jets behind a Collisionless Quasiparallel Shock

    SciTech Connect

    Hietala, H.; Vainio, R.; Laitinen, T. V.; Vaivads, A.; Andreeova, K.; Palmroth, M.; Pulkkinen, T. I.; Koskinen, H. E. J.; Lucek, E. A.; Reme, H.

    2009-12-11

    The downstream region of a collisionless quasiparallel shock is structured containing bulk flows with high kinetic energy density from a previously unidentified source. We present Cluster multispacecraft measurements of this type of supermagnetosonic jet as well as of a weak secondary shock front within the sheath, that allow us to propose the following generation mechanism for the jets: The local curvature variations inherent to quasiparallel shocks can create fast, deflected jets accompanied by density variations in the downstream region. If the speed of the jet is super(magneto)sonic in the reference frame of the obstacle, a second shock front forms in the sheath closer to the obstacle. Our results can be applied to collisionless quasiparallel shocks in many plasma environments.

  16. Expansion techniques for collisionless stellar dynamical simulations

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Meiron, Yohai

    2016-02-01

    We present ETICS, a collisionless N-body code based on two kinds of series expansions of the Poisson equation, implemented for graphics processing units (GPUs). The code is publicly available and can be used as a standalone program or as a library (an AMUSE plugin is included). One of the two expansion methods available is the self-consistent field (SCF) method, which is a Fourier-like expansion of the density field in some basis set; the other is the multipole expansion (MEX) method, which is a Taylor-like expansion of the Green's function. MEX, which has been advocated in the past, has not gained as much popularity as SCF. Both are particle-field methods and optimized for collisionless galactic dynamics, but while SCF is a ``pure'' expansion, MEX is an expansion in just the angular part; thus, MEX is capable of capturing radial structure easily, while SCF needs a large number of radial terms.

  17. Properties of a large-scale flux rope and current sheet region on the dayside of Mars: MGS MAG/ER and MEX ASPERA-3 ELS observations

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Soobiah, Yasir I. J.; Wild, James A.; Beharrell, Mathew J.; Barabash, Stas; Lillis, Robert J.; Mitchell, David L.; Coates, Andrew J.; Winningham, J. David; Frahm, Rudy A.

    2014-11-01

    We present dual spacecraft observations by MGS MAG/ER and MEX ASPERA-3 ELS of a large-scale magnetic flux rope on the dayside of Mars that occurs in close proximity to the crustal magnetic fields and a dayside current sheet region. A current sheet (including the large-scale flux rope) was observed on repeated MGS orbits when the draped solar wind magnetic field present in the ionosphere had a +By component (in MSO). Minimum Variance Analysis (MVA) of the large-scale flux rope and two current sheet crossings that occur after show a common peak in magnetic field along the intermediate variance direction, indicating the normal component of a reconnecting current sheet. All repeated orbits demonstrated evidence of a plasma boundary by the decrease in electron differential flux above 100 eV when moving into regions dominated by the crustal magnetic field, and coincided with the measured magnetic field strength being double the undisturbed crustal magnetic field. We argue this forms evidence of magnetic reconnection between crustal magnetic fields and draped solar wind magnetic field (from ionosphere or magnetosheath) at a "mini-magnetopause" type boundary on the dayside of Mars. Similar electron pitch angle distributions observed during the large-scale flux rope, current sheet crossings, and regions of radial crustal magnetic field, suggest these regions share a common magnetic field topology for the trapping of magnetosheath particles on open crustal magnetic fields on the dayside of Mars. As such, indicates a trapping quadrupole magnetic field exist either at the magnetic reconnection X-line region or where open crustal magnetic fields meet oppositely directed solar wind magnetic field. At a time when the draped solar wind magnetic field present in the ionosphere was weaker in strength, the current sheet crossing was observed over an extended region of 2000 km. The extended current sheet demonstrated properties of a hot diamagnetic region and features of a mirror mode

  18. Paradigmatic flow for small-scale magnetohydrodynamics: properties of the ideal case and the collision of current sheets.

    PubMed

    Lee, E; Brachet, M E; Pouquet, A; Mininni, P D; Rosenberg, D

    2008-12-01

    We propose two sets of initial conditions for magnetohydrodynamics (MHD) in which both the velocity and the magnetic fields have spatial symmetries that are preserved by the dynamical equations as the system evolves. When implemented numerically they allow for substantial savings in CPU time and memory storage requirements for a given resolved scale separation. Basic properties of these Taylor-Green flows generalized to MHD are given, and the ideal nondissipative case is studied up to the equivalent of 2048;{3} grid points for one of these flows. The temporal evolution of the logarithmic decrements delta of the energy spectrum remains exponential at the highest spatial resolution considered, for which an acceleration is observed briefly before the grid resolution is reached. Up to the end of the exponential decay of delta , the behavior is consistent with a regular flow with no appearance of a singularity. The subsequent short acceleration in the formation of small magnetic scales can be associated with a near collision of two current sheets driven together by magnetic pressure. It leads to strong gradients with a fast rotation of the direction of the magnetic field, a feature also observed in the solar wind. PMID:19256956

  19. RECONNECTION OUTFLOWS AND CURRENT SHEET OBSERVED WITH HINODE/XRT IN THE 2008 APRIL 9 'CARTWHEEL CME' FLARE

    SciTech Connect

    Savage, Sabrina L.; McKenzie, David E.; Longcope, Dana W.; Reeves, Katharine K.; Forbes, Terry G.

    2010-10-10

    Supra-arcade downflows (SADs) have been observed with Yohkoh/SXT (soft X-rays (SXR)), TRACE (extreme ultraviolet (EUV)), SOHO/LASCO (white light), SOHO/SUMER (EUV spectra), and Hinode/XRT (SXR). Characteristics such as low emissivity and trajectories, which slow as they reach the top of the arcade, are consistent with post-reconnection magnetic flux tubes retracting from a reconnection site high in the corona until they reach a lower-energy magnetic configuration. Viewed from a perpendicular angle, SADs should appear as shrinking loops rather than downflowing voids. We present X-ray Telescope (XRT) observations of supra-arcade downflowing loops (SADLs) following a coronal mass ejection (CME) on 2008 April 9 and show that their speeds and decelerations are consistent with those determined for SADs. We also present evidence for a possible current sheet observed during this flare that extends between the flare arcade and the CME. Additionally, we show a correlation between reconnection outflows observed with XRT and outgoing flows observed with LASCO.

  20. Step-like variations of cosmic rays and their relation to an inclination of the heliospheric current sheet

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Svirzhevskaya, A. K.; Svirzhevsky, N. S.; Stozhkov, Yu. I.

    2001-08-01

    The large and fast step-like variations in the GCR intensity are examined during both the descending and recovery phases of the 20-23 solar cycles. The cosmic ray intensity data sets obtained in the stratospheric measurements in Murmansk, Mirny (Antarctica) and Moscow are used. At present the global merged interaction regions (GMIRs) are considered as a natural explanation of step-like intensity decreases. But the GMIRs are not suitable to explain the rapid intensity recovery that was as fast as the step-like decreases, for example in 1962, 1971, and 1991. According to the ULYSSES measurements, the IMF was much more disturbed within the sector zones. It means that the diffusion coefficient is smaller within the sector zone (just as inside the GMIR) than one beyond the sector zones. The changes of the heliospheric current sheet inclination cause the changes in the angular sizes of sector zones and due to that the fast decreases or increases of the GCR intensity. It is also shown that the intensity changes immediately after the step-decreases depend upon the IMF polarity. The cosmic ray intensity after the step-decrease tends to recover at 0>A and continues to decrease slowly at 0

  1. Effect of plasma-β on the onset of plasmoid instability in Sweet-Parker current sheets

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Baty, H.; Baty

    2014-10-01

    A numerical study of magnetic reconnection in two-dimensional resistive magnetohydrodynamics for Sweet-Parker current sheets that are subject to plasmoid instability is carried out. The effect of the initial upstream plasma-β on the critical Lundquist number Sc for the onset of plasmoid instability is studied. Our results indicate a weak dependence, with a value of Sc ~= 1.5 × 104 in the limit of zero β, and a value of Sc ~= 1 × 104 in the opposite high β regime (β >> 1). A similar dependence was previously obtained (Ni et al. 2012 Phys. Plasm. 19, 072902), but with a somewhat much larger variation, that can be largely attributed to the different configuration setup used in their study, and also to the definition of the Lundquist number. This conclusion does not depend significantly on the equilibrium used, i.e. both initial configurations with either plasma density or temperature spatial variations lead to very similar results. Finally, we show that the inner plasmoid structure appears as an under-dense hotted magnetic island, with a local temperature increase that is noticeably strengthened for low β cases.

  2. Coincidence of heliospheric current sheet and stream interface: Implications for the origin and evolution of the solar wind

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Huang, Jia; Liu, Yong C.-M.; Klecker, Berndt; Chen, Yao

    2016-01-01

    In general, the heliospheric current sheet (HCS), which defines the boundary of sunward and antisunward magnetic field, is encased by the slow solar wind. The stream interface (SI) represents the boundary between the solar wind plasmas of different origin and/or characteristics. According to earlier studies using data of low time resolution, the SI and HCS get closer further away from the Sun, and the two structures coincide with each other around 5 AU. In this study, we use STEREO data of a much higher time resolution to reveal an unusual case where the SI and HCS are coincident near 1 AU and separated from the so-called true sector boundary (TSB) at which the suprathermal electrons change their relative propagation directions. Preliminary analysis suggests that the closed loops in pseudostreamers continually have interchange reconnection with the open-field lines that lead them, resulting not only in the coincidence of HCS and SI but also in the separation of the TSB from the HCS/SI. We therefore conclude that the interchange reconnection plays an important role in the evolution of slow solar wind.

  3. Proton Enhancement and Decreased O6+/H at the Heliospheric Current Sheet: Implications for the Origin of Slow Solar Wind

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Liu, Y. C.-M.; Galvin, A. B.; Popecki, M. A.; Simunac, K. D. C.; Kistler, L.; Farrugia, C.; Lee, M. A.; Klecker, B.; Bochsler, P.; Luhmann, J. L.; Jian, L. K.; Moebius, E.; Wimmer-Schweingruber, R.; Wurz, P.

    2010-03-01

    We investigated the proton enhancement and O6+/H depletion in the vicinity of the heliospheric current sheet (HCS) using data from STEREO/PLASTIC and STEREO/IMPACT. Three HCS crossing events were studied. For the first two events, the proton enhancement and O6+/H depletion are found to lie at one edge of the HCS. The proton density has a steep slope both at the HCS and at the other boundary of the enhancement. In the third event the proton enhancement and O6+/H depletion surround the HCS and last for 8 hours while the density profile is very different from the other two events. Velocity shear is observed at the HCS for the first two events but not for the third. The enhancement of hydrogen and depletion of oxygen at the streamer belt in the solar corona have been reported using UVCS observation. A potential connection with our observations is based on the similar features observed at 1 AU. How the plasma flows out of the streamer belt, and why there are different features in HCS encounters remain open questions for future study.

  4. Perpendicular diffusion of energetic particles in collisionless plasmas

    SciTech Connect

    Shalchi, A.

    2015-01-15

    A fundamental problem in plasma and astrophysics is the interaction between energetic particles and magnetized plasmas. In the current paper, we focus on particle diffusion across the guide magnetic field. It is shown that the perpendicular diffusion coefficient depends only on the parallel diffusion coefficient and the Kubo number. Therefore, one can find four asymptotic limits depending on the values of these two parameters. These regimes are the quasilinear limit, the Kadomtsev and Pogutse limit, the scaling of Rechester and Rosenbluth, and the scaling found by Zybin and Istomin. In the current article, we focus on the Rechester and Rosenbluth scenario because this was not discovered before in the context of collisionless plasmas. Examples and applications are discussed as well. We show that an energy independent ratio of perpendicular and parallel diffusion coefficients can be found and that this ratio can be very small but also close to unity. This is exactly what one observes in the solar wind.

  5. Current-voltage characteristic and sheet resistances after annealing of femtosecond laser processed sulfur emitters for silicon solar cells

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Gimpel, Thomas; Guenther, Kay-Michael; Kontermann, Stefan; Schade, Wolfgang

    2014-08-01

    The characteristics of laser doped sulfur emitters are strongly dependent on annealing processes. We show how annealing increases the efficiency of silicon solar cells with such an emitter. Sheet resistance analysis reveals that up to an annealing temperature of 400 °C the emitter sheet resistivity increases. A lower sulfur donor concentration is concluded, which likely occurs by means of sulfur diffusion and capturing of sulfur donors at intrinsic silicon defects. Above that temperature, the emitter sheet resistance decreases, which we find to originate from healing of laser induced structural defects involving traps within the depletion zone of the silicon pn-junction.

  6. A global picture of the temporal response of surface atmospheric pressure to the passage of the heliospheric current sheet

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lam, Mai Mai; Chisham, Gareth; Freeman, Mervyn P.; McWilliams, Kathryn A.; Huyghebaert, Devin R.

    2013-04-01

    The meteorological response (e.g., of surface pressure) in the polar regions to fluctuations in the interplanetary magnetic field (IMF) By component (the 'Mansurov effect') has been proposed to occur via superimposed changes of the ionospheric potential on the global atmospheric electric field. Previously we have shown, in a time-averaged study, that the Mansurov effect also results in mid-latitude (40°-70°) changes to the latitudinal pressure gradient (and the zonal wind field), and thereby the atmospheric Rossby wave field. Since the evolution of storm tracks can be highly sensitive to Rossby wave dynamics, the IMF can in principle also significantly influence the evolution and distribution of atmospheric vorticity. Over the last 40 years, convincing evidence has accumulated for the 'Wilcox effect' - the correlation between the time of reversals in polarity of the IMF (crossings of the heliospheric current sheet) and decreases in the winter tropospheric low-pressure vorticity at mid to high latitudes. It has been suggested that such changes to storm vorticity are due to the occurrence of reductions in the relativistic electron flux during HCS crossings, and associated changes in the ionosphere-Earth current density. To investigate further possible mechanisms for the Wilcox effect, we conduct a superposed epoch analysis (SEA) of the global atmospheric pressure at the Earth's surface using NCAR/NCEP reanalysis data ordered according to HCS crossings. We use a similar SEA of solar wind data (including both IMF By and Bx) to investigate the role of the high-latitude Mansurov effect (and other mechanisms) in the mid-high latitude Wilcox effect. We discuss our results in the context of our previous time-averaged global study.

  7. National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) Reports Increase in Durability and Reliability for Current Generation Fuel Cell Buses (Fact Sheet)

    SciTech Connect

    Not Available

    2010-11-01

    This fact sheet describes NREL's accomplishments in evaluating the durability and reliability of fuel cell buses being demonstrated in transit service. Work was performed by the Hydrogen Technology Validation team in the Hydrogen Technologies and Systems Center.

  8. CMEs FROM AR 10365: MORPHOLOGY AND PHYSICAL PARAMETERS OF THE EJECTIONS AND OF THE ASSOCIATED CURRENT SHEET

    SciTech Connect

    Schettino, G.; Romoli, M.; Poletto, G.

    2010-01-10

    We study the evolution and physical parameters of three consecutive coronal mass ejections (CMEs) that occurred at the west limb of the Sun on 2003 June 2 at 00:30, 08:54, 16:08 UT, respectively. The Large Angle and Spectrometric Coronagraph Experiment (LASCO) CME catalog shows that the CMEs entered the C2 field of view with position angles within a 5 deg. interval. This suggests a common origin for the ejections, to be identified with the magnetic system associated with the active region that lies below the CMEs. The close proximity in time and source location of the events prompted us to analyze LASCO white light data and Ultraviolet Coronagraph Spectrometer (UVCS) spectra with the aim of identifying similarities and differences among the three CMEs. It turns out that two of them display the typical three-part structure, while no conclusion can be drawn about the morphology of the third ejection. The CMEs plasma is 'cool', i.e., electron temperatures in the CMEs front are of the order of 2 x 10{sup 5} K, with no significant variation between different events. However, ejection speeds vary by a factor of approx1.5 between consecutive events and electron densities (more precisely emission measures) by a factor of approx6 between the first CME and the second and third CMEs. In the aftermath of all events, we found evidence of current sheets (CSs) both in LASCO and UVCS. We give here the CS physical parameters (electron temperature, density, and kinetic temperature) and follow, in one of the events, their temporal evolution over a 6 hr time interval. A discussion of our results, in the framework of previous findings, concludes the paper.

  9. Experimental study of nonlinear interaction of plasma flow with charged thin current sheets: 1. Boundary structure and motion

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Amata, E.; Savin, S.; André, M.; Dunlop, M.; Khotyaintsev, Y.; Marcucci, M. F.; Fazakerley, A.; Bogdanova, Y. V.; Décréau, P. M. E.; Rauch, J. L.; Trotignon, J. G.; Skalsky, A.; Romanov, S.; Buechner, J.; Blecki, J.; Rème, H.

    2006-08-01

    We study plasma transport at a thin magnetopause (MP), described hereafter as a thin current sheet (TCS), observed by Cluster at the southern cusp on 13 February 2001 around 20:01 UT. The Cluster observations generally agree with the predictions of the Gas Dynamic Convection Field (GDCF) model in the magnetosheath (MSH) up to the MSH boundary layer, where significant differences are seen. We find for the MP a normal roughly along the GSE x-axis, which implies a clear departure from the local average MP normal, a ~90 km thickness and an outward speed of 35 km/s. Two populations are identified in the MSH boundary layer: the first one roughly perpendicular to the MSH magnetic field, which we interpret as the "incident" MSH plasma, the second one mostly parallel to B. Just after the MP crossing a velocity jet is observed with a peak speed of 240 km/s, perpendicular to B, with MA=3 and β>10 (peak value 23). The magnetic field clock angle rotates by 70° across the MP. Ex is the main electric field component on both sides of the MP, displaying a bipolar signature, positive on the MSH side and negative on the opposite side, corresponding to a ~300 V electric potential jump across the TCS. The E×B velocity generally coincides with the perpendicular velocity measured by CIS; however, in the speed jet a difference between the two is observed, which suggests the need for an extra flow source. We propose that the MP TCS can act locally as an obstacle for low-energy ions (<350 eV), being transparent for ions with larger gyroradius. As a result, the penetration of plasma by finite gyroradius is considered as a possible source for the jet. The role of reconnection is briefly discussed. The electrodynamics of the TCS along with mass and momentum transfer across it are further discussed in the companion paper by Savin et al. (2006).

  10. Assessing the Current Evolution of the Greenland Ice Sheet by Means of Satellite and Ground-Based Observations

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Groh, A.; Ewert, H.; Fritsche, M.; Rülke, A.; Rosenau, R.; Scheinert, M.; Dietrich, R.

    2014-11-01

    The present study utilises different satellite and ground-based geodetic observations in order to assess the current evolution of the Greenland Ice Sheet (GIS). Satellite gravimetry data acquired by the Gravity Recovery and Climate Experiment are used to derive ice-mass changes for the period from 2003 to 2012. The inferred time series are investigated regarding long-term, seasonal and interannual variations. Laser altimetry data acquired by the Ice, Cloud, and land Elevation Satellite (ICESat) are utilised to solve for linear and seasonal changes in the ice-surface height and to infer independent mass-change estimates for the entire GIS and its major drainage basins. We demonstrate that common signals can be identified in the results of both sensors. Moreover, the analysis of a Global Positioning System (GPS) campaign network in West Greenland for the period 1995-2007 allows us to derive crustal deformation caused by glacial isostatic adjustment (GIA) and by present-day ice-mass changes. ICESat-derived elastic crustal deformations are evaluated comparing them with GPS-observed uplift rates which were corrected for the GIA effect inferred by model predictions. Existing differences can be related to the limited resolution of ICESat. Such differences are mostly evident in dynamical regions such as the Disko Bay region including the rapidly changing Jakobshavn Isbræ, which is investigated in more detail. Glacier flow velocities are inferred from satellite imagery yielding an accelerated flow from 1999 to 2012. Since our GPS observations cover a period of more than a decade, changes in the vertical uplift rates can also be investigated. It turns out that the increased mass loss of the glacier is also reflected by an accelerated vertical uplift.

  11. Tracing the dark matter sheet in phase space

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Abel, Tom; Hahn, Oliver; Kaehler, Ralf

    2012-11-01

    The primordial velocity dispersion of dark matter is small compared to the velocities attained during structure formation. The initial density distribution is close to uniform, and it occupies an initial sheet in phase space that is single valued in velocity space. Because of gravitational forces, this 3D manifold evolves in phase space without ever tearing, conserving phase-space volume and preserving the connectivity of nearby points. N-body simulations already follow the motion of this sheet in phase space. This fact can be used to extract full fine-grained phase-space structure information from existing cosmological N-body simulations. Particles are considered as the vertices of an unstructured 3D mesh moving in 6D phase space. On this mesh, mass density and momentum are uniquely defined. We show how to obtain the space density of the fluid, detect caustics and count the number of streams as well as their individual contributions to any point in configuration space. We calculate the bulk velocity, local velocity dispersions and densities from the sheet - all without averaging over control volumes. This gives a wealth of new information about dark matter fluid flow which had previously been thought of as inaccessible to N-body simulations. We outline how this mapping may be used to create new accurate collisionless fluid simulation codes that may be able to overcome the sparse sampling and unphysical two-body effects that plague current N-body techniques.

  12. Effects of electron inertia in collisionless magnetic reconnection

    SciTech Connect

    Andrés, Nahuel Gómez, Daniel; Martin, Luis; Dmitruk, Pablo

    2014-07-15

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

  13. Force balance near an X line in a collisionless plasma

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Lyons, L. R.; Pridmore-Brown, D. C.

    1990-01-01

    The suggestion by Dungey (1988) that the gyroviscosity associated with gradients of the off-diagonal elements of the electron pressure tensor can balance a reconnection electric field along a magnetic X line in a collisionless plasma is investigated. The detailed balance of forces in the vicinity of an X line is evaluated using a two-dimensional magnetic field model and a simple model for particle motion. The results show that the gyroviscosity can indeed provide the force required to balance a reconnection electric field in that region, so that neither collisions nor wave turbulence are necessary for reconnection. The results also show that there should not be a significant increase in current from electron acceleration very near an X line. Reasonable numerical estimates are obtained for conditions expected in the vicinity of the distant X line in the geomagnetic tail.

  14. Effects of electron inertia in collisionless magnetic reconnection

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Andrés, Nahuel; Martin, Luis; Dmitruk, Pablo; Gómez, Daniel

    2014-07-01

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

  15. Studying astrophysical collisionless shocks with counterstreaming plasmas from high power lasers

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Park, Hye-Sook; Ryutov, D. D.; Ross, J. S.; Kugland, N. L.; Glenzer, S. H.; Plechaty, C.; Pollaine, S. M.; Remington, B. A.; Spitkovsky, A.; Gargate, L.; Gregori, G.; Bell, A.; Murphy, C.; Sakawa, Y.; Kuramitsu, Y.; Morita, T.; Takabe, H.; Froula, D. H.; Fiksel, G.; Miniati, F.; Koenig, M.; Ravasio, A.; Pelka, A.; Liang, E.; Woolsey, N.; Kuranz, C. C.; Drake, R. P.; Grosskopf, M. J.

    2012-03-01

    Collisions of high Mach number flows occur frequently in astrophysics, and the resulting shock waves are responsible for the properties of many astrophysical phenomena, such as supernova remnants, Gamma Ray Bursts and jets from Active Galactic Nuclei. Because of the low density of astrophysical plasmas, the mean free path due to Coulomb collisions is typically very large. Therefore, most shock waves in astrophysics are "collisionless", since they form due to plasma instabilities and self-generated magnetic fields. Laboratory experiments at the laser facilities can achieve the conditions necessary for the formation of collisionless shocks, and will provide a unique avenue for studying the nonlinear physics of collisionless shock waves. We are performing a series of experiments at the Omega and Omega-EP lasers, in Rochester, NY, with the goal of generating collisionless shock conditions by the collision of two high-speed plasma flows resulting from laser ablation of solid targets using ˜1016 W/cm2 laser irradiation. The experiments will aim to answer several questions of relevance to collisionless shock physics: the importance of the electromagnetic filamentation (Weibel) instabilities in shock formation, the self-generation of magnetic fields in shocks, the influence of external magnetic fields on shock formation, and the signatures of particle acceleration in shocks. Our first experiments using Thomson scattering diagnostics studied the plasma state from a single foil and from double foils whose flows collide "head-on". Our data showed that the flow velocity and electron density were 108 cm/s and 1019 cm-3, respectively, where the Coulomb mean free path is much larger than the size of the interaction region. Simulations of our experimental conditions show that weak Weibel mediated current filamentation and magnetic field generation were likely starting to occur. This paper presents the results from these first Omega experiments.

  16. Thin-shell instability in collisionless plasma

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Dieckmann, M. E.; Ahmed, H.; Doria, D.; Sarri, G.; Walder, R.; Folini, D.; Bret, A.; Ynnerman, A.; Borghesi, M.

    2015-09-01

    Thin-shell instability is one process which can generate entangled structures in astrophysical plasma on collisional (fluid) scales. It is driven by a spatially varying imbalance between the ram pressure of the inflowing upstream plasma and the downstream's thermal pressure at a nonplanar shock. Here we show by means of a particle-in-cell simulation that an analog process can destabilize a thin shell formed by two interpenetrating, unmagnetized, and collisionless plasma clouds. The amplitude of the shell's spatial modulation grows and saturates after about ten inverse proton plasma frequencies, when the shell consists of connected piecewise linear patches.

  17. Cascaded proton acceleration by collisionless electrostatic shock

    SciTech Connect

    Xu, T. J.; Shen, B. F. E-mail: zhxm@siom.ac.cn; Zhang, X. M. E-mail: zhxm@siom.ac.cn; Yi, L. Q.; Wang, W. P.; Zhang, L. G.; Xu, J. C.; Zhao, X. Y.; Shi, Y.; Liu, C.; Pei, Z. K.

    2015-07-15

    A new scheme for proton acceleration by cascaded collisionless electrostatic shock (CES) is proposed. By irradiating a foil target with a moderate high-intensity laser beam, a stable CES field can be induced, which is employed as the accelerating field for the booster stage of proton acceleration. The mechanism is studied through simulations and theoretical analysis, showing that a 55 MeV seed proton beam can be further accelerated to 265 MeV while keeping a good energy spread. This scheme offers a feasible approach to produce proton beams with energy of hundreds of MeV by existing available high-intensity laser facilities.

  18. 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.

  19. Scattering of radiation in collisionless dusty plasmas

    SciTech Connect

    Tolias, P.; Ratynskaia, S.

    2013-04-15

    Scattering of electromagnetic waves in collisionless dusty plasmas is studied in the framework of a multi-component kinetic model. The investigation focuses on the spectral distribution of the scattered radiation. Pronounced dust signatures are identified in the coherent spectrum due to scattering from the shielding cloud around the dust grains, dust acoustic waves, and dust-ion acoustic waves. The magnitude and shape of the scattered signal near these spectral regions are determined with the aid of analytical expressions and its dependence on the dust parameters is investigated. The use of radiation scattering as a potential diagnostic tool for dust detection is discussed.

  20. Collisionless Relaxation in Non-Neutral Plasmas

    SciTech Connect

    Levin, Yan; Pakter, Renato; Teles, Tarcisio N.

    2008-02-01

    A theoretical framework is presented which allows us to quantitatively predict the final stationary state achieved by a non-neutral plasma during a process of collisionless relaxation. As a specific application, the theory is used to study relaxation of charged-particle beams. It is shown that a fully matched beam relaxes to the Lynden-Bell distribution. However, when a mismatch is present and the beam oscillates, parametric resonances lead to a core-halo phase separation. The approach developed accounts for both the density and the velocity distributions in the final stationary state.

  1. 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.

  2. Flexible heat-flow sensing sheets based on the longitudinal spin Seebeck effect using one-dimensional spin-current conducting films

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kirihara, Akihiro; Kondo, Koichi; Ishida, Masahiko; Ihara, Kazuki; Iwasaki, Yuma; Someya, Hiroko; Matsuba, Asuka; Uchida, Ken-Ichi; Saitoh, Eiji; Yamamoto, Naoharu; Kohmoto, Shigeru; Murakami, Tomoo

    2016-03-01

    Heat-flow sensing is expected to be an important technological component of smart thermal management in the future. Conventionally, the thermoelectric (TE) conversion technique, which is based on the Seebeck effect, has been used to measure a heat flow by converting the flow into electric voltage. However, for ubiquitous heat-flow visualization, thin and flexible sensors with extremely low thermal resistance are highly desired. Recently, another type of TE effect, the longitudinal spin Seebeck effect (LSSE), has aroused great interest because the LSSE potentially offers favourable features for TE applications such as simple thin-film device structures. Here we demonstrate an LSSE-based flexible TE sheet that is especially suitable for a heat-flow sensing application. This TE sheet contained a Ni0.2Zn0.3Fe2.5O4 film which was formed on a flexible plastic sheet using a spray-coating method known as “ferrite plating”. The experimental results suggest that the ferrite-plated film, which has a columnar crystal structure aligned perpendicular to the film plane, functions as a unique one-dimensional spin-current conductor suitable for bendable LSSE-based sensors. This newly developed thin TE sheet may be attached to differently shaped heat sources without obstructing an innate heat flux, paving the way to versatile heat-flow measurements and management.

  3. Flexible heat-flow sensing sheets based on the longitudinal spin Seebeck effect using one-dimensional spin-current conducting films.

    PubMed

    Kirihara, Akihiro; Kondo, Koichi; Ishida, Masahiko; Ihara, Kazuki; Iwasaki, Yuma; Someya, Hiroko; Matsuba, Asuka; Uchida, Ken-ichi; Saitoh, Eiji; Yamamoto, Naoharu; Kohmoto, Shigeru; Murakami, Tomoo

    2016-01-01

    Heat-flow sensing is expected to be an important technological component of smart thermal management in the future. Conventionally, the thermoelectric (TE) conversion technique, which is based on the Seebeck effect, has been used to measure a heat flow by converting the flow into electric voltage. However, for ubiquitous heat-flow visualization, thin and flexible sensors with extremely low thermal resistance are highly desired. Recently, another type of TE effect, the longitudinal spin Seebeck effect (LSSE), has aroused great interest because the LSSE potentially offers favourable features for TE applications such as simple thin-film device structures. Here we demonstrate an LSSE-based flexible TE sheet that is especially suitable for a heat-flow sensing application. This TE sheet contained a Ni0.2Zn0.3Fe2.5O4 film which was formed on a flexible plastic sheet using a spray-coating method known as "ferrite plating". The experimental results suggest that the ferrite-plated film, which has a columnar crystal structure aligned perpendicular to the film plane, functions as a unique one-dimensional spin-current conductor suitable for bendable LSSE-based sensors. This newly developed thin TE sheet may be attached to differently shaped heat sources without obstructing an innate heat flux, paving the way to versatile heat-flow measurements and management. PMID:26975208

  4. Flexible heat-flow sensing sheets based on the longitudinal spin Seebeck effect using one-dimensional spin-current conducting films

    PubMed Central

    Kirihara, Akihiro; Kondo, Koichi; Ishida, Masahiko; Ihara, Kazuki; Iwasaki, Yuma; Someya, Hiroko; Matsuba, Asuka; Uchida, Ken-ichi; Saitoh, Eiji; Yamamoto, Naoharu; Kohmoto, Shigeru; Murakami, Tomoo

    2016-01-01

    Heat-flow sensing is expected to be an important technological component of smart thermal management in the future. Conventionally, the thermoelectric (TE) conversion technique, which is based on the Seebeck effect, has been used to measure a heat flow by converting the flow into electric voltage. However, for ubiquitous heat-flow visualization, thin and flexible sensors with extremely low thermal resistance are highly desired. Recently, another type of TE effect, the longitudinal spin Seebeck effect (LSSE), has aroused great interest because the LSSE potentially offers favourable features for TE applications such as simple thin-film device structures. Here we demonstrate an LSSE-based flexible TE sheet that is especially suitable for a heat-flow sensing application. This TE sheet contained a Ni0.2Zn0.3Fe2.5O4 film which was formed on a flexible plastic sheet using a spray-coating method known as “ferrite plating”. The experimental results suggest that the ferrite-plated film, which has a columnar crystal structure aligned perpendicular to the film plane, functions as a unique one-dimensional spin-current conductor suitable for bendable LSSE-based sensors. This newly developed thin TE sheet may be attached to differently shaped heat sources without obstructing an innate heat flux, paving the way to versatile heat-flow measurements and management. PMID:26975208

  5. Nonlinear Gyroviscous Force in a Collisionless Plasma

    SciTech Connect

    Belova, E.V.

    2001-05-23

    Nonlinear gyroviscous forces in a collisionless plasma with temperature variations are calculated from the gyrofluid moments of the gyrokinetic Vlasov equation. The low-frequency gyrokinetic ordering and electrostatic perturbations are assumed, and an additional finite Larmor radius (FLR) expansion is performed. This approach leads naturally to an expression for the gyroviscous force in terms of the gyrocenter distribution function, thus including all resonant effects, and represents a systematic FLR expansion in a general form (no assumption of any closure is made). The expression for the gyroviscous force is also calculated in terms of the particle-fluid moments by making the transformation from the gyrocenter to particle coordinates. The calculated expression represents a modification of the Braginskii gyroviscosity for a collisionless plasma with nonuniform temperature. It is compared with previous calculations based on the traditional fluid approach. As a byproduct of the gyroviscosity calculations, we derive a set of nonlinear reduced gyrofluid (and a corresponding set of particle-fluid) moment equations with FLR corrections, which exhibit a generalized form of the ''gyroviscous cancellation.''

  6. The collisionless magnetoviscous-thermal instability

    SciTech Connect

    Islam, Tanim

    2014-05-20

    It is likely that nearly all central galactic massive and supermassive black holes are nonradiative: their accretion luminosities are orders of magnitude below what can be explained by efficient black hole accretion within their ambient environments. These objects, of which Sagittarius A* is the best-known example, are also dilute (mildly collisional to highly collisionless) and optically thin. In order for accretion to occur, magnetohydrodynamic (MHD) instabilities must develop that not only transport angular momentum, but also gravitational energy generated through matter infall, outward. A class of new magnetohydrodynamical fluid instabilities—the magnetoviscous-thermal instability (MVTI)—was found to transport angular momentum and energy along magnetic field lines through large (fluid) viscosities and thermal conductivities. This paper describes the analog to the MVTI, the collisionless MVTI (CMVTI), that similarly transports energy and angular momentum outward, expected to be important in describing the flow properties of hot, dilute, and radiatively inefficient accretion flows around black holes. We construct a local equilibrium for MHD stability analysis in this differentially rotating disk. We then find and characterize specific instabilities expected to be important in describing their flow properties, and show their qualitative similarities to instabilities derived using the fluid formalism. We conclude with further work needed in modeling this class of accretion flow.

  7. Closure of fluid equations in collisionless magnetoplasmas

    SciTech Connect

    Chust, T.; Belmont, G.

    2006-01-15

    The possibility of using fluid equations in collisionless plasmas is revisited, and the conditions of validity of several possible closure equations are investigated. A new derivation of the well-known 'double-adiabatic' Chew-Goldberger-Low (CGL) laws is first presented. These laws are shown to demand two different kinds of conditions for ensuring (1) particle gyrotropy and (2) adiabaticity. Both kinds of conditions are investigated in detail. The usual slow and large-scales conditions (hereafter 'sls'), which are shown to be necessary for gyrotropy, are provided in a rigorous form. The role of the fundamental symmetries of the system, especially in the directions parallel and perpendicular to the magnetic field, is also emphasized for determining any 'fluid-type' behavior of a collisionless magnetoplasma. More general closure equations are afterwards proposed, relaxing first the conditions for adiabaticity and then, more speculatively, the sls conditions for gyrotropy. The dependence of these new closure equations on the shape of the velocity distribution functions is discussed, the CGL case being singular since it is shown to be fully independent of this shape.

  8. Experimental investigation of possible geomagnetic feedback from energetic (0.1 to 16 keV) terrestrial O(+) ions in the magnetotail current sheet

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Lennartsson, O. W.; Klumpar, D. M.; Shelley, E. G.; Quinn, J. M.

    1994-01-01

    Data from energetic ion mass spectrometers on the ISEE 1 and AMPTE/CCE spacecraft are combined with geomagnetic and solar indices to investigate, in a statistical fashion, whether energized O(+) ions of terrestrial origin constitute a source of feedback which triggers or amplifies geomagnetic activity as has been suggested in the literature, by contributing a destabilizing mass increase in the magnetotail current sheet. The ISEE 1 data (0.1-16 keV/e) provide in situ observations of the O(+) concentration in the central plasma sheet, inside of 23 R(sub E), during the rising and maximum phases of solar cycle 21, as well as inner magnetosphere data from same period. The CCE data (0.1-17 keV/e) taken during the subsequent solar minimum all within 9 R(sub E). provide a reference for long-term variations in the magnetosphere O(+) content. Statistical correlations between the ion data and the indices, and between different indices. all point in the same direction: there is probably no feedback specific to the O(+) ions, in spite of the fact that they often contribute most of the ion mass density in the tail current sheet.

  9. Simultaneous observation of the poleward expansion of substorm electrojet activity and the tailward expansion of current sheet disruption in the near-earth magnetotail

    SciTech Connect

    Lopez, R.E. ); Koskinen, H.E.J.; Pulkkinen, T.I. ); Boesinger, T. ); McEntire, R.W.; Potemra, T.A. )

    1993-06-01

    This paper reports on observations of a magnetospheric substorm on June 7, 1985. This event was observed simultaneously by a number of different systems. Particle and magnetic field data were collected by AMPTE/CCE, located near the neutral sheet; magnetic field data was monitored by the EISCAT magnetometer cross; STARE radar data was also collected; and Pi 1 data from Sodankyla. The ground based systems observed the poleward and westward expansion of electrojet activity at the start of the storm. The satellite was able to see the storms onset, and record perturbations in the current sheet at the onset of the substorm, in addition to later perturbations, which the authors argue originates tailward of the satellite. Satellite measurements are shown to occur in conjunction with ground events.

  10. Intrinsic rotation drive by collisionless trapped electron mode turbulence

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wang, Lu; Peng, Shuitao; Diamond, P. H.

    2016-04-01

    Both the parallel residual stress and parallel turbulent acceleration driven by electrostatic collisionless trapped electron mode (CTEM) turbulence are calculated analytically using gyrokinetic theory. Quasilinear results show that the parallel residual stress contributes an outward flux of co-current rotation for normal magnetic shear and turbulence intensity profile increasing outward. This may induce intrinsic counter-current rotation or flattening of the co-current rotation profile. The parallel turbulent acceleration driven by CTEM turbulence vanishes, due to the absence of a phase shift between density fluctuation and ion pressure fluctuation. This is different from the case of ion temperature gradient turbulence, for which the turbulent acceleration can provide co-current drive for normal magnetic shear and turbulence intensity profile increasing outward. Its order of magnitude is predicted to be the same as that of the divergence of the residual stress [L. Wang and P. H. Diamond, Phys. Rev. Lett. 110, 265006 (2013)]. A possible connection of these theoretical results to experimental observations of electron cyclotron heating effects on toroidal rotation is discussed.

  11. Comparing Different Models for Fast Earthward Flows in the Magnetotail: Moving Flux Ropes, Unsteady Reconnection, Pressure-Depleted Plasma Bubbles, and Atypical Currents Sheets

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Sitnov, M. I.; Runov, A. V.; Ohtani, S.

    2007-12-01

    The physics of fast earthward flows or BBFs, a major mechanism of bursty transfer of the plasma and magnetic flux in the terrestrial magnetotail, remains uncertain and controversial. A part of observations can be explained as signatures of earthward moving flux ropes or secondary plasmoids dragged by the earthward part a larger-scale reconnection region [Slavin et al., 2003]. The statistics of variations of the z-component of the magnetospheric magnetic field in the central plasma sheet [Ohtani et al., 2004] suggest no changes of the magnetic field topology for another group of BBFs. These observations can be explained as signatures of either unsteady reconnection, which remains located tailward of the spacecraft, or other phenomena that are connected but not identical to reconnection in its active phase. These are the plasma bubbles, flux tubes with the reduced specific entropy that may move earthward faster than the neighboring flux tubes due to the buoyancy force. However, the original model of bubbles arising from local reductions of the plasma pressure [Pontius and Wolf, 1990] also explains only a part of observations. Another part [Angelopoulos et al., 1992] reveals no reduction of the plasma pressure in BBFs. One more model, which explains both missing magnetic topology changes and no reduction of the plasma pressure [Sitnov et al., 2005] describes the bubble as a seam in the body of the tail plasma, which appears after the formation and tailward retreat of a small plasmoid, and which is composed of atypical, embedded and bifurcated thin current sheets. Signatures of such atypical current sheets have been convincingly demonstrated recently in CLUSTER observations [Runov et al., 2003]. In this presentation we elaborate the BBF models and compare them with 2001 and 2002 tail CLUSTER observations in the central plasma sheet. These include full-particle simulations of the secondary plasmoid formation in tail-like systems, two- and three- dimensional features and

  12. Roles of magnetic reconnection and buoyancy in the formation of dipolarization fronts: three-dimensional particle simulations of two-dimensional current sheet equilibria

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Knizhnik, K.; Sitnov, M. I.; Swisdak, M. M.

    2012-12-01

    Unsteady magnetic reconnection in the magnetosphere and in the solar corona involves the formation of localized ejecta, such as the magnetotail dipolarization fronts (DFs) and coronal supra-arcade downflowing loops (SADLs). Both DFs and SADLs move in the direction opposite to the initial magnetic field stretching with a speed comparable to the Alfven speed. However, the DF scales are comparable to the ion gyro radius and therefore their analysis requires kinetic theory and simulations. Recent kinetic theory and PIC simulations of 2D magnetotail equilibria revealed two possible mechanisms of the DF formation, namely mutual attraction of parallel current filaments in thin current sheets causing magnetic reconnection via the tearing instability and magnetic buoyancy resulting in the ballooning-interchange instability. Both mechanisms are most efficient in the geometries with accumulation of magnetic flux at the tailward end of a thin current sheet. To understand the roles of magnetic reconnection and buoyancy in the formation and evolution of DFs we perform 3D PIC simulations of 2D current sheets, where two magnetotails are separated by an equilibrium X-line. To justify modeling the long terrestrial magnetotail in a relatively small simulation box: Lx x Ly x Lz= 40d x 20d x 5d (d is the ion inertial length; GSM coordinate system is used) open boundary conditions are employed in the x-direction. The magnetotail parts of the 2D equilibrium include regions of accumulated magnetic flux, consistent with the Geotail observations of similar signatures prior to substorm onset. We investigate which of the mechanisms is responsible for the formation of DF-like structures in 3D configurations and discuss their subsequent motion and structure. Simulations are compared with recent THEMIS observations of DFs and ballooning-interchange oscillations in the magnetotail, as well as SDO observations of solar flares.

  13. A collisionless plasma thruster plume expansion model

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Merino, Mario; Cichocki, Filippo; Ahedo, Eduardo

    2015-06-01

    A two-fluid model of the unmagnetized, collisionless far region expansion of the plasma plume for gridded ion thrusters and Hall effect thrusters is presented. The model is integrated into two semi-analytical solutions valid in the hypersonic case. These solutions are discussed and compared against the results from the (exact) method of characteristics; the relative errors in density and velocity increase slowly axially and radially and are of the order of 10-2-10-3 in the cases studied. The plasma density, ion flux and ambipolar electric field are investigated. A sensitivity analysis of the problem parameters and initial conditions is carried out in order to characterize the far plume divergence angle in the range of interest for space electric propulsion. A qualitative discussion of the physics of the secondary plasma plume is also provided.

  14. The stability of a collisionless cosmological shell

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    White, Simon D. M.; Ostriker, J. P.

    1990-01-01

    The P3 M technique is used here to simulate the evolution of collisionless shells in an Omega = 1 universe. Starting from the spherical similarity solution, a bootstrap technique is used to follow the evolution over very large expansion factors. It is found that the overall structure follows the similarity solution for a long period during which bound clumps grow within the shell. At late times the growth of structure depends on induced velocity perturbations in material outside the shell. If such perturbations are suppressed, structure on the shell becomes self-similar. When induced motions in the background medium are included, the evolution at late times is dominated by large-scale modes as predicted by linear stability analysis. The stable final state appears to consist of one or two massive clumps on the edge of a spherical void. The possible application of these results to the origin of galaxies and large-scale structure is discussed.

  15. Theory and simulation of collisionless parallel shocks

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Quest, K. B.

    1988-01-01

    This paper presents a self-consistent theoretical model for collisionless parallel shock structure, based on the hypothesis that shock dissipation and heating can be provided by electromagnetic ion beam-driven instabilities. It is shown that shock formation and plasma heating can result from parallel propagating electromagnetic ion beam-driven instabilities for a wide range of Mach numbers and upstream plasma conditions. The theoretical predictions are compared with recently published observations of quasi-parallel interplanetary shocks. It was found that low Mach number interplanetary shock observations were consistent with the explanation that group-standing waves are providing the dissipation; two high Mach number observations confirmed the theoretically predicted rapid thermalization across the shock.

  16. Weak collisionless shocks in laser-plasmas

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Cairns, R. A.; Bingham, R.; Trines, R. G. M.; Norreys, P.

    2015-04-01

    We obtain a theory describing laminar shock-like structures in a collisionless plasma and examine the parameter limits, in terms of the ion sound Mach number and the electron/ion temperature ratio, within which these structures exist. The essential feature is the inclusion of finite ion temperature with the result that some ions are reflected from a potential ramp. This destroys the symmetry between upstream and downstream regions that would otherwise give the well-known ion solitary wave solution. We have shown earlier (Cairns et al 2014 Phys. Plasmas 21 022112) that such structures may be relevant to problems such as the existence of strong, localized electric fields observed in laser compressed pellets and laser acceleration of ions. Here we present results on the way in which these structures may produce species separation in fusion targets and suggest that it may be possible to use shock ion acceleration for fast ignition.

  17. The microphysics of collisionless shock waves.

    PubMed

    Marcowith, A; Bret, A; Bykov, A; Dieckman, M E; Drury, L O'C; Lembège, B; Lemoine, M; Morlino, G; Murphy, G; Pelletier, G; Plotnikov, I; Reville, B; Riquelme, M; Sironi, L; Novo, A Stockem

    2016-04-01

    Collisionless shocks, that is shocks mediated by electromagnetic processes, are customary in space physics and in astrophysics. They are to be found in a great variety of objects and environments: magnetospheric and heliospheric shocks, supernova remnants, pulsar winds and their nebulæ, active galactic nuclei, gamma-ray bursts and clusters of galaxies shock waves. Collisionless shock microphysics enters at different stages of shock formation, shock dynamics and particle energization and/or acceleration. It turns out that the shock phenomenon is a multi-scale non-linear problem in time and space. It is complexified by the impact due to high-energy cosmic rays in astrophysical environments. This review adresses the physics of shock formation, shock dynamics and particle acceleration based on a close examination of available multi-wavelength or in situ observations, analytical and numerical developments. A particular emphasis is made on the different instabilities triggered during the shock formation and in association with particle acceleration processes with regards to the properties of the background upstream medium. It appears that among the most important parameters the background magnetic field through the magnetization and its obliquity is the dominant one. The shock velocity that can reach relativistic speeds has also a strong impact over the development of the micro-instabilities and the fate of particle acceleration. Recent developments of laboratory shock experiments has started to bring some new insights in the physics of space plasma and astrophysical shock waves. A special section is dedicated to new laser plasma experiments probing shock physics. PMID:27007555

  18. The microphysics of collisionless shock waves

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Marcowith, A.; Bret, A.; Bykov, A.; Dieckman, M. E.; O'C Drury, L.; Lembège, B.; Lemoine, M.; Morlino, G.; Murphy, G.; Pelletier, G.; Plotnikov, I.; Reville, B.; Riquelme, M.; Sironi, L.; Stockem Novo, A.

    2016-04-01

    Collisionless shocks, that is shocks mediated by electromagnetic processes, are customary in space physics and in astrophysics. They are to be found in a great variety of objects and environments: magnetospheric and heliospheric shocks, supernova remnants, pulsar winds and their nebulæ, active galactic nuclei, gamma-ray bursts and clusters of galaxies shock waves. Collisionless shock microphysics enters at different stages of shock formation, shock dynamics and particle energization and/or acceleration. It turns out that the shock phenomenon is a multi-scale non-linear problem in time and space. It is complexified by the impact due to high-energy cosmic rays in astrophysical environments. This review adresses the physics of shock formation, shock dynamics and particle acceleration based on a close examination of available multi-wavelength or in situ observations, analytical and numerical developments. A particular emphasis is made on the different instabilities triggered during the shock formation and in association with particle acceleration processes with regards to the properties of the background upstream medium. It appears that among the most important parameters the background magnetic field through the magnetization and its obliquity is the dominant one. The shock velocity that can reach relativistic speeds has also a strong impact over the development of the micro-instabilities and the fate of particle acceleration. Recent developments of laboratory shock experiments has started to bring some new insights in the physics of space plasma and astrophysical shock waves. A special section is dedicated to new laser plasma experiments probing shock physics.

  19. Theory of a cylindrical probe in a collisionless magnetoplasma

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Laframboise, J. G.; Rubinstein, J.

    1976-01-01

    A theory is presented for a cylindrical electrostatic probe in a collisionless plasma in the case where the probe axis is inclined at an angle to a uniform magnetic field. The theory is applicable to electron collection, and under more restrictive conditions, to ion collection. For a probe at space potential, the theory is exact in the limit where probe radius is much less than Debye length. At attracting probe potentials, the theory yields an upper bound and an adiabatic limit for current collection. At repelling probe potentials, it provides a lower bound. The theory is valid if the ratios of probe radius to Debye length and probe radius to mean gyroradius are not simultaneously large enough to produce extrema in the probe sheath potential. The numerical current calculations are based on the approximation that particle orbits are helices near the probe, together with the use of kinetic theory to relate velocity distributions near the probe to those far from it. Probe characteristics are presented for inclination angles from 0 to 90 deg and for probe-radius mean-gyroradius ratios from 0.1 to infinity. For an angle of 0 deg, the end-effect current is calculated separately.

  20. Diamagnetic boundary layers - A kinetic theory. [for collisionless magnetized plasmas

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Lemaire, J.; Burlaga, L. F.

    1976-01-01

    A kinetic theory is presented for boundary layers associated with MHD tangential 'discontinuities' in a collisionless magnetized plasma, such as those observed in the solar wind. The theory consists of finding self-consistent solutions of Vlasov's equation and Maxwell's equation for stationary one-dimensional boundary layers separating two Maxwellian plasma states. Layers in which the current is carried by electrons are found to have a thickness of the order of a few electron gyroradii, but the drift speed of the current-carrying electrons is found to exceed the Alfven speed, and accordingly such layers are not stable. Several types of layers in which the current is carried by protons are discussed; in particular, cases are considered in which the magnetic-field intensity, direction, or both, changed across the layer. In every case, the thickness was of the order of a few proton gyroradii, and the field changed smoothly, although the characteristics depended somewhat on the boundary conditions. The drift speed was always less than the Alfven speed, consistent with stability of such structures. These results are consistent with observations of boundary layers in the solar wind near 1 AU.

  1. Rubella - Fact Sheet for Parents

    MedlinePlus

    ... this page: About CDC.gov . Redirect for the Rubella fact sheet page. The current fact sheet can ... http://www.cdc.gov/vaccines/parents/diseases/child/rubella.html Print page Share Compartir File Formats Help: ...

  2. Secondary instabilities and vortex formation in collisionless-fluid magnetic reconnection.

    PubMed

    Del Sarto, D; Califano, F; Pegoraro, F

    2003-12-01

    It is shown that the pattern of current layers formed within a magnetic island in the nonlinear phase of magnetic field line reconnection in a collisionless two-dimensional fluid plasma is subject to the onset of a secondary instability, the effect of which increases with decreasing electron temperature. In the cold electron limit the saturation of the island growth is accompanied by a turbulent redistribution of the current layers and by the development of long lived fluid vortices while, in the opposite limit, the current layer structure remains regular. PMID:14683188

  3. A new calculation of the cosmic-ray antiproton spectrum in the Galaxy and heliospheric modulation effects on this spectrum using a drift plus wavy current sheet model

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Webber, W. R.; Potgieter, M. S.

    1989-01-01

    The expected interstellar antiproton spectrum arising from cosmic-ray interactions in the Galaxy is recalculated, and the modulation of both antiprotons and protons is calculated using a two-dimensional modulation model incorporating gradient and curvature drifts and a wavy current sheet as well as the usual diffusion, convection, and energy-loss effects. Significant differences in the antiproton/proton ratio for different solar magnetic field polarities are predicted as well as a 'low-energy' component for antiprotons below about 1 GeV.

  4. Kinetic model for the collisionless sheath of a collisional plasma

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Tang, Xian-Zhu; Guo, Zehua

    2016-08-01

    Collisional plasmas typically have mean-free-path still much greater than the Debye length, so the sheath is mostly collisionless. Once the plasma density, temperature, and flow are specified at the sheath entrance, the profile variation of electron and ion density, temperature, flow speed, and conductive heat fluxes inside the sheath is set by collisionless dynamics, and can be predicted by an analytical kinetic model distribution. These predictions are contrasted here with direct kinetic simulations, showing good agreement.

  5. Global scale-invariant dissipation in collisionless plasma turbulence.

    PubMed

    Kiyani, K H; Chapman, S C; Khotyaintsev, Yu V; Dunlop, M W; Sahraoui, F

    2009-08-14

    A higher-order multiscale analysis of the dissipation range of collisionless plasma turbulence is presented using in situ high-frequency magnetic field measurements from the Cluster spacecraft in a stationary interval of fast ambient solar wind. The observations, spanning five decades in temporal scales, show a crossover from multifractal intermittent turbulence in the inertial range to non-Gaussian monoscaling in the dissipation range. This presents a strong observational constraint on theories of dissipation mechanisms in turbulent collisionless plasmas. PMID:19792654

  6. Measuring Collisionless Damping in Heliospheric Plasmas using Field–Particle Correlations

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Klein, K. G.; Howes, G. G.

    2016-08-01

    An innovative field–particle correlation technique is proposed that uses single-point measurements of the electromagnetic fields and particle velocity distribution functions to investigate the net transfer of energy from fields to particles associated with the collisionless damping of turbulent fluctuations in weakly collisional plasmas, such as the solar wind. In addition to providing a direct estimate of the local rate of energy transfer between fields and particles, it provides vital new information about the distribution of that energy transfer in velocity space. This velocity-space signature can potentially be used to identify the dominant collisionless mechanism responsible for the damping of turbulent fluctuations in the solar wind. The application of this novel field–particle correlation technique is illustrated using the simplified case of the Landau damping of Langmuir waves in an electrostatic 1D-1V Vlasov–Poisson plasma, showing that the procedure both estimates the local rate of energy transfer from the electrostatic field to the electrons and indicates the resonant nature of this interaction. Modifications of the technique to enable single-point spacecraft measurements of fields and particles to diagnose the collisionless damping of turbulent fluctuations in the solar wind are discussed, yielding a method with the potential to transform our ability to maximize the scientific return from current and upcoming spacecraft missions, such as the Magnetospheric Multiscale (MMS) and Solar Probe Plus missions.

  7. A new approach to simulating collisionless dark matter fluids

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hahn, Oliver; Abel, Tom; Kaehler, Ralf

    2013-09-01

    Recently, we have shown how current cosmological N-body codes already follow the fine grained phase-space information of the dark matter fluid. Using a tetrahedral tessellation of the three-dimensional manifold that describes perfectly cold fluids in six-dimensional phase space, the phase-space distribution function can be followed throughout the simulation. This allows one to project the distribution function into configuration space to obtain highly accurate densities, velocities and velocity dispersions. Here, we exploit this technique to show first steps on how to devise an improved particle-mesh technique. At its heart, the new method thus relies on a piecewise linear approximation of the phase-space distribution function rather than the usual particle discretization. We use pseudo-particles that approximate the masses of the tetrahedral cells up to quadrupolar order as the locations for cloud-in-cell (CIC) deposit instead of the particle locations themselves as in standard CIC deposit. We demonstrate that this modification already gives much improved stability and more accurate dynamics of the collisionless dark matter fluid at high force and low mass resolution. We demonstrate the validity and advantages of this method with various test problems as well as hot/warm dark matter simulations which have been known to exhibit artificial fragmentation. This completely unphysical behaviour is much reduced in the new approach. The current limitations of our approach are discussed in detail and future improvements are outlined.

  8. A possible mechanism of the enhancement and maintenance of the shear magnetic field component in the current sheet of the Earth’s magnetotail

    SciTech Connect

    Grigorenko, E. E. Malova, H. V.; Malykhin, A. Yu.; Zelenyi, L. M.

    2015-01-15

    The influence of the shear magnetic field component, which is directed along the electric current in the current sheet (CS) of the Earth’s magnetotail and enhanced near the neutral plane of the CS, on the nonadiabatic dynamics of ions interacting with the CS is studied. The results of simulation of the nonadiabatic ion motion in the prescribed magnetic configuration similar to that observed in the magnetotail CS by the CLUSTER spacecraft demonstrated that, in the presence of some initial shear magnetic field, the north-south asymmetry in the ion reflection/refraction in the CS is observed. This asymmetry leads to the formation of an additional current system formed by the oppositely directed electric currents flowing in the northern and southern parts of the plasma sheet in the planes tangential to the CS plane and in the direction perpendicular to the direction of the electric current in the CS. The formation of this current system perhaps is responsible for the enhancement and further maintenance of the shear magnetic field near the neutral plane of the CS. The CS structure and ion dynamics observed in 17 intervals of the CS crossings by the CLUSTER spacecraft is analyzed. In these intervals, the shear magnetic field was increased near the neutral plane of the CS, so that the bell-shaped spatial distribution of this field across the CS plane was observed. The results of the present analysis confirm the suggested scenario of the enhancement of the shear magnetic field near the neutral plane of the CS due to the peculiarities of the nonadiabatic ion dynamics.

  9. A new approach to the linear theory of single-species tearing in two-dimensional quasi-neutral sheets

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Brittnacher, M.; Quest, K. B.; Karimabadi, H.

    1995-01-01

    We have developed the linear theory of collisionless ion tearing in a two-dimensional magnetotail equilibrium for a single resonant species. We have solved the normal mode problem for tearing instability by an algorithm that employs particle-in-cell simulation to calculate the orbit integrals in the Maxwell-Vlasov eigenmode equation. The results of our single-species tearing analysis can be applied to ion tearing where electron effects are not included. We have calculated the tearing growth rate as a function of the magnetic field component B(sub n) normal to the current sheet for thick and thin current sheets, and we show that marginal stability occurs when the normal gyrofrequency Omega(sub n) is comparable to the Harris neutral sheet growth rate. A cross-tail B(sub y) component has little effect on the growth rate for B(sub y) approximately = B(sub n). Even in the limit B(sub y) much greater than B(sub n), the mode is strongly stabilized by B(sub n). We report than random pitch angle scattering can overcome the stabilizing effect of B(sub n) and drive the growth rate up toward the Harris neutral sheet (B(sub n) = 0) value when the pitch angle diffusion rate is comparable to Omega(sub n).

  10. A statistical study of plasma sheet electrons carrying auroral upward field-aligned currents measured by Time History of Events and Macroscale Interactions during Substorms (THEMIS)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lee, S.; Shiokawa, K.; McFadden, J. P.; Nishimura, Y.

    2011-12-01

    We have statistically investigated the electron density ne,M and temperature Te,M in the near-Earth plasma sheet in terms of the magnetosphere-ionosphere coupling process, as measured by the electrostatic analyzer (ESA) on board the Time History of Events and Macroscale Interactions during Substorms (THEMIS-D) satellite from November 2007 to January 2010. To find out when and where an aurora can occur, either with or without electron acceleration, the thermal current j∥th and the conductivity K along the magnetic field line were also estimated from observations of the magnetospheric electrons with pitch angle information inside 12 RE. The thermal current, j∥th(∝ ne,M Te,M1/2), represents the upper limit of the field-aligned current that can be carried by magnetospheric electrons without a field-aligned potential difference. The conductivity, K(∝ ne,M Te,M-1/2), relates the upward field-aligned current, j∥, to the field-aligned potential difference, V∥, assuming adiabatic electron transport. The thermal current is estimated by two methods: (1) from the relation by using ne,M and Te,M and (2) from the total downward electron number flux. We find that in the dawnside inner magnetosphere, the thermal currents estimated by both methods are sufficient to carry typical region 2 upward field-aligned current. On the other hand, in the duskside outer magnetosphere, a field-aligned potential difference is necessary on the region 1 current since the estimated thermal current is smaller than the typical region 1 current. By using the relationship, j∥ = KV∥, where K is the conductivity estimated from Knight's relation and j∥ is the typical auroral current, we conclude that a field-aligned potential difference of V∥ = 2-5 kV is necessary on the duskside region 1 upward field-aligned current.

  11. Experimental investigation of possible geomagnetic feedback from energetic (0.1 to 16 keV) terrestrial O(+) ions in the magnetotail current sheet

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Lennartsson, O. W.; Klumpar, D. M.; Shelley, E. G.; Quinn, J. M.

    1993-01-01

    Data from energetic ion mass spectrometers on the International Sun Earth Explorer 1 (ISEE 1) and AMPTE/CCE spacecraft are combined with geomagnetic and solar indices to investigate, in a statistical fashion, whether energized O(+) ions of terrestrial origin constitute a source of feedback which triggers or amplifies geomagnetic magnetotail current sheet. The ISSE 1 data (0.1-16 keV/e) provide in situ observations of the O(+) solar cycle 21, as well as inner magnetosphere data from same period. The CCE data (0.1-17 keV/e), taken during the subsequent solar minimum, all within 9 R(sub E), provide a reference for long-term variations in the magnetosphere O(+) content. Statistical correlations between the ion data and the indices, and between different indices, all point in the same direction: there is probably no feedback specific to the O(+) ions, in spite of the fact that they often contribute most of the ion mass density in the tail current sheet.