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Sample records for forced magnetic reconnection

  1. Nonlinear regimes of forced magnetic reconnection

    SciTech Connect

    Vekstein, G.; Kusano, K.

    2015-09-15

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

  2. Forced Magnetic Reconnection In A Tokamak Plasma

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Callen, J. D.; Hegna, C. C.

    2015-11-01

    The theory of forced magnetic field reconnection induced by an externally imposed resonant magnetic perturbation usually uses a sheared slab or cylindrical magnetic field model and often focuses on the potential time-asymptotic induced magnetic island state. However, tokamak plasmas have significant magnetic geometry and dynamical plasma toroidal rotation screening effects. Also, finite ion Larmor radius (FLR) and banana width (FBW) effects can damp and thus limit the width of a nascent magnetic island. A theory that is more applicable for tokamak plasmas is being developed. This new model of the dynamics of forced magnetic reconnection considers a single helicity magnetic perturbation in the tokamak magnetic field geometry, uses a kinetically-derived collisional parallel electron flow response, and employs a comprehensive dynamical equation for the plasma toroidal rotation frequency. It is being used to explore the dynamics of bifurcation into a magnetically reconnected state in the thin singular layer around the rational surface, evolution into a generalized Rutherford regime where the island width exceeds the singular layer width, and assess the island width limiting effects of FLR and FBW polarization currents. Support by DoE grants DE-FG02-86ER53218, DE-FG02-92ER54139.

  3. MICROFLARE ACTIVITY DRIVEN BY FORCED MAGNETIC RECONNECTION

    SciTech Connect

    Jess, D. B.; Mathioudakis, M.; Crockett, P. J.; Keenan, F. P.; Browning, P. K.

    2010-03-20

    High cadence, multiwavelength, optical observations of a solar active region, obtained with the Swedish Solar Telescope, are presented. Two magnetic bright points are seen to separate in opposite directions at a constant velocity of 2.8 km s{sup -1}. After a separation distance of {approx}4400 km is reached, multiple Ellerman bombs are observed in both H{alpha} and Ca-K images. As a result of the Ellerman bombs, periodic velocity perturbations in the vicinity of the magnetic neutral line, derived from simultaneous Michelson Doppler Imager data, are generated with amplitude {+-}6 km s{sup -1} and wavelength {approx}1000 km. The velocity oscillations are followed by an impulsive brightening visible in H{alpha} and Ca-K, with a peak intensity enhancement of 63%. We interpret these velocity perturbations as the magnetic field deformation necessary to trigger forced reconnection. A time delay of {approx}3 minutes between the H{alpha}-wing and Ca-K observations indicates that the observed magnetic reconnection occurs at a height of {approx}200 km above the solar surface. These observations are consistent with theoretical predictions and provide the first observational evidence of microflare activity driven by forced magnetic reconnection.

  4. The "Newton Challenge": Properties of Forced Magnetic Reconnection

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Pritchett, P. L.

    2005-05-01

    Inspired by the observations of thin (ion-scale) current sheets at important magnetospheric boundaries, the study of the properties of thin current sheets has become very popular in recent years. Most of these investigations, however, have ignored the question of how the sheets are formed. Instead, usually a simple Harris-type current sheet is postulated at the outset, and the resulting behavior is then determined. Recently, a collaborative effort, dubbed the "Newton Challenge" and involving J. Birn, K. Galsgaard, M. Hesse, M. Hoshino, J. Huba, G. Lapenta, P.~L. Pritchett, K. Schindler, L. Yin, J. Büchner, T. Neukirch, and E.~R. Priest, was begun to investigate the transition from thicker to thin current sheets that can occur as a result of magnetopause deformations imposed by the solar wind. A standard 2-D model problem in which current sheet thinning was forced by imposing a finite deformation of the field above and below the current sheet was studied by a variety of physical models ranging from resistive MHD to fully kinetic particle models. The aim was to determine whether differences would arise between the fluid and kinetic treatments that might affect the onset of magnetic reconnection. The initial results indicate that full-particle, hybrid, and Hall-MHD models lead to fast reconnection and similar final states despite differences in energy transfer and dissipation. Resistive MHD simulations show reduced reconnection rates that depend on the magnitude of the resistivity. These results will be reviewed, and additional features of forced reconnection, including continuous forcing, open boundaries, the presence of a normal field component, and 3-D effects, will be discussed.

  5. Experiments on the effects of global force balance and local reconnection physics on magnetic reconnection with a guide field

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Fox, W.; Sciortino, F.; Yoo, J.; Jara-Almonte, J.; Na, B.; Ji, H.; Yamada, M.

    2015-11-01

    In many plasma environments ranging from astrophysics to fusion, magnetic reconnection occurs with a finite guide field ranging from a fraction to many times the upstream reconnecting component. Theory and simulation yields a range of predictions of scaling of the rate of reconnection with guide field. Recent experiments on the Magnetic Reconnection Experiment observed a systematic decrease in reconnection rates with increasing guide field. Here we present a new set of experimental results on MRX with a controlled applied guide magnetic field ranging from 0 to approximately 3 times the upstream reconnection field, where we observe both global and local processes which affect the reconnection rate in the guide field regime. First, we observe and quantify the effects of global force balance, in particular global back pressure due to pileup of magnetic field in the downstream, which decreases the outflow of plasma from the current sheet and hence the reconnection rate. Second, we study the role of electron pressure in the generalized Ohm's law in the guide field regime and its role in setting the reconnection rate.

  6. Magnetic Reconnection

    NASA Video Gallery

    This science visualization shows a magnetospheric substorm, during which, magnetic reconnection causes energy to be rapidly released along the field lines in the magnetotail, that part of the magne...

  7. Magnetic Reconnection

    SciTech Connect

    Masaaki Yamada, Russell Kulsrud and Hantao Ji

    2009-09-17

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

  8. On transition from Alfvén resonance to forced magnetic reconnection

    SciTech Connect

    Luan, Q.; Wang, X.

    2014-07-15

    We revisit the transition from Alfvén resonance to forced magnetic reconnection with a focus on the property of their singularities. As the driven frequency tends to zero, the logarithmic singularity of Alfvén resonance shifts to the power-law singularity of forced reconnection, due to merging of the two resonance layers. The transition criterion depends on either kinetic effects or dissipations that resolve the singularity. As an example, a small but finite resistivity η is introduced to investigate the transition process. The transition threshold is then obtained as the driven frequency reaches a level of ∼O((η/k){sup 1/3})

  9. Physics of forced magnetic reconnection in coaxial helicity injection experiments in National Spherical Torus Experiment

    SciTech Connect

    Ebrahimi, F.; Bhattacharjee, A.; Raman, R.; Hooper, E. B.; Sovinec, C. R.

    2014-05-15

    We numerically examine the physics of fast flux closure in transient coaxial helicity injection (CHI) experiments in National Spherical Torus Experiment (NSTX). By performing resistive Magnetohydrodynamics (MHD) simulations with poloidal injector coil currents held constant in time, we find that closed flux surfaces are formed through forced magnetic reconnection. Through a local Sweet-Parker type reconnection with an elongated current sheet in the injector region, closed flux surfaces expand in the NSTX global domain. Simulations demonstrate outflows approaching poloidally Alfvénic flows and reconnection times consistent with the Sweet-Parker model. Critical requirements for magnetic reconnection and flux closure are studied in detail. These primary effects, which are magnetic diffusivity, injector flux, injector flux footprint width, and rate of injector voltage reduction, are simulated for transient CHI experiments. The relevant time scales for effective reconnection are τ{sub V}<τ{sub rec}≈τ{sub A}√(S)(1+Pm){sup 1/4}<τ{sub R}, where τ{sub V} is the time for the injector voltage reduction, τ{sub A} is the poloidal Alfvén transit time, τ{sub R} is the global resistive diffusion time, and Pm and S are Prandtl and Lundquist numbers.

  10. Explosive turbulent magnetic reconnection.

    PubMed

    Higashimori, K; Yokoi, N; Hoshino, M

    2013-06-21

    We report simulation results for turbulent magnetic reconnection obtained using a newly developed Reynolds-averaged magnetohydrodynamics model. We find that the initial Harris current sheet develops in three ways, depending on the strength of turbulence: laminar reconnection, turbulent reconnection, and turbulent diffusion. The turbulent reconnection explosively converts the magnetic field energy into both kinetic and thermal energy of plasmas, and generates open fast reconnection jets. This fast turbulent reconnection is achieved by the localization of turbulent diffusion. Additionally, localized structure forms through the interaction of the mean field and turbulence. PMID:23829741

  11. Reconnection of Magnetic Fields

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    1984-01-01

    Spacecraft observations of steady and nonsteady reconnection at the magnetopause are reviewed. Computer simulations of three-dimensional reconnection in the geomagnetic tail are discussed. Theoretical aspects of the energization of particles in current sheets and of the microprocesses in the diffusion region are presented. Terrella experiments in which magnetospheric reconnection is simulated at both the magnetopause and in the tail are described. The possible role of reconnection in the evolution of solar magnetic fields and solar flares is discussed. A two-dimensional magnetohydrodynamic computer simulation of turbulent reconnection is examined. Results concerning reconnection in Tokamak devices are also presented.

  12. Magnetic reconnection in space

    SciTech Connect

    Boozer, Allen H.

    2012-09-15

    Models of magnetic reconnection in space plasmas generally consider only a segment of the magnetic field lines. The consideration of only a segment of the lines is shown to lead to paradoxical results in which reconnection can be impossible even in a magnetic field constrained to be curl free or can be at an Alfven rate even when the plasma is a perfect conductor. A model of reconnecting magnetic fields is developed which shows the smallness of the interdiffusion distance {delta}{sub d} of magnetic field lines does not limit the speed of reconnection but does provide a reconnection trigger. When the reconnection region has a natural length L{sub r}, the spatial scale of the gradient of magnetic field across the magnetic field lines must reach L{sub g} Almost-Equal-To 0.3L{sub r}/ln(L{sub r}/{delta}{sub d}) for fast reconnection to be triggered, which implies a current density j Almost-Equal-To B/{mu}{sub 0}L{sub g} that is far lower than that usually thought required for fast reconnection. The relation between magnetic reconnection in space and in toroidal laboratory plasmas is also discussed.

  13. 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.

  14. Magnetic reconnection launcher

    DOEpatents

    Cowan, Maynard

    1989-01-01

    An electromagnetic launcher includes a plurality of electrical stages which are energized sequentially in synchrony with the passage of a projectile. Each stage of the launcher includes two or more coils which are arranged coaxially on either closed-loop or straight lines to form gaps between their ends. The projectile has an electrically conductive gap-portion that passes through all the gaps of all the stages in a direction transverse to the axes of the coils. The coils receive an electric current, store magnetic energy, and convert a significant portion of the stored magnetic energy into kinetic energy of the projectile by magnetic reconnection as the gap portion of the projectile moves through the gap. The magnetic polarity of the opposing coils is in the same direction, e.g. N-S-N-S. A gap portion of the projectile may be made from aluminum and is propelled by the reconnection of magnetic flux stored in the coils which causes accelerating forces to act upon the projectile at both the rear vertical surface of the projectile and at the horizontal surfaces of the projectile near its rear. The gap portion of the projectile may be flat, rectangular and longer than the length of the opposing coils and fit loosely within the gap between the opposing coils.

  15. 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.

  16. Forced magnetic reconnection and field penetration of an externally applied rotating helical magnetic field in the TEXTOR tokamak.

    PubMed

    Kikuchi, Y; de Bock, M F M; Finken, K H; Jakubowski, M; Jaspers, R; Koslowski, H R; Kraemer-Flecken, A; Lehnen, M; Liang, Y; Matsunaga, G; Reiser, D; Wolf, R C; Zimmermann, O

    2006-08-25

    The magnetic field penetration process into a magnetized plasma is of basic interest both for plasma physics and astrophysics. In this context special measurements on the field penetration and field amplification are performed by a Hall probe on the dynamic ergodic divertor (DED) on the TEXTOR tokamak and the data are interpreted by a two-fluid plasma model. It is observed that the growth of the forced magnetic reconnection by the rotating DED field is accompanied by a change of the plasma fluid rotation. The differential rotation frequency between the DED field and the plasma plays an important role in the process of the excitation of tearing modes. The momentum input from the rotating DED field to the plasma is interpreted by both a ponderomotive force at the rational surface and a radial electric field modified by an edge ergodization. PMID:17026312

  17. THEMIS Sees Magnetic Reconnection

    NASA Video Gallery

    THEMIS observations confirm for the first time that magnetic reconnection in the magnetotail triggers the onset of substorms. Substorms are the sudden violent eruptions of space weather that releas...

  18. Reconnection rates of magnetic fields

    SciTech Connect

    Park, W.; Monticello, D.A.; White, R.B.

    1983-05-01

    The Sweet-Parker and Petschek scalings of magnetic reconnection rate are modified to include the effect of the viscosity. The modified scalings show that the viscous effect can be important in high-..beta.. plasmas. The theoretical reconnection scalings are compared with numerical simulation results in a tokamak geometry for three different cases: a forced reconnection driven by external coils, the nonlinear m = 1 resistive internal kink, and the nonlinear m = 2 tearing mode. In the first two cases, the numerical reconnection rate agrees well with the modified Sweet-Parker scaling, when the viscosity is sufficiently large. When the viscosity is negligible, a steady state which was assumed in the derivation of the reconnection scalings is not reached and the current sheet in the reconnection layer either remains stable through sloshing motions of the plasma or breaks up to higher m modes. When the current sheet remains stable, a rough comparison with the Sweet-Parker scaling is obtained. In the nonlinear m = 2 tearing mode case where the instability is purely resistive, the reconnection occurs on the slower dissipation time scale (Psi/sub s/ approx. eta). In addition, experimental data of the nonlinear m = 1 resistive internal kink in tokamak discharges are analyzed and are found to give reasonable agreement with the modified Sweet-Parker scaling.

  19. Gyrotropy During Magnetic Reconnection

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Swisdak, M.

    2015-12-01

    Gyrotropic particle distributions -- those that can be characterized completely by temperatures meausred parallel and perpendicular to the local magnetic field -- are the norm in many plasmas. However, near locations where magnetic topology suddenly changes, e.g., where magnetic reconnection occurs, gyrotropy can be expected to be violated. If these departures from gyrotropy are quantifiable they are useful as probes since magnetic topological changes are, in some sense, non-local while gyrotropy can be measured locally. I will discuss previously proposed measures of gyrotropy, give examples of cases where they give unphysical results, and propose a new measure. By applying this measure to particle-in-cell simulations of reconnection I will show that it does an excellent job of localizing reconnection sites. I will also show how gyrotropy can be quickly calculated in any case where the full pressure tensor is available. This has obvious applications to the interpretation of MMS data.

  20. Forcing continuous reconnection in hybrid simulations

    SciTech Connect

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

    2014-07-15

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

  1. Magnetic reconnection launcher

    DOEpatents

    Cowan, M.

    1987-04-06

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

  2. Turbulent General Magnetic Reconnection

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Eyink, G. L.

    2015-07-01

    Plasma flows with a magnetohydrodynamic (MHD)-like turbulent inertial range, such as the solar wind, require a generalization of general magnetic reconnection (GMR) theory. We introduce the slip velocity source vector per unit arclength of field line, the ratio of the curl of the non-ideal electric field in the generalized Ohm’s Law and magnetic field strength. It diverges at magnetic nulls, unifying GMR with null-point reconnection. Only under restrictive assumptions is the slip velocity related to the gradient of quasi-potential (which is the integral of parallel electric field along magnetic field lines). In a turbulent inertial range, the non-ideal field becomes tiny while its curl is large, so that line slippage occurs even while ideal MHD becomes accurate. The resolution is that ideal MHD is valid for a turbulent inertial range only in a weak sense that does not imply magnetic line freezing. The notion of weak solution is explained in terms of renormalization group (RG) type theory. The weak validity of the ideal Ohm’s law in the inertial range is shown via rigorous estimates of the terms in the generalized Ohm’s Law. All non-ideal terms are irrelevant in the RG sense and large-scale reconnection is thus governed solely by ideal dynamics. We discuss the implications for heliospheric reconnection, in particular for deviations from the Parker spiral model. Solar wind observations show that reconnection in a turbulence-broadened heliospheric current sheet, which is consistent with Lazarian-Vishniac theory, leads to slip velocities that cause field lines to lag relative to the spiral model.

  3. Acceleration during magnetic reconnection

    SciTech Connect

    Beresnyak, Andrey; Li, Hui

    2015-07-16

    The presentation begins with colorful depictions of solar x-ray flares and references to pulsar phenomena. Plasma reconnection is complex, could be x-point dominated or turbulent, field lines could break due to either resistivity or non-ideal effects, such as electron pressure anisotropy. Electron acceleration is sometimes observed, and sometimes not. One way to study this complex problem is to have many examples of the process (reconnection) and compare them; the other way is to simplify and come to something robust. Ideal MHD (E=0) turbulence driven by magnetic energy is assumed, and the first-order acceleration is sought. It is found that dissipation in big (length >100 ion skin depths) current sheets is universal and independent on microscopic resistivity and the mean imposed field; particles are regularly accelerated while experiencing curvature drift in flows driven by magnetic tension. One example of such flow is spontaneous reconnection. This explains hot electrons with a power-law tail in solar flares, as well as ultrashort time variability in some astrophysical sources.

  4. 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.

  5. Inhomogeneous turbulence in magnetic reconnection

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Yokoi, Nobumitsu

    2016-07-01

    Turbulence is expected to play an essential role in enhancing magnetic reconnection. Turbulence associated with magnetic reconnection is highly inhomogeneous: it is generated by inhomogeneities of the field configuration such as the velocity shear, temperature gradient, density stratification, magnetic shear, etc. This self-generated turbulence affects the reconnection through the turbulent transport. In this reconnection--turbulence interaction, localization of turbulent transport due to dynamic balance between several turbulence effects plays an essential role. For investigating inhomogeneous turbulence in a strongly nonlinear regime, closure or turbulence modeling approaches provide a powerful tool. A turbulence modeling approach for the magnetic reconnection is introduced. In the model, the mean-field equations with turbulence effects incorporated are solved simultaneously with the equations of turbulent statistical quantities that represent spatiotemporal properties of turbulence under the effect of large-scale field inhomogeneities. Numerical simulations of this Reynolds-averaged turbulence model showed that self-generated turbulence enhances magnetic reconnection. It was pointed out that reconnection states may be divided into three category depending on the turbulence level: (i) laminar reconnection; (ii) turbulent reconnection, and (iii) turbulent diffusion. Recent developments in this direction are also briefly introduced, which includes the magnetic Prandtl number dependence, spectral evolution, and guide-field effects. Also relationship of this fully nonlinear turbulence approach with other important approaches such as plasmoid instability reconnection will be discussed.

  6. Collisionless Magnetic Reconnection in Space Plasmas

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Treumann, Rudolf A.; Baumjohann, Wolfgang

    2013-12-01

    Magnetic reconnection, the merging of oppositely directed magnetic fields that leads to field reconfiguration, plasma heating, jetting and acceleration, is one of the most celebrated processes in collisionless plasmas. It requires the violation of the frozen-in condition which ties gyrating charged particles to the magnetic field inhibiting diffusion. Ongoing reconnection has been identified in near-Earth space as being responsible for the excitation of substorms, magnetic storms, generation of field aligned currents and their consequences, the wealth of auroral phenomena. Its theoretical understanding is now on the verge of being completed. Reconnection takes place in thin current sheets. Analytical concepts proceeded gradually down to the microscopic scale, the scale of the electron skin depth or inertial length, recognizing that current layers that thin do preferentially undergo spontaneous reconnection. Thick current layers start reconnecting when being forced by plasma inflow to thin. For almost half a century the physical mechanism of reconnection has remained a mystery. Spacecraft in situ observations in combination with sophisticated numerical simulations in two and three dimensions recently clarified the mist, finding that reconnection produces a specific structure of the current layer inside the electron inertial (also called electron diffusion) region around the reconnection site, the X line. Onset of reconnection is attributed to pseudo-viscous contributions of the electron pressure tensor aided by electron inertia and drag, creating a complicated structured electron current sheet, electric fields, and an electron exhaust extended along the current layer. We review the general background theory and recent developments in numerical simulation on collisionless reconnection. It is impossible to cover the entire field of reconnection in a short space-limited review. The presentation necessarily remains cursory, determined by our taste, preferences, and kn

  7. Does fast magnetic reconnection exist?

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

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

    1992-01-01

    The main features of the Priest-Forbes (1986) and Priest-Lee (1990) models of magnetic reconnection in astrophysical plasmas are discussed, and the Priest-Lee model is generalized to include inflow pressure gradients and thus different regimes of reconnection. It is shown that different scaling results can be obtained depending on the boundary conditions. These results are compared to the ones observed in the numerical experiments of Biskamp (1986) and Lee and Fu (1986). It is concluded that numerical experiments with suitably designed boundary conditions are likely to exhibit fast reconnection, and that such reconnection is a common process in astrophysical and space plasmas.

  8. Radiative Magnetic Reconnection in Astrophysics

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Uzdensky, D. A.

    In this chapter we review a new and rapidly growing area of research in high-energy plasma astrophysics—radiative magnetic reconnection, defined here as a regime of reconnection where radiation reaction has an important influence on the reconnection dynamics, energetics, and/or nonthermal particle acceleration. This influence be may be manifested via a variety of radiative effects that are critical in many high-energy astrophysical applications. The most notable radiative effects in astrophysical reconnection include radiation-reaction limits on particle acceleration, radiative cooling, radiative resistivity, braking of reconnection outflows by radiation drag, radiation pressure, viscosity, and even pair creation at highest energy densities. The self-consistent inclusion of these effects into magnetic reconnection theory and modeling sometimes calls for serious modifications to our overall theoretical approach to the problem. In addition, prompt reconnection-powered radiation often represents our only observational diagnostic tool available for studying remote astrophysical systems; this underscores the importance of developing predictive modeling capabilities to connect the underlying physical conditions in a reconnecting system to observable radiative signatures. This chapter presents an overview of our recent theoretical progress in developing basic physical understanding of radiative magnetic reconnection, with a special emphasis on astrophysically most important radiation mechanisms like synchrotron, curvature, and inverse-Compton. The chapter also offers a broad review of key high-energy astrophysical applications of radiative reconnection, illustrated by multiple examples such as: pulsar wind nebulae, pulsar magnetospheres, black-hole accretion-disk coronae and hot accretion flows in X-ray Binaries and Active Galactic Nuclei and their relativistic jets, magnetospheres of magnetars, and Gamma-Ray Bursts. Finally, this chapter discusses the most critical

  9. The Dissipation Mechanism of Magnetic Reconnection

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Hesse, Michael

    2008-01-01

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

  10. The Inner Workings of Magnetic Reconnection

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Hesse, Michael; Zenitani, S.

    2007-01-01

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

  11. Multiscale Modeling of Solar Coronal Magnetic Reconnection

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

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

    2010-01-01

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

  12. Observational Signatures of Magnetic Reconnection

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Savage, Sabrina

    2014-01-01

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

  13. Magnetic Reconnection in Solar Flares

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Forbes, Terry G.

    2016-05-01

    Reconnection has at least three possible roles in solar flares: First, it may contribute to the build-up of magnetic energy in the solar corona prior to flare onset; second, it may directly trigger the onset of the flare; and third, it may allow the release of magnetic energy by relaxing the magnetic field configuration to a lower energy state. Although observational support for the first two roles is somewhat limited, there is now ample support for the third. Within the last few years EUV and X-ray instruments have directly observed the kind of plasma flows and heating indicative of reconnection. Continued improvements in instrumentation will greatly help to determine the detailed physics of the reconnection process in the solar atmosphere. Careful measurement of the reconnection outflows will be especially helpful in this regard. Current observations suggest that in some flares the jet outflows are accelerated within a short diffusion region that is more characteristic of Petschek-type reconnection than Sweet-Parker reconnection. Recent resistive MHD theoretical and numerical analyses predict that the length of the diffusion region should be just within the resolution range of current X-ray and EUV telescopes if the resistivity is uniform. On the other hand, if the resistivity is not uniform, the length of the diffusion region could be too short for the outflow acceleration region to be observable.

  14. Magnetic reconnection models of flares

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Forbes, T. G.

    1988-01-01

    The most feasible energy source for solar and stellar flares is the energy stored in coronal magnetic fields. To convert a significant fraction of this energy into heat and kinetic energy in a short time requires rapid change in the topology of the magnetic fields, and hence, rapid reconnection of field lines. Recent numerical and analytical models of solar flares suggest that the magnetic energy released by reconnection drives chromospheric ablation in the flare ribbons. Simple theoretical arguments based on compressible reconnection theory predict that the temperature of the ablated plasma should be about 1.03 x 10 to the 6th B exp 0.62 K where B is the coronal magnetic field strength in Gauss.

  15. Crossed Flux Tubes Magnetic Reconnection Experiment

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Tobin, Zachary; Bellan, Paul

    2012-10-01

    The dynamics of arched, plasma-filled flux tubes have been studied in experiments at Caltech. These flux tubes expand, undergo kink instabilities, magnetically reconnect, and are subject to magnetohydrodynamic forces. An upgraded experiment will arrange for two of these flux tubes to cross over each other. It is expected then that the flux tubes will undergo magnetic reconnection at the crossover point, forming one long flux tube and one short flux tube. This reconnection should also result in a half-twist in the flux tubes at the crossover point, which will propagate along each tube as Alfv'en waves. The control circuitry requires two independent floating high energy capacitor power supplies to power the plasma loops, which will be put in series when the plasma loops reconnect. Coordinating these two power supplies requires the building of new systems for controlling plasma generation. Unlike with previous designs, all timing functions are contained on a single printed circuit board, allowing the design to be easily replicated for use with each independent capacitor involved. The control circuit sequencing has been tested successfully in generating a single flux tube. The plasma gun is currently under construction, with its installation pending completion of prior experiments.

  16. Magnetohydrodynamic simulations of turbulent magnetic reconnection

    SciTech Connect

    Fan Quanlin; Feng Xueshang; Xiang Changqing

    2004-12-01

    Turbulent reconnection process in a one-dimensional current sheet is investigated by means of a two-dimensional compressible one-fluid magnetohydrodynamic simulation with spatially uniform, fixed resistivity. Turbulence is set up by adding to the sheet pinch small but finite level of broadband random-phased magnetic field components. To clarify the nonlinear spatial-temporal nature of the turbulent reconnection process the reconnection system is treated as an unforced initial value problem without any anomalous resistivity model adopted. Numerical results demonstrate the duality of turbulent reconnection, i.e., a transition from Sweet-Parker-like slow reconnection to Petschek-like fast reconnection in its nonlinear evolutionary process. The initial slow reconnection phase is characterized by many independent microreconnection events confined within the sheet region and a global reconnection rate mainly dependent on the initially added turbulence and insensitive to variations of the plasma {beta} and resistivity. The formation and amplification of the major plasmoid leads the following reconnection process to a rapid reconnection stage with a fast reconnection rate of the order of 0.1 or even larger, drastically changing the topology of the global magnetic field. That is, the presence of magnetohydrodynamic turbulence in large-scale current sheets can raise the reconnection rate from small values on the order of the Sweet-Parker rate to high values on the order of the Petscheck rate through triggering an evolution toward fast magnetic reconnection. Meanwhile, the backward coupling between the small- and large-scale magnetic field dynamics has been properly represented through the present high resolution simulation. The undriven turbulent reconnection model established here expresses a solid numerical basis for the previous schematic two-step magnetic reconnection models and a possible explanation of two-stage energy release process of solar explosives.

  17. 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

  18. Hall magnetic reconnection: Guide field dependence

    SciTech Connect

    Huba, J.D.

    2005-01-01

    Two-dimensional Hall magnetohydrodynamic simulations are used to study the dependence of a guide field on magnetic reconnection. The simulations are run until a steady state is achieved for B{sub gf}/B{sub 0}=0, 0.1, 0.2, 0.5, 1.0, 2.0, and 5.0 where B{sub gf} is the guide field and B{sub 0} is the reversed field. It is found that the reconnection rate and plasma energization are reduced for increasing guide field strength. This is caused by a JxB force associated with Hall currents and the guide field that reduce the inflow and outflow velocities. However, the reconnection rate and plasma energization are only reduced by a factor of 2 for B{sub gf}=5B{sub 0}. Additionally, the quadrupole field associated with Hall reconnection is eliminated for B{sub gf}{approx_equal}B{sub 0}/3. Applications to magnetospheric plasmas are discussed.

  19. Slipping magnetic reconnection in coronal loops.

    PubMed

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

    2007-12-01

    Magnetic reconnection of solar coronal loops is the main process that causes solar flares and possibly coronal heating. In the standard model, magnetic field lines break and reconnect instantaneously at places where the field mapping is discontinuous. However, another mode may operate where the magnetic field mapping is continuous but shows steep gradients: The field lines may slip across each other. Soft x-ray observations of fast bidirectional motions of coronal loops, observed by the Hinode spacecraft, support the existence of this slipping magnetic reconnection regime in the Sun's corona. This basic process should be considered when interpreting reconnection, both on the Sun and in laboratory-based plasma experiments. PMID:18063789

  20. Quantifying gyrotropy in magnetic reconnection

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Swisdak, M.

    2016-01-01

    A new scalar measure of the gyrotropy of a pressure tensor is defined. Previously suggested measures are shown to be incomplete by means of examples for which they give unphysical results. To demonstrate its usefulness as an indicator of magnetic topology, the new measure is calculated for electron data taken from numerical simulations of magnetic reconnection, shown to peak at separatrices and X points, and compared to the other measures. The new diagnostic has potential uses in analyzing spacecraft observations, and so a method for calculating it from measurements performed in an arbitrary coordinate system is derived.

  1. Plasma Compression in Magnetic Reconnection Regions in the Solar Corona

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Provornikova, E.; Laming, J. M.; Lukin, V. S.

    2016-07-01

    It has been proposed that particles bouncing between magnetized flows converging in a reconnection region can be accelerated by the first-order Fermi mechanism. Analytical considerations of this mechanism have shown that the spectral index of accelerated particles is related to the total plasma compression within the reconnection region, similarly to the case of the diffusive shock acceleration mechanism. As a first step to investigate the efficiency of Fermi acceleration in reconnection regions in producing hard energy spectra of particles in the solar corona, we explore the degree of plasma compression that can be achieved at reconnection sites. In particular, we aim to determine the conditions for the strong compressions to form. Using a two-dimensional resistive MHD numerical model, we consider a set of magnetic field configurations where magnetic reconnection can occur, including a Harris current sheet, a force-free current sheet, and two merging flux ropes. Plasma parameters are taken to be characteristic of the solar corona. Numerical simulations show that strong plasma compressions (≥4) in the reconnection regions can form when the plasma heating due to reconnection is efficiently removed by fast thermal conduction or the radiative cooling process. The radiative cooling process that is negligible in the typical 1 MK corona can play an important role in the low corona/transition region. It is found that plasma compression is expected to be strongest in low-beta plasma β ˜ 0.01–0.07 at reconnection magnetic nulls.

  2. Magnetic reconnection in space and laboratory plasmas

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hones, E. W., Jr.

    1984-04-01

    AGU is publishing Magnetic Reconnection in Space and Laboratory Plasmas, as volume 30 of the Geophysical Monograph Series (members $23.10; nonmembers $33.00). This volume is based on the Chapman Conference on Magnetic Reconnection, which was held at the Los Alamos National Laboratory in October 1983. Organization of that conference was first considered in early 1981, at a time when the body of evidence for the occurrence and importance of magnetic reconnection in earth's magnetosphere had already become impressive and was continuing to increase rapidly. There had not been a major conference on the subject since 1977, and the intervening years had seen important new strides being made. Initial plans called for holding the conference in October 1982, but conflicts with other conferences forced its postponement for 1 year. The 1-year postponement turned out to be a blessing in disguise because it permitted major new magnetospheric observations, made during that year by the ISEE 3 satellite, to be reported at the conference.

  3. Wave modes facilitating fast magnetic reconnection

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Singh, N.

    2011-12-01

    Whistler and kinetic Alfven waves are often invoked to explain fast magnetic reconnection in collsionless plasmas. But how these wave modes facilitate the reconnection has remained unclear. An important unanswered question deals with the meaning of the wave frequency in the context of magnetic reconnection. New measurement on a fast explosive reconnection event in the Versatile Toroidal Facility (VTF) at MIT provides an interesting example of the meaning of the wave mode and the associated frequency directly related to the time scale of the impulsive reconnection. We examine the measurements in VTF in view of the whistler wave mode, showing that the explosive growth in the reconnection is related to the thinning of the current sheet to a few electron skin depths. We further demonstrate that the fastest measured time scale (~ 3 microseconds) and the largest normalized reconnection rate (~0.35) agree with those predicted from the whistler mode dispersion relation.

  4. Slip Running Reconnection in Magnetic Flux Ropes

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Gekelman, W. N.; Van Compernolle, B.; Vincena, S. T.; De Hass, T.

    2012-12-01

    Magnetic flux ropes are due to helical currents and form a dense carpet of arches on the surface of the sun. Occasionally one tears loose as a coronal mass ejection and its rope structure can be detected by satellites close to the earth. Current sheets can tear into filaments and these are nothing other than flux ropes. Ropes are not static, they exert mutual ěc{J}×ěc{B} forces causing them to twist about each other and eventually merge. Kink instabilities cause them to violently smash into each other and reconnect at the point of contact. We report on experiments on two adjacent ropes done in the large plasma device (LAPD) at UCLA ( ne ˜ 1012, Te ˜ 6 eV, B0z=330G, Brope}\\cong{10G,trep=1 Hz). The currents and magnetic fields form exotic shapes with no ignorable direction and no magnetic nulls. Volumetric space-time data (70,600 spatial locations) show multiple reconnection sites with time-dependent locations. The concept of a quasi-separatrix layer (QSL), a tool to understand and visualize 3D magnetic field lines reconnection without null points is introduced. Three-dimensional measurements of the QSL derived from magnetic field data are presented. Within the QSL field lines that start close to one another rapidly diverge as they pass through one or more reconnection regions. The motion of magnetic field lines are traced as reconnection proceeds and they are observed to slip through the regions of space where the QSL is largest. As the interaction proceeds we double the current in the ropes. This accompanied by intense heating as observed in uv light and plasma flows measured by Mach probes. The interaction of the ropes is clearly seen by vislaulizng magnetic field data , as well as in images from a fast framing camera. Work supported by the Dept. of Energy and The National Science Foundation, done at the Basic Plasma Science Facility at UCLA.Magnetic Field lines (measured) of three flux ropes and the plasma currents associated with them

  5. 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.

  6. Energetics of the magnetic reconnection in laboratory and space plasmas

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Yamada, Masaaki

    2014-10-01

    The essential feature of magnetic reconnection is that it energizes plasma particles by converting magnetic energy to particle energy. This talk addresses this key unresolved question; how is magnetic energy converted to plasma kinetic energy during reconnection? Our recent study on MRX demonstrates that more than half of the incoming magnetic energy is converted to particle energy at a remarkably fast speed (~ 0.2VA) in the reconnection layer. A question arises as to whether the present results should be applied to magnetic reconnection phenomena in the space astrophysical plasmas. In a reconnection region of effectively similar size in the Earth's magnetotail, the energy partition was carefully measured during multiple passages of the Cluster satellites. The half length of the tail reconnection layer (L) was estimated to be 2000-4000 km namely 3-6 di, (ion skin depth); the scale length of this measurement is very similar to the MRX case, L ~ 3di. Reconnection in the magneto-tail is driven by an external force, i.e., the solar wind, and the boundary conditions are very similar to the MRX setup. The observed energy partition is notably similar, namely, more than 50% of the magnetic energy flux is converted to the particle energy flux, which is dominated by the ion enthalpy flux, with smaller contributions from the electron enthalpy and heat flux. A broad implication will be discussed. Supported by DoE, NASA, NSF.

  7. Magnetic reconnection in a compressible MHD plasma

    SciTech Connect

    Hesse, Michael; Zenitani, Seiji; Birn, Joachim

    2011-04-15

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

  8. The Onset of Magnetic Reconnection

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Daldorff, Lars K. S.; Klimchuk, James A.; van der Holst, Bart

    2015-04-01

    A fundamental question concerning magnetic energy release on the Sun is why the release occurs only after substantial stresses have been built up in the field. If reconnection were to occur readily, the released energy would be insufficient to explain coronal heating, CMEs, flares, jets, spicules, etc. How can we explain this switch-on property? What is the physical nature of the onset conditions? One idea involves the "secondary instability" of current sheets, which switches on when the rotation of the magnetic field across a current sheet reaches a critical angle. Such conditions would occur at the boundaries of flux tubes that become tangled and twisted by turbulent photospheric convection, for example. Other ideas involve a critical thickness for the current sheet. We report here on the preliminary results of our investigation of reconnect onset. Unlike our earlier work on the secondary instability (Dahlburg, Klimchuk, and Antiochos 2005), we treat the coupled chromosphere-corona system. Using the BATS-R-US MHD code, we simulate a single current sheet in a sheared magnetic field that extends from the chromosphere into the corona. Driver motions are applied at the base of the model. The configuration and chromosphere are both idealized, but capture the essential physics of the problem. The advantage of this unique approach is that it resolves the current sheet to the greatest extent possible while maintaining a realistic solar atmosphere. It thus bridges the gap between "reconnection in a box" studies and studies of large-scale systems such as active regions. One question we will address is whether onset conditions are met first in the chromosphere or corona. We will report on the work done on the project.

  9. Frontiers for Laboratory Research of Magnetic Reconnection

    SciTech Connect

    Ji, Hantao; Guo, Fan

    2015-07-16

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

  10. Magnetic reconnection in solar flares

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Forbes, T. G.

    1991-01-01

    The magnetic energy stored in the corona is the only plausible source for the energy released during large solar flares. During the last 20 years most theoretical work has concentrated on models which store magnetic energy in the corona in the form of electrical currents, and a major goal of present day research is to understand how these currents are created, and then later dissipated during a flare. Another important goal is to find a flare model which can eject magnetic flux into interplanetary space. Although many flares do not eject magnetic flux, those which do are of special importance for solar-terrestrial relations since the ejected flux can have dramatic effects if it hits the Earth's magnetosphere. Three flare models which have been extensively investigated are the emerging-flux model, the sheared-arcade model, and the magnetic-flux-rope model. All of these models can store and release magnetic energy efficiently provided that rapid magnetic reconnection occurs. However, only the magnetic-flux-rope model appears to provide a plausible mechanism for ejecting magnetic flux into interplanetary space.

  11. Understanding Magnetic Reconnection: The Physical Mechanism Driving Space Weather

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Black, Carrie; Antiochos, Spiro K.; Karpen, Judith T.; Germaschewski, Kai; Bessho, Naoki

    2015-04-01

    The explosive energy release in solar eruptive events is believed to be due to magnetic reconnection. In the standard model for coronal mass ejections (CME) and/or solar flares, the free energy for the event resides in the strongly sheared magnetic field of a filament channel. The pre-eruption force balance consists of an upward force due to the magnetic pressure of the sheared field countered by the downward tension of the overlying unsheared field. Magnetic reconnection disrupts this force balance. Therefore, to understand CME/flare initiation, it is critical to model the onset of reconnection driven by the build-up of magnetic shear. In MHD simulations, the application of a magnetic-field shear is trivial. However, kinetic effects are important in the diffusion region and thus, it is important to examine this process with PIC simulations as well. The implementation of such a driver in PIC methods is nontrivial, however, and indicates the necessity of a true multiscale model for such processes in the solar environment. The field must be sheared self-consistently and indirectly to prevent the generation of waves that destroy the desired system. In the work presented here, we show reconnection in an X-Point geometry due to a velocity shear driver perpendicular to the plane of reconnection.This material is based upon work supported by the National Science Foundation under Award No. AGS-1331356 and NASA's Living With a Star Targeted Research and Technology program.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Vasyliunas, V. M.

    2015-12-01

    The term "magnetic reconnection" has been used with several different meanings, and sometimes (particularly in discussions of observations) it is not clear which one of them (if any) is meant. Most common is a more or less literal definition of "cutting" and "reconnecting" two magnetic field lines (often illustrated by a sketch of field lines in two dimensions, or a perspective drawing of isolated spaghetti-like flux tubes); this concept can be formulated more precisely in terms of plasma flow across (or, equivalently, electric field in) a bounding surface (separatrix) between topologically distinct magnetic fields. The so-called "generalized reconnection" invokes only deviations from ideal MHD in a localized region; a more precise formulation is by integrals of the electric field along magnetic field lines. These two definitions can be related to two different physical processes, which I call magnetic reconnection and plasma reconnection, respectively. Magnetic reconnection involves field lines that change from one topological class to another (e.g., between open and closed). Its occurrence, requiring the presence of singular magnetic null points, can be identified (at least in principle, conceptually) from the magnetic field alone. When representing magnetic reconnection graphically, it is important to show all the singular points explicitly and to keep in mind that field lines are a continuum: between any two field lines, there is always another field line (even arbitrarily close to the singular points). Plasma reconnection involves plasma flow in which plasma elements initially located on a single field line do not remain on a field line, and this may occur without any changes in the topology or other properties of the magnetic field. To understand either one, the process must be visualized always in three dimensions and without special symmetries. Prototype of magnetic reconnection is the well-known open-magnetosphere model of Dungey (1961). Prototype of

  13. 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

  14. On phase diagrams of magnetic reconnection

    SciTech Connect

    Cassak, P. A.; Drake, J. F.

    2013-06-15

    Recently, “phase diagrams” of magnetic reconnection were developed to graphically organize the present knowledge of what type, or phase, of reconnection is dominant in systems with given characteristic plasma parameters. Here, a number of considerations that require caution in using the diagrams are pointed out. First, two known properties of reconnection are omitted from the diagrams: the history dependence of reconnection and the absence of reconnection for small Lundquist number. Second, the phase diagrams mask a number of features. For one, the predicted transition to Hall reconnection should be thought of as an upper bound on the Lundquist number, and it may happen for considerably smaller values. Second, reconnection is never “slow,” it is always “fast” in the sense that the normalized reconnection rate is always at least 0.01. This has important implications for reconnection onset models. Finally, the definition of the relevant Lundquist number is nuanced and may differ greatly from the value based on characteristic scales. These considerations are important for applications of the phase diagrams. This is demonstrated by example for solar flares, where it is argued that it is unlikely that collisional reconnection can occur in the corona.

  15. Magnetic reconnection physics in the solar wind with Voyager 2

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Stevens, Michael L.

    2009-08-01

    Magnetic reconnection is the process by which the magnetic topology evolves in collisionless plasmas. This phenomenon is fundamental to a broad range of astrophysical processes such as stellar flares, magnetospheric substorms, and plasma accretion, yet it is poorly understood and difficult to observe in situ . In this thesis, the solar wind plasma permeating interplanetary space is treated as a laboratory for reconnection physics. I present an exhaustive statistical approach to the identification of reconnection outflow jets in turbulent plasma and magnetic field time series data. This approach has been automated and characterized so that the resulting reconnection survey can be put in context with other related studies. The algorithm is shown to perform similarly to ad hoc studies in the inner heliosphere. Based on this technique, I present a survey of 138 outflow jets for the Voyager 2 spacecraft mission, including the most distant in situ evidence of reconnection discovered to date. Reconnection in the solar wind is shown to be strongly correlated with stream interactions and with solar activity. The solar wind magnetic field is found to be reconnecting via large, quasi-steady slow- mode magnetohydrodynamic structures as far out as the orbit of Neptune. The role of slow-mode shocks is explored and, in one instance, a well-developed reconnection structure is shown to be in good agreement with the Petschek theory for fast reconnection. This is the first reported example of a reconnection exhaust that satisfies the full jump conditions for a stationary slow-mode shock pair. A complete investigation into corotating stream interactions over the Voyager 2 mission has revealed that detectable reconnection structure occurs in about 23% of forced, global-scale current sheets. Contrary to previous studies, I find that signatures of this kind are most likely to be observed for current sheets where the magnetic field shear and the plasma-b are high. Evidence has been found

  16. 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.

  17. Recent advances in collisionless magnetic reconnection

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Porcelli, F.; Borgogno, D.; Califano, F.; Grasso, D.; Ottaviani, M.; Pegoraro, F.

    2002-12-01

    One of the recurring problems in magnetic reconnection is the identification of the appropriate generalized Ohm's law. In weakly collisional plasmas with a strong magnetic guide field component, a fluid model may be adopted, where electron inertia and the electron pressure gradient play important roles. In the absence of collisions, electron inertia provides the mechanism for magnetic field-line breaking. Electron compressibility alters significantly the structure of the reconnection region and allows for faster reconnection rates, which are consistent with the fast relaxation times of sawtooth oscillations in tokamak plasmas. The Hall term may also become important when the guide field is weak. The very possibility of nonlinear, irreversible magnetic reconnection in the absence of dissipation is addressed. We show that in a collisionless plasma, magnetic islands can grow and reach a saturated state in a coarse-grained sense. Magnetic energy is transferred to kinetic energy in smaller and smaller spatial scale lengths through a phase mixing process. The same model is then applied to the interpretation of driven reconnection events in the vicinity of a magnetic X-line observed in the VTF experiment at MIT. The reconnection is driven by externally induced plasma flows in a background magnetic configuration that has a hyperbolic null in the reconnection plane and a magnetic guide field component perpendicular to that plane. In the limit where the guide field is strong, assuming the external drive to be sufficiently weak for a linear approximation to hold, a dynamic evolution of the system is obtained which does not reach a stationary state. The reconnection process develops in two phases: an initial phase, whose characteristic rate is a fraction of the Alfvén frequency, and a later one, whose rate is determined by the electron collision frequency.

  18. Steady magnetic reconnection in three dimensions

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

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

    1989-01-01

    The concept of magnetic reconnection, defined to occur when there is an electric field parallel to field lines which are potential reconnection locations and near which the field has an X-type topology in a plane normal to the field line, has been generalized to three-dimensional configurations. A continuum of neighboring potential singular lines is found to exist, one of which supports reconnection, depending upon the imposed flow or electric field. For the case of steady reconnection, the nearby flow and electric field are shown to be severely constrained in the ideal region by the condition that the electric field = 0 there. It is noted that reconnection may occur at singularities of the electric field where this constraint fails and there is singular plasma jetting.

  19. Continuous magnetic reconnection at Earth's magnetopause.

    PubMed

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

    2003-12-01

    The most important process that allows solar-wind plasma to cross the magnetopause and enter Earth's magnetosphere is the merging between solar-wind and terrestrial magnetic fields of opposite sense-magnetic reconnection. It is at present not known whether reconnection can happen in a continuous fashion or whether it is always intermittent. Solar flares and magnetospheric substorms--two phenomena believed to be initiated by reconnection--are highly burst-like occurrences, raising the possibility that the reconnection process is intrinsically intermittent, storing and releasing magnetic energy in an explosive and uncontrolled manner. Here we show that reconnection at Earth's high-latitude magnetopause is driven directly by the solar wind, and can be continuous and even quasi-steady over an extended period of time. The dayside proton auroral spot in the ionosphere--the remote signature of high-latitude magnetopause reconnection--is present continuously for many hours. We infer that reconnection is not intrinsically intermittent; its steadiness depends on the way that the process is driven. PMID:14654835

  20. Relating magnetic reconnection to coronal heating

    PubMed Central

    Longcope, D. W.; Tarr, L. A.

    2015-01-01

    It is clear that the solar corona is being heated and that coronal magnetic fields undergo reconnection all the time. Here we attempt to show that these two facts are related—i.e. coronal reconnection generates heat. This attempt must address the fact that topological change of field lines does not automatically generate heat. We present one case of flux emergence where we have measured the rate of coronal magnetic reconnection and the rate of energy dissipation in the corona. The ratio of these two, , is a current comparable to the amount of current expected to flow along the boundary separating the emerged flux from the pre-existing flux overlying it. We can generalize this relation to the overall corona in quiet Sun or in active regions. Doing so yields estimates for the contribution to coronal heating from magnetic reconnection. These estimated rates are comparable to the amount required to maintain the corona at its observed temperature. PMID:25897089

  1. Magnetic reconnection in a weakly ionized plasma

    SciTech Connect

    Leake, James E.; Lukin, Vyacheslav S.; Linton, Mark G.

    2013-06-15

    Magnetic reconnection in partially ionized plasmas is a ubiquitous phenomenon spanning the range from laboratory to intergalactic scales, yet it remains poorly understood and relatively little studied. Here, we present results from a self-consistent multi-fluid simulation of magnetic reconnection in a weakly ionized reacting plasma with a particular focus on the parameter regime of the solar chromosphere. The numerical model includes collisional transport, interaction and reactions between the species, and optically thin radiative losses. This model improves upon our previous work in Leake et al.[“Multi-fluid simulations of chromospheric magnetic reconnection in a weakly ionized reacting plasma,” Astrophys. J. 760, 109 (2012)] by considering realistic chromospheric transport coefficients, and by solving a generalized Ohm's law that accounts for finite ion-inertia and electron-neutral drag. We find that during the two dimensional reconnection of a Harris current sheet with an initial width larger than the neutral-ion collisional coupling scale, the current sheet thins until its width becomes less than this coupling scale, and the neutral and ion fluids decouple upstream from the reconnection site. During this process of decoupling, we observe reconnection faster than the single-fluid Sweet-Parker prediction, with recombination and plasma outflow both playing a role in determining the reconnection rate. As the current sheet thins further and elongates, it becomes unstable to the secondary tearing instability, and plasmoids are seen. The reconnection rate, outflows, and plasmoids observed in this simulation provide evidence that magnetic reconnection in the chromosphere could be responsible for jet-like transient phenomena such as spicules and chromospheric jets.

  2. Properties of GRB Lightcurves from Magnetic Reconnection

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Beniamini, Paz; Granot, Jonathan

    2016-04-01

    The energy dissipation mechanism within Gamma-Ray Burst (GRB) outflows, driving their extremely luminous prompt γ-ray emission is still uncertain. The leading candidates are internal shocks and magnetic reconnection. While the emission from internal shocks has been extensively studied, that from reconnection still has few quantitative predictions. We study the expected prompt-GRB emission from magnetic reconnection and compare its temporal and spectral properties to observations. The main difference from internal shocks is that for reconnection one expects relativistic bulk motions with Lorentz factors Γ' ≳ a few in the jet's bulk frame. We consider such motions of the emitting material in two anti-parallel directions (e.g. of the reconnecting magnetic-field lines) within an ultra-relativistic (with Γ ≫ 1) thin spherical reconnection layer. The emission's relativistic beaming in the jet's frame greatly affects the light-curves. For emission at radii R0 < R < R0 + ΔR (with Γ = const) the observed pulse width is ΔT ˜ (R0/2cΓ2) max (1/Γ', ΔR/R0), i.e. up to ˜Γ' times shorter than for isotropic emission in the jet's frame. We consider two possible magnetic reconnection modes: a quasi steady-state with continuous plasma flow into and out of the reconnection layer, and sporadic reconnection in relativistic turbulence that produces relativistic plasmoids. Both of these modes can account for many observed prompt-GRB properties: variability, pulse asymmetry, the very rapid declines at their end and pulse evolutions that are either hard to soft (for Γ' ≲ 2) or intensity tracking (for Γ' > 2). However, only the relativistic turbulence mode can naturally account also for the following correlations: luminosity-variability, peak luminosity - peak frequency and pulse width energy dependence / spectral lags.

  3. Magnetic Reconnection in Interplanetary Coronal Mass Ejections

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2014-12-01

    Magnetic reconnection is a ubiquitous phenomenon in many varied space and astrophysical plasmas, and as such plays an important role in the dynamics of interplanetary coronal mass ejections (ICMEs). It is widely regarded that reconnection is instrumental in the formation and ejection of the initial CME flux rope, but reconnection also continues to affect the dynamics as it propagates through the interplanetary medium. For example, reconnection on the leading edge of the ICME, by which it interacts with the interplanetary medium, leads to flux erosion. However, recent in situ observations by Gosling et al. found signatures of reconnection exhausts in the interior. In light of this data, we consider the stability properties of systems with this flux rope geometry with regard to their minimum energy Taylor state. Variations from this state will result in the magnetic field relaxing back towards the minimum energy state, subject to the constraints that the toroidal flux and magnetic helicity remain invariant. In reversed field pinches, this relaxation is mediated by reconnection in the interior of the system, as has been shown theoretically and experimentally. By treating the ICME flux rope in a similar fashion, we show analytically that the the elongation of the flux tube cross section in the latitudinal direction will result in a departure from the Taylor state. The resulting relaxation of the magnetic field causes reconnection to commence in the interior of the ICME, in agreement with the observations of Gosling et al. We present MHD simulations in which reconnection initiates at a number of rational surfaces, and ultimately produces a stochastic magnetic field. If the time scales for this process are shorter than the propagation time to 1 AU, this result explains why many ICME flux ropes no longer exhibit the smooth, helical flux structure characteristic of a magnetic cloud.

  4. Intuitive approach to magnetic reconnection

    SciTech Connect

    Kulsrud, Russell M.

    2011-11-15

    Two reconnection problems are considered. The first problem concerns global physics. The plasma in the global reconnection region is in magnetostatic equilibrium. It is shown that this equilibrium can be uniquely characterized by a set of constraints. During reconnection and independently of the local reconnection physics, these constraints can be uniquely evolved from any initial state. The second problem concerns Petschek reconnection. Petschek's model for fast reconnection, which is governed by resistive MHD equations with constant resistivity is not validated by numerical simulations. Malyshkin et al.[Phys. Plasmas 12, 102920 (2005)], showed that the reason for the discrepancy is that Petschek did not employ Ohm's law throughout the local diffusion region, but only at the X-point. A derivation of Petschek reconnection, including Ohm's law throughout the entire diffusion region, removes the discrepancy. This derivation is based largely on Petschek's original 1964 calculation [in AAS-NASA Symposium on Solar Flares (National Aeronautics and Space Administration, Washington, D.C., 1964), NASA SP50, p. 425]. A useful physical interpretation of the role which Ohm's law plays in the diffusion region is presented.

  5. Evolutions of nonsteady state magnetic reconnection

    SciTech Connect

    Wan, Weigang; Lapenta, Giovanni

    2008-01-01

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

  6. Magnetic reconnection and solar flare loops

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Forbes, T. G.

    1987-01-01

    Reconnection models of the main phase of large solar flares are used to explain the energetics and the motions of the large flare loops that occur during this phase. Correct predictions for the density and temperature of the X-ray emitting loops are obtained by coupling magnetic reconnection with chromospheric ablation. In the reconnection models the ablation is driven by the thermal conduction of heat along magnetic field lines connecting the reconnection shocks in the corona with the flare ribbons in the chromosphere. Combining the compressible reconnection theory of Soward and Priest (1982) with the magnetohydrodynamic (MHD) subshock criteria of Coroniti (1970) shows that the Petschek-type slow-mode shocks in the vicinity of the x-line always dissociate into pairs of isothermal slow-mode subshocks and thermal conduction fronts. The rate of expansion of the loops is a function of the reconnection rate, and loops can be evolving self-similarly in time with their height increasing as sq root t and the reconnection rate decreasing as t to the minus 1.

  7. 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.

  8. 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.

  9. Fast Reconnection of Weak Magnetic Fields

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Zweibel, Ellen G.

    1998-01-01

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

  10. Resistive Magnetohydrodynamic Simulations of Relativistic Magnetic Reconnection

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Zenitani, Seiji; Hesse, Michael; Klimas, Alex

    2010-01-01

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

  11. Magnetic Reconnection Models of Prominence Formation

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Welsch, B. T.; DeVore, C. R.; Antiochos, S. K.

    2005-12-01

    To investigate the hypothesis that prominences form by magnetic reconnection between initially distinct flux systems in the solar corona, we simulate coronal magnetic field evolution when two flux systems are driven together by boundary motions. In particular, we focus on configurations similar to those in the quiescent prominence formation model of Martens & Zwaan. We find that reconnection proceeds very weakly, if at all, in configurations driven with global shear flows (i.e., differential rotation); reconnection proceeds much more efficiently in similar configurations that are driven to collide directly, with converging motions along the neutral line that lead to flux cancellation; reconnected fields from this process can exhibit sheared, dipped field lines along the neutral line, consistent with prominence observations. Our field configurations do not possess the ``breakout'' topology, and eruptions are not observed, even though a substantial amount of flux is canceled in some runs.

  12. Explosive Turbulent Magnetic Reconnection: A New Approach of MHD-Turbulent Simulation

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hoshino, Masahiro; Yokoi, Nobumitsu; Higashimori, Katsuaki

    2013-04-01

    Turbulent flows are often observed in association with magnetic reconnection in space and astrophysical plasmas, and it is often hypothesized that the turbulence can contribute to the fast magnetic reconnection through the enhancement of magnetic dissipation. In this presentation, we demonstrate that an explosive turbulent reconnection can happen by using a new turbulent MHD simulation, in which the evolution of the turbulent transport coefficients are self-consistently solved together with the standard MHD equations. In our model, the turbulent electromotive force defined by the correlation of turbulent fluctuations between v and B is added to the Ohm's law. We discuss that the level of turbulent can control the topology of reconnection, namely the transition from the Sweet-Parker reconnection to the Petscheck reconnection occurs when the level of fluctuations becomes of order of the ambient physical quantities, and show that the growth of the turbulent Petscheck reconnection becomes much faster than the conventional one.

  13. The Diffusion Region in Collisionless Magnetic Reconnection

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

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

    2011-01-01

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

  14. Turbulent magnetic fluctuations in laboratory reconnection

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2016-07-01

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

  15. Observations and models of magnetic reconnection

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Barta, Miroslav

    2015-08-01

    Magnetic reconnection is now almost unanimously considered to be a key plasma process for energy release in solar and stellar flares. Recent decade have seen rapid development in the theory, simulations and searching for observational evidences of magnetic reconnection being in action in the core of flares. Modern modeling approach involves many realistic aspects of magnetic reconnection such as intrinsically 3D nature of the process and, namely, its highly dynamic character connected with violent formation of plasmoids at many scales. The cascade of plasmoid formation represents natural process of fast, turbulent energy transfer to the kinetic dissipation scale. This concept, revealed by numerical simulations, has found its ground in the theory of (ideal) plasmoid instability in current layers with high aspect ratio. The plasmoid dominated reconnection regime is capable to account for many puzzling dilemmas in the flare physics ranging from the observation-demanded energy release rate vs. standard reconnection-regime timescales, observed organized large-scale structures vs. signatures of fragmented energy release etc. The talk aims at reviewing recent theoretical and simulation development in this direction and observational support for the concept of plasmoid-driven reconnection cascade namely in solar flares.

  16. Entropy conservation in simulations of magnetic reconnection

    SciTech Connect

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

    2006-09-15

    Entropy and mass conservation are investigated for the dynamic field evolution associated with fast magnetic reconnection, based on the 'Newton Challenge' problem [Birn et al., Geophys. Res. Lett. 32, L06105 (2005)]. In this problem, the formation of a thin current sheet and magnetic reconnection are initiated in a plane Harris-type current sheet by temporally limited, spatially varying, inflow of magnetic flux. Using resistive magnetohydrodynamic (MHD) and particle-in-cell (PIC) simulations, specifically the entropy and mass integrated along the magnetic flux tubes are compared between the simulations. In the MHD simulation these should be exactly conserved quantities, when slippage and Ohmic dissipation are negligible. It is shown that there is very good agreement between the conservation of these quantities in the two simulation approaches, despite the effects of dissipation, provided that the resistivity in the MHD simulation is strongly localized. This demonstrates that dissipation is highly localized in the PIC simulation also, and that heat flux across magnetic flux tubes has negligible effect as well, so that the entropy increase on a full flux tube remains small even during reconnection. The mass conservation also implies that the frozen-in flux condition of ideal MHD is a good integral approximation outside the reconnection site. This result lends support for using the entropy-conserving MHD approach not only before and after reconnection but even as a constraint connecting the two phases.

  17. Magnetic Reconnection in the MST Reversed Field Pinch

    SciTech Connect

    Crocker, N.E.

    2001-06-01

    width expected form the electron pressure gradient effect. It is significantly smaller than the width expected from the ion inertia, but this width is not expected to be relevant to a strongly magnetized plasma such as an RFP. Notably it is comparable to the width of the magnetic island produced by the associated tearing mode. This is consistent with expectation for saturated or fully developed resistive tearing modes such as MST is believed to exhibit. It is also consistent with the broadening of a smaller width current sheet through current transport due to parallel streaming of charge carriers (along the field lines of the associated island). Third we obtain estimates of the radial charge transport or radial current density due to streaming charge of carriers along magnetic field lines that results from reconnection in the edge of MST. We find that in contradiction with the theoretical expectation for isolated tearing modes it is non-vanishing and in fact large enough to imply both the existence of another charge transport mechanism to maintain charge neutrality and a significant difference in the radial ion and electron particle fluxes due to parallel streaming of particles. Fourth we interpret the flux surface average of j and b as a J x B force density on the plasma. We observe in agreement with theory and observation for interacting tearing modes in an RFP that the radial structure of the force density during sawtooth crashes is such as to flatten the equilibrium radial gradient in toroidal velocity. We observe also that it is sufficiently large as to imply the existence of other force densities on the plasma.

  18. Prospects for Fermi Particle Acceleration at Coronal Magnetic Reconnection Sites

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Provornikova, E.; Laming, J. M.; Lukin, V.

    2015-12-01

    The mechanism of first order Fermi acceleration of particles interacting with the converging magnetized flows at a reconnection site was introduced recently in an attempt to predict the energy distribution of particles resulting from violent reconnection in galactic microquasars. More careful consideration of this mechanism showed that the spectral index of accelerated particles is related to the total plasma compression within a reconnection region, similar to that in the formulation for diffusive shock acceleration. In the solar context, reconnection regions producing strong compression could be the source of suprathermal "seed particles". A hard spectrum of such suprathermal particles is believed to be necessary to initiate the particle acceleration process at low Mach number coronal mass ejection shocks close to the Sun where the gradual solar energetic particle events originate. As a first step to investigate the efficiency of Fermi acceleration, we explore the degree of plasma compression that can be achieved at reconnection sites in the solar corona. This work presents a set of 2D two-temperature resistive MHD simulations of the dynamics of several magnetic configurations within a range of lower corona plasma parameters. Energy transport processes in the MHD model include anisotropic thermal conduction for electrons and ions and radiative cooling. Magnetic configurations considered are a Harris current sheet, a force-free current sheet, a flux rope sitting above an arcade of magnetic loops, and two merging flux ropes. We demonstrate that only for some magnetic topologies, corresponding in particular to 3D magnetic nulls, the compression ratio, sufficient for first order Fermi acceleration in the reconnection region, can be achieved. These represent the potential sites in the solar corona where a hard seed particle energetic spectrum could be produced.

  19. Magnetic Reconnection in Extreme Astrophysical Environments

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Uzdensky, Dmitri

    Magnetic reconnection is a fundamental plasma physics process of breaking ideal-MHD's frozen-in constraints on magnetic field connectivity and of dramatic rearranging of the magnetic topol-ogy, which often leads to a violent release of the free magnetic energy. Reconnection has long been acknowledged to be of great importance in laboratory plasma physics (magnetic fusion) and in space and solar physics (responsible for solar flares and magnetospheric substorms). In addition, its importance in Astrophysics has been increasingly recognized in recent years. However, due to a great diversity of astrophysical environments, the fundamental physics of astrophysical magnetic reconnection can be quite different from that of the traditional recon-nection encountered in the solar system. In particular, environments like the solar corona and the magnetosphere are characterized by relatively low energy densities, where the plasma is ad-equately described as a mixture of electrons and ions whose numbers are conserved and where the dissipated magnetic energy basically stays with the plasma. In contrast, in many high-energy astrophysical phenomena the energy density is so large that photons play as important a role as electrons and ions and, in particular, radiation pressure and radiative cooling become dominant. In this talk I focus on the most extreme case of high-energy-density astrophysical reconnec-tionreconnection of magnetar-strength (1014 - 1015 Gauss) magnetic fields, important for giant flares in soft-gamma repeaters (SGRs), and for rapid magnetic energy release in either the central engines or in the relativistic jets of Gamma Ray Bursts (GRBs). I outline the key relevant physical processes and present a new theoretical picture of magnetic reconnection in these environments. The corresponding magnetic energy density is so enormous that, when suddenly released, it inevitably heats the plasma to relativistic temperatures, resulting in co-pious production of electron

  20. Self-generated Turbulence in Magnetic Reconnection

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Oishi, Jeffrey S.; Mac Low, Mordecai-Mark; Collins, David C.; Tamura, Moeko

    2015-06-01

    Classical Sweet-Parker models of reconnection predict that reconnection rates depend inversely on the resistivity, usually parameterized using the dimensionless Lundquist number (S). We describe magnetohydrodynamic (MHD) simulations using a static, nested grid that show the development of a three-dimensional (3D) instability in the plane of a current sheet between reversing field lines without a guide field. The instability leads to rapid reconnection of magnetic field lines at a rate independent of S over at least the range 3.2× {{10}3}≲ S≲ 3.2× {{10}5} resolved by the simulations. We find that this instability occurs even for cases with S≲ {{10}4} that in our models appear stable to the recently described, two-dimensional, plasmoid instability. Our results suggest that 3D, MHD processes alone produce fast (resistivity independent) reconnection without recourse to kinetic effects or external turbulence. The unstable reconnection layers provide a self-consistent environment in which the extensively studied turbulent reconnection process can occur.

  1. 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.

  2. Formation of Plasmoid Chains in Magnetic Reconnection

    SciTech Connect

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

    2009-09-09

    A detailed numerical study of magnetic reconnection in resistive MHD for very large, previously inaccessible, Lundquist numbers (104 ≤ S ≤ 108) is reported. Large-aspect-ratio Sweet-Parker current sheets are shown to be unstable to super-Alfvenically fast formation of plasmoid (magnetic-island) chains. The plasmoid number scales as S3/8 and the instability growth rate in the linear stage as S1/4, in agreement with the theory by Loureiro et al. [Phys. Plasmas 14, 100703 (2007)]. In the nonlinear regime, plasmoids continue to grow faster than they are ejected and completely disrupt the reconnection layer. These results suggest that high-Lundquist-number reconnection is inherently time-dependent and hence call for a substantial revision of the standard Sweet-Parker quasistationary picture for S>104.

  3. Microstructure of magnetic reconnection in earth's magnetotail

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Bieber, J. W.; Stone, E. C.; Hones, E. W., Jr.; Baker, D. N.; Bame, S. J.; Lepping, R. P.

    1984-01-01

    The structure of heated electron reconnection events associated with magnetic substorm events in the earth's magnetotail is examined using IMP 8 spacecraft and ground-based magnetometer, plasma analyzer and spectroscopic data. Plasma, magnetic field and energetic particle data for five events are presented. Reconnection is shown to occur in two phases: preheating and heating. In preheating, lasting about 5 min, a strong tailward plasma flow appears and ends with electron heating. A 1-2 min heating phase starts with electron heating and ends with plasma sheet drop out and/or decay of the electron temperature to pre-event levels. The heating pulse is always connected with a Bx reversal at 30 earth radii tailward, where the reconnection occurs.

  4. Drift Wave Turbulence and Magnetic Reconnection

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Price, L.; Drake, J. F.; Swisdak, M.

    2015-12-01

    An important feature in collisionless magnetic reconnection is the development of sharp discontinuities along the separatrices bounding the Alfvenic outflow. The typical scale length of these features is ρs (the Larmor radius based on the sound speed) for guide field reconnection. Temperature gradients in the inflowing plasma (as might be found in the magnetopause and the magnetotail) can lead to instabilities at these separatrices, specifically drift wave turbulence. We present standalone 2D and 3D PIC simulations of drift wave turbulence to investigate scaling properties and growth rates. We specifically consider stabilization of the lower hybrid drift instability (LHDI) and the development of this instability in the presence of a sheared magnetic field. Further investigations of the relative importance of drift wave turbulence in the development of reconnection will also be considered.

  5. Magnetic Reconnection: Theoretical and Observational Perspectives: Preface

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

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

    2011-01-01

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

  6. Dissipation mechanism in 3D magnetic reconnection

    SciTech Connect

    Fujimoto, Keizo

    2011-11-15

    Dissipation processes responsible for fast magnetic reconnection in collisionless plasmas are investigated using 3D electromagnetic particle-in-cell simulations. The present study revisits the two simulation runs performed in the previous study (Fujimoto, Phys. Plasmas 16, 042103 (2009)); one with small system size in the current density direction, and the other with larger system size. In the case with small system size, the reconnection processes are almost the same as those in 2D reconnection, while in the other case a kink mode evolves along the current density and deforms the current sheet structure drastically. Although fast reconnection is achieved in both the cases, the dissipation mechanism is very different between them. In the case without kink mode, the electrons transit the electron diffusion region without thermalization, so that the magnetic dissipation is supported by the inertia resistivity alone. On the other hand, in the kinked current sheet, the electrons are not only accelerated in bulk, but they are also partly scattered and thermalized by the kink mode, which results in the anomalous resistivity in addition to the inertia resistivity. It is demonstrated that in 3D reconnection the thickness of the electron current sheet becomes larger than the local electron inertia length, consistent with the theoretical prediction in Fujimoto and Sydora (Phys. Plasmas 16, 112309 (2009)).

  7. Magnetic reconnection under anisotropic magnetohydrodynamic approximation

    SciTech Connect

    Hirabayashi, K.; Hoshino, M.

    2013-11-15

    We study the formation of slow-mode shocks in collisionless magnetic reconnection by using one- and two-dimensional collisionless MHD codes based on the double adiabatic approximation and the Landau closure model. We bridge the gap between the Petschek-type MHD reconnection model accompanied by a pair of slow shocks and the observational evidence of the rare occasion of in-situ slow shock observations. Our results showed that once magnetic reconnection takes place, a firehose-sense (p{sub ∥}>p{sub ⊥}) pressure anisotropy arises in the downstream region, and the generated slow shocks are quite weak comparing with those in an isotropic MHD. In spite of the weakness of the shocks, however, the resultant reconnection rate is 10%–30% higher than that in an isotropic case. This result implies that the slow shock does not necessarily play an important role in the energy conversion in the reconnection system and is consistent with the satellite observation in the Earth's magnetosphere.

  8. VINETA II: a linear magnetic reconnection experiment.

    PubMed

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

    2014-02-01

    A linear experiment dedicated to the study of driven magnetic reconnection is presented. The new device (VINETA II) is suitable for investigating both collisional and near collisionless reconnection. Reconnection is achieved by externally driving magnetic field lines towards an X-point, inducing a current in the background plasma which consequently modifies the magnetic field topology. Owing to the open field line configuration of the experiment, the current is limited by the axial sheath boundary conditions. A plasma gun is used as an additional electron source in order to counterbalance the charge separation effects and supply the required current. Two drive methods are used in the device. First, an oscillating current through two parallel conductors drive the reconnection. Second, a stationary X-point topology is formed by the parallel conductors, and the drive is achieved by an oscillating current through a third conductor. In the first setup, the magnetic field of the axial plasma current dominates the field topology near the X-point throughout most of the drive. The second setup allows for the amplitude of the plasma current as well as the motion of the flux to be set independently of the X-point topology of the parallel conductors. PMID:24593355

  9. VINETA II: A linear magnetic reconnection experiment

    SciTech Connect

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

    2014-02-15

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

  10. Transition from antiparallel to component magnetic reconnection

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Swisdak, M.; Drake, J. F.; Shay, M. A.; McIlhargey, J. G.

    2005-05-01

    We study the transition between antiparallel and component collisionless magnetic reconnection with two-dimensional particle-in-cell simulations. The primary finding is that a guide field ≈0.1 times as strong as the asymptotic reconnecting field (roughly the field strength at which the electron Larmor radius is comparable to the width of the electron current layer) is sufficient to magnetize the electrons in the vicinity of the X line, thus causing significant changes to the structure of the electron dissipation region. This implies that great care should be exercised before concluding that magnetospheric reconnection is antiparallel. We also find that even for such weak guide fields, strong inward flowing electron beams form in the vicinity of the magnetic separatrices and Buneman unstable distribution functions arise at the X line itself. As in the calculations of Hesse et al. (2002) and Yin and Winske (2003) the nongyrotropic elements of the electron pressure tensor play the dominant role in decoupling the electrons from the magnetic field at the X line, regardless of the magnitude of the guide field and the associated strong variations in the pressure tensor's spatial structure. Despite these changes, and consistent with previous work, the reconnection rate does not vary appreciably with the strength of the guide field as it changes between 0 and a value equal to the asymptotic reversed field.

  11. Dynamical plasma response during driven magnetic reconnection.

    PubMed

    Egedal, J; Fasoli, A; Nazemi, J

    2003-04-01

    Direct measurements of a collisionless current channel during driven magnetic reconnection are obtained for the first time on the Versatile Toroidal Facility. The size of the diffusion region is found to scale with the electron drift orbit width, independent of the ion mass and plasma density. Based on experimental observations, analytic expressions governing the dynamical evolution of the current profile and the formation of the electrostatic potential that develops in response to the externally imposed reconnection drive are established. This time response is closely linked to the presence of ion polarization currents. PMID:12689297

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

    SciTech Connect

    Fu, S.Y.; Pu, Z.Y.; Liu, Z.X.

    1995-04-01

    The authors present the results of two-dimensional MHD simulations of two different models of magnetic reconnection, a vortex-induced magnetic reconnection, and a bursty single X line reconnection. They look at the implications of the magnetic topolgy of the magnetopause for the occurrence of conditions conducive to these two processes. They also discuss the physical implications which could be derived from these two models.

  13. Particle Acceleration in 3D Magnetic Reconnection

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2015-12-01

    Magnetic reconnection is an important driver of energetic particles in phenomena such as magnetospheric storms and solar flares. Using kinetic particle-in-cell (PIC) simulations, we show that the stochastic magnetic field structure which develops during 3D reconnection plays a vital role in particle acceleration and transport. In a 2D system, electrons are trapped in magnetic islands which limits their energy gain. In a 3D system, however, the stochastic magnetic field enables the energetic electrons to access volume-filling acceleration regions and therefore gain energy much more efficiently than in the 2D system. We also examine the relative roles of two important acceleration drivers: parallel electric fields and a Fermi mechanism associated with reflection of charged particles from contracting field lines. We find that parallel electric fields are most important for accelerating low energy particles, whereas Fermi reflection dominates energetic particle production. We also find that proton energization is reduced in the 3D system.

  14. Magnetic reconnection as a chondrule heating mechanism

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lazerson, Samuel A.

    2010-12-01

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

  15. Relating magnetic reconnection to coronal heating.

    PubMed

    Longcope, D W; Tarr, L A

    2015-05-28

    It is clear that the solar corona is being heated and that coronal magnetic fields undergo reconnection all the time. Here we attempt to show that these two facts are related--i.e. coronal reconnection generates heat. This attempt must address the fact that topological change of field lines does not automatically generate heat. We present one case of flux emergence where we have measured the rate of coronal magnetic reconnection and the rate of energy dissipation in the corona. The ratio of these two, [Formula: see text], is a current comparable to the amount of current expected to flow along the boundary separating the emerged flux from the pre-existing flux overlying it. We can generalize this relation to the overall corona in quiet Sun or in active regions. Doing so yields estimates for the contribution to coronal heating from magnetic reconnection. These estimated rates are comparable to the amount required to maintain the corona at its observed temperature. PMID:25897089

  16. Magnetic Reconnection in Extreme Astrophysical Environments

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Uzdensky, Dmitri A.

    2011-10-01

    Magnetic reconnection is a fundamental plasma physics process in which ideal-MHD's frozen-in constraints are broken and the magnetic field topology is dramatically re-arranged, which often leads to a violent release of the free magnetic energy. Most of the magnetic reconnection research done to date has been motivated by the applications to systems such as the solar corona, Earth's magnetosphere, and magnetic confinement devices for thermonuclear fusion. These environments have relatively low energy densities and the plasma is adequately described as a mixture of equal numbers of electrons and ions and where the dissipated magnetic energy always stays with the plasma. In contrast, in this paper I would like to introduce a different, new direction of research—reconnection in high energy density radiative plasmas, in which photons play as important a role as electrons and ions; in particular, in which radiation pressure and radiative cooling become dominant factors in the pressure and energy balance. This research is motivated in part by rapid theoretical and experimental advances in High Energy Density Physics, and in part by several important problems in modern high-energy astrophysics. I first discuss some astrophysical examples of high-energy-density reconnection and then identify the key physical processes that distinguish them from traditional reconnection. Among the most important of these processes are: special-relativistic effects; radiative effects (radiative cooling, radiation pressure, and radiative resistivity); and, at the most extreme end—QED effects, including pair creation. The most notable among the astrophysical applications are situations involving magnetar-strength fields (1014-1015 G, exceeding the quantum critical field B ∗≃4×1013 G). The most important examples are giant flares in soft gamma repeaters (SGRs) and magnetic models of the central engines and relativistic jets of Gamma Ray Bursts (GRBs). The magnetic energy density in

  17. Asymmetry Effects in Viscoresistive Magnetic Reconnection

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Tebaldi, C.; Grasso, D.; Hastie, R. J.

    2010-04-01

    Magnetic reconnection from an asymmetric unreconnected equilibrium is investigated in a viscoresistive plasma via numerical simulations. The instability threshold of the standard stability parameter, Δ', increases with the asymmetry parameter, in a way similar to the effect of increasing viscosity. Also the topology of the velocity field changes significantly, the four-vortex structure typical of the tearing instability evolves into two-vortex structure, with strong increase of the velocity shear across the high magnetic shear rational surface.

  18. Turbulent reconnection of magnetic bipoles in stratified turbulence

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Jabbari, S.; Brandenburg, A.; Mitra, Dhrubaditya; Kleeorin, N.; Rogachevskii, I.

    2016-07-01

    We consider strongly stratified forced turbulence in a plane-parallel layer with helicity and corresponding large-scale dynamo action in the lower part and non-helical turbulence in the upper. The magnetic field is found to develop strongly concentrated bipolar structures near the surface. They form elongated bands with a sharp interface between opposite polarities. Unlike earlier experiments with imposed magnetic field, the inclusion of rotation does not strongly suppress the formation of these structures. We perform a systematic numerical study of this phenomenon by varying magnetic Reynolds number, scale-separation ratio, and Coriolis number. We focus on the formation of a current sheet between bipolar regions where reconnection of oppositely oriented field lines occurs. We determine the reconnection rate by measuring either the inflow velocity in the vicinity of the current sheet or by measuring the electric field in the reconnection region. We demonstrate that for large Lundquist numbers, S > 103, the reconnection rate is nearly independent of S in agreement with results of recent numerical simulations performed by other groups in simpler settings.

  19. Turbulent reconnection of magnetic bipoles in stratified turbulence

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Jabbari, S.; Brandenburg, A.; Mitra, Dhrubaditya; Kleeorin, N.; Rogachevskii, I.

    2016-04-01

    We consider strongly stratified forced turbulence in a plane-parallel layer with helicity and corresponding large-scale dynamo action in the lower part and non-helical turbulence in the upper. The magnetic field is found to develop strongly concentrated bipolar structures near the surface. They form elongated bands with a sharp interface between opposite polarities. Unlike earlier experiments with imposed magnetic field, the inclusion of rotation does not strongly suppress the formation of these structures. We perform a systematic numerical study of this phenomenon by varying magnetic Reynolds number, scale separation ratio, and Coriolis number. We focus on the formation of a current sheet between bipolar regions where reconnection of oppositely oriented field lines occurs. We determine the reconnection rate by measuring either the inflow velocity in the vicinity of the current sheet or by measuring the electric field in the reconnection region. We demonstrate that for large Lundquist numbers, S > 103, the reconnection rate is nearly independent of S in agreement with results of recent numerical simulations performed by other groups in simpler settings.

  20. An electromagnetic drift instability in the magnetic reconnection experiment and its importance for magnetic reconnection

    SciTech Connect

    Kulsrud, Russell; Ji Hantao; Fox, William; Yamada, Masaaki

    2005-08-15

    The role which resistivity plays in breaking magnetic field lines, heating the plasma, and plasma-field slippage during magnetic reconnection is discussed. Magnetic fluctuations are observed in the MRX (magnetic reconnection experiment) [M. Yamada, H. Ji, S. Hsu, T. Carter, R. Kulsrud, N. Bertz, F. Jobes, Y. Ono, and F. Perkins, Phys. Plasmas 4, 1936 (1997)] that are believed to provide resistive friction or wave resistivity. A localized linear theory has been proposed for their origin as an obliquely propagating lower hybrid drift instability. In this paper, the linear theory of the instability is summarized, and the resulting heating and slippage are calculated from quasilinear theory. Making use of measured amplitudes of the magnetic fluctuations in the MRX, the amount of these effects is estimated. Within the experimental uncertainties they are shown to be quite important for the magnetic reconnection process.

  1. An Electromagnetic Drift Instability in the Magnetic Reconnection Experiment (MRX) and its Importance for Magnetic Reconnection

    SciTech Connect

    Russell Kulsrud; Hantao Ji; Will Fox; Masaaki Yamada

    2005-06-07

    The role which resistivity plays in breaking magnetic field lines, heating the plasma, and plasma field slippage during magnetic reconnection is discussed. Magnetic fluctuations are observed in the MRX (Magnetic Reconnection Experiment) that are believed to provide resistive friction or wave resistivity. A localized linear theory has been proposed for their origin as an obliquely propagating Lower Hybrid Drift Instability. In this paper, the linear theory of the instability is summarized, and the resulting heating and slippage are calculated from quasi-linear theory. Making use of measured amplitudes of the magnetic fluctuations in the MRX the amount of these effects is estimated. Within the experimental uncertainties they are shown to be quite important for the magnetic reconnection process.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Gordovskyy, Mykola; Browning, Philippa; Vekstein, Grigory

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2015-10-01

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

  4. Gyro-induced acceleration of magnetic reconnection

    SciTech Connect

    Comisso, L.; Grasso, D.; Waelbroeck, F. L.; Borgogno, D.

    2013-09-15

    The linear and nonlinear evolution of magnetic reconnection in collisionless high-temperature plasmas with a strong guide field is analyzed on the basis of a two-dimensional gyrofluid model. The linear growth rate of the reconnecting instability is compared to analytical calculations over the whole spectrum of linearly unstable wave numbers. In the strongly unstable regime (large Δ′), the nonlinear evolution of the reconnecting instability is found to undergo two distinctive acceleration phases separated by a stall phase in which the instantaneous growth rate decreases. The first acceleration phase is caused by the formation of strong electric fields close to the X-point due to ion gyration, while the second acceleration phase is driven by the development of an open Petschek-like configuration due to both ion and electron temperature effects. Furthermore, the maximum instantaneous growth rate is found to increase dramatically over its linear value for decreasing diffusion layers. This is a consequence of the fact that the peak instantaneous growth rate becomes weakly dependent on the microscopic plasma parameters if the diffusion region thickness is sufficiently smaller than the equilibrium magnetic field scale length. When this condition is satisfied, the peak reconnection rate asymptotes to a constant value.

  5. Magnetic Reconnection in Different Environments: Similarities and Differences

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

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

    2014-01-01

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

  6. Fast magnetic reconnection with large guide fields

    SciTech Connect

    Stanier, A.; Simakov, Andrei N.; Chacón, L.; Daughton, W.

    2015-01-09

    Here, we demonstrate using two-fluid simulations that low-βmagnetic reconnection remains fast, regardless of the presence of fast dispersive waves, which have been previously suggested to play a critical role. In order to understand these results, a discrete model is constructed that offers scaling relationships for the reconnection rate and dissipation region (DR) thickness in terms of the upstream magnetic field and DR length. We verify these scalings numerically and show how the DR self-adjusts to process magnetic flux at the same rate that it is supplied to a larger region where two-fluid effects become important. Ultimately, the rate is independent of the DR physics and is in good agreement with kinetic results.

  7. Fast magnetic reconnection with large guide fields

    DOE PAGESBeta

    Stanier, A.; Simakov, Andrei N.; Chacón, L.; Daughton, W.

    2015-01-09

    Here, we demonstrate using two-fluid simulations that low-βmagnetic reconnection remains fast, regardless of the presence of fast dispersive waves, which have been previously suggested to play a critical role. In order to understand these results, a discrete model is constructed that offers scaling relationships for the reconnection rate and dissipation region (DR) thickness in terms of the upstream magnetic field and DR length. We verify these scalings numerically and show how the DR self-adjusts to process magnetic flux at the same rate that it is supplied to a larger region where two-fluid effects become important. Ultimately, the rate is independentmore » of the DR physics and is in good agreement with kinetic results.« less

  8. Model of magnetic reconnection in space and astrophysical plasmas

    SciTech Connect

    Boozer, Allen H.

    2013-03-15

    Maxwell's equations imply that exponentially smaller non-ideal effects than commonly assumed can give rapid magnetic reconnection in space and astrophysical plasmas. In an ideal evolution, magnetic field lines act as stretchable strings, which can become ever more entangled but cannot be cut. High entanglement makes the lines exponentially sensitive to small non-ideal changes in the magnetic field. The cause is well known in popular culture as the butterfly effect and in the theory of deterministic dynamical systems as a sensitive dependence on initial conditions, but the importance to magnetic reconnection is not generally recognized. Two-coordinate models are too constrained geometrically for the required entanglement, but otherwise the effect is general and can be studied in simple models. A simple model is introduced, which is periodic in the x and y Cartesian coordinates and bounded by perfectly conducting planes in z. Starting from a constant magnetic field in the z direction, reconnection is driven by a spatially smooth, bounded force. The model is complete and could be used to study the impulsive transfer of energy between the magnetic field and the ions and electrons using a kinetic plasma model.

  9. Model of magnetic reconnection in space and astrophysical plasmas

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Boozer, Allen H.

    2013-03-01

    Maxwell's equations imply that exponentially smaller non-ideal effects than commonly assumed can give rapid magnetic reconnection in space and astrophysical plasmas. In an ideal evolution, magnetic field lines act as stretchable strings, which can become ever more entangled but cannot be cut. High entanglement makes the lines exponentially sensitive to small non-ideal changes in the magnetic field. The cause is well known in popular culture as the butterfly effect and in the theory of deterministic dynamical systems as a sensitive dependence on initial conditions, but the importance to magnetic reconnection is not generally recognized. Two-coordinate models are too constrained geometrically for the required entanglement, but otherwise the effect is general and can be studied in simple models. A simple model is introduced, which is periodic in the x and y Cartesian coordinates and bounded by perfectly conducting planes in z. Starting from a constant magnetic field in the z direction, reconnection is driven by a spatially smooth, bounded force. The model is complete and could be used to study the impulsive transfer of energy between the magnetic field and the ions and electrons using a kinetic plasma model.

  10. Diffusion of magnetic field via turbulent reconnection

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Santos de Lima, Reinaldo; Lazarian, Alexander; de Gouveia Dal Pino, Elisabete M.; Cho, Jungyeon

    2010-05-01

    The diffusion of astrophysical magnetic fields in conducting fluids in the presence of turbulence depends on whether magnetic fields can change their topology via reconnection in highly conducting media. Recent progress in understanding fast magnetic reconnection in the presence of turbulence is reassuring that the magnetic field behavior in computer simulations and turbulent astrophysical environments is similar, as far as magnetic reconnection is concerned. This makes it meaningful to perform MHD simulations of turbulent flows in order to understand the diffusion of magnetic field in astrophysical environments. Our studies of magnetic field diffusion in turbulent medium reveal interesting new phenomena. First of all, our 3D MHD simulations initiated with anti-correlating magnetic field and gaseous density exhibit at later times a de-correlation of the magnetic field and density, which corresponds well to the observations of the interstellar media. While earlier studies stressed the role of either ambipolar diffusion or time-dependent turbulent fluctuations for de-correlating magnetic field and density, we get the effect of permanent de-correlation with one fluid code, i.e. without invoking ambipolar diffusion. In addition, in the presence of gravity and turbulence, our 3D simulations show the decrease of the magnetic flux-to-mass ratio as the gaseous density at the center of the gravitational potential increases. We observe this effect both in the situations when we start with equilibrium distributions of gas and magnetic field and when we follow the evolution of collapsing dynamically unstable configurations. Thus the process of turbulent magnetic field removal should be applicable both to quasi-static subcritical molecular clouds and cores and violently collapsing supercritical entities. The increase of the gravitational potential as well as the magnetization of the gas increases the segregation of the mass and magnetic flux in the saturated final state of the

  11. 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.

  12. Particle acceleration and plasma dynamics during magnetic reconnection in the magnetically dominated regime

    DOE PAGESBeta

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

    2015-06-17

    Magnetic reconnection is thought to be the driver for many explosive phenomena in the universe. The energy release and particle acceleration during reconnection have been proposed as a mechanism for producing high-energy emissions and cosmic rays. We carry out two- and three-dimensional (3D) kinetic simulations to investigate relativistic magnetic reconnection and the associated particle acceleration. The simulations focus on electron–positron plasmas starting with a magnetically dominated, force-free current sheet (σ ≡ B2 / (4πnemec2) >> 1). For this limit, we demonstrate that relativistic reconnection is highly efficient at accelerating particles through a first-order Fermi process accomplished by the curvature driftmore » of particles along the electric field induced by the relativistic flows. This mechanism gives rise to the formation of hard power-law spectra f α (γ - 1)-p and approaches p = 1 for sufficiently large σ and system size. Eventually most of the available magnetic free energy is converted into nonthermal particle kinetic energy. An analytic model is presented to explain the key results and predict a general condition for the formation of power-law distributions. The development of reconnection in these regimes leads to relativistic inflow and outflow speeds and enhanced reconnection rates relative to nonrelativistic regimes. In the 3D simulation, the interplay between secondary kink and tearing instabilities leads to strong magnetic turbulence, but does not significantly change the energy conversion, reconnection rate, or particle acceleration. This paper suggests that relativistic reconnection sites are strong sources of nonthermal particles, which may have important implications for a variety of high-energy astrophysical problems.« less

  13. Particle acceleration and plasma dynamics during magnetic reconnection in the magnetically dominated regime

    SciTech Connect

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

    2015-06-17

    Magnetic reconnection is thought to be the driver for many explosive phenomena in the universe. The energy release and particle acceleration during reconnection have been proposed as a mechanism for producing high-energy emissions and cosmic rays. We carry out two- and three-dimensional (3D) kinetic simulations to investigate relativistic magnetic reconnection and the associated particle acceleration. The simulations focus on electron–positron plasmas starting with a magnetically dominated, force-free current sheet (σ ≡ B2 / (4πnemec2) >> 1). For this limit, we demonstrate that relativistic reconnection is highly efficient at accelerating particles through a first-order Fermi process accomplished by the curvature drift of particles along the electric field induced by the relativistic flows. This mechanism gives rise to the formation of hard power-law spectra f α (γ - 1)-p and approaches p = 1 for sufficiently large σ and system size. Eventually most of the available magnetic free energy is converted into nonthermal particle kinetic energy. An analytic model is presented to explain the key results and predict a general condition for the formation of power-law distributions. The development of reconnection in these regimes leads to relativistic inflow and outflow speeds and enhanced reconnection rates relative to nonrelativistic regimes. In the 3D simulation, the interplay between secondary kink and tearing instabilities leads to strong magnetic turbulence, but does not significantly change the energy conversion, reconnection rate, or particle acceleration. This paper suggests that relativistic reconnection sites are strong sources of nonthermal particles, which may have important implications for a variety of high-energy astrophysical problems.

  14. Particle Acceleration and Plasma Dynamics during Magnetic Reconnection in the Magnetically Dominated Regime

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2015-06-01

    Magnetic reconnection is thought to be the driver for many explosive phenomena in the universe. The energy release and particle acceleration during reconnection have been proposed as a mechanism for producing high-energy emissions and cosmic rays. We carry out two- and three-dimensional (3D) kinetic simulations to investigate relativistic magnetic reconnection and the associated particle acceleration. The simulations focus on electron-positron plasmas starting with a magnetically dominated, force-free current sheet (σ \\equiv {B}2/(4π {n}e{m}e{c}2)\\gg 1). For this limit, we demonstrate that relativistic reconnection is highly efficient at accelerating particles through a first-order Fermi process accomplished by the curvature drift of particles along the electric field induced by the relativistic flows. This mechanism gives rise to the formation of hard power-law spectra f\\propto {(γ -1)}-p and approaches p = 1 for sufficiently large σ and system size. Eventually most of the available magnetic free energy is converted into nonthermal particle kinetic energy. An analytic model is presented to explain the key results and predict a general condition for the formation of power-law distributions. The development of reconnection in these regimes leads to relativistic inflow and outflow speeds and enhanced reconnection rates relative to nonrelativistic regimes. In the 3D simulation, the interplay between secondary kink and tearing instabilities leads to strong magnetic turbulence, but does not significantly change the energy conversion, reconnection rate, or particle acceleration. This study suggests that relativistic reconnection sites are strong sources of nonthermal particles, which may have important implications for a variety of high-energy astrophysical problems.

  15. FAST MAGNETIC RECONNECTION AND SPONTANEOUS STOCHASTICITY

    SciTech Connect

    Eyink, Gregory L.; Lazarian, A.; Vishniac, E. T.

    2011-12-10

    Magnetic field lines in astrophysical plasmas are expected to be frozen-in at scales larger than the ion gyroradius. The rapid reconnection of magnetic-flux structures with dimensions vastly larger than the gyroradius requires a breakdown in the standard Alfven flux-freezing law. We attribute this breakdown to ubiquitous MHD plasma turbulence with power-law scaling ranges of velocity and magnetic energy spectra. Lagrangian particle trajectories in such environments become 'spontaneously stochastic', so that infinitely many magnetic field lines are advected to each point and must be averaged to obtain the resultant magnetic field. The relative distance between initial magnetic field lines which arrive at the same final point depends upon the properties of two-particle turbulent dispersion. We develop predictions based on the phenomenological Goldreich and Sridhar theory of strong MHD turbulence and on weak MHD turbulence theory. We recover the predictions of the Lazarian and Vishniac theory for the reconnection rate of large-scale magnetic structures. Lazarian and Vishniac also invoked 'spontaneous stochasticity', but of the field lines rather than of the Lagrangian trajectories. More recent theories of fast magnetic reconnection appeal to microscopic plasma processes that lead to additional terms in the generalized Ohm's law, such as the collisionless Hall term. We estimate quantitatively the effect of such processes on the inertial-range turbulence dynamics and find them to be negligible in most astrophysical environments. For example, the predictions of the Lazarian and Vishniac theory are unchanged in Hall MHD turbulence with an extended inertial range, whenever the ion skin depth {delta}{sub i} is much smaller than the turbulent integral length or injection-scale L{sub i} .

  16. 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.

  17. Catastrophic onset of fast magnetic reconnection with a guide field

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Cassak, P. A.; Drake, J. F.; Shay, M. A.

    2007-05-01

    It was recently shown that the slow (collisional) Sweet-Parker and the fast (collisionless) Hall magnetic reconnection solutions simultaneously exist for a wide range of resistivities; reconnection is bistable [Cassak, Shay, and Drake, Phys. Rev. Lett., 95, 235002 (2005)]. When the thickness of the dissipation region becomes smaller than a critical value, the Sweet-Parker solution disappears and fast reconnection ensues, potentially explaining how large amounts of magnetic free energy can accrue without significant release before the onset of fast reconnection. Two-fluid numerical simulations extending the previous results for anti-parallel reconnection (where the critical thickness is the ion skin depth) to component reconnection with a large guide field (where the critical thickness is the thermal ion Larmor radius) are presented. Applications to laboratory experiments of magnetic reconnection and the sawtooth crash are discussed.

  18. Magnetic reconnection driven by current repulsion

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Richard, R. L.; Sydora, R. D.; Ashour-Abdalla, M.

    1990-01-01

    The evolution of an equilibrium consisting of two magnetic islands with oppositely directed currents embedded in a strong magnetic field is investigated, using numerical simulation methods. The rapid development of an ideal magnetohydrodynamic instability is observed, which first rotates and then expels the islands. The growth rate is on the order of the inverse of the Alfven transit time and is much higher than that for magnetic island coalescence. In the nonlinear stage, resistivity becomes important as the reconnection process ensues and dissipates the magnetic energy. The growth rate of the instability is a weak function of the plasma beta and other plasma parameters such as S, the magnetic Reynolds number. An energy principle analysis, based on eigenfunctions obtained from the simulation, confirms the existence of the instability.

  19. Aspects of Three-Dimensional Magnetic Reconnection - (Invited Review)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Priest, E. R.; Schrijver, C. J.

    1999-12-01

    In this review paper we discuss several aspects of magnetic reconnection theory, focusing on the field-line motions that are associated with reconnection. A new exact solution of the nonlinear MHD equations for reconnective annihilation is presented which represents a two-fold generalization of the previous solutions. Magnetic reconnection at null points by several mechanisms is summarized, including spine reconnection, fan reconnection and separator reconnection, where it is pointed out that two common features of separator reconnection are the rapid flipping of magnetic field lines and the collapse of the separator to a current sheet. In addition, a formula for the rate of reconnection between two flux tubes is derived. The magnetic field of the corona is highly complex, since the magnetic carpet consists of a multitude of sources in the photosphere. Progress in understanding this complexity may, however, be made by constructing the skeleton of the field and developing a theory for the local and global bifurcations between the different topologies. The eruption of flux from the Sun may even sometimes be due to a change of topology caused by emerging flux break-out. A CD-ROM attached to this paper presents the results of a toy model of vacuum reconnection, which suggests that rapid flipping of field lines in fan and separator reconnection is an essential ingredient also in real non-vacuum conditions. In addition, it gives an example of binary reconnection between a pair of unbalanced sources as they move around, which may contribute significantly to coronal heating. Finally, we present examples in TRACE movies of geometrical changes of the coronal magnetic field that are a likely result of large-scale magnetic reconnection.

  20. Magnetic Reconnection Rate in Space Plasmas: A Fractal Approach

    SciTech Connect

    Materassi, Massimo; Consolini, Giuseppe

    2007-10-26

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

  1. Aspects of collisionless magnetic reconnection in asymmetric systems

    SciTech Connect

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

    2013-06-15

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

  2. Aspects of Collisionless Magnetic Reconnection in Asymmetric Systems

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

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

    2013-01-01

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

  3. Aspects of Collisionless Magnetic Reconnection in Asymmetric Systems

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

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

    2013-01-01

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

  4. Three-dimensional modeling of electron quasiviscous dissipation in guide-field magnetic reconnection

    SciTech Connect

    Hesse, Michael; Kuznetsova, Masha; Schindler, Karl; Birn, Joachim

    2005-10-01

    A numerical study of guide-field magnetic reconnection in a three-dimensional model is presented. Starting from an initial, perturbed, force-free current sheet, it is shown that reconnection develops to an almost translationally invariant state, where magnetic perturbations are aligned primarily along the main current flow direction. An analysis of guide-field and electron flow signatures indicates behavior that is very similar to earlier, albeit not three-dimensional, simulations. Furthermore, a detailed investigation of electron pressure nongyrotropies in the central diffusion region confirms the major role the associated dissipation process plays in establishing the reconnection electric field.

  5. 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.

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

    SciTech Connect

    Hsu, S.C.

    2000-01-28

    This dissertation reports an experimental study of ion heating and acceleration during magnetic reconnection, which is the annihilation and topological rearrangement of magnetic flux in a conductive plasma. Reconnection is invoked often to explain particle heating and acceleration in both laboratory and naturally occurring plasmas. However, a simultaneous account of reconnection and its associated energy conversion has been elusive due to the extreme inaccessibility of reconnection events, e.g. in the solar corona, the Earth's magnetosphere, or in fusion research plasmas. Experiments for this work were conducted on MRX (Magnetic Reconnection Experiment), which creates a plasma environment allowing the reconnection process to be isolated, reproduced, and diagnosed in detail. Key findings of this work are the identification of local ion heating during magnetic reconnection and the determination that non-classical effects must provide the heating mechanism. Measured ion flows are sub-Alfvenic and can provide only slight viscous heating, and classical ion-electron interactions can be neglected due to the very long energy equipartition time. The plasma resistivity in the reconnection layer is seen to be enhanced over the classical value, and the ion heating is observed to scale with the enhancement factor, suggesting a relationship between the magnetic energy dissipation mechanism and the ion heating mechanism. The observation of non-classical ion heating during reconnection has significant implications for understanding the role played by non-classical dissipation mechanisms in generating fast reconnection. The findings are relevant for many areas of space and laboratory plasma research, a prime example being the currently unsolved problem of solar coronal heating. In the process of performing this work, local measurements of ion temperature and flows in a well-characterized reconnection layer were obtained for the first time in either laboratory or observational

  7. Three-dimensional lattice Boltzmann model for magnetic reconnection

    SciTech Connect

    Mendoza, M.; Munoz, J. D.

    2008-02-15

    We develop a three-dimensional (3D) lattice Boltzmann model that recovers in the continuous limit the two-fluids theory for plasmas, and consequently includes the generalized Ohm's law. The model reproduces the magnetic reconnection process just by giving the right initial equilibrium conditions in the magnetotail, without any assumption on the resistivity in the diffusive region. In this model, the plasma is handled similar to two fluids with an interaction term, each one with distribution functions associated to a cubic lattice with 19 velocities (D3Q19). The electromagnetic fields are considered as a third fluid with an external force on a cubic lattice with 13 velocities (D3Q13). The model can simulate either viscous fluids in the incompressible limit or nonviscous compressible fluids, and successfully reproduces both the Hartmann flow and the magnetic reconnection in the magnetotail. The reconnection rate in the magnetotail obtained with this model lies between R=0.062 and R=0.073, in good agreement with the observations.

  8. Three-dimensional lattice Boltzmann model for magnetic reconnection.

    PubMed

    Mendoza, M; Muñoz, J D

    2008-02-01

    We develop a three-dimensional (3D) lattice Boltzmann model that recovers in the continuous limit the two-fluids theory for plasmas, and consequently includes the generalized Ohm's law. The model reproduces the magnetic reconnection process just by giving the right initial equilibrium conditions in the magnetotail, without any assumption on the resistivity in the diffusive region. In this model, the plasma is handled similar to two fluids with an interaction term, each one with distribution functions associated to a cubic lattice with 19 velocities (D3Q19). The electromagnetic fields are considered as a third fluid with an external force on a cubic lattice with 13 velocities (D3Q13). The model can simulate either viscous fluids in the incompressible limit or nonviscous compressible fluids, and successfully reproduces both the Hartmann flow and the magnetic reconnection in the magnetotail. The reconnection rate in the magnetotail obtained with this model lies between R=0.062 and R=0.073, in good agreement with the observations. PMID:18352154

  9. Notes on Magnetohydrodynamics of Magnetic Reconnection in Turbulent Media

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Browning, Philippa; Lazarian, Alex

    2013-10-01

    Astrophysical fluids have very large Reynolds numbers and therefore turbulence is their natural state. Magnetic reconnection is an important process in many astrophysical plasmas, which allows restructuring of magnetic fields and conversion of stored magnetic energy into heat and kinetic energy. Turbulence is known to dramatically change different transport processes and therefore it is not unexpected that turbulence can alter the dynamics of magnetic field lines within the reconnection process. We shall review the interaction between turbulence and reconnection at different scales, showing how a state of turbulent reconnection is natural in astrophysical plasmas, with implications for a range of phenomena across astrophysics. We consider the process of magnetic reconnection that is fast in magnetohydrodynamic (MHD) limit and discuss how turbulence—both externally driven and generated in the reconnecting system—can make reconnection independent on the microphysical properties of plasmas. We will also show how relaxation theory can be used to calculate the energy dissipated in turbulent reconnecting fields. As well as heating the plasma, the energy dissipated by turbulent reconnection may cause acceleration of non-thermal particles, which is briefly discussed here.

  10. Notes on Magnetohydrodynamics of Magnetic Reconnection in Turbulent Media

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Browning, Philippa; Lazarian, Alex

    Astrophysical fluids have very large Reynolds numbers and therefore turbulence is their natural state. Magnetic reconnection is an important process in many astrophysical plasmas, which allows restructuring of magnetic fields and conversion of stored magnetic energy into heat and kinetic energy. Turbulence is known to dramatically change different transport processes and therefore it is not unexpected that turbulence can alter the dynamics of magnetic field lines within the reconnection process. We shall review the interaction between turbulence and reconnection at different scales, showing how a state of turbulent reconnection is natural in astrophysical plasmas, with implications for a range of phenomena across astrophysics. We consider the process of magnetic reconnection that is fast in magnetohydrodynamic (MHD) limit and discuss how turbulence—both externally driven and generated in the reconnecting system—can make reconnection independent on the microphysical properties of plasmas. We will also show how relaxation theory can be used to calculate the energy dissipated in turbulent reconnecting fields. As well as heating the plasma, the energy dissipated by turbulent reconnection may cause acceleration of non-thermal particles, which is briefly discussed here.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2016-04-01

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

  12. Preliminary Results of Laboratory Simulation of Magnetic Reconnection

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Zhang, Shou-Biao; Xie, Jin-Lin; Hu, Guang-Hai; Li, Hong; Huang, Guang-Li; Liu, Wan-Dong

    2011-10-01

    In the Linear Magnetized Plasma (LMP) device of University of Science and Technology of China and by exerting parallel currents on two parallel copper plates, we have realized the magnetic reconnection in laboratory plasma. With the emissive probes, we have measured the parallel (along the axial direction) electric field in the process of reconnection, and verified the dependence of reconnection current on passing particles. Using the magnetic probe, we have measured the time evolution of magnetic flux, and the measured result shows no pileup of magnetic flux, in consistence with the result of numerical simulation.

  13. On the relationship between quadrupolar magnetic field and collisionless reconnection

    SciTech Connect

    Smets, R. Belmont, G.; Aunai, N.; Boniface, C.

    2014-06-15

    Using hybrid simulations, we investigate the onset of fast reconnection between two cylindrical magnetic shells initially close to each other. This initial state mimics the plasma structure in High Energy Density Plasmas induced by a laser-target interaction and the associated self-generated magnetic field. We clearly observe that the classical quadrupolar structure of the out-of-plane magnetic field appears prior to the reconnection onset. Furthermore, a parametric study reveals that, with a non-coplanar initial magnetic topology, the reconnection onset is delayed and possibly suppressed. The relation between the out-of-plane magnetic field and the out-of-plane electric field is discussed.

  14. Reconnection of vorticity lines and magnetic lines

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Greene, John M.

    1993-01-01

    Magnetic field and fluid vorticity share many features. First, as divergence-free vector fields they are conveniently visualized in terms of their field lines, curves that are everywhere tangent to the field. The lines indicate direction and their density indicates field strength. The question arises of the extent to which the evolution of the fields can be treated in terms of the evolution of their field lines. Newcomb (1958) derived the general conditions on the evolution of vector fields that permit the identification of field lines from one instant to the next. The equations of evolution of the vorticity field and the magnetic field fall within Newcomb's analysis. The dynamics of the flows differ between these two systems, so that geometrically similar phenomena happen in different ways in the two systems. In this paper the geometrical similarities are emphasized. Reconnection will be defined here as evolution in which it is not possible to preserve the global identification of some field lines. There is a close relation between reconnection and the topology of the vector field lines. Nontrivial topology occurs where the field has null points or there are field lines that are closed loops.

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-01-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2016-01-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2016-06-01

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

  18. High power heating of magnetic reconnection in merging tokamak experimentsa)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ono, Y.; Tanabe, H.; Yamada, T.; Gi, K.; Watanabe, T.; , T., Ii; Gryaznevich, M.; Scannell, R.; Conway, N.; Crowley, B.; Michael, C.

    2015-05-01

    Significant ion/electron heating of magnetic reconnection up to 1.2 keV was documented in two spherical tokamak plasma merging experiment on MAST with the significantly large Reynolds number R˜105. Measured 1D/2D contours of ion and electron temperatures reveal clearly energy-conversion mechanisms of magnetic reconnection: huge outflow heating of ions in the downstream and localized heating of electrons at the X-point. Ions are accelerated up to the order of poloidal Alfven speed in the reconnection outflow region and are thermalized by fast shock-like density pileups formed in the downstreams, in agreement with recent solar satellite observations and PIC simulation results. The magnetic reconnection efficiently converts the reconnecting (poloidal) magnetic energy mostly into ion thermal energy through the outflow, causing the reconnection heating energy proportional to square of the reconnecting (poloidal) magnetic field Brec2 ˜ Bp2. The guide toroidal field Bt does not affect the bulk heating of ions and electrons, probably because the reconnection/outflow speeds are determined mostly by the external driven inflow by the help of another fast reconnection mechanism: intermittent sheet ejection. The localized electron heating at the X-point increases sharply with the guide toroidal field Bt, probably because the toroidal field increases electron confinement and acceleration length along the X-line. 2D measurements of magnetic field and temperatures in the TS-3 tokamak merging experiment also reveal the detailed reconnection heating mechanisms mentioned above. The high-power heating of tokamak merging is useful not only for laboratory study of reconnection but also for economical startup and heating of tokamak plasmas. The MAST/TS-3 tokamak merging with Bp > 0.4 T will enables us to heat the plasma to the alpha heating regime: Ti > 5 keV without using any additional heating facility.

  19. Extended magnetic reconnection across the dayside magnetopause.

    PubMed

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

    2011-07-01

    The extent of where magnetic reconnection (MR), the dominant process responsible for energy and plasma transport into the magnetosphere, operates across Earth's dayside magnetopause has previously been only indirectly shown by observations. We report the first direct evidence of X-line structure resulting from the operation of MR at each of two widely separated locations along the tilted, subsolar line of maximum current on Earth's magnetopause, confirming the operation of MR at two or more sites across the extended region where MR is expected to occur. The evidence results from in-situ observations of the associated ion and electron plasma distributions, present within each magnetic X-line structure, taken by two spacecraft passing through the active MR regions simultaneously. PMID:21797615

  20. Extended Magnetic Reconnection Across the Dayside Magnetopause

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

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

    2011-01-01

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

  1. Magnetic reconnection in space and laboratory plasmas; Proceedings of the Chapman Conference on Magnetic Reconnection, Los Alamos, NM, October 3-7, 1983

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Hones, E. W., Jr. (Editor)

    1984-01-01

    The physics of magnetic reconnection is discussed in reviews and reports of theoretical and experimental investigations. Topics examined include the theory of magnetic reconnection, reconnection in astronomical objects, reconnection in the earth magnetosphere and magnetotail, computer modeling, and laboratory plasmas. Diagrams, spectra, drawings, graphs, and photographs are provided.

  2. 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.

  3. Bidirectional Outflows as Evidence of Magnetic Reconnection Leading to a Solar Microflare

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hong, Jie; Ding, M. D.; Li, Ying; Yang, Kai; Cheng, Xin; Chen, Feng; Fang, Cheng; Cao, Wenda

    2016-03-01

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

  4. Boosting magnetic reconnection by viscosity and thermal conduction

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Minoshima, Takashi; Miyoshi, Takahiro; Imada, Shinsuke

    2016-07-01

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

  5. Enhanced magnetic reconnection in the presence of pressure gradients

    SciTech Connect

    Pueschel, M. J.; Terry, P. W.; Told, D.; Jenko, F.

    2015-06-15

    Magnetic reconnection in the presence of background pressure gradients is studied, with special attention to parallel (compressional) magnetic fluctuations. A process is reported that reconnects fields through coupling of drift-wave-type instabilities with current sheets. Its time scale is set not by the reconnecting field but by inhomogeneities of the background density or temperature. The observed features can be attributed to a pressure-gradient-driven linear instability which interacts with the reconnecting system but is fundamentally different from microtearing. In particular, this mode relies on parallel magnetic fluctuations and the associated drift. For turbulent reconnection, similar or even stronger enhancements are reported. In the solar corona, this yields a critical pressure gradient scale length of about 200 km below which this new process becomes dominant over the tearing instability.

  6. The role of Magnetic Reconnection in flares and prominence eruptions

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Forbes, T. G.

    1990-01-01

    Magnetic Reconnection is often invoked as the primary mechanism for driving a flare or a prominence eruption. This paper argues that a catastrophic loss of mechanical equilibrium, rather than reconnection, is probably the primary mechanism for driving these phenomena. However, reconnection is still essential in order for any significant amount of energy to be released. To illustrate this idea, some recent results are presented from an MHD simulation based on a catastrophe mechanism first proposed by Van Tend and Kuperus. In order for this mechanism to be effective, a substantial amount of reconnection must occur within a few Alfven-scale times. Such rapid reconnection is plausible since the loss of mechanical equilibrium can generate flows which drive the reconnection at a rapid rate.

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-06-01

    Magnetic reconnection is a fundamental physical process in plasmas whereby stored magnetic energy is converted into heat and kinetic energy of charged particles. Reconnection occurs in many astrophysical plasma environments and in laboratory plasmas. Using measurements with very high time resolution, NASA's Magnetospheric Multiscale (MMS) mission has found direct evidence for electron demagnetization and acceleration at sites along the sunward boundary of Earth's magnetosphere where the interplanetary magnetic field reconnects with the terrestrial magnetic field. We have (i) observed the conversion of magnetic energy to particle energy; (ii) measured the electric field and current, which together cause the dissipation of magnetic energy; and (iii) identified the electron population that carries the current as a result of demagnetization and acceleration within the reconnection diffusion/dissipation region. PMID:27174677

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

    SciTech Connect

    Intrator, Thomas P; Sun, Xuan; Lapenta, Giovanni; Furno, Ivo

    2008-01-01

    In space, astrophysical and laboratory plasmas, magnetic reconnect ion converts magnetic into particle energy during unsteady, explosive events. The abrupt onset and cessation has been a long standing puzzle. We show the first three-dimensional (3D) laboratory example of onset and stagnation of Sweet-Parker type magnetic reconnection between magnetized and parallel current (flux) ropes driven by magnetohydrodynamic (MHD) attraction and 3D instability. Mutually attracting flux ropes advect and merge oppositely directed magnetic fields. Magnetic flux is annihilated, but reaches soon a threshold where magnetic flux and pressure pile up, and reconnection magnetic topology appears. This occurs when inflow speeds exceed the SweetParker speed v{sub SP} = v{sub A} / S{sup 1/2}, where v{sub A} is the Alfven speed and S is the Lundquist number for the reconnection layer, as magnetic flux arrives faster than flux annihilation can process it. Finally piled up fields generate MHD reaction forces that stall the inflow and the reconnection process.

  9. Studies of Magnetic Reconnection in Colliding Laser-Produced Plasmas

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Rosenberg, Michael

    2013-10-01

    Novel images of magnetic fields and measurements of electron and ion temperatures have been obtained in the magnetic reconnection region of high- β, laser-produced plasmas. Experiments using laser-irradiated foils produce expanding, hemispherical plasma plumes carrying MG Biermann-battery magnetic fields, which can be driven to interact and reconnect. Thomson-scattering measurements of electron and ion temperatures in the interaction region of two colliding, magnetized plasmas show no thermal enhancement due to reconnection, as expected for β ~ 8 plasmas. Two different proton radiography techniques used to image the magnetic field structures show deformation, pileup, and annihilation of magnetic flux. High-resolution images reveal unambiguously reconnection-induced jets emerging from the interaction region and show instabilities in the expanding plasma plumes and supersonic, hydrodynamic jets due to the plasma collision. Quantitative magnetic flux data show that reconnection in experiments with asymmetry in the scale size, density, temperature, and plasma flow across the reconnection region occurs less efficiently than in similar, symmetric experiments. This result is attributed to disruption of the Hall mechanism mediating collisionless reconnection. The collision of plasmas carrying parallel magnetic fields has also been probed, illustrating the deformation of magnetic field structures in high-energy-density plasmas in the absence of reconnection. These experiments are particularly relevant to high- β reconnection environments, such as the magnetopause. This work was performed in collaboration with C. Li, F. Séguin, A. Zylstra, H. Rinderknecht, H. Sio, J. Frenje, and R. Petrasso (MIT), I. Igumenshchev, V. Glebov, C. Stoeckl, and D. Froula (LLE), J. Ross and R. Town (LLNL), W. Fox (UNH), and A. Nikroo (GA), and was supported in part by the NLUF, FSC/UR, U.S. DOE, LLNL, and LLE.

  10. Preliminary Experimental Result of Magnetic Reconnection in Laboratory Plasma

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Zhang, S. B.; Xie, J. L.; Hu, G. H.; Li, H.; Huang, G. L.; Liu, W. D.

    2011-05-01

    Magnetic reconnection is one of the most important physical processes in astrophysical plasmas. Lots of theoretical works, numerical simulations and observations have been done. Some experimental programs have been activated to investigate the basic mechanisms of magnetic reconnection. In order to investigate the electron dynamic near the electron diffusion region in magnetic reconnection process, an upgrade is accomplished in the LMP (Linear magnetic plasmas) device at University of Science and Technology of China. The magnetic field of reconnection is produced by passing two identical currents axially through two copper plates. Magnetic field and parallel electric field are measured by magnetic probes and emissive probes, respectively. The existence of a large electric field related to the reconnection process is verified. The plasma is driven by electric field and magnetic field, so the magnetic reconnection appears. The magnitude of axial current is found to scale with the number of passing particles. In the configuration of current bars, passing particles are even more and our measured axial current is about 10 A. Magnetic flux doesn't pile up because of the parameter region in our case, which is consistent with the result of numerical simulation.

  11. Three-Dimensional Localized Magnetic Reconnection in Torus Plasma Merging Device TS-4

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ii, Toru; Hayashi, Yoshinori; Inomoto, Michiaki; Ono, Yasushi

    Three-dimensional (3-D) localized magnetic reconnection was studied experimentally using torus plasma merging device TS-4. The direct measurements of 3-D structures of current sheet revealed two unsteady and fast reconnection mechanisms: 3-D deformation of current sheet and mass ejection. When strong compression force IAcc∼60kA was applied to two plasma toroids with low guide field Bt/B¦¦∼1, toroidal modes n=1-3 of current sheet were observed to grow only during their reconnection and to disappear after the reconnection. This 3-D deformation promoted mass ejection from the current sheet, increasing the reconnection rate as well as reconnection (toroidal) electric field and outflow. On the other hand, the reconnection rate was maintained low under the high guide field Bt/B¦¦∼7 and weak compression IAcc∼0kA. These phenomena suggest that local compression of current sheet triggers its strong dissipation as well as plasma mass ejection, which are responsible for the onset of 3-D localized reconnection.

  12. A hybrid simulation study of magnetic reconnection in anisotropic plasmas

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Guo, Jun; Li, Yi; Lu, Quan-ming; Wang, Shui

    2003-10-01

    The process of magnetic reconnection in anisotropic plasmas is studied numerically using a 2-dimensional, 3-component hybrid simulation. The results of the calculation show that, when the plasma pressure in the direction perpendicular to magnetic field is larger than that in the parallel direction (e.g. P ⊥/P ‖ = 1.5 ), instability may greatly increase, speeding up the rate of reconnection. When P⊥ is smaller than P‖, (e.g., when P ⊥/P ‖ = 0.6 ), fire hose instability appears, which will restrain the tearing mode instability and the process of magnetic reconnection.

  13. Measurements of Fast Magnetic Reconnection Driven by Relativistic Electrons

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Raymond, Anthony; McKelvey, Andrew; Zulick, Calvin; Chuanfei, Dong; Maksimchuk, Anatoly; Thomas, Alexander; Yanovsky, Victor; Krushelnick, Karl; Willingale, Louise; Chykov, Vladimir; Nilson, Phil; Chen, Hui; Williams, Gerald; Bhattacharjee, Amitava; Fox, Will

    2015-11-01

    Magnetic reconnection is a process whereby opposing magnetic field lines are forced together and topologically rearrange, resulting in lower magnetic potential energy and in corresponding plasma heating. Such occurrences are ubiquitous in astrophysics as well as appearing in laboratory plasmas such as in ICF in the form of instabilities. We report measurements in the domain of ultra-fast, ultra-intense lasers, in which the mechanism responsible follows from radially expanding surface electrons with v ~ c . Results are compared from two laser facilities (HERCULES and Omega EP), both of which produced two relativistic intensity pulses focused within close proximity onto copper foils. A spherical X-ray crystal was used to image the Kα radiation induced by electron currents, revealing the midplane diffusion region wherein electrons are accelerated into the target by the electric field generated during reconnection. The characteristics of this signal are studied as a function of the focal spot separation, laser energy, and pulse duration. The results are then compared to 3D PIC simulations.

  14. Instabilities and Magnetic Reconnection near the Heliopause

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Pogorelov, N. V.; Kryukov, I.; Borovikov, S.; Heerikhuisen, J.

    2014-12-01

    Recent observations from the Voyager 1 spacecraft show that it is sampling the local interstellar medium (LISM). This is quite surprising because standard steady-state and time-dependent models of the solar wind (SW) interaction with the LISM cannot give the heliopause position at about 120 AU without unrealistic assumptions about the LISM properties. This includes such models that assume a strong redistribution of the ion energy to the tails in the pickup ion distribution function. We investigate the heliopause (HP) stability with increased spatial resolution to reveal the details of the coupling between the heliospheric and interstellar magnetic fields (HMF and ISMF) at the heliospheric interface. In particular, this resolution makes it possible to perform a detailed comparison with Voyager observations. We also analyze magnetic field simulation results to identify the areas of possible magnetic reconnection between the HMF and ISMF lines. The Rayleigh-Taylor instability is considerably suppressed near the HP nose by the heliospheric magnetic field in steady-state models, but reveals itself in the presence of solar cycle effects. We argue that Voyager 1 may have penetrated into the LISM through such instability region. We also compare numerical simulations with the LISM properties taken from either Ulysses or IBEX observations.

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

    PubMed

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

    2009-05-01

    Solar wind energy transfer to planetary magnetospheres and ionospheres is controlled by magnetic reconnection, a process that determines the degree of connectivity between the interplanetary magnetic field (IMF) and a planet's magnetic field. During MESSENGER's second flyby of Mercury, a steady southward IMF was observed and the magnetopause was threaded by a strong magnetic field, indicating a reconnection rate ~10 times that typical at Earth. Moreover, a large flux transfer event was observed in the magnetosheath, and a plasmoid and multiple traveling compression regions were observed in Mercury's magnetotail, all products of reconnection. These observations indicate that Mercury's magnetosphere is much more responsive to IMF direction and dominated by the effects of reconnection than that of Earth or the other magnetized planets. PMID:19407194

  16. Small-Scale Magnetic Reconnection at Equatorial Coronal Hole Boundaries

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lamb, Derek; DeForest, C. E.

    2011-05-01

    Coronal holes have long been known to be the source of the fast solar wind at both high and low latitudes. The equatorial extensions of polar coronal holes have long been assumed to have substantial magnetic reconnection at their boundaries, because they rotate more rigidly than the underlying photosphere. However, evidence for this reconnection has been sparse until very recently. We present some evidence that reconnection due to the evolution of small-scale magnetic fields may be sufficient to drive coronal hole boundary evolution. We hypothesize that a bias in the direction of that reconnection is sufficient to give equatorial coronal holes their rigid rotation. We discuss the prospects for investigating this using FLUX, a reconnection-controlled coronal MHD simulation framework. This work was funded by the NASA SHP-GI program.

  17. Cross-Scale Observational Signatures of Magnetic Reconnection

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Savage, Sabrina; Malaspina, David

    2014-01-01

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

  18. Review of recent experiments on magnetic reconnection in laboratory plasmas

    SciTech Connect

    Yamada, M.

    1995-02-01

    The present paper reviews recent laboratory experiments on magnetic reconnection. Examples will be drawn from electron current sheet experiments, merging spheromaks, and from high temperature tokamak plasmas with the Lundquist numbers exceeding 10{sup 7}. These recent laboratory experiments create an environment which satisfies the criteria for MHD plasma and in which the global boundary conditions can be controlled externally. Experiments with fully three dimensional reconnection are now possible. In the most recent TFTR tokamak discharges, Motional Stark effect (MSE) data have verified the existence of a partial reconnection. In the experiment of spheromak merging, a new plasma acceleration parallel to the neutral line has been indicated. Together with the relationship of these observations to the analysis of magnetic reconnection in space and in solar flares, important physics issues such as global boundary conditions, local plasma parameters, merging angle of the field lines, and the 3-D aspects of the reconnection are discussed.

  19. Fast magnetic reconnection in three-dimensional magnetohydrodynamics simulations

    SciTech Connect

    Pang Bijia; Pen, U.-L.; Vishniac, Ethan T.

    2010-10-15

    A constructive numerical example of fast magnetic reconnection in a three-dimensional periodic box is presented. Reconnection is initiated by a strong, localized perturbation to the field lines. The solution is intrinsically three-dimensional and its gross properties do not depend on the details of the simulations. {approx}30% of the magnetic energy is released in an event which lasts about one Alfven time, but only after a delay during which the field lines evolve into a critical configuration. The physical picture of the process is presented. The reconnection regions are dynamical and mutually interacting. In the comoving frame of these regions, reconnection occurs through a x-like point, analogous to Petschek reconnection. The dynamics appear to be driven by global flows, not local processes.

  20. Reconstruction of the Asymmetric Magnetic Reconnection Region at the Magnetopause

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Guo, R.; Pu, Z.; Xie, L.; Fu, S.

    2015-12-01

    Magnetic reconnection at the magnetopause is a key process coupling the earth's magnetosphere with interplanetary space. Multiple spacecraft measurement makes it possible to study observationally the structure of the reconnection region. In this paper we improve the fitting-reconstructing method developed by He et al. [2008] and use it to investigate the asymmetric reconnection event observed by Cluster on Apr. 06, 2004. The reconnection site was encountered when the constellation traversed the dayside magnetopause at z~5.3Re, with spacecraft separations less than 400km. The reconstructing results clearly revealed the asymmetric geometry of the reconnection region. The orientation of the X-line, which was reproduced as the separator linking a pair of magnetic null points, was shown to be ~60° away from the M-direction in the local LMN coordinate. Bipolar and unipolar Hall fields were both seen by different spacecraft, implying that the reconnection regime was 3D in nature, and the difference in Hall fields could be related to the existence of two null points which restricted the length of the separator. In addition, electromagnetic lower hybrid waves are found to be enhanced on the magnetospheric side of the reconnection region. The reconstructing results are helpful for providing a 3D picture of the asymmetric reconnection region, and the improved reconstructing method can be applied to analyze the data from MMS which is deployed with small separations of satellites.

  1. Sub-grid-scale description of turbulent magnetic reconnection in magnetohydrodynamics

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Widmer, F.; Büchner, J.; Yokoi, N.

    2016-04-01

    Magnetic reconnection requires, at least locally, a non-ideal plasma response. In collisionless space and astrophysical plasmas, turbulence could transport energy from large to small scales where binary particle collisions are rare. We have investigated the influence of small scale magnetohydrodynamics (MHD) turbulence on the reconnection rate in the framework of a compressible MHD approach including sub-grid-scale (SGS) turbulence. For this sake, we considered Harris-type and force-free current sheets with finite guide magnetic fields directed out of the reconnection plane. The goal is to find out whether unresolved by conventional simulations MHD turbulence can enhance the reconnection process in high-Reynolds-number astrophysical plasmas. Together with the MHD equations, we solve evolution equations for the SGS energy and cross-helicity due to turbulence according to a Reynolds-averaged turbulence model. The SGS turbulence is self-generated and -sustained through the inhomogeneities of the mean fields. By this way, the feedback of the unresolved turbulence into the MHD reconnection process is taken into account. It is shown that the turbulence controls the regimes of reconnection by its characteristic timescale τt. The dependence on resistivity was investigated for large-Reynolds-number plasmas for Harris-type as well as force-free current sheets with guide field. We found that magnetic reconnection depends on the relation between the molecular and apparent effective turbulent resistivity. We found that the turbulence timescale τt decides whether fast reconnection takes place or whether the stored energy is just diffused away to small scale turbulence. If the amount of energy transferred from large to small scales is enhanced, fast reconnection can take place. Energy spectra allowed us to characterize the different regimes of reconnection. It was found that reconnection is even faster for larger Reynolds numbers controlled by the molecular resistivity η, as

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

    SciTech Connect

    Yeates, A. R.; Hornig, G.

    2011-10-15

    The definition and measurement of magnetic reconnection in three-dimensional magnetic fields with multiple reconnection sites is a challenging problem, particularly in fields lacking null points. We propose a generalization of the familiar two-dimensional concept of a magnetic flux function to the case of a three-dimensional field connecting two planar boundaries. In this initial analysis, we require the normal magnetic field to have the same distribution on both boundaries. Using hyperbolic fixed points of the field line mapping, and their global stable and unstable manifolds, we define a unique flux partition of the magnetic field. This partition is more complicated than the corresponding (well-known) construction in a two-dimensional field, owing to the possibility of heteroclinic points and chaotic magnetic regions. Nevertheless, we show how the partition reconnection rate is readily measured with the generalized flux function. We relate our partition reconnection rate to the common definition of three-dimensional reconnection in terms of integrated parallel electric field. An analytical example demonstrates the theory and shows how the flux partition responds to an isolated reconnection event.

  3. Study of driven magnetic reconnection in a laboratory plasma

    SciTech Connect

    Yamada, Masaaki; Ji, H.; Hsu, S.; Carter, T.; Kulsrud, R.; Bretz, N.; Jobes, F.; Ono, Yasushi; Perkins, F.

    1998-12-31

    The Magnetic Reconnection Experiment (MRX) has been constructed to investigate the fundamental physics of magnetic reconnection in a well controlled laboratory setting. This device creates an environment satisfying the criteria for a magnetohydrodynamic (MHD) plasma (S {much_gt} 1, {rho}{sub i} {much_lt} L). The boundary conditions can be controlled externally, and experiments with fully three-dimensional reconnection are now possible. In the initial experiments, the effects of the third vector component of reconnecting fields have been studied. Two distinctively different shapes of neutral sheet current layers, depending on the third component, are identified during driven magnetic reconnection. Without the third component (anti-parallel or null-helicity reconnection), a thin double-Y shaped diffusion region is identified. A neutral sheet current profile is measured accurately to be as narrow as order ion gyro-radius. In the presence of an appreciable third component (co-helicity reconnection), an O-shaped diffusion region appears and grows into a spheromak configuration.

  4. A Rosetta Stone for in situ Observations of Magnetic Reconnection

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Scudder, J. D.; Daughton, W. S.; Karimabadi, H.; Roytershteyn, V.

    2015-12-01

    Local conditions that constrain the physics of magnetic reconnection in space in 3D will be discussed, including those observable conditions presently used and new ones that enhance experimental closure. Three classes of tests will be discussed: i) proxies for unmeasurable theoretical properties II) observable properties satisfied by all layers that pass mass flux, including those of the reconnection layer, and (iii) observable kinetic tests that are increasingly peculiar to collisionless magnetic reconnection. A Rosetta Stone of state of the art observables will be proposed, including proxies for unmeasurable theoretical local rate of frozen flux violation and measures of the significance of frozen flux encountered. A suite of kinetic observables involving properties peculiar to electrons will also be demonstrated as promising litmus tests for certifying sites of collisionless magnetic reconnection.

  5. Fast collisionless reconnection and electron heating in strongly magnetized plasmas.

    PubMed

    Loureiro, N F; Schekochihin, A A; Zocco, A

    2013-07-12

    Magnetic reconnection in strongly magnetized (low-beta), weakly collisional plasmas is investigated by using a novel fluid-kinetic model [Zocco and Schekochihin, Phys. Plasmas 18, 102309 (2011)] which retains nonisothermal electron kinetics. It is shown that electron heating via Landau damping (linear phase mixing) is the dominant dissipation mechanism. In time, electron heating occurs after the peak of the reconnection rate; in space, it is concentrated along the separatrices of the magnetic island. For sufficiently large systems, the peak reconnection rate is cE(∥)(max) ≈ 0.2v(A)B(y,0), where v(A) is the Alfvén speed based on the reconnecting field B(y,0). The island saturation width is the same as in magnetohydrodynamics models except for small systems, when it becomes comparable to the kinetic scales. PMID:23889411

  6. Properties of GRB light curves from magnetic reconnection

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Beniamini, Paz; Granot, Jonathan

    2016-07-01

    The energy dissipation mechanism within gamma-ray burst (GRB) outflows, driving their extremely luminous prompt γ-ray emission is still uncertain. The leading candidates are internal shocks and magnetic reconnection. While the emission from internal shocks has been extensively studied, that from reconnection still has few quantitative predictions. We study the expected prompt-GRB emission from magnetic reconnection and compare its temporal and spectral properties to observations. The main difference from internal shocks is that for reconnection one expects relativistic bulk motions with Lorentz factors Γ'≳ a few in the jet's bulk frame. We consider such motions of the emitting material in two antiparallel directions (e.g. of the reconnecting magnetic-field lines) within an ultrarelativistic (with Γ ≫ 1) thin spherical reconnection layer. The emission's relativistic beaming in the jet's frame greatly affects the light curves. For emission at radii R0 < R < R0 + ΔR (with Γ = const), the observed pulse width is ΔT ˜ (R0/2cΓ2) max (1/Γ', ΔR/R0), i.e. up to ˜Γ' times shorter than for isotropic emission in the jet's frame. We consider two possible magnetic reconnection modes: a quasi-steady state with continuous plasma flow into and out of the reconnection layer, and sporadic reconnection in relativistic turbulence that produces relativistic plasmoids. Both of these modes can account for many observed prompt-GRB properties: variability, pulse asymmetry, the very rapid declines at their end and pulse evolutions that are either hard to soft (for Γ' ≲ 2) or intensity tracking (for Γ' > 2). However, the relativistic turbulence mode is more likely to be relevant for the prompt sub-MeV emission and can naturally account also for the peak luminosity - peak frequency correlation.

  7. Experimental Investigation of the Trigger Problem in Magnetic Reconnection

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Egedal, Jan

    2012-07-01

    Magnetic reconnection releases magnetic energy not only in steady-state, but also in time-dependent and often explosive events requiring a transition from slow reconnection to fast. The question of what causes this transition is known as the ``trigger problem'' and is not well understood. We address the trigger problem using the Versatile Toroidal Facility (VTF) at MIT. We observe spontaneous reconnection events [1] with exponentially growing reconnection rates, and we characterize the 3D dynamics of these events using multiple internal probes. The observed reconnection is asymmetric: it begins at one toroidal location and propagates around in both directions. The spontaneous onset is facilitated by an interaction between the x-line current channel and a global mode in the electrostatic potential. It is this mode which breaks axisymmetry and enables a localized decrease in x-line current. We model the onset using an empirical Ohm's law and current continuity, which is maintained by ion polarization currents associated with the mode. The model reproduces the exponential growth of the reconnection electric field, and the model growth rate agrees well with the experimentally measured growth rate. The onset location is likely determined by small asymmetries in the in-vessel coils. To further investigate this conjecture new coils have been installed, which allow for controlled changes in toroidal asymmetry. The observations are suggestive of solar flare dynamics and are relevant to tokamak research [3]. [1] Egedal, J. et al. Laboratory Observations of Spontaneous Magnetic Reconnection. Phys. Rev. Lett. 98, 015003 (2007). [2] Katz, N. et al. Laboratory Observation of Localized Onset of Magnetic Reconnection. Phys. Rev. Lett. 104, 255004 (2010). [3] Park, H.K. et al. Self-organized Te redistribution during driven reconnection processes in high-temperature plasmas. Phys. Plasmas 13, 055907 (2006).

  8. The Role of Magnetic Reconnection in Solar Activity

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Antiochos, Spiro; DeVore, C. R.

    2008-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2014-01-01

    Magnetic reconnection, in which magnetic field lines break and reconnect to change their topology, occurs throughout the universe. The essential feature of reconnection is that it energizes plasma particles by converting magnetic energy. Despite the long history of reconnection research, how this energy conversion occurs remains a major unresolved problem in plasma physics. Here we report that the energy conversion in a laboratory reconnection layer occurs in a much larger region than previously considered. The mechanisms for energizing plasma particles in the reconnection layer are identified, and a quantitative inventory of the converted energy is presented for the first time in a well-defined reconnection layer; 50% of the magnetic energy is converted to particle energy, 2/3 of which transferred to ions and 1/3 to electrons. Our results are compared with simulations and space measurements, for a key step towards resolving one of the most important problems in plasma physics. PMID:25205135

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

    SciTech Connect

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

    2014-09-10

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

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

    DOE PAGESBeta

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

    2014-09-10

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

  12. A new magnetic reconnection paradigm: Stochastic plasmoid chains

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Loureiro, Nuno

    2015-11-01

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

  13. Magnetic reconnection in turbulence: from Cluster to MMS and beyond

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Retino, Alessandro; Sundkvist, David; Matthaeus, William; Vaivads, Andris; Califano, Francesco; Khotyaintsev, Yuri; LeContel, Olivier; Sorriso-valvo, Luca; Chasapis, Alexandros; Lavraud, Benoit; Valentini, Francesco; Servidio, Sergio; Rossi, Claudia; Camporeale, Enrico

    2016-07-01

    Magnetic reconnection is a universal energy dissipation mechanism occurring in space and astrophysical magnetized plasmas. Such plasmas are frequently in a turbulent state, raising the fundamental question of the role reconnection for energy dissipation in turbulence. Understanding reconnection in turbulence is of pivotal importance to explain phenomena such as particle acceleration in stellar atmospheres, the heating of interplanetary and interstellar media as well as particle energization in accretion disks and cosmic rays acceleration. Many numerical simulations support the role of reconnection for efficiently dissipate turbulent energy and heat and accelerated particles. Such simulations indicate that reconnection occurs in small-scale current sheets spontaneously forming within the turbulence. Yet experimental evidence of reconnection in turbulence has been provided only recently thanks to high resolution in situ measurements by modern spacecraft. Here we present ESA/Cluster and more recent NASA/MMS observations in near-Earth space showing evidence of reconnection in turbulence and its importance for energy dissipation and particle energization. We also discuss implications for upcoming spacecraft missions such as Solar Orbiter and Solar Probe Plus, as well as for missions currently under study pahse such as ESA/THOR.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2015-11-01

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

  15. Kinetic Vlasov simulations of collisionless magnetic reconnection

    SciTech Connect

    Schmitz, H.; Grauer, R.

    2006-09-15

    A fully kinetic Vlasov simulation of the Geospace Environment Modeling Magnetic Reconnection Challenge is presented. Good agreement is found with previous kinetic simulations using particle in cell (PIC) codes, confirming both the PIC and the Vlasov code. In the latter the complete distribution functions f{sub k} (k=i,e) are discretized on a numerical grid in phase space. In contrast to PIC simulations, the Vlasov code does not suffer from numerical noise and allows a more detailed investigation of the distribution functions. The role of the different contributions of Ohm's law are compared by calculating each of the terms from the moments of the f{sub k}. The important role of the off-diagonal elements of the electron pressure tensor could be confirmed. The inductive electric field at the X line is found to be dominated by the nongyrotropic electron pressure, while the bulk electron inertia is of minor importance. Detailed analysis of the electron distribution function within the diffusion region reveals the kinetic origin of the nongyrotropic terms.

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

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

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

    2012-01-01

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

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

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

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

    2012-01-01

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

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

    SciTech Connect

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

    2011-05-13

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

  19. ONSET OF FAST MAGNETIC RECONNECTION IN PARTIALLY IONIZED GASES

    SciTech Connect

    Malyshkin, Leonid M.; Zweibel, Ellen G. E-mail: zweibel@astro.wisc.edu

    2011-10-01

    We consider quasi-stationary two-dimensional magnetic reconnection in a partially ionized incompressible plasma. We find that when the plasma is weakly ionized and the collisions between the ions and the neutral particles are significant, the transition to fast collisionless reconnection due to the Hall effect in the generalized Ohm's law is expected to occur at much lower values of the Lundquist number, as compared to a fully ionized plasma case. We estimate that these conditions for fast reconnection are satisfied in molecular clouds and in protostellar disks.

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

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

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

    2012-01-01

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

  1. High power heating of magnetic reconnection in merging tokamak experiments

    SciTech Connect

    Ono, Y.; Tanabe, H.; Gi, K.; Watanabe, T.; Ii, T.; Yamada, T.; Gryaznevich, M.; Scannell, R.; Conway, N.; Crowley, B.; Michael, C.

    2015-05-15

    Significant ion/electron heating of magnetic reconnection up to 1.2 keV was documented in two spherical tokamak plasma merging experiment on MAST with the significantly large Reynolds number R∼10{sup 5}. Measured 1D/2D contours of ion and electron temperatures reveal clearly energy-conversion mechanisms of magnetic reconnection: huge outflow heating of ions in the downstream and localized heating of electrons at the X-point. Ions are accelerated up to the order of poloidal Alfven speed in the reconnection outflow region and are thermalized by fast shock-like density pileups formed in the downstreams, in agreement with recent solar satellite observations and PIC simulation results. The magnetic reconnection efficiently converts the reconnecting (poloidal) magnetic energy mostly into ion thermal energy through the outflow, causing the reconnection heating energy proportional to square of the reconnecting (poloidal) magnetic field B{sub rec}{sup 2}  ∼  B{sub p}{sup 2}. The guide toroidal field B{sub t} does not affect the bulk heating of ions and electrons, probably because the reconnection/outflow speeds are determined mostly by the external driven inflow by the help of another fast reconnection mechanism: intermittent sheet ejection. The localized electron heating at the X-point increases sharply with the guide toroidal field B{sub t}, probably because the toroidal field increases electron confinement and acceleration length along the X-line. 2D measurements of magnetic field and temperatures in the TS-3 tokamak merging experiment also reveal the detailed reconnection heating mechanisms mentioned above. The high-power heating of tokamak merging is useful not only for laboratory study of reconnection but also for economical startup and heating of tokamak plasmas. The MAST/TS-3 tokamak merging with B{sub p} > 0.4 T will enables us to heat the plasma to the alpha heating regime: T{sub i} > 5 keV without using any additional heating facility.

  2. Comments on Magnetic Reconnection Models of Canceling Magnetic Features on the Sun

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Litvinenko, Yuri E.

    2015-06-01

    Data analysis and theoretical arguments support magnetic reconnection in a chromospheric current sheet as the mechanism of the observed photospheric magnetic flux cancellation on the Sun. Flux pile-up reconnection in a Sweet-Parker current sheet can explain the observed properties of canceling mag-netic features, including the speeds of canceling magnetic fragments, the magnetic uxes in the fragments, and the flux cancellation rates, inferred from the data. It is discussed how more realistic chromospheric reconnection models can be developed by relaxing the assumptions of a negligible current sheet curvature and a constant height of the reconnection site above the photosphere.

  3. Three-Dimensional Magnetic Field Line Reconnection involving Magnetic Flux Ropes (Invited)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Gekelman, W. N.; van Compernolle, B.; Lawrence, E.; Vincena, S. T.

    2010-12-01

    We report on two experiments in which three dimensional magnetic field line reconnection plays a role. Magnetic field line reconnection is a processes in which the magnetic field energy is converted to particle energy and heating accompanied by changes in the magnetic topology. In the first experiment two magnetic flux ropes are generated from initially adjacent pulsed current channels in a background magnetoplasma in the LAPD device at UCLA. The currents exert mutual jXB forces causing them to twist about each other and merge. The currents are not static but move towards or away from each other in time. In addition the currents are observed to filament after merging. Volumetric space-time data show multiple reconnection sites with time-dependent locations. The quasi-separatrix layer (QSL) is a narrow region between the flux ropes. Two field lines on either side of the QSL will have closely spaced foot-points at on end of the flux ropes, but a very different separation at the other end. Outside the QSL, neighboring field lines do not diverge. The QSL has been measured, for the first time in this experiment [1] and its three dimensional development will be shown in movies made from the data. A system involving the reconnection of three flux ropes will also be presented. Three flux ropes are generated by drawing currents through apertures in a carbon shield located in front of a 10 cm diameter cathode immersed in the background magnetoplasma. The currents are observed to twist about themselves, writhe about each other and thrash about due to kink the kink instability. Multiple reconnection regions (which are three dimensional) and a complex QSL are observed. The magnetic helicity is evaluated from volumetric data in both cases and its rate of change is used to estimate the plasma resistivity. These measurements lead one to suspect that magnetic field line reconnection is not an independent topic, which can be studied in isolation, but part of the phenomena associated

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Yamada, Masaaki

    2014-10-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Komar, C. M.; Cassak, P. A.

    2016-06-01

    We present an analysis of local properties of magnetic reconnection at the dayside magnetopause for various interplanetary magnetic field (IMF) orientations in global magnetospheric simulations. This has heretofore not been practical because it is difficult to locate where reconnection occurs for oblique IMF, but new techniques make this possible. The approach is to identify magnetic separators, the curves separating four regions of differing magnetic topology, which map the reconnection X line. The electric field parallel to the X line is the local reconnection rate. We compare results to a simple model of local two-dimensional asymmetric reconnection. To do so, we find the plasma parameters that locally drive reconnection in the magnetosheath and magnetosphere in planes perpendicular to the X line at a large number of points along the X line. The global magnetohydrodynamic simulations are from the three-dimensional Block-Adaptive, Tree Solarwind Roe-type Upwind Scheme (BATS-R-US) code with a uniform resistivity, although the techniques described here are extensible to any global magnetospheric simulation model. We find that the predicted local reconnection rates scale well with the measured values for all simulations, being nearly exact for due southward IMF. However, the absolute predictions differ by an undetermined constant of proportionality, whose magnitude increases as the IMF clock angle changes from southward to northward. We also show similar scaling agreement in a simulation with oblique southward IMF and a dipole tilt. The present results will be an important component of a full understanding of the local and global properties of dayside reconnection.

  6. Critical Differences of Asymmetric Magnetic Reconnection from Standard Models

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2016-09-01

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

  7. 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.

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

    SciTech Connect

    Porkolab, Miklos; Egedal-Pedersen, Jan; Fox, William

    2010-08-31

    CMPD Final Report Experimental Study of Current-Driven Turbulence During Magnetic Reconnection Miklos Porkolab, PI, Jan Egedal, co-PI, William Fox, graduate student. This is the final report for Grant DE-FC02-04ER54786, MIT Participation in the Center for Multiscale Plasma Dynamics, which was active from 8/1/2004 to 7/31/2010. This Grant supported the thesis work of one MIT graduate student, William Fox, The thesis research consisted of an experimental study of the fluctuations arising during magnetic reconnection in plasmas on the Versatile Toroidal Facility (VTF) at MIT Plasma Science and Fusion Center (PSFC). The thesis was submitted and accepted by the MIT physics Department,. Fox, Experimental Study of Current-Driven Turbulence During Magnetic Reconnection, Ph.D. Thesis, MIT (2009). In the VTF experiment reconnection and current-sheet formation is driven by quickly changing currents in a specially arranged set of internal conductors. Previous work on this device [Egedal, et al, PRL 98, 015003, (2007)] identified a spontaneous reconnection regime. In this work fluctuations were studied using impedance-matched, high-bandwidth Langmuir probes. Strong, broadband fluctuations, with frequencies extending from near the lower-hybrid frequency [fLH = (fcefci)1/2] to the electron cyclotron frequency fce were found to arise during the reconnection events. Based on frequency and wavelength measurements, lower-hybrid waves and Trivelpiece-Gould waves were identified. The lower-hybrid waves are easiest to drive with strong perpendicular drifts or gradients which arise due to the reconnection events; an appealing possibility is strong temperature gradients. The Trivelpiece-Gould modes can result from kinetic, bump-on-tail instability of a runaway electron population energized by the reconnection events. We also observed that the turbulence is often spiky, consisting of discrete positive-potential spikes, which were identified as electron phase-space holes, a class of

  9. Magnetic reconnection in the near-Mars magnetotail: MAVEN observations

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Harada, Y.; Halekas, J. S.; McFadden, J. P.; Mitchell, D. L.; Mazelle, C.; Connerney, J. E. P.; Espley, J.; Larson, D. E.; Brain, D. A.; Andersson, L.; DiBraccio, G. A.; Collinson, G. A.; Livi, R.; Hara, T.; Ruhunusiri, S.; Jakosky, B. M.

    2015-11-01

    We report Mars Atmosphere and Volatile EvolutioN (MAVEN) observations of electrons, ions, and magnetic fields which provide comprehensive demonstration of magnetic reconnection signatures in the Martian magnetotail. In the near-Mars tail current sheet at XMSO˜-1.3RM, trapped electrons with two-sided loss cones were observed, indicating the closed magnetic field topology. In the closed field region, MAVEN observed Hall magnetic field signatures and Marsward bulk flows of H+, O+, and O2+ ions, which suggest the presence of X lines tailward from the spacecraft. Velocity distribution functions of the reconnection outflow ions exhibit counterstreaming beams separated along the current sheet normal, and their bulk velocities in the outflow direction inversely depend on ion mass. These characteristics are in qualitative agreement with previous multispecies kinetic simulations. The near-Mars magnetotail provides a unique environment for studying multi-ion reconnection.

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

    SciTech Connect

    Wendel, D. E.; Olson, D. K.; Hesse, M.; Kuznetsova, M.; Adrian, M. L.; Aunai, N.; Karimabadi, H.; Daughton, W.

    2013-12-15

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wendel, D. E.; Olson, D. K.; Hesse, M.; Aunai, N.; Kuznetsova, M.; Karimabadi, H.; Daughton, W.; Adrian, M. L.

    2013-12-01

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

  12. Orientation of the X-line in asymmetric magnetic reconnection

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Aunai, N.; Hesse, M.; Lavraud, B.; Dargent, J.; Smets, R.

    2016-08-01

    > Magnetic reconnection can occur in current sheets separating magnetic fields sheared by any angle and of arbitrarily different amplitudes. In such asymmetric and non-coplanar systems, it is not yet understood what the orientation of the X-line will be. Studying how this orientation is determined locally by the reconnection process is important to understand systems such as the Earth magnetopause, where reconnection occurs in regions with large differences in upstream plasma and field properties. This study aims at determining what the local X-line orientation is for different upstream magnetic shear angles in an asymmetric set-up relevant to the Earth's magnetopause. We use two-dimensional hybrid simulations and vary the simulation plane orientation with regard to the fixed magnetic field profile and search for the plane maximizing the reconnection rate. We find that the plane defined by the bisector of upstream fields maximizes the reconnection rate and this appears not to depend on the magnetic shear angle, domain size or upstream plasma and asymmetries.

  13. Understanding the dynamics and energetics of magnetic reconnection in a laboratory plasma: Review of recent progress on selected fronts

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Yamada, Masaaki; Yoo, Jongsoo; Myers, Clayton E.

    2016-05-01

    eruptions, including "storage and release" mechanisms of magnetic energy. We show that toroidal magnetic flux generated by magnetic relaxation (reconnection) processes generates a new stabilizing force which prevents plasma eruption. This result has led us to discover a new stabilizing force for solar flares [Myers et al., Nature 528, 526 (2015)].

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

    SciTech Connect

    Bhattacharjee, Amitava

    2012-02-16

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

  15. Cold ion heating at the dayside magnetopause during magnetic reconnection

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Toledo-Redondo, S.; André, M.; Vaivads, A.; Khotyaintsev, Yu. V.; Lavraud, B.; Graham, D. B.; Divin, A.; Aunai, N.

    2016-01-01

    Cold ions of ionospheric origin are known to be present in the magnetospheric side of the Earth's magnetopause. They can be very abundant, with densities up to 100 cm-3. These cold ions can mass load the magnetosphere, changing global parameters of magnetic reconnection, like the Alfvén speed or the reconnection rate. In addition they introduce a new length scale related to their gyroradius and kinetic effects which must be accounted for. We report in situ observations of cold ion heating in the separatrix owing to time and space fluctuations of the electric field. When this occurs, the cold ions are preheated before crossing the Hall electric field barrier. However, when this mechanism is not present cold ions can be observed well inside the reconnection exhaust. Our observations suggest that the perpendicular cold ion heating is stronger close to the X line owing to waves and electric field gradients linked to the reconnection process.

  16. Full Two-Fluid Collisionless Magnetic Reconnection Simulations

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Gomez, D. O.; Andres, N.; Dmitruk, P.

    2015-12-01

    Magnetic reconnection is an important energy conversion process in space environments such as the solar corona or planetary magnetospheres. At the theoretical level of resistive one-fluid MHD, the Sweet-Parker model leads to extremely low reconnection rates for virtually all space physics applications. Kinetic plasma effects introduce new spatial and temporal scales into the theoretical description, which are expected to increase the reconnection rates. Within the theoretical framework of two-fluid MHD, we retain the effects of the Hall current and electron inertia and neglect dissipative effects such as viscosity and electric resistivity. This level of description brings two new spatial scales into play, namely, the ion and electron inertial scales. In absence of resistive dissipation, reconnection can only be attained by the action of electron inertia. We performed 2.5D two-fluid simulations using a pseudo-spectral code which yields exact conservation (to round-off errors) of the ideal invariants. Our simulations show that when the effects of electron inertia are retained, magnetic reconnection takes place. In a stationary regime, the reconnection rate is simply proportional to the ion inertial length, as also emerges from a scaling law derived from dimensional arguments.

  17. 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.

  18. Scaling Laws for Magnetic Reconnection when Electron Pressure Anisotropy is near the Firehose Threshold

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ohia, Obioma; Egedal, Jan; Lukin, Vyacheslav S.; Daughton, William; Le, Ari

    2015-11-01

    Magnetic reconnection in weakly-collisional, a process linked to solar flares, coronal mass ejections, and magnetic substorms, has been widely studied through fluid and kinetic simulations. While two-fluid models often reproduce the fast reconnection rate of kinetic simulations, significant differences are observed in the structure of the reconnection regions. Recently, new equations of state that accurately account for the development of anisotropic electron pressure due to the electric and magnetic trapping of electrons have been developed. Guide-field, fluid simulations using these equations of state have been shown to reproduce the detailed reconnection region observed in kinetic simulations. Implementing this two-fluid simulation using the HiFi framework, we describe a mechanism for regulation of electron pressure anisotropy as well as study force balance of the electron layers in guide-field reconnection. Scaling laws for the heating observed in these layers based on upstream conditions are derived. Formerly of U.S. Naval Research Laboratory. Any opinions, findings, conclusions and/or recommendations are those of author and do not necessarily reflect the views of the National Science Foundation.

  19. Electron acceleration from contracting magnetic islands during reconnection.

    PubMed

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

    2006-10-01

    A long-standing problem in the study of space and astrophysical plasmas is to explain the production of energetic electrons as magnetic fields 'reconnect' and release energy. In the Earth's magnetosphere, electron energies reach hundreds of thousands of electron volts (refs 1-3), whereas the typical electron energies associated with large-scale reconnection-driven flows are just a few electron volts. Recent observations further suggest that these energetic particles are produced in the region where the magnetic field reconnects. In solar flares, upwards of 50 per cent of the energy released can appear as energetic electrons. Here we show that electrons gain kinetic energy by reflecting from the ends of the contracting 'magnetic islands' that form as reconnection proceeds. The mechanism is analogous to the increase of energy of a ball reflecting between two converging walls--the ball gains energy with each bounce. The repetitive interaction of electrons with many islands allows large numbers to be efficiently accelerated to high energy. The back pressure of the energetic electrons throttles reconnection so that the electron energy gain is a large fraction of the released magnetic energy. The resultant energy spectra of electrons take the form of power laws with spectral indices that match the magnetospheric observations. PMID:17024088

  20. Understanding the dynamics and energetics of magnetic reconnection in a laboratory plasma: Review of recent progress on selected fronts

    DOE PAGESBeta

    Yamada, Masaaki; Yoo, Jongsoo; Myers, Clayton E.

    2016-05-11

    solar flare eruptions, including “storage and release” mechanisms of magnetic energy. We show that toroidalmagnetic flux generated by magnetic relaxation (reconnection) processes generates a new stabilizing force which prevents plasma eruption. This result has led us to discover a new stabilizing force for solar flares [Myers et al., Nature 528, 526 (2015)].« less

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2015-05-01

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

  2. Slowing of magnetic reconnection concurrent with weakening plasma inflows and increasing collisionality in strongly-driven laser-plasma experiments

    DOE PAGESBeta

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

    2015-05-20

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

  3. Slowing of magnetic reconnection concurrent with weakening plasma inflows and increasing collisionality in strongly-driven laser-plasma experiments

    SciTech Connect

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

    2015-05-20

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-05-22

    An evolution of magnetic reconnection behavior, from fast jets to the slowing of reconnection and the establishment of a stable current sheet, has been observed in strongly driven, β≲20 laser-produced plasma experiments. This process has been inferred to occur alongside a slowing of plasma inflows carrying the oppositely directed magnetic fields as well as the evolution of plasma conditions from collisionless to collisional. High-resolution proton radiography has revealed unprecedented detail of the forced interaction of magnetic fields and super-Alfvénic electron jets (V_{jet}∼20V_{A}) ejected from the reconnection region, indicating that two-fluid or collisionless magnetic reconnection occurs early in time. The absence of jets and the persistence of strong, stable magnetic fields at late times indicates that the reconnection process slows down, while plasma flows stagnate and plasma conditions evolve to a cooler, denser, more collisional state. These results demonstrate that powerful initial plasma flows are not sufficient to force a complete reconnection of magnetic fields, even in the strongly driven regime. PMID:26047236

  5. The Magnetospheric Multiscale Mission: New Data on Magnetic Reconnection

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Burch, James

    2015-11-01

    The Magnetospheric Multiscale (MMS) mission was launched on March 12, 2015 into its Phase 1 elliptical orbit with apogee at 12 Earth radii (RE) . The baseline science goal for MMS is to Understand the microphysics of magnetic reconnection by determining the kinetic processes occurring in the electron diffusion region that are responsible for collisionless magnetic reconnection, especially how reconnection is initiated.In priority order, MMS will address three specific objectives: (1) Determine the role played by electron inertial effects and turbulent dissipation in driving magnetic reconnection in the electron diffusion region; (2) Determine the rate of magnetic reconnection and the parameters that control it. (3) Determine the role played by ion inertial effects in the physics of magnetic reconnection. During the six months of commissioning following launch, all of the instruments on the four spacecraft were made fully operational. Beginning on September 1, 2015 the spacecraft began their first scan of the dayside magnetopause in a tetrahedral formation with separations of 160 km. During Phase 1 the separation will be reduced in steps to 10 km and then adjusted to the separation that is judged to be optimum for reconnection studies. A second scan of the dayside magnetopause will be conducted at this optimum separation. Then apogee will be raised to 25 RE for a scan of the magnetotail with separations variable from 30 km to 400 km. Throughout the mission the payload will be operated at its maximum data rate, which is sufficient to investigate reconnection down to approximately the electron diffusion length scale with full 3D plasma electron distributions obtained in 30 ms, ion distributions at 150 ms, and magnetic and electric fields at 1 ms resolution. 3D plasma and energetic ion composition an energetic electron measurements along with plasma waves will also be made. The spacecraft potential is maintained below +4V by an ion emitter. Because of the large amount

  6. Evolution of field line helicity during magnetic reconnection

    SciTech Connect

    Russell, A. J. B. Hornig, G.; Wilmot-Smith, A. L.; Yeates, A. R.

    2015-03-15

    We investigate the evolution of field line helicity for magnetic fields that connect two boundaries without null points, with emphasis on localized finite-B magnetic reconnection. Total (relative) magnetic helicity is already recognized as an important topological constraint on magnetohydrodynamic processes. Field line helicity offers further advantages because it preserves all topological information and can distinguish between different magnetic fields with the same total helicity. Magnetic reconnection changes field connectivity and field line helicity reflects these changes; the goal of this paper is to characterize that evolution. We start by deriving the evolution equation for field line helicity and examining its terms, also obtaining a simplified form for cases where dynamics are localized within the domain. The main result, which we support using kinematic examples, is that during localized reconnection in a complex magnetic field, the evolution of field line helicity is dominated by a work-like term that is evaluated at the field line endpoints, namely, the scalar product of the generalized field line velocity and the vector potential. Furthermore, the flux integral of this term over certain areas is very small compared to the integral of the unsigned quantity, which indicates that changes of field line helicity happen in a well-organized pairwise manner. It follows that reconnection is very efficient at redistributing helicity in complex magnetic fields despite having little effect on the total helicity.

  7. A Contracting Island Mechanism for Electron Acceleration during Magnetic Reconnection

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Drake, James; Swisdak, M.; Che, H.; Shay, M. A.

    2007-05-01

    A Fermi-like model for energetic electron production during magnetic reconnection is described that explains key observations in the magnetosphere and solar corona [1]. Magnetic reconnection with a guide field leads to the growth and dynamics of multiple magnetic islands rather than a single large x-line. Above a critical energy electron acceleration is dominated by the Fermi-like reflection of electrons within the resulting magnetic islands rather than by the parallel electric fields associated with the x-line. Particles trapped within islands gain energy as they reflect from ends of contracting magnetic islands. The pressure from energetic electrons rises rapidly until the rate of electron energy gain balances the rate of magnetic energy release, establishing for the first time a link between the energy gain of electrons and the released magnetic energy. The energetic particle pressure therefore throttles the rate of reconnection. A transport equation for the distribution of energetic particles, including their feedback on island contraction, is obtained by averaging over the particle interaction with many islands. The steady state solutions in reconnection geometry result from convective losses balancing the Fermi drive. At high energy distribution functions take the form of a powerlaw whose spectral index depends only on the initial electron β, lower (higher) β producing harder (softer) spectra. The spectral index matches that seen in recent Wind spacecraft observations in the magnetotail. Harder spectra are predicted for the low β conditions of the solar corona. 1. Drake et al., Nature 443, 553, 2006.

  8. The plasmoid instability during asymmetric inflow magnetic reconnection

    SciTech Connect

    Murphy, Nicholas A.; Young, Aleida K.; Shen, Chengcai; Lin, Jun; Ni, Lei

    2013-06-15

    Theoretical studies of the plasmoid instability generally assume that the reconnecting magnetic fields are symmetric. We relax this assumption by performing two-dimensional resistive magnetohydrodynamic simulations of the plasmoid instability during asymmetric inflow magnetic reconnection. Magnetic asymmetry modifies the onset, scaling, and dynamics of this instability. Magnetic islands develop preferentially into the weak magnetic field upstream region. Outflow jets from individual X-points impact plasmoids obliquely rather than directly as in the symmetric case. Consequently, deposition of momentum by the outflow jets into the plasmoids is less efficient, the plasmoids develop net vorticity, and shear flow slows down secondary merging between islands. Secondary merging events have asymmetry along both the inflow and outflow directions. Downstream plasma is more turbulent in cases with magnetic asymmetry because islands are able to roll around each other after exiting the current sheet. As in the symmetric case, plasmoid formation facilitates faster reconnection for at least small and moderate magnetic asymmetries. However, when the upstream magnetic field strengths differ by a factor of 4, the reconnection rate plateaus at a lower value than expected from scaling the symmetric results. We perform a parameter study to investigate the onset of the plasmoid instability as a function of magnetic asymmetry and domain size. There exist domain sizes for which symmetric simulations are stable but asymmetric simulations are unstable, suggesting that moderate magnetic asymmetry is somewhat destabilizing. We discuss the implications for plasmoid and flux rope formation in solar eruptions, laboratory reconnection experiments, and space plasmas. The differences between symmetric and asymmetric simulations provide some hints regarding the nature of the three-dimensional plasmoid instability.

  9. The plasmoid instability during asymmetric inflow magnetic reconnection

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Murphy, Nicholas A.; Young, Aleida K.; Shen, Chengcai; Lin, Jun; Ni, Lei

    2013-06-01

    Theoretical studies of the plasmoid instability generally assume that the reconnecting magnetic fields are symmetric. We relax this assumption by performing two-dimensional resistive magnetohydrodynamic simulations of the plasmoid instability during asymmetric inflow magnetic reconnection. Magnetic asymmetry modifies the onset, scaling, and dynamics of this instability. Magnetic islands develop preferentially into the weak magnetic field upstream region. Outflow jets from individual X-points impact plasmoids obliquely rather than directly as in the symmetric case. Consequently, deposition of momentum by the outflow jets into the plasmoids is less efficient, the plasmoids develop net vorticity, and shear flow slows down secondary merging between islands. Secondary merging events have asymmetry along both the inflow and outflow directions. Downstream plasma is more turbulent in cases with magnetic asymmetry because islands are able to roll around each other after exiting the current sheet. As in the symmetric case, plasmoid formation facilitates faster reconnection for at least small and moderate magnetic asymmetries. However, when the upstream magnetic field strengths differ by a factor of 4, the reconnection rate plateaus at a lower value than expected from scaling the symmetric results. We perform a parameter study to investigate the onset of the plasmoid instability as a function of magnetic asymmetry and domain size. There exist domain sizes for which symmetric simulations are stable but asymmetric simulations are unstable, suggesting that moderate magnetic asymmetry is somewhat destabilizing. We discuss the implications for plasmoid and flux rope formation in solar eruptions, laboratory reconnection experiments, and space plasmas. The differences between symmetric and asymmetric simulations provide some hints regarding the nature of the three-dimensional plasmoid instability.

  10. Magnetic Reconnection: A Fundamental Process in Space Plasmas

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Hesse, Michael

    2010-01-01

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

  11. Understanding the Global Characteristics of Magnetic Reconnection

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Sibeck, David; Wang, Chi; Branduardi-Raymont, Graziella; Connor, Hyunju; Walsh, Brian

    2016-07-01

    Reconnection is the fundamental process governing the flow of mass, energy, and momentum through the Sun-Earth system. Single and multipoint in situ observations of the Earth's dayside magnetopause have been interpreted as evidence for steady or transient, localized or extended, component or antiparallel reconnection models for the interaction of the solar wind with the Earth's magnetosphere. Satellite and ground-based images of the dayside auroral ionosphere can help distinguish between these possibilities. However, routine observations of the magnetopause motion that occurs in response to the various modes of reconnection would immediately define the significance of each reconnection mode. Recent technological advances now afford an opportunity to track the location of the entire dayside magnetopause and its extension into the dayside cusps in the soft x-rays emitted when high charge state solar wind ions exchange electrons with exospheric neutrals and emit soft X-rays. This talk presents some of the scientific objectives of forthcoming soft X-ray missions that will look upward from low altitudes into the Earth's cusps and downward from high inclination orbits into the dayside magnetosheath. It shows how the observations can be used to distinguish between proposed models.

  12. Fluid vs. kinetic magnetic reconnection with strong guide fields

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Stanier, A.; Simakov, Andrei N.; Chacón, L.; Daughton, W.

    2015-10-01

    The fast rates of magnetic reconnection found in both nature and experiments are important to understand theoretically. Recently, it was demonstrated that two-fluid magnetic reconnection remains fast in the strong guide field regime, regardless of the presence of fast-dispersive waves. This conclusion is in agreement with recent results from kinetic simulations, and is in contradiction to the findings in an earlier two-fluid study, where it was suggested that fast-dispersive waves are necessary for fast reconnection. In this paper, we give a more detailed derivation of the analytic model presented in a recent letter and present additional simulation results to support the conclusions that the magnetic reconnection rate in this regime is independent of both collisional dissipation and system-size. In particular, we present a detailed comparison between fluid and kinetic simulations, finding good agreement in both the reconnection rate and overall length of the current layer. Finally, we revisit the earlier two-fluid study, which arrived at different conclusions, and suggest an alternative interpretation for the numerical results presented therein.

  13. Energy balance in the course of relativistic magnetic reconnection

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Semenov, V. S.; Tolstykh, Yu. V.; Dyadechkin, S. A.

    Magnetic reconnection plays an important role in space physics, for example, in Earth's magnetosphere, on the Sun, in the magnetospheres of magnetars, pulsars, black holes, etc. Reconnection starts with abrupt drop of plasma conductivity in a small part of a current sheet, so called, diffusion region. As a result electric field is generated and is transferred by relativistic MHD surface wave from the diffusion region to the current sheet which leads to decay of the disturbed part of the current sheet into a system of slow shocks. Plasma is highly accelerated and heated at the shock fronts forming outflow region with relativistic plasma jets and weak magnetic field (Semenov & Bernikov 1991). At some stage the reconnection process has to switch-off, then outflow regions must detach from the site where the electric field was initiated, and propagate along the current sheet as solitary waves (Tolstykh et al. 2005). The energy balance of relativistic reconnection is investigated in details. It is shown that magnetic and thermal energy from the inflow region is spent for acceleration and heating of the plasma in jets. It is interesting that the temperature of the plasma in the wake of the propagating outflow regions drops after each pulse of reconnection. This differ from usual explosion which heats the plasma behind the shock front (Tolstykh et al. 2007).

  14. Fluid vs. kinetic magnetic reconnection with strong guide fields

    SciTech Connect

    Stanier, A. Simakov, Andrei N.; Chacón, L.; Daughton, W.

    2015-10-15

    The fast rates of magnetic reconnection found in both nature and experiments are important to understand theoretically. Recently, it was demonstrated that two-fluid magnetic reconnection remains fast in the strong guide field regime, regardless of the presence of fast-dispersive waves. This conclusion is in agreement with recent results from kinetic simulations, and is in contradiction to the findings in an earlier two-fluid study, where it was suggested that fast-dispersive waves are necessary for fast reconnection. In this paper, we give a more detailed derivation of the analytic model presented in a recent letter and present additional simulation results to support the conclusions that the magnetic reconnection rate in this regime is independent of both collisional dissipation and system-size. In particular, we present a detailed comparison between fluid and kinetic simulations, finding good agreement in both the reconnection rate and overall length of the current layer. Finally, we revisit the earlier two-fluid study, which arrived at different conclusions, and suggest an alternative interpretation for the numerical results presented therein.

  15. Emergence of undulatory magnetic flux tubes by small scale reconnections

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Pariat, E.; Aulanier, G.; Schmieder, B.; Georgoulis, M. K.; Rust, D. M.; Bernasconi, P. N.

    2006-01-01

    With Flare Genesis Experiment (FGE), a balloon borne observatory launched in Antarctica on January 2000, series of high spatial resolution vector magnetograms, Dopplergrams, and Hα filtergrams have been obtained in an emerging active region (AR 8844). Previous analyses of this data revealed the occurence of many short-lived and small-scale H α brightenings called 'Ellerman bombs' (EBs) within the AR. We performed an extrapolation of the field above the photosphere using the linear force-free field approximation. The analysis of the magnetic topology reveals a close connexion between the loci of EBs and the existence of "Bald patches" (BP) regions (BPs are regions where the vector magnetic field is tangential to the photosphere). Some of these EBs/BPs are magnetically connected by low-lying field lines, presenting a serpentine shape. This results leads us to conjecture that arch filament systems and active regions coronal loops do not result from the smooth emergence of large scale Ω-loops, but rather from the rise of flat undulatory flux tubes which get released from their photospheric anchorage by reconnection at BPs, which observational signature is Ellerman bombs.

  16. Origins of effective resistivity in collisionless magnetic reconnection

    SciTech Connect

    Singh, Nagendra

    2014-07-15

    The mechanisms that provide effective resistivity for supporting collisonless magnetic reconnection have remained unsettled despite numerous studies. Some of these studies demonstrated that the electron pressure nongyrotropy generates the resistivity (η{sub npg}) in the electron diffusion region (EDR). We derive an analytical relation for the effective resistivity (η{sub kin}) by momentum balance in a control volume in the EDR. Both η{sub npg} and η{sub kin} mutually compare well and they also compare well with the resistivity required to support reconnection electric field E{sub rec} in multi-dimensional particle-in-cell simulations as well as in satellite observations when reconnection occurs in an EDR. But they are about an order of magnitude or so smaller than that required when the reconnection occurred in a much wider reconnecting current sheet (RCS) of half width (w) of the order of the ion skin depth (d{sub i}), observed in the Earth magnetosphere. The chaos-induced resistivity reported in the literature is found to be even more deficient. We find that for reconnection in RCS with w ∼ d{sub i}, anomalous diffusion, such as the universal Bhom diffusion and/or that arising from kinetic Alfven waves, could fairly well account for the required resistivity.

  17. Slow shock formation and temperature anisotropy in collisionless magnetic reconnection

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Higashimori, K.; Hoshino, M.

    2011-12-01

    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 argue that one of important agents of the formation of slow shocks is the ion temperature anisotropy enhanced at the shock downstream region. As magnetic reconnection develops, it is known that the parallel temperature along the magnetic field becomes large in association with the anisotropic PSBL ion beams, and this temperature anisotropy has a tendency to suppress the formation of slow shock. Although preceding studies on magnetic reconnection with kinetic codes have shown such ion temperature anisotropy along the reconnection layer, the direct relation between formation of slow shocks and the ion temperature anisotropy has not been investigated. Based on 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 downstream 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 λ i from the neutral point.

  18. A Fermi model for electron acceleration during magnetic reconnection

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Drake, J. F.; Swisdak, M.; Che, H.; Shay, M. A.

    2006-12-01

    A Fermi-like model for energetic electron production during magnetic reconnection is described that explains key observations in the magnetosphere and solar corona [1]. Magnetic reconnection with a guide field leads to the growth and dynamics of multiple magnetic islands rather than a single large x-line. Above a critical energy electron acceleration is dominated by the Fermi-like reflection of electrons within the resulting magnetic islands rather than by the parallel electric fields associated with the x-line. Particles trapped within islands gain energy as they reflect from ends of contracting magnetic islands. The pressure from energetic electrons rises rapidly until the rate of electron energy gain balances the rate of magnetic energy release. The energetic particle pressure therefore throttles the rate of reconnection. A transport equation for the distribution of energetic particles, including their feedback on island contraction, is obtained by averaging over the particle interaction with many islands. The steady state solutions in reconnection geometry result from convective losses balancing the Fermi drive. At high energy distribution functions take the form of a powerlaw whose spectral index depends only on the initial electron β, lower (higher) β producing harder (softer) spectra. The spectral index matches that seen in recent Wind spacecraft observations in the magnetotail. Harder spectra are predicted for the low β conditions of the solar corona. 1. Drake et al., Nature, in press.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Imada, Shinsuke; Hirai, Mariko; Hoshino, Masahiro

    2015-12-01

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

  20. Magnetic Reconnection in the Interior of Interplanetary Coronal Mass Ejections

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2014-07-01

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

  1. The Driving Magnetic Field and Reconnection in CME/Flare Eruptions and Coronal Jets

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Moore, Ronald L.

    2010-01-01

    Signatures of reconnection in major CME (coronal mass ejection)/flare eruptions and in coronal X-ray jets are illustrated and interpreted. The signatures are magnetic field lines and their feet that brighten in flare emission. CME/flare eruptions are magnetic explosions in which: 1. The field that erupts is initially a closed arcade. 2. At eruption onset, most of the free magnetic energy to be released is not stored in field bracketing a current sheet, but in sheared field in the core of the arcade. 3. The sheared core field erupts by a process that from its start or soon after involves fast "tether-cutting" reconnection at an initially small current sheet low in the sheared core field. If the arcade has oppositely-directed field over it, the eruption process from its start or soon after also involves fast "breakout" reconnection at an initially small current sheet between the arcade and the overarching field. These aspects are shown by the small area of the bright field lines and foot-point flare ribbons in the onset of the eruption. 4. At either small current sheet, the fast reconnection progressively unleashes the erupting core field to erupt with progressively greater force. In turn, the erupting core field drives the current sheet to become progressively larger and to undergo progressively greater fast reconnection in the explosive phase of the eruption, and the flare arcade and ribbons grow to become comparable to the pre-eruption arcade in lateral extent. In coronal X-ray jets: 1. The magnetic energy released in the jet is built up by the emergence of a magnetic arcade into surrounding unipolar "open" field. 2. A simple jet is produced when a burst of reconnection occurs at the current sheet between the arcade and the open field. This produces a bright reconnection jet and a bright reconnection arcade that are both much smaller in diameter that the driving arcade. 3. A more complex jet is produced when the arcade has a sheared core field and undergoes an

  2. 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.

  3. 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.

  4. 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.

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

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Hesse, Michael

    2005-01-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2014-10-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Cassak, P. A.

    2008-05-01

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

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

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Hesse, Michael; Birn, Joachim; Kuznetsova, Masha

    1999-01-01

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

  9. Study of Energy Conversion and Partitioning in the Magnetic Reconnection Layer in Laboratory and Space Plasmas

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Yamada, M.

    2014-12-01

    The essential feature of magnetic reconnection is that it energizes plasma particles by converting magnetic energy to particle energy [1]. This talk addresses this key unresolved question; how is magnetic energy converted to plasma kinetic energy during reconnection? The mechanisms responsible for the energization of plasma particles in the magnetic reconnection layer have been investigated in the MRX device together with quantitative evaluation of conversion of magnetic energy to ions and electrons. An analysis is made in terms of two-fluid physics based on the measurements of two-dimensional profiles of 1) electric potential, 2) flow vectors of electrons and ions, and 3) the electron temperature, Te and the ion temperature, Ti in the layer [2,3]. It is shown that more than 50 % of magnetic energy is converted to plasma particles, of which 2/3 transferred to ions and 1/3 to electrons, at a remarkably fast speed (~0.2VA) in the reconnection layer [3]. In a reconnection region of effectively similar size in the Earth's magnetotail, the energy partition was recently measured during multiple passages of the Cluster satellites [4]. The half length of the tail reconnection layer (L) was estimated to be 2000-4000 km namely 3-6di; the scale length is very similar to the MRX case, L ~ 3di. Reconnection in the magneto-tail is driven by an external force, i.e., the solar wind, and the boundary conditions are very similar to the MRX setup. The observed energy partition is notably similar, namely, more than 50% of the magnetic energy flux is converted to the particle energy flux, which is dominated by the ion enthalpy flux, with smaller contributions from the electron enthalpy and heat flux. A broad implication will be discussed. Work supported by DOE, NASA, and NSF. Fig.1: Measured ion flow vectors in the reconnection plane with measured 2-D profile of the plasma potential φ_p. The thin lines are measured poloidal flux counters.[1] M. Yamada, R. Kulsrud, & H. Ji, Rev. Mod

  10. Velocity-Shear Driven Magnetic Reconnection in Particle-In-Cell Simulations

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Black, Carrie; Antiochos, Spiro; DeVore, Rick; Karpen, Judy; Germaschewski, Kai

    2012-10-01

    In the standard model for coronal mass ejections (CME) and/or solar flares, the free energy for the event resides in the strongly sheared magnetic field of a filament channel. The pre-eruption force balance consists of an upward force due to the magnetic pressure of the sheared field balanced by a downward tension due to overlying un-sheared field. Magnetic reconnection is widely believed to be the mechanism that disrupts this force balance, leading to explosive eruption. For understanding CME/flare initiation, therefore, it is critical to model the onset of reconnection that is driven by the buildup of magnetic shear. In MHD simulations, the application of a magnetic field shear is a trivial matter. However, kinetic effects are important in the diffusion region and thus, it is important to examine this process with PIC simulations as well. The implementation of such a driver in PIC methods is nontrivial: it must be done in a self-consistent manner that avoids the generation of waves that destroy the applied shear. In this work, we discuss methods for applying a velocity shear perpendicular to the plane of reconnection within a 2.5D, aperiodic, PIC system. We also discuss the implementation of boundary conditions that allow a net electric current to flow through the walls.

  11. Effect of electron inertia in two-fluid magnetic reconnection

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Gomez, Daniel; Dmitruk, Pablo; Andrés, Nahuel

    2016-07-01

    In space plasmas, magnetic reconnection is an important energy conversion process. Within the traditional one-fluid resistive MHD description, the Sweet-Parker model leads to extremely low reconnection rates for virtually all space physics applications. Within the theoretical framework of two-fluid MHD, we retain the effects of the Hall current and electron inertia and neglect dissipative effects such as viscosity and electric resistivity. This description brings two new spatial scales into play, such as the ion and electron inertial lengths. In absence of resistive dissipation, reconnection can only be attained by the action of electron inertia. We performed two-fluid simulations using a pseudo-spectral code which yields exact conservation (to round-off errors) of the ideal invariants. Our simulations show that when the effects of electron inertia are retained, magnetic reconnection takes place. Moreover, in a stationary regime the reconnection rate is simply proportional to the ion inertial length, as also emerges from a scaling law derived from dimensional arguments.

  12. The plasmoid instability and Hall effect during chromospheric magnetic reconnection

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Murphy, Nicholas Arnold; Lukin, Vyacheslav

    2016-01-01

    Magnetic reconnection is a ubiquitous process in the partially ionized solar chromosphere. Recent two-dimensional simulations have shown that the plasmoid instability onsets during partially ionized reconnection [1-4]. We use the plasma-neutral module of the HiFi framework to simulate the nonlinear evolution of the plasmoid instability during symmetric and asymmetric reconnection. These simulations model the plasma and neutrals as separate fluids and include ionization, recombination, charge exchange, thermal conduction, and the Hall effect. The Hall effect leads to the development of significant out-of-plane magnetic fields in the current sheet region in the laminar phase, but we do not observe shortening of the current sheet or significant acceleration of the reconnection rate as a result. After the onset of the plasmoid instability, structure develops on scales comparable to the ion inertial length. We compare simulations of the plasmoid instability with and without the Hall effect to determine its impact on the reconnection process. Finally, we discuss ongoing efforts to connect these simulations with solar observations and laboratory experiments.[1] Leake et al. 2012, ApJ, 760, 109 [2] Leake et al. 2013, PhPl, 20, 062102 [3] Ni et al. 2015, ApJ, 799, 79 [4] Murphy & Lukin 2015, ApJ, 805, 134

  13. Emergence of undulatory magnetic flux tubes by small scale reconnections

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Pariat, E.; Aulanier, G.; Schmieder, B.; Georgoulis, M. K.; Rust, D. M.; Bernasconi, P. N.

    With Flare Genesis Experiment (FGE), a balloon borne observatory launched in Antarctica on January 2000, series of high spatial resolution vector magnetograms, Dopplergrams, and Hα filtergrams have been obtained in an emerging active region (AR 8844). Previous analyses of this data revealed the occurence of many short-lived and small-scale Hα brightenings called 'Ellerman bombs' (EBs) within the AR. We performed an extrapolation of the field above the photosphere using the linear force-free field approximation. The analysis of the magnetic topology reveals a close connexion between the loci of EBs and the existence of ``Bald patches'' regions (BPs are regions where the vector magnetic field is tangential to the photosphere). Among 47 identified EBs, we found that 23 are co-spatial with a BP, while 19 are located at the footpoint of very flat separatrix field lines passing throught a distant BP. We reveal for the first time that some of these EBs/BPs are magneticaly connected by low-lying lines, presenting a 'sea-serpent' shape. This results leads us to conjecture that arch filament systems and active regions coronal loops do not result from the smooth emergence of large scale Ω loops, but rather from the rise of flat undulatory flux tubes which get released from their photospheric anchorage by reconnection at BPs, whose observational signature is Ellerman bombs.

  14. Magnetic reconnection in the solar atmosphere: from proposal to paradigm

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Cargill, Peter; Parnell, Clare; Browning, Philippa; de Moortel, Ineke; Hood, Alan

    2010-06-01

    MEETING REPORT On 13 November 2009, the RAS hosted a discussion meeting to commemorate the formal retirement of Prof. Eric Priest. Here Peter Cargill, Clare Parnell, Philippa Browning, Ineke de Moortel and Alan Hood examine how magnetic reconnection has evolved over the past 50 years from an important but controversial proposal, to a general paradigm.

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

    SciTech Connect

    Gosling, J.T.

    1995-09-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Fujimoto, Keizo; Takamoto, Makoto

    2016-07-01

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

  17. Magnetic reconnection, buoyancy, and flapping motions in magnetotail explosions

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Sitnov, M. I.; Merkin, V. G.; Swisdak, M.; Motoba, T.; Buzulukova, N.; Moore, T. E.; Mauk, B. H.; Ohtani, S.

    2014-09-01

    A key process in the interaction of magnetospheres with the solar wind is the explosive release of energy stored in the magnetotail. Based on observational evidence, magnetic reconnection is widely believed to be responsible. However, the very possibility of spontaneous reconnection in collisionless magnetotail plasmas has been questioned in kinetic theory for more than three decades. In addition, in situ observations by multispacecraft missions (e.g., THEMIS) reveal the development of buoyancy and flapping motions coexisting with reconnection. Never before have kinetic simulations reproduced all three primary modes in realistic 2-D configurations with a finite normal magnetic field. Moreover, 3-D simulations with closed boundaries suggest that the tail activity is dominated by buoyancy-driven instabilities, whereas reconnection is a secondary effect strongly localized in the dawn-dusk direction. In this paper, we use massively parallel 3-D fully kinetic simulations with open boundaries to show that sufficiently far from the planet explosive processes in the tail are dominated by reconnection motions. These motions occur in the form of spontaneously generated dipolarization fronts accompanied by changes in magnetic topology which extend in the dawn-dusk direction over the size of the simulation box, suggesting that reconnection onset causes a macroscale reconfiguration of the real magnetotail. In our simulations, buoyancy and flapping motions significantly disturb the primary dipolarization front but neither destroy it nor change the near 2-D picture of the front evolution critically. Consistent with recent multiprobe observations, dipolarization fronts are also found to be the main regions of energy conversion in the magnetotail.

  18. Fast Magnetic Reconnection in the Plasmoid-Dominated Regime

    SciTech Connect

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

    2010-12-03

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2010-12-01

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

  20. Solar flares as cascades of reconnecting magnetic loops.

    PubMed

    Hughes, D; Paczuski, M; Dendy, R O; Helander, P; McClements, K G

    2003-04-01

    A model for the solar coronal magnetic field is proposed where multiple directed loops evolve in space and time. Loops injected at small scales are anchored by footpoints of opposite polarity moving randomly on a surface. Nearby footpoints of the same polarity aggregate, and loops can reconnect when they collide. This may trigger a cascade of further reconnection, representing a solar flare. Numerical simulations show that a power law distribution of flare energies emerges, associated with a scale-free network of loops, indicating self-organized criticality. PMID:12689272

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

    SciTech Connect

    S Dorfman, et al

    2013-05-03

    Impulsive, local, 3-D reconnection is identified for the first time in a laboratory current sheet. The events observed in the Magnetic Reconnection Experiment (MRX) are characterized by large local gradients in the third direction and cannot be explained by 2-D models. Detailed measurements show that the ejection of flux rope structures from the current sheet plays a key role in these events. By contrast, even though electromagnetic fluctuations in the lower hybrid frequency range are also observed concurrently with the impulsive behavior, they are not the key physics responsible. A qualitative, 3-D, two-fluid model is proposed to explain the observations. The experimental results may be particularly applicable to space and astrophysical plasmas where impulsive reconnection occurs.

  2. Observational Signatures of Magnetic Reconnection in the Extended Corona

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2016-05-01

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

  3. Observational Signatures of Magnetic Reconnection in the Extended Corona

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

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

    2016-01-01

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

  4. Fast magnetic reconnection due to anisotropic electron pressure

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Cassak, Paul; Baylor, Robert; Fermo, Raymond; Beidler, Matthew; Shay, Michael; Swisdak, Marc; Drake, James; Karimabadi, Homa

    2015-11-01

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

  5. Fast magnetic reconnection due to anisotropic electron pressure

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2015-02-01

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

  6. Fast magnetic reconnection due to anisotropic electron pressure

    SciTech Connect

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

    2015-02-15

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

  7. Experimental Evidence for Cerenkov Emission of Whistler Waves by Electron Holes Associated with Magnetic Reconnection

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Eastwood, J. P.; Goldman, M. V.; Zhang, X.; Hietala, H.; Krupar, V.; Newman, D. L.; Angelopoulos, V.; Lapenta, G.

    2015-12-01

    Whistler waves are a ubiquitous plasma phenomenon, observed in a variety of space and laboratory plasma environments. They play a key role in many important and diverse processes, such as particle acceleration in the radiation belts and auroral acceleration region, the dissipation of plasma turbulence at small scales below the inertial range, collisionless shock physics, and magnetic reconnection. In reconnection they may modify the reconnection rate and also whistler physics is crucial to enabling fast reconnection in the Hall reconnection model. Consequently, understanding how whistler waves are generated and how they subsequently interact with the plasma is a problem of wide importance and application. It is well known that whistlers can arise as a result of kinetic instabilities, which grow exponentially from noise as a consequence of unstable electron distributions, for example temperature anisotropy. This is used ubiquitously to predict where and when whistler waves are likely to exist and therefore be of importance in many plasma phenomena. Recently it has been demonstrated theoretically and via computer simulations that whistler waves may also arise via Cerenkov emission from electron hole quasi-particles [Goldman et al., PRL, 2014]. Such wave emission can arise even when the temperature anisotropy leads to damping; in this case the system is analogous to a damped forced oscillator. Here we present novel experimental analysis from THEMIS showing for the first time evidence consistent with the generation of whistlers via Cerenkov emission during magnetotail reconnection. By considering the electromagnetic properties of the electron holes, the amplitude, phase speed and frequency of the associated whistlers, and also the available sub-spin observations of the electron distribution function, we find that the data are best explained by the Cerenkov emission theory rather than by kinetic instabilities due to the electron temperature anisotropy. Whilst the

  8. A contracting island model of electron acceleration during magnetic reconnection

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Drake, J. F.; Che, H.; Swisdak, M.; Shay, M. A.

    2006-10-01

    A Fermi-like model for energetic electron production during magnetic reconnection is described that explains key observations in the magnetosphere and solar corona [1]. Magnetic reconnection with a guide field leads to the growth and dynamics of multiple magnetic islands rather than a single large x-line [2]. Above a critical energy electron acceleration is dominated by the Fermi-like reflection of electrons within the resulting magnetic islands rather than by the parallel electric fields associated with the x-line. Particles trapped within islands gain energy as they reflect from ends of contracting magnetic islands. The pressure from energetic electrons rises rapidly until the rate of electron energy gain balances the rate of magnetic energy release. A Fokker-Planck equation for the distribution of energetic particles, including their feedback on island contraction, is obtained by averaging over the particle interaction with many islands. The steady state solutions in reconnection geometry result from convective losses balancing the Fermi drive. At high energy the electron distribution functions take the form of powerlaws whose spectral index depends on the initial electron β, lower (higher) β producing harder (softer) spectra.1. Drake et al., Nature, in press.2. Drake et al., Geophys. Res. Lett. 33, L13105, 2006.

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

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Slavin. James A.

    2009-01-01

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

  10. Do dispersive waves play a role in collisionless magnetic reconnection?

    SciTech Connect

    Liu, Yi-Hsin; Daughton, W.; Li, H.; Karimabadi, H.; Peter Gary, S.

    2014-02-15

    Using fully kinetic simulations, we demonstrate that the properly normalized reconnection rate is fast ∼0.1 for guide fields up to 80× larger than the reconnecting field and is insensitive to both the system size and the ion to electron mass ratio. These results challenge conventional explanations of reconnection based on fast dispersive waves, which are completely absent for sufficiently strong guide fields. In this regime, the thickness of the diffusion layer is set predominantly by the electron inertial length with an inner sublayer that is controlled by finite gyro-radius effects. As the Alfvén velocity becomes relativistic for very strong guide fields, the displacement current becomes important and strong deviations from charge neutrality occur, resulting in the build-up of intense electric fields which absorb a portion of the magnetic energy release. Over longer time scales, secondary magnetic islands are generated near the active x-line while an electron inertial scale Kelvin-Helmholtz instability is driven within the outflow. These secondary instabilities give rise to time variations in the reconnection rate but do not alter the average value.

  11. Solar flares and magnetic reconnection in quasi-separatrix layers

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Aulanier, G.; Demoulin, P.; Janvier, M.; Masson, S.; Pariat, E.

    2012-10-01

    Magnetic reconnection is a fundamental plasma physics process which is believed to be responsible for the bulk of energy release in solar flares. One the one hand, the onset of fast reconnection in high-Reynolds plasmas has long since been regarded as, perhaps, the major issue to understand. On the other hand, little attention has relatively been given to the three-dimensional nature of this phenomenon. Up to very recently, the latter has mostly been addressed by the solar physics community, presumably due to the wealth of space-borne and ground-based observations of three-dimensional solar coronal features during flares. Among other 3D concept, finite-B ``quasi-separatrix layers'' (QSLs) have been introduced in the nineties, as a generalization of the concept of true separatrices emanating from null-points. In this talk, I will show how both solar and experimental physics have revealed that these QSLs physically behave like true separatrices, in terms of current sheet formation and magnetic reconnection, albeit for the continuous slippage of field lines during the process. I will then show how this ``slip-running reconnection'' occurs in the wake of flux-ropes erupting from the solar corona towrds the heliosphere, and how it it eventually forms the observed post-flare loops in the Sun's corona.

  12. Design of a Magnetic Reconnection Experiment in the Collisionless Regime

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Egedal, J.; Le, A.; Daughton, W. S.

    2012-12-01

    A new model for effective heating of electrons during reconnection is now gaining support from spacecraft observations, theoretical considerations and kinetic simulations [1]. The key ingredient in the model is the physics of trapped electrons whose dynamics causes the electron pressure tensor to be strongly anisotropic [2]. The heating mechanism becomes highly efficient for geometries with low upstream electron pressure, conditions relevant to the magnetotail. We propose a new experiment that will be optimized for the study of kinetic reconnection including the dynamics of trapped electrons and associated pressure anisotropy. This requires an experiment that accesses plasmas with much lower collisionality and lower plasma beta than are available in present reconnection experiments. The new experiment will be designed such that a large variety of magnetic configurations can be established and tailored for continuation of our ongoing study of spontaneous 3D reconnection [3]. The flexible design will also allow for configurations suitable for the study of merging magnetic islands, which may be a source of super thermal electrons in naturally occurring plasmas. [1] Egedal J et al., Nature Physics, 8, 321 (2012). [2] Le A et al., Phys. Rev. Lett. 102, 085001 (2009). [3] Katz N et al., Phys. Rev. Lett. 104, 255004 (2010).;

  13. The onset of magnetic reconnection in three dimensions

    SciTech Connect

    Pritchett, P. L.

    2013-08-15

    The onset of collisionless magnetic reconnection in current sheets containing a localized enhancement of the initial normal magnetic field component is examined using 2D and 3D particle-in-cell simulations that treat a closed system. In the 2D case, the current sheet is found to remain stable for at least several hundred inverse ion cyclotron times. In 3D, however, the system is found to be unstable to a ballooning/interchange type of mode with wavenumber k{sub y}ρ{sub in}∼1 (where ρ{sub in} is the ion gyroradius in the normal field B{sub z}). These modes evolve to form intense “heads” of strongly enhanced B{sub z}; in the wake of the heads are regions of strongly reduced or reversed B{sub z}. These local field reversals lead to the onset of reconnection with reconnection electric fields several times more intense than typical values seen for 2D reconnection.

  14. The transfer between electron bulk kinetic energy and thermal energy in collisionless magnetic reconnection

    SciTech Connect

    Lu, San; Lu, Quanming; Huang, Can; Wang, Shui

    2013-06-15

    By performing two-dimensional particle-in-cell simulations, we investigate the transfer between electron bulk kinetic and electron thermal energy in collisionless magnetic reconnection. In the vicinity of the X line, the electron bulk kinetic energy density is much larger than the electron thermal energy density. The evolution of the electron bulk kinetic energy is mainly determined by the work done by the electric field force and electron pressure gradient force. The work done by the electron gradient pressure force in the vicinity of the X line is changed to the electron enthalpy flux. In the magnetic island, the electron enthalpy flux is transferred to the electron thermal energy due to the compressibility of the plasma in the magnetic island. The compression of the plasma in the magnetic island is the consequence of the electromagnetic force acting on the plasma as the magnetic field lines release their tension after being reconnected. Therefore, we can observe that in the magnetic island the electron thermal energy density is much larger than the electron bulk kinetic energy density.

  15. The mechanisms of electron heating and acceleration during magnetic reconnection

    SciTech Connect

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

    2014-09-15

    The heating of electrons in collisionless magnetic reconnection is explored in particle-in-cell simulations with non-zero guide fields so that electrons remain magnetized. In this regime, electric fields parallel to B accelerate particles directly, while those perpendicular to B do so through gradient-B and curvature drifts. The curvature drift drives parallel heating through Fermi reflection, while the gradient B drift changes the perpendicular energy through betatron acceleration. We present simulations in which we evaluate each of these mechanisms in space and time in order to quantify their role in electron heating. For a case with a small guide field (20% of the magnitude of the reconnecting component), the curvature drift is the dominant source of electron heating. However, for a larger guide field (equal to the magnitude of the reconnecting component) electron acceleration by the curvature drift is comparable to that of the parallel electric field. In both cases, the heating by the gradient B drift is negligible in magnitude. It produces net cooling because the conservation of the magnetic moment and the drop of B during reconnection produce a decrease in the perpendicular electron energy. Heating by the curvature drift dominates in the outflow exhausts where bent field lines expand to relax their tension and is therefore distributed over a large area. In contrast, the parallel electric field is localized near X-lines. This suggests that acceleration by parallel electric fields may play a smaller role in large systems where the X-line occupies a vanishing fraction of the system. The curvature drift and the parallel electric field dominate the dynamics and drive parallel heating. A consequence is that the electron energy spectrum becomes extremely anisotropic at late time, which has important implications for quantifying the limits of electron acceleration due to synchrotron emission. An upper limit on electron energy gain that is substantially higher than

  16. Toward a transport model of collisionless magnetic reconnection

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kuznetsova, Masha M.; Hesse, Michael; Winske, Dan

    2000-04-01

    An absence of theoretical justification for the magnitude of resistivity is one of the major limitations of large-scale simulations of magnetic reconnection in collisionless magnetospheric plasma. We took advantage of the results of recent progress in kinetic modeling of collisionless dissipation in the vicinity of the magnetically neutral X point aiming to find ways to represent small-scale kinetic effects in large-scale models. The study was based on a combination of hybrid and particle methods and on analytical analysis. A comprehensive hybrid simulation code which incorporates the leading terms in electron dynamics responsible for breaking the frozen magnetic flux constraint (electron bulk flow inertia and nongyrotropic pressure effects) was utilized. The results of the comprehensive hybrid model were found to be in excellent quantitative agreement with the results of full particle simulations with similar setups. Both simulations demonstrated that the actual reconnection electric field is determined primarily by kinetic quasi-viscous effects and less by electron bulk flow inertia. An analytical expression for the quasi-viscous reconnection electric field averaged over the nongyrotropic region was obtained. Similar behavior of the evaluated quasi-viscous electric field and actual reconnection electric field taken from the simulations was demonstrated. Conventional hybrid simulations with simple nongyrotropic corrections to the electric field where also performed. The model was further reduced for utilization in MHD models. Analytical expressions for the time evolution of the reconnected flux evaluated from the MHD model modified by nongyrotropic corrections appeared to be in very good agreement with the results of comprehensive kinetic simulations. The evaluated averaged quasi-viscous electric field can be substituted into large-scale simulation models.

  17. Large Reconnection Experiment (LRX): A Major Next-Step for Laboratory Studies of Magnetic Reconnection

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ji, Hantao; Yamada, Masaaki; Prager, Stewart; Daughton, William

    2012-10-01

    A new large plasma experiment, called the Large Reconnection Experiment or LRX, has been proposed to study magnetic reconnection in regimes directly relevant to fusion, space, and astrophysical plasmas. There are at least two possibly coupled mechanisms to explain why reconnection is fast as compared to the MHD predictions: one by physics beyond MHD, and the other by breakdown of the MHD current sheet via plasmoid instabilities into a state of interacting flux ropes. However, the former works only on the ion scales, much smaller than the plasma size, while the latter is only predicted theoretically. Further progress to study these is currently impeded by several severe limitations (1) in realistic simulations (especially in 3D), (2) in space observations due to a small numbers of in-situ measurements, (3) in solar observations due to limited spatial resolution of remote-sensing techniques, (4) in fusion plasmas due to the limited diagnostic accessibility, and (5) in the existing basic laboratory experiments due to limited scale separations. All of these strongly motivate the well-controlled/diagnosed, collaborative LRX project to simultaneously achieve large scale separations and high Lundquist numbers. Major questions and conceptual design for the LRX project will be discussed.

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

    SciTech Connect

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

    2010-09-01

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

  19. Multi-scale structures of turbulent magnetic reconnection

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Nakamura, T. K. M.; Nakamura, R.; Narita, Y.; Baumjohann, W.; Daughton, W.

    2016-05-01

    We have analyzed data from a series of 3D fully kinetic simulations of turbulent magnetic reconnection with a guide field. A new concept of the guide filed reconnection process has recently been proposed, in which the secondary tearing instability and the resulting formation of oblique, small scale flux ropes largely disturb the structure of the primary reconnection layer and lead to 3D turbulent features [W. Daughton et al., Nat. Phys. 7, 539 (2011)]. In this paper, we further investigate the multi-scale physics in this turbulent, guide field reconnection process by introducing a wave number band-pass filter (k-BPF) technique in which modes for the small scale (less than ion scale) fluctuations and the background large scale (more than ion scale) variations are separately reconstructed from the wave number domain to the spatial domain in the inverse Fourier transform process. Combining with the Fourier based analyses in the wave number domain, we successfully identify spatial and temporal development of the multi-scale structures in the turbulent reconnection process. When considering a strong guide field, the small scale tearing mode and the resulting flux ropes develop over a specific range of oblique angles mainly along the edge of the primary ion scale flux ropes and reconnection separatrix. The rapid merging of these small scale modes leads to a smooth energy spectrum connecting ion and electron scales. When the guide field is sufficiently weak, the background current sheet is strongly kinked and oblique angles for the small scale modes are widely scattered at the kinked regions. Similar approaches handling both the wave number and spatial domains will be applicable to the data from multipoint, high-resolution spacecraft observations such as the NASA magnetospheric multiscale (MMS) mission.

  20. Application of PDSLin to the magnetic reconnection problem

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Yuan, Xuefei; Li, Xiaoye S.; Yamazaki, Ichitaro; Jardin, Stephen C.; Koniges, Alice E.; Keyes, David E.

    2013-01-01

    Magnetic reconnection is a fundamental process in a magnetized plasma at both low and high magnetic Lundquist numbers (the ratio of the resistive diffusion time to the Alfvén wave transit time), which occurs in a wide variety of laboratory and space plasmas, e.g. magnetic fusion experiments, the solar corona and the Earth's magnetotail. An implicit time advance for the two-fluid magnetic reconnection problem is known to be difficult because of the large condition number of the associated matrix. This is especially troublesome when the collisionless ion skin depth is large so that the Whistler waves, which cause the fast reconnection, dominate the physics (Yuan et al 2012 J. Comput. Phys. 231 5822-53). For small system sizes, a direct solver such as SuperLU can be employed to obtain an accurate solution as long as the condition number is bounded by the reciprocal of the floating-point machine precision. However, SuperLU scales effectively only to hundreds of processors or less. For larger system sizes, it has been shown that physics-based (Chacón and Knoll 2003 J. Comput. Phys. 188 573-92) or other preconditioners can be applied to provide adequate solver performance. In recent years, we have been developing a new algebraic hybrid linear solver, PDSLin (Parallel Domain decomposition Schur complement-based Linear solver) (Yamazaki and Li 2010 Proc. VECPAR pp 421-34 and Yamazaki et al 2011 Technical Report). In this work, we compare numerical results from a direct solver and the proposed hybrid solver for the magnetic reconnection problem and demonstrate that the new hybrid solver is scalable to thousands of processors while maintaining the same robustness as a direct solver.

  1. FLARE (Facility for Laboratory Reconnection Experiments): A Major Next-Step for Laboratory Studies of Magnetic Reconnection

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ji, Hantao; Bhattacharjee, A.; Prager, S.; Daughton, W.; Bale, Stuart D.; Carter, T.; Crocker, N.; Drake, J.; Egedal, J.; Sarff, J.; Fox, W.; Jara-Almonte, J.; Myers, C.; Ren, Y.; Yamada, M.; Yoo, J.

    2015-04-01

    A new intermediate-scale plasma experiment, called the Facility for Laboratory Reconnection Experiments or FLARE (flare.pppl.gov), is under construction at Princeton as a joint project by five universities and two national labs to study magnetic reconnection in regimes directly relevant to heliophysical and astrophysical plasmas. The currently existing small-scale experiments have been focusing on the single X-line reconnection process in plasmas either with small effective sizes or at low Lundquist numbers, both of which are typically very large in natural plasmas. These new regimes involve multiple X-lines as guided by a reconnection "phase diagram", in which different coupling mechanisms from the global system scale to the local dissipation scale are classified into different reconnection phases [H. Ji & W. Daughton, Phys. Plasmas 18, 111207 (2011)]. The design of the FLARE device is based on the existing Magnetic Reconnection Experiment (MRX) (mrx.pppl.gov) and is to provide experimental access to the new phases involving multiple X-lines at large effective sizes and high Lundquist numbers, directly relevant to magnetospheric, solar wind, and solar coronal plasmas. After a brief summary of recent laboratory results on the topic of magnetic reconnection, the motivating major physics questions, the construction status, and the planned collaborative research especially with heliophysics communities will be discussed.

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

    PubMed

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

    2014-03-01

    Three-dimensional fast magnetic reconnection driven by two ultraintense femtosecond laser pulses is investigated by relativistic particle-in-cell simulation, where the two paralleled incident laser beams are shot into a near-critical plasma layer to form a magnetic reconnection configuration in self-generated magnetic fields. A reconnection X point and out-of-plane quadrupole field structures associated with magnetic reconnection are formed. The reconnection rate is found to be faster than that found in previous two-dimensional Hall magnetohydrodynamic simulations and electrostatic turbulence contribution to the reconnection electric field plays an essential role. Both in-plane and out-of-plane electron and ion accelerations up to a few MeV due to the magnetic reconnection process are also obtained. PMID:24730781

  3. Electron nongyrotropy in the context of collisionless magnetic reconnection

    SciTech Connect

    Aunai, Nicolas; Hesse, Michael; Kuznetsova, Maria

    2013-09-15

    Collisionless magnetized plasmas have the tendency to isotropize their velocity distribution function around the local magnetic field direction, i.e., to be gyrotropic, unless some spatial and/or temporal fluctuations develop at the particle gyroscales. Electron gyroscale inhomogeneities are well known to develop during the magnetic reconnection process. Nongyrotropic electron velocity distribution functions have been observed to play a key role in the dissipative process breaking the field line connectivity. In this paper, we present a new method to quantify the deviation of a particle population from gyrotropy. The method accounts for the full 3D shape of the distribution and its analytical formulation allows fast numerical computation. Regions associated with a significant degree of nongyrotropy are shown, as well as the kinetic origin of the nongyrotropy and the fluid signature it is associated with. Using the result of 2.5D Particle-In-Cell simulations of magnetic reconnection in symmetric and asymmetric configurations, it is found that neither the reconnection site nor the topological boundaries are generally associated with a maximized degree of nongyrotropy. Nongyrotropic regions do not correspond to a specific fluid behavior as equivalent nongyrotropy is found to extend over the electron dissipation region as well as in non-dissipative diamagnetic drift layers. The localization of highly nongyrotropic regions in numerical models and their correlation with other observable quantities can, however, improve the characterization of spatial structures explored by spacecraft missions.

  4. Hyperbolic method for magnetic reconnection process in steady state magnetohydrodynamics

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Baty, Hubert; Nishikawa, Hiroaki

    2016-06-01

    A recent numerical approach for solving the advection-diffusion and Navier-Stokes equations is extended for the first time to a magnetohydrodynamic (MHD) model, aiming in particular consistent improvements over classical methods for investigating the magnetic reconnection process. In this study, we mainly focus on a two-dimensional incompressible set of resistive MHD equations written in flux-vorticity scalar variables. The originality of the method is based on hyperbolic reformulation of the dissipative terms, leading to the construction of an equivalent hyperbolic first-order (spatial derivatives) system. This enables the use of approximate Riemann solvers for handling dissipative and advective flux in the same way. A simple second-order finite-volume discretization on rectangular grids using an upwind flux is employed. The advantages of this method are illustrated by a comparison to two particular analytical steady state solutions of the inviscid magnetic reconnection mechanism, namely the magnetic annihilation and the reconnective diffusion problems. In particular, the numerical solution is obtained with the same order of accuracy for the solution and gradient for a wide range of magnetic Reynolds numbers, without any deterioration characteristic of more conventional schemes. The amelioration of the hyperbolic method and its extension to time-dependent MHD problems related to solar flares mechanisms is also discussed.

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

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

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

    1992-01-01

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

  6. Magnetic Reconnection in the Earth Magnetotail and Auroral Substorms

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Basu, B.; Coppi, B.

    2014-10-01

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

  7. Localized electron heating by strong guide-field magnetic reconnection

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Guo, Xuehan; Inomoto, Michiaki; Sugawara, Takumichi; Yamasaki, Kotaro; Ushiki, Tomohiko; Ono, Yasushi

    2015-10-01

    Localized electron heating of magnetic reconnection was studied under strong guide-field using two merging spherical tokamak plasmas in the University of Tokyo Spherical Tokamak experiment. Our new slide-type two-dimensional Thomson scattering system is documented for the first time the electron heating localized around the X-point. Shape of the high electron temperature area does not agree with that of energy dissipation term Et.jt . If we include a guide-field effect term Bt/(Bp+αBt) for Et.jt , the energy dissipation area becomes localized around the X-point, suggesting that the electrons are accelerated by the reconnection electric field parallel to the magnetic field and thermalized around the X-point.

  8. 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.

  9. Some remarks on the diffusion regions in magnetic reconnection

    SciTech Connect

    Zenitani, Seiji; Umeda, Takayuki

    2014-03-15

    The structure of the diffusion regions in antiparallel magnetic reconnection is investigated by means of a theory and a Vlasov simulation. The magnetic diffusion is considered as relaxation to the frozen-in state, which depends on a reference velocity field. A field-aligned component of the frozen-in condition is proposed to evaluate a diffusion-like process. Diffusion signatures with respect to ion and electron bulk flows indicate the ion and electron diffusion regions near the reconnection site. The electron diffusion region resembles the energy dissipation region. These results are favorable to a previous expectation that an electron-scale dissipation region is surrounded by an ion-scale Hall-physics region.

  10. Scaling of magnetic reconnection in relativistic collisionless pair plasmas.

    PubMed

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

    2015-03-01

    Using fully kinetic simulations, we study the scaling of the inflow speed of collisionless magnetic reconnection in electron-positron plasmas from the nonrelativistic to ultrarelativistic limit. In the antiparallel configuration, the inflow speed increases with the upstream magnetization parameter σ and approaches the speed of light when σ>O(100), leading to an enhanced reconnection rate. In all regimes, the divergence of the pressure tensor is the dominant term responsible for breaking the frozen-in condition at the x line. The observed scaling agrees well with a simple model that accounts for the Lorentz contraction of the plasma passing through the diffusion region. The results demonstrate that the aspect ratio of the diffusion region, modified by the compression factor of proper density, remains ∼0.1 in both the nonrelativistic and relativistic limits. PMID:25793820

  11. Scaling of Magnetic Reconnection in Relativistic Collisionless Pair Plasmas

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

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

    2015-01-01

    Using fully kinetic simulations, we study the scaling of the inflow speed of collisionless magnetic reconnection in electron-positron plasmas from the non-relativistic to ultra-relativistic limit. In the anti-parallel configuration, the inflow speed increases with the upstream magnetization parameter sigma and approaches the speed of light when sigma is greater than O(100), leading to an enhanced reconnection rate. In all regimes, the divergence of the pressure tensor is the dominant term responsible for breaking the frozen-in condition at the x-line. The observed scaling agrees well with a simple model that accounts for the Lorentz contraction of the plasma passing through the diffusion region. The results demonstrate that the aspect ratio of the diffusion region, modified by the compression factor of proper density, remains approximately 0.1 in both the non-relativistic and relativistic limits.

  12. 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.

  13. Simulation study of magnetic reconnection in high magnetic Reynolds number plasmas

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Nakabo, T.; Kusano, K.; Miyoshi, T.; Vekstein, G.

    2013-12-01

    Magnetic reconnection is an important process for dynamics in space and laboratory plasmas. Magnetic reconnection is basically dominated by magnetic diffusion at thin current sheet as proposed by Sweet (1958) and Parker (1963). According to their theory, the reconnection rate must be inversely proportional to the square root of the magnetic Reynolds number (S). In magnetosphere and the solar corona, however, in spite of high magnetic Reynolds number (>10^12), reconnection rate is measured to be about 10^-2 that is much higher than the Sweet and Parker's prediction. Although Petschek proposed that the slow mode shock may accelerate reconnection, numerical simulations suggested that the Petschek's type reconnection cannot be sustained with uniform resistivity. On the other hand, it is pointed out that in high magnetic Reynolds number, the thin current sheet becomes unstable to the so-called secondary tearing instability, which generates many plasmoids and drives a sort of fast reconnection. Although Baty (2012) recently investigated the possibility of Petschek-like structure in relatively high-S (~10^4) regime, it is still unclear whether and how the magnetic reconnection is able to be accelerated in higher-S regime (S>10^5). In this paper, we developed the high-resolution magnetohydrodynamics (MHD) simulation of magnetic reconnection for very high-S (S~10^4-10^6) aiming at revealing the acceleration mechanism of magnetic reconnection. We applied the HLLD Riemann solver, which was developed by Miyoshi and Kusano (2005), to the high resolution two-dimensional MHD simulation of current sheet dynamics. In our model, the initial state is given by the Harris sheet equilibrium plus perturbation. As a result, in the case for S=10^5, multiple X-line reconnection appears as a result of the secondary tearing instability and magnetic reconnection is accelerated through the formation of multiple magnetic islands as pointed out by the previous studies. Furthermore, we found that

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Gordovskyy, Mykola; Browning, Philippa K.

    2011-03-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Tan, B.; Lin, Y.; Perez, J. D.; Wang, X. Y.

    2011-02-01

    Magnetopause reconnection is investigated with our 3-D self-consistent global hybrid simulation model. The magnetic configuration and evolution of Flux Transfer Events (FTEs) and the associated ion density and ion velocity distribution at various locations on the magnetopause are investigated. The results reveal the following. (1) Multiple X lines are formed during the magnetopause reconnection, which lead to both FTEs and quasi-steady-type reconnection under a steady solar wind condition. The resulting bipolar signature of local normal magnetic field of FTEs is consistent with satellite observations. (2) A greater-than-20% plasma temperature rise is seen at the center of a FTE, compared to that of the upstream plasma in the magnetosheath. The temperature enhancement is mainly in the direction parallel to the magnetic field because of the mixing of ion beams. (3) Flux ropes that lead to FTEs form between X lines of finite lengths and evolve relatively independently. The ion density is enhanced within FTE flux ropes because of the trapped particles, leading to a filamentary global density. (4) Different from the previous understanding based on the asymmetric density across the magnetopause, a quadrupole magnetic field signature associated with the Hall effects is found to be present around FTEs. (5) A combination of patchy reconnection and multiple X line reconnection leads to the formation of reconnected field lines from the magnetosphere to IMF, as well as the closed field lines from the magnetosphere to the magnetosphere in the magnetopause boundary layer.

  16. Nonthermal Particle Acceleration and Radiation in Relativistic Magnetic Reconnection

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Werner, Gregory

    2015-11-01

    Many spectacular and violent phenomena in the high-energy universe exhibit nonthermal radiation spectra, from which we infer power-law energy distributions of the radiating particles. Relativistic magnetic reconnection, recognized as a leading mechanism of nonthermal particle acceleration, can efficiently transfer magnetic energy to energetic particles. We present a comprehensive particle-in-cell study of particle acceleration in 2D relativistic reconnection in both electron-ion and pair plasmas without guide field. We map out the power-law index α and the high-energy cutoff of the electron energy spectrum as functions of three key parameters: the system size (and initial layer length) L, the ambient plasma magnetization σ, and the ion/electron mass ratio (from 1 to 1836). We identify the transition between small- and large-system regimes: for small L, the system size affects the slope and extent of the high-energy spectrum, while for large enough L, α and the cutoff energy are independent of L. We compare high energy particle spectra and radiative (synchrotron and inverse Compton) signatures of the electrons, for pair and electron-ion reconnection. The latter cases maintain highly relativistic electrons, but include a range of different magnetizations yielding sub- to highly-relativistic ions. Finally, we show how nonthermal acceleration and radiative signatures alter when the radiation back-reaction becomes important. These results have important implications for assessing the promise and the limitations of relativistic reconnection as an astrophysically-important particle acceleration mechanism. This work is funded by NSF, DOE, and NASA.

  17. Magnetic Reconnection During Flux Conversion in a Driven Spheromak

    SciTech Connect

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

    2005-06-07

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hoshino, M.

    2014-12-01

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

  19. Magnetic reconnection driven by Gekko XII lasers with a Helmholtz capacitor-coil target

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Pei, X. X.; Zhong, J. Y.; Sakawa, Y.; Zhang, Z.; Zhang, K.; Wei, H. G.; Li, Y. T.; Li, Y. F.; Zhu, B. J.; Sano, T.; Hara, Y.; Kondo, S.; Fujioka, S.; Liang, G. Y.; Wang, F. L.; Zhao, G.

    2016-03-01

    We demonstrate a novel plasma device for magnetic reconnection, driven by Gekko XII lasers irradiating a double-turn Helmholtz capacitor-coil target. Optical probing revealed an accumulated plasma plume near the magnetic reconnection outflow. The background electron density and magnetic field were measured to be approximately 1018 cm-3 and 60 T by using Nomarski interferometry and the Faraday effect, respectively. In contrast with experiments on magnetic reconnection constructed by the Biermann battery effect, which produced high beta values, our beta value was much lower than one, which greatly extends the parameter regime of laser-driven magnetic reconnection and reveals its potential in astrophysical plasma applications.

  20. Simulation of turbulent magnetic reconnection in the small-scale solar wind.

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wei, Fengsi; Qiang, Hu; Schwen, R.; Feng, Xueshang

    2000-06-01

    Some observational examples for the possible occurrence of the turbulent magnetic reconnection in the solar wind are found by analysing Hellos spacecraft's high resolution data. The phenomena of turbulent magnetic reconnections in small scale solar wind are simulated by introducing a third order accuracy upwind compact difference scheme to the compressible two-dimensional MHD flow. Numerical results verify that the turbulent magnetic reconnection process could occur in small scale interplanetary solar wind, which is a basic feature characterizing the magnetic reconnection in high-magnetic Reynolds number solar wind.

  1. Effects of Global Boundary and Local Collisionality on Magnetic Reconnection in a Laboratory Plasma

    SciTech Connect

    Kuritsyn, A.; Ji, H.; Gerhardt, S. P.; Ren, Y.; Yamada, M.

    2007-07-24

    The magnetic reconnection process is studied in a wide range of operating conditions in the well-controlled Magnetic Reconnection Experiment. The reconnection rate is observed to be a function of both global (i.e., system size) and local (collisionality) plasma parameters. When only local collisionality is lowered, the current sheet is shortened while effective resistivity is enhanced, both accelerating reconnection rates. At a fixed collisionality, the current sheet length increases with system size, resulting in the reduction of the reconnection rate. These results quantitatively agree with a generalized Sweet-Parker analysis.

  2. Asymmetric Magnetic Reconnection with Flow Shear: PIC Simulations and Magnetopause Applications

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Doss, C.; Cassak, P.

    2015-12-01

    Magnetic reconnection at Earth's dayside magnetopause is typically characterized by significant asymmetries in both magnetic field strength and plasma density. In addition, a flow shear across the reconnection site in the plane of the reconnecting magnetic field can be caused by magnetosheath flow, especially at higher latitudes. Being able to predict the solar wind's effect on reconnection is important for understanding, e.g., solar wind-magnetospheric coupling. Recently, we showed that flow shear during asymmetric reconnection causes the reconnection site to convect in the outflow direction, predicted the flow speed from momentum conservation, and confirmed the results with two-dimensional two-fluid numerical simulations (Doss et al., J. Geophys. Res., submitted). We also predicted and confirmed with two-fluid simulations the reconnection rate as a function of upstream plasma conditions and the flow shear required to shut reconnection off. Here, we revisit this system using two-dimensional fully electromagnetic particle-in-cell (PIC) simulations, which treat plasma mixing in the exhaust more realistically than the fluid model. We find very good agreement between the predictions and PIC simulation results for both the X-line convection speed and the reconnection rate for flow speeds below the cutoff speed. For reconnection with typical conditions at the dayside magnetopause, we predict the reconnection site of isolated X-lines convect at nearly the same speed as the tangential component of the solar wind velocity, and the flow has little effect on the reconnection rate.

  3. Oscillation of Newly Formed Loops after Magnetic Reconnection in the Solar Chromosphere

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Yang, Shuhong; Xiang, Yongyuan

    2016-03-01

    With the high spatial and temporal resolution Hα images from the New Vacuum Solar Telescope, we focus on two groups of loops with an X-shaped configuration in the dynamic chromosphere. We find that the anti-directed loops approach each other and reconnect continually. The connectivity of the loops is changed and new loops are formed and stack together. The stacked loops are sharply bent, implying that they are greatly impacted by the magnetic tension force. When another reconnection process takes place, one new loop is formed and stacks with the previously formed ones. Meanwhile, the stacked loops retract suddenly and move toward the balance position, performing an overshoot movement, which led to an oscillation with an average period of about 45 s. The oscillation of newly formed loops after magnetic reconnection in the chromosphere is observed for the first time. We suggest that the stability of the stacked loops is destroyed due to the attachment of the last new loop and then suddenly retract under the effect of magnetic tension. Because of the retraction, another lower loop is pushed outward and performs an oscillation with a period of about 25 s. The different oscillation periods may be due to their difference in three parameters, i.e., loop length, plasma density, and magnetic field strength.

  4. Distinct characteristics of asymmetric magnetic reconnections: Observational results from the exhaust region at the dayside magnetopause.

    PubMed

    Zhang, Y C

    2016-01-01

    Magnetic reconnection plays a key role in the conversion of magnetic energy into the thermal and kinetic energy of plasma. On either side of the diffusion region in space plasma, the conditions for the occurrence of reconnections are usually not symmetric. Previous theoretical studies have predicted that reconnections under asymmetric conditions will bear different features compared with those of symmetric reconnections, and numerical simulations have verified these distinct features. However, to date, the features of asymmetric reconnections have not been thoroughly investigated using in situ observations; thus, some results from theoretical studies and simulations have not been tested with observations sufficiently well. Here, spacecraft observations are used in a statistical investigation of asymmetric magnetic reconnection exhaust at the dayside magnetopause. The resulting observational features are consistent with the theoretical predictions. The results presented here advance our understanding of the development of reconnections under asymmetric conditions. PMID:27270685

  5. Distinct characteristics of asymmetric magnetic reconnections: Observational results from the exhaust region at the dayside magnetopause

    PubMed Central

    Zhang, Y. C.

    2016-01-01

    Magnetic reconnection plays a key role in the conversion of magnetic energy into the thermal and kinetic energy of plasma. On either side of the diffusion region in space plasma, the conditions for the occurrence of reconnections are usually not symmetric. Previous theoretical studies have predicted that reconnections under asymmetric conditions will bear different features compared with those of symmetric reconnections, and numerical simulations have verified these distinct features. However, to date, the features of asymmetric reconnections have not been thoroughly investigated using in situ observations; thus, some results from theoretical studies and simulations have not been tested with observations sufficiently well. Here, spacecraft observations are used in a statistical investigation of asymmetric magnetic reconnection exhaust at the dayside magnetopause. The resulting observational features are consistent with the theoretical predictions. The results presented here advance our understanding of the development of reconnections under asymmetric conditions. PMID:27270685

  6. Distinct characteristics of asymmetric magnetic reconnections: Observational results from the exhaust region at the dayside magnetopause

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Zhang, Y. C.

    2016-06-01

    Magnetic reconnection plays a key role in the conversion of magnetic energy into the thermal and kinetic energy of plasma. On either side of the diffusion region in space plasma, the conditions for the occurrence of reconnections are usually not symmetric. Previous theoretical studies have predicted that reconnections under asymmetric conditions will bear different features compared with those of symmetric reconnections, and numerical simulations have verified these distinct features. However, to date, the features of asymmetric reconnections have not been thoroughly investigated using in situ observations; thus, some results from theoretical studies and simulations have not been tested with observations sufficiently well. Here, spacecraft observations are used in a statistical investigation of asymmetric magnetic reconnection exhaust at the dayside magnetopause. The resulting observational features are consistent with the theoretical predictions. The results presented here advance our understanding of the development of reconnections under asymmetric conditions.

  7. Windsock memory COnditioned RAM (CO-RAM) pressure effect: Forced reconnection in the Earth's magnetotail

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Vörös, Z.; Facskó, G.; Khodachenko, M.; Honkonen, I.; Janhunen, P.; Palmroth, M.

    2014-08-01

    Magnetic reconnection (MR) is a key physical concept explaining the addition of magnetic flux to the magnetotail and closed flux lines back-motion to the dayside magnetosphere. This scenario elaborated by Dungey (1963) can explain many aspects of solar wind-magnetosphere interaction processes, including substorms. However, neither the Dungey model nor its numerous modifications were able to explain fully the onset conditions for MR in the tail. In this paper, we introduce new onset conditions for forced MR in the tail. We call our scenario the "windsock memory conditioned ram pressure effect." Our nonflux transfer-associated forcing is introduced by a combination of the large-scale windsock motions exhibiting memory effects and solar wind dynamic pressure actions on the nightside magnetopause during northward oriented interplanetary magnetic field (IMF). Using global MHD Grand Unified Magnetosphere Ionosphere Coupling Simulation version 4 simulation results, upstream data from Wind, magnetosheath data from Cluster 1 and distant tail data from the two-probe Acceleration, Reconnection, Turbulence and Electrodynamics of the Moon's Interaction with the Sun mission, we show that the simultaneous occurrence of vertical windsock motions of the magnetotail and enhanced solar wind dynamic pressure introduces strong nightside disturbances, including enhanced electric fields and persistent vertical cross-tail shear flows. These perturbations, associated with a stream interaction region in the solar wind, drive MR in the tail during episodes of northward oriented interplanetary magnetic field (IMF). We detect MR indirectly, observing plasmoids in the tail and ground-based signatures of earthward moving fast flows. We also consider the application to solar system planets and close-in exoplanets, where the proposed scenario can elucidate some new aspects of solar/stellar wind-magnetosphere interactions.

  8. Experimental Demonstration of the Collisionless Plasmoid Instability below the Ion Kinetic Scale during Magnetic Reconnection

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Olson, J.; Egedal, J.; Greess, S.; Myers, R.; Clark, M.; Endrizzi, D.; Flanagan, K.; Milhone, J.; Peterson, E.; Wallace, J.; Weisberg, D.; Forest, C. B.

    2016-06-01

    The spontaneous formation of magnetic islands is observed in driven, antiparallel magnetic reconnection on the Terrestrial Reconnection Experiment. We here provide direct experimental evidence that the plasmoid instability is active at the electron scale inside the ion diffusion region in a low collisional regime. The experiments show the island formation occurs at a smaller system size than predicted by extended magnetohydrodynamics or fully collisionless simulations. This more effective seeding of magnetic islands emphasizes their importance to reconnection in naturally occurring 3D plasmas.

  9. OBSERVATION OF MAGNETIC RECONNECTION DRIVEN BY GRANULAR SCALE ADVECTION

    SciTech Connect

    Zeng Zhicheng; Cao Wenda; Ji Haisheng

    2013-06-01

    We report the first evidence of magnetic reconnection driven by advection in a rapidly developing large granule using high spatial resolution observations of a small surge event (base size {approx} 4'' Multiplication-Sign 4'') with the 1.6 m aperture New Solar Telescope at the Big Bear Solar Observatory. The observations were carried out in narrowband (0.5 A) He I 10830 A and broadband (10 A) TiO 7057 A. Since He I 10830 A triplet has a very high excitation level and is optically thin, its filtergrams enable us to investigate the surge from the photosphere through the chromosphere into the lower corona. Simultaneous space data from the Atmospheric Imaging Assembly and Helioseismic and Magnetic Imager on board the Solar Dynamics Observatory were used in the analysis. It is shown that the surge is spatio-temporally associated with magnetic flux emergence in the rapidly developing large granule. During the development of the granule, its advecting flow ({approx}2 km s{sup -1}) squeezed the magnetic flux into an intergranular lane area, where a magnetic flux concentration was formed and the neighboring flux with opposite magnetic polarity was canceled. During the cancellation, the surge was produced as absorption in He I 10830 A filtergrams while simultaneous EUV brightening occurred at its base. The observations clearly indicate evidence of a finest-scale reconnection process driven by the granule's motion.

  10. Spontaneous three-dimensional magnetic reconnection in merging toroidal plasma experiment

    SciTech Connect

    Ii, Toru; Ono, Yasushi

    2013-01-15

    We investigated a new phenomenon of three-dimensional (3D) magnetic reconnection in TS-4 torus plasma merging experiments by directly measuring the 3D structures of the current sheet. Removal of all toroidal asymmetry of the device reveals that a strong external drive of reconnection inflow increases the toroidal asymmetry of the current sheet only during the reconnection. This spontaneous 3D deformation of the current sheet increases the reconnection outflow as well as the reconnection electric field, probably because local compression of the current sheet to a thickness less than the ion gyroradius triggers its strong dissipation of the current sheet, responsible for the onset of 3D reconnection. These mechanisms indicate that the 3D reconnection is a newly observed spontaneous process of fast reconnection.

  11. Spontaneous three-dimensional magnetic reconnection in merging toroidal plasma experiment

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ii, Toru; Ono, Yasushi

    2013-01-01

    We investigated a new phenomenon of three-dimensional (3D) magnetic reconnection in TS-4 torus plasma merging experiments by directly measuring the 3D structures of the current sheet. Removal of all toroidal asymmetry of the device reveals that a strong external drive of reconnection inflow increases the toroidal asymmetry of the current sheet only during the reconnection. This spontaneous 3D deformation of the current sheet increases the reconnection outflow as well as the reconnection electric field, probably because local compression of the current sheet to a thickness less than the ion gyroradius triggers its strong dissipation of the current sheet, responsible for the onset of 3D reconnection. These mechanisms indicate that the 3D reconnection is a newly observed spontaneous process of fast reconnection.

  12. MAGNETIC RECONNECTION BETWEEN SMALL-SCALE LOOPS OBSERVED WITH THE NEW VACUUM SOLAR TELESCOPE

    SciTech Connect

    Yang, Shuhong; Zhang, Jun; Xiang, Yongyuan

    2015-01-01

    Using the high tempo-spatial resolution Hα images observed with the New Vacuum Solar Telescope, we report solid observational evidence of magnetic reconnection between two sets of small-scale, anti-parallel loops with an X-shaped topology. The reconnection process contains two steps: a slow step with a duration of more than several tens of minutes, and a rapid step lasting for only about three minutes. During the slow reconnection, two sets of anti-parallel loops gradually reconnect, and new loops are formed and stacked together. During the rapid reconnection, the anti-parallel loops approach each other quickly, and then rapid reconnection takes place, resulting in the disappearance of the former loops. In the meantime, new loops are formed and separate. The region between the approaching loops is brightened, and the thickness and length of this region are determined to be about 420 km and 1.4 Mm, respectively. During the rapid reconnection process, obvious brightenings at the reconnection site and apparent material ejections outward along reconnected loops are observed. These observed signatures are consistent with predictions by reconnection models. We suggest that the successive slow reconnection changes the conditions around the reconnection site and triggers instabilities, thus leading to the rapid approach of the anti-parallel loops and resulting in the rapid reconnection.

  13. Beaming of Particles and Synchrotron Radiation in Relativistic Magnetic Reconnection

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kagan, Daniel; Nakar, Ehud; Piran, Tsvi

    2016-08-01

    Relativistic reconnection has been invoked as a mechanism for particle acceleration in numerous astrophysical systems. According to idealized analytical models, reconnection produces a bulk relativistic outflow emerging from the reconnection sites (X-points). The resulting radiation is therefore highly beamed. Using two-dimensional particle-in-cell simulations, we investigate particle and radiation beaming, finding a very different picture. Instead of having a relativistic average bulk motion with an isotropic electron velocity distribution in its rest frame, we find that the bulk motion of the particles in X-points is similar to their Lorentz factor γ, and the particles are beamed within ˜ 5/γ . On the way from the X-point to the magnetic islands, particles turn in the magnetic field, forming a fan confined to the current sheet. Once they reach the islands they isotropize after completing a full Larmor gyration and their radiation is no longer strongly beamed. The radiation pattern at a given frequency depends on where the corresponding emitting electrons radiate their energy. Lower-energy particles that cool slowly spend most of their time in the islands and their radiation is not highly beamed. Only particles that quickly cool at the edge of the X-points generate a highly beamed fan-like radiation pattern. The radiation emerging from these fast cooling particles is above the burn-off limit (˜100 MeV in the overall rest frame of the reconnecting plasma). This has significant implications for models of gamma-ray bursts and active galactic nuclei that invoke beaming in that frame at much lower energies.

  14. Beaming of Particles and Synchrotron Radiation in Relativistic Magnetic Reconnection

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kagan, Daniel; Nakar, Ehud; Piran, Tsvi

    2016-08-01

    Relativistic reconnection has been invoked as a mechanism for particle acceleration in numerous astrophysical systems. According to idealized analytical models, reconnection produces a bulk relativistic outflow emerging from the reconnection sites (X-points). The resulting radiation is therefore highly beamed. Using two-dimensional particle-in-cell simulations, we investigate particle and radiation beaming, finding a very different picture. Instead of having a relativistic average bulk motion with an isotropic electron velocity distribution in its rest frame, we find that the bulk motion of the particles in X-points is similar to their Lorentz factor γ, and the particles are beamed within ∼ 5/γ . On the way from the X-point to the magnetic islands, particles turn in the magnetic field, forming a fan confined to the current sheet. Once they reach the islands they isotropize after completing a full Larmor gyration and their radiation is no longer strongly beamed. The radiation pattern at a given frequency depends on where the corresponding emitting electrons radiate their energy. Lower-energy particles that cool slowly spend most of their time in the islands and their radiation is not highly beamed. Only particles that quickly cool at the edge of the X-points generate a highly beamed fan-like radiation pattern. The radiation emerging from these fast cooling particles is above the burn-off limit (∼100 MeV in the overall rest frame of the reconnecting plasma). This has significant implications for models of gamma-ray bursts and active galactic nuclei that invoke beaming in that frame at much lower energies.

  15. FLARE (Facility for Laboratory Reconnection Experiments): A Major Next-Step for Laboratory Studies of Magnetic Reconnection

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ji, H.; Bhattacharjee, A.; Prager, S.; Daughton, W. S.; Bale, S. D.; Carter, T. A.; Crocker, N.; Drake, J. F.; Egedal, J.; Sarff, J.; Wallace, J.; Belova, E.; Ellis, R.; Fox, W. R., II; Heitzenroeder, P.; Kalish, M.; Jara-Almonte, J.; Myers, C. E.; Que, W.; Ren, Y.; Titus, P.; Yamada, M.; Yoo, J.

    2014-12-01

    A new intermediate-scale plasma experiment, called the Facility for Laboratory Reconnection Experiments or FLARE, is under construction at Princeton as a joint project by five universities and two national labs to study magnetic reconnection in regimes directly relevant to space, solar and astrophysical plasmas. The currently existing small-scale experiments have been focusing on the single X-line reconnection process in plasmas either with small effective sizes or at low Lundquist numbers, both of which are typically very large in natural plasmas. These new regimes involve multiple X-lines as guided by a reconnection "phase diagram", in which different coupling mechanisms from the global system scale to the local dissipation scale are classified into different reconnection phases [H. Ji & W. Daughton, Phys. Plasmas 18, 111207 (2011)]. The design of the FLARE device is based on the existing Magnetic Reconnection Experiment (MRX) at Princeton (http://mrx.pppl.gov) and is to provide experimental access to the new phases involving multiple X-lines at large effective sizes and high Lundquist numbers, directly relevant to space and solar plasmas. The motivating major physics questions, the construction status, and the planned collaborative research especially with space and solar research communities will be discussed.

  16. Wave structures excited in compressible Petschek-type magnetic reconnection

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Penz, T.; Semenov, V. S.; Heyn, M. F.; Ivanova, V. V.; Ivanov, I. B.; Biernat, H. K.

    We present a method to analyze the wave and shock structures arising from Petschek-type magnetic reconnection Based on a time-dependent analytical approach developed by Heyn and Semenov 1996 and Semenov et al 2004 we calculate the perturbations caused by a delta function-shaped reconnection magnetic field which allows to achieve a representation of the plasma variables in the form of Green s functions Different configurations for the initial conditions are considered In the case of symmetric antiparallel magnetic fields and symmetric plasma density the well-known structure of an Alfvén discontinuity a fast volume wave a slow shock a slow wave and a tube wave occurs In the case of asymmetric antiparallel magnetic fields additionally surface waves are found We also discuss the case of symmetric antiparallel magnetic fields and asymmetric densities which leads to a faster propagation in the lower half plane causing side waves forming a Mach cone in the upper half plane Complex effects like anisotropic propagation characteristics intrinsic wave coupling and the generation of different non-linear and linear wave modes in a finite beta plasma are retained The temporal evolution of these wave and shock structures is shown

  17. Electron heating during magnetic reconnection: A simulation scaling study

    SciTech Connect

    Shay, M. A. Haggerty, C. C.; Phan, T. D.; Oieroset, M.; Drake, J. F.; Swisdak, M.; Cassak, P. A.; Wu, P.; Malakit, K.

    2014-12-15

    Electron bulk heating during magnetic reconnection with symmetric inflow conditions is examined using kinetic particle-in-cell simulations. Inflowing plasma parameters are varied over a wide range of conditions, and the increase in electron temperature is measured in the exhaust well downstream of the x-line. The degree of electron heating is well correlated with the inflowing Alfvén speed c{sub Ar} based on the reconnecting magnetic field through the relation ΔT{sub e}=0.033 m{sub i} c{sub Ar}{sup 2}, where ΔT{sub e} is the increase in electron temperature. For the range of simulations performed, the heating shows almost no correlation with inflow total temperature T{sub tot}=T{sub i}+T{sub e} or plasma β. An out-of-plane (guide) magnetic field of similar magnitude to the reconnecting field does not affect the total heating, but it does quench perpendicular heating, with almost all heating being in the parallel direction. These results are qualitatively consistent with a recent statistical survey of electron heating in the dayside magnetopause (Phan et al., Geophys. Res. Lett. 40, 4475, 2013), which also found that ΔT{sub e} was proportional to the inflowing Alfvén speed. The net electron heating varies very little with distance downstream of the x-line. The simulations show at most a very weak dependence of electron heating on the ion to electron mass ratio. In the antiparallel reconnection case, the largely parallel heating is eventually isotropized downstream due a scattering mechanism, such as stochastic particle motion or instabilities. The simulation size is large enough to be directly relevant to reconnection in the Earth's magnetosphere, and the present findings may prove to be universal in nature with applications to the solar wind, the solar corona, and other astrophysical plasmas. The study highlights key properties that must be satisfied by an electron heating mechanism: (1) preferential heating in the parallel direction; (2) heating

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2016-06-01

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

  19. Kinetic Approaches to Shear-Driven Magnetic Reconnection for Multi-Scale Modeling of CME Initiation

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2013-12-01

    In the standard model for coronal mass ejections (CME) and/or solar flares, the free energy for the event resides in the strongly sheared magnetic field of a filament channel. The pre-eruption force balance, consisting of an upward force due to the magnetic pressure of the sheared field balanced by a downward tension due to overlying un-sheared field, is widely believed to be disrupted by magnetic reconnection. Therefore, understanding initiation of solar explosive phenomena requires a true multi-scale model of reconnection onset driven by the buildup of magnetic shear. While the application of magnetic-field shear is a trivial matter in MHD simulations, it is a significant challenge in a PIC code. The driver must be implemented in a self-consistent manner and with boundary conditions that avoid the generation of waves that destroy the applied shear. In this work, we describe drivers for 2.5D, aperiodic, PIC systems and discuss the implementation of driver-consistent boundary conditions that allow a net electric current to flow through the walls. Preliminary tests of these boundaries with a MHD equilibrium are shown. This work was supported, in part, by the NASA Living With a Star TR&T Program.

  20. A Kinetic Approach to Shear Driven Magnetic Reconnection for Multi-Scale Modeling of CME Initiation

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Black, Carrie; Antiochos, Spiro; DeVore, Rick; Germaschewski, Kai; Karpen, Judy

    2013-10-01

    In the standard model for coronal mass ejections (CME) and/or solar flares, the free energy for the event resides in the strongly sheared magnetic field of a filament channel. The pre-eruption force balance consisting of an upward force due to the magnetic pressure of the sheared field balanced by a downward tension due to overlying, un-sheared field is widely believed to be disrupted by magnetic reconnection. Therefore, understanding initiation of solar explosive phenomena requires a true multi-scale model of reconnection onset driven by the buildup of magnetic shear. While, the application of a magnetic field shear is a trivial matter in MHD simulations, it is significantly challenging to do so in a PIC code. The driver must be implemented in a self-consistent manner and with boundary conditions that avoid the generation of waves that destroy the applied shear. In this work, we describe such a driver for 2.5D, aperiodic, PIC system and discuss the implementation of driver consistent boundary conditions that allow a net electric current to flow through the walls. Preliminary tests of these boundaries with a MHD equilibrium are shown.

  1. Transient Magnetic Reconnection and Dipolarization Fronts in the Terrestrial Magnetotail

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Zhou, Meng; Deng, Xiaohua; Pang, Ye; Xu, Xiaojun; Huang, Shiyong; Tang, Rongxin; Yuan, Zhigang

    2015-04-01

    We report a Cluster observation of transient magnetic reconnection in the Earth's magnetotail at the location of [Xgsm~ -17.2 RE, Ygsm~ -4.5 RE and Zgsm~ 0]. The reconnection X-line retreated tailward with a speed of 34 km/s based on multi-spacecraft analysis. An ion diffusion region with a weak guide field (~10% of lobe field) was encountered during the flow reversal. A flux rope was embedded in the tailward flow. Transient suprathermal electron beams, which directed away from the X-line, were detected repeatedly around the separatrix region with periods of about 60s during the tailward flow bursts. On the earthward side of X-line, multiple earthward-propagating dipolarization fronts were observed quasi-periodically at the edge of the ion diffusion region with time period of 60s-90s. Particle and wave characteristics also show distinct signatures at different stages of the transient reconnection. The implications of this observation will be discussed.

  2. Spreading of Magnetic Reconnection X-lines in Three Dimensions

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Cassak, Paul; Shepherd, Lucas

    2012-03-01

    Naturally occurring magnetic reconnection often begins in a spatially localized region and spreads in the out-of-plane direction in time. A number of authors have studied this problem for magnetotail applications such as substorms and bursty bulk flows, for which the out-of-plane (guide) field is typically small. However, spreading also occurs in laboratory experiments and two-ribbon solar flares (such as the Bastille Day flare), and is inferred to occur at the dayside magnetopause. The reconnection site in each of these settings is known or thought to have a significant guide field. With no guide field, it was shown that the reconnection spreading is controlled by the species that carries the current. However, laboratory experiments with a large guide field (Katz et al., Phys. Rev. Lett., 104, 255004, 2010) revealed that spreading takes place in both directions at the Alfven speed based on the guide field. This implies a qualitative change of behavior as the guide field varies. We present a scaling argument for the condition on the guide field at which the nature of the spreading switches from being caused by current carriers to Alfven waves. Further, we show results of three-dimensional two-fluid simulations that agree with the theory. We discuss applications to observations.

  3. Green's function of compressible Petschek-type magnetic reconnection

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Penz, Thomas; Semenov, V. S.; Ivanova, V. V.; Heyn, M. F.; Ivanov, I. B.; Biernat, H. K.

    2006-05-01

    We present a method to analyze the wave and shock structures arising from Petschek-type magnetic reconnection. Based on a time-dependent analytical approach developed by Heyn and Semenov [Phys. Plasmas 3, 2725 (1996)] and Semenov et al. [Phys. Plasmas 11, 62 (2004)], we calculate the perturbations caused by a delta function-shaped reconnection electric field, which allows us to achieve a representation of the plasma variables in the form of Green's functions. Different configurations for the initial conditions are considered. In the case of symmetric, antiparallel magnetic fields and symmetric plasma density, the well-known structure of an Alfvén discontinuity, a fast body wave, a slow shock, a slow wave, and a tube wave occurs. In the case of asymmetric, antiparallel magnetic fields, additionally surface waves are found. We also discuss the case of symmetric, antiparallel magnetic fields and asymmetric densities, which leads to a faster propagation in the lower half plane, causing side waves forming a Mach cone in the upper half plane. Complex effects like anisotropic propagation characteristics, intrinsic wave coupling, and the generation of different nonlinear and linear wave modes in a finite β plasma are retained. The temporal evolution of these wave and shock structures is shown.

  4. Laboratory Magnetic Reconnection Experiments with Colliding, Magnetized Laser-Produced Plasma Plumes

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Fox, W. R., II; Bhattacharjee, A.; Deng, W.; Moissard, C.; Germaschewski, K.; Fiksel, G.; Barnak, D.; Chang, P. Y.; Hu, S.; Nilson, P.

    2014-12-01

    We present results from experiments and simulations of magnetic reconnection between colliding plumes of laser-produced plasma. In the experiments, which open up a new experimental regime for reconnection study, bubbles of high-temperature, high-density plasma are created by focusing lasers down to sub-millimeter-scale spots on a plastic or metal foil, ionizing the foil into hemispherical bubbles that expand supersonically off the surface of the foil. If multiple bubbles are created at small separation, the bubbles expand into one another, and the embedded magnetic fields (either self-generated or externally imposed) are squeezed together and reconnect. We will review recent experiments, which have observed magnetic field annihilation, outflow jets, particle energization, and the formation of elongated current sheets. We compare the results against experiments with unmagnetized plumes, which observe the Weibel instability as the two plumes collide and interact. Particle-in-cell simulations of the strongly driven reconnection in these experiments show fast reconnection due to two-fluid effects, flux pile-up, and plasmoid formation, and show particle energization by reconnection.

  5. Solar Polar Jets Driven by Magnetic Reconnection, Gravity, and Wind

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2014-06-01

    Polar jets are dynamic, narrow, radially extended structures observed in solar EUV emission near the limb. They originate within the open field of coronal holes in “anemone” regions, which are intrusions of opposite magnetic polarity. The key topological feature is a magnetic null point atop a dome-shaped fan surface of field lines. Applied stresses readily distort the null into a current patch, eventually inducing interchange reconnection between the closed and open fields inside and outside the fan surface (Antiochos 1996). Previously, we demonstrated that magnetic free energy stored on twisted closed field lines inside the fan surface is released explosively by the onset of fast reconnection across the current patch (Pariat et al. 2009, 2010). A dense jet comprised of a nonlinear, torsional Alfvén wave is ejected into the outer corona along the newly reconnected open field lines. Now we are extending those exploratory simulations by including the effects of solar gravity, solar wind, and expanding spherical geometry. We find that the model remains robust in the resulting more complex setting, with explosive energy release and dense jet formation occurring in the low corona due to the onset of a kink-like instability, as found in the earlier Cartesian, gravity-free, static-atmosphere cases. The spherical-geometry jet including gravity and wind propagates far more rapidly into the outer corona and inner heliosphere than a comparison jet simulation that excludes those effects. We report detailed analyses of our new results, compare them with previous work, and discuss the implications for understanding remote and in-situ observations of solar polar jets.This work was supported by NASA’s LWS TR&T program.

  6. The Onset of Magnetic Reconnection in the Solar Atmosphere

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Evans, R. M.; Klimchuk, J. A.; van der Holst, B.

    2014-12-01

    A fundamental question concerning magnetic energy release on the Sun is why the release occurs only after substantial stresses have been built up in the field. If reconnection were to occur readily, then the released energy would be much less than the energy required for coronal heating, CMEs, flares, jets, spicules, etc. How can we explain this switch-on property? What is the physical nature of the onset conditions? One idea involves the secondary instability of current sheets, which switches on when the rotation of the magnetic field across a current sheet reaches a critical angle. Such conditions would occur at the boundaries of flux tubes that become tangled and twisted by turbulent photospheric convection, for example. Other ideas focus on a critical thickness for the current sheet. We report here on the preliminary results of our investigation of reconnection onset. Unlike our earlier work on the secondary instability (Dahlburg, Klimchuk, and Antiochos 2005), here we treat the coupled chromosphere-corona system. Using the BATS-R-US MHD code (Toth et al. 2012), we simulate a single current sheet in a sheared magnetic field that extends from the chromosphere into the corona. Driver motions are applied at the base of the model. The configuration and chromosphere are both idealized, but capture the essential physics of the problem. The advantage of this unique approach is that it resolves the current sheet to the greatest extent possible while maintaining a realistic solar atmosphere. It thus bridges the gap between reconnection in a box studies and studies of large-scale systems such as active regions. One question we will address is whether onset conditions are met first in the chromosphere or corona.

  7. The Onset of Magnetic Reconnection in the Solar Atmosphere

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Evans, Rebekah M.; Klimchuk, James A.; Van Der Holst, Bart

    2014-06-01

    A fundamental question concerning magnetic energy release on the Sun is why the release occurs only after substantial stresses have been built up in the field. If reconnection were to occur readily, then the released energy would be much less than the energy required for coronal heating, CMEs, flares, jets, spicules, etc. How can we explain this switch-on property? What is the physical nature of the onset conditions? One idea involves the "secondary instability" of current sheets, which switches on when the rotation of the magnetic field across a current sheet reaches a critical angle. Such conditions would occur at the boundaries of flux tubes that become tangled and twisted by turbulent photopheric convection, for example. Other ideas focus on a critical thickness for the current sheet. We report here on the preliminary results of our investigation of reconnection onset. Unlike our earlier work on the secondary instability (Dahlburg, Klimchuk, and Antiochos 2005), here we treat the coupled chromosphere-corona system. Using the BATS-R-US MHD code (Toth et al. 2012), we simulate a single current sheet in a sheared magnetic field that extends from the chromosphere into the corona. Driver motions are applied at the base of the model. The configuration and chromosphere are both idealized, but capture the essential physics of the problem. The advantage of this unique approach is that it resolves the current sheet to the greatest extent possible while maintaining a realistic solar atmosphere. It thus bridges the gap between "reconnection in a box" studies and studies of large-scale systems such as active regions. One question we will address is whether onset conditions are met first in the chromosphere or corona.

  8. Rapid change of field line connectivity and reconnection in stochastic magnetic fields

    SciTech Connect

    Huang, Yi-Min; Bhattacharjee, A.; Boozer, Allen H.

    2014-10-01

    Magnetic fields without a direction of continuous symmetry have the generic feature that neighboring field lines exponentiate away from each other and become stochastic, and hence the ideal constraint of preserving magnetic field line connectivity becomes exponentially sensitive to small deviations from ideal Ohm's law. The idea of breaking field line connectivity by stochasticity as a mechanism for fast reconnection is tested with numerical simulations based on reduced magnetohydrodynamics equations with a strong guide field line-tied to two perfectly conducting end plates. Starting from an ideally stable force-free equilibrium, the system is allowed to undergo resistive relaxation. Two distinct phases are found in the process of resistive relaxation. During the quasi-static phase, rapid change of field line connectivity and strong induced flow are found in regions of high field line exponentiation. However, although the field line connectivity of individual field lines can change rapidly, the overall pattern of field line mapping appears to deform gradually. From this perspective, field line exponentiation appears to cause enhanced diffusion rather than reconnection. In some cases, resistive quasi-static evolution can cause the ideally stable initial equilibrium to cross a stability threshold, leading to formation of intense current filaments and rapid change of field line mapping into a qualitatively different pattern. It is in this onset phase that the change of field line connectivity is more appropriately designated as magnetic reconnection. Our results show that rapid change of field line connectivity appears to be a necessary, but not a sufficient condition for fast reconnection.

  9. NEW SOLAR TELESCOPE OBSERVATIONS OF MAGNETIC RECONNECTION OCCURRING IN THE CHROMOSPHERE OF THE QUIET SUN

    SciTech Connect

    Chae, Jongchul; Ahn, K.; Goode, P. R.; Yurchysyn, V.; Abramenko, V.; Andic, A.; Cao, W.; Park, Y. D.

    2010-04-10

    Magnetic reconnection is a process in which field-line connectivity changes in a magnetized plasma. On the solar surface, it often occurs with the cancellation of two magnetic fragments of opposite polarity. Using the 1.6 m New Solar Telescope, we observed the morphology and dynamics of plasma visible in the H{alpha} line, which is associated with a canceling magnetic feature (CMF) in the quiet Sun. The region can be divided into four magnetic domains: two pre-reconnection and two post-reconnection. In one post-reconnection domain, a small cloud erupted, with a plane-of-sky speed of 10 km s{sup -1}, while in the other one, brightening began at points and then tiny bright loops appeared and subsequently shrank. These features support the notion that magnetic reconnection taking place in the chromosphere is responsible for CMFs.

  10. Global Extended MHD Studies of Fast Magnetic Reconnection

    SciTech Connect

    Breslau J.A.; Jardin, S.C.

    2002-09-18

    Recent experimental and theoretical results have led to two lines of thought regarding the physical processes underlying fast magnetic reconnection. One is based on the traditional Sweet-Parker model but replaces the Spitzer resistivity with an enhanced resistivity caused by electron scattering by ion acoustic turbulence. The other includes the finite gyroradius effects that enter Ohm's law through the Hall and electron pressure gradient terms. A 2-D numerical study, conducted with a new implicit parallel two-fluid code, has helped to clarify the similarities and differences in predictions between these two models and provides some insight into their respective ranges of validity.

  11. Hybrid simulations of magnetic reconnection with kinetic ions and fluid electron pressure anisotropy

    DOE PAGESBeta

    Le, A.; Daughton, W.; Karimabadi, H.; Egedal, J.

    2016-03-16

    We present the first hybrid simulations with kinetic ions and recently developed equations of state for the electron fluid appropriate for reconnection with a guide field. The equations of state account for the main anisotropy of the electron pressure tensor.Magnetic reconnection is studied in two systems, an initially force-free current sheet and a Harris sheet. The hybrid model with the equations of state is compared to two other models, hybrid simulations with isothermal electrons and fully kinetic simulations. Including the anisotropicequations of state in the hybrid model provides a better match to the fully kinetic model. In agreement with fullymore » kinetic results, the main feature captured is the formation of an electron current sheet that extends several ion inertial lengths. This electron current sheet modifies the Hall magnetic field structure near the X-line, and it is not observed in the standard hybrid model with isotropic electrons. The saturated reconnection rate in this regime nevertheless remains similar in all three models. Here, implications for global modeling are discussed.« less

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2015-11-01

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

  13. Energetic Electrons Associated with Magnetic Reconnection in the Magnetic Cloud Boundary Layer

    SciTech Connect

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

    2010-11-05

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2010-11-01

    Here is reported in situ observation of energetic electrons (∼100-500 keV) associated with magnetic reconnection in the solar wind by the ACE and Wind spacecraft. The properties of this magnetic cloud driving reconnection and the associated energetic electron acceleration problem are discussed. Further analyses indicate that the electric field acceleration and Fermi-type mechanism are two fundamental elements in the electron acceleration processes and the trapping effect of the specific magnetic field configuration maintains the acceleration status that increases the totally gained energy. PMID:21231178

  15. MULTI-FLUID SIMULATIONS OF CHROMOSPHERIC MAGNETIC RECONNECTION IN A WEAKLY IONIZED REACTING PLASMA

    SciTech Connect

    Leake, James E.; Lukin, Vyacheslav S.; Linton, Mark G.; Meier, Eric T.

    2012-12-01

    We present results from the first self-consistent multi-fluid simulations of chromospheric magnetic reconnection in a weakly ionized reacting plasma. We simulate two-dimensional magnetic reconnection in a Harris current sheet with a numerical model which includes ion-neutral scattering collisions, ionization, recombination, optically thin radiative loss, collisional heating, and thermal conduction. In the resulting tearing mode reconnection the neutral and ion fluids become decoupled upstream from the reconnection site, creating an excess of ions in the reconnection region and therefore an ionization imbalance. Ion recombination in the reconnection region, combined with Alfvenic outflows, quickly removes ions from the reconnection site, leading to a fast reconnection rate independent of Lundquist number. In addition to allowing fast reconnection, we find that these non-equilibria partial ionization effects lead to the onset of the nonlinear secondary tearing instability at lower values of the Lundquist number than has been found in fully ionized plasmas. These simulations provide evidence that magnetic reconnection in the chromosphere could be responsible for jet-like transient phenomena such as spicules and chromospheric jets.

  16. Final Report Experimental Study of Impulsive Reconnection in a Current Carrying Magnetic Arcade

    SciTech Connect

    Craig, Darren

    2011-10-27

    The Wheaton Impulsive Reconnection Experiment (WIRX) is a new experiment now underway at Wheaton College for the study of magnetic reconnection. The experiment is composed of two parallel electrodes, linked by a magnetic arcade that is generated by a coil surrounding the electrodes. Current is driven along the arcade from one electrode to another. When enough current is driven, the arcade is expected to disrupt or segment by reconnection allowing a study of 3D reconnection. This report is the final report for a three year grant period.

  17. Magnetic Field Reconnection and Diffusion in Turbulent Media

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Tecumseh Vishniac, Ethan; Lalescu, Cristian; Eyink, Gregory; Lazarian, Alex

    2015-08-01

    Turbulent cascades give rise to universal behavior, where the dependence of dynamical variables on length scales is insensitive to microphysical transport coefficients. We consider the behavior of magnetic fields in highly conducting, strongly turbulent media. The idea of `frozen-in' magnetic field lines, which applies to laminar flows in ideal plasmas, is grossly violated in this context. We will show how turbulent Richardson advection brings field lines implosively together from distances far apart to microphysical scales separations. We report an analysis of a simulation of magnetohydrodynamic turbulence at high conductivity that exhibits Richardson dispersion. This effect of advection in rough velocity fields, which appear non-differentiable in space, leads to line motions that are completely indeterministic or `spontaneously stochastic', as predicted in analytical studies. We trace the motion of large scale field lines and show that they move through the turbulent fluid on dynamical time scales. We analyze regions of large scale reconnection and compare them to instances of reconnection in the fast solar wind.

  18. Orientation of x-lines in asymmetric magnetic reconnection

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Liu, Yi-Hsin; Hesse, Michael; Kuznetsova, Masha

    2015-11-01

    At Earth's magnetopause, reconnection proceeds asymmetrically between magnetosheath plasmas, namely solar wind plasmas compressed by Earth's bow shock, and magnetospheric plasmas. In an asymmetric configuration, it is unclear if there is a simple principle to determine the orientation of the x-line. Using fully kinetic simulations, we study this issue and a spatially localized perturbation is employed to induce a single x-line, that has sufficient freedom to choose its orientation in three-dimensional systems. The effect of ion to electron mass ratio is investigated, and the x-line appears to bisect the magnetic shear angle across the current sheet in the large mass ratio limit. The deviation from the bisection angle in the lower mass ratio limit can be explained by the physics of tearing instability. The local physics control of the x-line orientation studied in this slab geometry could potentially interplay with global geometrical effects to determine the location of collisionless magnetic reconnection at Earth's magnetopause.

  19. The formation flare loops by magnetic reconnection and chromospheric ablation

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Forbes, T. G.; Malherbe, J. M.; Priest, E. R.

    1989-01-01

    Noncoplanar compressible reconnection theory is combined here with simple scaling arguments for ablation and radiative cooling to predict average properties of hot and cool flare loops as a function of the coronal vector magnetic field. For a coronal field strength of 100 G, the temperature of the hot flare loops decreases from 1.2 x 10 to the 7th K to 4.0 x 10 to the 6th K as the component of the coronal magnetic field perpendicular to the plane of the loops increases from 0 percent to 86 percent of the total field. When the perpendicular component exceeds 86 percent of the total field or when the altitude of the reconnection site exceeds 10 to the 6th km, flare loops no longer occur. Shock-enhanced radiative cooling triggers the formation of cool H-alpha flare loops with predicted densities of roughly 10 to the 13th/cu cm, and a small gap of roughly 1000 km is predicted to exist between the footpoints of the cool flare loops and the inner edges of the flare ribbons.

  20. Study of Magnetic Reconnection in Plasma: how it works and energizes plasma particles

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Yamada, Masaaki

    2015-11-01

    Magnetic reconnection is a phenomenon of nature in which magnetic field lines change their topology in plasma and convert magnetic energy to plasma particles by acceleration and heating. It is a fundamental process at work in laboratory, space and astrophysical plasmas. Magnetic reconnection occurs throughout the Universe: in star forming galaxies; around supernovae; in solar flares; in the earth's magnetosphere; and in fusion plasmas. One of the great challenges in reconnection research has been to understand why reconnection occurs so much faster than predicted by MHD theory. This talk begins with a review of recent discoveries and findings in the research of fast magnetic reconnection in laboratory plasmas and space astrophysical plasmas. I compare the experimental results and space observations with theory and numerical simulations. The collaboration between space and laboratory scientists in reconnection research has reached a point where we can directly compare measurements of the reconnection layer using recently-advanced numerical simulations. In spite of the huge difference in physical scales, we find remarkable commonality between the characteristics of the magnetic reconnection in laboratory and space-astrophysical plasmas. In this talk, I will focus especially on the energy flow, a key feature of reconnection process. We have recently reported our results on the energy conversion and partitioning in a laboratory reconnection layer. In Magnetic Reconnection Experiment (MRX) the mechanisms of ion acceleration and heating are identified and a systematic study of the quantitative inventory of converted energy within a reconnection layer has been made with a well-defined but variable boundary. The measured energy partition in a reconnection region of similar effective size (L ~ 3 ion skin depth) of the Earth's magneto-tail is remarkably consistent with the laboratory results. A more comprehensive study is proposed using MMS satellites very recently put into

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2013-12-01

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

  2. Formation of sub-ion scale filamentary force-free structures in the vicinity of reconnection region

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Zelenyi, L. M.; Frank, A. G.; Artemyev, A. V.; Petrukovich, A. A.; Nakamura, R.

    2016-05-01

    In this paper we review the results of spacecraft observations of current sheets (CSs) of sub-ion spatial scales in the Earth’s magnetotail as well as experiments with these structures in laboratory devices. We demonstrate that such sub-ion CSs having a thickness less than the ion gyroradius are usually formed in the vicinity of the magnetic reconnection region and are supported by strong electron currents flowing along magnetic field lines. The magnetic field configuration of sub-ion CSs is close to the force-free configuration, with a strong shear magnetic field component in the CS central region. Spacecraft observations suggest that parallel electron currents are generated by electron beams (pronounced enhancement of the phase space density for electrons with small pitch angles and energies  ∼1–3 keV). We discuss several models describing such force-free sub-ion CSs.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2015-11-01

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

  4. Coronal holes - Mass loss driven by magnetic reconnection

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Mullan, D. J.; Ahmad, I. A.

    1982-01-01

    A nonthermal mechanism for driving coronal hole mass loss is proposed. Three empirical results are noted, namely (1) that polar plumes with short-lived X-ray bright points (XBP) at their base are sites of matter flow sufficient to account for the total solar mass flux, (2) that solar wind densities are positively correlated with the number of XBP in coronal holes, and (3) that XBP are associated with newly emerged magnetic flux. It is noted that since the dynamical development following the onset of nonequilibrium is a hitherto unsolved problem, subsequent features in the scenario described here are relatively speculative. It is proposed that bubbles of matter ejected from magnetic reconnection sites in polar plumes drive the solar wind in coronal holes.

  5. Jet Deflection by Very Weak Guide Fields during Magnetic Reconnection

    SciTech Connect

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

    2011-09-23

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

  6. Evolving Magnetic Reconnection in Well Confined Plasmas with Low Collisionalities*

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Coppi, B.

    2009-11-01

    There are two kinds of modes, producing large scale magnetic islands in well confined plasmas with low degrees of collisionality. These have phase velocities of opposite signs and are expected to emerge following the excitation of other modes as they cannot be found to be linearly unstable. One type is the ``drift-tearing'' [1] mode with a phase velocity in the direction of the electron diamagnetic velocity (vde) and the other is classified as an ``inductive'' mode [2] with a phase velocity in the direction of vdi. The ``drift-tearing'' can be excited after a mode that has the effect of decreasing the ratio of the longitudinal to the transverse electron thermal conductivity, like the ``micro-reconnecting'' mode discussed in Ref. [3]. The second type requires the previous excitation of a pressure gradient driven mode [4] that has a flow velocity in the vdi direction. Moreover, a mode-particle resonance with a high energy particle population [1] is involved in the growth of both the primary and the secondary (reconnecting) mode. Recent experimental observations [4] are consistent with these conclusions. Sawtooth oscillations that involve periodic reconnection events and modes that are related to those described earlier are discussed. *Sponsored in part by the U.S. DoE. [1] B. Coppi, Phys. Fluids 8, 2273 (1965) [2] B. Coppi, Bull. Am. Phys. Soc 45, 366 (2000) [3] B. Coppi, in ``Collective Phenomena etc.'' pg. 59, Eds. G. Bertin et. al., Publ. World Scientific (2007) [4] P. Buratti et al. Paper 02.007, 2009 E.P.S. Conference

  7. FLARE (Facility for Laboratory Reconnection Experiments): A Major Next-Step for Laboratory Studies of Magnetic Reconnection

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ji, H.; Bhattacharjee, A.; Prager, S.; Bale, S.; Carter, T.; Crocker, N.; Drake, J.; Egedal, J.; Wallace, J.; Belova, E.; Ellis, R.; Fox, W.; Heitzenroeder, P.; Kalish, M.; Jara-Almonte, J.; Myers, C.; Que, W.; Ren, Y.; Titus, P.; Yamada, M.; Yoo, J.; Daughton, W.

    2014-10-01

    A new intermediate-scale plasma experiment, called the Facility for Laboratory Reconnection Experiments or FLARE, is under construction at Princeton as a joint project by five universities and two national labs to study magnetic reconnection in regimes directly relevant to space, solar, astrophysical, and fusion plasmas. The currently existing small-scale experiments have been focusing on the single X-line reconnection process in plasmas either with small effective sizes or at low Lundquist numbers, but both of which are typically very large in natural and fusion plasmas. The design of the FLARE device is motivated to provide experimental access to the new regimes involving multiple X-lines at large effective sizes and high Lundquist numbers. The motivating major physics questions, the construction status, and the planned collaborative research will be discussed.

  8. Particle-in-cell simulations of electron energization in laser-driven magnetic reconnection

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lu, San; Lu, Quanming; Guo, Fan; Sheng, Zhengming; Wang, Huanyu; Wang, Shui

    2016-01-01

    Electrons can be energized during laser-driven magnetic reconnection, and the energized electrons form three super-Alfvénic electron jets in the outflow region (Lu et al 2014 New J. Phys. 16 083021). In this paper, by performing two-dimensional particle-in-cell simulations, we find that the electrons can also be significantly energized before magnetic reconnection occurs. When two plasma bubbles with toroidal magnetic fields expand and squeeze each other, the electrons in the magnetic ribbons are energized through betatron acceleration due to the enhancement of the magnetic field, and an electron temperature anisotropy {T}{{e}\\perp }\\gt {T}{{e}| | } develops. Meanwhile, some electrons are trapped and bounced repeatedly between the two expanding/approaching bubbles and get energized through a Fermi-like process. The energization before magnetic reconnection is more significant (or important) than that during magnetic reconnection.

  9. Amid the Tempest: An Observational View of Magnetic Reconnection in Explosions on the Sun

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Qiu, Jiong

    2007-05-01

    Viewed through telescopes, the Sun is a restless star. Frequently, impulsive brightenings in the Sun's atmosphere, known as solar flares, are observed across a broad range of the electromagnetic spectrum. It is considered that solar flares are driven by magnetic reconnection, when anti-parallel magnetic field lines collide and reconnect with each other, efficiently converting free magnetic energy into heating plasmas and accelerating charged particles. Over the past decades, solar physicists have discovered observational signatures as indirect evidence for magnetic reconnection. Careful analyses of these observations lead to evaluation of key physical parameters of magnetic reconnection. Growing efforts have been extended to understand the process of magnetic reconnection in some of the most spectacular explosions on the Sun in the form of coronal mass ejections (CMEs). Often accompanied by flares, nearly once a day, a large bundle of plasma wrapped in magnetic field lines is violently hurled out of the Sun into interplanetary space. This is a CME. CMEs are driven magnetically, although the exact mechanisms remain in heated debate. Among many mysteries of CMEs, a fundamental question has been the origin of the specific magnetic structure of CMEs, some reaching the earth and being observed in-situ as a nested set of helical field lines, or a magnetic flux rope. Analyses of interplanetary magnetic flux ropes and their solar progenitors, including flares and CMEs, provide an observational insight into the role of magnetic reconnection at the early stage of flux rope eruption.

  10. Magnetic reconnection mediated by hyper-resistive plasmoid instability

    SciTech Connect

    Huang, Yi-Min; Bhattacharjee, A.; Forbes, Terry G.

    2013-08-15

    Magnetic reconnection mediated by the hyper-resistive plasmoid instability is studied with both linear analysis and nonlinear simulations. The linear growth rate is found to scale as S{sub H}{sup 1/6} with respect to the hyper-resistive Lundquist number S{sub H}≡L{sup 3}V{sub A}/η{sub H}, where L is the system size, V{sub A} is the Alfvén velocity, and η{sub H} is the hyper-resistivity. In the nonlinear regime, reconnection rate becomes nearly independent of S{sub H}, the number of plasmoids scales as S{sub H}{sup 1/2}, and the secondary current sheet length and width both scale as S{sub H}{sup −1/2}. These scalings are consistent with a heuristic argument assuming secondary current sheets are close to marginal stability. The distribution of plasmoids as a function of the enclosed flux ψ is found to obey a ψ{sup −1} power law over an extended range, followed by a rapid fall off for large plasmoids. These results are compared with those from resistive magnetohydrodynamic studies.

  11. Magnetic reconnection in 3D magnetosphere models: magnetic separators and open flux production

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Glocer, A.; Dorelli, J.; Toth, G.; Komar, C. M.; Cassak, P.

    2014-12-01

    There are multiple competing definitions of magnetic reconnection in 3D (e.g., Hesse and Schindler [1988], Lau and Finn [1990], and Boozer [2002]). In this work we focus on separator reconnection. A magnetic separator can be understood as the 3D analogue of a 2D x line with a guide field, and is defined by the line corresponding to the intersection of the separatrix surfaces associated with the magnetic nulls. A separator in the magnetosphere represents the intersection of four distinct magnetic topologies: solar wind, closed, open connected to the northern hemisphere, and open connected to the southern hemisphere. The integral of the parallel electric field along the separator defines the rate of open flux production, and is one measure of the reconnection rate. We present three methods for locating magnetic separators and apply them to 3D resistive MHD simulations of the Earth's magnetosphere using the BATS-R-US code. The techniques for finding separators and determining the reconnection rate are insensitive to IMF clock angle and can in principle be applied to any magnetospheric model. The present work examines cases of high and low resistivity, for two clock angles. We also examine the separator during Flux Transfer Events (FTEs) and Kelvin-Helmholtz instability.

  12. A comparison of analytical and numerical models for steadily driven magnetic reconnection

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

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

    1987-01-01

    The effect of boundary conditions in both analytical and numerical solutions of steadily driven reconnection on the reconnection of antiparallel magnetic fields is considered, with special attention given to the mathematical problem of properly specifying boundary conditions for the MHD equation. A unified formulation developed by Priest and Forbes (1986) for steady state reconnection, which includes the Petschek solution and the Sonnerup (1970) solution as special cases, is used to reinterpret the previous numerical experiments of steadily driven reconnection. It is shown that many contradictory features of these experiments were caused by the use of boundary conditions which are different from those required by Petschek's (1964) theory.

  13. The Hall dynamo effect and nonlinear mode coupling during sawtooth magnetic reconnection

    SciTech Connect

    Ding, W. X.; Brower, D. L.; Deng, B. H.; Almagri, A. F.; Craig, D.; Fiksel, G.; Mirnov, V.; Prager, S. C.; Sarff, J. S.; Svidzinski, V.

    2006-11-15

    During magnetic reconnection associated with sawtooth activity in a reversed field pinch, we observe a large fluctuation-induced Hall electromotive force, <{delta}Jx{delta}B>/n{sub e}e, which is capable of modifying the equilibrium current. This Hall dynamo effect is determined in the hot plasma core by laser Faraday rotation which measures equilibrium and fluctuating magnetic field and current density. We find that the Hall dynamo is strongest when nonlinear mode coupling between three spatial Fourier modes of the resistive tearing instability is present. Mode coupling alters the phase relation between magnetic and current density fluctuations for individual Fourier modes leading to a finite Hall effect. Detailed measurements of the spatial and temporal dynamics for the dominant core resonant mode under various plasma configurations are described providing evidence regarding the origin of the Hall dynamo.

  14. Double-reconnected magnetic structures driven by Kelvin-Helmholtz vortices at the Earth's magnetosphere

    SciTech Connect

    Borgogno, D.; Califano, F.; Pegoraro, F.; Faganello, M.

    2015-03-15

    In an almost collisionless magnetohydrodynamic plasma in a relatively strong magnetic field, stresses can be conveyed far from the region where they are exerted, e.g., through the propagation of Alfvèn waves. The forced dynamics of line-tied magnetic structures in solar and stellar coronae (see, e.g., A. F. Rappazzo and E. N. Parker, Astrophys. J. 773, L2 (2013) and references therein) is a paradigmatic case. Here, we investigate how this action at a distance develops from the equatorial region of the Kelvin-Helmholtz unstable flanks of the Earth's magnetosphere leading to the onset, at mid latitude in both hemispheres, of correlated double magnetic field line reconnection events that can allow the solar wind plasma to enter the Earth's magnetosphere.

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

    SciTech Connect

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

    2015-10-15

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

  16. The solar wind flow along the subsolar line in the magnetic barrier and reconnection at the magnetopause

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Erkaev, N. V.; Mezentsev, A. V.; Biernat, H. K.; Besser, B. P.; Bachmaier, G. A.; Semenov, V. S.; Rijnbeek, R. P.; Farrugia, C. J.

    1994-01-01

    The magnetic barrier is a significant fraction of the magnetosheath region where magnetic forces react back on the plasma flow. We use a magnetohydrodynamic approach to calculate the solar wind flow around the magnetosphere. The use of so-called frozen-in coordinates, where the flow lines and the magnetic field are coordinate axes, is found to be most appropriate. Numerical solutions are presented for the problem of the flow around a blunt body. The results near the magnetopause are used as input parameters for a model of the reconnection of magnetic field lines based on shock-type structures.

  17. The onset of ion heating during magnetic reconnection with a strong guide field

    SciTech Connect

    Drake, J. F.; Swisdak, M.

    2014-07-15

    The onset of the acceleration of ions during magnetic reconnection is explored via particle-in-cell simulations in the limit of a strong ambient guide field that self-consistently and simultaneously follow the motions of protons and α particles. Heating parallel to the local magnetic field during reconnection with a guide field is strongly reduced compared with the reconnection of anti-parallel magnetic fields. The dominant heating of thermal ions during guide field reconnection results from pickup behavior of ions during their entry into reconnection exhausts and dominantly produces heating perpendicular rather than parallel to the local magnetic field. Pickup behavior requires that the ion transit time across the exhaust boundary (with a transverse scale of the order of the ion sound Larmor radius) be short compared with the ion cyclotron period. This translates into a threshold in the strength of reconnecting magnetic field that favors the heating of ions with high mass-to-charge. A simulation with a broad initial current layer produces a reconnecting system in which the amplitude of the reconnecting magnetic field just upstream of the dissipation region increases with time as reconnection proceeds. The sharp onset of perpendicular heating when the pickup threshold is crossed is documented. A comparison of the time variation of the parallel and perpendicular ion heating with that predicted based on the strength of the reconnecting field establishes the scaling of ion heating with ambient parameters both below and above the pickup threshold. The relevance to observations of ion heating in the solar corona is discussed.

  18. Interchange Reconnection Forced by the Filament Eruption Inside a Pseudo-streamer

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Yang, Jiayan; Jiang, Yunchun; Xu, Zhe; Bi, Yi; Hong, Junchao

    2015-04-01

    We present rare observational signatures of interchange reconnection (IR) forced by the filament eruption inside a pseudo-streamer (PS). The PS was centered above a positive-polarity region bounded by two negative-polarity coronal holes (CHs), and thus its base contained two polarity inversion lines and a pair of loop arcades where two filaments were harbored. In white-light coronagraph data from two different views, it showed up as a fan-shaped structure consisting of fine rays and a coronal streamer. Followed by a two-ribbon flare and a coronal mass ejection, one of the filaments and its overlying arcade erupted away from the nearby CH and flew over the other arcade to interact with the PS's remote CH. As a result, distinct ribbon-like remote brightenings formed along the remote CH boundary and were connected to the positive-polarity flare ribbon by a loop system, but the nearby open-field region largely remained unchanged except that compact brightenings and a following small coronal dimming appeared close to one end of the erupted filament. In combination with the coronal magnetic configuration that derived from the potential-field source-surface model, these observations can be interpreted as follows: the erupting field was first deflected and guided by the nearby CH's open field and then reconnected with the oppositely oriented open field of the remote CH, during which both the closed field bridging the erupted filament and the remoter CH's open field were transported in the opposite direction. The observations thus supported the idea that PSs provide favorable environments for IR to take place and remote brightenings along their CH boundaries represent a credible IR signature on the solar surface.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2016-03-01

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

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

    SciTech Connect

    Fan Quanlin; Feng Xueshang; Xiang Changqing

    2005-05-15

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2015-11-01

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

  2. Asymmetric magnetic reconnection with out-of-plane shear flows in a two dimensional hybrid model

    SciTech Connect

    Wang, Lin; Wang, Xiao-Gang; Wang, Xian-Qu; Liu, Yue

    2015-05-15

    Effects of out-of-plane shear flows on asymmetric magnetic reconnect are investigated in a two-dimensional (2D) hybrid model with an initial Harris sheet equilibrium. It is found that the out-of-plane flow with an in-plane shear can significantly change the asymmetric reconnection process as well as the related geometry. The magnetic flux, out-of-plane magnetic field, in-plane flow vorticity, plasma density, and the reconnection rate are discussed in detail. The results are in comparison with the cases without the shear flows to further understand the effect.

  3. Experimental Demonstration of the Collisionless Plasmoid Instability below the Ion Kinetic Scale during Magnetic Reconnection.

    PubMed

    Olson, J; Egedal, J; Greess, S; Myers, R; Clark, M; Endrizzi, D; Flanagan, K; Milhone, J; Peterson, E; Wallace, J; Weisberg, D; Forest, C B

    2016-06-24

    The spontaneous formation of magnetic islands is observed in driven, antiparallel magnetic reconnection on the Terrestrial Reconnection Experiment. We here provide direct experimental evidence that the plasmoid instability is active at the electron scale inside the ion diffusion region in a low collisional regime. The experiments show the island formation occurs at a smaller system size than predicted by extended magnetohydrodynamics or fully collisionless simulations. This more effective seeding of magnetic islands emphasizes their importance to reconnection in naturally occurring 3D plasmas. PMID:27391729

  4. Two-dimensional Vlasov code simulation of magnetic reconnection

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Togano, K.; Umeda, T.; Ogino, T.

    2009-12-01

    There are numerous types of self-consistent simulations that treat plasmas according to some approximations. The fluid codes are used to study global and macroscopic processes in space plasmas. Nonlinear microscopic processes in space plasmas are studied with kinetic simulation codes. Numerical methods for kinetic simulations fall into two groups. One is particle-in-cell (PIC) method which follows motions of individual particles in a self-consistent electromagnetic field. However, a limitation on the number of particles gives rise to numerical thermal fluctuations. Another approach is Vlasov method which follows spatial and temporal development of distribution functions in the position-velocity phase space. In contrast to PIC codes, numerical noise is substantially suppressed. However, Vlasov codes require huge computer resources to represent distribution functions and Vlasov simulation techniques are still developing. Owing to the rapid advancement of recent computer technology, Vlasov code simulation would be more essential in the near future. In the present study, a new two-and-half-dimensional and fully electromagnetic Vlasov simulation code is developed in which phase-space distribution functions are defined in five-dimensional position-velocity phase space (x,y,vx,vy,vz). The Vlasov equation in two-dimensional configuration and three-dimensional velocity spaces is solved with a non-oscillatory and conservative scheme, and the full set of Maxwell’s equations are self-consistently solved based on the implicit Finite Difference Time Domain (FDTD) method. The Geospace Environment Modeling (GEM) magnetic reconnection challenge is chosen as a benchmark test of our two-dimensional Vlasov code. The result is compared with the past simulation results with Darwin-Vlasov, explicit PIC and implicit PIC codes. The present simulation with a very-low spatial resolution gives a high growth rate of magnetic flux, which is in agreement with the results of the GEM

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2014-10-01

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

  6. On the magnetic reconnection of resistive tearing mode with the dynamic flow effects

    SciTech Connect

    Ali, A.; Li, Jiquan Kishimoto, Y.

    2015-04-15

    Magnetic reconnection usually occurs in turbulent environments, which may not only provide anomalous resistivity to enhance reconnection rates but also significantly modify the reconnection process through direct nonlinear interaction with magnetic islands. This study presents numerical simulations investigating the effects of an imposed dynamic flow on magnetic reconnection, based on a two-dimensional reduced resistive MHD model. Results show that while the linear stability properties of the resistive tearing mode are moderately affected by the dynamic flow, nonlinear evolution is significantly modified by radial parity, amplitude, and frequency of the dynamic flow. After the slowly evolving nonlinear Rutherford stage, the reconnection process is found to progress in two phases by including the dynamic flow. A Sweet-Parker like current sheet is formed in the first phase. Afterwards, plasmoid instability is triggered in the second phase, where multiple plasmoids are continuously generated and ejected along the current sheet, leading to an impulsive bursty reconnection. The reconnection rate is considerably enhanced in the range of low resistivity as compared to without flow. We found that plasmoid instability onset and evolution are strongly influenced by the frequency and radial parity of the dynamic flows. The scaling of effective reconnection rates with the flow is found to be independent of resistivity.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2014-12-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Retinò, Alessandro

    2016-04-01

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

  9. Magnetic force microscopy

    PubMed Central

    Passeri, Daniele; Dong, Chunhua; Reggente, Melania; Angeloni, Livia; Barteri, Mario; Scaramuzzo, Francesca A; De Angelis, Francesca; Marinelli, Fiorenzo; Antonelli, Flavia; Rinaldi, Federica; Marianecci, Carlotta; Carafa, Maria; Sorbo, Angela; Sordi, Daniela; Arends, Isabel WCE; Rossi, Marco

    2014-01-01

    Magnetic force microscopy (MFM) is an atomic force microscopy (AFM) based technique in which an AFM tip with a magnetic coating is used to probe local magnetic fields with the typical AFM spatial resolution, thus allowing one to acquire images reflecting the local magnetic properties of the samples at the nanoscale. Being a well established tool for the characterization of magnetic recording media, superconductors and magnetic nanomaterials, MFM is finding constantly increasing application in the study of magnetic properties of materials and systems of biological and biomedical interest. After reviewing these latter applications, three case studies are presented in which MFM is used to characterize: (i) magnetoferritin synthesized using apoferritin as molecular reactor; (ii) magnetic nanoparticles loaded niosomes to be used as nanocarriers for drug delivery; (iii) leukemic cells labeled using folic acid-coated core-shell superparamagnetic nanoparticles in order to exploit the presence of folate receptors on the cell membrane surface. In these examples, MFM data are quantitatively analyzed evidencing the limits of the simple analytical models currently used. Provided that suitable models are used to simulate the MFM response, MFM can be used to evaluate the magnetic momentum of the core of magnetoferritin, the iron entrapment efficiency in single vesicles, or the uptake of magnetic nanoparticles into cells. PMID:25050758

  10. In-plane electric fields in magnetic islands during collisionless magnetic reconnection

    SciTech Connect

    Chen Lijen; Bhattacharjee, Amitava; Torbert, Roy B.; Bessho, Naoki; Daughton, William; Roytershteyn, Vadim

    2012-11-15

    Magnetic islands are a common feature in both the onset and nonlinear evolution of magnetic reconnection. In collisionless regimes, the onset typically occurs within ion-scale current layers leading to the formation of magnetic islands when multiple X lines are involved. The nonlinear evolution of reconnection often gives rise to extended electron current layers (ECL) which are also unstable to formation of magnetic islands. Here, we show that the excess negative charge and strong out-of-plane electron velocity in the ECL are passed on to the islands generated therein, and that the corresponding observable distinguishing the islands generated in the ECL is the strongly enhanced in-plane electric fields near the island core. The islands formed in ion-scale current layers do not have these properties of the ECL-generated islands. The above result provides a way to assess the occurrence and importance of extended ECLs that are unstable to island formation in space and laboratory plasmas.

  11. 3D magnetic field configuration of small-scale reconnection events in the solar plasma atmosphere

    SciTech Connect

    Shimizu, T.

    2015-10-15

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

  12. Magnetic reconnection: from the Sweet–Parker model to stochastic plasmoid chains

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2016-01-01

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

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

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

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

    1998-01-01

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

  14. Pulsating Reconnection in the interaction of two magnetic flux ropes

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2015-11-01

    Two flux ropes (dia = 7 cm, ds = 3 cm, L = 10m, Irope = 300 A/rope) are generated by using a mask in front of a high emissivity cathode (n = 4X1012 cm3, Te-rope = 8.5 eV) in a background magnetoplasma (He, Boz = 330 G, n =1.0X1012cm3, Te = 4 eV) in the LAPD device at UCLA. The ropes are kink unstable (I >250 A) but not violently so. All three components of the magnetic field were measured with small (1 mm dia) 3-axis probes sensitive to ∂/B-> ∂ t and the plasma potential measured with an emissive probe. These were measured at 42,075 locations in the volume containing the ropes and 7000 time steps (δτ = .33 μs). The total electric field E-> = - ∇ ϕ -∂/A-> ∂ t and parallel resistivity as well as the Quasi Seperatrix layer (QSL) were derived from the data. The flux ropes periodically collide as they kink. Each time this happens a strong QSL (Q<400) forms and the resistivity jumps to over a hundred times the classical value at locations within the QSL and also on the gradient of the rope current. The reconnection rate is directly evaluated by integrating the electric field along field lines as well as the energy deposition J-> . E-> . The data indicate that there is more than one process causing the enhanced resistivity. The reconnection rate cannot be explained by conventional 2D theories. Work done at the BaPSF which is supported by NSF/DOE. project supported by DOE and a LANL research grant.

  15. Ion heating resulting from pickup in magnetic reconnection exhausts

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Drake, J. F.; Swisdak, M.; Phan, T. D.; Cassak, P. A.; Shay, M. A.; Lepri, S. T.; Lin, R. P.; Quataert, E.; Zurbuchen, T. H.

    2009-05-01

    The heating of ions downstream of the x-line during magnetic reconnection is explored using full-particle simulations, test particle simulations, and analytic analysis. Large-scale particle simulations reveal that the ion temperature increases sharply across the boundary layer that separates the upstream plasma from the Alfvénic outflow. This boundary layer, however, does not take the form of a classical switch-off shock as discussed in the Petschek reconnection model, so the particle heating cannot be calculated from the magnetohydrodynamic, slow-shock prediction. Test particle trajectories in the fields from the simulations reveal that ions crossing the narrow boundary into the exhaust instead behave like pickup particles: they gain both a directed outflow and an effective thermal speed given by the flow speed v 0 of the exhaust. The detailed dynamics of these particles are explored by taking 1-D cuts of the simulation data across the exhaust, transforming to the deHoffman-Teller frame, and calculating explicitly the increment in the temperature, m i v 0 2/3, with m i , the ion mass. We compare the model predictions with the temperature increment in solar wind exhausts measured by the ACE and Wind spacecraft, confirming that the temperature increment is proportional to the ion mass. The Wind data from 22 high-shear exhaust encounters confirm the scaling of the proton temperature increment with the square of the exhaust velocity. However, the temperature increments are consistently lower than the model prediction. Implications for understanding the production of high-energy ions in flares and the broader universe are discussed.

  16. A Model of Solar Flares Based on Arcade Field Reconnection and Merging of Magnetic Islands

    SciTech Connect

    G.S. Choe; C.Z. Cheng

    2001-12-12

    Solar flares are intense, abrupt releases of energy in the solar corona. In the impulsive phase of a flare, the intensity of hard X-ray emission reaches a sharp peak indicating the highest reconnection rate. It is often observed that an X-ray emitting plasma ejecta (plasmoid) is launched before the impulsive phase and accelerated throughout the phase. Thus, the plasmoid ejection may not be an effect of fast magnetic reconnection as conventionally assumed, but a cause of fast reconnection. Based on resistive magnetohydrodynamic simulations, a solar flare model is presented, which can explain these observational characteristics of flares. In the model, merging of a newly generated magnetic island and a pre-existing island results in stretching and thinning of a current sheet, in which fast magnetic reconnection is induced. Recurrence of homologous flares naturally arises in this model. Mechanisms of magnetic island formation are also discussed.

  17. Role of Magnetic Diffusion Induced by Turbulent Magnetic Reconnection for Star Formation

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lazarian, Alex; Santos de Lima, R.; de Gouveia Dal Pino, E.

    2010-01-01

    The diffusion of astrophysical magnetic fields in conducting fluids in the presence of turbulence depends on whether magnetic fields can change their topology or reconnect in highly conducting media. Recent progress in understanding fast magnetic reconnection in the presence of turbulence is reassuring that the magnetic field behavior in the computer simulations and turbulent astrophysical environments is similar, as far as the magnetic reconnection is concerned. This makes it meaningful to perform MHD simulations of turbulent flows in order to understand the diffusion of magnetic field in astrophysical environments. Our study of magnetic field diffusion reveals important propertie s of the process. First of all, our 3D MHD simulations initiated with anti-correlating magnetic field and gaseous density exhibit at later times a decorrelation of the magnetic field and density, which corresponds well to the observations of the interstellar media. In the presence of gravity, our 3D simulations show the decrease of the flux to mass ratio with density concentration when turbulence is present. We observe this effect both in the situations when we start with the equilibrium distributions of gas and magnetic field and when we start with collapsing dynamically unstable configurations. Thus the process of turbulent magnetic field removal should be applicable both to quasistatic subcritical molecular clouds and cores and violently collapsing supercritical entities. The increase of the gravitational potential as well as the magnetization of the gas increases the segregation of the mass and flux in the saturated final state of simulations, supporting the notion that turbulent diffusivity relaxes the magnetic field + gas system in the gravitational field to its minimal energy state. At the same time, turbulence of high level may get the system unbound making the flux to mass ratio more uniform through the simulation box.

  18. Magnetic reconnection in high-energy-density laser-produced plasmas

    SciTech Connect

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

    2012-05-15

    Recently, novel experiments on magnetic reconnection have been conducted in laser-produced plasmas in a high-energy-density regime. Individual plasma bubbles self-generate toroidal, mega-gauss-scale magnetic fields through the Biermann battery effect. When multiple bubbles are created at small separation, they expand into one another, driving reconnection of this field. Reconnection in the experiments was reported to be much faster than allowed by both Sweet-Parker, and even Hall-MHD theories, when normalized to the nominal magnetic fields self-generated by single bubbles. Through particle-in-cell simulations (both with and without a binary collision operator), we model the bubble interaction at parameters and geometry relevant to the experiments. This paper discusses in detail the reconnection regime of the laser-driven experiments and reports the qualitative features of simulations. We find substantial flux-pileup effects, which boost the relevant magnetic field for reconnection in the current sheet. When this is accounted for, the normalized reconnection rates are much more in line with standard two-fluid theory of reconnection. At the largest system sizes, we additionally find that the current sheet is prone to breakup into plasmoids.

  19. Exploring the Microscales of Magnetic Reconnection: The Exciting Prospects of the MMS Satellite Mission

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Shay, Michael

    2015-04-01

    Magnetic reconnection is a multiscale process in which the dynamics at electron scales ultimately allow energy release with global consequences. The Magnetospheric Multiscale Mission (MMS) is poised to make measurements of unprecedented spatial and temporal accuracy in the Earth's magnetosphere. For the first time, measurement of plasma distribution functions will be possible at electron scales where magnetic field lines are allowed to break and reform. This will allow a view of the "machinery" that allows magnetic reconnection to occur. In this talk, aspects of our current understanding of the electron scales during magnetic reconnection will first be reviewed and then the prospects for breakthroughs due to MMS will be discussed. Relevant topics include: The structure of the electron diffusion region and the process or processes breaking the frozen-in constraint, the acceleration and heating of electrons during magnetic reconnection, the role of instabilities in mediating magnetic reconnection and its effects, and the role of turbulence in generating magnetic reconnection and the turbulent dissipation that occurs at electron scales.

  20. Tunneling magnetic force microscopy

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Burke, Edward R.; Gomez, Romel D.; Adly, Amr A.; Mayergoyz, Isaak D.

    1993-01-01

    We have developed a powerful new tool for studying the magnetic patterns on magnetic recording media. This was accomplished by modifying a conventional scanning tunneling microscope. The fine-wire probe that is used to image surface topography was replaced with a flexible magnetic probe. Images obtained with these probes reveal both the surface topography and the magnetic structure. We have made a thorough theoretical analysis of the interaction between the probe and the magnetic fields emanating from a typical recorded surface. Quantitative data about the constituent magnetic fields can then be obtained. We have employed these techniques in studies of two of the most important issues of magnetic record: data overwrite and maximizing data-density. These studies have shown: (1) overwritten data can be retrieved under certain conditions; and (2) improvements in data-density will require new magnetic materials. In the course of these studies we have developed new techniques to analyze magnetic fields of recorded media. These studies are both theoretical and experimental and combined with the use of our magnetic force scanning tunneling microscope should lead to further breakthroughs in the field of magnetic recording.

  1. Investigation of magnetic reconnection at the Earth's magnetopause using data from the Magnetospheric Multiscale mission

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Burch, James; Russell, C. T.; Ergun, R. E.; Phan, Tai; Hesse, Michael; Eastwood, Jonathan; Giles, Barbara; Moore, Thomas; Chen, Li-Jen; Torbert, Roy; Gershman, Dan

    2016-07-01

    The NASA Magnetospheric Multiscale (MMS) mission has made multipoint measurements at uprecedentedly high spatial and temporal resolution for numerous magnetopause crossings during the time period between October and March 2016. This paper reports on the MMS measurements and places them in the context of contemporary theoretical and modeling predictions. Kinetic-scale electron and ion measurements in the reconnection diffusion demonstrate the generation of the reconnection electric field and the currents that lead to the dissipation of magnetic energy and its conversion to particle kinetic energy. The results indicate that the kinetic processes causing magnetic field line reconnection are dominated by laminar electron physics rather than by turbulence-induced dissipation.

  2. Hall current effect on tearing mode instability. [possible cause of magnetic field reconnection in space

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Terasawa, T.

    1983-01-01

    From a linear 2-D eigenmode analysis, it is found that the Hall current effect on collisional tearing mode instability becomes important for the thin magnetic reversal layer whose width is comparable to the ion inertia length; Hall currents produce a three-dimensional field structure and increase the reconnection (growth) rate. Since the magnetaic reversal layer widths both in the magnetopause and in the magnetotail are reported to become as thin as the ion inertial length (several hundred km) when the reconnection process is supposed to occur, the Hall current effect may explain the appearance of the dawn-dusk component of the magnetic field in the magnetotail reconnection region.

  3. Magnetic reconnection and plasma dynamics in two-beam laser-solid interactions.

    PubMed

    Nilson, P M; Willingale, L; Kaluza, M C; Kamperidis, C; Minardi, S; Wei, M S; Fernandes, P; Notley, M; Bandyopadhyay, S; Sherlock, M; Kingham, R J; Tatarakis, M; Najmudin, Z; Rozmus, W; Evans, R G; Haines, M G; Dangor, A E; Krushelnick, K

    2006-12-22

    We present measurements of a magnetic reconnection in a plasma created by two laser beams (1 ns pulse duration, 1 x 10(15) W cm(-2)) focused in close proximity on a planar solid target. Simultaneous optical probing and proton grid deflectometry reveal two high velocity, collimated outflowing jets and 0.7-1.3 MG magnetic fields at the focal spot edges. Thomson scattering measurements from the reconnection layer are consistent with high electron temperatures in this region. PMID:17280361

  4. Magnetic Reconnection and Plasma Dynamics in Two-Beam Laser-Solid Interactions

    SciTech Connect

    Nilson, P. M.; Willingale, L.; Kaluza, M. C.; Kamperidis, C.; Wei, M. S.; Fernandes, P.; Kingham, R. J.; Najmudin, Z.; Haines, M. G.; Dangor, A. E.; Krushelnick, K.; Minardi, S.; Tatarakis, M.; Notley, M.; Bandyopadhyay, S.; Sherlock, M.; Evans, R. G.; Rozmus, W.

    2006-12-22

    We present measurements of a magnetic reconnection in a plasma created by two laser beams (1 ns pulse duration, 1x10{sup 15} W cm{sup -2}) focused in close proximity on a planar solid target. Simultaneous optical probing and proton grid deflectometry reveal two high velocity, collimated outflowing jets and 0.7--1.3 MG magnetic fields at the focal spot edges. Thomson scattering measurements from the reconnection layer are consistent with high electron temperatures in this region.

  5. Diffusion of Magnetic Field and Removal of Magnetic Flux from Clouds Via Turbulent Reconnection

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Santos-Lima, R.; Lazarian, A.; de Gouveia Dal Pino, E. M.; Cho, J.

    2010-05-01

    The diffusion of astrophysical magnetic fields in conducting fluids in the presence of turbulence depends on whether magnetic fields can change their topology via reconnection in highly conducting media. Recent progress in understanding fast magnetic reconnection in the presence of turbulence reassures that the magnetic field behavior in computer simulations and turbulent astrophysical environments is similar, as far as magnetic reconnection is concerned. This makes it meaningful to perform MHD simulations of turbulent flows in order to understand the diffusion of magnetic field in astrophysical environments. Our studies of magnetic field diffusion in turbulent medium reveal interesting new phenomena. First of all, our three-dimensional MHD simulations initiated with anti-correlating magnetic field and gaseous density exhibit at later times a de-correlation of the magnetic field and density, which corresponds well to the observations of the interstellar media. While earlier studies stressed the role of either ambipolar diffusion or time-dependent turbulent fluctuations for de-correlating magnetic field and density, we get the effect of permanent de-correlation with one fluid code, i.e., without invoking ambipolar diffusion. In addition, in the presence of gravity and turbulence, our three-dimensional simulations show the decrease of the magnetic flux-to-mass ratio as the gaseous density at the center of the gravitational potential increases. We observe this effect both in the situations when we start with equilibrium distributions of gas and magnetic field and when we follow the evolution of collapsing dynamically unstable configurations. Thus, the process of turbulent magnetic field removal should be applicable both to quasi-static subcritical molecular clouds and cores and violently collapsing supercritical entities. The increase of the gravitational potential as well as the magnetization of the gas increases the segregation of the mass and magnetic flux in the

  6. Kinetic turbulence in 3D collisionless magnetic reconnection with a guide magnetic field

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2016-04-01

    The features of kinetic plasma turbulence developed during non-relativistic 3D collisionless magnetic reconnection are still not fully understood. This is specially true under the influence of a strong magnetic guide field, a scenario common in space plasmas such as in the solar corona and also in laboratory experiments such as MRX or VINETA II. Therefore, we study the mechanisms and micro-instabilities leading to the development of turbulence during 3D magnetic reconnection with a fully kinetic PIC code, emphasizing the role of the guide field with an initial setup suitable for the aforementioned environments. We also clarify the relations between these processes and the generation of non-thermal populations and particle acceleration.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Nitta, Shin-ya

    2010-08-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-01-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2015-01-01

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

  10. Magnetic reconnection in the two-dimensional Kelvin-Helmholtz instability.

    PubMed

    Knoll, D A; Chacón, L

    2002-05-27

    Magnetic reconnection in the two-dimensional Kelvin-Helmholtz instability is studied. The flow is modeled by the reduced MHD equations with constant resistivity and viscosity. For super-Alfvénic flow, localized transient reconnection is observed on the Kelvin-Helmholtz time scale (this is not new). We study this transient reconnection and consider the peak reconnection rate which occurs with the initial vortex formation. Over the range of resistivities considered, it is shown that this peak reconnection rate is not a function of resistivity, and is a function of the initial flow shear. Additionally, it is demonstrated that there is a fundamental difference between the evolution of a problem at S = 200 and S = 10,000. PMID:12059480

  11. Transport enhancement and suppression in turbulent magnetic reconnection: A self-consistent turbulence model

    SciTech Connect

    Yokoi, N.; Higashimori, K.; Hoshino, M.

    2013-12-15

    Through the enhancement of transport, turbulence is expected to contribute to the fast reconnection. However, the effects of turbulence are not so straightforward. In addition to the enhancement of transport, turbulence under some environment shows effects that suppress the transport. In the presence of turbulent cross helicity, such dynamic balance between the transport enhancement and suppression occurs. As this result of dynamic balance, the region of effective enhanced magnetic diffusivity is confined to a narrow region, leading to the fast reconnection. In order to confirm this idea, a self-consistent turbulence model for the magnetic reconnection is proposed. With the aid of numerical simulations where turbulence effects are incorporated in a consistent manner through the turbulence model, the dynamic balance in the turbulence magnetic reconnection is confirmed.

  12. 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

  13. Simulations of Magnetic Reconnection - Kinetic Mechanisms Underlying the Fluid Description of Ions

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Aunai, icolas; Belmont, Gerard; Smets, Roch

    2012-01-01

    Because of its ability to transfer the energy stored in magnetic field together with the breaking of the flux freezing constraint, magnetic reconnection is considered as one of the most important phenomena in plasma physics. When it happens in a collision less environment such as the terrestrial magnetosphere, it should a priori be modelled with in the framework of kinetic physics. The evidence of kinetic features has incidentally for a long time, been shown by researchers with the help of both numerical simulations and satellite observations. However, most of our understanding of the process comes from the more intuitive fluid interpretation with simple closure hypothesis which do not include kinetic effects. To what extent are these two separate descriptions of the same phenomenon related? What is the role of kinetic effects in the averaged/fluid dynamics of reconnection? This thesis addresses these questions for the proton population in the particular case of anti parallel merging with the help of 2D Hybrid simulations. We show that one can not assume, as is usually done, that the acceleration of the proton flow is only due to the Laplace force. Our results show, for symmetric and asymmetric connection, the importance of the pressure force, opposed to the electric one on the separatrices, in the decoupling region. In the symmetric case, we emphasize the kinetic origin of this force by analyzing the proton distribution functions and explain their structure by studying the underlying particle dynamics. Protons, as individual particles, are shown to bounce in the electric potential well created by the Hall effect. The spatial divergence of this well results in a mixing in phase space responsible for the observed structure of the pressure tensor. A detailed energy budget analysis confirms the role of the pressure force for the acceleration; but, contrary to what is sometimes assumed, it also reveals that the major part of the incoming Poynting flux is transferred to

  14. 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.

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

    PubMed

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

    2011-06-01

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

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

    SciTech Connect

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

    2014-06-10

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

  17. Magnetic reconnection in the presence of externally driven and self-generated turbulence

    SciTech Connect

    Karimabadi, H.; Lazarian, A.

    2013-11-15

    Magnetic reconnection is an important process that violates flux freezing and induces change of magnetic field topology in conducting fluids and, as a consequence, converts magnetic field energy into particle energy. It is thought to be operative in laboratory, heliophysical, and astrophysical plasmas. These environments exhibit wide variations in collisionality, ranging from collisionless in the Earth's magnetosphere to highly collisional in molecular clouds. A common feature among these plasmas is, however, the presence of turbulence. We review the present understanding of the effects of turbulence on the reconnection rate, discussing both how strong pre-existing turbulence modifies Sweet-Parker reconnection and how turbulence may develop as a result of reconnection itself. In steady state, reconnection rate is proportional to the aspect ratio of the diffusion region. Thus, two general MHD classes of models for fast reconnection have been proposed, differing on whether they keep the aspect ratio finite by increasing the width due to turbulent broadening or shortening the length of the diffusion layer due to plasmoid instability. One of the consequences of the plasmoid instability model is the possibility that the current sheet thins down to collisionless scales where kinetic effects become dominant. As a result, kinetic effects may be of importance for many astrophysical applications which were considered to be in the realm of MHD. Whether pre-existing turbulence can significantly modify the transition to the kinetic regime is not currently known. Although most studies of turbulent reconnection have been based on MHD, recent advances in kinetic simulations are enabling 3D studies of turbulence and reconnection in the collisionless regime. A summary of these recent works, highlighting similarities and differences with the MHD models of turbulent reconnection, as well as comparison with in situ observations in the magnetosphere and in the solar wind, are presented

  18. Quantitative Study of Energization of Plasma Particles in the Magnetic Reconnection Layer of a Laboratory Plasma

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Yamada, M.; Yoo, J.; Swanson, C.; Jara Almonte, J.; Ji, H.; Myers, C. E.; Chen, L.

    2013-12-01

    Quantitative study of the energization of plasma particles in the magnetic reconnection layer has been carried out by monitoring the behavior of electrons and ions in MRX (1, 2). The measured profiles of plasma parameters are quantitatively analyzed with symmetric as well as asymmetric upstream conditions in the context of the two-fluid reconnection physics (1) and compared with the recent numerical simulation results. The electron heating is observed to extend beyond the electron diffusion region and considered to be due to energization by magnetic instabilities of incoming electrons trapped in the magnetic mirror. This energization often occurs impulsively. Ions are accelerated by an electrostatic field across the separatrices to the plasma exhaust region of the reconnection layer and become thermalized through re-magnetization by the exiting magnetic fields. In this paper, the acceleration and heating of ions and electrons which extents much wider than the length scale of the ion skin depth, is addressed quantitatively for the first time in a laboratory reconnection layer. A total energy inventory is calculated based on analysis of the Poynting, enthalpy, flow energy, and heat flux in the measured diffusion layer (3). More than half of the incoming magnetic energy is converted to particle energy during collisionless reconnection. The results will bring a new insight into the conversion mechanism of magnetic energy to that of plasma particles during magnetic reconnection. (1) M. Yamada, R. Kulsrud, H. Ji, Rev. Mod. Phys. v.82, 602 (2010) (2) J. Yoo et al, Phys. Rev. Letts. 110, 215007 (2013) (3) J. Eastwood et al., PRL 110, 225001 (2013) Fig. 1. Measured in-plane ion flow vectors along with the measured 2-D profile of the in-plane plasma potential Φp in the half reconnection plane of MRX. The thin black lines are measured contours of poloidal flux ψp. While ions flow across the separatrices, they turn in-plane electric field Ein.

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-06-10

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

  20. 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.

  1. Nonlinear instability and intermittent nature of magnetic reconnection in solar chromosphere

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Singh, K. A. P.; Hillier, Andrew; Isobe, Hiroaki; Shibata, Kazunari

    2015-10-01

    The recent observations of Singh et al. (2012, ApJ, 759, 33) have shown multiple plasma ejections and the intermittent nature of magnetic reconnection in the solar chromosphere, highlighting the need for fast reconnection to occur in highly collisional plasma. However, the physical process through which fast magnetic reconnection occurs in partially ionized plasma, like the solar chromosphere, is still poorly understood. It has been shown that for sufficiently high magnetic Reynolds numbers, Sweet-Parker current sheets can become unstable leading to tearing mode instability and plasmoid formation, but when dealing with a partially ionized plasma the strength of coupling between the ions and neutrals plays a fundamental role in determining the dynamics of the system. We propose that as the reconnecting current sheet thins and the tearing instability develops, plasmoid formation passes through strongly, intermediately, and weakly coupled (or decoupled) regimes, with the time scale for the tearing mode instability depending on the frictional coupling between ions and neutrals. We present calculations for the relevant time scales for fractal tearing in all three regimes. We show that as a result of the tearing mode instability and the subsequent non-linear instability due to the plasmoid-dominated reconnection, the Sweet-Parker current sheet tends to have a fractal-like structure, and when the chromospheric magnetic field is sufficiently strong the tearing instability can reach down to kinetic scales, which are hypothesized to be necessary for fast reconnection.

  2. Magnetic Reconnection as studied in Space and Astrophysical Plasmas by using PIC Simulation

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hoshino, Masahiro

    Magnetic reconnection is widely believed to be a key process of magnetic energy dissipation and particle acceleration in plasma universe, including space and astrophysical plasmas. After the basic theory of reconnection was established by Parker, Sweet, and Petschek in the middle sixties, following earlier ideas were proposed by Giovanni and Dungey, great progresses have been achieved by means of modern satellite observations, laboratory experiments and theoret-ical/computational investigations. However, the understanding of reconnection processes such as energy dissipation rate and particle acceleration efficiency are not yet fully comprehended. In this presentation, based on our understanding of reconnection in non-relativistic regime, we investigate the particle acceleration process and magnetic energy dissipation process in rela-tivistic regime by using a particle-in-cell simulation, and discuss not only tearing mode but also drift-kink mode plays an important role on plasma dynamics. We also discuss that the relativistic reconnection with radiation effect under strong magnetic fields as expected in pul-sar magnetosphere and magnetar shows quite unique dynamical evolution that has not seen in non-relativistic reconnection.

  3. A Parallel Two-fluid Code for Global Magnetic Reconnection Studies

    SciTech Connect

    J.A. Breslau; S.C. Jardin

    2001-08-09

    This paper describes a new algorithm for the computation of two-dimensional resistive magnetohydrodynamic (MHD) and two-fluid studies of magnetic reconnection in plasmas. It has been implemented on several parallel platforms and shows good scalability up to 32 CPUs for reasonable problem sizes. A fixed, nonuniform rectangular mesh is used to resolve the different spatial scales in the reconnection problem. The resistive MHD version of the code uses an implicit/explicit hybrid method, while the two-fluid version uses an alternating-direction implicit (ADI) method. The technique has proven useful for comparing several different theories of collisional and collisionless reconnection.

  4. Study of the energy inventory during asymmetric magnetic reconnection in a laboratory plasma

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Yoo, Jongsoo; Yamada, Masaaki; Na, Ben; Jara-Almonte, Jonathan; Ji, Hantao; Fox, Will; Chien, Abe

    2015-11-01

    The energy inventory of a magnetic reconnection layer is studied in a laboratory plasma with a significant density asymmetry across the current sheet. The upstream density ratio of about 7 is generated by the in-plane inductive electric field during the plasma formation in MRX. Compared to the symmetric case where the ion energy gain is about twice more than that of electrons, the ion energy gain becomes smaller and the electron energy gain is larger. The reduction in the ion energy gain is mainly caused by the asymmetric profile of the in-plane electrostatic potential, which is generated to balance the Lorentz force in the electron momentum equation. Since the out-of-plane electron fluid velocity on the high-density side is small due to the high density, the potential drop on the high-density side becomes also small. The potential drop on the low-density side is also smaller than expected from the general scaling (~B2 / n), since it is suppressed by a large density gradient across the low-density side separatrices. As a result, the ion energy gain from the in-plane electrostatic field is smaller than the symmetric case, thereby decreasing the total ion energy gain. Discussion on the electron energization process during asymmetric reconnection is also presented. This research is supported by DoE Contract Number DE-AC02-09CH11466.

  5. Slow shock formation and structure with sub-Alfvénic shear flow in magnetic reconnection

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Li, L. J.; Zhang, X.; Wang, L. C.; Ma, Z. W.

    2012-06-01

    Slow shock formation and structure associated with magnetic reconnection are investigated in the presence of sub-Alfvénic shear flow using a compressible resistive MHD model. It is found for the first time that one or two pairs of the slow shocks are formed in the inflow region away from the reconnection separatrices within compressible resistive MHD. The distributions of the slow shocks depend largely on the plasma beta and the shear flow velocity that lead to the increase of magnetic reconnection rate. One pair of the slow shocks is formed for β = 0.2 and two pairs of the slow shocks are generated for β = 1.0 with the shear flow velocity in the range 0.6 VA to 0.9 VA. For high plasma beta (β = 5.0), there is no slow shock formed outside the reconnection separatrices. The results can be applied to interpret slow shock observations at the dayside magnetopause.

  6. Forced Reconnection in the Near Magnetotail: Onset and Energy Conversion in PIC and MHD Simulations

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Birn, J.; Hesse, Michael

    2014-01-01

    Using two-dimensional particle-in-cell (PIC) together with magnetohydrodynamic (MHD) Q1 simulations of magnetotail dynamics, we investigate the evolution toward onset of reconnection and the subsequent energy transfer and conversion. In either case, reconnection onset is preceded by a driven phase, during which magnetic flux is added to the tail at the high-latitude boundaries, followed by a relaxation phase, during which the configuration continues to respond to the driving. The boundary deformation leads to the formation of thin embedded current sheets, which are bifurcated in the near tail, converging to a single sheet farther out in the MHD simulations. The thin current sheets in the PIC simulation are carried by electrons and are associated with a strong perpendicular electrostatic field, which may provide a connection to parallel potentials and auroral arcs and an ionospheric signal even prior to the onset of reconnection. The PIC simulation very well satisfies integral entropy conservation (intrinsic to ideal MHD) during this phase, supporting ideal ballooning stability. Eventually, the current intensification leads to the onset of reconnection, the formation and ejection of a plasmoid, and a collapse of the inner tail. The earthward flow shows the characteristics of a dipolarization front: enhancement of Bz, associated with a thin vertical electron current sheet in the PIC simulation. Both MHD and PIC simulations show a dominance of energy conversion from incoming Poynting flux to outgoing enthalpy flux, resulting in heating of the inner tail. Localized Joule dissipation plays only a minor role.

  7. SIMULATIONS OF PARTICLE ACCELERATION BEYOND THE CLASSICAL SYNCHROTRON BURNOFF LIMIT IN MAGNETIC RECONNECTION: AN EXPLANATION OF THE CRAB FLARES

    SciTech Connect

    Cerutti, B.; Werner, G. R.; Uzdensky, D. A.; Begelman, M. C. E-mail: greg.werner@colorado.edu E-mail: mitch@jila.colorado.edu

    2013-06-20

    It is generally accepted that astrophysical sources cannot emit synchrotron radiation above 160 MeV in their rest frame. This limit is given by the balance between the accelerating electric force and the radiation reaction force acting on the electrons. The discovery of synchrotron gamma-ray flares in the Crab Nebula, well above this limit, challenges this classical picture of particle acceleration. To overcome this limit, particles must accelerate in a region of high electric field and low magnetic field. This is possible only with a non-ideal magnetohydrodynamic process, like magnetic reconnection. We present the first numerical evidence of particle acceleration beyond the synchrotron burnoff limit, using a set of two-dimensional particle-in-cell simulations of ultra-relativistic pair plasma reconnection. We use a new code, Zeltron, that includes self-consistently the radiation reaction force in the equation of motion of the particles. We demonstrate that the most energetic particles move back and forth across the reconnection layer, following relativistic Speiser orbits. These particles then radiate >160 MeV synchrotron radiation rapidly, within a fraction of a full gyration, after they exit the layer. Our analysis shows that the high-energy synchrotron flux is highly variable in time because of the strong anisotropy and inhomogeneity of the energetic particles. We discover a robust positive correlation between the flux and the cut-off energy of the emitted radiation, mimicking the effect of relativistic Doppler amplification. A strong guide field quenches the emission of >160 MeV synchrotron radiation. Our results are consistent with the observed properties of the Crab flares, supporting the reconnection scenario.

  8. Simulations of Particle Acceleration beyond the Classical Synchrotron Burnoff Limit in Magnetic Reconnection: An Explanation of the Crab Flares

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Cerutti, B.; Werner, G. R.; Uzdensky, D. A.; Begelman, M. C.

    2013-06-01

    It is generally accepted that astrophysical sources cannot emit synchrotron radiation above 160 MeV in their rest frame. This limit is given by the balance between the accelerating electric force and the radiation reaction force acting on the electrons. The discovery of synchrotron gamma-ray flares in the Crab Nebula, well above this limit, challenges this classical picture of particle acceleration. To overcome this limit, particles must accelerate in a region of high electric field and low magnetic field. This is possible only with a non-ideal magnetohydrodynamic process, like magnetic reconnection. We present the first numerical evidence of particle acceleration beyond the synchrotron burnoff limit, using a set of two-dimensional particle-in-cell simulations of ultra-relativistic pair plasma reconnection. We use a new code, Zeltron, that includes self-consistently the radiation reaction force in the equation of motion of the particles. We demonstrate that the most energetic particles move back and forth across the reconnection layer, following relativistic Speiser orbits. These particles then radiate >160 MeV synchrotron radiation rapidly, within a fraction of a full gyration, after they exit the layer. Our analysis shows that the high-energy synchrotron flux is highly variable in time because of the strong anisotropy and inhomogeneity of the energetic particles. We discover a robust positive correlation between the flux and the cut-off energy of the emitted radiation, mimicking the effect of relativistic Doppler amplification. A strong guide field quenches the emission of >160 MeV synchrotron radiation. Our results are consistent with the observed properties of the Crab flares, supporting the reconnection scenario.

  9. MMS observations of large guide field symmetric reconnection between colliding reconnection jets at the center of a magnetic flux rope at the magnetopause

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Øieroset, M.; Phan, T. D.; Haggerty, C.; Shay, M. A.; Eastwood, J. P.; Gershman, D. J.; Drake, J. F.; Fujimoto, M.; Ergun, R. E.; Mozer, F. S.; Oka, M.; Torbert, R. B.; Burch, J. L.; Wang, S.; Chen, L. J.; Swisdak, M.; Pollock, C.; Dorelli, J. C.; Fuselier, S. A.; Lavraud, B.; Giles, B. L.; Moore, T. E.; Saito, Y.; Avanov, L. A.; Paterson, W.; Strangeway, R. J.; Russell, C. T.; Khotyaintsev, Y.; Lindqvist, P. A.; Malakit, K.

    2016-06-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2016-04-01

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

  11. Scaling the energy conversion rate from magnetic field reconnection to different bodies

    SciTech Connect

    Mozer, F. S.; Hull, A.

    2010-10-15

    Magnetic field reconnection is often invoked to explain electromagnetic energy conversion in planetary magnetospheres, stellar coronae, and other astrophysical objects. Because of the huge dynamic range of magnetic fields in these bodies, it is important to understand energy conversion as a function of magnetic field strength and related parameters. It is conjectured theoretically and shown experimentally that the energy conversion rate per unit area in reconnection scales as the cube of an appropriately weighted magnetic field strength divided by the square root of an appropriately weighted density. With this functional dependence, the energy release in flares on the Sun, the large and rapid variation of the magnetic flux in the tail of Mercury, and the apparent absence of reconnection on Jupiter and Saturn, may be understood. Electric fields at the perihelion of the Solar Probe Plus mission may be tens of V/m.

  12. Geo-effectiveness and radial dependence of magnetic cloud erosion by magnetic reconnection

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lavraud, Benoit; Ruffenach, Alexis; Rouillard, Alexis P.; Kajdic, Primoz; Manchester, Ward B.; Lugaz, Noé

    2014-01-01

    flux erosion by magnetic reconnection occurs at the front of at least some magnetic clouds (MCs). We first investigate how erosion influences the geo-effectiveness of MCs in a general sense and using a south-north magnetic polarity MC observed on 18-20 October 1995. Although the magnetic shear at its front may not be known during propagation, measurements at 1 AU show signatures of local reconnection. Using a standard MC model, an empirical model of the geomagnetic response (Dst), and an observational estimate of the magnetic flux erosion, we find that the strength of the observed ensuing storm was ~30% lower than if no erosion had occurred. We then discuss the interplay between adiabatic compression and magnetic erosion at the front of MCs. We conclude that the most geo-effective configuration for a south-north polarity MC is to be preceded by a solar wind with southward IMF. This stems not only from the formation of a geo-effective sheath ahead of it but also from the adiabatic compression and reduced (or lack thereof) magnetic erosion which constructively conspire for the structure to be more geo-effective. Finally, assuming simple semiempirical and theoretical Alfvén speed profiles expected from expansion to 1 AU, we provide first-order estimates of the erosion process radial evolution. We find that the expected reconnection rates during propagation allow for significant erosion, on the order of those reported. Calculations also suggest that most of the erosion should occur in the inner heliosphere, and up to ~50% may yet occur beyond Mercury's orbit.

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-06-10

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2016-06-01

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

  15. A LABORATORY EXPERIMENT OF MAGNETIC RECONNECTION: OUTFLOWS, HEATING, AND WAVES IN CHROMOSPHERIC JETS

    SciTech Connect

    Nishizuka, N.; Shimizu, T.; Hayashi, Y.; Tanabe, H.; Kuwahata, A.; Kaminou, Y.; Ono, Y.; Inomoto, M.

    2012-09-10

    Hinode observations have revealed intermittent recurrent plasma ejections/jets in the chromosphere. These are interpreted as a result of non-perfectly anti-parallel magnetic reconnection, i.e., component reconnection, between a twisted magnetic flux tube and the pre-existing coronal/chromospheric magnetic field, though the fundamental physics of component reconnection is not revealed. In this paper, we experimentally reproduced the magnetic configuration and investigated the dynamics of plasma ejections, heating, and wave generation triggered by component reconnection in the chromosphere. We set plasma parameters as in the chromosphere (density 10{sup 14} cm{sup -3}, temperature 5-10 eV, i.e., (5-10) Multiplication-Sign 10{sup 4} K, and reconnection magnetic field 200 G) using argon plasma. Our experiment shows bi-directional outflows with the speed of 5 km s{sup -1} at maximum, ion heating in the downstream area over 30 eV, and magnetic fluctuations mainly at 5-10 {mu}s period. We succeeded in qualitatively reproducing chromospheric jets, but quantitatively, we still have some differences between observations and experiments such as in jet velocity, total energy, and wave frequency. Some of them can be explained by the scale gap between solar and laboratory plasma, while the others are probably due to the difference in microscopy and macroscopy, collisionality, and the degree of ionization, which have not been achieved in our experiment.

  16. Numerical simulation of superhalo electrons generated by magnetic reconnection in the solar wind source region

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Yang, Li-Ping; Wang, Ling-Hua; He, Jian-Sen; Tu, Chuan-Yi; Zhang, Shao-Hua; Zhang, Lei; Feng, Xue-Shang

    2015-03-01

    Superhalo electrons appear to be continuously present in the interplanetary medium, even during very quiet times, with a power-law spectrum at energies above ˜2keV. Here we numerically investigate the generation of superhalo electrons by magnetic reconnection in the solar wind source region, using magnetohydrodynamics and test particle simulations for both single X-line reconnection and multiple X-line reconnection. We find that the direct current electric field, produced in the magnetic reconnection region, can accelerate electrons from an initial thermal energy of T ˜ 105 K up to hundreds of keV. After acceleration, some of the accelerated electrons, together with the nascent solar wind flow driven by the reconnection, propagate upwards along the newly-opened magnetic field lines into interplanetary space, while the rest move downwards into the lower atmosphere. Similar to the observed superhalo electrons at 1AU, the flux of upward-traveling accelerated electrons versus energy displays a power-law distribution at ˜ 2-100 keV, f(E) ˜ E-δ, with a δ of ˜ 1.5 - 2.4. For single (multiple) X-line reconnection, the spectrum becomes harder (softer) as the anomalous resistivity parameter α (uniform resistivity η) increases. These modeling results suggest that the acceleration in the solar wind source region may contribute to superhalo electrons. Supported by the National Natural Science Foundation of China.

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

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

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

    2010-01-01

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

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

    SciTech Connect

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

    2015-05-15

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

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

    DOE PAGESBeta

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

    2015-05-15

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

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

    SciTech Connect

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

    2015-05-15

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2015-12-01

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

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

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Hesse, Michael

    2006-01-01

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

  3. 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.

  4. 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.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2010-07-01

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

  6. Frozen flux violation, electron demagnetization and magnetic reconnection

    SciTech Connect

    Scudder, J. D.; Karimabadi, H.; Roytershteyn, V.; Daughton, W.

    2015-10-15

    We argue that the analogue in collisionless plasma of the collisional diffusion region of magnetic reconnection is properly defined in terms of the demagnetization of the plasma electrons that enable “frozen flux” slippage to occur. This condition differs from the violation of the “frozen-in” condition, which only implies that two fluid effects are involved, rather than the necessary slippage of magnetic flux as viewed in the electron frame. Using 2D Particle In Cell (PIC) simulations, this approach properly finds the saddle point region of the flux function. Our demagnetization conditions are the dimensionless guiding center approximation expansion parameters for electrons which we show are observable and determined locally by the ratio of non-ideal electric to magnetic field strengths. Proxies for frozen flux slippage are developed that (a) are measurable on a single spacecraft, (b) are dimensionless with theoretically justified threshold values of significance, and (c) are shown in 2D simulations to recover distinctions theoretically possible with the (unmeasurable) flux function. A new potentially observable dimensionless frozen flux rate, Λ{sub Φ}, differentiates significant from anecdotal frozen flux slippage. A single spacecraft observable, ϒ, is shown with PIC simulations to be essentially proportional to the unobservable local Maxwell frozen flux rate. This relationship theoretically establishes electron demagnetization in 3D as the general cause of frozen flux slippage. In simple 2D cases with an isolated central diffusion region surrounded by separatrices, these diagnostics uniquely identify the traditional diffusion region (without confusing it with the two fluid “ion-diffusion” region) and clarify the role of the separatrices where frozen flux violations do occur but are not substantial. In the more complicated guide and asymmetric 2D cases, substantial flux slippage regions extend out along, but inside of, the preferred separatrices

  7. Magnetic Reconnection Indicated in Jupiter's H3+ Auroral Flux Variations

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Satoh, Takehiko; Connerney, J. E.; Morioka, A.; Tokumaru, M.; Hayashi, K.

    2007-10-01

    Due to its complexity, the production mechanism of Jupiter's powerful aurora is to date not very well understood. Possible correlation with the solar wind has been one of such unsolved problems (Prange et al. 1993; Baron et al., 1996; Gurnet et al., 2002). We analyzed several sets of ground-based infrared data of Jupiter's H3+ aurora, acquired at NASA/IRTF atop Mauna Kea, Hawaii during 1998-2000 seasons. Night-to-night variations of total auroral flux are measured in images and are compared with the solar wind parameters at Jupiter's orbit. The solar wind parameters used in this study have been numerically inferred using a MHD tomography based on the interplanetary scintillation (IPS) observations (Hayashi et al., 2003).This method reconstructs the global structure of corotating solar wind assuming that such structure exists steadily during one Carrington rotation. Because of this assumption, transient changes of the solar wind can not be reproduced. As Jupiter's H3+ aurora is believed to reflect "time-averaged" magnetospheric activities, the solar wind parameters with 1-day time resolution is still a useful index. We evaluated the solar-wind dynamic pressure P and the reconnection voltage φ (Nichols et al., 2006) for the period of auroral observations. These two quantities are then converted to possible changes of magnetic flux density in Jupiter's magnetosphere. Neither of these two can explain the auroral flux vatiations solely. However, it is found that combining these two quantities (with slight adjustments) could better explain the increases/decreases of auroral flux. Amplitudes of the auroral flux variations, as well as uncertainties due to "extrapolation" of solar wind parameters to Jupiter's orbit will be discussed.

  8. First Observation of the High Field Side Sawtooth Crash and Heat Transfer during Driven Reconnection Processes in Magnetically Confined Plasmas

    SciTech Connect

    Park, HK; Luhmann, NC; Donne, AJH; Classen, IGJ; Domier, CW; Mazzucato, E; Munsat, T; van de Pol, MJ; Xia, Z

    2005-12-01

    High resolution (temporal and spatial), two-dimensional images of electron temperature fluctuations during sawtooth oscillations were employed to study driven reconnection processes in magnetically confined toroidal plasmas. The combination of kink and local pressure driven instabilities leads to an "X-point" reconnection process that is localized in the toroidal and poloidal planes. The reconnection is not always confined to the magnetic surfaces with minimum energy. The heat transport process from the core is demonstrated to be highly collective rather than stochastic.

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

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

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

    2014-01-01

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

  10. Magnetic reconnection with anomalous resistivity in two-and-a-half dimensions. I. Quasistationary case

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Malyshkin, Leonid M.; Linde, Timur; Kulsrud, Russell M.

    2005-10-01

    In this paper quasistationary, ``two-and-a-half-dimensional'' magnetic reconnection is studied in the framework of incompressible resistive magnetohydrodynamics. A new theoretical approach for the calculation of the reconnection rate is presented. This approach is based on the local analytical derivations in a thin reconnection layer, and it is applicable to the case when resistivity is anomalous and is an arbitrary function of the electric current and the spatial coordinates. It is found that a quasistationary reconnection rate is fully determined by a particular functional form of the anomalous resistivity and by the local configuration of the magnetic field just outside the reconnection layer. It is also found that, in the special case of constant resistivity, reconnection is Sweet-Parker [Electromagnetic Phenomena, edited by B. Lehnert (Cambridge University Press, New York, 1958), p. 123; Astrophys. J., Suppl. 8, 177 (1963)] and not Petschek [AAS-NASA Symposium on Solar Flares NASA SP5 (National Aeronautics and Space Administration, Washington, D.C., 1964), p. 425].

  11. Measuring Properties of Magnetic Reconnection in Nonlinear Resistive and Two-Fluid Toroidal Simulations of Sawteeth

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Beidler, Matthew; Cassak, Paul; Jardin, Stephen; Ferraro, Nathaniel

    2015-11-01

    The sawtooth crash in tokamaks limits the core temperature, harms confinement, and seeds disruptions. A predictive capability of its ramifications has been elusive. Extended-MHD physics is needed to properly analyze the magnetic reconnection that occurs during the crash phase, but it has only recently been integrated into codes using a toroidal geometry. In this study, we employ the three-dimensional toroidal, extended-MHD code M3D-C1 to study reconnection during the sawtooth crash. We study the nonlinear evolution of a test equilibrium in a non-reduced field representation for resistive-MHD and the two-fluid model. We find that the toroidal mode growth rates for the two-fluid reconnection process exhibit a nonlinear acceleration and greatly exceed that of a similar resistive MHD model, more closely in line with experimental results. Furthermore, by sampling the two-fluid simulation data in the plane perpendicular to the helical (m,n) =(1,1) mode, we present the first observation of the quadrupole out-of-plane magnetic field appearing during sawtooth reconnection with the Hall term. We also explore how reconnection as viewed in the helically perpendicular plane varies toroidally, which affects the symmetry of the reconnection geometry and the local diamagnetic effects.

  12. Secondary island formation in collisional and collisionless kinetic simulations of magnetic reconnection

    SciTech Connect

    Dayton, William S; Roytershteyn, Vadim; Gary, Peter; Yin, L; Albright, B J; Bowers, K J; Karimabadi, H

    2009-01-01

    The evolution of magnetic reconnection in large-scale systems often gives rise to extended current layers that are unstable to the formation of secondary magnetic islands. The role of these islands in the reconnection process and the conditions under which they form remains a subject of debate. In this work, we benchmark two different kinetic particle-in-cell codes to address the formation of secondary islands for several types of global boundary conditions. The influence on reconnection is examined for a range of conditions and collisionality limits. Although secondary islands are observed in all cases, their influence on reconnection may be different depending on the regime. In the collisional limit, the secondary islands playa key role in breaking away from the Sweet-Parker scaling and enabling faster reconnection. In the collisionless limit, their formation is one mechanism for controlling the length of the diffusion region. In both limits, the onset of secondary islands leads to a time dependent behavior in the reconnection rate. In all cases considered, the number of secondary islands increases for larger systems.

  13. Fast magnetic reconnection in low-density electron-positron plasmas

    SciTech Connect

    Bessho, Naoki; Bhattacharjee, A.

    2010-10-15

    Two-dimensional particle-in-cell simulations have been performed to study magnetic reconnection in low-density electron-positron plasmas without a guide magnetic field. Impulsive reconnection rates become of the order of unity when the background density is much smaller than 10% of the density in the initial current layer. It is demonstrated that the outflow speed is less than the upstream Alfven speed, and that the time derivative of the density must be taken into account in the definition of the reconnection rate. The reconnection electric fields in the low-density regime become much larger than the ones in the high-density regime, and it is possible to accelerate the particles to high energies more efficiently. The inertial term in the generalized Ohm's law is the most dominant term that supports a large reconnection electric field. An effective collisionless resistivity is produced and tracks the extension of the diffusion region in the late stage of the reconnection dynamics, and significant broadening of the diffusion region is observed. Because of the broadening of the diffusion region, no secondary islands, which have been considered to play a role to limit the diffusion region, are generated during the extension of the diffusion region in the outflow direction.

  14. Magnetic Reconnection of an Externally Applied Magnetic Field in a High-Energy Density Plasma

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2013-10-01

    An experiment on magnetic reconnection of an externally applied magnetic field in counter-propagating high-energy density plasmas was conducted on the OMEGA EP Laser System. Two counter-propagating plasma flows were created by irradiating oppositely placed plastic (CH) targets with 1.8-kJ, 2-ns laser beams. An external magnetic field was imposed perpendicular to the plasma flow by MIFEDS (magneto-inertial fusion electrical discharge system). The magnetic field has a null-x-point geometry with B = 5 T at the targets. The plasma interaction was imaged by laser-driven, fast-proton radiography. The radiography images demonstrate formation of a pair of counter-propagating magnetized ``ribbons'' that collide and reconnect at the midplane. The results will be compared with particle-in-cell simulations and interpreted with predictions from the DRACO code. This material is based upon work supported by the Department of Energy National Nuclear Security Administration under Award Number DE-NA0001944, and NLUF Grant DE-SC0008655.

  15. Wave associated anomalous drag during magnetic field reconnection

    SciTech Connect

    Mozer, F. S.; Wilber, M.; Drake, J. F.

    2011-10-15

    The anomalous drag, D, due to large amplitude plasma waves is used for the first time, in place of {eta}*j, to estimate dissipation at the sub-solar magnetopause and to determine the extent to which this drag accounts for the reconnection electric field. This anomalous drag is determined by measuring correlations of the fluctuations in the electric field and plasma density. Large amplitude electric fields occurred more than 60% of the time in the more than 100 sub-solar, low latitude magnetopause crossings of the THEMIS satellite. They occurred mainly near the magnetospheric separatrix in the form of electrostatic lower hybrid and whistler waves. The anomalous drag at the separatrix was generally <10% of the average reconnection electric field, and it was <1% of the field in the current sheet. Thus, anomalous drag due to waves is not a significant driver of reconnection or of the required dissipation at the sub-solar magnetopause.

  16. Nonthermally dominated electron acceleration during magnetic reconnection in a low-β plasma

    SciTech Connect

    Li, Xiaocan; Guo, Fan; Li, Hui; Li, Gang

    2015-09-24

    By means of fully kinetic simulations, we investigate electron acceleration during magnetic reconnection in a nonrelativistic proton–electron plasma with conditions similar to solar corona and flares. We demonstrate that reconnection leads to a nonthermally dominated electron acceleration with a power-law energy distribution in the nonrelativistic low-β regime but not in the high-β regime, where β is the ratio of the plasma thermal pressure and the magnetic pressure. The accelerated electrons contain most of the dissipated magnetic energy in the low-β regime. A guiding-center current description is used to reveal the role of electron drift motions during the bulk nonthermal energization. We find that the main acceleration mechanism is a Fermi-type acceleration accomplished by the particle curvature drift motion along the electric field induced by the reconnection outflows. Although the acceleration mechanism is similar for different plasma β, low-β reconnection drives fast acceleration on Alfvénic timescales and develops power laws out of thermal distribution. Thus, the nonthermally dominated acceleration resulting from magnetic reconnection in low-β plasma may have strong implications for the highly efficient electron acceleration in solar flares and other astrophysical systems.

  17. Formation of Hard Power-laws in the Energetic Particle Spectra Resulting from Relativistic Magnetic Reconnection

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2014-10-01

    Using fully kinetic simulations, we demonstrate that magnetic reconnection in relativistic plasmas is highly efficient at accelerating particles through a first-order Fermi process resulting from the curvature drift of particles in the direction of the electric field induced by the relativistic flows. This mechanism gives to the formation of hard power-law spectra in parameter regimes where the energy density in the reconnecting field exceeds the rest mass energy density and when the system size is sufficiently large. The power law slope approaches ``-1'' for closed systems and gets softer when particle loss from the acceleration region is included. A simple analytic model is proposed which explains these key features and predicts a general condition under which hard power-law spectra will be generated from magnetic reconnection. We demonstrate that both continuous inflow and Fermi-type acceleration lead to the power-law distributions. Finally, we discuss the role of particle anisotropy in particle acceleration during magnetic reconnection. The work shows that hard power-law distributions are a common feature in relativistic magnetic reconnection region, which may be important for explaining the high-energy emissions in systems like pulsars, jets from black holes, and gamma-ray bursts.

  18. Nonthermally dominated electron acceleration during magnetic reconnection in a low-β plasma

    DOE PAGESBeta

    Li, Xiaocan; Guo, Fan; Li, Hui; Li, Gang

    2015-09-24

    By means of fully kinetic simulations, we investigate electron acceleration during magnetic reconnection in a nonrelativistic proton–electron plasma with conditions similar to solar corona and flares. We demonstrate that reconnection leads to a nonthermally dominated electron acceleration with a power-law energy distribution in the nonrelativistic low-β regime but not in the high-β regime, where β is the ratio of the plasma thermal pressure and the magnetic pressure. The accelerated electrons contain most of the dissipated magnetic energy in the low-β regime. A guiding-center current description is used to reveal the role of electron drift motions during the bulk nonthermal energization.more » We find that the main acceleration mechanism is a Fermi-type acceleration accomplished by the particle curvature drift motion along the electric field induced by the reconnection outflows. Although the acceleration mechanism is similar for different plasma β, low-β reconnection drives fast acceleration on Alfvénic timescales and develops power laws out of thermal distribution. Thus, the nonthermally dominated acceleration resulting from magnetic reconnection in low-β plasma may have strong implications for the highly efficient electron acceleration in solar flares and other astrophysical systems.« less

  19. High-Latitude Magnetic Reconnection in Sub-Alfvenic Flow as Observed by Interball Tail on 29 May 1996

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Smirnov, V. N.; Avanov, L. A.; Waite, J.; Fuselier, S.; Vaisberg, O. L.; Six, N. Frank (Technical Monitor)

    2002-01-01

    The Interball/Tail spacecraft crossed the high latitude magnetopause near the cusp region under stable northward IMF conditions on 29 May 1996, with magnetic local time and magnetic latitude approx. 7.3 hours, approx. 65.4 degrees, respectively. The Interball Tail spacecraft observed quasi-steady reconnection and a relatively stable reconnection site at high latitudes. Observed sunward plasma flow and tangential stress balance indicated that reconnection occurred poleward of the magnetic cusp, above the spacecraft location. The spacecraft observed sub-alfvenic flow in the magnetosheath region adjacent to the magnetopause current layer near the reconnection site indicating that the reconnection site may have moved in the sunward direction. These observations suggest that the region of sub-alfvenic flow and stable, quasi-steady reconnection extend to very high latitudes under northward IMF conditions which is not consistent with the gas dynamic model predictions.

  20. Photoinduced magnetic force between nanostructures

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Guclu, Caner; Tamma, Venkata Ananth; Wickramasinghe, Hemantha Kumar; Capolino, Filippo

    2015-12-01

    Photoinduced magnetic force between nanostructures, at optical frequencies, is investigated theoretically. Till now optical magnetic effects were not used in scanning probe microscopy because of the vanishing natural magnetism with increasing frequency. On the other hand, artificial magnetism in engineered nanostructures led to the development of measurable optical magnetism. Here two examples of nanoprobes that are able to generate strong magnetic dipolar fields at optical frequency are investigated: first, an ideal magnetically polarizable nanosphere and then a circular cluster of silver nanospheres that has a looplike collective plasmonic resonance equivalent to a magnetic dipole. Magnetic forces are evaluated based on nanostructure polarizabilities, i.e., induced magnetic dipoles, and magnetic-near field evaluations. As an initial assessment on the possibility of a magnetic nanoprobe to detect magnetic forces, we consider two identical magnetically polarizable nanoprobes and observe magnetic forces on the order of piconewtons, thereby bringing it within detection limits of conventional atomic force microscopes at ambient pressure and temperature. The detection of magnetic force is a promising method in studying optical magnetic transitions that can be the basis of innovative spectroscopy applications.

  1. 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.

  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. Inside the Black Box: Magnetic Reconnection and the Magnetospheric Multiscale Mission

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Cassak, P. A.

    2016-03-01

    The motivation for the recently launched Magnetospheric Multiscale mission is learning about the process of magnetic reconnection, especially the physics of what is called the diffusion region. The diffusion region is often treated as a black box but is the home of very important physics, which is of great significance to understanding space weather. This article is a brief review of what is known—and not known—about the diffusion region in magnetic reconnection, written for the broad space weather community and its stakeholders (with an appendix for readers interested in more technical matters). The focus is on the physics of magnetic reconnection and the diffusion region, why it has been challenging to study, how MMS will contribute, and how the community will benefit from its measurements.

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

    SciTech Connect

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

    2014-04-18

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

  5. `Effective' collisions in weakly magnetized collisionless plasma: importance of Pitaevski's effect for magnetic reconnection

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Zelenyi, Lev M.; Artemyev, Anton V.

    2016-02-01

    In this paper we revisit the paradigm of space science turbulent dissipation traditionally considered as myth (Coroniti, Space Sci. Rev., vol. 42, 1985, pp. 399-410). We demonstrate that due to approach introduced by Pitaevskii (Sov. J. Expl Theor. Phys., vol. 44, 1963, pp. 969-979 (in Russian)) (the effect of a finite Larmor radius on a classical collision integral) dissipation induced by effective interaction with microturbulence produces a significant effect on plasma dynamics, especially in the vicinity of the reconnection region. We estimate the multiplication factor of collision frequency in the collision integral for short wavelength perturbations. For waves propagating transverse to the background magnetic field, this factor is approximately ρekx)2 an electron gyroradius and where kx a transverse wavenumber. We consider recent spacecraft observations in the Earth's magnetotail reconnection region to the estimate possible impact of this multiplication factor. For small-scale reconnection regions this factor can significantly increase the effective collision frequency produced both by lower-hybrid drift turbulence and by kinetic Alfvén waves. We discuss the possibility that the Pitaevskii's effect may be responsible for the excitation of a resistive electron tearing mode in thin current sheets formed in the outflow region of the primary X-line.

  6. James Clerk Maxwell Prize for Plasma Physics: The Physics of Magnetic Reconnection and Associated Particle Acceleration

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Drake, James

    2010-11-01

    Solar and stellar flares, substorms in the Earth's magnetosphere, and disruptions in laboratory fusion experiments are driven by the explosive release of magnetic energy through the process of magnetic reconnection. During reconnection oppositely directed magnetic fields break and cross-connect. The resulting magnetic slingshots convert magnetic energy into high velocity flows, thermal energy and energetic particles. A major scientific challenge has been the multi-scale nature of the problem: a narrow boundary layer, ``the dissipation region,'' breaks field lines and controls the release of energy in a macroscale system. Significant progress has been made on fundamental questions such as how magnetic energy is released so quickly and why the release occurs as an explosion. At the small spatial scales of the dissipation region the motion of electrons and ions decouples, the MHD description breaks down and whistler and kinetic Alfven dynamics drives reconnection. The dispersive property of these waves leads to fast reconnection, insensitive to system size and weakly dependent on dissipation, consistent with observations. The evidence for these waves during reconnection in the magnetosphere and the laboratory is compelling. The role of turbulence within the dissipation region in the form of ``secondary islands'' or as a source of anomalous resistivity continues to be explored. A large fraction of the magnetic energy released during reconnection appears in the form of energetic electrons and protons -- up to 50% or more during solar flares. The mechanism for energetic particle production during magnetic reconnection has remained a mystery. Models based on reconnection at a single large x-line are incapable of producing the large numbers of energetic electrons seen in observations. Scenarios based on particle acceleration in a multi-x-line environment are more promising. In such models a link between the energy gain of electrons and the magnetic energy released, a

  7. Formation and Collimation of Jets by Magnetic Forces

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Shibata, K.; Kudoh, T.

    1999-12-01

    Recent development of theory and numerical simulations of magnetically driven jets from young stellar objects is reviewed. Topics to be discussed are: 1) Acceleration of jets: Magnetically driven jets are accelerated by both magneto-centrifugal force and magnetic pressure force. The former (latter) becomes important when magnetic field is strong (weak). The basic properties (i.e., terminal velocity and mass flux) of jets accelerated by these two forces is discussed in detail. We also discuss the condition of production of jets, which is applied to answer the following question: When do jets begin to be accelerated in the course of star formation ? 2) Collimation of jets: Magnetically driven jets can in principle be collimated by pinching effect of toroidal magnetic fields. Recently, some controvertial arguments have been put forward: Are all field lines (and jets) really collimated by pinching effect ? The current status of this issue is discussed. 3) Protostellar flares: Based on theory and numerical simulations, it has recently been recognized that the formation of jets has a close connection with occurrence of flares (possibly due to magnetic reconnection). We discuss how and when magnetic reconnection occurs in relation to jets.

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

    SciTech Connect

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

    2015-09-15

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

  9. Partially Ionized Plasma Three-Fluid Modeling of Magnetic Reconnection in the Sun Chromosphere

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Alvarez Laguna, A.; Lani, A.; Mansour, N. N.; Kosovichev, A. G.; Poedts, D. S.

    2015-12-01

    Magnetic reconnection is present in most of the unsteady and eruptive phenomena in the Sun atmosphere, including Coronal Mass Ejections (CMEs) and solar flares. Also, it occurs in the chromosphere, bringing about chromospheric jets and spicules and being considered a likely mechanism to play an important role in heating up the corona. In this work, we present a computational model that simulates magnetic reconnection in the Sun chromosphere using a three-fluid model (electrons + ions + neutrals). The model treats separately ions, electrons and neutrals, considering mass, momentum and energy conservation for each fluid. The fluids interact among each other by means of collisions and chemical reactions. The charged particles heat fluxes are anisotropic with the magnetic field, following Braginskii's description. This model also considers non-equilibrium partial ionization effects including electron impact ionization, radiative recombination reactions and charge exchange. The electromagnetic field evolution is represented by the full Maxwell's equations, allowing for high frequency waves disregarded by the MHD approximation. Previous two-fluid simulations showed that the dynamics of ions and neutrals are decoupled during the reconnection process when the width of the current sheet becomes comparable to the ion scales. Also, the effect of the chemical non-equilibrium in the reconnection region plays a crucial role, yielding faster reconnection rates. We extended these simulations with a three-fluid model that considers separately the dynamics of electrons. This new model provides a better description of the complex dynamics taking place during the reconnection, both in Sweet-Parker reconnections and during the tearing instability. The results are compared with the two-fluid simulations.

  10. Plasmoid dynamics in 3D resistive MHD simulations of magnetic reconnection

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2012-04-01

    Magnetic reconnection is a well known plasma process believed to lie at the heart of a variety of phenomena such as sub-storms in the Earth's magnetosphere, solar/stellar and accretion-disk flares, sawteeth activity in fusion devices, etc. During reconnection, the global magnetic field topology changes rapidly, leading to the violent release of magnetic energy. Over the past few years, the basic understanding of this fundamental process has undergone profound changes. The validity of the most basic, and widely accepted, reconnection paradigm - the famous Sweet-Parker (SP) model, which predicts that, in MHD, reconnection is extremely slow, its rate scaling as S-1/2, where S is the Lundquist number of the system - has been called into question as it was analytically demonstrated that, for S ≫ 1, SP-like current sheets are violently unstable to the formation of a large number of secondary islands, or plasmoids. Subsequent numerical simulations in 2D have confirmed the validity of the linear theory, and shown that plasmoids quickly grow to become wider than the thickness of the original SP current sheet, thus effectively changing the underlying reconnection geometry. Ensuing numerical work has revealed that the process of plasmoid formation, coalescence and ejection from the sheet drastically modifies the steady state picture assumed by Sweet and Parker, and leads to the unexpected result that MHD reconnection is independent of S. In this talk, we review these recent developments and present results from three-dimensional simulations of high-Lundquist number reconnection in the presence of a guide field. A parametric study varying the strength of the guide field is presented. Plasmoid flux and width distribution functions are quantified and compared with corresponding two dimensional simulations.

  11. Extreme ultra-violet movie camera for imaging microsecond time scale magnetic reconnection

    SciTech Connect

    Chai, Kil-Byoung; Bellan, Paul M.

    2013-12-15

    An ultra-fast extreme ultra-violet (EUV) movie camera has been developed for imaging magnetic reconnection in the Caltech spheromak/astrophysical jet experiment. The camera consists of a broadband Mo:Si multilayer mirror, a fast decaying YAG:Ce scintillator, a visible light block, and a high-speed visible light CCD camera. The camera can capture EUV images as fast as 3.3 × 10{sup 6} frames per second with 0.5 cm spatial resolution. The spectral range is from 20 eV to 60 eV. EUV images reveal strong, transient, highly localized bursts of EUV radiation when magnetic reconnection occurs.

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

    SciTech Connect

    Chu, T.K.

    1987-12-01

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

  13. Investigation of magnetic reconnection during a sawtooth crash in a high-temperature tokamak plasma

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Yamada, M.; Levinton, F. M.; Pomphrey, N.; Budny, R.; Manickam, J.; Nagayama, Y.

    1994-10-01

    In this paper a laboratory investigation is made on magnetic reconnection in high-temperature Tokamak Fusion Test Reactor (TFTR) plasmas [Plasma Physics and Controlled Nuclear Fusion Research 1986 (International Atomic Energy Agency, Vienna, 1987), Vol. 1, p. 51]. The motional Stark effect (MSE) diagnostic is employed to measure the pitch angle profile of magnetic field lines, and hence the q profile. An analytical expression that relates pitch angle to q profile is presented for a toroidal plasma with circular cross section. During the crash phase of sawtooth oscillations in plasma discharges, the ECE (electron cyclotron emission) diagnostic measures a fast flattening of the two-dimensional (2-D) electron temperature profile in a poloidal plane, an observation consistent with the Kadomtsev reconnection theory. On the other hand, the MSE measurements indicate that central q values do not relax to unity after the crash, but increase only by 5%-15%, typically from 0.7 to 0.8. The latter result is in contradiction with the 2-D models of Kadomtsev and/or Wesson. In the present study this puzzle is addressed by a simultaneous analysis of electron temperature and q profile evolutions. Based on a heuristic model for magnetic reconnection during the sawtooth crash, the small change of q, i.e., partial reconnection, is attributed to the precipitous drop of pressure gradients that drive the instability and the reconnection process, as well as flux conserving plasma dynamics.

  14. Investigation of magnetic reconnection during a sawtooth crash in a high-temperature tokamak plasma

    SciTech Connect

    Yamada, M.; Levinton, F.M.; Pomphrey, N.; Budny, R.; Manickam, J.; Nagayama, Y. )

    1994-10-01

    In this paper a laboratory investigation is made on magnetic reconnection in high-temperature Tokamak Fusion Test Reactor (TFTR) plasmas [[ital Plasma] [ital Physics] [ital and] [ital Controlled] [ital Nuclear] [ital Fusion] [ital Research] 1986 (International Atomic Energy Agency, Vienna, 1987), Vol. 1, p. 51]. The motional Stark effect (MSE) diagnostic is employed to measure the pitch angle profile of magnetic field lines, and hence the [ital q] profile. An analytical expression that relates pitch angle to [ital q] profile is presented for a toroidal plasma with circular cross section. During the crash phase of sawtooth oscillations in plasma discharges, the ECE (electron cyclotron emission) diagnostic measures a fast flattening of the two-dimensional (2-D) electron temperature profile in a poloidal plane, an observation consistent with the Kadomtsev reconnection theory. On the other hand, the MSE measurements indicate that central [ital q] values do not relax to unity after the crash, but increase only by 5%--15%, typically from 0.7 to 0.8. The latter result is in contradiction with the 2-D models of Kadomtsev and/or Wesson. In the present study this puzzle is addressed by a simultaneous analysis of electron temperature and [ital q] profile evolutions. Based on a heuristic model for magnetic reconnection during the sawtooth crash, the small change of [ital q], i.e., partial reconnection, is attributed to the precipitous drop of pressure gradients that drive the instability and the reconnection process, as well as flux conserving plasma dynamics.

  15. Magnetic Reconnection in Solar Flares and CMEs and in Laboratory Plasma Merging Experiments

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ono, Y.; Cheng, C.; Yang, Y.; Choe, G.

    2011-12-01

    Impulsive magnetic reconnection has been shown to be the major mechanism responsible for explosive flare non-thermal energy release and acceleration of VME motion. It has been observed that for most large solar flares non-thermal emissions in hard X-rays (HXR) and millimeter/submillimeter waves impulsively rise and decade during the soft X-ray (SXR) emission rise phase. Moreover, the filament/CME upward motion is accelerated temporally in correlation with the impulsive enhancement of flare non-thermal emission and reconnection electric field in the current sheet in both simulations and observations. The peak reconnection electric field during flare impulsive phase is on the order of a few kV/m for X-class flares. Here, we demonstrated for the first time in laboratory plasma merging experiments the correlation of the magnetic reconnection rate with the acceleration of plasmoid ejected from the current sheet using the TS-4 device of the Tokyo University. Moreover, we also have found that the electron heating occurs in the current sheet and the ion heating occurs in the down-stream outflow region. Thus, we conclude that the plasmoid/CME acceleration is a key mechanism for the impulsive enhancement of magnetic reconnection rate (electric field).

  16. High Power Heating of Magnetic Reconnection in UTokyo Spherical Tokamak Merging Experiment: TS-U

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ono, Y.; Kawanami, M.; Kimura, K.; Nakai, R.; Nishida, K.; Ishida, R.; Yamanaka, H.; Kuwahata, A.; Tanabe, H.; Inomoto, M.; Cheng, C. Z.; TS; UTST Team

    2015-11-01

    Significant ion heating of magnetic reconnection up to 0.2keV and 1.2keV were documented in two tokamak merging experiments: TS-3 and MAST, leading us to a new high-field merging experiment: TS-U in University of Tokyo. 1D and 2D contours of ion and electron temperatures measured in TS-3 already revealed clear energy-conversion of magnetic reconnection: huge outflow heating of ions in the downstream and electron heating localized at the X-point. It is noted that the ion heating energy is proportional to square of the reconnecting (poloidal) magnetic field Brec. It is because the reconnection outflow accelerates ions up to the poloidal Alfven speed. The accelerated ions are thermalized by shock-like density pileups in the downstreams. These results agree qualitatively with recent solar satellite observations and PIC simulation results. Based on those results, our poster will show the design of upscaled high-field tokamak merging experiment: TS-U. The high-power heating of tokamak merging is useful not only for laboratory study of reconnection heating mechanisms but also for economical startup and heating of tokamak plasmas. The tokamak merging with Brec>0.3T will enables us to heat the tokamak plasma to the burning regime: Ti>5keV without using any additional heating facility.

  17. Investigation of magnetic reconnection during a sawtooth crash in a high temperature tokamak

    SciTech Connect

    Yamada, M.; Pomphrey, N.; Budney, R.; Macickam, J.; Levinton, F.; Nagayama, Y.

    1994-09-01

    This paper reports on a recent laboratory investigation on magnetic reconnection in high temperature tokamak plasmas. The motional stark effect(MSE) diagnostic is employed to measure the pitch angle of magnetic field lines, and hence the q profile. An analytical expression that relates pitch angle to q profile has been developed for a toroidal plasma with circular cross section. During the crash phase of sawtooth oscillations in the plasma discharges, the ECE (electron cyclotron emission) diagnostic measures a fast flattening of the 2-D electron temperature profile in a poloidal plane, an observation consistent with the Kadomtsev reconnection theory. On the other hand motional the MSE measurements indicate that central q values do not relax to unity after the crash, but increase only by 5-10%, typically from 0.7 to 0.75. The latter result is in contradiction with the models of Kadomtsev and/or Wesson. The present study addresses this puzzle by a simultaneous analysis of electron temperature and q profile evolutions. Based on a heuristic model for the magnetic reconnection during the sawtooth crash, the small change of q, i.e. partial reconnection, is attributed to the precipitous drop of pressure gradients which drive the instability and the reconnection process as well as flux conserving plasma dynamics.

  18. Magnetic reconnection in a comparison of topology and helicities in two and three dimensional resistive magnetohydrodynamic simulations

    SciTech Connect

    Čemeljić, M. Huang, R.-Y.

    2014-03-15

    Through a direct comparison between numerical simulations in two and three dimensions, we investigate topological effects in reconnection. A simple estimate on increase in reconnection rate in three dimensions by a factor of √(2), when compared with a two-dimensional case, is confirmed in our simulations. We also show that both the reconnection rate and the fraction of magnetic energy in the simulations depend linearly on the height of the reconnection region. The degree of structural complexity of a magnetic field and the underlying flow is measured by current helicity and cross-helicity. We compare results in simulations with different computational box heights.

  19. Identification of Y-shaped and O-shaped diffusion regions during magnetic reconnection in a laboratory plasma

    SciTech Connect

    Yamada, Masaaki; Ji, H.; Hsu, S.; Carter, T.; Kulsrud, R.; Ono, Yasushi; Perkins, F.

    1997-04-01

    Two strikingly different shapes of diffusion regions are identified during magnetic reconnection in a magnetohydrodynamic laboratory plasma. The shapes depend on the third vector component of the reconnecting magnetic fields. Without the third component (anti-parallel or null-helicity reconnection), a thin double-Y shaped diffusion region is identified. In this case, the neutral sheet current profile is accurately measured to be as narrow as the order of the ion gyro-radius. In the presence of an appreciable third component (co-helicity reconnection), an O-shaped diffusion region appears and grows into a spheromak configuration.

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

    SciTech Connect

    Yoo, Jongsoo; Yamada, Masaaki; Ji, Hantao; Jara-Almonte, Jonathan; Myers, Clayton E.

    2014-05-15

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

  1. 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.

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

    DOE PAGESBeta

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

    2015-02-04

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

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

    SciTech Connect

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

    2015-02-04

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

  4. 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

  5. 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.

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

    PubMed

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

    2014-10-10

    Using fully kinetic simulations, we demonstrate that magnetic reconnection in relativistic plasmas is highly efficient at accelerating particles through a first-order Fermi process resulting from the curvature drift of particles in the direction of the electric field induced by the relativistic flows. This mechanism gives rise to the formation of hard power-law spectra in parameter regimes where the energy density in the reconnecting field exceeds the rest mass energy density σ ≡ B(2)/(4πnm(e)c(2))>1 and when the system size is sufficiently large. In the limit σ ≫ 1, the spectral index approaches p = 1 and most of the available energy is converted into nonthermal particles. A simple analytic model is proposed which explains these key features and predicts a general condition under which hard power-law spectra will be generated from magnetic reconnection. PMID:25375716

  7. Formation of Hard Power Laws in the Energetic Particle Spectra Resulting from Relativistic Magnetic Reconnection

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2014-10-01

    Using fully kinetic simulations, we demonstrate that magnetic reconnection in relativistic plasmas is highly efficient at accelerating particles through a first-order Fermi process resulting from the curvature drift of particles in the direction of the electric field induced by the relativistic flows. This mechanism gives rise to the formation of hard power-law spectra in parameter regimes where the energy density in the reconnecting field exceeds the rest mass energy density σ≡B2/(4πnmec2)>1 and when the system size is sufficiently large. In the limit σ≫1, the spectral index approaches p=1 and most of the available energy is converted into nonthermal particles. A simple analytic model is proposed which explains these key features and predicts a general condition under which hard power-law spectra will be generated from magnetic reconnection.

  8. Experimental study of magnetic reconnection during a sawtooth crash in a high temperature tokamak plasma

    SciTech Connect

    Yamada, M.; Manickam, J.; Pomphrey, N.; Levinton, F.M.; Nagayama, Y.

    1994-01-01

    Magnetic reconnection is investigated in high temperature TFTR tokamak plasmas by a set of non-perturbative diagnostics. During the crash phase of sawtooth oscillations in the plasma discharges, the ECE (electron cyclotron emission) diagnostic measures a fast flattening of the 2-D electron temperature profile in a poloidal plane, an observation consistent with the Kadomtsev reconnection theory. On the other hand motional Stark effect(MSE) measurements indicate that central q values do not relax to unity after the crash, but increase only by 5-10%, typically from 0.7 to 0.75. The latter result is in contradiction with the models of Kadomtsev and/or Wesson. A heuristic model for the magnetic reconnection at the sawtooth crash is also presented.

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

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

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

    2015-01-01

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

  10. 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.

  11. Finite gyroradius effects in the electron outflow of asymmetric magnetic reconnection

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Norgren, C.; Graham, D. B.; Khotyaintsev, Yu. V.; André, M.; Vaivads, A.; Chen, L.-J.; Lindqvist, P.-A.; Marklund, G. T.; Ergun, R. E.; Magnes, W.; Strangeway, R. J.; Russell, C. T.; Torbert, R. B.; Paterson, W. R.; Gershman, D. J.; Dorelli, J. C.; Avanov, L. A.; Lavraud, B.; Saito, Y.; Giles, B. L.; Pollock, C. J.; Burch, J. L.

    2016-07-01

    We present observations of asymmetric magnetic reconnection showing evidence of electron demagnetization in the electron outflow. The observations were made at the magnetopause by the four Magnetospheric Multiscale (MMS) spacecraft, separated by ˜15 km. The reconnecting current sheet has negligible guide field, and all four spacecraft likely pass close to the electron diffusion region just south of the X line. In the electron outflow near the X line, all four spacecraft observe highly structured electron distributions in a region comparable to a few electron gyroradii. The distributions consist of a core with T∥>T⊥ and a nongyrotropic crescent perpendicular to the magnetic field. The crescents are associated with finite gyroradius effects of partly demagnetized electrons. These observations clearly demonstrate the manifestation of finite gyroradius effects in an electron-scale reconnection current sheet.

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

    SciTech Connect

    Jara-Almonte, J.; Ji, H.

    2014-03-15

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

  13. Magnetic reconnection and Kelvin-Helmholtz instabilities at the Earth's magnetopause

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Faganello, M.; Califano, F.; Pegoraro, F.; Andreussi, T.; Benkadda, S.

    2012-12-01

    Kelvin-Helmholtz instability (KHI), driven by the velocity inhomogeneity at Earth's magnetopause, has been shown to play a major role in mixing the magnetospheric and the solar wind plasma during northward periods. In fact, when the magnetospheric and interplanetary magnetic fields are mostly perpendicular to the equatorial plane, KHI can develop at a low latitude without being significantly inhibited by the magnetic tension. In contrast, at a high latitude, the more complex magnetic configuration is believed to totally stabilize the instability. This intrinsic 3D dynamics is investigated in a simplified geometry showing that KHI is able to kink the magnetic field lines at a mid-latitude and to create current layers where magnetic reconnection spontaneously develops. It is shown that a mid-latitude reconnection is able to change the global topology of the magnetic field and to connect interplanetary field lines to the Earth's cups, allowing the solar wind to directly enter the magnetosphere.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Choe, Gwangson; Lee, Junggi

    2016-04-01

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

  15. Stochastic magnetic field driven charge transport and zonal flow during magnetic reconnection

    SciTech Connect

    Ding, W. X.; Brower, D. L.; Craig, D.; Chapman, B. E.; Ennis, D.; Fiksel, G.; Gangadhara, S.; Den Hartog, D. J.; Mirnov, V. V.; Prager, S. C.; Sarff, J. S.; Terry, P. W.; Svidzinski, V.; Yates, T.

    2008-05-15

    Magnetic fluctuation-induced charge transport, resulting from particle transport that is not intrinsically ambipolar, has been measured in the high-temperature interior of a reversed-field pinch plasma. It is found that global resistive tearing modes and their nonlinear interactions lead to significant charge transport, equivalent to the perpendicular Maxwell stress, in the vicinity of the resonant surface for the dominant core resonant mode during magnetic reconnection. Finite charge transport can result in a zonal flow associated with locally strong radial electric field and electric field shear. In the presence of stochastic magnetic field, radial electric field is expected to be balanced by radial electron pressure gradient. Direct measurement of local density gradient is consistent with the formation of radial electric field and the zonal flow.

  16. Viscous dissipation and radiative transport in magnetic reconnection of collisionless magnetized plasma

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Yun, Gunsu; Ji, Jeong-Young; Thatipamula, Shekar; Kstar Team

    2015-11-01

    Viscous dissipation rate of magnetic field energy due to wave-like fluctuations in collisionless magnetized plasma is obtained analytically using the exact integral closure for electron fluid viscosity [Ji, Phys. Plasmas 21 (2014)]. For typical high-temperature tokamak plasma, the viscous resistivity is several orders larger than the Spitzer (collisional) resistivity. For magnetic reconnection, it is also found that the radiative transport (i.e. Poynting flux) of the field energy of Alfven waves [Bellan, Phys. Plasmas 5, 3081 (1998)] is comparable to the viscous dissipation. The viscous dissipation is more effective for shorter wavelength fluctuation. The importance of viscous dissipation is supported by broadband emission and chirping-down phenomena observed in the ion cyclotron harmonic frequency range at the crash onset of edge-localized mode on the KSTAR tokamak. Work supported by the National Research Foundation of Korea and the Asia-Pacific Center for Theoretical Physics.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2012-07-01

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

  18. Separator reconnection at Earth's dayside magnetopause under generic northward interplanetary magnetic field conditions

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Dorelli, John C.; Bhattacharjee, Amitava; Raeder, Joachim

    2007-02-01

    We investigate the global properties of magnetic reconnection at the dayside terrestrial magnetopause under generic northward interplanetary magnetic field (IMF) conditions. In particular, we consider a zero dipole tilt case where the y and z components of the IMF (in GSM coordinates) are equal in magnitude, using three-dimensional resistive magnetohydrodynamics (MHD) simulations to address the following questions: (1) What is the geometry of the dayside X line? (2) How is current density distributed over the magnetopause surface? Using a technique described by Geene (1992) to track the magnetic nulls in the system, we identify the dayside X line as a magnetic separator line, a segment of a magnetic field line which extends across the dayside magnetopause, terminating in the cusps. We demonstrate that the separator line is the intersection of two separatrix surfaces which define volumes containing topologically distinct field lines. Parallel current density, proportional to the parallel electric field in our resistive MHD simulations, is distributed in a broad, thin sheet which extends across the separator line and terminates in the cusps. Thus separator reconnection at the dayside magnetopause displays features of both antiparallel (near the cusp nulls) and component (near the subsolar separator line) reconnection. We discuss some implications of our results for spacecraft observations of reconnection signatures.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Radioti, A.

    2012-04-01

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

  20. Plasma Resonance Surfaces in the Magnetic Field Reconnection and Radio Fine Structures

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Karlický, Marian

    2003-02-01

    Using a 2-D MHD model, the magnetic field reconnection in the current sheet and corresponding plasma resonance lines (surfaces in 3-D), where the upper-hybrid frequency equals one of harmonics of the electron gyrofrequency, ωUH=(ωpe2+ωBe2)1/2=sωBe (ωUH, ωpe, and ωBe are the upper hybrid, electron plasma, and cyclotron frequencies, respectively, and s is the integer harmonic number) are computed. Then at selected times and positions in the magnetic reconnection the spatial and time spectra of upper hybrid frequencies along the resonance lines are calculated. These spectra are discussed from the point of view of radio fine structures as narrowband dm-spikes, zebras, and lace bursts. It is shown that not only turbulent plasma outflows, suggested in the paper by Bárta and Karlický (2001), but also perturbed zones near the reconnection slow-mode shocks can be locations of the narrowband dm-spikes (and/or continua). Sources of the lace bursts (i.e. bursts with irregular lines) can be located in the reconnection space, too. On the other hand, the zebras (bursts with regular separations of zebra lines) need to be generated out of strongly perturbed reconnection areas.

  1. An Experiment to Investigate the Role of Neutrals in Magnetic Reconnection

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lawrence, Eric; Yoo, Jongsoo; Yamada, Masaaki; Ji, Hantao; Dorfman, Seth; Tharp, Tim; Myers, Clayton

    2010-11-01

    Magnetic reconnection in the solar chromosphere has become a topic of recent interest as it may be a source of energy transfer into the corona [1], and observations show evidence of fast reconnection [2]. Unlike the corona, the plasma in the chromosphere is relatively cool (T ˜10^4 K) and is weakly to partially ionized (nn/n ˜10^0-10^4). Furthermore, simulations have shown that the reconnection rate can depend on the ionization fraction and neutral collisionality [3]. Damping due to ion-neutral viscosity may also play a role. In the Magnetic Reconnection Experiment (MRX), we plan to study the effects of neutrals on reconnection in a controlled laboratory setting. A optical probe diagnostic is used to measure neutral density, and we plan to develop a UV diagnostic to facilitate comparisons with solar observations. Initial pressure scans have shown that we can access a parameter space relevant to the chromosphere. [4pt] [1] P. A. Sturrock, ApJ 521, 451 (1999).[0pt] [2] J. Chae, et al., J. Korean Astron. Soc., 36, 13 (2003).[0pt] [3] P. D. Smith, et al., A&A 486, 569 (2008).

  2. Magnetic Reconnection Instabilities in Soft-Gamma Repeaters

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Heyl, Jeremy S.; Gill, Ramandeep

    2015-01-01

    We examine an external trigger mechanism that gives rise to the intense soft gamma-ray repeater (SGR) giant flares. Out of the three giant flares, two showcased the existence of a precursor, which we show to have had initiated the main flare. We develop a reconnection model based on the hypothesis that shearing motion of the footpoints causes the materialization of a Sweet-Parker current layer in the magnetosphere. The thinning of this oscopic layer due to the development of an embedded super-hot turbulent current layer switches on the impulsive Hall reconnection, which powers the giant flare. We show that the thinning time is on the order of the pre-flare quiescent time.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2015-10-01

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

  4. Evidence of Magnetic Field Switch-off in Collisionless Magnetic Reconnection

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2015-09-01

    The long-term evolution of large domain particle-in-cell simulations of collisionless magnetic reconnection is investigated following observations that show two possible outcomes for collisionless reconnection: toward a Petschek-like configuration or toward multiple X points. In the present simulation, a mixed scenario develops. At earlier time, plasmoids are emitted, disrupting the formation of Petschek-like structures. Later, an almost stationary monster plasmoid forms, preventing the emission of other plasmoids. A situation reminiscent of Petschek’s switch-off then ensues. Switch-off is obtained through a slow shock/rotational discontinuity compound structure. Two external slow shocks (SS) located at the separatrices reduce the in-plane tangential component of the magnetic field, but not to zero. Two transitions reminiscent of rotational discontinuities (RD) in the internal part of the exhaust then perform the final switch-off. Both the SS and the RD are characterized through analysis of their Rankine–Hugoniot jump conditions. A moderate guide field is used to suppress the development of the firehose instability in the exhaust.

  5. Evidence of Particle Acceleration and Plasma Heating in Magnetic Reconnection Outflows in an Eruptive Solar Flare

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Liu, Wei; Chen, Q.; Petrosian, V.

    2013-07-01

    Where particle acceleration and plasma heating take place in relation to magnetic reconnection is a fundamental question for solar flares. We present here analysis of an M7.7 flare on 2012 July 19 observed by SDO/AIA and RHESSI that sheds new light on this question (Liu, Chen, & Petrosian, 2013, ApJ). Bi-directional outflows in forms of plasmoid ejections and contracting cusp-shaped loops originate between an erupting flux rope (Patsourakos et al. 2013, ApJ) and underlying flare loops at speeds of typically 200-300 km/s up to 1050 km/s. These outflows are associated with spatially separated double coronal X-ray sources with their centroid separation decreasing with energy. The highest temperature is located near the nonthermal X-ray loop-top source, well below the original heights of contracting cusps near the inferred reconnection site. These observations suggest that the primary loci of particle acceleration and plasma heating are in the reconnection outflow regions, rather than the reconnection site itself. We stress that models with this ingredient were proposed long ago (e.g., Forbes & Priest 1983) and backed by recent numerical simulations (e.g., Drake & Swisdak 2012), but solid observational evidence as presented here has been lacking. In addition, there is an initial ascent of the X-ray and EUV loop-top source prior to its recently recognized descent, which we ascribe to the interplay among multiple processes including the upward development of reconnection and the downward contractions of reconnected loops. The impulsive phase onset coincides with the rapid speed increases of the upward plasmoids, the individual loop shrinkages, and the overall loop-top descent, suggestive of an intimate relation of the energy release rate and the reconnection outflow speed.Abstract (2,250 Maximum Characters): Where particle acceleration and plasma heating take place in relation to magnetic reconnection is a fundamental question for solar flares. We present here analysis

  6. Optical Plasma Diagnostics for Magnetic Reconnection Studies in the Versatile Toroidal Facility

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Tarkowski, David; Fasoli, Ambrogio; Egedal, Jan

    2000-10-01

    Magnetic reconnection studies in a collisionless regime are performed on the MIT Versatile Toroidal Facility (VTF) with emphasis on particle dynamics around the magnetic null point. Plasmas are produced in the VTF by electron cyclotron resonance heating and are confined in a magnetic cusp field. Magnetic reconnection is driven by the ExB drift generated by the combination of the cusp field and the toroidal electric field, which is created by electromagnetic induction using an ohmic transformer. The plasmas are composed primarily of singly ionized argon with typical densities and electron temperatures on the order of 10^17 m-3 and 10 eV. The number of available optical lines and the optical thinness of the plasma suggest that optical diagnostics can play a key role on VTF. Passive spectroscopic measurements yield ion temperature and density and electron temperature as a function of time both before and after the reconnection event. The active measurement is a three level laser induced fluorescence (LIF) scheme. A 10 ns pulsed dye laser is used to pump the 611 nm Argon II line. LIF yields the ion distribution function at a single point in time and can be used to study ion evolution during the reconnection event. Measurement techniques and an analysis of first results will be presented.

  7. ON THE ROLE OF FAST MAGNETIC RECONNECTION IN ACCRETING BLACK HOLE SOURCES

    SciTech Connect

    Singh, C. B.; De Gouveia Dal Pino, E. M.; Kadowaki, L. H. S. E-mail: dalpino@iag.usp.br

    2015-01-30

    We attempt to explain the observed radio and gamma-ray emission produced in the surroundings of black holes by employing a magnetically dominated accretion flow model and fast magnetic reconnection triggered by turbulence. In earlier work, a standard disk model was used and we refine the model by focusing on the sub-Eddington regime to address the fundamental plane of black hole activity. The results do not change substantially with regard to previous work, ensuring that the details of accretion physics are not relevant in the magnetic reconnection process occurring in the corona. Rather, our work puts fast magnetic reconnection events as a powerful mechanism operating in the core region near the jet base of black hole sources on more solid ground. For microquasars and low-luminosity active galactic nuclei, the observed correlation between radio emission and the mass of the sources can be explained by this process. The corresponding gamma-ray emission also seems to be produced in the same core region. On the other hand, emission from blazars and gamma-ray bursts cannot be correlated to core emission based on fast reconnection.

  8. Slipping Magnetic Reconnections with Multiple Flare Ribbons during an X-class Solar Flare

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Zheng, Ruisheng; Chen, Yao; Wang, Bing

    2016-06-01

    With the observations of the Solar Dynamics Observatory, we present the slipping magnetic reconnections with multiple flare ribbons (FRs) during an X1.2 eruptive flare on 2014 January 7. A center negative polarity was surrounded by several positive ones, and three FRs appeared. The three FRs showed apparent slipping motions, and hook structures formed at their ends. Due to the moving footpoints of the erupting structures, one tight semi-circular hook disappeared after the slippage along its inner and outer edges, and coronal dimmings formed within the hook. The east hook also faded as a result of the magnetic reconnection between the arcades of a remote filament and a hot loop that was impulsively heated by the under flare loops. Our results are accordant with the slipping magnetic reconnection regime in three-dimensional standard model for eruptive flares. We suggest that the complex structures of the flare are likely a consequence of the more complex flux distribution in the photosphere, and the eruption involves at least two magnetic reconnections.

  9. Erratum: A Simple, Analytical Model of Collisionless Magnetic Reconnection in a Pair Plasma

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

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

    2011-01-01

    The following describes a list of errata in our paper, "A simple, analytical model of collisionless magnetic reconnection in a pair plasma." It supersedes an earlier erratum. We recently discovered an error in the derivation of the outflow-to-inflow density ratio.

  10. A MAGNETIC RECONNECTION MECHANISM FOR THE GENERATION OF ANOMALOUS COSMIC RAYS

    SciTech Connect

    Drake, J. F.; Opher, M.; Swisdak, M.; Chamoun, J. N. E-mail: swisdak@umd.ed

    2010-02-01

    The recent observations of the anomalous cosmic ray (ACR) energy spectrum as Voyager 1 and Voyager 2 crossed the heliospheric termination shock have called into question the conventional shock source of these energetic particles. We suggest that the sectored heliospheric magnetic field, which results from the flapping of the heliospheric current sheet, piles up as it approaches the heliopause, narrowing the current sheets that separate the sectors and triggering the onset of collisionless magnetic reconnection. Particle-in-cell simulations reveal that most of the magnetic energy is released and most of this energy goes into energetic ions with significant but smaller amounts of energy going into electrons. The energy gain of the most energetic ions results from their reflection from the ends of contracting magnetic islands, a first-order Fermi process. The energy gain of the ions in contracting islands increases their parallel (to the magnetic field B) pressure p{sub ||} until the marginal fire-hose condition is reached, causing magnetic reconnection and associated particle acceleration to shut down. Thus, the feedback of the self-consistent development of the energetic ion pressure on reconnection is a crucial element of any reconnection-based, particle-acceleration model. The model calls into question the strong scattering assumption used to derive the Parker transport equation and therefore the absence of first-order Fermi acceleration in incompressible flows. A simple one-dimensional model for particle energy gain and loss is presented in which the feedback of the energetic particles on the reconnection drive is included. The ACR differential energy spectrum takes the form of a power law with a spectral index slightly above 1.5. The model has the potential to explain several key Voyager observations, including the similarities in the spectra of different ion species.

  11. A Magnetic Reconnection Mechanism for the Generation of Anomalous Cosmic Rays

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Drake, J. F.; Opher, M.; Swisdak, M.; Chamoun, J. N.

    2010-02-01

    The recent observations of the anomalous cosmic ray (ACR) energy spectrum as Voyager 1 and Voyager 2 crossed the heliospheric termination shock have called into question the conventional shock source of these energetic particles. We suggest that the sectored heliospheric magnetic field, which results from the flapping of the heliospheric current sheet, piles up as it approaches the heliopause, narrowing the current sheets that separate the sectors and triggering the onset of collisionless magnetic reconnection. Particle-in-cell simulations reveal that most of the magnetic energy is released and most of this energy goes into energetic ions with significant but smaller amounts of energy going into electrons. The energy gain of the most energetic ions results from their reflection from the ends of contracting magnetic islands, a first-order Fermi process. The energy gain of the ions in contracting islands increases their parallel (to the magnetic field B) pressure p par until the marginal fire-hose condition is reached, causing magnetic reconnection and associated particle acceleration to shut down. Thus, the feedback of the self-consistent development of the energetic ion pressure on reconnection is a crucial element of any reconnection-based, particle-acceleration model. The model calls into question the strong scattering assumption used to derive the Parker transport equation and therefore the absence of first-order Fermi acceleration in incompressible flows. A simple one-dimensional model for particle energy gain and loss is presented in which the feedback of the energetic particles on the reconnection drive is included. The ACR differential energy spectrum takes the form of a power law with a spectral index slightly above 1.5. The model has the potential to explain several key Voyager observations, including the similarities in the spectra of different ion species.

  12. Relativistic magnetic reconnection in collisionless ion-electron plasmas explored with particle-in-cell simulations

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Melzani, Mickaël; Walder, Rolf; Folini, Doris; Winisdoerffer, Christophe; Favre, Jean M.

    2014-10-01

    Magnetic reconnection is a leading mechanism for magnetic energy conversion and high-energy non-thermal particle production in a variety of high-energy astrophysical objects, including ones with relativistic ion-electron plasmas (e.g., microquasars or AGNs), a regime where first principle studies are scarce. We present 2D particle-in-cell (PIC) simulations of low β ion-electron plasmas under relativistic conditions, i.e., with inflow magnetic energy exceeding the plasma restmass energy. We identify outstanding properties: (i) For relativistic inflow magnetizations (here 10 ≤ σe ≤ 360), the reconnection outflows are dominated by thermal agitation instead of bulk kinetic energy. (ii) At high inflow electron magnetization (σe ≥ 80), the reconnection electric field is sustained more by bulk inertia than by thermal inertia. It challenges the thermal-inertia paradigm and its implications. (iii) The inflows feature sharp transitions at the entrance of the diffusion zones. These are not shocks but results from particle ballistic motions, all bouncing at the same location, provided that the thermal velocity in the inflow is far lower than the inflow E × B bulk velocity. (iv) Island centers are magnetically isolated from the rest of the flow and can present a density depletion at their center. (v) The reconnection rates are slightly higher than in non-relativistic studies. They are best normalized by the inflow relativistic Alfvén speed projected in the outflow direction, which then leads to rates in a close range (0.14-0.25), thus allowing for an easy estimation of the reconnection electric field.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Yamada, Masaaki

    1999-11-01

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

  14. Study of Electron-scale Dissipation near the X-line During Magnetic Reconnection in a Laboratory Plasma

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ji, H.; Yoo, J.; Dorfman, S. E.; Jara-Almonte, J.; Yamada, M.; Swanson, C.; Daughton, W. S.; Roytershteyn, V.; Kuwahata, A.; Ii, T.; Inomoto, M.; Ono, Y.; von Stechow, A.; Grulke, O.; Phan, T.; Mozer, F.; Bale, S. D.

    2013-12-01

    Despite its disruptive influences on the large-scale structures of space and solar plasmas, the crucial topological changes and associated dissipation during magnetic reconnection take place only near an X-line within thin singular layers. In the modern collisionless models where electrons and ions are allowed to move separately, it has been predicted that ions exhaust efficiently through a thicker, ion-scale dissipative layer while mobile electrons can evacuate through a thinner, electron-scale dissipation layer, allowing for efficient release of magnetic energy. While ion dissipation layers have been frequently detected, the existence of election layers near the X-line and the associated dissipation structures and mechanisms are still an open question, and will be a main subject of the coming MMS mission. In this presentation, we will summarize our efforts in the past a few years to study electron-scale dissipation in a well-controlled and well-diagnosed reconnecting current sheet in a laboratory plasma, with close comparisons with the state-of-the-art, 2D and 3D fully kinetic simulations. Key results include: (1) positive identification of electromagnetic waves detected at the current sheet center as long wave-length, lower-hybrid drift instabilities (EM-LHDI), (2) however, there is strong evidence that this EM-LHDI cannot provide the required force to support the reconnection electric field, (3) detection of 3D flux-rope-like magnetic structures during impulsive reconnection events, and (4) electrons are heated through non-classical mechanisms near the X-line with a small but clear temperature anisotropy. These results, unfortunately, do not resolve the outstanding discrepancies on electron layer thickness between best available experiments and fully kinetic simulations. To make further progress, we are continuously pushing in the both experimental and numerical frontiers. Experimentally, we started investigations on EM-LHDI and electron heating as a function

  15. A FLUX ROPE NETWORK AND PARTICLE ACCELERATION IN THREE-DIMENSIONAL RELATIVISTIC MAGNETIC RECONNECTION

    SciTech Connect

    Kagan, Daniel; Milosavljevic, Milos; Spitkovsky, Anatoly

    2013-09-01

    We investigate magnetic reconnection and particle acceleration in relativistic pair plasmas with three-dimensional particle-in-cell simulations of a kinetic-scale current sheet in a periodic geometry. We include a guide field that introduces an inclination between the reconnecting field lines and explore outside-of-the-current sheet magnetizations that are significantly below those considered by other authors carrying out similar calculations. Thus, our simulations probe the transitional regime in which the magnetic and plasma pressures are of the same order of magnitude. The tearing instability is the dominant mode in the current sheet for all guide field strengths, while the linear kink mode is less important even without the guide field, except in the lower magnetization case. Oblique modes seem to be suppressed entirely. In its nonlinear evolution, the reconnection layer develops a network of interconnected and interacting magnetic flux ropes. As smaller flux ropes merge into larger ones, the reconnection layer evolves toward a three-dimensional, disordered state in which the resulting flux rope segments contain magnetic substructure on plasma skin depth scales. Embedded in the flux ropes, we detect spatially and temporally intermittent sites of dissipation reflected in peaks in the parallel electric field. Magnetic dissipation and particle acceleration persist until the end of the simulations, with simulations with higher magnetization and lower guide field strength exhibiting greater and faster energy conversion and particle energization. At the end of our largest simulation, the particle energy spectrum attains a tail extending to high Lorentz factors that is best modeled with a combination of two additional thermal components. We confirm that the primary energization mechanism is acceleration by the electric field in the X-line region. The highest-energy positrons (electrons) are moderately beamed with median angles {approx}30 Degree-Sign -40 Degree

  16. Magnetic cloud erosion by magnetic reconnection: occurrence statistics, radial evolution and geo-effectiveness

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lavraud, B.; Ruffenach, A.; Farrugia, C. J.; Demoulin, P.; Dasso, S.; Sauvaud, J.; Rouillard, A.; Foullon, C.; Owens, M. J.; Savani, N.; Kajdic, P.; Manchester, W.; Lugaz, N.; Luhmann, J. G.

    2013-12-01

    We present results regarding the occurrence statistics of magnetic flux erosion due to magnetic reconnection at the front of all magnetic clouds (MC) observed near Earth during solar cycle 23. We show that the process commonly occurs. It often occurs in large amounts, and at both the front and back boundaries of MCs. The statistics of reconnection jets at these boundaries confirms the significance of the process even up to 1 AU. Indeed, we also estimate the radial evolution of this process based on simple models. We conclude that most of the erosion occurs within Mercury's orbit, but up to 50% of the erosion seen at 1 AU may occur beyond Mercury's orbit. Using a standard MC model and an empirical model of the Dst index we also study the impact of this process on MC geo-effectiveness. We conclude that the most geo-effective configuration for a south-north polarity MC is to be preceded by a slow solar wind with southward IMF. This stems not only from the formation of a geo-effective sheath region with southward IMF ahead of it, but also from the fact that adiabatic compression and reduced (or lack thereof) magnetic erosion constructively conspire for the structure to be more geo-effective. Future missions such as Bepi-Colombo, Solar Orbiter and Solar Probe Plus will be able to further quantify this process and determine its radial dependence. Multi-spacecraft observations would be particularly useful for understanding the large-scale 3D topology changes associated with this process.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wang, Huanyu; Lu, Quanming; Huang, Can; Wang, Shui

    2016-04-01

    The interactions between magnetic islands are considered to play an important role in electron acceleration during magnetic reconnection. In this paper, two-dimensional particle-in-cell simulations are performed to study electron acceleration during multiple X line reconnection with a guide field. Because the electrons remain almost magnetized, we can analyze the contributions of the parallel electric field, Fermi, and betatron mechanisms to electron acceleration during the evolution of magnetic reconnection through comparison with a guide-center theory. The results show that with the magne