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Sample records for acceleration reconnection turbulence

  1. Particle acceleration by turbulent magnetohydro-dynamic reconnection

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Matthaeus, W. H.; Ambrosiano, J. J.; Goldstein, M. L.

    1984-01-01

    Test particles in a two dimensional, turbulent MHD simulation are found to undergo significant acceleration. The magnetic field configuration is a periodic sheet pinch which undergoes reconnection. The test particles are trapped in the reconnection region for times of order an Alfven transit time in the large electric fields that characterize the turbulent reconnection process at the relatively large magnetic Reynolds number used in the simulation. The maximum speed attained by these particles is consistent with an analytic estimate which depends on the reconnection electric field, the Alfven speed, and the ratio of Larmor period to the Alfven transit time.

  2. Particle Acceleration and Heating by Turbulent Reconnection

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Vlahos, Loukas; Pisokas, Theophilos; Isliker, Heinz; Tsiolis, Vassilis; Anastasiadis, Anastasios

    2016-08-01

    Turbulent flows in the solar wind, large-scale current sheets, multiple current sheets, and shock waves lead to the formation of environments in which a dense network of current sheets is established and sustains “turbulent reconnection.” We constructed a 2D grid on which a number of randomly chosen grid points are acting as scatterers (i.e., magnetic clouds or current sheets). Our goal is to examine how test particles respond inside this large-scale collection of scatterers. We study the energy gain of individual particles, the evolution of their energy distribution, and their escape time distribution. We have developed a new method to estimate the transport coefficients from the dynamics of the interaction of the particles with the scatterers. Replacing the “magnetic clouds” with current sheets, we have proven that the energization processes can be more efficient depending on the strength of the effective electric fields inside the current sheets and their statistical properties. Using the estimated transport coefficients and solving the Fokker–Planck (FP) equation, we can recover the energy distribution of the particles only for the stochastic Fermi process. We have shown that the evolution of the particles inside a turbulent reconnecting volume is not a solution of the FP equation, since the interaction of the particles with the current sheets is “anomalous,” in contrast to the case of the second-order Fermi process.

  3. Stochastic electron acceleration during turbulent reconnection in strong shock waves

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Matsumoto, Yosuke

    2016-04-01

    Acceleration of charged particles is a fundamental topic in astrophysical, space and laboratory plasmas. Very high energy particles are commonly found in the astrophysical and planetary shocks, and in the energy releases of solar flares and terrestrial substorms. Evidence for relativistic particle production during such phenomena has attracted much attention concerning collisionless shock waves and magnetic reconnection, respectively, as ultimate plasma energization mechanisms. While the energy conversion proceeds macroscopically, and therefore the energy mostly flows to ions, plasma kinetic instabilities excited in a localized region have been considered to be the main electron heating and acceleration mechanisms. We present that efficient electron energization can occur in a much larger area during turbulent magnetic reconnection from the intrinsic nature of a strong collisionless shock wave. Supercomputer simulations have revealed a multiscale shock structure comprising current sheets created via an ion-scale Weibel instability and resulting energy dissipation through magnetic reconnection. A part of the upstream electrons undergoes first-order Fermi acceleration by colliding with reconnection jets and magnetic islands, giving rise to a nonthermal relativistic population downstream. The dynamics has shed new light on magnetic reconnection as an agent of energy dissipation and particle acceleration in strong shock waves.

  4. Acceleration of cosmic rays by turbulence during reconnection events

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Drake, Jim

    2007-05-01

    A Fermi-like model for energetic electron production during magnetic reconnection is described that converts a substantial fraction of released magnetic energy into energetic electrons [1]. Magnetic reconnection with a guide field leads to the growth and dynamics of multiple magnetic islands rather than a single large x-line. Electrons trapped within islands gain energy as they reflect from ends of contracting magnetic islands. The resulting rate of energy gain dominates that from parallel electric fields. The pressure from energetic electrons rises rapidly until the rate of electron energy gain balances the rate of magnetic energy release, establishing for the first time a link between the energy gain of electrons and the released magnetic energy. The energetic particle pressure therefore throttles the rate of reconnection. A transport equation for the distribution of energetic particles, including their feedback on island contraction, is obtained by averaging over the particle interaction with many islands. The steady state solutions in reconnection geometry result from convective losses balancing the Fermi drive. At high energy distribution functions take the form of a powerlaw whose spectral index depends only on the initial electron β, lower (higher) β producing harder (softer) spectra. The spectral index matches that seen in recent Wind spacecraft observations in the Earth's magnetotail. Harder spectra are predicted for the low β conditions of the solar corona or other astrophysical systems. Ions can be similarly accelerated if they are above an energy threshold. 1. J. F. Drake, M. Swisdak, H. Che and M. Shay, Nature 443, 553, 2006.

  5. Explosive turbulent magnetic reconnection.

    PubMed

    Higashimori, K; Yokoi, N; Hoshino, M

    2013-06-21

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

  6. Plasma physics. Stochastic electron acceleration during spontaneous turbulent reconnection in a strong shock wave.

    PubMed

    Matsumoto, Y; Amano, T; Kato, T N; Hoshino, M

    2015-02-27

    Explosive phenomena such as supernova remnant shocks and solar flares have demonstrated evidence for the production of relativistic particles. Interest has therefore been renewed in collisionless shock waves and magnetic reconnection as a means to achieve such energies. Although ions can be energized during such phenomena, the relativistic energy of the electrons remains a puzzle for theory. We present supercomputer simulations showing that efficient electron energization can occur during turbulent magnetic reconnection arising from a strong collisionless shock. Upstream electrons undergo first-order Fermi acceleration by colliding with reconnection jets and magnetic islands, giving rise to a nonthermal relativistic population downstream. These results shed new light on magnetic reconnection as an agent of energy dissipation and particle acceleration in strong shock waves. PMID:25722406

  7. Turbulent reconnection and its implications

    PubMed Central

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

    2015-01-01

    solar flares and γ-ray bursts. With reference to experiments, we analyse solar observations in situ as measurements in the solar wind or heliospheric current sheet and show the correspondence of data with turbulent reconnection predictions. Finally, we discuss first-order Fermi acceleration of particles that is a natural consequence of the turbulent reconnection. PMID:25848076

  8. Turbulent reconnection and its implications.

    PubMed

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

    2015-05-13

    this process to solar flares and γ-ray bursts. With reference to experiments, we analyse solar observations in situ as measurements in the solar wind or heliospheric current sheet and show the correspondence of data with turbulent reconnection predictions. Finally, we discuss first-order Fermi acceleration of particles that is a natural consequence of the turbulent reconnection. PMID:25848076

  9. 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.

  10. 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.

  11. 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.

  12. A new path for the electron bulk energization in solar flares: Fermi acceleration by magnetohydrodynamic turbulence in reconnection outflows

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Larosa, T. N.; Moore, R. L.; Shore, S. N.

    1994-01-01

    We recently proposed that a magnetohydrodynamic (MHD) turbulent cascade produces the bulk energization of electrons to approximately 25 keV in the impulsive phase of solar flares (LaRosa & Moore 1993). In that scenario, (1) the cascading MHD turbulence is fed by shear-unstable Alfvenic outflows from sites of strongly driven reconnection in the low corona, and (2) the electrons are energized by absorbing the energy that flows down through the cascade. We did not specify the physical mechanism by which the cascading energy is ultimately transferred to the electrons. Here we propose that Fermi acceleration is this mechanism, the process by which the electrons are energized and by which the cascading MHD turbulence is dissipated. We point out that in the expected cascade MHD fluctuations of scale 1 km can Fermi-accelerate electrons from 0.1 keV to approximately 25 keV on the subsecond timescales observed in impulsive flares, provided there is sufficient trapping and scattering of electrons in the MHD turbulence. We show that these same fluctuations provide the required trapping; they confine the electrons within the turbulent region until the turbulence eis dissipated. This results in the energization of all of the lectrons in each large-scale (5 x 10(exp 7)cm) turbulent eddy to 25 keV. The Fermi process also requires efficient scattering so that the pitch-angle distribution of the accelerating electrons remains isotropic. We propose that the electrons undergo resonant scattering by high-frequency plasma R-waves that, as suggested by others (Hamilton & Petrosian 1992), are generated by the reconnection. Ions are not scattered by R-waves. Provided that there is negligible generation of ion-scattering plasma turbulence (e.g., L-waves) by the reconnection or the MHD turbulence, the ions will not Fermi-accelerate and the cascading energy is transferred only to the electrons. We conclude that, given this situation, electron Fermi acceleration can plausibly account for the

  13. Diffusive Shock Acceleration and Reconnection Acceleration Processes

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Zank, G. P.; Hunana, P.; Mostafavi, P.; Le Roux, J. A.; Li, Gang; Webb, G. M.; Khabarova, O.; Cummings, A.; Stone, E.; Decker, R.

    2015-12-01

    Shock waves, as shown by simulations and observations, can generate high levels of downstream vortical turbulence, including magnetic islands. We consider a combination of diffusive shock acceleration (DSA) and downstream magnetic-island-reconnection-related processes as an energization mechanism for charged particles. Observations of electron and ion distributions downstream of interplanetary shocks and the heliospheric termination shock (HTS) are frequently inconsistent with the predictions of classical DSA. We utilize a recently developed transport theory for charged particles propagating diffusively in a turbulent region filled with contracting and reconnecting plasmoids and small-scale current sheets. Particle energization associated with the anti-reconnection electric field, a consequence of magnetic island merging, and magnetic island contraction, are considered. For the former only, we find that (i) the spectrum is a hard power law in particle speed, and (ii) the downstream solution is constant. For downstream plasmoid contraction only, (i) the accelerated spectrum is a hard power law in particle speed; (ii) the particle intensity for a given energy peaks downstream of the shock, and the distance to the peak location increases with increasing particle energy, and (iii) the particle intensity amplification for a particular particle energy, f(x,c/{c}0)/f(0,c/{c}0), is not 1, as predicted by DSA, but increases with increasing particle energy. The general solution combines both the reconnection-induced electric field and plasmoid contraction. The observed energetic particle intensity profile observed by Voyager 2 downstream of the HTS appears to support a particle acceleration mechanism that combines both DSA and magnetic-island-reconnection-related processes.

  14. Intimate connection of turbulence and reconnection: theory, testing and consequences

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lazarian, Alex

    2016-07-01

    I shall show that magnetic reconnection and turbulence are intrinsically connected: in the presence of turbulence magnetic reconnection gets fast while magnetic turbulence depends on reconnection for its cascading. I shall present the basics of the theory of turbulent magnetic reconnection in non-relativistic and relativistic plasmas, discuss numerical and observational tests of the theory and outline the consequences of the theory from diffusion of magnetic fields in Parker spiral and in the process of star formation to violent flares accelerating energetic particles in solar flares and gamma ray bursts.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2009-07-01

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

  16. 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.

  17. 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.

  18. 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.

  19. 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.

  20. Turbulent Reconnection Rates from Cluster Observations in the Magneto sheath

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Wendel, Deirdre

    2011-01-01

    The role of turbulence in producing fast reconnection rates is an important unresolved question. Scant in situ analyses exist. We apply multiple spacecraft techniques to a case of nonlinear turbulent reconnection in the magnetosheath to test various theoretical results for turbulent reconnection rates. To date, in situ estimates of the contribution of turbulence to reconnection rates have been calculated from an effective electric field derived through linear wave theory. However, estimates of reconnection rates based on fully nonlinear turbulence theories and simulations exist that are amenable to multiple spacecraft analyses. Here we present the linear and nonlinear theories and apply some of the nonlinear rates to Cluster observations of reconnecting, turbulent current sheets in the magnetos heath. We compare the results to the net reconnection rate found from the inflow speed. Ultimately, we intend to test and compare linear and nonlinear estimates of the turbulent contribution to reconnection rates and to measure the relative contributions of turbulence and the Hall effect.

  1. Turbulent Reconnection Rates from Cluster Observations in the Magnetosheath

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Wendel, Deirdre

    2011-01-01

    The role of turbulence in producing fast reconnection rates is an important unresolved question. Scant in situ analyses exist. We apply multiple spacecraft techniques to a case of nonlinear turbulent reconnection in the magnetosheath to test various theoretical results for turbulent reconnection rates. To date, in situ estimates of the contribution of turbulence to reconnection rates have been calculated from an effective electric field derived through linear wave theory. However, estimates of reconnection rates based on fully nonlinear turbulence theories and simulations exist that are amenable to multiple spacecraft analyses. Here we present the linear and nonlinear theories and apply some of the nonlinear rates to Cluster observations of reconnecting, turbulent current sheets in the magnetosheath. We compare the results to the net reconnection rate found from the inflow speed. Ultimately, we intend to test and compare linear and nonlinear estimates of the turbulent contribution to reconnection rates and to measure the relative contributions of turbulence and the Hall effect.

  2. 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.

  3. 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.

  4. Laboratory Reconnection Experiments - heating and particle acceleration

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ono, Yasushi

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

  5. 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

  6. Turbulence in the Flare Reconnection Region

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Doschek, George A.; McKenzie, D. E.; Warren, H.

    2013-07-01

    The physical conditions such as temperature, density, and dynamical properties in the flare reconnection region, located above the bright soft X-ray loops, are basically not known although there have been measurements of non-thermal hard X-ray emission properties by RHESSI and earlier by HXT on Yohkoh. The advent of Hinode and the Solar Dynamics Observatory (SDO) spatially resolved observations, however, has changed this and it is now possible to measure in more detail some of the properties of the reconnection region. AIA imagery on SDO and the Extreme-ultraviolet Imaging Spectrometer (EIS) and X-ray Telescope (XRT) on Hinode allow values of non-thermal motions or turbulence in the reconnection region to be determined. Turbulence is predicted by theoretical models of magnetic reconnection in flares (e.g., see Liu et al. 2008, ApJ, 676, 704) and has long been inferred spectroscopically from non-thermal broadening of flare emission lines. Studies with Hinode/XRT and SDO/AIA demonstrate that two-dimensional investigations of flare velocity fields can be made, by imaging the plasma sheets above post-CME flare arcades. These measurements are made possible through the use of local correlation tracking (LCT), as shown by McKenzie (2013), ApJ, 766, 39, and reveal signatures of turbulence, including temporally and spatially varying vorticity. For some flares the AIA and XRT results can be combined with Doppler measurements of turbulence obtained with EIS. EIS data consist of raster scans that include the reconnection region for flares on the limb or near the limb. A set of spectral lines are observed that cover temperatures from 0.25 MK up to ~20 MK. A temperature in the reconnection region is calculated from the Fe XXIII/Fe XXIV line ratio and the thermal Doppler and instrumental widths are subtracted from the total line widths. The remainder is non-thermal motions or turbulence. We will present coordinated analyses of EIS and AIA observations of plasma sheets in post

  7. Stochastic reacceleration of relativistic electrons by turbulent reconnection: a mechanism for cluster-scale radio emission?

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Brunetti, G.; Lazarian, A.

    2016-05-01

    In this paper, we investigate a situation where relativistic particles are reaccelerated diffusing across regions of reconnection and magnetic dynamo in super-Alfvenic, incompressible large-scale turbulence. We present an exploratory study of this mechanism in the intracluster medium (ICM). In view of large-scale turbulence in the ICM, we adopt a reconnection scheme that is based on turbulent reconnection and magnetohydrodynamics (MHD) turbulence. In this case, particles are accelerated and decelerated in a systematic way in reconnecting and magnetic-dynamo regions, respectively, and on longer time-scales undergo a stochastic process diffusing across these sites (similar to second-order Fermi). Our study extends on larger scales numerical studies that focused on the acceleration in and around turbulent reconnecting regions. We suggest that this mechanism may play a role in the reacceleration of relativistic electrons in galaxy clusters providing a new physical scenario to explain the origin of cluster-scale diffuse radio emission. Indeed differently from current turbulent reacceleration models proposed for example for radio haloes, this mechanism is based on the effect of large-scale incompressible and super-Alfvenic turbulence. In this new model, turbulence governs the interaction between relativistic particles and magnetic field lines that diffuse, reconnect and are stretched in the turbulent ICM.

  8. TURBULENT SHEAR ACCELERATION

    SciTech Connect

    Ohira, Yutaka

    2013-04-10

    We consider particle acceleration by large-scale incompressible turbulence with a length scale larger than the particle mean free path. We derive an ensemble-averaged transport equation of energetic charged particles from an extended transport equation that contains the shear acceleration. The ensemble-averaged transport equation describes particle acceleration by incompressible turbulence (turbulent shear acceleration). We find that for Kolmogorov turbulence, the turbulent shear acceleration becomes important on small scales. Moreover, using Monte Carlo simulations, we confirm that the ensemble-averaged transport equation describes the turbulent shear acceleration.

  9. 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

  10. Turbulent excitation of spontaneous reconnection

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Deeds, D.; Van Hoven, G.

    1989-01-01

    The long-term nonlinear evolution of a tearing-mode-unstable sheared-field plasma in a turbulent environment is explored. Two different physical configurations are modeled, and a different computational system is used for each. Results of both sets of calculations show that magnetic tearing arises spontaneously provided that the initial turbulence energy level is below the natural saturation level of the tearing instability. The relationship between these results and those of previous calculations are briefly discussed, concluding that there are no significant unexplainable disagreements.

  11. 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.

  12. 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.

  13. 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.

  14. Interchange Reconnection in a Turbulent Corona

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Rappazzo, A. F.; Matthaeus, W. H.; Ruffolo, D.; Servidio, S.; Velli, M.

    2012-10-01

    Magnetic reconnection at the interface between coronal holes and loops, the so-called interchange reconnection, can release the hotter, denser plasma from magnetically confined regions into the heliosphere, contributing to the formation of the highly variable slow solar wind. The interchange process is often thought to develop at the apex of streamers or pseudo-streamers, near Y- and X-type neutral points, but slow streams with loop composition have been recently observed along fanlike open field lines adjacent to closed regions, far from the apex. However, coronal heating models, with magnetic field lines shuffled by convective motions, show that reconnection can occur continuously in unipolar magnetic field regions with no neutral points: photospheric motions induce a magnetohydrodynamic turbulent cascade in the coronal field that creates the necessary small scales, where a sheared magnetic field component orthogonal to the strong axial field is created locally and can reconnect. We propose that a similar mechanism operates near and around boundaries between open and closed regions inducing a continual stochastic rearrangement of connectivity. We examine a reduced magnetohydrodynamic model of a simplified interface region between open and closed corona threaded by a strong unipolar magnetic field. This boundary is not stationary, becomes fractal, and field lines change connectivity continuously, becoming alternatively open and closed. This model suggests that slow wind may originate everywhere along loop-coronal-hole boundary regions and can account naturally and simply for outflows at and adjacent to such boundaries and for the observed diffusion of slow wind around the heliospheric current sheet.

  15. INTERCHANGE RECONNECTION IN A TURBULENT CORONA

    SciTech Connect

    Rappazzo, A. F.; Matthaeus, W. H.; Ruffolo, D.; Servidio, S.; Velli, M.

    2012-10-10

    Magnetic reconnection at the interface between coronal holes and loops, the so-called interchange reconnection, can release the hotter, denser plasma from magnetically confined regions into the heliosphere, contributing to the formation of the highly variable slow solar wind. The interchange process is often thought to develop at the apex of streamers or pseudo-streamers, near Y- and X-type neutral points, but slow streams with loop composition have been recently observed along fanlike open field lines adjacent to closed regions, far from the apex. However, coronal heating models, with magnetic field lines shuffled by convective motions, show that reconnection can occur continuously in unipolar magnetic field regions with no neutral points: photospheric motions induce a magnetohydrodynamic turbulent cascade in the coronal field that creates the necessary small scales, where a sheared magnetic field component orthogonal to the strong axial field is created locally and can reconnect. We propose that a similar mechanism operates near and around boundaries between open and closed regions inducing a continual stochastic rearrangement of connectivity. We examine a reduced magnetohydrodynamic model of a simplified interface region between open and closed corona threaded by a strong unipolar magnetic field. This boundary is not stationary, becomes fractal, and field lines change connectivity continuously, becoming alternatively open and closed. This model suggests that slow wind may originate everywhere along loop-coronal-hole boundary regions and can account naturally and simply for outflows at and adjacent to such boundaries and for the observed diffusion of slow wind around the heliospheric current sheet.

  16. Particle acceleration and reconnection in the solar wind

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Zank, G. P.; Hunana, P.; Mostafavi, P.; le Roux, J. A.; Webb, G. M.; Khabarova, O.; Cummings, A. C.; Stone, E. C.; Decker, R. B.

    2016-03-01

    An emerging paradigm for the dissipation of magnetic turbulence in the supersonic solar wind is via localized quasi-2D small-scale magnetic island reconnection processes. An advection-diffusion transport equation for a nearly isotropic particle distribution describes particle transport and energization in a region of interacting magnetic islands [1; 2]. The dominant charged particle energization processes are 1) the electric field induced by quasi-2D magnetic island merging, and 2) magnetic island contraction. The acceleration of charged particles in a "sea of magnetic islands" in a super-Alfvénic flow, and the energization of particles by combined diffusive shock acceleration (DSA) and downstream magnetic island reconnection processes are discussed.

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

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

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

    2011-01-01

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

  18. Plasmoid Instabilities Mediated Three-Dimensional Magnetohydrodynamic Turbulent Reconnection

    SciTech Connect

    Huang, Yi-min; Guo, Fan

    2015-07-21

    After some introductory remarks on fast reconnection in resistive MHD due to plasmoid instability, oblique tearing modes in 3D, and previous studies on 3D turbulent reconnection, the subject is presented under the following topics: 3D simulation setup, time evolution of the 3D simulation, comparison with Sweet-Parker and 2D plasmoid reconnection, and diagnostics of the turbulent state (decomposition of mean fields and fluctuations, power spectra of energy fluctuations, structure function and eddy anisotropy with respect to local magnetic field). Three primary conclusions were reached: (1) The results suggest that 3D plasmoid instabilities can lead to self-generated turbulent reconnection (evidence of energy cascade and development of inertial range, energy fluctuations preferentially align with the local magnetic field, which is one of the characteristics of MHD turbulence); (2) The turbulence is highly inhomogeneous, due to the presence of magnetic shear and outflow jets (conventional MHD turbulence theories or phenomenologies may not be applicable – e.g. scale-dependent anisotropy as predicted by Goldreich & Sridhar is not found); (3) 3D turbulent reconnection is different from 2D plasmoid-dominated reconnection in many aspects. However, in fully developed state, reconnection rates in 2D and 3D are comparable — this result needs to be further checked in higher S.

  19. 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.

  20. 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.

  1. RECONNECTION OUTFLOW GENERATED TURBULENCE IN THE SOLAR WIND

    SciTech Connect

    Vörös, Z.; Sasunov, Y. L.; Zaqarashvili, T. V.; Khodachenko, M.; Semenov, V. S.; Bruno, R.

    2014-12-10

    Petschek-type time-dependent reconnection (TDR) and quasi-stationary reconnection (QSR) models are considered to understand reconnection outflow structures and the generation of local turbulence in the solar wind. Comparing TDR/QSR model predictions of the outflow structures with actual measurements shows that both models can explain the data equally well. It is demonstrated that the outflows can often generate more or less spatially extended turbulent boundary layers. The structure of a unique extended reconnection outflow is investigated in detail. The analysis of spectral scalings and spectral break locations shows that reconnection can change the local field and plasma conditions which may support different local turbulent dissipation mechanisms at their characteristic wavenumbers.

  2. Magnetohydrodynamic Turbulence and Reconnection in the Magnetotail

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    El-Alaoui, Mostafa; Richard, Robert L.; Ashour-Abdalla, Maha; Goldstein, Melvyn L.; Walker, Raymond J.

    2011-01-01

    We have used a global MHD simulation with high spatial resolution to investigate the origin and properties of turbulence in the plasma sheet. In this simulation we imposed a steady southward IMF with a magnitude of 5 nT at the upstream simulation boundary for more than three hours followed by ninety minutes of northward IMF of the same magnitude. The solar wind number density was 20 cm-3, the thermal pressure was 20 pPa, and the velocity was 500 km/s in the x direction. The moderately high dynamic pressure confined the magnetotail to the high-grid resolution region. Even for these nominal solar wind parameters and steady driving the plasma sheet became turbulent. The power spectral densities and probability distribution functions computed from the simulations were comparable to those obtained from spacecraft observations. The largest scale vortices were associated with reconnection outflows and, in the southward IMF case, with the diversion of high speed flows in the near-Earth region. Both time and space domain analyses revealed that there were three scales present, the large scale of the driving processes, the intermediate inertial scale and the dissipative scale.

  3. 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.

  4. Three-Dimensional Turbulent Reconnection Induced by the Plasmoid Instability

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bhattacharjee, A.; Huang, Y. M.

    2014-12-01

    It has been established that the Sweet-Parker current layer in high-Lundquist-number reconnection is unstable to the super-Alfvenic plasmoid instability. Past two-dimensional magnetohydrodynamic simulations have demonstrated that the plasmoid instability leads to a new regime in which the Sweet-Parker current layer evolves into a chain of plasmoids connected by secondary current sheets and the averaged reconnection rate becomes nearly independent of the Lundquist number. In a three-dimensional configuration with a guide field, the additional degree of freedom allows plasmoid instabilities to grow at oblique angles [S. Baalrud et al. Phys. Plasmas 19, 022101 (2012)] and develop the complex dynamics of flux ropes which overlap, cause field-line stochasticization, and self-generate a turbulent state. Three-dimensional simulations in the high-Lundquist-number regime show the formation of cigar-shaped eddies elongated in the direction of the local magnetic field, which is a signature of anisotropic MHD turbulence. Furthermore, the energy fluctuation spectra are found to satisfy power laws in the inertial range. The averaged 3D reconnection rate in the self-generated turbulent state is of the order of a hundredth of the characteristic Alfven speed, which is an order of magnitude lower than the reconnection rate reported in recent studies of externally driven 3D turbulent reconnection. The physical reasons for these differences will be discussed.

  5. Turbulent Magnetohydrodynamic Reconnection Mediated by the Plasmoid Instability

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Huang, Yi-Min; Bhattacharjee, A.

    2016-02-01

    It has been established that the Sweet-Parker current layer in high Lundquist number reconnection is unstable to the super-Alfvénic plasmoid instability. Past two-dimensional magnetohydrodynamic simulations have demonstrated that the plasmoid instability leads to a new regime where the Sweet-Parker current layer changes into a chain of plasmoids connected by secondary current sheets, and the averaged reconnection rate becomes nearly independent of the Lundquist number. In this work, a three-dimensional simulation with a guide field shows that the additional degree of freedom allows plasmoid instabilities to grow at oblique angles, which interact and lead to self-generated turbulent reconnection. The averaged reconnection rate in the self-generated turbulent state is of the order of a hundredth of the characteristic Alfvén speed, which is similar to the two-dimensional result but is an order of magnitude lower than the fastest reconnection rate reported in recent studies of externally driven three-dimensional turbulent reconnection. Kinematic and magnetic energy fluctuations both form elongated eddies along the direction of the local magnetic field, which is a signature of anisotropic magnetohydrodynamic turbulence. Both energy fluctuations satisfy power-law spectra in the inertial range, where the magnetic energy spectral index is in the range from -2.3 to -2.1, while the kinetic energy spectral index is slightly steeper, in the range from -2.5 to -2.3. The anisotropy of turbulence eddies is found to be nearly scale-independent, in contrast with the prediction of the Goldreich-Sridhar theory for anisotropic turbulence in a homogeneous plasma permeated by a uniform magnetic field.

  6. 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

  7. Impulsive reconnection: 3D onset and stagnation in turbulent paradigms

    SciTech Connect

    Sears, Jason A; Intrator, Thomas P; Weber, Tom; Lapenta, Giovanni; Lazarian, Alexander

    2010-12-14

    Reconnection processes are ubiquitous in solar coronal loops, the earth's magnetotail, galactic jets, and laboratory configurations such as spheromaks and Z pinches. It is believed that reconnection dynamics are often closely linked to turbulence. In these phenomena, the bursty onset of reconnection is partly determined by a balance of macroscopic MHD forces. In a turbulent paradigm, it is reasonable to suppose that there exist many individual reconnection sites, each X-line being finite in axial extent and thus intrinsically three-dimensional (3D) in structure. The balance between MHD forces and flux pile-up continuously shifts as mutually tangled flux ropes merge or bounce. The spatial scale and thus the rate of reconnection are therefore intimately related to the turbulence statistics both in space and in time. We study intermittent 3D reconnection along spatially localized X-lines between two or more flux ropes. The threshold of MHD instability which in this case is the kink threshold is varied by modifying the line-tying boundary conditions. For fast inflow speed of approaching ropes, there is merging and magnetic reconnection which is a well known and expected consequence of the 2D coalescence instability. On the other hand, for slower inflow speed the flux ropes bounce. The threshold appears to be the Sweet Parker speed v{sub A}/S{sup 1/2}, where v{sub A} is the Alfven speed and S is the Lundquist number. Computations by collaborators at University of Wisconsin, Madison, Katholieke Universiteit Leuven, and LANL complement the experiment.

  8. 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.

  9. Radiation from Accelerated Particles in Shocks and Reconnections

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Nishikawa, K. I.; Choi, E. J.; Min, K. W.; Niemiec, J.; Zhang, B.; Hardee, P.; Mizuno, Y.; Medvedev, M.; Nordlund, A.; Frederiksen, J.; Sol, H.; Pohl, M.; Hartmann, D. H.; Fishman, G. J.

    2012-01-01

    Plasma instabilities are responsible not only for the onset and mediation of collisionless shocks but also for the associated acceleration of particles. We have investigated particle acceleration and shock structure associated with an unmagnetized relativistic electron-positron jet propagating into an unmagnetized electron-positron plasma. Cold jet electrons are thermalized and slowed while the ambient electrons are swept up to create a partially developed hydrodynamic-like shock structure. In the leading shock, electron density increases by a factor of about 3.5 in the simulation frame. Strong electromagnetic fields are generated in the trailing shock and provide an emission site. These magnetic fields contribute to the electrons transverse deflection and, more generally, relativistic acceleration behind the shock. We have calculated, self-consistently, the radiation from electrons accelerated in the turbulent magnetic fields. We found that the synthetic spectra depend on the Lorentz factor of the jet, its thermal temperature and strength of the generated magnetic fields. Our initial results of a jet-ambient interaction with anti-parallelmagnetic fields show pile-up of magnetic fields at the colliding shock, which may lead to reconnection and associated particle acceleration. We will investigate the radiation in a transient stage as a possible generation mechanism of precursors of prompt emission. In our simulations we calculate the radiation from electrons in the shock region. The detailed properties of this radiation are important for understanding the complex time evolution and spectral structure in gamma-ray bursts, relativistic jets, and supernova remnants.

  10. 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

  11. Particle acceleration via reconnection processes in the supersonic solar wind

    SciTech Connect

    Zank, G. P.; Le Roux, J. A.; Webb, G. M.; Dosch, A.; Khabarova, O.

    2014-12-10

    An emerging paradigm for the dissipation of magnetic turbulence in the supersonic solar wind is via localized small-scale reconnection processes, essentially between quasi-2D interacting magnetic islands. Charged particles trapped in merging magnetic islands can be accelerated by the electric field generated by magnetic island merging and the contraction of magnetic islands. We derive a gyrophase-averaged transport equation for particles experiencing pitch-angle scattering and energization in a super-Alfvénic flowing plasma experiencing multiple small-scale reconnection events. A simpler advection-diffusion transport equation for a nearly isotropic particle distribution is derived. The dominant charged particle energization processes are (1) the electric field induced by quasi-2D magnetic island merging and (2) magnetic island contraction. The magnetic island topology ensures that charged particles are trapped in regions where they experience repeated interactions with the induced electric field or contracting magnetic islands. Steady-state solutions of the isotropic transport equation with only the induced electric field and a fixed source yield a power-law spectrum for the accelerated particles with index α = –(3 + M{sub A} )/2, where M{sub A} is the Alfvén Mach number. Considering only magnetic island contraction yields power-law-like solutions with index –3(1 + τ {sub c}/(8τ{sub diff})), where τ {sub c}/τ{sub diff} is the ratio of timescales between magnetic island contraction and charged particle diffusion. The general solution is a power-law-like solution with an index that depends on the Alfvén Mach number and the timescale ratio τ{sub diff}/τ {sub c}. Observed power-law distributions of energetic particles observed in the quiet supersonic solar wind at 1 AU may be a consequence of particle acceleration associated with dissipative small-scale reconnection processes in a turbulent plasma, including the widely reported c {sup –5} (c particle

  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. 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

  14. 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.

  15. 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.

  16. Interchange Reconnection in a Turbulent Corona

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Rappazzo, A. F.; Matthaeus, W. H.; Ruffolo, D. J.; Servidio, S.; Velli, M. M.

    2012-12-01

    Magnetic reconnection at the interface between coronal holes and loops, so-called interchange reconnection, can release the hotter, denser plasma from magnetically confined regions into the heliosphere, contributing to the formation of the highly variable slow solar wind. In the prevailing ``standard'' view the interchange process is thought to develop in null points (with B=0) preferably at the apex of streamers or pseudo-streamers, near Y and X-points, from where slow solar wind flows would originate. This standard model does not meet recent observations of slow wind streams from the edges of active regions, that suggest that slow streams are not limited to apex-regions near neutral points (B=0). Furthermore in order to account for the slow wind diffusion (~ 30 degrees) observed in situ around the Heliospheric Current Sheet, within the standard model framework one has to posit that the slow wind would originate from a small fraction, with a complex topology, of the whole coronal hole-loop boundary, namely narrow channels (supposedly at observationally sub-resolution scales) linking coronal holes. However, coronal heating models, with magnetic field lines shuffled by convective motions, show that reconnection can occur continuously in unipolar magnetic field regions with no neutral points. We propose that a similar alternate interchange mechanism operating near boundaries between open and closed regions induces a continual stochastic rearrangement of connectivity everywhere along the open-closed boundary. We examine a reduced magnetohydrodynamic model of a simplified unipolar interface region between open and closed corona. This boundary is not stationary, becomes fractal, and field lines change connectivity continuously, becoming alternatively open and closed. This model suggests that slow wind may originate everywhere along coronal loop-hole boundaries, a possibility that has major implications for coronal heating and models of the slow solar wind, and accounts

  17. 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.

  18. 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.

  19. RECONNECTION-POWERED LINEAR ACCELERATOR AND GAMMA-RAY FLARES IN THE CRAB NEBULA

    SciTech Connect

    Uzdensky, Dmitri A.; Cerutti, BenoIt; Begelman, Mitchell C. E-mail: benoit.cerutti@colorado.edu

    2011-08-20

    The recent discovery of day-long gamma-ray flares in the Crab Nebula, presumed to be synchrotron emission by PeV (10{sup 15} eV) electrons in milligauss magnetic fields, presents a strong challenge to particle acceleration models. The observed photon energies exceed the upper limit ({approx}100 MeV) obtained by balancing the acceleration rate and synchrotron radiation losses under standard conditions where the electric field is smaller than the magnetic field. We argue that a linear electric accelerator, operating at magnetic reconnection sites, is able to circumvent this difficulty. Sufficiently energetic electrons have gyroradii so large that their motion is insensitive to small-scale turbulent structures in the reconnection layer and is controlled only by large-scale fields. We show that such particles are guided into the reconnection layer by the reversing magnetic field as they are accelerated by the reconnection electric field. As these electrons become confined within the current sheet, they experience a decreasing perpendicular magnetic field that may drop below the accelerating electric field. This enables them to reach higher energies before suffering radiation losses and hence to emit synchrotron radiation in excess of the 100 MeV limit, providing a natural resolution to the Crab gamma-ray flare paradox.

  20. THE COLLAPSE OF TURBULENT CORES AND RECONNECTION DIFFUSION

    SciTech Connect

    Leão, M. R. M.; De Gouveia Dal Pino, E. M.; Santos-Lima, R.; Lazarian, A. E-mail: dalpino@astro.iag.usp.br E-mail: alazarian@facstaff.wisc.edu

    2013-11-01

    In order for a molecular cloud clump to form stars, some transport of magnetic flux is required from the denser internal regions to the outer regions; otherwise, this can prevent the gravitational collapse. Fast magnetic reconnection, which takes place in the presence of turbulence, can induce a process of reconnection diffusion that has been elaborated on in earlier theoretical works. We have named this process turbulent reconnection diffusion, or simply RD. This paper continues our numerical study of this process and its implications. In particular, we extend our studies of RD in cylindrical clouds and consider more realistic clouds with spherical gravitational potentials (from embedded stars); we also account for the effects of the gas self-gravity. We demonstrate that, within our setup reconnection, diffusion is efficient. We have also identified the conditions under which RD becomes strong enough to make an initially subcritical cloud clump supercritical and induce its collapse. Our results indicate that the formation of a supercritical core is regulated by a complex interplay between gravity, self-gravity, the magnetic field strength, and nearly transonic and trans-Alfvénic turbulence; therefore, it is very sensitive to the initial conditions of the system. In particular, self-gravity helps RD and, as a result, the magnetic field decoupling from the collapsing gas becomes more efficient compared with the case of an external gravitational field. Our simulations confirm that RD can transport magnetic flux from the core of collapsing clumps to the envelope, but only a few of them become nearly critical or supercritical sub-Alfvénic cores, which is consistent with the observations. Furthermore, we have found that the supercritical cores built up in our simulations develop a predominantly helical magnetic field geometry that is also consistent with recent observations. Finally, we have also evaluated the effective values of the turbulent RD coefficient in our

  1. The Collapse of Turbulent Cores and Reconnection Diffusion

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2013-11-01

    In order for a molecular cloud clump to form stars, some transport of magnetic flux is required from the denser internal regions to the outer regions; otherwise, this can prevent the gravitational collapse. Fast magnetic reconnection, which takes place in the presence of turbulence, can induce a process of reconnection diffusion that has been elaborated on in earlier theoretical works. We have named this process turbulent reconnection diffusion, or simply RD. This paper continues our numerical study of this process and its implications. In particular, we extend our studies of RD in cylindrical clouds and consider more realistic clouds with spherical gravitational potentials (from embedded stars); we also account for the effects of the gas self-gravity. We demonstrate that, within our setup reconnection, diffusion is efficient. We have also identified the conditions under which RD becomes strong enough to make an initially subcritical cloud clump supercritical and induce its collapse. Our results indicate that the formation of a supercritical core is regulated by a complex interplay between gravity, self-gravity, the magnetic field strength, and nearly transonic and trans-Alfvénic turbulence; therefore, it is very sensitive to the initial conditions of the system. In particular, self-gravity helps RD and, as a result, the magnetic field decoupling from the collapsing gas becomes more efficient compared with the case of an external gravitational field. Our simulations confirm that RD can transport magnetic flux from the core of collapsing clumps to the envelope, but only a few of them become nearly critical or supercritical sub-Alfvénic cores, which is consistent with the observations. Furthermore, we have found that the supercritical cores built up in our simulations develop a predominantly helical magnetic field geometry that is also consistent with recent observations. Finally, we have also evaluated the effective values of the turbulent RD coefficient in our

  2. 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.

  3. 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.

  4. 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.

  5. Flow reversals in turbulent convection via vortex reconnections.

    PubMed

    Chandra, Mani; Verma, Mahendra K

    2013-03-15

    We employ detailed numerical simulations to probe the mechanism of flow reversals in two-dimensional turbulent convection. We show that the reversals occur via a vortex reconnection of two attracting corner rolls having the same sign of vorticity, thus leading to major restructuring of the flow. Large fluctuations in heat transport are observed during the reversal due to the flow reconfiguration. The flow configurations during the reversals have been analyzed quantitatively using large-scale modes. Using these tools, we also show why flow reversals occur for a restricted range of Rayleigh and Prandtl numbers. PMID:25166544

  6. 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.

  7. Particle acceleration from reconnection in the geomagnetic tail

    SciTech Connect

    Birn, J.; Borovsky, J.E.; Thomsen, M.F.; McComas, D.J.; Reeves, G.D.; Belian, R.D.; Hesse, M.; Schindler, K.

    1997-08-01

    Acceleration of charged particles in the near geomagnetic tail, associated with a dynamic magnetic reconnection process, was investigated by a combined effort of data analysis, using Los Alamos data from geosynchronous orbit, MHD modeling of the dynamic evolution of the magnetotail, and test particle tracing in the electric and magnetic fields obtained from the MHD simulation.

  8. 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

  9. Recent Developments in Reconnection Theory: the Plasmoid Instability, Self-Generated Turbulence, and Implications for Laboratory and Space Plasmas

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bhattacharjee, Amitava

    2015-11-01

    In recent years, new developments in reconnection theory have challenged classical nonlinear reconnection models. One of these developments is the so-called plasmoid instability of thin current sheets that grows at super-Alfvenic growth rates. Within the resistive MHD model, this instability alters qualitatively the predictions of the Sweet-Parker model, leading to a new nonlinear regime of fast reconnection in which the reconnection rate itself becomes independent of S. This regime has also been seen in Hall MHD as well as fully kinetic simulations, and thus appears to be a universal feature of thin current sheet dynamics, including applications to reconnection forced by the solar wind in the heliosphere and spontaneously unstable sawtooth oscillations in tokamaks. Plasmoids, which can grow by coalescence to large sizes, provide a powerful mechanism for coupling between global and kinetic scales as well as an efficient accelerator of particles to high energies. In two dimensions, the plasmoids are characterized by power-law distribution functions followed by exponential tails. In three dimensions, the instability produces self-generated and strongly anisotropic turbulence in which the reconnection rate for the mean-fields remain approximately at the two-dimensional value, but the energy spectra deviate significantly from anisotropic strong MHD turbulence phenomenology. A new phase diagram of fast reconnection has been proposed, guiding the design of future experiments in magnetically confined and high-energy-density plasmas, and have important implications for explorations of the reconnection layer in the recently launched Magnetospheric Multiscale (MMS) mission. This research is supported by DOE, NASA, and NSF.

  10. 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

  11. 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

  12. 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

  13. Particle acceleration during magnetic reconnection in a low-beta pair plasma

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2016-05-01

    Plasma energization through magnetic reconnection in the magnetically dominated regime featured by low plasma beta ( β = 8 π n k T 0 / B 2 ≪ 1 ) and/or high magnetization ( σ = B 2 / ( 4 π n m c 2 ) ≫ 1 ) is important in a series of astrophysical systems such as solar flares, pulsar wind nebula, and relativistic jets from black holes. In this paper, we review the recent progress on kinetic simulations of this process and further discuss plasma dynamics and particle acceleration in a low-β reconnection layer that consists of electron-positron pairs. We also examine the effect of different initial thermal temperatures on the resulting particle energy spectra. While earlier papers have concluded that the spectral index is smaller for higher σ, our simulations show that the spectral index approaches p = 1 for sufficiently low plasma β, even if σ ˜ 1 . Since this predicted spectral index in the idealized limit is harder than most observations, it is important to consider effects that can lead to a softer spectrum such as open boundary simulations. We also remark that the effects of three-dimensional reconnection physics and turbulence on reconnection need to be addressed in the future.

  14. 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.

  15. The Role of Pressure Anisotropy on Particle Acceleration during Magnetic Reconnection

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Schoeffler, K. M.; Drake, J. F.; Swisdak, M.; Knizhnik, K.

    2013-02-01

    Voyager spacecraft observations have revealed that contrary to expectations, the source of anomalous cosmic rays (ACRs) is not at the local termination shock. A possible mechanism of ACR acceleration is magnetic reconnection in the heliosheath. Using a particle-in-cell code, we investigate the effects of β on reconnection-driven particle acceleration by studying island growth in multiple interacting Harris current sheets. Many islands are generated, and particles are dominantly heated through Fermi reflection in contracting islands during island growth and merging. There is a striking difference between the heating of electrons versus the heating of ions. There is a strong dependence of β on electron heating, while the ion heating is insensitive to β. Anisotropies develop with T ∥ ≠ T for both electrons and ions. The electron anisotropies support the development of a Weibel instability that suppresses the Fermi acceleration of the electrons. Since the Weibel instability develops at a larger T ∥/T in lower β systems, electrons are able to accelerate more efficiently by the Fermi mechanism at low β. The variance in anisotropy implies less electron acceleration in higher β systems, and thus less heating. This study sheds light on particle acceleration mechanisms within the sectored magnetic field regions of the heliosheath and the dissipation of turbulence such as that produced by the magnetorotational instability in accreting systems.

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

    SciTech Connect

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

    2002-06-18

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

  17. 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.

  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. Preferential acceleration of heavy ions in the reconnection outflow region. Drift and surfatron ion acceleration

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Artemyev, A. V.; Zimbardo, G.; Ukhorskiy, A. Y.; Fujimoto, M.

    2014-02-01

    Context. Many observations show that heating in the solar corona should be more effective for heavy ions than for protons. Moreover, the efficiency of particle heating also seems to be larger for a larger particle electric charge. The transient magnetic reconnection is one of the most natural mechanisms of charged particle acceleration in the solar corona. However, the role of this process in preferential acceleration of heavy ions has still yet to be investigated. Aims: In this paper, we consider charged particle acceleration in the reconnection outflow region. We investigate the dependence of efficiency of various mechanisms of particle acceleration on particle charge and mass. Methods: We take into account recent in situ spacecraft observations of the nonlinear magnetic waves that have originated in the magnetic reconnection. We use analytical estimates and test-particle trajectories to study resonant and nonresonant particle acceleration by these nonlinear waves. Results: We show that resonant acceleration of heavy ions by nonlinear magnetic waves in the reconnection outflow region is more effective for heavy ions and/or for ions with a larger electric charge. Nonresonant acceleration can be considered as a combination of particle reflections from the front of the nonlinear waves. Energy gain for a single reflection is proportional to the particle mass, while the maximum possible gain of energy corresponds to the classical betatron heating. Conclusions: Small-scale transient magnetic reconnections produce nonlinear magnetic waves propagating away from the reconnection region. These waves can effectively accelerate heavy ions in the solar corona via resonant and nonresonnat regimes of interactions. This mechanism of acceleration is more effective for ions with a larger mass and/or with a larger electric charge.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2013-07-01

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

  1. 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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2016-06-01

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

  3. 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.

  4. 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.

  5. 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.

  6. 3D outflow jets originating from turbulence in the reconnection current layer

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Fujimoto, Keizo

    2016-07-01

    Satellite observations in the Earth's magnetosphere and in solar flares have suggested that the reconnection outflow jets are fully three dimensional, consisting of a series of narrow channels. The jet structure is important in evaluating the energy and flux transport in the reconnection process. Previous theoretical models based on fluid simulations have relied on patchy reconnection where reconnection takes place predominantly in patchy portions of the current layer. The problem of the previous models is that the gross reconnection rate is much smaller than that in the 2D reconnection case. The present study shows a large-scale 3D PIC simulation revealing that the 3D outflow jets are generated through the 3D flux ropes formed in the turbulent electron current layer around the x-line. Reconnection proceeds almost uniformly along the x-line, so that the gross reconnection rate is comparable to that in the 2D reconnection case. The flux ropes and resultant outflow channels have a typical current-aligned scale provided by the wavelength of an electron shear mode that is much larger than the typical kinetic scales. It is found that the structure of the 3D outflow jets obtained in the simulation is consistent with the bursty bulk flow observed in the Earth's magnetotail.

  7. Magnetic Reconnection Turbulence in Strong Guide Fields: Basic Properties and Application to Coronal Heating

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Pueschel, M. J.; Told, D.; Terry, P. W.; Jenko, F.; Zweibel, E. G.; Zhdankin, V.; Lesch, H.

    2014-08-01

    A current sheet susceptible to the tearing instability is used to drive reconnection turbulence in the presence of a strong guide field. Through nonlinear gyrokinetic simulations, the dependencies of central quantities such as the heating rate on parameters like collisionality or plasma β are studied, revealing that linear physics tends to predict only some aspects of the quasi-saturated state, with the nonlinear cascade responsible for additional features. For the solar corona, it is demonstrated that the kinetic heating associated with this type of turbulence agrees quantitatively with observational volumetric heating rates. In the context of short particle acceleration events, the self-consistent emergence of plasmoids or flux ropes in the turbulent bath is found to be important: ubiquitously occurring merger events of these objects cause strong bursts in the heating rate, the timescale of which is consistent with nanoflare observations. Furthermore, anisotropy of the temperature fluctuations is seen to emerge, hinting at a new means of generating coronal ion temperature anisotropy in the absence of cyclotron resonances.

  8. MAGNETIC RECONNECTION TURBULENCE IN STRONG GUIDE FIELDS: BASIC PROPERTIES AND APPLICATION TO CORONAL HEATING

    SciTech Connect

    Pueschel, M. J.; Terry, P. W.; Zweibel, E. G.; Zhdankin, V.; Told, D.; Jenko, F.; Lesch, H.

    2014-08-01

    A current sheet susceptible to the tearing instability is used to drive reconnection turbulence in the presence of a strong guide field. Through nonlinear gyrokinetic simulations, the dependencies of central quantities such as the heating rate on parameters like collisionality or plasma β are studied, revealing that linear physics tends to predict only some aspects of the quasi-saturated state, with the nonlinear cascade responsible for additional features. For the solar corona, it is demonstrated that the kinetic heating associated with this type of turbulence agrees quantitatively with observational volumetric heating rates. In the context of short particle acceleration events, the self-consistent emergence of plasmoids or flux ropes in the turbulent bath is found to be important: ubiquitously occurring merger events of these objects cause strong bursts in the heating rate, the timescale of which is consistent with nanoflare observations. Furthermore, anisotropy of the temperature fluctuations is seen to emerge, hinting at a new means of generating coronal ion temperature anisotropy in the absence of cyclotron resonances.

  9. Radiation from Accelerated Particles in Shocks and Reconnections

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Nishikawa, K.-I.; Choi, E. J.; Min, K. W.; Niemiec, J.; Fishman, G. J.; Zhang, B.; Hardee, P.; Mizuno, Y.; Medvedev, M.; Nordlund, A.; Frederiksen, J. T.; Sol, H.; Pohl, M.; Hartmann, D. H.

    2012-01-01

    We have investigated particle acceleration and shock structure associated with an unmagnetized relativistic jets propagating into an unmagnetized plasmas. Strong magnetic fields generated in the trailing shock contribute to the electrons transverse deflection and acceleration. We have calculated, self-consistently, the radiation from electrons accelerated in the turbulent magnetic fields. We found that the synthetic spectra depend on the Lorentz factor of the jet, its thermal temperature and strength of the generated magnetic fields. The properties of the radiation may be important for understanding the complex time evolution and/or spectral structure in gamma-ray bursts, relativistic jets in general, and supernova remnants

  10. Perpendicular ion acceleration in whistler turbulence

    SciTech Connect

    Saito, S.; Nariyuki, Y.

    2014-04-15

    Whistler turbulence is an important contributor to solar wind turbulence dissipation. This turbulence contains obliquely propagating whistler waves at electron scales, and these waves have electrostatic components perpendicular to the mean magnetic field. In this paper, a full kinetic, two-dimensional particle-in-cell simulation shows that whistler turbulence can accelerate ions in the direction perpendicular to the mean magnetic field. When the ions pass through wave-particle resonances region in the phase space during their cyclotron motion, the ions are effectively accelerated in the perpendicular direction. The simulation results suggest that whistler turbulence contributes to the perpendicular heating of ions observed in the solar wind.

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-07-10

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

  12. Examination of Bursty Electromagnetic Waves Observed During Intervals of Turbulent Magnetosheath Reconnection

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Adrian, Mark L.; Wendel, D. E.

    2011-01-01

    We investigate observations of intense bursts of electromagnetic waves in association with magnetic reconnection in the turbulent magnetosheath. These structured, broadband bursts occur above 80-Hz, often displaying features reminiscent of absorption bands and are observed at local minima in the magnetic field. We present detailed analyses of these intense bursts of electromagnetic waves and quantify their proximity to X- and O-nulls.

  13. The wall of reconnection-driven magnetohydrodynamic turbulence in a large solar flare

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Moore, R. L.; Larosa, T. N.; Orwig, L. E.

    1995-01-01

    LaRosa and Moore (1993) recently proposed that the bulk dissipation of magnetic field that is required for the electron energization in the explosive phase of solar flares occurs in a 'fat current sheet', a wall of cascading magnetohydrodynamic (MHD) turbulence sustained by highly disordered driven reconnection of opposing magnetic fields impacting at a turbulent boundary layer. Here, we use the well-observed great two-ribbon eruptive flare of 1984 April 24/25 to assess the feasibility of both (1) the standard model for the overall three-dimensional form and action of the magnetic field and (2) the turbulent reconnection wall within it. We find (1) that the morphology of this flare closely matched that of the standard model; (2) the preflare sheared core field had enough nonpotential magnetic energy to power the flare; (3) the model turbulent wall required to achieve the flare's peak dissipative power easily fit within the overall span of the flaring magnetic field; (4) this wall was thick enough to have turbulent eddies large enough (diameters approximately 10(exp 8 cm) to produce the approximately ergs energy release fragments typically observed in the explosive phase of flares; (5) the aspect ratio (thickness/vertical extent) of the turbulent reconnection wall was in the 0.1-1 range expected by (Parker 1973). We therefore conclude that the viability of our version of the standard model (i.e., having the magnetic field dissipation occur in our turbulent reconnection wall) is well confirmed by this typical great two-ribbon eruptive flare.

  14. Turbulent energy generated by accelerations and shocks

    SciTech Connect

    Mikaelian, K.O.

    1986-10-08

    The turbulent energy generated at the interface between two fluids undergoing a constant acceleration or a shock is calculated. Assuming linear density profiles in the mixed region we find E/sub turbulent//E/sub directed/ = 2.3A/sup 2/% (constant acceleration) and 9.3A/sup 2/% (shock), where A is the Atwood number. Diffusion models predict somewhat less turbulent energy and a density profile with a tail extending into the lower density fluid. Eddy sizes are approximately 27% (constant acceleration) and 17% (shock) of the mixing depth into the heavier fluid. 6 refs., 3 figs.

  15. Bursty, Broadband Electromagnetic Waves Associated with Thin Current Layers and Turbulent Magnetosheath Reconnection

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Adrian, M. L.; Wendel, D. E.

    2011-01-01

    We investigate observations of intense bursts of electromagnetic wave energy in association with the thin current layers of turbulent magnetosheath reconnection. These observed emissions form two distinct types: (i) broadband emissions that extend continuously to lOs of Hertz; and (ii) structured bursts of emitted energy that occur above 80-Hz, often displaying features reminiscent of absorption bands and are observed at local minima in the magnetic field. We present detailed analyses of these intense bursts of electromagnetic energy and quantify their proximity to X- and O-nulls, as well as their correlation to the amount of magnetic energy converted by the process of magnetic reconnection.

  16. Models of coronal heating, turbulence and fast reconnection.

    PubMed

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

    2015-05-28

    Coronal heating is at the origin of the EUV and X-ray emission and mass loss from the sun and many other stars. While different scenarios have been proposed to explain the heating of magnetically confined and open regions of the corona, they must all rely on the transfer, storage and dissipation of the abundant energy present in photospheric motions, which, coupled to magnetic fields, give rise to the complex phenomenology seen at the chromosphere and transition region (i.e. spicules, jets, 'tornadoes'). Here we discuss models and numerical simulations which rely on magnetic fields and electric currents both for energy transfer and for storage in the corona. We will revisit the sources and frequency spectrum of kinetic and electromagnetic energies, the role of boundary conditions, and the routes to small scales required for effective dissipation. Because reconnection in current sheets has been, and still is, one of the most important processes for coronal heating, we will also discuss recent aspects concerning the triggering of reconnection instabilities and the transition to fast reconnection. PMID:25897086

  17. Models of coronal heating, turbulence and fast reconnection

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2015-04-01

    Coronal heating is at the origin of the EUV and X-ray emission and mass loss from the sun and many other stars. While different scenarios have been proposed to explain the heating of magnetically confined and open regions of the corona, they must all rely on the transfer, storage and dissipation of the abundant energy present in photospheric motions, which, coupled to magnetic fields, give rise to the complex phenomenology seen at the chromosphere and transition region (i.e. spicules, jets, 'tornadoes'). Here we discuss models and numerical simulations which rely on magnetic fields and electric currents both for energy transfer and for storage in the corona. We will revisit the sources and frequency spectrum of kinetic and electromagnetic energies, the role of boundary conditions, and the routes to small scales required for effective dissipation. Because reconnection in current sheets has been, and still is, one of the most important processes for coronal heating, we will also discuss recent aspects concerning the triggering of reconnection instabilities and the transition to fast reconnection.

  18. Comparison of test particle acceleration in torsional spine and fan reconnection regimes

    SciTech Connect

    Hosseinpour, M. Mehdizade, M.; Mohammadi, M. A.

    2014-10-15

    Magnetic reconnection is a common phenomenon taking place in astrophysical and space plasmas, especially in solar flares which are rich sources of highly energetic particles. Torsional spine and fan reconnections are important mechanisms proposed for steady-state three-dimensional null-point reconnection. By using the magnetic and electric fields for these regimes, we numerically investigate the features of test particle acceleration in both regimes with input parameters for the solar corona. By comparison, torsional spine reconnection is found to be more efficient than torsional fan reconnection in an acceleration of a proton to a high kinetic energy. A proton can gain as high as 100 MeV of relativistic kinetic energy within only a few milliseconds. Moreover, in torsional spine reconnection, an accelerated particle can escape either along the spine axis or on the fan plane depending on its injection position. However, in torsional fan reconnection, the particle is only allowed to accelerate along the spine axis. In addition, in both regimes, the particle's trajectory and final kinetic energy depend on the injection position but adopting either spatially uniform or non-uniform localized plasma resistivity does not much influence the features of trajectory.

  19. On the role of pseudodisk warping and reconnection in protostellar disk formation in turbulent magnetized cores

    SciTech Connect

    Li, Zhi-Yun; Zhao, Bo; Krasnopolsky, Ruben; Shang, Hsien

    2014-10-01

    The formation of rotationally supported protostellar disks is suppressed in ideal MHD in non-turbulent cores with aligned magnetic fields and rotation axes. A promising way to resolve this so-called 'magnetic braking catastrophe' is through turbulence. The reason for the turbulence-enabled disk formation is usually attributed to the turbulence-induced magnetic reconnection, which is thought to reduce the magnetic flux accumulated in the disk-forming region. We advance an alternative interpretation, based on magnetic decoupling-triggered reconnection of severely pinched field lines close to the central protostar and turbulence-induced warping of the pseudodisk of Galli and Shu. Such reconnection weakens the central split magnetic monopole that lies at the heart of the magnetic braking catastrophe under flux freezing. We show, through idealized numerical experiments, that the pseudodisk can be strongly warped, but not completely destroyed, by a subsonic or sonic turbulence. The warping decreases the rates of angular momentum removal from the pseudodisk by both magnetic torque and outflow, making it easier to form a rotationally supported disk. More importantly, the warping of the pseudodisk out of the disk-forming, equatorial plane greatly reduces the amount of magnetic flux threading the circumstellar, disk-forming region, further promoting disk formation. The beneficial effects of pseudodisk warping can also be achieved by a misalignment between the magnetic field and rotation axis. These two mechanisms of disk formation, enabled by turbulence and field-rotation misalignment respectively, are thus unified. We find that the disks formed in turbulent magnetized cores are rather thick and significantly magnetized. Implications of these findings, particularly for the thick young disk inferred in L1527, are briefly discussed.

  20. 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.

  1. On the Role of Pseudodisk Warping and Reconnection in Protostellar Disk Formation in Turbulent Magnetized Cores

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Li, Zhi-Yun; Krasnopolsky, Ruben; Shang, Hsien; Zhao, Bo

    2014-10-01

    The formation of rotationally supported protostellar disks is suppressed in ideal MHD in non-turbulent cores with aligned magnetic fields and rotation axes. A promising way to resolve this so-called "magnetic braking catastrophe" is through turbulence. The reason for the turbulence-enabled disk formation is usually attributed to the turbulence-induced magnetic reconnection, which is thought to reduce the magnetic flux accumulated in the disk-forming region. We advance an alternative interpretation, based on magnetic decoupling-triggered reconnection of severely pinched field lines close to the central protostar and turbulence-induced warping of the pseudodisk of Galli and Shu. Such reconnection weakens the central split magnetic monopole that lies at the heart of the magnetic braking catastrophe under flux freezing. We show, through idealized numerical experiments, that the pseudodisk can be strongly warped, but not completely destroyed, by a subsonic or sonic turbulence. The warping decreases the rates of angular momentum removal from the pseudodisk by both magnetic torque and outflow, making it easier to form a rotationally supported disk. More importantly, the warping of the pseudodisk out of the disk-forming, equatorial plane greatly reduces the amount of magnetic flux threading the circumstellar, disk-forming region, further promoting disk formation. The beneficial effects of pseudodisk warping can also be achieved by a misalignment between the magnetic field and rotation axis. These two mechanisms of disk formation, enabled by turbulence and field-rotation misalignment respectively, are thus unified. We find that the disks formed in turbulent magnetized cores are rather thick and significantly magnetized. Implications of these findings, particularly for the thick young disk inferred in L1527, are briefly discussed.

  2. 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.

  3. 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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2011-10-01

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

  5. Secondary reconnection, energisation and turbulence in dipolarisation fronts: results of a 3D kinetic simulation campaign

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lapenta, Giovanni; Goldman, Martin; Newman, David; olshevskyi, Vyacheslav; Markidis, Stefano

    2016-04-01

    Dipolarization fronts (DF) are formed by reconnection outflows interacting with the pre-existing environment. These regions are host of important energy exchanges [1], particle acceleration [2] and a complex structure and evolution [3]. Our recent work has investigated these regions via fully kinetic 3D simulations [4]. As reported recently on Nature Physics [3], based on 3D fully kinetic simulations started with a well defined x-line, we observe that in the DF reconnection transitions towards a more chaotic regime. In the fronts an instability devel- ops caused by the local gradients of the density and by the unfavourable acceleration and field line curvature. The consequence is the break up of the fronts in a fashion similar to the classical fluid Rayleigh-Taylor instability with the formation of "fingers" of plasma and embedded magnetic fields. These fingers interact and produce secondary reconnection sites. We present several different diagnostics that prove the existence of these secondary reconnection sites. Each site is surrounded by its own electron diffusion region. At the fronts the ions are generally not magnetized and considerable ion slippage is present. The discovery we present is that electrons are also slipping, forming localized diffusion regions near secondary reconnection sites [1]. The consequence of this discovery is twofold. First, the instability in the fronts has strong energetic implications. We observe that the energy transfer locally is very strong, an order of magnitude stronger than in the "X" line. However, this energy transfer is of both signs as it is natural for a wavy rippling with regions of magnetic to kinetic and regions of kinetic to magnetic energy conversion. Second, and most important for this session, is that MMS should not limit the search for electron diffusion regions to the location marked with X in all reconnection cartoons. Our simulations predict more numerous and perhaps more easily measurable electron diffusion

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2013-04-01

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

  7. Radiation from Accelerated Particles in Shocks and Reconnections

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Nishikawa, K.-I.; Zhang, B.; Niemiec, J.; Medvedev, M.; Hardee, P.; Mizuno, Y.; Nordlund, A.; Frederiksen, J. T.; Sol, H.; Pohl, M.; Hartmann, D. H.; Fishman, G. J.

    2011-01-01

    Plasma instabilities are responsible not only for the onset and mediation of collisionless shocks but also for the associated acceleration of particles. We have investigated particle acceleration and shock structure associated with an unmagnetized relativistic electron-positron jet propagating into an unmagnetized electron-positron plasma. Cold jet electrons are thermalized and slowed while the ambient electrons are swept up to create a partially developed hydrodynamic-like shock structure. In the leading shock, electron density increases by a factor of about 3.5 in the simulation frame. Strong electromagnetic fields are generated in the trailing shock and provide an emission site. These magnetic fields contribute to the electrons transverse deflection and, more generally, relativistic acceleration behind the shock. We have calculated, self-consistently, the radiation from electrons accelerated in the turbulent magnetic fields. We found that the synthetic spectra depend on the Lorentz factor of the jet, its thermal temperature and strength of the generated magnetic fields. We are currently investigating the specific case of a jet colliding with an anti-parallel magnetized ambient medium. The properties of the radiation may be important for understanding the complex time evolution and/or spectral structure in gamma-ray bursts, relativistic jets in general, and supernova remnants.

  8. 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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2015-12-01

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

  10. A MODEL OF ACCELERATION OF ANOMALOUS COSMIC RAYS BY RECONNECTION IN THE HELIOSHEATH

    SciTech Connect

    Lazarian, A.; Opher, M. E-mail: mopher@gmu.ed

    2009-09-20

    We discuss a model of cosmic ray acceleration that accounts for the observations of anomalous cosmic rays (ACRs) by Voyager 1 and 2. The model appeals to fast magnetic reconnection rather than shocks as the driver of acceleration. The ultimate source of energy is associated with magnetic field reversals that occur in the heliosheath. It is expected that the magnetic field reversals will occur throughout the heliosheath, but especially near the heliopause where the flows slow down and diverge with respect to the interstellar wind and also in the boundary sector in the heliospheric current sheet. While the first-order Fermi acceleration theory within reconnection layers is in its infancy, the predictions do not contradict the available data on ACR spectra measured by the spacecraft. We argue that the Voyager data are one of the first pieces of evidence favoring the acceleration within regions of fast magnetic reconnection, which we believe to be a widely spread astrophysical process.

  11. Acceleration Statistics in Rotating and Sheared Turbulence

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Jacobitz, Frank; Schneider, Kai; Bos, Wouter; Farge, Marie

    2012-11-01

    Acceleration statistics are of fundamental interest in turbulence ranging from theoretical questions to modeling of dispersion processes. Direct numerical simulations of sheared and rotating homogeneous turbulence are performed with different ratios of Coriolis parameter to shear rate. The statistics of Lagrangian and Eulerian acceleration are studied with a particular focus on the influence of the rotation ratio and also on the scale dependence of the statistics. The probability density functions (pdfs) of both Lagrangian and Eulerian acceleration show a strong and similar influence on the rotation ratio. The flatness further quantifies its influence and yields values close to three for strong rotation. For moderate and vanishing rotation, the flatness of the Eulerian acceleration is larger than that of the Lagrangian acceleration, contrary to previous results for isotropic turbulence. A wavelet-based scale-dependent analysis shows that the flatness of both Eulerian and Lagrangian acceleration increases as scale decreases. For strong rotation, the Eulerian acceleration is more intermittent than the Lagrangian acceleration, while the opposite result is obtained for moderate rotation.

  12. The role of reconnection diffusion in the gravitational collapse of turbulent cloud cores

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2014-10-01

    For a molecular cloud clump to form stars some transport of magnetic flux is required from the denser, inner regions to the outer regions of the cloud, otherwise this can prevent the collapse. Fast magnetic reconnection which takes place in the presence of turbulence can induce a process of reconnection diffusion (RD). Extending earlier numerical studies of reconnection diffusion in cylindrical clouds, we consider more realistic clouds with spherical gravitational potentials and also account for the effects of the gas self-gravity. We demonstrate that within our setup RD is efficient. We have also identified the conditions under which RD becomes strong enough to make an initially subcritical cloud clump supercritical and induce its collapse. Our results indicate that the formation of a supercritical core is regulated by a complex interplay between gravity, self-gravity, the magnetic field strength and nearly transonic and trans-Alfvénic turbulence, confirming that RD is able to remove magnetic flux from collapsing clumps, but only a few of them become nearly critical or supercritical, sub-Alfvénic cores, which is consistent with the observations. Besides, we have found that the supercritical cores built up in our simulations develop a predominantly helical magnetic field geometry which is also consistent with observations. Finally, we have evaluated the effective values of the turbulent reconnection diffusion coefficient and found that they are much larger than the numerical diffusion, especially for initially trans-Alfvénic clouds, ensuring that the detected magnetic flux removal is due to to the action of the RD rather than to numerical diffusivity.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Schaffner, D. A.

    2015-12-01

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

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

    SciTech Connect

    Narukage, Noriyuki; Shimojo, Masumi; Sakao, Taro

    2014-06-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2014-06-01

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

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

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

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

    2014-01-01

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

  17. Computing the reconnection rate in turbulent kinetic layers by using electron mixing to identify topology

    SciTech Connect

    Daughton, W.; Nakamura, T. K. M.; Karimabadi, H.; Roytershteyn, V.; Loring, B.

    2014-05-15

    Three-dimensional kinetic simulations of magnetic reconnection for parameter regimes relevant to the magnetopause current layer feature the development of turbulence, driven by the magnetic and velocity shear, and dominated by coherent structures including flux ropes, current sheets, and flow vortices. Here, we propose a new approach for computing the global reconnection rate in the presence of this complexity. The mixing of electrons originating from separate sides of the magnetopause layer is used as a proxy to rapidly identify the magnetic topology and track the evolution of magnetic flux. The details of this method are illustrated for an asymmetric current layer relevant to the subsolar magnetopause and for a flow shear dominated layer relevant to the lower latitude magnetopause. While the three-dimensional reconnection rates show a number of interesting differences relative to the corresponding two-dimensional simulations, the time scale for the energy conversion remains very similar. These results suggest that the mixing of field lines between topologies is more easily influenced by kinetic turbulence than the physics responsible for the energy conversion.

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

    SciTech Connect

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

    2014-06-15

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

  19. Gyrokinetic simulations of 2D magnetic reconnection turbulence in guide fields

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Terry, P. W.; Pueschel, M. J.; Jenko, F.; Zweibel, E.; Zhdankin, V.; Told, D.

    2012-10-01

    Following the analyses in [M.J. Pueschel et al., Phys. Plasmas 18, 112102 (2011)], a study of turbulence in driven reconnection is commenced, with a sinusoidal current sheet providing the drive through a Krook-type operator in a bi-periodic box. Simulations with the Gene code cover all relevant physical parameters, allowing for encompassing comparisons with expectations from linear simulations. A central observed feature are coherent circular current structures which may be identified as plasmoids. These objects move randomly in the plane perpendicular to the guide field, and may either disappear again after some time or instead merge with one another---the setup can thus be described as turbulence driven by reconnection, but simultaneously creating its own reconnection. Such merger events are associated with large bursts in the heating rate jE, and display strong non-Maxwellian components of the distribution function in parallel velocity space. The plasmoid energetics are studied, as are their ability to produce populations of fast particles. Statistics of such populations are used to facilitate direct comparisons with astrophysical scenarios of energetic particle production.

  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. Bursty, Broadband Electromagnetic Waves Associated with Three-Dimensional Nulls Observed in Turbulent Magnetosheath Reconnection

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Adrian, Mark L.; Wendel, D. E.

    2012-01-01

    We investigate observations of intense bursts of electromagnetic wave energy in association with the thin current layers of turbulent magnetosheath reconnection. These observed emissions - typically detected in the layers immediately outside of the current layer proper - form two distinct types: (i) broadband emissions that extend continuously to lOs of Hertz; and (ii) structured bursts of emitted energy that occur above 80-Hz, often displaying features reminiscent of absorption bands and are observed near the local minima in the magnetic field. We present detailed analyses of these intense bursts of electromagnetic energy and quantify their proximity to X-IO-nulls and magnetic spine connected null pairs, as well as their correlation - if any - to the amount of magnetic energy converted by the process of magnetic reconnection.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2010-03-01

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

  4. Nonthermally Dominated Electron Acceleration during Magnetic Reconnection in a Low-beta Plasma

    SciTech Connect

    Li, Xiaocan

    2015-07-21

    This work was motivated by electron acceleration during solar flares. After some introductory remarks on proposed particle acceleration mechanisms and questions needing answers, dynamic simulations and simulation results are presented including energy spectra and the formation of the power law distribution. In summary, magnetic reconnection is highly efficient at converting the free magnetic energy stored in a magnetic shear and accelerating electrons to nonthermal energies in low-β regime. The nonthermal electrons have a dominant fraction and form power-law energy spectra with spectral index p ~ 1 in low-β regime. Electrons are preferentially accelerated along the curvature drift direction along the electric field induced by the reconnection outflow. The results can be applied to explain the observations of electron acceleration during solar flares.

  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. Flux Rope Formation and Self-Generated Turbulent Reconnection Driven by the Plasmoid Instability in the Heliosphere

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bhattacharjee, A.; Huang, Y. M.

    2015-12-01

    It has been established that the Sweet-Parker current layer in high Lundquist number reconnection is unstable to the super-Alfvénic plasmoid instability. Past two-dimensional magnetohydrodynamic simulations have demonstrated that the plasmoid instability leads to a new regime where the Sweet-Parker current layer changes into a chain of plasmoids connected by secondary current sheets, and the averaged reconnection rate becomes nearly independent of the Lundquist number. In this work, three-dimensional simulations with a guide field shows that the additional degree of freedom allows plasmoid instabilities to grow at oblique angles. We present a scenario in which large-scale oblique tearing modes overlap with each other, break flux surfaces, and stir up a spectrum of smaller-scale tearing modes, leading eventually to self-generated turbulent reconnection. The averaged reconnection rate in the self-generated turbulent state is of the order of a hundredth of the characteristic Alfvén speed, which is similar to the two-dimensional result but is an order of magnitude lower than the fastest reconnection rate reported in recent studies of externally driven three-dimensional turbulent reconnection. Kinematic and magnetic energy fluctuations both form elongated eddies along the direction of local magnetic field, which is a signature of anisotropic magnetohydrodynamic turbulence. Both energy fluctuations satisfy power-law spectra in the inertial range. The anisotropy of turbulence eddies is found to be nearly scale-independent, in contrast with the prediction of the Goldreich-Sridhar (GS) theory for anisotropic turbulence in a homogeneous plasma permeated by a uniform magnetic field. The effect of varying the magnitude of the toroidal field on the critical balance condition underlying the GS theory is discussed.

  7. Evidence of Electron Acceleration around the Reconnection X-point in a Solar Flare

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Narukage, Noriyuki; Shimojo, Masumi; Sakao, Taro

    2016-05-01

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

  8. 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 magnetic reconnection proceeding, two magnetic islands are formed in the simulation domain. Next, the electrons are accelerated by both the parallel electric field in the vicinity of the X lines and the Fermi mechanism due to the contraction of the two magnetic islands. Then, the two magnetic islands begin to merge into one, and, in such a process, the electrons can be accelerated by both the parallel electric field and betatron mechanisms. During the betatron acceleration, the electrons are locally accelerated in the regions where the magnetic field is piled up by the high-speed flow from the X line. At last, when the coalescence of the two islands into one big island finishes, the electrons can be further accelerated by the Fermi mechanism because of the contraction of the big island. With the increase of the guide field, the contributions of the Fermi and betatron mechanisms to electron acceleration become less and less important. When the guide field is sufficiently large, the contributions of the Fermi and betatron mechanisms are almost negligible.

  9. 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.

  10. Observation of Ion Acceleration and Heating during Collisionless Magnetic Reconnection in a Laboratory Plasma

    SciTech Connect

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

    2012-12-10

    The ion dynamics in a collisionless magnetic reconnection layer are studied in a laboratory plasma. The measured in-plane plasma potential profile, which is established by electrons accelerated around the electron diffusion region, shows a saddle-shaped structure that is wider and deeper towards the outflow direction. This potential structure ballistically accelerates ions near the separatrices toward the outflow direction. Ions are heated as they travel into the high pressure downstream region.

  11. Multiscale Auroral Emission Statistics as Evidence of Turbulent Reconnection in Earth's Midtail Plasma Sheet

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Klimas, Alex; Uritsky, Vadim; Donovan, Eric

    2010-01-01

    We provide indirect evidence for turbulent reconnection in Earth's midtail plasma sheet by reexamining the statistical properties of bright, nightside auroral emission events as observed by the UVI experiment on the Polar spacecraft and discussed previously by Uritsky et al. The events are divided into two groups: (1) those that map to absolute value of (X(sub GSM)) < 12 R(sub E) in the magnetotail and do not show scale-free statistics and (2) those that map to absolute value of (X(sub GSM)) > 12 R(sub E) and do show scale-free statistics. The absolute value of (X(sub GSM)) dependence is shown to most effectively organize the events into these two groups. Power law exponents obtained for group 2 are shown to validate the conclusions of Uritsky et al. concerning the existence of critical dynamics in the auroral emissions. It is suggested that the auroral dynamics is a reflection of a critical state in the magnetotail that is based on the dynamics of turbulent reconnection in the midtail plasma sheet.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Treumann, R. A.; Baumjohann, W.

    2015-10-01

    The present review concerns the relevance of collisionless reconnection in the astrophysical context. Emphasis is put on recent developments in theory obtained from collisionless numerical simulations in two and three dimensions. It is stressed that magnetic reconnection is a universal process of particular importance under collisionless conditions, when both collisional and anomalous dissipation are irrelevant. While collisional (resistive) reconnection is a slow, diffusive process, collisionless reconnection is spontaneous. On any astrophysical time scale, it is explosive. It sets on when electric current widths become comparable to the leptonic inertial length in the so-called lepton (electron/positron) "diffusion region", where leptons de-magnetise. Here, the magnetic field contacts its oppositely directed partner and annihilates. Spontaneous reconnection breaks the original magnetic symmetry, violently releases the stored free energy of the electric current, and causes plasma heating and particle acceleration. Ultimately, the released energy is provided by mechanical motion of either the two colliding magnetised plasmas that generate the current sheet or the internal turbulence cascading down to lepton-scale current filaments. Spontaneous reconnection in such extended current sheets that separate two colliding plasmas results in the generation of many reconnection sites (tearing modes) distributed over the current surface, each consisting of lepton exhausts and jets which are separated by plasmoids. Volume-filling factors of reconnection sites are estimated to be as large as {<}10^{-5} per current sheet. Lepton currents inside exhausts may be strong enough to excite Buneman and, for large thermal pressure anisotropy, also Weibel instabilities. They bifurcate and break off into many small-scale current filaments and magnetic flux ropes exhibiting turbulent magnetic power spectra of very flat power-law shape W_b∝ k^{-α } in wavenumber k with power becoming as

  13. On the Distribution of Particle Acceleration Sites in Plasmoid-dominated Relativistic Magnetic Reconnection

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Nalewajko, Krzysztof; Uzdensky, Dmitri A.; Cerutti, Benoît; Werner, Gregory R.; Begelman, Mitchell C.

    2015-12-01

    We investigate the distribution of particle acceleration sites, independently of the actual acceleration mechanism, during plasmoid-dominated, relativistic collisionless magnetic reconnection by analyzing the results of a particle-in-cell numerical simulation. The simulation is initiated with Harris-type current layers in pair plasma with no guide magnetic field, negligible radiative losses, no initial perturbation, and using periodic boundary conditions. We find that the plasmoids develop a robust internal structure, with colder dense cores and hotter outer shells, that is recovered after each plasmoid merger on a dynamical timescale. We use spacetime diagrams of the reconnection layers to probe the evolution of plasmoids, and in this context we investigate the individual particle histories for a representative sample of energetic electrons. We distinguish three classes of particle acceleration sites associated with (1) magnetic X-points, (2) regions between merging plasmoids, and (3) the trailing edges of accelerating plasmoids. We evaluate the contribution of each class of acceleration sites to the final energy distribution of energetic electrons: magnetic X-points dominate at moderate energies, and the regions between merging plasmoids dominate at higher energies. We also identify the dominant acceleration scenarios, in order of decreasing importance: (1) single acceleration between merging plasmoids, (2) single acceleration at a magnetic X-point, and (3) acceleration at a magnetic X-point followed by acceleration in a plasmoid. Particle acceleration is absent only in the vicinity of stationary plasmoids. The effect of magnetic mirrors due to plasmoid contraction does not appear to be significant in relativistic reconnection.

  14. Kelvin-Helmholtz turbulence within reconnection exhausts in the solar wind

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Vörös, Zoltan; Sasunov, Yury; Semenov, Vladimir; Zaqarashvili, Teimuraz; Khodachenko, Maxim

    2014-05-01

    Kelvin-Helmholtz (KH) instability driven by velocity shears can grow at boundaries separating both neutral fluid and plasma flow regimes. This instability is of great importance to understand interactions and mixing of fluids/plasmas separated by unstable sheared boundaries. In space plasmas, KH instability is commonly observed at the boundary layers of planets, in solar prominences, at the boundaries of rising coronal mass ejections and in the solar wind. Secondary instabilities, or even interactions between them, may play a crucial role hastening the transition from KH unstable boundary to fully developed turbulence. We investigate single spacecraft observations of the spectral features of KH turbulence and the associated heating of the background plasma within reconnection outflow boundaries in the solar wind. We show that despite the complicated nature of KH turbulence, with presumably secondary instabilities involved, we observe statistical features of anisotropic turbulence predicted by phenomenological models. The research leading to these results has received funding from the European Community's Seventh Framework Programme (FP7/2007-2013) under grant agreement N 313038/STORM. The research was also supported by the Austrian Fonds zur Förderung der wissenschaftlichen Forschung under project P24740-N27.

  15. Turbulent jet patterns in accelerating flows

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Lipshitz, A.; Greber, I.

    1981-01-01

    Results of flow visualization experiments, and a semi-empirical model of a single turbulent jet injected perpendicularly to a different density cross flow are presented. The model is based on integral conservation equations, including the pressure terms appropriate to accelerating flow. It uses an entrainment correlation obtained from previous experiments of a jet in a cross stream. The results show trajectories and spreading rates, and are typified by a set of three parameters: momentum ratio, Froude number and density ratio. Agreement between test and calculated results is encouraging, but tend to be poorer with increasing momentum ratio.

  16. Turbulent Magnetohydrodynamic Acceleration Processes: Theory SSX Experiments and Connections to Space and Astrophysics

    SciTech Connect

    W Matthaeus; M Brown

    2006-07-15

    This is the final technical report for a funded program to provide theoretical support to the Swarthmore Spheromak Experiment. We examined mhd relaxation, reconnecton between two spheromaks, particle acceleration by these processes, and collisonless effects, e.g., Hall effect near the reconnection zone,. Throughout the project, applications to space plasma physics and astrophysics were included. Towards the end ofthe project we were examining a more fully turbulent relaxation associated with unconstrained dynamics in SSX. We employed experimental, spacecraft observations, analytical and numerical methods.

  17. ELECTRON HEATING AND ACCELERATION BY MAGNETIC RECONNECTION IN HOT ACCRETION FLOWS

    SciTech Connect

    Ding Jian; Yuan Feng; Liang, Edison

    2010-01-10

    Both analytical and numerical works show that magnetic reconnection must occur in hot accretion flows. This process will effectively heat and accelerate electrons. In this paper, we use the numerical hybrid simulation of magnetic reconnection plus the test-electron method to investigate the electron acceleration and heating due to magnetic reconnection in hot accretion flows. We consider fiducial values of density, temperature, and magnetic parameter beta{sub e} (defined as the ratio of the electron pressure to the magnetic pressure) of the accretion flow as n{sub 0} approx 10{sup 6} cm{sup -3}, T {sup 0}{sub e} approx 2 x 10{sup 9} K, and beta{sub e} = 1. We find that electrons are heated to a higher temperature T{sub e} = 5 x 10{sup 9} K, and a fraction eta approx 8% of electrons are accelerated into a broken power-law distribution, dN(gamma) propor to gamma{sup -p}, with p approx 1.5 and 4 below and above approx1 MeV, respectively. We also investigate the effect of varying beta and n{sub 0}. We find that when beta{sub e} is smaller or n{sub 0} is larger, i.e., the magnetic field is stronger, T{sub e} , eta, and p all become larger.

  18. Instability, Turbulence, and 3D Magnetic Reconnection in a Line-Tied, Zero Net Current Screw Pinch

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Brookhart, Matthew I.; Stemo, Aaron; Zuberbier, Amanda; Zweibel, Ellen; Forest, Cary B.

    2015-04-01

    This Letter reports the first experimental investigation into a line-tied plasma with a reversed current profile. Discrete current sources create a cylindrical plasma equilibrium with an axial field and zero net current. Detailed magnetic measurements show that an internal m =1 mode with no external character grows exponentially. The nonlinear evolution of the mode drives 3D reconnection events that reorganize the plasma equilibrium. The plasma is turbulent and exhibits reconnection events on a range of scales. These data are consistent with recent simulations of coronal loops and the nanoflare coronal heating mechanism.

  19. Does Flare Reconnection Occur Before or After Explosive Coronal Mass Ejection Acceleration?

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Guidoni, Silvina E.; Karpen, Judith T.; DeVore, C. R.; Qiu, Jiong

    2015-04-01

    The mechanism for producing fast coronal mass ejections/eruptive flares (CME/EFs) is hotly debated. Most models rely on ideal instability/loss of equilibrium or magnetic reconnection; these two categories of models predict different causal relationships between CMEs and flares. In both cases, flare reconnection disconnects the bulk of the CME from the Sun, but in the former models, flare reconnection onset is a consequence of the fast outward motion of the CME while in the later models reconnection is what causes the CME acceleration. Discriminating between these models requires continuous, high-cadence observations and state-of-the-art numerical simulations that enable the relative timing of key stages in the events to be determined. With the advent of SDO, STEREO, and massively parallel supercomputers, we are well poised to tackle this major challenge to our understanding of solar activity. In recent work (Karpen et al. 2012), we determined the timing and location of triggering mechanisms for the breakout initiation model (Antiochos et al. 1999), using ultra-high-resolution magnetohydrodynamic simulations with adaptive mesh refinement and high-cadence analysis. This approach enabled us to resolve as finely as possible the small scales of magnetic reconnection and island formation in the current sheets, within the global context of a large-scale solar eruption. We found that the explosive acceleration of the fast CME occurs only after the onset of rapid reconnection at the flare current sheet formed in the wake of the rising CME flux rope. In the present work, we compare flare reconnection rates, measured from flare ribbon UV brightenings observed by SDO/AIA and magnetograms from SDO/HMI, with the height evolution of CME fronts and cores, measured from STEREO/SECCHI EUV and coronagraph images. We also calculate these quantities from numerical simulations and compare them to observations, as a new test of the breakout initiation model. This work was supported by

  20. Observational and Theoretical Challenges to Wave or Turbulence Accelerations of the Fast Solar Wind

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Roberts, D. Aaron

    2008-01-01

    We use both observations and theoretical considerations to show that hydromagnetic waves or turbulence cannot produce the acceleration of the fast solar wind and the related heating of the open solar corona. Waves do exist as shown by Hinode and other observations, and can play a role in the differential heating and acceleration of minor ions but their amplitudes are not sufficient to power the wind, as demonstrated by extrapolation of magnetic spectra from Helios and Ulysses observations. Dissipation mechanisms invoked to circumvent this conclusion cannot be effective for a variety of reasons. In particular, turbulence does not play a strong role in the corona as shown by both eclipse observations of coronal striations and theoretical considerations of line-tying to a nonturbulent photosphere, nonlocality of interactions, and the nature of kinetic dissipation. In the absence of wave heating and acceleration, the chromosphere and transition region become the natural source of open coronal energization. We suggest a variant of the velocity filtration approach in which the emergence and complex churning of the magnetic flux in the chromosphere and transition region continuously and ubiquitously produces the nonthermal distributions required. These particles are then released by magnetic carpet reconnection at a wide range of scales and produce the wind as described in kinetic approaches. Since the carpet reconnection is not the main source of the energization of the plasma, there is no expectation of an observable release of energy in nanoflares.

  1. 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

  2. The extent of non-thermal particle acceleration in relativistic, electron-positron reconnection

    SciTech Connect

    Werner, Greg; Guo, Fan

    2015-07-21

    Reconnection is studied as an explanation for high-energy flares from the Crab Nebula. The production of synchrotron emission >100 MeV challenges classical models of acceleration. 3D simulation shows that reconnection, converting magnetic energy to kinetic energy, can accelerate beyond γrad. The power-law index and high-energy cutoff are important for understanding the radiation spectrum dN/dγ = f(γ) ∝ γ. α and cutoff were measured vs. L and σ, where L is system (simulation) size and σ is upstream magnetization (σ = B2/4πnmc2). α can affect the high-energy cutoff. In conclusion, for collisionless relativistic reconnection in electron-positron plasma, without guide field, nb/nd=0.1: (1) relativistic magnetic reconnection yields power-law particle spectra, (2) the power law index decreases as σ increases, approaching ≈1.2. (3) the power law is cut off at an energy related to acceleration within a single current layer, which is proportional to the current layer length (for small systems, that length is the system length, yielding γc2 ≈ 0.1 L/ρ0; for large systems, the layer length is limited by secondary tearing instability, yielding γc1 ≈ 4σ; the transition from small to large is around L/ρ0 = 40σ.). (4) although the large-system energy cutoff is proportional to the average energy per particle, it is significantly higher than the average energy per particle.

  3. Electron acceleration in three-dimensional magnetic reconnection with a guide field

    SciTech Connect

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

    2015-10-15

    Kinetic simulations of 3D collisionless magnetic reconnection with a guide field show a dramatic enhancement of energetic electron production when compared with 2D systems. In the 2D systems, electrons are trapped in magnetic islands that limit their energy gain, whereas in the 3D systems the filamentation of the current layer leads to a stochastic magnetic field that enables the electrons to access volume-filling acceleration regions. The dominant accelerator of the most energetic electrons is a Fermi-like mechanism associated with reflection of charged particles from contracting field lines.

  4. SMALL-SCALE LOCAL PHENOMENA RELATED TO THE MAGNETIC RECONNECTION AND TURBULENCE IN THE PROXIMITY OF THE HELIOPAUSE

    SciTech Connect

    Strumik, M.; Czechowski, A.; Grzedzielski, S.; Macek, W. M.; Ratkiewicz, R.

    2013-08-20

    We study processes related to magnetic reconnection and plasma turbulence occurring in the presence of the heliopause (HP) and the heliospheric current sheet. It is shown that the interaction of plasmoids initiated by magnetic reconnection may provide connections between the inner and outer heliosheath and lead to an exchange of particles between the interstellar medium and the solar wind plasma shocked at the heliospheric termination shock. The magnetic reconnection may also cause plasma density and magnetic field compressions in the proximity of the HP. We argue that these phenomena could possibly be detected by the Voyager spacecraft approaching and crossing the HP. These results could clarify the concepts of the ''magnetic highway'' and the ''heliosheath depletion region'' recently proposed to explain recent Voyager 1 observations.

  5. Electron acceleration at slow-mode shocks in the magnetic reconnection region in solar flares

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Mann, Gottfried; Aurass, Henry; Onel, Hakan; Warmuth, Alexander

    2016-04-01

    A solar flare appears as an sudden enhancement of the emission of electromagnetic radiation of the Sun covering a broad range of the spectrum from the radio up to the gamma-ray range. That indicates the generation of energetic electrons during flares, which are considered as the manifestation of magnetic reconnection in the solar corona. Spacecraft observations in the Earth's magnetosphere, as for instance by NASA's MMS mission, have shown that electrons can efficiently accelerated at the slow-mode shocks occuring in the magnetic reconnection region. This mechanism is applied to solar flares. The electrons are accelerated by the cross-shock potential at slow-mode shocks resulting in magnetic field aligned beams of energetic electrons in the downstream region. The interaction of this electron beam with the plasma leads to the excitation of whistler waves and, subsequently, to a strong heating of the electrons in the downstream region. Considering this process under coronal circumstances, enough electrons with energies >30keV are generated in the magnetic reconnection region as required for the hard X-ray radiation during solar flares as observed by NASA's RHESSI mission.

  6. Role of reconnection in AGN jets

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lyutikov, Maxim

    2003-10-01

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

  7. Energy budgets in collisionless magnetic reconnection: Ion heating and bulk acceleration

    SciTech Connect

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

    2011-12-15

    This paper investigates the energy transfer in the process of collisionless antiparallel magnetic reconnection. Using two-dimensional hybrid simulations, we measure the increase of the bulk and thermal kinetic energies and compare it to the loss of magnetic energy through a contour surrounding the ion decoupling region. It is shown, for both symmetric and asymmetric configurations, that the loss of magnetic energy is not equally partitioned between heating and acceleration. The heating is found to be dominant and the partition ratio depends on the asymptotic parameters, and future investigations will be needed to understand this dependence.

  8. Electron Acceleration by Cascading Reconnection in the Solar Corona. II. Resistive Electric Field Effects

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Zhou, X.; Büchner, J.; Bárta, M.; Gan, W.; Liu, S.

    2016-08-01

    We investigate electron acceleration by electric fields induced by cascading reconnections in current sheets trailing coronal mass ejections via a test particle approach in the framework of the guiding-center approximation. Although the resistive electric field is much weaker than the inductive electric field, the electron acceleration is still dominated by the former. Anomalous resistivity η is switched on only in regions where the current carrier’s drift velocity is large enough. As a consequence, electron acceleration is very sensitive to the spatial distribution of the resistive electric fields, and electrons accelerated in different segments of the current sheet have different characteristics. Due to the geometry of the 2.5-dimensional electromagnetic fields and strong resistive electric field accelerations, accelerated high-energy electrons can be trapped in the corona, precipitating into the chromosphere or escaping into interplanetary space. The trapped and precipitating electrons can reach a few MeV within 1 s and have a very hard energy distribution. Spatial structure of the acceleration sites may also introduce breaks in the electron energy distribution. Most of the interplanetary electrons reach hundreds of keV with a softer distribution. To compare with observations of solar flares and electrons in solar energetic particle events, we derive hard X-ray spectra produced by the trapped and precipitating electrons, fluxes of the precipitating and interplanetary electrons, and electron spatial distributions.

  9. Origins of Highly Structured Distribution Functions in Magnetic Reconnection Exhausts: Understanding Electron Acceleration and Heating

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Shuster, J. R.; Wang, S.; Chen, L. J.; Bessho, N.; Guo, R.; Torbert, R. B.; Daughton, W. S.

    2014-12-01

    Electron velocity distribution functions (VDFs) during reconnection with negligible guide field from particle in cell (PIC) simulations and Cluster observations are studied to further understand electron acceleration and heating. Until recently, electrons in the exhaust of reconnection with negligible guide field were thought to be isotropic. PIC simulation results with zero guide field reveal that near the time of peak reconnection, VDFs become highly structured in magnetic islands and open exhausts. Ring, arc, and counterstreaming populations are generic and lasting constituents of exhaust electron VDFs. Analyses of particle trajectories indicate that a number of mechanisms including Fermi acceleration, the parallel potential, and adiabatic heating contribute to the energization of exhaust electrons. Near the electron diffusion region (EDR), exhaust electrons exhibit large Te⊥ due to ring and arc populations of electrons accelerated in the EDR. Farther away from the EDR, the VDFs show a mixture of electrons from the EDR and those crossing the separatrix from the inflow. Pitch angle scattering is effective near the exhaust midplane, away from the EDR and before reaching the magnetic pileup region, producing isotropic, high-energy electrons, while the low energy exhaust electrons exhibit the anisotropy Te// > Te⊥ characteristic of the inflow. The work done on the electrons by the perpendicular electric field between the end of EDR and the magnetic pileup region is due to Fermi acceleration which leads to a net increase in the electron's parallel velocity. For the net increase of electrons' v⊥ beyond the EDR, pitch angle scattering effectively converts v// gained by acceleration from the parallel potential into v⊥. Electron's v⊥ further increases downstream through adiabatic heating from the increasing magnetic field in addition to less efficient pitch angle scattering. The parallel potential and the magnetic bottle together determine the trapped

  10. PARTICLE ACCELERATION IN FRAGMENTING PERIODIC RECONNECTING CURRENT SHEETS IN SOLAR FLARES

    SciTech Connect

    Gordovskyy, M.; Browning, P. K.; Vekstein, G. E.

    2010-09-10

    Proton and electron acceleration in a fragmenting periodic current sheet (CS) is investigated, based on the forced magnetic reconnection scenario. The aim is to understand the role of CS fragmentation in high-energy beam generation in solar flares. We combine magnetohydrodynamics and test-particle models to consider particle trajectories consistent with a time-dependent reconnection model. It is shown that accelerated particles in such a model form two distinct populations. Protons and electrons moving in open magnetic field have energy spectra that are a combination of the initial Maxwellian distribution and a power-law high-energy (E>20 keV) part. The second population contains particles moving in a closed magnetic field around O-points. These particles move predominantly along the guiding field and their energies fall within quite a narrow range between {approx}1 MeV and {approx}10 MeV. It is also found that particles moving in an open magnetic field have a considerably wider pitch-angle distribution.

  11. Combining Diffusive Shock Acceleration with Acceleration by Contracting and Reconnecting Small-scale Flux Ropes at Heliospheric Shocks

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    le Roux, J. A.; Zank, G. P.; Webb, G. M.; Khabarova, O. V.

    2016-08-01

    Computational and observational evidence is accruing that heliospheric shocks, as emitters of vorticity, can produce downstream magnetic flux ropes and filaments. This led Zank et al. to investigate a new paradigm whereby energetic particle acceleration near shocks is a combination of diffusive shock acceleration (DSA) with downstream acceleration by many small-scale contracting and reconnecting (merging) flux ropes. Using a model where flux-rope acceleration involves a first-order Fermi mechanism due to the mean compression of numerous contracting flux ropes, Zank et al. provide theoretical support for observations that power-law spectra of energetic particles downstream of heliospheric shocks can be harder than predicted by DSA theory and that energetic particle intensities should peak behind shocks instead of at shocks as predicted by DSA theory. In this paper, a more extended formalism of kinetic transport theory developed by le Roux et al. is used to further explore this paradigm. We describe how second-order Fermi acceleration, related to the variance in the electromagnetic fields produced by downstream small-scale flux-rope dynamics, modifies the standard DSA model. The results show that (i) this approach can qualitatively reproduce observations of particle intensities peaking behind the shock, thus providing further support for the new paradigm, and (ii) stochastic acceleration by compressible flux ropes tends to be more efficient than incompressible flux ropes behind shocks in modifying the DSA spectrum of energetic particles.

  12. Investigations of turbulent motions and particle acceleration in solar flares

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Jakimiec, J.; Fludra, A.; Lemen, J. R.; Dennis, B. R.; Sylwester, J.

    1986-01-01

    Investigations of X-raya spectra of solar flares show that intense random (turbulent) motions are present in hot flare plasma. Here it is argued that the turbulent motions are of great importance for flare development. They can efficiently enhance flare energy release and accelerate particles to high energies.

  13. Electron acceleration by parallel and perpendicular electric fields during magnetic reconnection without guide field

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bessho, N.; Chen, L.-J.; Germaschewski, K.; Bhattacharjee, A.

    2015-11-01

    Electron acceleration due to the electric field parallel to the background magnetic field during magnetic reconnection with no guide field is investigated by theory and two-dimensional electromagnetic particle-in-cell simulations and compared with acceleration due to the electric field perpendicular to the magnetic field. The magnitude of the parallel electric potential shows dependence on the ratio of the plasma frequency to the electron cyclotron frequency as (ωpe/Ωe)-2 and on the background plasma density as nb-1/2. In the Earth's magnetotail, the parameter ωpe/Ωe˜9 and the background (lobe) density can be of the order of 0.01 cm-3, and it is expected that the parallel electric potential is not large enough to accelerate electrons up to 100 keV. Therefore, we must consider the effect of the perpendicular electric field to account for electron energization in excess of 100 keV in the Earth's magnetotail. Trajectories for high-energy electrons are traced in a simulation to demonstrate that acceleration due to the perpendicular electric field in the diffusion region is the dominant acceleration mechanism, rather than acceleration due to the parallel electric fields in the exhaust regions. For energetic electrons accelerated near the X line due to the perpendicular electric field, pitch angle scattering converts the perpendicular momentum to the parallel momentum. On the other hand, for passing electrons that are mainly accelerated by the parallel electric field, pitch angle scattering converting the parallel momentum to the perpendicular momentum occurs. In this way, particle acceleration and pitch angle scattering will generate heated electrons in the exhaust regions.

  14. FAST MAGNETIC RECONNECTION AND PARTICLE ACCELERATION IN RELATIVISTIC LOW-DENSITY ELECTRON-POSITRON PLASMAS WITHOUT GUIDE FIELD

    SciTech Connect

    Bessho, Naoki; Bhattacharjee, A.

    2012-05-10

    Magnetic reconnection and particle acceleration in relativistic Harris sheets in low-density electron-positron plasmas with no guide field have been studied by means of two-dimensional particle-in-cell simulations. Reconnection rates are of the order of one when the background density in a Harris sheet is of the order of 1% of the density in the current sheet, which is consistent with previous results in the non-relativistic regime. It has been demonstrated that the increase of the Lorentz factors of accelerated particles significantly enhances the collisionless resistivity needed to sustain a large reconnection electric field. It is shown analytically and numerically that the energy spectrum of accelerated particles near the X-line is the product of a power law and an exponential function of energy, {gamma}{sup -1/4}exp (- a{gamma}{sup 1/2}), where {gamma} is the Lorentz factor and a is a constant. However, in the low-density regime, while the most energetic particles are produced near X-lines, many more particles are energized within magnetic islands. Particles are energized in contracting islands by multiple reflection, but the mechanism is different from Fermi acceleration in magnetic islands for magnetized particles in the presence of a guide field. In magnetic islands, strong core fields are generated and plasma beta values are reduced. As a consequence, the fire-hose instability condition is not satisfied in most of the island region, and island contraction and particle acceleration can continue. In island coalescence, reconnection between two islands can accelerate some particles, however, many particles are decelerated and cooled, which is contrary to what has been discussed in the literature on particle acceleration due to reconnection in non-relativistic hydrogen plasmas.

  15. Generation of Alfvénic waves and turbulence in reconnection jets

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hoshino, Masahiro; Higashimori, Katsuaki

    2015-05-01

    The magnetohydrodynamic linear stability with the localized bulk flow oriented parallel to the neutral sheet is investigated, by including the Hall effect and the guide magnetic field. We observe three different unstable modes: a "streaming tearing" mode at a slow flow speed, a "streaming sausage" mode at a medium flow speed, and a "streaming kink" mode at a fast flow speed. The streaming tearing and sausage modes have a standard tearing mode-like structure with symmetric density fluctuations in the neutral sheet, while the kink mode has an asymmetric fluctuation. The growth rate of the streaming tearing mode decreases with increasing magnetic Reynolds number, while the growth rates of the sausage and kink modes do not depend strongly on the Reynolds number. The sausage and kink modes can be unstable for not only super-Alfvénic flow but also sub-Alfvénic flow when the lobe density is low. The wavelengths of these unstable modes are of the same order of magnitude as the thickness of the plasma sheet. Their maximum growth rates are higher than that of a standard tearing mode, and under a strong guide magnetic field, the growth rates of the sausage and kink modes are enhanced, while under a weak guide magnetic field, they are suppressed. For a thin plasma sheet with the Hall effect, the fluctuations of the streaming modes can exist over the plasma sheet. These unstable modes may be regarded as being one of the processes generating Alfvénic turbulence in the plasma sheet during magnetic reconnection.

  16. Particle acceleration, transport and turbulence in cosmic and heliospheric physics

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Matthaeus, W.

    1992-01-01

    In this progress report, the long term goals, recent scientific progress, and organizational activities are described. The scientific focus of this annual report is in three areas: first, the physics of particle acceleration and transport, including heliospheric modulation and transport, shock acceleration and galactic propagation and reacceleration of cosmic rays; second, the development of theories of the interaction of turbulence and large scale plasma and magnetic field structures, as in winds and shocks; third, the elucidation of the nature of magnetohydrodynamic turbulence processes and the role such turbulence processes might play in heliospheric, galactic, cosmic ray physics, and other space physics applications.

  17. 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.

  18. Laminarization model for turbulent eddy transport in highly accelerated nozzle turbulent boundary layers

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Schmidt, J. F.; Boldman, D. R.; Todd, C.

    1972-01-01

    A laminarization model which consists of a completely laminar sublayer region near the wall and a turbulent wake region is developed for the turbulent eddy transport in accelerated turbulent boundary layers. This laminarization model is used in a differential boundary layer calculation which was applied to nozzle flows. The resulting theoretical velocity profiles are in good agreement with the experimental nozzle data in the convergent region.

  19. Re-assessing how much parallel and perpendicular electric fields accelerate electrons during magnetic reconnection

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bessho, Naoki; Chen, Li-Jen; Germaschewski, Kai; Bhattacharjee, Amitava

    2014-10-01

    By means of 2-D PIC simulations applicable to reconnection in the Earth's magnetotail, we show that the parallel electric field accelerates electrons only up to 40 keV, and further acceleration above that energy in fact comes from the perpendicular electric field, which can explain observations of energetic electrons with energies greater than 100 keV. We show that the parallel potential, which is the integral of the parallel electric field along the field line, is proportional to (ωpe /Ωe) - 2, and also to (nb /n0) - 1 / 2, where ωpe /Ωe is the ratio of the plasma frequency to the electron cyclotron frequency, and nb /n0 is the ratio of the lobe density to the density of the current sheet. Applying the parameters in the Earth's magnetotail to the above relations, we demonstrate that the parallel potential is not more than 40 keV. In addition to pitch angle scattering from the parallel to the perpendicular velocity for electron beams along magnetic field, which was suggested in previous studies, energetic electrons accelerated by the perpendicular electric field experience pitch angle scattering from the perpendicular to the parallel velocity, which can isotropize plasma in the exhaust.

  20. KINETIC MODELING OF PARTICLE ACCELERATION IN A SOLAR NULL-POINT RECONNECTION REGION

    SciTech Connect

    Baumann, G.; Haugbolle, T.; Nordlund, A.

    2013-07-10

    The primary focus of this paper is on the particle acceleration mechanism in solar coronal three-dimensional reconnection null-point regions. Starting from a potential field extrapolation of a Solar and Heliospheric Observatory (SOHO) magnetogram taken on 2002 November 16, we first performed magnetohydrodynamics (MHD) simulations with horizontal motions observed by SOHO applied to the photospheric boundary of the computational box. After a build-up of electric current in the fan plane of the null point, a sub-section of the evolved MHD data was used as initial and boundary conditions for a kinetic particle-in-cell model of the plasma. We find that sub-relativistic electron acceleration is mainly driven by a systematic electric field in the current sheet. A non-thermal population of electrons with a power-law distribution in energy forms in the simulated pre-flare phase, featuring a power-law index of about -1.78. This work provides a first step toward bridging the gap between macroscopic scales on the order of hundreds of Mm and kinetic scales on the order of centimeter in the solar corona, and explains how to achieve such a cross-scale coupling by utilizing either physical modifications or (equivalent) modifications of the constants of nature. With their exceptionally high resolution-up to 135 billion particles and 3.5 billion grid cells of size 17.5 km-these simulations offer a new opportunity to study particle acceleration in solar-like settings.

  1. Electron Acceleration by Cascading Reconnection in the Solar Corona. I. Magnetic Gradient and Curvature Drift Effects

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Zhou, X.; Büchner, J.; Bárta, M.; Gan, W.; Liu, S.

    2015-12-01

    We investigate the electron acceleration by magnetic gradient and curvature drift effects in cascading magnetic reconnection of a coronal current sheet via a test particle method in the framework of the guiding center approximation. After several Alfvén transit times, most of the electrons injected at the current sheet are still trapped in the magnetic islands. A small fraction of the injected electrons precipitate into the chromosphere. The acceleration of trapped electrons is dominated by the magnetic curvature drifts, which change the parallel momentum of the electron, and appears to be more efficient than the acceleration of precipitating electrons, which is dominated by the perpendicular momentum change caused by the magnetic gradient drifts. With the resulting trapped energetic electron distribution, the corresponding hard X-ray (HXR) radiation spectra are calculated using an optically thin Bremsstrahlung model. Trapped electrons may explain flare loop top HXR emission as well as the observed bright spots along current sheets trailing coronal mass ejections. The asymmetry of precipitating electrons with respect to the polarity inversion line may contribute to the observed asymmetry of footpoint emission.

  2. 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.

  3. Quantum lattice gas algorithm for quantum turbulence and vortex reconnection in the Gross-Pitaevskii equation

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Vahala, George; Yepez, Jeffrey; Vahala, Linda

    2008-04-01

    The ground state wave function for a Bose Einstein condensate is well described by the Gross-Pitaevskii equation. A Type-II quantum algorithm is devised that is ideally parallelized even on a classical computer. Only 2 qubits are required per spatial node. With unitary local collisions, streaming of entangled states and a spatially inhomogeneous unitary gauge rotation one recovers the Gross-Pitaevskii equation. Quantum vortex reconnection is simulated - even without any viscosity or resistivity (which are needed in classical vortex reconnection).

  4. Acceleration PDFs of particles in rotating turbulent convection

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Clercx, Herman; Perlekar, Prasad; Lavezzo, Valentina; Toschi, Federico

    2012-11-01

    Particle dispersion in buoyancy-driven rotating turbulent flows has direct relevance for many industrial and environmental applications. We have used a Lattice Boltzmann Method coupled with Lagrangian particle tracking algorithm to investigate the behaviour of passive and inertial particles released in turbulent rotating Rayleigh-Bénard (RB) convection. The flow domain is horizontally periodic and vertically confined. Both the gravity and the rotation vector are oriented in the vertical direction. Here we present the results of the acceleration PDFs of particles in both non-rotating and strongly rotating RB convection. It is found that the bulk acceleration PDF in non-rotating RB turbulence is like in homogeneous isotropic turbulence whereas rotation introduces anisotropy similar to acceleration PDFs obtained from experiments in (isothermal) forced rotating turbulence. These results and those obtained for inertial particles will be discussed. PP and VL were financially supported by the Foundation for Fundamental Research on Matter (FOM), which is part of NWO. This work was sponsored by NWO-NCF (SH-176).

  5. Microbubbles and Microparticles are Not Faithful Tracers of Turbulent Acceleration

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Mathai, Varghese; Calzavarini, Enrico; Brons, Jon; Sun, Chao; Lohse, Detlef

    2016-07-01

    We report on the Lagrangian statistics of acceleration of small (sub-Kolmogorov) bubbles and tracer particles with Stokes number St ≪1 in turbulent flow. At a decreasing Reynolds number, the bubble accelerations show deviations from that of tracer particles; i.e., they deviate from the Heisenberg-Yaglom prediction and show a quicker decorrelation despite their small size and minute St. Using direct numerical simulations, we show that these effects arise due the drift of these particles through the turbulent flow. We theoretically predict this gravity-driven effect for developed isotropic turbulence, with the ratio of Stokes to Froude number or equivalently the particle drift velocity governing the enhancement of acceleration variance and the reductions in correlation time and intermittency. Our predictions are in good agreement with experimental and numerical results. The present findings are relevant to a range of scenarios encompassing tiny bubbles and droplets that drift through the turbulent oceans and the atmosphere. They also question the common usage of microbubbles and microdroplets as tracers in turbulence research.

  6. Microbubbles and Microparticles are Not Faithful Tracers of Turbulent Acceleration.

    PubMed

    Mathai, Varghese; Calzavarini, Enrico; Brons, Jon; Sun, Chao; Lohse, Detlef

    2016-07-01

    We report on the Lagrangian statistics of acceleration of small (sub-Kolmogorov) bubbles and tracer particles with Stokes number St≪1 in turbulent flow. At a decreasing Reynolds number, the bubble accelerations show deviations from that of tracer particles; i.e., they deviate from the Heisenberg-Yaglom prediction and show a quicker decorrelation despite their small size and minute St. Using direct numerical simulations, we show that these effects arise due the drift of these particles through the turbulent flow. We theoretically predict this gravity-driven effect for developed isotropic turbulence, with the ratio of Stokes to Froude number or equivalently the particle drift velocity governing the enhancement of acceleration variance and the reductions in correlation time and intermittency. Our predictions are in good agreement with experimental and numerical results. The present findings are relevant to a range of scenarios encompassing tiny bubbles and droplets that drift through the turbulent oceans and the atmosphere. They also question the common usage of microbubbles and microdroplets as tracers in turbulence research. PMID:27447509

  7. Inertial-particle accelerations in turbulence: a Lagrangian closure

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Vajedi, S.; Gustavsson, K.; Mehlig, B.; Biferale, L.

    2016-07-01

    The distribution of particle accelerations in turbulence is intermittent, with non-Gaussian tails that are quite different for light and heavy particles. In this article we analyse a closure scheme for the acceleration fluctuations of light and heavy inertial particles in turbulence, formulated in terms of Lagrangian correlation functions of fluid tracers. We compute the variance and the flatness of inertial particle accelerations and we discuss their dependency on the Stokes number. The closure incorporates effects induced by the Lagrangian correlations along the trajectories of fluid tracers, and its predictions agree well with results of direct numerical simulations of inertial particles in turbulence, provided that the effects induced by the inertial preferential sampling of heavy/light particles outside/inside vortices are negligible. In particular, the scheme predicts the correct functional behaviour of the acceleration variance, as a function of Stokes, as well as the presence of a minimum/maximum for the flatness of the acceleration of heavy/light particles, in good qualitative agreement with numerical data. We also show that the closure works well when applied to the Lagrangian evolution of particles using a stochastic surrogate for the underlying Eulerian velocity field. Our results support the conclusion that there exist important contributions to the statistics of the acceleration of inertial particles independent of the preferential sampling. For heavy particles we observe deviations between the predictions of the closure scheme and direct numerical simulations, at Stokes numbers of order unity. For light particles the deviation occurs for larger Stokes numbers.

  8. Statistical acceleration of electrons by lower-hybrid turbulence

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Wu, C. S.; Gaffey, J. D., Jr.; Liberman, B.

    1981-01-01

    The statistical acceleration of electrons along an ambient magnetic field by large-amplitude lower-hybrid turbulence is discussed. Perturbations driven by a crossfield current and propagating nearly perpendicular to the applied magnetic field are considered. It is assumed that the instability saturates rapidly and that the fluctuating electric field is predominantly electrostatic. If the turbulence is characterized by a spectrum of small parallel wavenumbers, such that the parallel phase velocity of the waves is greater than the electron thermal velocity, then the turbulence can only accelerate electrons moving with large velocities along the magnetic field. The quasi-linear diffusion equation is solved using a Green's function technique, assuming a power law spectral energy density. The time evolution of an initial Maxwellian distribution is given and the time rate of change of the mean electron energy is calculated for various cases.

  9. 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.

  10. 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.

  11. Stochastic Particle Acceleration in Turbulence Generated by Magnetorotational Instability

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kimura, Shigeo S.; Toma, Kenji; Suzuki, Takeru K.; Inutsuka, Shu-ichiro

    2016-05-01

    We investigate stochastic particle acceleration in accretion flows. It is believed that magnetorotational instability (MRI) generates turbulence inside accretion flows and that cosmic rays (CRs) are accelerated by the turbulence. We calculate equations of motion for CRs in the turbulent fields generated by MRI with the shearing box approximation and without back reaction to the field. Our results show that the CRs randomly gain or lose their energy through interaction with the turbulent fields. The CRs diffuse in the configuration space anisotropically: the diffusion coefficient in the direction of the unperturbed flow is about 20 times higher than the Bohm coefficient, while those in the other directions are only a few times higher than the Bohm. The momentum distribution is isotropic and its evolution can be described by the diffusion equation in momentum space where the diffusion coefficient is a power-law function of the CR momentum. We show that the shear acceleration works efficiently for energetic particles. We also cautiously note that in the shearing box approximation, particles that cross the simulation box many times along the radial direction undergo unphysical runaway acceleration by the Lorentz transformation, which needs to be taken into account with special care.

  12. 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

  13. Turbulent Fluid Acceleration Generates Clusters of Gyrotactic Microorganisms

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    De Lillo, Filippo; Cencini, Massimo; Durham, William M.; Barry, Michael; Stocker, Roman; Climent, Eric; Boffetta, Guido

    2014-01-01

    The motility of microorganisms is often biased by gradients in physical and chemical properties of their environment, with myriad implications on their ecology. Here we show that fluid acceleration reorients gyrotactic plankton, triggering small-scale clustering. We experimentally demonstrate this phenomenon by studying the distribution of the phytoplankton Chlamydomonas augustae within a rotating tank and find it to be in good agreement with a new, generalized model of gyrotaxis. When this model is implemented in a direct numerical simulation of turbulent flow, we find that fluid acceleration generates multifractal plankton clustering, with faster and more stable cells producing stronger clustering. By producing accumulations in high-vorticity regions, this process is fundamentally different from clustering by gravitational acceleration, expanding the range of mechanisms by which turbulent flows can impact the spatial distribution of active suspensions.

  14. Pulsating instability and self-acceleration of fast turbulent flames

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Poludnenko, Alexei Y.

    2015-01-01

    A series of three-dimensional numerical simulations is used to study the intrinsic stability of high-speed turbulent flames. Calculations model the interaction of a fully resolved premixed flame with a highly subsonic, statistically steady, homogeneous, isotropic turbulence. The computational domain is unconfined to prevent the onset of thermoacoustic instabilities. We consider a wide range of turbulent intensities and system sizes, corresponding to the Damköhler numbers Da = 0.1 - 6.0. These calculations show that turbulent flames in the regimes considered are intrinsically unstable. In particular, we find three effects. (1) Turbulent flame speed, ST, develops pulsations with the observed peak-to-peak amplitude ST max / ST min > 10 and a characteristic time scale close to a large-scale eddy turnover time. Such variability is caused by the interplay between turbulence, which continuously creates the flame surface, and highly intermittent flame collisions, which consume the flame surface. (2) Unstable burning results in the periodic pressure build-up and the formation of pressure waves or shocks, when ST approaches or exceeds the speed of a Chapman-Jouguet deflagration. (3) Coupling of pressure gradients formed during pulsations with density gradients across the flame leads to the anisotropic amplification of turbulence inside the flame volume and flame acceleration. Such process, which is driven by the baroclinic term in the vorticity transport equation, is a reacting-flow analog of the mechanism underlying the Richtmyer-Meshkov instability. With the increase in turbulent intensity, the limit-cycle instability discussed here transitions to the regime described in our previous work, in which the growth of ST becomes unbounded and produces a detonation.

  15. Multigrid acceleration and turbulence models for computations of 3D turbulent jets in crossflow

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Demuren, A. O.

    1992-01-01

    A multigrid method is presented for the calculation of three-dimensional turbulent jets in crossflow. Turbulence closure is achieved with either the standard k-epsilon model or a Reynolds stress model (RSM). Multigrid acceleration enables convergence rates which are far superior to that for a single grid method to be obtained with both turbulence models. With the k-epsilon model the rate approaches that for laminar flow, but with RSM it is somewhat slower. The increased stiffness of the system of equation in the latter may be responsible. Computed results with both turbulence models are compared to experimental data for a pair of opposed jets in crossflow. Both models yield reasonable agreement for the mean flow velocity, but RSM yields better predictions of the Reynolds stresses.

  16. Probing Turbulence and Acceleration at Relativistic Shocks in Blazar Jets

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Baring, Matthew G.; Boettcher, Markus; Summerlin, Errol J.

    2016-04-01

    Acceleration at relativistic shocks is likely to be important in various astrophysical jet sources, including blazars and other radio-loud active galaxies. An important recent development for blazar science is the ability of Fermi-LAT data to pin down the power-law index of the high energy portion of emission in these sources, and therefore also the index of the underlying non-thermal particle population. This paper highlights how multiwavelength spectra including X-ray band and Fermi data can be used to probe diffusive acceleration in relativistic, oblique, MHD shocks in blazar jets. The spectral index of the non-thermal particle distributions resulting from Monte Carlo simulations of shock acceleration, and the fraction of thermal particles accelerated to non-thermal energies, depend sensitively on the particles' mean free path scale, and also on the mean magnetic field obliquity to the shock normal. We investigate the radiative synchrotron/Compton signatures of thermal and non-thermal particle distributions generated from the acceleration simulations. Important constraints on the frequency of particle scattering and the level of field turbulence are identified for the jet sources Mrk 501, AO 0235+164 and Bl Lacertae. Results suggest the interpretation that turbulence levels decline with remoteness from jet shocks, with a significant role for non-gyroresonant diffusion.

  17. Heating and acceleration of ions in nonresonant Alfvenic turbulence

    SciTech Connect

    Nariyuki, Y.; Hada, T.; Tsubouchi, K.

    2010-07-15

    Nonlinear scattering of protons and alpha particles during the dissipation of the finite amplitude, low-frequency Alfvenic turbulence is studied. The process discussed here is not the coherent scattering and acceleration, as those often treated in the past studies, but is an incoherent process in which it is essential that the Alfvenic turbulence has a broadband spectrum. The presence of such an Alfvenic turbulence is widely recognized observationally both in the solar corona and in the solar wind. Numerical results suggest that, although there is no apparent sign of the occurrence of any parametric instabilities, the ions are heated efficiently by the nonlinear Landau damping, i.e., trapping and phase mixing by Alfven wave packets which are generated by beating of finite amplitude Alfven waves. The heating occurs both in the parallel and in the perpendicular directions, and the ion distribution function which is asymmetric with respect to the parallel velocity is produced. Eventual perpendicular energy of ions is much influenced by the spectrum and polarization of the given Alfvenic turbulence since the turbulence initially possess transverse energy as specified by Walen's relation.

  18. Thermodynamic constraints on stochastic acceleration in compressional turbulence.

    PubMed

    Fisk, Lennard A; Gloeckler, George

    2007-04-01

    Recent observations in the solar wind have revealed an important phenomenon. In circumstances where stochastic acceleration is expected, a suprathermal tail on the distribution function is formed with a common spectral shape: the spectrum is a power law in particle speed with a spectral index of -5. This common spectrum occurs in the quiet solar wind; in disturbed conditions downstream from shocks; and, in particular, throughout the heliosheath downstream from the termination shock of the solar wind currently being explored by Voyager 1. In this article, simple thermodynamic principles are applied to stochastic acceleration in compressional turbulence. The unique spectral index results when the entropy of the suprathermal tail has increased to the maximum allowable value. Relationships for the pressure in the suprathermal tail are also derived and found to be in agreement with observations. The results are shown to be consistent with the suprathermal tail arising from a cascade in energy, analogous to a turbulent cascade. The results may be applied broadly, because stochastic acceleration in compressional turbulence should be common in many astrophysical settings. PMID:17376865

  19. A CLASSIFICATION SCHEME FOR TURBULENT ACCELERATION PROCESSES IN SOLAR FLARES

    SciTech Connect

    Bian, Nicolas; Kontar, Eduard P.; Emslie, A. Gordon E-mail: eduard@astro.gla.ac.uk

    2012-08-01

    We establish a classification scheme for stochastic acceleration models involving low-frequency plasma turbulence in a strongly magnetized plasma. This classification takes into account both the properties of the accelerating electromagnetic field, and the nature of the transport of charged particles in the acceleration region. We group the acceleration processes as either resonant, non-resonant, or resonant-broadened, depending on whether the particle motion is free-streaming along the magnetic field, diffusive, or a combination of the two. Stochastic acceleration by moving magnetic mirrors and adiabatic compressions are addressed as illustrative examples. We obtain expressions for the momentum-dependent diffusion coefficient D(p), both for general forms of the accelerating force and for the situation when the electromagnetic force is wave-like, with a specified dispersion relation {omega} = {omega}(k). Finally, for models considered, we calculate the energy-dependent acceleration time, a quantity that can be directly compared with observations of the time profile of the radiation field produced by the accelerated particles, such as those occuring during solar flares.

  20. Multigrid acceleration and turbulence models for computations of 3D turbulent jets in crossflow

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Demuren, A. O.

    1991-01-01

    A multigrid method is presented for the calculation of three-dimensional turbulent jets in crossflow. Turbulence closure is achieved with either the standard k-epsilon model or a Reynolds Stress Model (RSM). Multigrid acceleration enables convergence rates which are far superior to that for a single grid method. With the k-epsilon model the rate approaches that for laminar flow, but with RSM it is somewhat slower. The increased stiffness of the system of equations in the latter may be responsible. Computed results with both turbulence models are compared with experimental data for a pair of opposed jets in crossflow. Both models yield reasonable agreement with mean flow velocity but RSM yields better prediction of the Reynolds stresses.

  1. Mechanics of viscous vortex reconnection

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hussain, Fazle; Duraisamy, Karthik

    2011-02-01

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

  2. Ion acceleration dependence on magnetic shear angle in dayside magnetopause reconnection

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Vines, S. K.; Fuselier, S. A.; Trattner, K. J.; Petrinec, S. M.; Drake, J. F.

    2015-09-01

    Magnetic reconnection at the Earth's magnetopause plays an important role in magnetospheric dynamics. Understanding the dynamics requires theory and observations. Previous theoretical work suggests that for no guide field, ions in the exhaust region on the magnetosheath side of the boundary counterstream with a velocity separation that is twice the upstream Alfvén speed (vA) and that the counterstreaming velocity decreases with increasing guide field. These theoretical predictions are tested for reconnection at the Earth's magnetopause using observations from the Cluster spacecraft. The difference between the incident and reflected ion velocities (vsep) in the magnetosheath boundary layer ion populations is used to determine the exhaust velocity. The ratio of vsep over twice the Alfvén speed (RV = vsep/2vA,L) is predicted to approach 1 for reconnection with shear angles near 180° (no guide field) but is observed to reach a value of approximately 0.84 for the magnetopause crossings analyzed with shear angles near 180°. This value is consistent with previous observations of ion velocities from reconnection at the magnetopause investigated using the Walén relation. While magnetic shear angle can contribute to the disagreement between observations and the Walén relation, it does not play a large role, given the reduced ratio for the events near 180° in this study.

  3. EXTREME PARTICLE ACCELERATION IN MAGNETIC RECONNECTION LAYERS: APPLICATION TO THE GAMMA-RAY FLARES IN THE CRAB NEBULA

    SciTech Connect

    Cerutti, Benoit; Uzdensky, Dmitri A.; Begelman, Mitchell C. E-mail: uzdensky@colorado.edu

    2012-02-20

    The gamma-ray space telescopes AGILE and Fermi detected short and bright synchrotron gamma-ray flares at photon energies above 100 MeV in the Crab Nebula. This discovery suggests that electron-positron pairs in the nebula are accelerated to PeV energies in a milligauss magnetic field, which is difficult to explain with classical models of particle acceleration and pulsar wind nebulae. We investigate whether particle acceleration in a magnetic reconnection layer can account for the puzzling properties of the flares. We numerically integrate relativistic test-particle orbits in the vicinity of the layer, including the radiation reaction force, and using analytical expressions for the large-scale electromagnetic fields. As they get accelerated by the reconnection electric field, the particles are focused deep inside the current layer where the magnetic field is small. The electrons suffer less from synchrotron losses and are accelerated to extremely high energies. Population studies show that, at the end of the layer, the particle distribution piles up at the maximum energy given by the electric potential drop and is focused into a thin fan beam. Applying this model to the Crab Nebula, we find that the emerging synchrotron emission spectrum peaks above 100 MeV and is close to the spectral shape of a single electron. The flare inverse Compton emission is negligible and no detectable emission is expected at other wavelengths. This mechanism provides a plausible explanation for the gamma-ray flares in the Crab Nebula and could be at work in other astrophysical objects such as relativistic jets in active galactic nuclei.

  4. Turbulent Heating and Wave Pressure in Solar Wind Acceleration Modeling: New Insights to Empirical Forecasting of the Solar Wind

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Woolsey, L. N.; Cranmer, S. R.

    2013-12-01

    The study of solar wind acceleration has made several important advances recently due to improvements in modeling techniques. Existing code and simulations test the competing theories for coronal heating, which include reconnection/loop-opening (RLO) models and wave/turbulence-driven (WTD) models. In order to compare and contrast the validity of these theories, we need flexible tools that predict the emergent solar wind properties from a wide range of coronal magnetic field structures such as coronal holes, pseudostreamers, and helmet streamers. ZEPHYR (Cranmer et al. 2007) is a one-dimensional magnetohydrodynamics code that includes Alfven wave generation and reflection and the resulting turbulent heating to accelerate solar wind in open flux tubes. We present the ZEPHYR output for a wide range of magnetic field geometries to show the effect of the magnetic field profiles on wind properties. We also investigate the competing acceleration mechanisms found in ZEPHYR to determine the relative importance of increased gas pressure from turbulent heating and the separate pressure source from the Alfven waves. To do so, we developed a code that will become publicly available for solar wind prediction. This code, TEMPEST, provides an outflow solution based on only one input: the magnetic field strength as a function of height above the photosphere. It uses correlations found in ZEPHYR between the magnetic field strength at the source surface and the temperature profile of the outflow solution to compute the wind speed profile based on the increased gas pressure from turbulent heating. With this initial solution, TEMPEST then adds in the Alfven wave pressure term to the modified Parker equation and iterates to find a stable solution for the wind speed. This code, therefore, can make predictions of the wind speeds that will be observed at 1 AU based on extrapolations from magnetogram data, providing a useful tool for empirical forecasting of the sol! ar wind.

  5. Magnetic Reconnection-Powered Relativistic Particle Acceleration, High-Energy Gamma-Ray Emission, and Pair Production in Coronae of Accreting Black Holes

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Uzdensky, Dmitri

    2015-11-01

    Magnetic reconnection is a fundamental plasma process believed to play an important role in energetics of magnetically-dominated coronae of various astrophysical objects including accreting black holes. Building up on recent advances in kinetic simulations of relativistic collisionless reconnection, we investigate nonthermal particle acceleration and its key observational consequences for these systems. We argue that reconnection can efficiently accelerate coronal electrons (as well as ions) up to hundreds of MeV or even GeV energies. In brightest systems, radiation back-reaction due to inverse-Compton (and/or synchrotron) emission becomes important at these energies and limits any further electron acceleration, thereby turning reconnection layers into powerful and efficient radiators of γ-rays. We then evaluate the rate of absorption of the resulting γ-ray photons by the ambient soft (X-ray) photon fields and show that it can be a significant source of pair production, with important implications for the composition of black-hole coronae and jets. Finally, we assess the prospects of laboratory studies of magnetic reconnection in the physical regimes relevant to black-hole accretion flows using modern and future laser-plasma facilities. This work is supported by DOE, NSF, and NASA.

  6. Large scale electron acceleration by parallel electric fields during magnetic reconnection

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2011-10-01

    Magnetic reconnection is an ubiquitous phenomenon in plasmas. It permits an explosive release of energy through changes in the magnetic field line topology. In the Earth's magnetotail, reconnection energizes electrons up to hundreds of keV and solar flares events can channel up to 50% of the magnetic energy into the electrons resulting in superthermal populations. Electron energization is also fundamentally important to astrophysical applications, where X-rays generated by relativistic electrons provide a unique window into the extreme environments. Here we show that during reconnection powerful energization of electrons by E∥ can occur over spatial scales which hugely exceed what previously thought possible. Thus, our results are contrary to a fundamental assumption that a hot plasma - a highly conducting medium for electrical current - cannot support any significant E∥ over length scales large compared to the small electron inertial length de = c /ωpe . In our model E∥ is supported by strongly anisotropic features in the electron distributions not permitted in standard fluid formulations, but routinely observed by spacecraft in the Earth's magnetosphere. This allows for electron energization in spatial regions that exceed the regular de scale electron diffusion region by at least three orders of magnitude. Magnetic reconnection is an ubiquitous phenomenon in plasmas. It permits an explosive release of energy through changes in the magnetic field line topology. In the Earth's magnetotail, reconnection energizes electrons up to hundreds of keV and solar flares events can channel up to 50% of the magnetic energy into the electrons resulting in superthermal populations. Electron energization is also fundamentally important to astrophysical applications, where X-rays generated by relativistic electrons provide a unique window into the extreme environments. Here we show that during reconnection powerful energization of electrons by E∥ can occur over spatial

  7. Large scale electron acceleration by parallel electric fields during magnetic reconnection

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2011-10-01

    Magnetic reconnection is an ubiquitous phenomenon in plasmas. It permits an explosive release of energy through changes in the magnetic field line topology. In the Earth's magnetotail, reconnection energizes electrons up to hundreds of keV and solar flares events can channel up to 50% of the magnetic energy into the electrons. Electron energization is also fundamentally important toastrophysical applications, where X-rays generated by relativistic electrons provide a unique window into the extreme environments. Here we show that during reconnection powerful energization of electrons by E∥ can occur over spatial scales which hugely exceed what previously thought possible. Thus, our results are contrary to a fundamental assumption that a hot plasma - a highly conducting medium for electrical current - cannot support any significant E∥ over length scales large compared to the small electron inertial length de = c /ωpe . In our model E∥ is supported by non-thermal and strongly anisotropic features in the electron distributions not permitted in standard fluid formulations, but routinely observed by spacecraft in the Earth's magnetosphere. This allows for electron energization in spatial regions that excide the regular de scale electron diffusion region by at least three orders of magnitude. This work was supported by NSF CAREER Award 0844620.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Khabarova, O.; Zharkova, V. V.

    2014-12-01

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

  9. Lagrangian velocity, acceleration and vorticity autocorrelations in rotating turbulence

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Clercx, Herman J. H.; Del Castello, Lorenzo

    2010-11-01

    The influence of the Earth background rotation on oceanic and atmospheric currents, as well as the effects of a rapid rotation on the flow inside industrial machineries like mixers, turbines, and compressors, are typical examples of fluid flows affected by rotation. Rotating turbulence has often been studied by means of numerical simulations and analytical models, but the experimental data available is scarce and purely of Eulerian nature. In the present study, experiments on continuously forced turbulence subjected to different background rotation rates are performed by means of 3D Particle Tracking Velocimetry. The data collected is processed in the Lagrangian frame, as well as in the Eulerian one. The background rotation is confirmed to induce 2-dimensionalisation of the velocity field, and the large-scales are dominated by stable counter-rotating vertical tubes of vorticity. The auto- correlation coefficients along particle trajectories of velocity, acceleration and vorticity components have been explored, and in this talk the effects of rotation on the Lagrangian temporal scales of the flow will be discussed.

  10. Turbulent Deflagrated Flame Interaction with a Fluidic Jet Flow for Deflagration-to-Detonation Flame Acceleration

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Chambers, Jessica; McGarry, Joseph; Ahmed, Kareem

    2015-11-01

    Detonation is a high energetic mode of pressure gain combustion. Detonation combustion exploits the pressure rise to augment high flow momentum and thermodynamic cycle efficiencies. The driving mechanism of deflagrated flame acceleration to detonation is turbulence generation and induction. A fluidic jet is an innovative method for the production of turbulence intensities and flame acceleration. Compared to traditional obstacles, the jet reduces the pressure losses and heat soak effects while providing turbulence generation control. The investigation characterizes the turbulent flame-flow interactions. The focus of the study is on classifying the turbulent flame dynamics and the temporal evolution of turbulent flame regime. The turbulent flame-flow interactions are experimentally studied using a LEGO Detonation facility. Advanced high-speed laser diagnostics, particle image velocimetry (PIV), planar laser induced florescence (PLIF), and Schlieren imaging are used in analyzing the physics of the interaction and flame acceleration. Higher turbulence induction is observed within the turbulent flame after contact with the jet, leading to increased flame burning rates. The interaction with the fluidic jet results in turbulent flame transition from the thin reaction zones to the broken reaction regime.

  11. Numerical models for the diffuse ionized gas in galaxies. I. Synthetic spectra of thermally excited gas with turbulent magnetic reconnection as energy source

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hoffmann, T. L.; Lieb, S.; Pauldrach, A. W. A.; Lesch, H.; Hultzsch, P. J. N.; Birk, G. T.

    2012-08-01

    Aims: The aim of this work is to verify whether turbulent magnetic reconnection can provide the additional energy input required to explain the up to now only poorly understood ionization mechanism of the diffuse ionized gas (DIG) in galaxies and its observed emission line spectra. Methods: We use a detailed non-LTE radiative transfer code that does not make use of the usual restrictive gaseous nebula approximations to compute synthetic spectra for gas at low densities. Excitation of the gas is via an additional heating term in the energy balance as well as by photoionization. Numerical values for this heating term are derived from three-dimensional resistive magnetohydrodynamic two-fluid plasma-neutral-gas simulations to compute energy dissipation rates for the DIG under typical conditions. Results: Our simulations show that magnetic reconnection can liberate enough energy to by itself fully or partially ionize the gas. However, synthetic spectra from purely thermally excited gas are incompatible with the observed spectra; a photoionization source must additionally be present to establish the correct (observed) ionization balance in the gas.

  12. Collisionless Three-dimensional Reconnection In Impulsive Solar Flares

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Somov, Boris V.; Kosugi, Takeo; Sakao, Taro

    1998-04-01

    Two subclasses of impulsive solar flares, observed with the Hard X-Ray Telescope (HXT) onboard Yohkoh, have been discovered by Sakao et al. The two subclasses can be characterized as more impulsive (MI) and less impulsive (LI) flares, the former having a shorter total duration of the impulsive phase in the hard X-ray emission than the latter. We assume that in both subclasses, the collisionless three-dimensional reconnection process occurs at the separator with a longitudinal magnetic field. The high-temperature turbulent-current sheet (HTTCS), located along the separator, generates accelerated particles and fast outflows of ``superhot'' (T >= 30 MK) plasma. Powerful anomalous heat-conductive fluxes along the reconnected field lines maintain a high temperature in the superhot plasma. The difference between the LI and MI flares presumably appears because the footpoint separation (the distance between two brightest hard X-ray sources) increases in time in the LI flares, but decreases in the MI flares. According to our model, in the LI flares the three-dimensional reconnection process accompanies an increase in the longitudinal magnetic field at the separator. In contrast, in the MI flares the reconnection proceeds with a decrease of the longitudinal field; hence, the reconnection rate is higher in the MI flares. Since reconnection in the MI flares proceeds with a decrease of the longitudinal field, the reconnected field lines become shorter in this process. As the reconnected lines become shorter, accelerated electron beams arrive at the upper chromosphere faster. So, in the MI flares chromospheric evaporation begins earlier than in the LI flares. The evaporation process driven by accelerated electron beams generates upflows of ``warm'' (T <= 10 MK) plasma that interacts with downflows of superhot plasma and can switch off the accumulation of superhot plasma in the MI flares during the impulsive phase. In the LI flares, however, an observable amount of superhot

  13. Measurements in Transitional Boundary Layers Under High Free-Stream Turbulence and Strong Acceleration Conditions.

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Volino, Ralph John

    1995-01-01

    Measurements from transitional, heated boundary layers along a concave-curved test wall are presented and discussed. A boundary layer subject to low free-stream turbulence intensity (FSTI), which contains stationary streamwise (Gortler) vortices, is documented. The low FSTI measurements are followed by measurements in boundary layers subject to high (initially 8%) free-stream turbulence intensity and moderate to strong (K = {nuover U_sp{infty} {2}}{dUinftyover dx} as high as 9times 10^{ -6}) acceleration. The high FSTI experiments are the main focus of the work. Conditions were chosen to simulate those present on the downstream half of the pressure side of a gas turbine airfoil. The high FSTI boundary layers undergo transition from a strongly disturbed non-turbulent state to a fully-turbulent state. Due to the stabilizing effect of strong acceleration, the transition zones are of extended length in spite of the high FSTI. Transitional values of skin friction coefficients and Stanton numbers drop below flat-plate, low FSTI, turbulent flow correlations, but remain well above laminar flow values. Mean velocity and temperature profiles exhibit clear changes in shape as the flow passes through transition. Turbulence statistics, including the turbulent shear stress, turbulent heat flux, and turbulent Prandtl number, are documented. Turbulent transport is strongly suppressed below values in unaccelerated turbulent boundary layers. A technique called "octant analysis" is introduced and applied to several cases from the literature as well as to data from the present study. Octant analysis shows a fundamental difference between transitional and fully-turbulent boundary layers. Transitional boundary layers are characterized by incomplete mixing compared to fully-turbulent boundary layers. Similar octant analysis results are observed in both low and high FSTI cases. Spectral analysis suggests that the non-turbulent zone of the high FSTI flow is dominated by large scale

  14. Vorticity, turbulence production, and turbulence induced accelerations in a rectangular jet as measured using 3-D LDA

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Morrison, Gerald L.; Swan, David H.

    1990-01-01

    The flow field of a rectangular jet with a 4:1 aspect ratio (50.4 x 12.7 mm) was studied at a Reynolds number of 100,000 (Mach number 0.09) using a 3-D laser Doppler anemometer system. Measurements were performed along the major and minor axis planes and at various downstream cross-sections of the jet. The mean velocity vector and entire Reynolds stress tensor were measured and presented in a previous publication. The present work presents the vorticity vector, turbulence production, and turbulence induced acceleration vector distributions which were calculated from the previously presented data.

  15. 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.

  16. Hall MHD Stability and Turbulence in Magnetically Accelerated Plasmas

    SciTech Connect

    H. R. Strauss

    2012-11-27

    The object of the research was to develop theory and carry out simulations of the Z pinch and plasma opening switch (POS), and compare with experimental results. In the case of the Z pinch, there was experimental evidence of ion kinetic energy greatly in excess of the ion thermal energy. It was thought that this was perhaps due to fine scale turbulence. The simulations showed that the ion energy was predominantly laminar, not turbulent. Preliminary studies of a new Z pinch experiment with an axial magnetic field were carried out. The axial magnetic is relevant to magneto - inertial fusion. These studies indicate the axial magnetic field makes the Z pinch more turbulent. Results were also obtained on Hall magnetohydrodynamic instability of the POS.

  17. Turbulent Rayleigh-Taylor flow driven by time-varying accelerations

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ramaprabhu, Praveen; Lawrie, Andrew; Muthuraman, Karthik; UNC-LMFA Collaboration

    2011-11-01

    We report on numerical simulations of turbulent Rayleigh-Taylor flow subject to variable acceleration histories. The acceleration profiles were inspired by experiments and theoretical studies, and include an impulsive acceleration, accel-decel profiles, as well as a constant drive as the baseline case. The simulations were performed using the MOBILE software, a variable-density, incompressible fluid flow code. The advection algorithm employs a 3rd-order, monotonicity-preserving upwind scheme, allowing the definition of sharp interfaces in the flow, while pressure convergence is accelerated by the use of a multi-grid scheme. The simulations are initialized with two classes of perturbations: narrow-band, short-wavelength modes and broadband with long-wavelength modes. The effect of initial amplitudes on the perturbations is investigated under the variable drive conditions. The acceleration profiles are capable of producing stages of ``demixing,'' useful in validating turbulence models of RTI.

  18. On Lagrangian and Eulerian Acceleration in Rotating and Sheared Homogeneous Turbulence

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Jacobitz, Frank; Schneider, Kai; Bos, Wouter; Farge, Marie

    2013-11-01

    The Lagrangian and Eulerian acceleration properties of turbulence are of importance for problems ranging from fundamental theoretical considerations to modeling of dispersion processes. The acceleration statistics of rotating and sheared homogeneous turbulence are studied here using direct numerical simulations. The study focusses in particular on the influence of the Coriolis to shear rate ratio and also on the scale dependence of the statistics. The probability density functions (pdfs) of both Lagrangian and Eulerian acceleration show a strong and similar influence on the rotation ratio. The flatness further quantifies this influence and yields values close to three for strong rotation. For moderate and vanishing rotation, the flatness of the Eulerian acceleration is larger than that of the Lagrangian acceleration, contrary to previous results for isotropic turbulence. A wavelet-based scale-dependent analysis shows that the flatness of both Eulerian and Lagrangian acceleration increases as scale decreases. For strong rotation, the Eulerian acceleration is more intermittent than the Lagrangian acceleration, while the opposite result is obtained for moderate rotation.

  19. Vortex reconnection in superfluid helium

    SciTech Connect

    Koplik, J. ); Levine, H. )

    1993-08-30

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

  20. Reconnection of superfluid vortex bundles.

    PubMed

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

    2008-11-21

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

  1. Turbulence Evolution and Shock Acceleration of Solar Energetic Particles

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Chee, Ng K.

    2007-01-01

    We model the effects of self-excitation/damping and shock transmission of Alfven waves on solar-energetic-particle (SEP) acceleration at a coronal-mass-ejection (CME) driven parallel shock. SEP-excited outward upstream waves speedily bootstrap acceleration. Shock transmission further raises the SEP-excited wave intensities at high wavenumbers but lowers them at low wavenumbers through wavenumber shift. Downstream, SEP excitation of inward waves and damping of outward waves tend to slow acceleration. Nevertheless, > 2000 km/s parallel shocks at approx. 3.5 solar radii can accelerate SEPs to 100 MeV in < 5 minutes.

  2. Measurements in Transitional Boundary Layers Under High Free-Stream Turbulence and Strong Acceleration Conditions

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Volino, Ralph J.; Simon, Terrence W.

    1995-01-01

    Measurements from transitional, heated boundary layers along a concave-curved test wall are presented and discussed. A boundary layer subject to low free-stream turbulence intensity (FSTI), which contains stationary streamwise (Gortler) vortices, is documented. The low FSTI measurements are followed by measurements in boundary layers subject to high (initially 8%) free-stream turbulence intensity and moderate to strong streamwise acceleration. Conditions were chosen to simulate those present on the downstream half of the pressure side of a gas turbine airfoil. Mean flow characteristics as well as turbulence statistics, including the turbulent shear stress, turbulent heat flux, and turbulent Prandtl number, are documented. A technique called "octant analysis" is introduced and applied to several cases from the literature as well as to data from the present study. Spectral analysis was applied to describe the effects of turbulence scales of different sizes during transition. To the authors'knowledge, this is the first detailed documentation of boundary layer transition under such high free-stream turbulence conditions.

  3. Stochastic Gyroresonant Acceleration for Hard Electron Spectra of Blazars: Effect of Damping of Cascading Turbulence

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kakuwa, Jun

    2016-01-01

    Stochastic acceleration of nonthermal electrons is investigated in the context of hard photon spectra of blazars. It is well known that this acceleration mechanism can produce a hard electron spectrum of m≡ ∂ {ln}{n}{{e}}(γ )/∂ {ln}γ =2 with the high-energy cutoff, called an ultrarelativistic Maxwellian-like distribution, where {n}{{e}}(γ ) is an electron energy spectrum. We revisit the formation of this characteristic spectrum, considering a particular situation where the electrons are accelerated through gyroresonant interaction with magnetohydrodynamic wave turbulence driven by the turbulent cascade. By solving kinetic equations of the turbulent fields, electrons, and photons emitted via the synchrotron self-Compton (SSC) process, we demonstrate that in the non-test-particle treatment, the formation of a Maxwellian-like distribution is prevented by the damping effect on the turbulent fields due to the electron acceleration, at least unless an extreme parameter value is chosen. Instead, a softer electron spectrum with the index of m ≈ -1 is produced if the Kolmogorov-type cascade is assumed. The SSC spectrum that originates from the resultant softer electron spectrum is still hard, but somewhat softer and broader than the case of m = 2. This change of achievable hardness should be noted when this basic particle acceleration scenario is accurately tested with observations of hard photon spectra.

  4. Turbulent thermal boundary layers subjected to severe acceleration

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Araya, Guillermo; Castillo, Luciano

    2013-11-01

    Favorable turbulent boundary layers are flows of great importance in industry. Particularly, understanding the mechanisms of quasi-laminarization by means of a very strong favorable streamwise pressure gradient is indeed crucial in drag reduction and energy management applications. Furthermore, due to the low Reynolds numbers involved in the quasi-laminarization process, abundant experimental investigation can be found in the literature for the past few decades. However, several grey zones still remain unsolved, principally associated with the difficulties that experiments encounter as the boundary layer becomes smaller. In addition, little attention has been paid to the heat transfer in a quasi-laminarization process. In this investigation, DNS of spatially-developing turbulent thermal boundary layers with prescribed very strong favorable pressure gradients (K = 4 × 10-6) are performed. Realistic inflow conditions are prescribed based on the Dynamic Multi-scale Approach (DMA) [Araya et al. JFM, Vol. 670, pp. 581-605, 2011]. In this sense the flow carries the footprint of turbulence, particularly in the streamwise component of the Reynolds stresses.

  5. Graphics Processing Unit Acceleration of Gyrokinetic Turbulence Simulations

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hause, Benjamin; Parker, Scott

    2012-10-01

    We find a substantial increase in on-node performance using Graphics Processing Unit (GPU) acceleration in gyrokinetic delta-f particle-in-cell simulation. Optimization is performed on a two-dimensional slab gyrokinetic particle simulation using the Portland Group Fortran compiler with the GPU accelerator compiler directives. We have implemented the GPU acceleration on a Core I7 gaming PC with a NVIDIA GTX 580 GPU. We find comparable, or better, acceleration relative to the NERSC DIRAC cluster with the NVIDIA Tesla C2050 computing processor. The Tesla C 2050 is about 2.6 times more expensive than the GTX 580 gaming GPU. Optimization strategies and comparisons between DIRAC and the gaming PC will be presented. We will also discuss progress on optimizing the comprehensive three dimensional general geometry GEM code.

  6. 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

  7. Vortex reconnections between coreless vortices in binary condensates

    SciTech Connect

    Gautam, S.; Suthar, K.; Angom, D.

    2014-02-11

    Vortex reconnections plays an important role in the turbulent flows associated with the superfluids. To understand the dynamics, we examine the reconnections of vortex rings in the superfluids of dilute atomic gases confined in trapping potentials using Gross-Petaevskii equation. Further more we study the reconnection dynamics of coreless vortex rings, where one of the species can act as a tracer.

  8. Particle acceleration and turbulence in cosmic Ray shocks: possible pathways beyond the Bohm limit

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Malkov, M. A.; Diamond, P. H.

    2007-08-01

    Diffusive shock acceleration is discussed in terms of its potential to accelerate cosmic rays (CR) to 1018 eV (beyond the ``knee,'' as observations suggest) and in terms of the related observational signatures (spectral features). One idea to reach this energy is to resonantly generate a turbulent magnetic field via accelerated particles much in excess of the background field. We identify difficulties with this scenario and suggest two separate mechanisms that can work in concert with one another leading to a significant acceleration enhancement. The first mechanism is based on a nonlinear modification of the flow ahead of the shock supported by particles already accelerated to some specific (knee) momentum. The particles gain energy by bouncing off converging magnetic irregularities frozen into the flow in the shock precursor and not so much by re-crossing the shock itself. The acceleration rate is determined by the gradient of the flow velocity and turns out to be formally independent of the particle mean free path. The velocity gradient is set by the knee-particles. The acceleration rate of particles above the knee does not decrease with energy, unlike in the linear acceleration regime. The knee (spectrum steepening) forms because particles above it are effectively confined to the shock only if they are within limited domains in the momentum space, while other particles fall into ``loss-islands'', similar to the ``loss-cone'' of magnetic traps. This also maintains the steep velocity gradient and high acceleration rate. The second mechanism is based on the generation of Alfven waves at the gyroradius scale at the background field level, with a subsequent transfer to longer scales via interaction with strong acoustic turbulence in the shock precursor. The acoustic turbulence in turn, may be generated by Drury instability or by parametric instability of the Alfven (A) waves.

  9. The challenge of turbulent acceleration of relativistic particles in the intra-cluster medium

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Brunetti, Gianfranco

    2016-01-01

    Acceleration of cosmic-ray electrons (CRe) in the intra-cluster medium (ICM) is probed by radio observations that detect diffuse, megaparsec-scale, synchrotron sources in a fraction of galaxy clusters. Giant radio halos are the most spectacular manifestations of non-thermal activity in the ICM and are currently explained assuming that turbulence, driven during massive cluster–cluster mergers, reaccelerates CRe at several giga-electron volts. This scenario implies a hierarchy of complex mechanisms in the ICM that drain energy from large scales into electromagnetic fluctuations in the plasma and collisionless mechanisms of particle acceleration at much smaller scales. In this paper we focus on the physics of acceleration by compressible turbulence. The spectrum and damping mechanisms of the electromagnetic fluctuations, and the mean free path (mfp) of CRe, are the most relevant ingredients that determine the efficiency of acceleration. These ingredients in the ICM are, however, poorly known, and we show that calculations of turbulent acceleration are also sensitive to these uncertainties. On the other hand this fact implies that the non-thermal properties of galaxy clusters probe the complex microphysics and the weakly collisional nature of the ICM.

  10. Acceleration of heavy and light particles in turbulence: Comparison between experiments and direct numerical simulations

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Volk, R.; Calzavarini, E.; Verhille, G.; Lohse, D.; Mordant, N.; Pinton, J.-F.; Toschi, F.

    2008-08-01

    We compare experimental data and numerical simulations for the dynamics of inertial particles with finite density in turbulence. In the experiment, bubbles and solid particles are optically tracked in a turbulent flow of water using an Extended Laser Doppler Velocimetry technique. The probability density functions (PDF) of particle accelerations and their auto-correlation in time are computed. Numerical results are obtained from a direct numerical simulation in which a suspension of passive pointwise particles is tracked, with the same finite density and the same response time as in the experiment. We observe a good agreement for both the variance of acceleration and the autocorrelation time scale of the dynamics; small discrepancies on the shape of the acceleration PDF are observed. We discuss the effects induced by the finite size of the particles, not taken into account in the present numerical simulations.

  11. Graphics Processing Unit Acceleration of Gyrokinetic Turbulence Simulations

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hause, Benjamin; Parker, Scott; Chen, Yang

    2013-10-01

    We find a substantial increase in on-node performance using Graphics Processing Unit (GPU) acceleration in gyrokinetic delta-f particle-in-cell simulation. Optimization is performed on a two-dimensional slab gyrokinetic particle simulation using the Portland Group Fortran compiler with the OpenACC compiler directives and Fortran CUDA. Mixed implementation of both Open-ACC and CUDA is demonstrated. CUDA is required for optimizing the particle deposition algorithm. We have implemented the GPU acceleration on a third generation Core I7 gaming PC with two NVIDIA GTX 680 GPUs. We find comparable, or better, acceleration relative to the NERSC DIRAC cluster with the NVIDIA Tesla C2050 computing processor. The Tesla C 2050 is about 2.6 times more expensive than the GTX 580 gaming GPU. We also see enormous speedups (10 or more) on the Titan supercomputer at Oak Ridge with Kepler K20 GPUs. Results show speed-ups comparable or better than that of OpenMP models utilizing multiple cores. The use of hybrid OpenACC, CUDA Fortran, and MPI models across many nodes will also be discussed. Optimization strategies will be presented. We will discuss progress on optimizing the comprehensive three dimensional general geometry GEM code.

  12. THE EFFICIENCY OF SECOND-ORDER FERMI ACCELERATION BY WEAKLY COMPRESSIBLE MAGNETOHYDRODYNAMIC TURBULENCE

    SciTech Connect

    Lynn, Jacob W.; Quataert, Eliot; Parrish, Ian J.; Chandran, Benjamin D. G.

    2013-11-10

    We investigate the effects of pitch-angle scattering on the efficiency of particle heating and acceleration by MHD turbulence using phenomenological estimates and simulations of non-relativistic test particles interacting with strong, subsonic MHD turbulence. We include an imposed pitch-angle scattering rate, which is meant to approximate the effects of high-frequency plasma waves and/or velocity space instabilities. We focus on plasma parameters similar to those found in the near-Earth solar wind, though most of our results are more broadly applicable. An important control parameter is the size of the particle mean free path λ{sub mfp} relative to the scale of the turbulent fluctuations L. For small scattering rates, particles interact quasi-resonantly with turbulent fluctuations in magnetic field strength. Scattering increases the long-term efficiency of this resonant heating by factors of a few times 10, but the distribution function does not develop a significant non-thermal power-law tail. For higher scattering rates, the interaction between particles and turbulent fluctuations becomes non-resonant, governed by particles heating and cooling adiabatically as they encounter turbulent density fluctuations. Rapid pitch-angle scattering can produce a power-law tail in the proton distribution function, but this requires fine-tuning of parameters. Moreover, in the near-Earth solar wind, a significant power-law tail cannot develop by this mechanism because the particle acceleration timescales are longer than the adiabatic cooling timescale set by the expansion of the solar wind. Our results thus imply that MHD-scale turbulent fluctuations are unlikely to be the origin of the v {sup –5} tail in the proton distribution function observed in the solar wind.

  13. Aeroacoustics of viscous vortex reconnection

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2011-11-01

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

  14. Are Solar Wind Reconnection Events Fossil Sites?

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2010-12-01

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

  15. 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...

  16. Heating and acceleration of solar wind ions by turbulent wave spectrum in inhomogeneous expanding plasma

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ofman, Leon; Ozak, Nataly; Viñas, Adolfo F.

    2016-03-01

    Near the Sun (< 10Rs) the acceleration, heating, and propagation of the solar wind are likely affected by the background inhomogeneities of the magnetized plasma. The heating and the acceleration of the solar wind ions by turbulent wave spectrum in inhomogeneous plasma is studied using a 2.5D hybrid model. The hybrid model describes the kinetics of the ions, while the electrons are modeled as massless neutralizing fluid in an expanding box approach. Turbulent magnetic fluctuations dominated by power-law frequency spectra, which are evident from in-situ as well as remote sensing measurements, are used in our models. The effects of background density inhomogeneity across the magnetic field on the resonant ion heating are studied. The effect of super-Alfvénic ion drift on the ion heating is investigated. It is found that the turbulent wave spectrum of initially parallel propagating waves cascades to oblique modes, and leads to enhanced resonant ion heating due to the inhomogeneity. The acceleration of the solar wind ions is achieved by the parametric instability of large amplitude waves in the spectrum, and is also affected by the inhomogeneity. The results of the study provide the ion temperature anisotropy and drift velocity temporal evolution due to relaxation of the instability. The non-Maxwellian velocity distribution functions (VDFs) of the ions are modeled in the inhomogeneous solar wind plasma in the acceleration region close to the Sun.

  17. Turbulence Hazard Metric Based on Peak Accelerations for Jetliner Passengers

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Stewart, Eric C.

    2005-01-01

    Calculations are made of the approximate hazard due to peak normal accelerations of an airplane flying through a simulated vertical wind field associated with a convective frontal system. The calculations are based on a hazard metric developed from a systematic application of a generic math model to 1-cosine discrete gusts of various amplitudes and gust lengths. The math model simulates the three degree-of- freedom longitudinal rigid body motion to vertical gusts and includes (1) fuselage flexibility, (2) the lag in the downwash from the wing to the tail, (3) gradual lift effects, (4) a simplified autopilot, and (5) motion of an unrestrained passenger in the rear cabin. Airplane and passenger response contours are calculated for a matrix of gust amplitudes and gust lengths. The airplane response contours are used to develop an approximate hazard metric of peak normal accelerations as a function of gust amplitude and gust length. The hazard metric is then applied to a two-dimensional simulated vertical wind field of a convective frontal system. The variations of the hazard metric with gust length and airplane heading are demonstrated.

  18. Experimental Investigation of the Effects of Acceleration on Heat Transfer in the Turbulent Boundary Layer

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Chakroun, Walid M.; Taylor, Robert P.

    1996-01-01

    The objective of this research was to experimentally investigate the combined effects of freestream acceleration and surface roughness on heat transfer and fluid flow in the turbulent boundary layer. The experiments included a variety of flow conditions ranging from aerodynamically smooth to transitionally rough to fully rough boundary layers with accelerations ranging from moderate to moderately strong. The test surfaces used were a smooth-wall test surface and two rough-wall surfaces which were roughened with 1.27 mm diameter hemispheres spaced 2 and 4 base diameters apart in a staggered array. The measurements consisted of Stanton number distributions, mean temperature profiles, skin friction distributions, mean velocity profiles, turbulence intensity profiles, and Reynolds stress profiles. The Stanton numbers for the rough-wall experiments increased with acceleration. For aerodynamically smooth and transitionally rough boundary layers, the effect of roughness is not seen immediately at the beginning of the accelerated region as it is for fully rough boundary layers; however, as the boundery layer thins under acceleration, the surface becomes relatively rougher resulting in a sharp increase in Stanton number.

  19. Demonstrations that the Solar Wind is Not Accelerated by Waves or Turbulence

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Roberts, D. Aaron

    2010-01-01

    The present work uses observations and theoretical considerations to provide both qualitative and quantitative arguments that hydromagnetic waves, whether turbulent or not, cannot produce the acceleration of the fast solar wind and the related heating of the open solar corona. Waves do exist, and can play a role in the differential heating and acceleration of minor ions, but their amplitudes are not sufficient to power the wind, as demonstrated by extrapolation of magnetic spectra from Helios and Ulysses observations. Dissipation mechanisms invoked to circumvent this conclusion cannot be effective for a variety of reasons. In particular, turbulence does not play a strong role in the corona as shown both by observations of coronal striations and other features, and by theoretical considerations of line-tying to a nonturbulent photosphere, nonlocality of interactions, and the nature of the kinetic dissipation. We consider possible "ways out" of the arguments presented, and suggest that in the absence of wave or turbulent heating and acceleration, the chromosphere and transition region become the natural source, if yet unproven, of open coronal energization through the production of nonthermal particle distributions.

  20. DEMONSTRATIONS THAT THE SOLAR WIND IS NOT ACCELERATED BY WAVES OR TURBULENCE

    SciTech Connect

    Roberts, D. Aaron

    2010-03-10

    The present work uses observations and theoretical considerations to provide both qualitative and quantitative arguments that hydromagnetic waves, whether turbulent or not, cannot produce the acceleration of the fast solar wind and the related heating of the open solar corona. Waves do exist, and can play a role in the differential heating and acceleration of minor ions, but their amplitudes are not sufficient to power the wind, as demonstrated by extrapolation of magnetic spectra from Helios and Ulysses observations. Dissipation mechanisms invoked to circumvent this conclusion cannot be effective for a variety of reasons. In particular, turbulence does not play a strong role in the corona as shown both by observations of coronal striations and other features, and by theoretical considerations of line tying to a nonturbulent photosphere, nonlocality of interactions, and the nature of the kinetic dissipation. We consider possible 'ways out' of the arguments presented, and suggest that in the absence of wave or turbulent heating and acceleration, the chromosphere and transition region become the natural source, if yet unproven, of open coronal energization through the production of nonthermal particle distributions.

  1. Ultrasonic observation of blood disturbance in a stenosed tube: effects of flow acceleration and turbulence downstream.

    PubMed

    Nam, Kweon-Ho; Paeng, Dong-Guk; Choi, Min Joo; Shung, K Kirk

    2008-01-01

    Red blood cell (RBC) aggregation is known to be highly dependent on hemodynamic parameters such as shear rate, flow turbulence and flow acceleration under pulsatile flow. The effects of all three hemodynamic parameters on RBC aggregation and echogenicity of porcine whole blood were investigated downstream of an eccentric stenosis in a mock flow loop using B-mode images with Doppler spectrograms of a commercial ultrasonic system. A hyperechoic parabolic profile appeared downstream during flow acceleration, yielding another piece of evidence suggesting that the enhancement of rouleaux formation may be caused by flow acceleration. It was also found that echogenicity increased locally at a distance of three tube diameters downstream from the stenosis. The local increase of echogenicity is thought to be mainly due to flow turbulence. The hypoechoic "black hole" was also seen at the center of the tube downstream of the stenosis where blood flow was disturbed, and this may be caused by the compound effect of flow turbulence and shear rate. PMID:17900794

  2. 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.

  3. Prompt acceleration of ions by oblique turbulent shocks in solar flares

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Decker, R. B.; Vlahos, L.

    1985-01-01

    Solar flares often accelerate ions and electrons to relativistic energies. The details of the acceleration process are not well understood, but until recently the main trend was to divide the acceleration process into two phases. During the first phase elctrons and ions are heated and accelerated up to several hundreds of keV simultaneously with the energy release. These mildly relativistic electrons interact with the ambient plasma and magnetic fields and generate hard X-ray and radio radiation. The second phase, usually delayed from the first by several minutes, is responsible for accelerating ions and electrons to relativistic energies. Relativistic electrons and ions interact with the solar atmosphere or escape from the Sun and generate gamma ray continuum, gamma ray line emission, neutron emission or are detected in space by spacecraft. In several flares the second phase is coincident with the start of a type 2 radio burst that is believed to be the signature of a shock wave. Observations from the Solar Maximum Mission spacecraft have shown, for the first time, that several flares accelerate particles to all energies nearly simultaneously. These results posed a new theoretical problem: How fast are shocks and magnetohydrodynamic turbulence formed and how quickly can they accelerate ions to 50 MeV in the lower corona? This problem is discussed.

  4. Magnetic Energy Production by Turbulence in Binary Neutron Star Mergers

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Zrake, Jonathan; MacFadyen, Andrew I.

    2013-06-01

    The simultaneous detection of electromagnetic and gravitational wave emission from merging neutron star binaries would greatly aid in their discovery and interpretation. By studying turbulent amplification of magnetic fields in local high-resolution simulations of neutron star merger conditions, we demonstrate that magnetar-level (gsim 1016 G) fields are present throughout the merger duration. We find that the small-scale turbulent dynamo converts 60% of the randomized kinetic energy into magnetic fields on a merger timescale. Since turbulent magnetic energy dissipates through reconnection events that accelerate relativistic electrons, turbulence may facilitate the conversion of orbital kinetic energy into radiation. If 10-4 of the ~1053 erg of orbital kinetic available gets processed through reconnection and creates radiation in the 15-150 keV band, then the fluence at 200 Mpc would be 10-7 erg cm-2, potentially rendering most merging neutron stars in the advanced LIGO and Virgo detection volumes detectable by Swift BAT.

  5. 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

  6. Magnetic Reconnection in Solar Flares

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Forbes, Terry G.

    2016-05-01

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

  7. Inertial particle acceleration statistics in turbulence: Effects of filtering, biased sampling, and flow topology

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Salazar, Juan P. L. C.; Collins, Lance R.

    2012-08-01

    In this study, we investigate the effect of "biased sampling," i.e., the clustering of inertial particles in regions of the flow with low vorticity, and "filtering," i.e., the tendency of inertial particles to attenuate the fluid velocity fluctuations, on the probability density function of inertial particle accelerations. In particular, we find that the concept of "biased filtering" introduced by Ayyalasomayajula et al. ["Modeling inertial particle acceleration statistics in isotropic turbulence," Phys. Fluids 20, 0945104 (2008), 10.1063/1.2976174], in which particles filter stronger acceleration events more than weaker ones, is relevant to the higher order moments of acceleration. Flow topology and its connection to acceleration is explored through invariants of the velocity-gradient, strain-rate, and rotation-rate tensors. A semi-quantitative analysis is performed where we assess the contribution of specific flow topologies to acceleration moments. Our findings show that the contributions of regions of high vorticity and low strain decrease significantly with Stokes number, a non-dimensional measure of particle inertia. The contribution from regions of low vorticity and high strain exhibits a peak at a Stokes number of approximately 0.2. Following the methodology of Ooi et al. ["A study of the evolution and characteristics of the invariants of the velocity-gradient tensor in isotropic turbulence," J. Fluid Mech. 381, 141 (1999), 10.1017/S0022112098003681], we compute mean conditional trajectories in planes formed by pairs of tensor invariants in time. Among the interesting findings is the existence of a stable focus in the plane formed by the second invariants of the strain-rate and rotation-rate tensors. Contradicting the results of Ooi et al., we find a stable focus in the plane formed by the second and third invariants of the strain-rate tensor for fluid tracers. We confirm, at an even higher Reynolds number, the conjecture of Collins and Keswani ["Reynolds

  8. Mechanisms for fast flare reconnection

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

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

    1988-01-01

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

  9. On the angle between relative velocity and relative acceleration between two fluid particles in turbulence

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Xu, Haitao; Pumir, Alain; Bodenschatz, Eberhard

    2012-11-01

    In turbulence study, it is often desirable to know if locally the flow is strain-dominated or vorticity-dominated. This information not only is related to the local flow topology, it also reveals where small particles with weak inertia accumulate. However, to determine whether strain or vorticity is dominating requires access to the velocity gradient tensor, which is difficult to measure experimentally. By using results from direct numerical simulation of fully developed turbulence we show that the angle between the relative velocity and the relative acceleration between two fluid particles can be used as an indicator of strain-dominated versus vorticity-dominated flow structure. This new indicator has the advantage that it is much more easily accessible experimentally than measuring the velocity gradients. We also present further turbulence statistics from both DNS and experiments conditioned on the angle between relative velocity and relative acceleration and compare them with those conditioned on strain and vorticity. We thank financial supports from MPG, DFG, IDRIS, and ANR.

  10. Acceleration of relativistic electrons by magnetohydrodynamic turbulence: Implications for non-thermal emission from black hole accretion disks

    SciTech Connect

    Lynn, Jacob W.; Quataert, Eliot; Chandran, Benjamin D. G.; Parrish, Ian J.

    2014-08-10

    We use analytic estimates and numerical simulations of test particles interacting with magnetohydrodynamic (MHD) turbulence to show that subsonic MHD turbulence produces efficient second-order Fermi acceleration of relativistic particles. This acceleration is not well described by standard quasi-linear theory but is a consequence of resonance broadening of wave-particle interactions in MHD turbulence. We provide momentum diffusion coefficients that can be used for astrophysical and heliospheric applications and discuss the implications of our results for accretion flows onto black holes. In particular, we show that particle acceleration by subsonic turbulence in radiatively inefficient accretion flows can produce a non-thermal tail in the electron distribution function that is likely important for modeling and interpreting the emission from low-luminosity systems such as Sgr A* and M87.

  11. Acceleration in astrophysics

    SciTech Connect

    Colgate, S.A.

    1993-12-31

    The origin of cosmic rays and applicable laboratory experiments are discussed. Some of the problems of shock acceleration for the production of cosmic rays are discussed in the context of astrophysical conditions. These are: The presumed unique explanation of the power law spectrum is shown instead to be a universal property of all lossy accelerators; the extraordinary isotropy of cosmic rays and the limited diffusion distances implied by supernova induced shock acceleration requires a more frequent and space-filling source than supernovae; the near perfect adiabaticity of strong hydromagnetic turbulence necessary for reflecting the accelerated particles each doubling in energy roughly 10{sup 5} to {sup 6} scatterings with negligible energy loss seems most unlikely; the evidence for acceleration due to quasi-parallel heliosphere shocks is weak. There is small evidence for the expected strong hydromagnetic turbulence, and instead, only a small number of particles accelerate after only a few shock traversals; the acceleration of electrons in the same collisionless shock that accelerates ions is difficult to reconcile with the theoretical picture of strong hydromagnetic turbulence that reflects the ions. The hydromagnetic turbulence will appear adiabatic to the electrons at their much higher Larmor frequency and so the electrons should not be scattered incoherently as they must be for acceleration. Therefore the electrons must be accelerated by a different mechanism. This is unsatisfactory, because wherever electrons are accelerated these sites, observed in radio emission, may accelerate ions more favorably. The acceleration is coherent provided the reconnection is coherent, in which case the total flux, as for example of collimated radio sources, predicts single charge accelerated energies much greater than observed.

  12. Electron jet of asymmetric reconnection

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2016-06-01

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

  13. Acceleration of electrons and ions by strong lower-hybrid turbulence in solar flares

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Spicer, D. S.; Bingham, R.; Su, J. J.; Shapiro, V. D.; Shevchenko, V.; Ma, S.; Dawson, J. M.; Mcclements, K. G.

    1994-01-01

    One of the outstanding problems in solar flare theory is how to explain the 10-20 keV and greater hard x-ray emissions by a thick target bremsstrahlung model. The model requires the acceleration mechanism to accelerate approximately 10(exp 35) electrons sec(exp -l) with comparable energies, without producing a large return current which persists for long time scales after the beam ceases to exist due to Lenz's law, thereby, producing a self-magnetic field of order a few mega-Gauss. In this paper, we investigate particle acceleration resulting from the relaxation of unstable ion ring distributions, producing strong wave activity at the lower hybrid frequency. It is shown that strong lower hybrid wave turbulence collapses in configuration space producing density cavities containing intense electrostatic lower hybrid wave activity. The collapse of these intense nonlinear wave packets saturate by particle acceleration producing energetic electron and ion tails. There are several mechanisms whereby unstable ion distributions could be formed in the solar atmosphere, including reflection at perpendicular shocks, tearing modes, and loss cone depletion. Numerical simulations of ion ring relaxation processes, obtained using a 2 1/2-D fully electromagnetic, relativistic particle in cell code are discussed. We apply the results to the problem of explaining energetic particle production in solar flares. The results show the simultaneous acceleration of both electrons and ions to very high energies: electrons are accelerated to energies in the range 10-500 keV, while ions are accelerated to energies of the order of MeVs, giving rise to x-ray emission and gamma-ray emission respectively. Our simulations also show wave generation at the electron cyclotron frequency. We suggest that these waves are the solar millisecond radio spikes. The strong turbulence collapse process leads to a highly filamented plasma producing many localized regions for particle acceleration and resulting in

  14. Turbulence and Particle Acceleration by Inertial Alfvén Waves in Auroral Ionosphere

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Yadav, Nitin; Sharma, R. P.

    2016-07-01

    Using pseudospectral method based simulation and fluid model of plasma; we investigate the nonlinear interaction of three dimensionally propagating inertial Alfven wave and parallel propagating ion acoustic wave. The nonlinear evolution of inertial Alfven wave in the presence of ion acoustic wave undergoes filamentation instability and results in magnetic field intensity localization. These localized intense magnetic filaments may play a very crucial role in charged particle acceleration. The presented model is also intended to explore about the observed magnetic field turbulence in auroral ionosphere. Turbulence provides unstable conditions and the amplitude of low frequency inertial Alfven waves keeps growing and eventually cascades to smaller wavenumber modes resulting in turbulent spectrum. Thus the presented coupling also suggests a mechanism of energy transfer from lager length-scales to smaller length-scales. To get the physical insight of this proposed interaction, a simplified semi-analytical model based on paraxial approximation is also developed. The relevance of present investigation with recent spacecraft observations is also pointed out.

  15. Particle acceleration by combined diffusive shock acceleration and downstream multiple magnetic island acceleration

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Zank, G. P.; Hunana, P.; Mostafavi, P.; le Roux, J. A.; Li, Gang; Webb, G. M.; Khabarova, O.

    2015-09-01

    As a consequence of the evolutionary conditions [28; 29], shock waves can generate high levels of downstream vortical turbulence. Simulations [32-34] and observations [30; 31] support the idea that downstream magnetic islands (also called plasmoids or flux ropes) result from the interaction of shocks with upstream turbulence. Zank et al. [18] speculated that a combination of diffusive shock acceleration (DSA) and downstream reconnection-related effects associated with the dynamical evolution of a “sea of magnetic islands” would result in the energization of charged particles. Here, we utilize the transport theory [18; 19] for charged particles propagating diffusively in a turbulent region filled with contracting and reconnecting plasmoids and small-scale current sheets to investigate a combined DSA and downstream multiple magnetic island charged particle acceleration mechanism. We consider separately the effects of the anti-reconnection electric field that is a consequence of magnetic island merging [17], and magnetic island contraction [14]. For the merging plasmoid reconnection- induced electric field only, we find i) that the particle spectrum is a power law in particle speed, flatter than that derived from conventional DSA theory, and ii) that the solution is constant downstream of the shock. For downstream plasmoid contraction only, we find that i) the accelerated particle spectrum is a power law in particle speed, flatter than that derived from conventional DSA theory; ii) for a given energy, the particle intensity peaks downstream of the shock, and the peak location occurs further downstream of the shock with increasing particle energy, and iii) the particle intensity amplification for a particular particle energy, f(x, c/c0)/f(0, c/c0), is not 1, as predicted by DSA theory, but increases with increasing particle energy. These predictions can be tested against observations of electrons and ions accelerated at interplanetary shocks and the heliospheric

  16. Evolution of the Reynolds shear stresses in highly accelerated turbulent boundary layers

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Araya, Guillermo; Castillo, Luciano; Hussain, Fazle

    2014-11-01

    Turbulent boundary layers subjected to severe acceleration or strong Favorable Pressure Gradients (FPG) are of great fundamental and technological importance; examples of the latter include nozzle design, underwater bodies and drag reduction applications. Scientifically, they pose great interest from the point of view of scaling laws, the complex interaction between the outer and inner regions, and relaminarization phenomena. Direct Numerical Simulations (DNS) of highly accelerated turbulent boundary layers are performed by means of the Dynamic Multi-scale Approach (DMA) recently developed by [Araya et al. JFM 670, 581 (2011)]. It is shown that the Reynolds shear stress monotonically decreases and exhibits a logarithmic layer in the meso-layer region during the laminarization process. In addition, the local maxima of streamwise velocity fluctuations in wall units remain almost constant in the very strong FPG region, which prevents the flow to become completely laminar. Furthermore, the re-distribution of Reynolds shear stresses due to sweeps and ejections in the FPG region is performed and a physical mechanism is proposed.

  17. On the compressibility effect in test particle acceleration by magnetohydrodynamic turbulence

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    González, C. A.; Dmitruk, P.; Mininni, P. D.; Matthaeus, W. H.

    2016-08-01

    The effect of compressibility in a charged particle energization by magnetohydrodynamic (MHD) fields is studied in the context of test particle simulations. This problem is relevant to the solar wind and the solar corona due to the compressible nature of the flow in those astrophysical scenarios. We consider turbulent electromagnetic fields obtained from direct numerical simulations of the MHD equations with a strong background magnetic field. In order to explore the flow compressibility effect over the particle dynamics, we performed different numerical experiments: an incompressible case and two weak compressible cases with Mach number M = 0.1 and M = 0.25. We analyze the behavior of protons and electrons in those turbulent fields, which are well known to form aligned current sheets in the direction of the guide magnetic field. What we call protons and electrons are test particles with scales comparable to (for protons) and much smaller than (for electrons) the dissipative scale of MHD turbulence, maintaining the correct mass ratio m e / m i . For these test particles, we show that compressibility enhances the efficiency of proton acceleration, and that the energization is caused by perpendicular electric fields generated between currents sheets. On the other hand, electrons remain magnetized and display an almost adiabatic motion, with no effect of compressibility observed. Another set of numerical experiments takes into account two fluid modifications, namely, electric field due to Hall effect and electron pressure gradient. We show that the electron pressure has an important contribution to electron acceleration allowing highly parallel energization. In contrast, no significant effect of these additional terms is observed for the protons.

  18. Characterizing a Model of Coronal Heating and Solar Wind Acceleration Based on Wave Turbulence.

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Downs, C.; Lionello, R.; Mikic, Z.; Linker, J.; Velli, M.

    2014-12-01

    Understanding the nature of coronal heating and solar wind acceleration is a key goal in solar and heliospheric research. While there have been many theoretical advances in both topics, including suggestions that they may be intimately related, the inherent scale coupling and complexity of these phenomena limits our ability to construct models that test them on a fundamental level for realistic solar conditions. At the same time, there is an ever increasing impetus to improve our spaceweather models, and incorporating treatments for these processes that capture their basic features while remaining tractable is an important goal. With this in mind, I will give an overview of our exploration of a wave-turbulence driven (WTD) model for coronal heating and solar wind acceleration based on low-frequency Alfvénic turbulence. Here we attempt to bridge the gap between theory and practical modeling by exploring this model in 1D HD and multi-dimensional MHD contexts. The key questions that we explore are: What properties must the model possess to be a viable model for coronal heating? What is the influence of the magnetic field topology (open, closed, rapidly expanding)? And can we simultaneously capture coronal heating and solar wind acceleration with such a quasi-steady formulation? Our initial results suggest that a WTD based formulation performs adequately for a variety of solar and heliospheric conditions, while significantly reducing the number of free parameters when compared to empirical heating and solar wind models. The challenges, applications, and future prospects of this type of approach will also be discussed.

  19. 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.

  20. MHD turbulence model for global simulations of the solar wind and SEP acceleration

    SciTech Connect

    Sokolov, Igor V.; Roussev, Ilia I.

    2008-08-25

    The aim of the present work is to unify the various transport equations for turbulent waves that are used in different areas of space physics. We mostly focus on the magnetohydrodynamic (MHD) turbulence, in particular the Alfvenic turbulence.

  1. Linear vs. nonlinear acceleration in plasma turbulence. II. Hall–finite-Larmor-radius magnetohydrodynamics

    SciTech Connect

    Ghosh, Sanjoy; Parashar, Tulasi N.

    2015-04-15

    The local k-space ratio of linear and nonlinear accelerations associated with a variety of initial conditions undergoing steady relaxation is investigated for the Hall–finite-Larmor-radius magnetohydrodynamics (MHD) system in the presence of a mean magnetic field. Building on a related study (Paper I) where it was shown that discrepancies exist between describing the global and local characterizations of the pure MHD system with mean magnetic field, we find regions of the Fourier space that are consistently dominated by linear acceleration and other regions that are consistently dominated by nonlinear acceleration, independent of the overall system's description as linear, weakly nonlinear, or turbulent. In general, dynamics within a certain angular range of the mean magnetic field direction are predominantly linear, while dynamics adjacent the Hall scales along the field-parallel direction and dynamics adjacent the finite Larmor radius scales in the field-perpendicular direction can become strongly nonlinear. The nonlinear influences are particularly significant as the plasma beta increases from unity to higher values.

  2. 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.

  3. 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.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2016-04-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-04-01

    The same time domain structures (TDS) have been observed on two Magnetospheric Multiscale Satellites near Earth's dayside magnetopause. These TDS, traveling away from the X line along the magnetic field at 4000  km/s, accelerated field-aligned ∼5  eV electrons to ∼200  eV by a single Fermi reflection of the electrons by these overtaking barriers. Additionally, the TDS contained both positive and negative potentials, so they were a mixture of electron holes and double layers. They evolve in ∼10  km of space or 7 ms of time and their spatial scale size is 10-20 km, which is much larger than the electron gyroradius (<1  km) or the electron inertial length (4 km at the observation point, less nearer the X line). PMID:27104714

  6. Multigrid Acceleration of Time-Accurate DNS of Compressible Turbulent Flow

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Broeze, Jan; Geurts, Bernard; Kuerten, Hans; Streng, Martin

    1996-01-01

    An efficient scheme for the direct numerical simulation of 3D transitional and developed turbulent flow is presented. Explicit and implicit time integration schemes for the compressible Navier-Stokes equations are compared. The nonlinear system resulting from the implicit time discretization is solved with an iterative method and accelerated by the application of a multigrid technique. Since we use central spatial discretizations and no artificial dissipation is added to the equations, the smoothing method is less effective than in the more traditional use of multigrid in steady-state calculations. Therefore, a special prolongation method is needed in order to obtain an effective multigrid method. This simulation scheme was studied in detail for compressible flow over a flat plate. In the laminar regime and in the first stages of turbulent flow the implicit method provides a speed-up of a factor 2 relative to the explicit method on a relatively coarse grid. At increased resolution this speed-up is enhanced correspondingly.

  7. GPU accelerated flow solver for direct numerical simulation of turbulent flows

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Salvadore, Francesco; Bernardini, Matteo; Botti, Michela

    2013-02-01

    Graphical processing units (GPUs), characterized by significant computing performance, are nowadays very appealing for the solution of computationally demanding tasks in a wide variety of scientific applications. However, to run on GPUs, existing codes need to be ported and optimized, a procedure which is not yet standardized and may require non trivial efforts, even to high-performance computing specialists. In the present paper we accurately describe the porting to CUDA (Compute Unified Device Architecture) of a finite-difference compressible Navier-Stokes solver, suitable for direct numerical simulation (DNS) of turbulent flows. Porting and validation processes are illustrated in detail, with emphasis on computational strategies and techniques that can be applied to overcome typical bottlenecks arising from the porting of common computational fluid dynamics solvers. We demonstrate that a careful optimization work is crucial to get the highest performance from GPU accelerators. The results show that the overall speedup of one NVIDIA Tesla S2070 GPU is approximately 22 compared with one AMD Opteron 2352 Barcelona chip and 11 compared with one Intel Xeon X5650 Westmere core. The potential of GPU devices in the simulation of unsteady three-dimensional turbulent flows is proved by performing a DNS of a spatially evolving compressible mixing layer.

  8. GPU accelerated flow solver for direct numerical simulation of turbulent flows

    SciTech Connect

    Salvadore, Francesco; Botti, Michela

    2013-02-15

    Graphical processing units (GPUs), characterized by significant computing performance, are nowadays very appealing for the solution of computationally demanding tasks in a wide variety of scientific applications. However, to run on GPUs, existing codes need to be ported and optimized, a procedure which is not yet standardized and may require non trivial efforts, even to high-performance computing specialists. In the present paper we accurately describe the porting to CUDA (Compute Unified Device Architecture) of a finite-difference compressible Navier–Stokes solver, suitable for direct numerical simulation (DNS) of turbulent flows. Porting and validation processes are illustrated in detail, with emphasis on computational strategies and techniques that can be applied to overcome typical bottlenecks arising from the porting of common computational fluid dynamics solvers. We demonstrate that a careful optimization work is crucial to get the highest performance from GPU accelerators. The results show that the overall speedup of one NVIDIA Tesla S2070 GPU is approximately 22 compared with one AMD Opteron 2352 Barcelona chip and 11 compared with one Intel Xeon X5650 Westmere core. The potential of GPU devices in the simulation of unsteady three-dimensional turbulent flows is proved by performing a DNS of a spatially evolving compressible mixing layer.

  9. Diffusive Cosmic-ray Acceleration at Relativistic Shock Waves with Magnetostatic Turbulence

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Schlickeiser, R.

    2015-08-01

    The analytical theory of diffusive cosmic-ray acceleration at parallel stationary shock waves with magnetostatic turbulence is generalized to arbitrary shock speeds {V}{{s}}={β }1c, including, in particular, relativistic speeds. This is achieved by applying the diffusion approximation to the relevant Fokker-Planck particle transport equation formulated in the mixed comoving coordinate system. In this coordinate system, the particle's momentum coordinates p and μ ={p}\\parallel /p are taken in the rest frame of the streaming plasma, whereas the time and space coordinates are taken in the observer's system. For magnetostatic slab turbulence, the diffusion-convection transport equation for the isotropic (in the rest frame of the streaming plasma) part of the particle's phase space density is derived. For a step-wise shock velocity profile, the steady-state diffusion-convection transport equation is solved. For a symmetric pitch-angle scattering Fokker-Planck coefficient, {D}μ μ (-μ )={D}μ μ (μ ), the steady-state solution is independent of the microphysical scattering details. For nonrelativistic mono-momentum particle injection at the shock, the differential number density of accelerated particles is a Lorentzian-type distribution function, which at large momenta approaches a power-law distribution function N(p≥slant {p}c)\\propto {p}-ξ with the spectral index ξ ({β }1)=1+[3/({{{Γ }}}1\\sqrt{{r}2-{β }12}-1)(1+3{β }12)]. For nonrelativistic ({β }1\\ll 1) shock speeds, this spectral index agrees with the known result ξ ({β }1\\ll 1)≃ (r+2)/(r-1), whereas for ultrarelativistic ({{{Γ }}}1\\gg 1) shock speeds the spectral index value is close to unity.

  10. Solar Wind Acceleration: Modeling Effects of Turbulent Heating in Open Flux Tubes

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Woolsey, Lauren N.; Cranmer, Steven R.

    2014-06-01

    We present two self-consistent coronal heating models that determine the properties of the solar wind generated and accelerated in magnetic field geometries that are open to the heliosphere. These models require only the radial magnetic field profile as input. The first code, ZEPHYR (Cranmer et al. 2007) is a 1D MHD code that includes the effects of turbulent heating created by counter-propagating Alfven waves rather than relying on empirical heating functions. We present the analysis of a large grid of modeled flux tubes (> 400) and the resulting solar wind properties. From the models and results, we recreate the observed anti-correlation between wind speed at 1 AU and the so-called expansion factor, a parameterization of the magnetic field profile. We also find that our models follow the same observationally-derived relation between temperature at 1 AU and wind speed at 1 AU. We continue our analysis with a newly-developed code written in Python called TEMPEST (The Efficient Modified-Parker-Equation-Solving Tool) that runs an order of magnitude faster than ZEPHYR due to a set of simplifying relations between the input magnetic field profile and the temperature and wave reflection coefficient profiles. We present these simplifying relations as a useful result in themselves as well as the anti-correlation between wind speed and expansion factor also found with TEMPEST. Due to the nature of the algorithm TEMPEST utilizes to find solar wind solutions, we can effectively separate the two primary ways in which Alfven waves contribute to solar wind acceleration: 1) heating the surrounding gas through a turbulent cascade and 2) providing a separate source of wave pressure. We intend to make TEMPEST easily available to the public and suggest that TEMPEST can be used as a valuable tool in the forecasting of space weather, either as a stand-alone code or within an existing modeling framework.

  11. Full Coverage Shaped Hole Film Cooling in an Accelerating Boundary Layer with High Free-Stream Turbulence

    SciTech Connect

    Ames, Forrest E.; Kingery, Joseph E.

    2015-06-17

    Full coverage shaped-hole film cooling and downstream heat transfer measurements have been acquired in the accelerating flows over a large cylindrical leading edge test surface. The shaped holes had an 8° lateral expansion angled at 30° to the surface with spanwise and streamwise spacings of 3 diameters. Measurements were conducted at four blowing ratios, two Reynolds numbers and six well documented turbulence conditions. Film cooling measurements were acquired over a four to one range in blowing ratio at the lower Reynolds number and at the two lower blowing ratios for the higher Reynolds number. The film cooling measurements were acquired at a coolant to free-stream density ratio of approximately 1.04. The flows were subjected to a low turbulence condition (Tu = 0.7%), two levels of turbulence for a smaller sized grid (Tu = 3.5%, and 7.9%), one turbulence level for a larger grid (8.1%), and two levels of turbulence generated using a mock aero-combustor (Tu = 9.3% and 13.7%). Turbulence level is shown to have a significant influence in mixing away film cooling coverage progressively as the flow develops in the streamwise direction. Effectiveness levels for the aero-combustor turbulence condition are reduced to as low as 20% of low turbulence values by the furthest downstream region. The film cooling discharge is located close to the leading edge with very thin and accelerating upstream boundary layers. Film cooling data at the lower Reynolds number, show that transitional flows have significantly improved effectiveness levels compared with turbulent flows. Downstream effectiveness levels are very similar to slot film cooling data taken at the same coolant flow rates over the same cylindrical test surface. However, slots perform significantly better in the near discharge region. These data are expected to be very useful in grounding computational predictions of full coverage shaped hole film cooling with elevated turbulence levels and acceleration. IR

  12. 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

  13. THE MATRYOSHKA RUN. II. TIME-DEPENDENT TURBULENCE STATISTICS, STOCHASTIC PARTICLE ACCELERATION, AND MICROPHYSICS IMPACT IN A MASSIVE GALAXY CLUSTER

    SciTech Connect

    Miniati, Francesco

    2015-02-10

    We use the Matryoshka run to study the time-dependent statistics of structure-formation-driven turbulence in the intracluster medium of a 10{sup 15} M {sub ☉} galaxy cluster. We investigate the turbulent cascade in the inner megaparsec for both compressional and incompressible velocity components. The flow maintains approximate conditions of fully developed turbulence, with departures thereof settling in about an eddy-turnover time. Turbulent velocity dispersion remains above 700 km s{sup –1} even at low mass accretion rate, with the fraction of compressional energy between 10% and 40%. The normalization and the slope of the compressional turbulence are susceptible to large variations on short timescales, unlike the incompressible counterpart. A major merger occurs around redshift z ≅ 0 and is accompanied by a long period of enhanced turbulence, ascribed to temporal clustering of mass accretion related to spatial clustering of matter. We test models of stochastic acceleration by compressional modes for the origin of diffuse radio emission in galaxy clusters. The turbulence simulation model constrains an important unknown of this complex problem and brings forth its dependence on the elusive microphysics of the intracluster plasma. In particular, the specifics of the plasma collisionality and the dissipation physics of weak shocks affect the cascade of compressional modes with strong impact on the acceleration rates. In this context radio halos emerge as complex phenomena in which a hierarchy of processes acting on progressively smaller scales are at work. Stochastic acceleration by compressional modes implies statistical correlation of radio power and spectral index with merging cores distance, both testable in principle with radio surveys.

  14. The Matryoshka Run. II. Time-dependent Turbulence Statistics, Stochastic Particle Acceleration, and Microphysics Impact in a Massive Galaxy Cluster

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Miniati, Francesco

    2015-02-01

    We use the Matryoshka run to study the time-dependent statistics of structure-formation-driven turbulence in the intracluster medium of a 1015 M ⊙ galaxy cluster. We investigate the turbulent cascade in the inner megaparsec for both compressional and incompressible velocity components. The flow maintains approximate conditions of fully developed turbulence, with departures thereof settling in about an eddy-turnover time. Turbulent velocity dispersion remains above 700 km s-1 even at low mass accretion rate, with the fraction of compressional energy between 10% and 40%. The normalization and the slope of the compressional turbulence are susceptible to large variations on short timescales, unlike the incompressible counterpart. A major merger occurs around redshift z ~= 0 and is accompanied by a long period of enhanced turbulence, ascribed to temporal clustering of mass accretion related to spatial clustering of matter. We test models of stochastic acceleration by compressional modes for the origin of diffuse radio emission in galaxy clusters. The turbulence simulation model constrains an important unknown of this complex problem and brings forth its dependence on the elusive microphysics of the intracluster plasma. In particular, the specifics of the plasma collisionality and the dissipation physics of weak shocks affect the cascade of compressional modes with strong impact on the acceleration rates. In this context radio halos emerge as complex phenomena in which a hierarchy of processes acting on progressively smaller scales are at work. Stochastic acceleration by compressional modes implies statistical correlation of radio power and spectral index with merging cores distance, both testable in principle with radio surveys.

  15. Direct evidence for kinetic effects associated with solar wind reconnection.

    PubMed

    Xu, Xiaojun; Wang, Yi; Wei, Fengsi; Feng, Xueshang; Deng, Xiaohua; Ma, Yonghui; Zhou, Meng; Pang, Ye; Wong, Hon-Cheng

    2015-01-01

    Kinetic effects resulting from the two-fluid physics play a crucial role in the fast collisionless reconnection, which is a process to explosively release massive energy stored in magnetic fields in space and astrophysical plasmas. In-situ observations in the Earth's magnetosphere provide solid consistence with theoretical models on the point that kinetic effects are required in the collisionless reconnection. However, all the observations associated with solar wind reconnection have been analyzed in the context of magnetohydrodynamics (MHD) although a lot of solar wind reconnection exhausts have been reported. Because of the absence of kinetic effects and substantial heating, whether the reconnections are still ongoing when they are detected in the solar wind remains unknown. Here, by dual-spacecraft observations, we report a solar wind reconnection with clear Hall magnetic fields. Its corresponding Alfvenic electron outflow jet, derived from the decouple between ions and electrons, is identified, showing direct evidence for kinetic effects that dominate the collisionless reconnection. The turbulence associated with the exhaust is a kind of background solar wind turbulence, implying that the reconnection generated turbulence has not much developed. PMID:25628139

  16. Direct evidence for kinetic effects associated with solar wind reconnection

    PubMed Central

    Xu, Xiaojun; Wang, Yi; Wei, Fengsi; Feng, Xueshang; Deng, Xiaohua; Ma, Yonghui; Zhou, Meng; Pang, Ye; Wong, Hon-Cheng

    2015-01-01

    Kinetic effects resulting from the two-fluid physics play a crucial role in the fast collisionless reconnection, which is a process to explosively release massive energy stored in magnetic fields in space and astrophysical plasmas. In-situ observations in the Earth's magnetosphere provide solid consistence with theoretical models on the point that kinetic effects are required in the collisionless reconnection. However, all the observations associated with solar wind reconnection have been analyzed in the context of magnetohydrodynamics (MHD) although a lot of solar wind reconnection exhausts have been reported. Because of the absence of kinetic effects and substantial heating, whether the reconnections are still ongoing when they are detected in the solar wind remains unknown. Here, by dual-spacecraft observations, we report a solar wind reconnection with clear Hall magnetic fields. Its corresponding Alfvenic electron outflow jet, derived from the decouple between ions and electrons, is identified, showing direct evidence for kinetic effects that dominate the collisionless reconnection. The turbulence associated with the exhaust is a kind of background solar wind turbulence, implying that the reconnection generated turbulence has not much developed. PMID:25628139

  17. Kinetic Structure of the Reconnection Diffusion Region

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Khotyaintsev, Yuri

    2016-04-01

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

  18. Time-dependent modeling of solar wind acceleration from turbulent heating in open flux tubes

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Woolsey, Lauren Nicole; Cranmer, Steven R.

    2015-04-01

    The acceleration of the solar wind, particularly from open flux tubes, remains an open question in solar physics. Countless physical processes have been suggested to explain all or parts of the coupled problem of coronal heating and wind acceleration, but the current generation of observations have been so far unable to distinguish which mechanism(s) dominates. In this project, we consider heating by Alfvén waves in a three-dimensional, time-dependent reduced magnetohydrodynamics model. This model solves for the heating rate as a function of time due to the twisting and braiding of magnetic field lines within a flux tube, which is caused by Alfvén waves generated at the single footpoint of the flux tube. We investigate three specific structures commonly found in the corona: 1) an open flux tube in a coronal hole, 2) an open flux tube on the edge of an equatorial streamer, and 3) an open flux tube directly neighboring an active region. We present the time-dependent heating rate, power spectra of fluctuations, and the time-averaged properties of the solar wind arising from each magnetic structure. We compare the time-averaged properties from the present modeling with previous results from a one-dimensional, time-steady code (Cranmer et al. 2007) to better calibrate the physics in the lower-dimensional code and get a better understanding of the intricate role that bursty, transient heating from Alfvén-wave-driven turbulence plays in the acceleration of the solar wind from different magnetic structures.

  19. Turbulence

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Frisch, Uriel

    1996-01-01

    Written five centuries after the first studies of Leonardo da Vinci and half a century after A.N. Kolmogorov's first attempt to predict the properties of flow, this textbook presents a modern account of turbulence, one of the greatest challenges in physics. "Fully developed turbulence" is ubiquitous in both cosmic and natural environments, in engineering applications and in everyday life. Elementary presentations of dynamical systems ideas, probabilistic methods (including the theory of large deviations) and fractal geometry make this a self-contained textbook. This is the first book on turbulence to use modern ideas from chaos and symmetry breaking. The book will appeal to first-year graduate students in mathematics, physics, astrophysics, geosciences and engineering, as well as professional scientists and engineers.

  20. 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.

  1. TRANSPORT EQUATION FOR MHD TURBULENCE: APPLICATION TO PARTICLE ACCELERATION AT INTERPLANETARY SHOCKS

    SciTech Connect

    Sokolov, Igor V.; Gombosi, Tamas I.; Roussev, Ilia I.; Skender, Marina; Usmanov, Arcadi V. E-mail: tamas@umich.edu E-mail: Arcadi.Usmanov.1@gsfc.nasa.gov

    2009-05-01

    The aim of the present paper is to unify the various transport equations for turbulent waves that are used in different areas of space physics. Here, we mostly focus on the magnetohydrodynamic turbulence, in particular the Alfvenic turbulence. The applied methods, however, are general and can be extended to other forms of turbulence, for example the acoustic turbulence, or Langmuir plasma waves. With minor modifications, the derivations followed here can be extended for relativistic motions, thus making it possible to apply them to the wave transport in astrophysical objects with high plasma speeds (radiojets), or strong gravity (black hole surroundings)

  2. Physics of Reconnection and MMS Mission

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

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

    2009-01-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2016-05-01

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

  4. 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.

  5. ASSESSING THE FEASIBILITY OF COSMIC-RAY ACCELERATION BY MAGNETIC TURBULENCE AT THE GALACTIC CENTER

    SciTech Connect

    Fatuzzo, M.; Melia, F. E-mail: fmelia@email.arizona.edu

    2012-05-01

    The presence of relativistic particles at the center of our Galaxy is evidenced by the diffuse TeV emission detected from the inner {approx}2 Degree-Sign of the Galaxy. Although it is not yet entirely clear whether the origin of the TeV photons is due to hadronic or leptonic interactions, the tight correlation of the intensity distribution with the distribution of molecular gas along the Galactic ridge strongly points to a pionic-decay process involving relativistic protons. In previous work, we concluded that point-source candidates, such as the supermassive black hole Sagittarius A* (identified with the High-Energy Stereoscopic System (HESS) source J1745-290) or the pulsar wind nebulae dispersed along the Galactic plane, could not account for the observed diffuse TeV emission from this region. Motivated by this result, we consider here the feasibility that the cosmic rays populating the Galactic center region are accelerated in situ by magnetic turbulence. Our results indicate that even in a highly conductive environment, this mechanism is efficient enough to energize protons within the intercloud medium to the {approx}>TeV energies required to produce the HESS emission.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2013-12-01

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

  7. Local Diagnosis of Reconnection in 3D

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2014-12-01

    We demonstrate (I,II) an approach to find reconnection sites in 3D where there is no flux function for guidance, and where local observational signatures for the ``violation of frozen flux'' are under developed, if not non-existent. We use 2D and 3D PIC simulations of asymmetric guide field reconnection to test our observational hierarchy of single spacecraft kinetic diagnostics - all possible with present state of the art instrumentation. The proliferation of turbulent, electron inertial scale layers in the realistic 3D case demonstrates that electron demagnetization, while necessary, is not sufficient to identify reconnection sites. An excellent local, observable, single spacecraft proxy is demonstrated for the size of the theoretical frozen flux violation. Since even frozen flux violations need not imply reconnection is at hand, a new calibrated dimensionless method is used to determine the importance of such violations. This measure is available in 2D and 3D to help differentiate reconnection layers from weaker frozen flux violating layers. We discuss the possibility that this technique can be implemented on MMS. A technique to highlight flow geometries conducive to reconnection in 3D simulations is also suggested, that may also be implementable with the MMS flotilla. We use local analysis with multiple necessary, but theoretically independent electron kinetic conditions to help reduce the probability of misidentification of any given layer as a reconnection site. Since these local conditions are all necessary for the site, but none is known to be sufficient, the multiple tests help to greatly reduce false positive identifications. The selectivity of the results of this approach using PIC simulations of 3D asymmetric guide field reconnection will be shown using varying numbers of simultaneous conditions. Scudder, J.D., H. Karimabadi, W. Daughton and V. Roytershteyn I, II, submitted Phys. Plasma., 2014

  8. 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.

  9. Structure of sheared and rotating turbulence: Multiscale statistics of Lagrangian and Eulerian accelerations and passive scalar dynamics

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Jacobitz, Frank G.; Schneider, Kai; Bos, Wouter J. T.; Farge, Marie

    2016-01-01

    The acceleration statistics of sheared and rotating homogeneous turbulence are studied using direct numerical simulation results. The statistical properties of Lagrangian and Eulerian accelerations are considered together with the influence of the rotation to shear ratio, as well as the scale dependence of their statistics. The probability density functions (pdfs) of both Lagrangian and Eulerian accelerations show a strong and similar dependence on the rotation to shear ratio. The variance and flatness of both accelerations are analyzed and the extreme values of the Eulerian acceleration are observed to be above those of the Lagrangian acceleration. For strong rotation it is observed that flatness yields values close to three, corresponding to Gaussian-like behavior, and for moderate and vanishing rotation the flatness increases. Furthermore, the Lagrangian and Eulerian accelerations are shown to be strongly correlated for strong rotation due to a reduced nonlinear term in this case. A wavelet-based scale-dependent analysis shows that the flatness of both Eulerian and Lagrangian accelerations increases as scale decreases, which provides evidence for intermittent behavior. For strong rotation the Eulerian acceleration is even more intermittent than the Lagrangian acceleration, while the opposite result is obtained for moderate rotation. Moreover, the dynamics of a passive scalar with gradient production in the direction of the mean velocity gradient is analyzed and the influence of the rotation to shear ratio is studied. Concerning the concentration of a passive scalar spread by the flow, the pdf of its Eulerian time rate of change presents higher extreme values than those of its Lagrangian time rate of change. This suggests that the Eulerian time rate of change of scalar concentration is mainly due to advection, while its Lagrangian counterpart is only due to gradient production and viscous dissipation.

  10. Structure of sheared and rotating turbulence: Multiscale statistics of Lagrangian and Eulerian accelerations and passive scalar dynamics.

    PubMed

    Jacobitz, Frank G; Schneider, Kai; Bos, Wouter J T; Farge, Marie

    2016-01-01

    The acceleration statistics of sheared and rotating homogeneous turbulence are studied using direct numerical simulation results. The statistical properties of Lagrangian and Eulerian accelerations are considered together with the influence of the rotation to shear ratio, as well as the scale dependence of their statistics. The probability density functions (pdfs) of both Lagrangian and Eulerian accelerations show a strong and similar dependence on the rotation to shear ratio. The variance and flatness of both accelerations are analyzed and the extreme values of the Eulerian acceleration are observed to be above those of the Lagrangian acceleration. For strong rotation it is observed that flatness yields values close to three, corresponding to Gaussian-like behavior, and for moderate and vanishing rotation the flatness increases. Furthermore, the Lagrangian and Eulerian accelerations are shown to be strongly correlated for strong rotation due to a reduced nonlinear term in this case. A wavelet-based scale-dependent analysis shows that the flatness of both Eulerian and Lagrangian accelerations increases as scale decreases, which provides evidence for intermittent behavior. For strong rotation the Eulerian acceleration is even more intermittent than the Lagrangian acceleration, while the opposite result is obtained for moderate rotation. Moreover, the dynamics of a passive scalar with gradient production in the direction of the mean velocity gradient is analyzed and the influence of the rotation to shear ratio is studied. Concerning the concentration of a passive scalar spread by the flow, the pdf of its Eulerian time rate of change presents higher extreme values than those of its Lagrangian time rate of change. This suggests that the Eulerian time rate of change of scalar concentration is mainly due to advection, while its Lagrangian counterpart is only due to gradient production and viscous dissipation. PMID:26871161

  11. 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.

  12. 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.

  13. The Time-Dependent Structure of the Electron Reconnection Layer

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

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

    2009-01-01

    Collisionless magnetic reconnection is often associated with time-dependent behavior. Specifically, current layers in the diffusion region can become unstable to tearing-type instabilities on one hand, or to instabilities with current-aligned wave vectors on the other. In the former case, the growth of tearing instabilities typically leads to the production of magnetic islands, which potentially provide feedback on the reconnection process itself, as well as on the rate of reconnection. The second class of instabilities tend to modulate the current layer along the direction of the current flow, for instance generating kink-type perturbations, or smaller-scale turbulence with the potential to broaden the current layer. All of these processes contribute to rendering magnetic reconnection time-dependent. In this presentation, we will provide a summary of these effects, and a discussion of how much they contribute to the overall magnetic reconnection rate.

  14. 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} .

  15. First-order particle acceleration in magnetically driven flows

    DOE PAGESBeta

    Beresnyak, Andrey; Li, Hui

    2016-03-02

    In this study, we demonstrate that particles are regularly accelerated while experiencing curvature drift in flows driven by magnetic tension. Some examples of such flows include spontaneous turbulent reconnection and decaying magnetohydrodynamic turbulence, where a magnetic field relaxes to a lower-energy configuration and transfers part of its energy to kinetic motions of the fluid. We show that this energy transfer, which normally causes turbulent cascade and heating of the fluid, also results in a first-order acceleration of non-thermal particles. Since it is generic, this acceleration mechanism is likely to play a role in the production of non-thermal particle distribution inmore » magnetically dominant environments such as the solar chromosphere, pulsar magnetospheres, jets from supermassive black holes, and γ-ray bursts.« less

  16. First-Order Particle Acceleration in Magnetically-driven Flows

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Beresnyak, Andrey; Li, Hui

    2016-03-01

    We demonstrate that particles are regularly accelerated while experiencing curvature drift in flows driven by magnetic tension. Some examples of such flows include spontaneous turbulent reconnection and decaying magnetohydrodynamic turbulence, where a magnetic field relaxes to a lower-energy configuration and transfers part of its energy to kinetic motions of the fluid. We show that this energy transfer, which normally causes turbulent cascade and heating of the fluid, also results in a first-order acceleration of non-thermal particles. Since it is generic, this acceleration mechanism is likely to play a role in the production of non-thermal particle distribution in magnetically dominant environments such as the solar chromosphere, pulsar magnetospheres, jets from supermassive black holes, and γ-ray bursts.

  17. Relativistic Electrons Produced by Reconnecting Electric Fields in a Laser-driven Bench-top Solar Flare

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Zhong, J. Y.; Lin, J.; Li, Y. T.; Wang, X.; Li, Y.; Zhang, K.; Yuan, D. W.; Ping, Y. L.; Wei, H. G.; Wang, J. Q.; Su, L. N.; Li, F.; Han, B.; Liao, G. Q.; Yin, C. L.; Fang, Y.; Yuan, X.; Wang, C.; Sun, J. R.; Liang, G. Y.; Wang, F. L.; Ding, Y. K.; He, X. T.; Zhu, J. Q.; Sheng, Z. M.; Li, G.; Zhao, G.; Zhang, J.

    2016-08-01

    Laboratory experiments have been carried out to model the magnetic reconnection process in a solar flare with powerful lasers. Relativistic electrons with energy up to megaelectronvolts are detected along the magnetic separatrices bounding the reconnection outflow, which exhibit a kappa-like distribution with an effective temperature of ∼109 K. The acceleration of non-thermal electrons is found to be more efficient in the case with a guide magnetic field (a component of a magnetic field along the reconnection-induced electric field) than in the case without a guide field. Hardening of the spectrum at energies ≥500 keV is observed in both cases, which remarkably resembles the hardening of hard X-ray and γ-ray spectra observed in many solar flares. This supports a recent proposal that the hardening in the hard X-ray and γ-ray emissions of solar flares is due to a hardening of the source-electron spectrum. We also performed numerical simulations that help examine behaviors of electrons in the reconnection process with the electromagnetic field configurations occurring in the experiments. The trajectories of non-thermal electrons observed in the experiments were well duplicated in the simulations. Our numerical simulations generally reproduce the electron energy spectrum as well, except for the hardening of the electron spectrum. This suggests that other mechanisms such as shock or turbulence may play an important role in the production of the observed energetic electrons.

  18. Relativistic Electrons Produced by Reconnecting Electric Fields in a Laser-driven Bench-top Solar Flare

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Zhong, J. Y.; Lin, J.; Li, Y. T.; Wang, X.; Li, Y.; Zhang, K.; Yuan, D. W.; Ping, Y. L.; Wei, H. G.; Wang, J. Q.; Su, L. N.; Li, F.; Han, B.; Liao, G. Q.; Yin, C. L.; Fang, Y.; Yuan, X.; Wang, C.; Sun, J. R.; Liang, G. Y.; Wang, F. L.; Ding, Y. K.; He, X. T.; Zhu, J. Q.; Sheng, Z. M.; Li, G.; Zhao, G.; Zhang, J.

    2016-08-01

    Laboratory experiments have been carried out to model the magnetic reconnection process in a solar flare with powerful lasers. Relativistic electrons with energy up to megaelectronvolts are detected along the magnetic separatrices bounding the reconnection outflow, which exhibit a kappa-like distribution with an effective temperature of ˜109 K. The acceleration of non-thermal electrons is found to be more efficient in the case with a guide magnetic field (a component of a magnetic field along the reconnection-induced electric field) than in the case without a guide field. Hardening of the spectrum at energies ≥500 keV is observed in both cases, which remarkably resembles the hardening of hard X-ray and γ-ray spectra observed in many solar flares. This supports a recent proposal that the hardening in the hard X-ray and γ-ray emissions of solar flares is due to a hardening of the source-electron spectrum. We also performed numerical simulations that help examine behaviors of electrons in the reconnection process with the electromagnetic field configurations occurring in the experiments. The trajectories of non-thermal electrons observed in the experiments were well duplicated in the simulations. Our numerical simulations generally reproduce the electron energy spectrum as well, except for the hardening of the electron spectrum. This suggests that other mechanisms such as shock or turbulence may play an important role in the production of the observed energetic electrons.

  19. 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.

  20. 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.

  1. Reconnection in Planetary Magnetospheres

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Russell, C. T.

    2000-01-01

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

  2. 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.

  3. Asymmetric Reconnection in the Terrestrial Reconnection EXperiment

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2014-10-01

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

  4. 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.

  5. 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

  6. 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.

  7. Spatial Growth of Current-driven Instability in Relativistic Rotating Jets and the Search for Magnetic Reconnection

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Singh, Chandra B.; Mizuno, Yosuke; de Gouveia Dal Pino, Elisabete M.

    2016-06-01

    Using the three-dimensional relativistic magnetohydrodynamic code RAISHIN, we investigated the influence of the radial density profile on the spatial development of the current-driven kink instability along magnetized rotating, relativistic jets. For the purposes of our study, we used a nonperiodic computational box, the jet flow is initially established across the computational grid, and a precessional perturbation at the inlet triggers the growth of the kink instability. We studied light and heavy jets with respect to the environment depending on the density profile. Different angular velocity amplitudes have been also tested. The results show the propagation of a helically kinked structure along the jet and a relatively stable configuration for the lighter jets. The jets appear to be collimated by the magnetic field, and the flow is accelerated owing to conversion of electromagnetic into kinetic energy. We also identify regions of high current density in filamentary current sheets, indicative of magnetic reconnection, which are associated with the kink-unstable regions and correlated with the decrease of the sigma parameter of the flow. We discuss the implications of our findings for Poynting-flux-dominated jets in connection with magnetic reconnection processes. We find that fast magnetic reconnection may be driven by the kink-instability turbulence and govern the transformation of magnetic into kinetic energy, thus providing an efficient way to power and accelerate particles in active galactic nucleus and gamma-ray-burst relativistic jets.

  8. Reconnection Processes in the Chromosphere and Corona

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Shibata, Kazunari

    2012-07-01

    Magnetic reconnection is a fundamental key physical process in magnetized plasmas. Recent space solar observations revealed that magnetic reconnection is ubiquitous in the solar chromospheres and corona. Especially recent Hinode observations has found various types of tiny chromospheric jets, such as chromospheric anemone jets (Shibata et al. 2007), penumbral microjets (Katsukawa et al. 2007), light bridge jets from sunspot umbra (Shimizu et al. 2009), etc. It was also found that the corona is full of tiny X-ray jets (Cirtain et al. 2007). Often they are seen as helical spinning jets (Shimojo et al. 2007, Patsourakos et al. 2008, Pariat et al. 2009, Filippov et al. 2009, Kamio et al. 2010) with Alfvenic waves (Nishizuka et al. 2008, Liu et al. 2009) and there are increasing evidence of magnetic reconnection in these tiny jets. We can now say that as spatial resolution of observations become better and better, smaller and smaller flares and jets have been discovered, which implies that the magnetized solar atmosphere consist of fractal structure and dynamics, i.e., fractal reconnection. Bursty radio and hard X-ray emissions from flares also suggest the fractal reconnection and associated particle acceleration. Since magnetohydrodynamics (MHD) does not contain any characteristic length and time scale, it is natural that MHD structure, dynamics, and reconnection, tend to become fractal in ideal MHD plasmas with large magnetic Reynolds number such as in the solar atmosphere. We would discuss recent observations and theories related to fractal reconnection in the chromospheres and corona, and discuss possible implication to chromospheric and coronal heating.

  9. 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.

  10. 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.

  11. The Effects of Wave Escape on Fast Magnetosonic Wave Turbulence in Solar Flares

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Pongkitiwanichakul, Peera; Chandran, Benjamin D. G.; Karpen, Judith T.; DeVore, C. Richard

    2012-01-01

    One of the leading models for electron acceleration in solar flares is stochastic acceleration by weakly turbulent fast magnetosonic waves ("fast waves"). In this model, large-scale flows triggered by magnetic reconnection excite large-wavelength fast waves, and fast-wave energy then cascades from large wavelengths to small wavelengths. Electron acceleration by large-wavelength fast-waves is weak, and so the model relies on the small-wavelength waves produced by the turbulent cascade. In order for the model to work, the energy cascade time for large-wavelength fast waves must be shorter than the time required for the waves to propagate out of the solar-flare acceleration region. To investigate the effects of wave escape, we solve the wave kinetic equation for fast waves in weak turbulence theory, supplemented with a homogeneous wave-loss term.We find that the amplitude of large-wavelength fast waves must exceed a minimum threshold in order for a significant fraction of the wave energy to cascade to small wavelengths before the waves leave the acceleration region.We evaluate this threshold as a function of the dominant wavelength of the fast waves that are initially excited by reconnection outflows.

  12. THE EFFECTS OF WAVE ESCAPE ON FAST MAGNETOSONIC WAVE TURBULENCE IN SOLAR FLARES

    SciTech Connect

    Pongkitiwanichakul, Peera; Chandran, Benjamin D. G.; Karpen, Judith T.; DeVore, C. Richard E-mail: benjamin.chandran@unh.edu E-mail: devore@nrl.navy.mil

    2012-09-20

    One of the leading models for electron acceleration in solar flares is stochastic acceleration by weakly turbulent fast magnetosonic waves ({sup f}ast waves{sup )}. In this model, large-scale flows triggered by magnetic reconnection excite large-wavelength fast waves, and fast-wave energy then cascades from large wavelengths to small wavelengths. Electron acceleration by large-wavelength fast waves is weak, and so the model relies on the small-wavelength waves produced by the turbulent cascade. In order for the model to work, the energy cascade time for large-wavelength fast waves must be shorter than the time required for the waves to propagate out of the solar-flare acceleration region. To investigate the effects of wave escape, we solve the wave kinetic equation for fast waves in weak turbulence theory, supplemented with a homogeneous wave-loss term. We find that the amplitude of large-wavelength fast waves must exceed a minimum threshold in order for a significant fraction of the wave energy to cascade to small wavelengths before the waves leave the acceleration region. We evaluate this threshold as a function of the dominant wavelength of the fast waves that are initially excited by reconnection outflows.

  13. Fast sawtooth reconnection at realistic Lundquist numbers

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Günter, S.; Yu, Q.; Lackner, K.; Bhattacharjee, A.; Huang, Y.-M.

    2015-01-01

    Magnetic reconnection, a ubiquitous phenomenon in astrophysics, space science and magnetic confinement research, frequently proceeds much faster than predicted by simple resistive MHD theory. Acceleration can result from the break-up of the thin Sweet-Parker current sheet into plasmoids, or from two-fluid effects decoupling mass and magnetic flux transport over the ion inertial length {{v}A}/{ωci} or the drift scale \\sqrt{{{T}e}/{{m}i}}/{ωci}, depending on the absence or presence of a strong magnetic guide field. We describe new results on the modelling of sawtooth reconnection in a simple tokamak geometry (circular cylindrical equilibrium) pushed to realistic Lundquist numbers for present day tokamaks. For the resistive MHD case, the onset criteria and the influence of plasmoids on the reconnection process agree well with earlier results found in the case of vanishing magnetic guide fields. While plasmoids are also observed in two-fluid calculations, they do not dominate the reconnection process for the range of plasma parameters considered in this study. In the two-fluid case they form as a transient phenomenon only. The reconnection times become weakly dependent on the S-value and for the most complete model—including two-fluid effects and equilibrium temperature and density gradients—agree well with those experimentally found on ASDEX Upgrade ≤ft(≤slant 100 μ s\\right).

  14. 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)).

  15. 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.

  16. Heating and Acceleration of the Fast Solar Wind by Alfvén Wave Turbulence

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    van Ballegooijen, A. A.; Asgari-Targhi, M.

    2016-04-01

    We present numerical simulations of reduced magnetohydrodynamic (RMHD) turbulence in a magnetic flux tube at the center of a polar coronal hole. The model for the background atmosphere is a solution of the momentum equation and includes the effects of wave pressure on the solar wind outflow. Alfvén waves are launched at the coronal base and reflect at various heights owing to variations in Alfvén speed and outflow velocity. The turbulence is driven by nonlinear interactions between the counterpropagating Alfvén waves. Results are presented for two models of the background atmosphere. In the first model the plasma density and Alfvén speed vary smoothly with height, resulting in minimal wave reflections and low-energy dissipation rates. We find that the dissipation rate is insufficient to maintain the temperature of the background atmosphere. The standard phenomenological formula for the dissipation rate significantly overestimates the rate derived from our RMHD simulations, and a revised formula is proposed. In the second model we introduce additional density variations along the flux tube with a correlation length of 0.04 R⊙ and with relative amplitude of 10%. These density variations simulate the effects of compressive MHD waves on the Alfvén waves. We find that such variations significantly enhance the wave reflection and thereby the turbulent dissipation rates, producing enough heat to maintain the background atmosphere. We conclude that interactions between Alfvén and compressive waves may play an important role in the turbulent heating of the fast solar wind.

  17. A TURBULENCE-DRIVEN MODEL FOR HEATING AND ACCELERATION OF THE FAST WIND IN CORONAL HOLES

    SciTech Connect

    Verdini, A.; Velli, M.; Matthaeus, W. H.; Oughton, S.; Dmitruk, P.

    2010-01-10

    A model is presented for generation of fast solar wind in coronal holes, relying on heating that is dominated by turbulent dissipation of MHD fluctuations transported upward in the solar atmosphere. Scale-separated transport equations include large-scale fields, transverse Alfvenic fluctuations, and a small compressive dissipation due to parallel shears near the transition region. The model accounts for proton temperature, density, wind speed, and fluctuation amplitude as observed in remote sensing and in situ satellite data.

  18. Earth Reconnect -- July 2012

    NASA Video Gallery

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

  19. 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...

  20. Model of Hall reconnection.

    PubMed

    Malyshkin, Leonid M

    2008-11-28

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

  1. Model of Hall Reconnection

    SciTech Connect

    Malyshkin, Leonid M.

    2008-11-28

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

  2. MAGNETIC ENERGY PRODUCTION BY TURBULENCE IN BINARY NEUTRON STAR MERGERS

    SciTech Connect

    Zrake, Jonathan; MacFadyen, Andrew I.

    2013-06-01

    The simultaneous detection of electromagnetic and gravitational wave emission from merging neutron star binaries would greatly aid in their discovery and interpretation. By studying turbulent amplification of magnetic fields in local high-resolution simulations of neutron star merger conditions, we demonstrate that magnetar-level ({approx}> 10{sup 16} G) fields are present throughout the merger duration. We find that the small-scale turbulent dynamo converts 60% of the randomized kinetic energy into magnetic fields on a merger timescale. Since turbulent magnetic energy dissipates through reconnection events that accelerate relativistic electrons, turbulence may facilitate the conversion of orbital kinetic energy into radiation. If 10{sup -4} of the {approx}10{sup 53} erg of orbital kinetic available gets processed through reconnection and creates radiation in the 15-150 keV band, then the fluence at 200 Mpc would be 10{sup -7} erg cm{sup -2}, potentially rendering most merging neutron stars in the advanced LIGO and Virgo detection volumes detectable by Swift BAT.

  3. Inner Plasma Structure of the Low-Latitude Reconnection Layer

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

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

    2012-01-01

    We report a clear transition through a reconnection layer at the low-latitude magnetopause which shows a complete traversal across all reconnected field lines during northwestward interplanetary magnetic field (IMF) conditions. The associated plasma populations confirm details of the electron and ion mixing and the time history and acceleration through the current layer. This case has low magnetic shear with a strong guide field and the reconnection layer contains a single density depletion layer on the magnetosheath side which we suggest results from nearly field-aligned magnetosheath flows. Within the reconnection boundary layer, there are two plasma boundaries, close to the inferred separatrices on the magnetosphere and magnetosheath sides (Ssp and Ssh) and two boundaries associated with the Alfvén waves (or Rotational Discontinuities, RDsp and RDsh). The data are consistent with these being launched from the reconnection site and the plasma distributions are well ordered and suggestive of the time elapsed since reconnection of the field lines observed. In each sub-layer between the boundaries the plasma distribution is different and is centered around the current sheet, responsible for magnetosheath acceleration. We show evidence for a velocity dispersion effect in the electron anisotropy that is consistent with the time elapsed since reconnection. In addition, new evidence is presented for the occurrence of partial reflection of magnetosheath electrons at the magnetopause current layer.

  4. Accelerated inhomogeneous (e.g. Richtmyer-Meshkov) flows: A-dot at intermediate times, vortex-accelerated vortex deposition and turbulence

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Zabusky, Norman; Peng, Gaozhu; Zhang, Shuang

    2004-11-01

    We review our recent contributions [1,2,3,4] in the light of their omission in recent publications [5,6,7,8]. Included is the VAVD process ( also called: secondary baroclinic circulation generation) which yields more positive and negative circulation through intermediate times than the original shock-accelerated vortex deposition (SAVD). VAVD is due to the acceleration provided by the rolled up vortex from SAVD and more important, the strongly increased density gradients of the multiphase front, also caused by the roll-up process . In addition we quantify : the effect of the initial thickness of the interfacial transition layer; the approach to constant a-dot at intermediate-to-late times; the ubiquity of vortex projectiles and transition to turbulence. Refs: 1.Zabusky, N.J., Kotelnikov, A.D., Gulak, Y. & Peng, G. Amplitude growth rate of a Richtmyer-Meshkov unstable two-dimensional interface to intermediate times. J. Fluid Mechanics, 475, p. 147-162,2003. 2.N. J. Zabusky, S. Gupta and Y. Gulak. Localization and spreading of contact discontinuity layers in simulations of compressible dissipationless flows. J. Comput. Phys. 188 (2) (2003) 347-363, 2003. 3.G. Peng, N. J. Zabusky & S. Zhang. Vortex-accelerated secondary baroclinic vorticity deposition and late intermediate time dynamics of a two-dimensional RM interface. Phys. Fluids 15 (12), 3730-3744, 2003. 4. S. Zhang, N. J. Zabusky, G. Peng & S. Gupta. Shock Gaseous Cylinder Interactions: Dynamically validated initial conditions provide excellent agreement between experiments and Navier-Stokes simulations to late-intermediate time. Phys.Fluids 16(5), 1203-1216, 2004. 5.P. Vorobieff , N.-G. Mohamed, C. Tomkins, C. Goodenough, M. Marr-Lyon, and R. F. Benjamin Scaling evolution in shock-induced transition to turbulence PHYS REV. E 68, 065301.2003. 6.C. Matsuoka, K. Nishihara and Y. Fukuda,. Nonlinear evolution of an interface in the Richtmyer-Meshkov instability. PHYS. REV. E 67, 036301 2003!& erratum 7.K. Nishihara

  5. Test-particle acceleration in a hierarchical three-dimensional turbulence model

    SciTech Connect

    Dalena, S.; Rappazzo, A. F.; Matthaeus, W. H.; Dmitruk, P.; Greco, A.

    2014-03-10

    The acceleration of charged particles is relevant to the solar corona over a broad range of scales and energies. High-energy particles are usually detected in concomitance with large energy release events like solar eruptions and flares. Nevertheless, acceleration can occur at smaller scales, characterized by dynamical activity near current sheets. To gain insight into the complex scenario of coronal charged particle acceleration, we investigate the properties of acceleration with a test-particle approach using three-dimensional magnetohydrodynamic (MHD) models. These are obtained from direct solutions of the reduced MHD equations, well suited for a plasma embedded in a strong axial magnetic field, relevant to the inner heliosphere. A multi-box, multiscale technique is used to solve the equations of motion for protons. This method allows us to resolve an extended range of scales present in the system, namely, from the ion inertial scale of the order of a meter up to macroscopic scales of the order of 10 km (1/100th of the outer scale of the system). This new technique is useful to identify the mechanisms that, acting at different scales, are responsible for acceleration to high energies of a small fraction of the particles in the coronal plasma. We report results that describe acceleration at different stages over a broad range of time, length, and energy scales.

  6. 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

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

    SciTech Connect

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

    2010-07-02

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

  8. 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.

  9. Waves, instabilities and turbulence properties in Depolarisation Fronts

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lapenta, Giovanni; Goldman, Martin; Newman, David L.; Olshevskyi, Vyacheslav; Eastwood, Jonathan; Divin, Andrey; Pucci, Francesco

    2016-04-01

    The new mission MMS is currently focusing on the magnetopause but we need to be ready for the study of the tail. An aspect of great importance there are the Dipolarization fronts (DF), formed by reconnection outflows interacting with the pre-existing environment. These regions are host of important energy and wave phenomena [1-3]. Our recent work has investigated these regions via fully kinetic 3D simulations [4-5]. As reported recently on Nature Physics [3], based on 3D fully kinetic simulations started with a well defined x-line, we observe that in the DF reconnection transitions towards a more chaotic regime. In the fronts an instability develops caused by the local gradients of the density and by the unfavourable acceleration and field line curvature. The consequence is the break up of the fronts in a fashion similar to the classical fluid Rayleigh-Taylor instability and the onset of waves and secondary instabilities, transitioning towards a turbulent state. We investigate here especially the wave signatures that are observed in fully 3D simulations, looking for signatures of interchange-type lower hybrid waves [8], of whistler waves [7]. The end result present a vast array of waves and it is best analysed relying on concepts mutated by the turbulence theory. The end result of these waves and particle flows [2,6] are energy exchanges. We evaluate the different terms of the energy exchanges (energy deposition, J.E, and energy fluxes) and evaluate their relative improtance. The results presented are contrasted against existing results [1,9] and will provided useful guidance in analysis of future MMS data. [1] Hamrin, Maria, et al. "The evolution of flux pileup regions in the plasma sheet: Cluster observations." Journal of Geophysical Research: Space Physics 118.10 (2013): 6279-6290. [2] Angelopoulos, V., et al. "Electromagnetic energy conversion at reconnection fronts." Science 341.6153 (2013): 1478-1482. [3] Zhou, Meng, et al. "THEMIS observation of multiple

  10. Mass entrainment and turbulence-driven acceleration of ultra-high energy cosmic rays in Centaurus A

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wykes, Sarka; Croston, Judith H.; Hardcastle, Martin J.; Eilek, Jean A.; Biermann, Peter L.; Achterberg, Abraham; Bray, Justin D.; Lazarian, Alex; Haverkorn, Marijke; Protheroe, Ray J.; Bromberg, Omer

    2013-10-01

    Observations of the FR I radio galaxy Centaurus A in radio, X-ray, and gamma-ray bands provide evidence for lepton acceleration up to several TeV and clues about hadron acceleration to tens of EeV. Synthesising the available observational constraints on the physical conditions and particle content in the jets, inner lobes and giant lobes of Centaurus A, we aim to evaluate its feasibility as an ultra-high-energy cosmic-ray source. We apply several methods of determining jet power and affirm the consistency of various power estimates of ~1 × 1043 erg s-1. Employing scaling relations based on previous results for 3C 31, we estimate particle number densities in the jets, encompassing available radio through X-ray observations. Our model is compatible with the jets ingesting ~3 × 1021 g s-1 of matter via external entrainment from hot gas and ~7 × 1022 g s-1 via internal entrainment from jet-contained stars. This leads to an imbalance between the internal lobe pressure available from radiating particles and magnetic field, and our derived external pressure. Based on knowledge of the external environments of other FR I sources, we estimate the thermal pressure in the giant lobes as 1.5 × 10-12 dyn cm-2, from which we deduce a lower limit to the temperature of ~1.6 × 108 K. Using dynamical and buoyancy arguments, we infer ~440-645 Myr and ~560 Myr as the sound-crossing and buoyancy ages of the giant lobes respectively, inconsistent with their spectral ages. We re-investigate the feasibility of particle acceleration via stochastic processes in the lobes, placing new constraints on the energetics and on turbulent input to the lobes. The same "very hot" temperatures that allow self-consistency between the entrainment calculations and the missing pressure also allow stochastic UHECR acceleration models to work.

  11. 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.

  12. Vlasov simulation of laser-driven shock acceleration and ion turbulence

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Grassi, A.; Fedeli, L.; Sgattoni, A.; Macchi, A.

    2016-03-01

    We present a Vlasov, i.e. a kinetic Eulerian simulation study of nonlinear collisionless ion-acoustic shocks and solitons excited by an intense laser interacting with an overdense plasma. The use of the Vlasov code avoids problems with low particle statistics and allows a validation of particle-in-cell results. A simple, original correction to the splitting method for the numerical integration of the Vlasov equation has been implemented in order to ensure the charge conservation in the relativistic regime. We show that the ion distribution is affected by the development of a turbulence driven by the relativistic ‘fast’ electron bunches generated at the laser-plasma interaction surface. This leads to the onset of ion reflection at the shock front in an initially cold plasma where only soliton solutions without ion reflection are expected to propagate. We give a simple analytical model to describe the onset of the turbulence as a nonlinear coupling of the ion density with the fast electron currents, taking the pulsed nature of the relativistic electron bunches into account.

  13. The velocity and acceleration signatures of small-scale vortices in turbulent channel flow*

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Christensen, Kenneth T.; Adrian, Ronald J.

    2002-04-01

    Time-resolved particle-image velocimetry measurements are made in the streamwise-wall-normal plane of turbulent channel flow at Ret?=?550 and 1747. Temporal and convective derivatives of velocity are computed from this data in order to evaluate the small-scale behaviour of these quantities as well as of the velocity itself. Instantaneous velocity fields indicate that the flow is dominated by small-scale vortex cores believed to be associated with hairpin/hairpin-like vortices. These vortices have been observed in realizations of the random velocity in other wall turbulence studies. In this work, a deterministic ‘vortex signature’ is determined by conditional averaging techniques. This average signature is consistent with the hairpin vortex signature defined by Adrian and co-workers: circular streamlines with a strong ejection of low-speed fluid away from the wall (a Q2 event) just upstream of the vortex head. In addition, the spatial extent of these small-scale vortices appears to remain relatively constant within the Reynolds-number range studied herein.

  14. Acceleration of raindrop formation due to the tangling-clustering instability in a turbulent stratified atmosphere

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Elperin, T.; Kleeorin, N.; Krasovitov, B.; Kulmala, M.; Liberman, M.; Rogachevskii, I.; Zilitinkevich, S.

    2015-07-01

    Condensation of water vapor on active cloud condensation nuclei produces micron-size water droplets. To form rain, they must grow rapidly into at least 50- to 100 -μ m droplets. Observations show that this process takes only 15-20 min. The unexplained physical mechanism of such fast growth is crucial for understanding and modeling of rain and known as "condensation-coalescence bottleneck in rain formation." We show that the recently discovered phenomenon of the tangling clustering instability of small droplets in temperature-stratified turbulence [Phys. Fluids 25, 085104 (2013), 10.1063/1.4816643] results in the formation of droplet clusters with drastically increased droplet number densities. The mechanism of the tangling clustering instability is much more effective than the previously considered by us the inertial clustering instability caused by the centrifugal effect of turbulent vortices. This is the reason of strong enhancement of the collision-coalescence rate inside the clusters. The mean-field theory of the droplet growth developed in this study can be useful for explanation of the observed fast growth of cloud droplets in warm clouds from the initial 1 -μ m -size droplets to 40- to 50 -μ m -size droplets within 15-20 min.

  15. Acceleration of raindrop formation due to the tangling-clustering instability in a turbulent stratified atmosphere.

    PubMed

    Elperin, T; Kleeorin, N; Krasovitov, B; Kulmala, M; Liberman, M; Rogachevskii, I; Zilitinkevich, S

    2015-07-01

    Condensation of water vapor on active cloud condensation nuclei produces micron-size water droplets. To form rain, they must grow rapidly into at least 50- to 100-μm droplets. Observations show that this process takes only 15-20 min. The unexplained physical mechanism of such fast growth is crucial for understanding and modeling of rain and known as "condensation-coalescence bottleneck in rain formation." We show that the recently discovered phenomenon of the tangling clustering instability of small droplets in temperature-stratified turbulence [Phys. Fluids 25, 085104 (2013)] results in the formation of droplet clusters with drastically increased droplet number densities. The mechanism of the tangling clustering instability is much more effective than the previously considered by us the inertial clustering instability caused by the centrifugal effect of turbulent vortices. This is the reason of strong enhancement of the collision-coalescence rate inside the clusters. The mean-field theory of the droplet growth developed in this study can be useful for explanation of the observed fast growth of cloud droplets in warm clouds from the initial 1-μm-size droplets to 40- to 50-μm-size droplets within 15-20 min. PMID:26274274

  16. Introduction to Plasma Dynamo, Reconnection and Shocks

    SciTech Connect

    Intrator, Thomas P.

    2012-08-30

    In our plasma universe, most of what we can observe is composed of ionized gas, or plasma. This plasma is a conducting fluid, which advects magnetic fields when it flows. Magnetic structure occurs from the smallest planetary to the largest cosmic scales. We introduce at a basic level some interesting features of non linear magnetohydrodynamics (MHD). For example, in our plasma universe, dynamo creates magnetic fields from gravitationally driven flow energy in an electrically conducting medium, and conversely magnetic reconnection annihilates magnetic field and accelerates particles. Shocks occur when flows move faster than the local velocity (sonic or Alfven speed) for the propagation of information. Both reconnection and shocks can accelerate particles, perhaps to gigantic energies, for example as observed with 10{sup 20} eV cosmic rays.

  17. Reconnection at Earth's Dayside Magnetopause

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

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

  18. The Effect of Large Scale Magnetic Turbulence on the Acceleration of Electrons by Perpendicular Collisionless Shocks

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Guo, F.; Giacalone, J.

    2009-12-01

    We investigate electron acceleration at collisionless shocks propagating into an upstream plasma containing large-scale magnetic fluctuations in the direction normal to the mean field. We treat electrons as test particles, and integrate their trajectories numerically, in a time dependent electromagnetic field which is determined from a two-dimensional hybrid (kinetic ions, fluid electron) simulation. We find the large-scale magnetic fluctuations effect the electrons in a number of ways leading to efficient and rapid energization at the shock front. Since the electrons move freely along the magnetic field lines, the large scale field line meandering allows the fast-moving electrons to cross the shock front multiple times, leading to efficient acceleration. Ripples in the shock front occurring at various scales will also contribute to the acceleration by mirroring electrons back and forth between them. The downstream spectrum is broadened, with a power-law like tail at high energies up to 200-300 times of the original energy. It is also shown that the spatial distribution of energetic electrons appears to be similar to in-situ observations (e.g. Bale 1999; Simnett 2005). The study may be important in understanding observations of energetic electrons in planetary bow shocks and interplanetary shocks, and explaining herringbone structures in type II solar radio bursts.

  19. 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.

  20. 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.

  1. Exploring turbulent energy dissipation and particle energization in space plasmas: the science of THOR mission

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Retinò, Alessandro

    2016-04-01

    The Universe is permeated by hot, turbulent magnetized plasmas. They are found in active galactic nuclei, supernova remnants, the intergalactic and interstellar medium, as well as in the solar corona, the solar wind and the Earth's magnetosphere. Turbulent plasmas are also found in laboratory devices such as e.g. tokamaks. Our comprehension of the plasma Universe is largely based on measurements of electromagnetic radiation such as light or X-rays which originate from particles that are heated and accelerated as a result of energy dissipation in turbulent environments. Therefore it is of key importance to study and understand how plasma is energized by turbulence. Most of the energy dissipation occurs at kinetic scales, where plasma no longer behaves as a fluid and the properties of individual plasma species (electrons, protons and other ions) become important. THOR (Turbulent Heating ObserveR - http://thor.irfu.se/) is a space mission currently in Study Phase as candidate for M-class mission within the Cosmic Vision program of the European Space Agency. The scientific theme of the THOR mission is turbulent energy dissipation and particle energization in space plasmas, which ties in with ESA's Cosmic Vision science. The main focus is on turbulence and shock processes, however areas where the different fundamental processes interact, such as reconnection in turbulence or shock generated turbulence, are also of high importance. The THOR mission aims to address fundamental questions such as how plasma is heated and particles are accelerated by turbulent fluctuations at kinetic scales, how energy is partitioned among different plasma components and how dissipation operates in different regimes of turbulence. To reach the goal, a careful design of the THOR spacecraft and its payload is ongoing, together with a strong interaction with numerical simulations. Here we present the science of THOR mission and we discuss implications of THOR observations for space

  2. Monte Carlo modeling of ionospheric oxygen acceleration by cyclotron resonance with broad-band electromagnetic turbulence

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Retterer, John M.; Chang, Tom; Crew, G. B.; Jasperse, J. R.; Winningham, J. D.

    1987-01-01

    It is demonstrated that cyclotron resonance with observed electric field fluctuations is responsible for production of the oxygen-ion conics that are observed by the Dynamics Explorer 1 satellite in the central plasma-sheet region of the earth's magnetosphere. The ion-velocity distribution is described by a quasi-linear diffusion equation which is solved by the Monte Carlo technique. The acceleration produced by the observed wave spectrum agrees well with the ion observations, in both form and magnitude. This is believed to represent the first successful comparison of an observed conic with any theoretical model.

  3. 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.

  4. Acceleration of ions to suprathermal energies by turbulence in the plasmoid-like magnetic structures

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Grigorenko, E. E.; Malykhin, A. Yu.; Kronberg, E. A.; Malova, Kh. V.; Daly, P. W.

    2015-08-01

    We study energetic spectra of H+, He+, and O+ ion fluxes in the energy range ≥130 keV measured by Cluster/Research with Adaptive Particle Imaging Detectors (RAPID) instruments during 37 intervals of the tailward bulk flow propagation in the near-Earth tail (at X ≤ -19 RE). In all events from our database, the plasmoid-like magnetic structures with the superimposed low-frequency magnetic and electric field fluctuations were observed along with the tailward bulk flows. The plasmoid-like structures were associated with the enhancements of energetic ion fluxes and the hardening of energy spectra of H+ and He+ ion components in 80% of events and of O+ ion component in 64% of events. The hardening of energy spectra was more pronounced for heavy ions than for protons. The analysis of the magnetic structures and power spectral density (PSD) of the magnetic and electric field fluctuations from our database revealed the following factors favorable for the ion energization: (1) the spatial scale of a plasmoid should exceed the thermal gyroradius of a given ion component in the neutral plane inside the plasmoid; (2) the PSD of the magnetic fluctuations near the gyrofrequency of a particular ion component should exceed ~ 50.0 nT2/Hz for oxygen ions; while the energization of helium ions and protons takes place for much lower values of the PSD. The kinetic analysis of ion dynamics in the plasmoid-like magnetic configuration similar to the observed one with the superimposed turbulence confirms the importance of ion resonant interactions with the low-frequency electromagnetic fluctuations for ion energization inside plasmoids.

  5. 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.

  6. 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.

  7. 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

  8. 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

  9. High-Frequency Electrostatic Wave Generation and Transverse Ion Acceleration by Low Alfvenic Wave Components of BBELF Turbulence

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Singh, Nagendra; Khazanov, George; Mukhter, Ali

    2006-01-01

    Satellite observations in the auroral plasma have revealed that extremely low frequency (ELF) waves play a dominant role in the acceleration of electrons and ions in the auroral plasma. The electromagnetic components of the ELF (EMELF) waves are the electromagnetic ion cyclotron (EMIC) waves below the cyclotron frequency of the lightest ion species in a multi-ion plasma. Shear Alfv6n waves (SAWS) constitute the lowest frequency components of the ELF waves below the ion cyclotron frequency of the heaviest ion. The -2 mechanism for the transfer of energy from such EMELF waves to ions affecting transverse ion heating still remains a matter of debate. A very ubiquitous fe8ture of ELF waves now observed in several rocket and satellite experiments is that they occur in conjunction with high-frequency electrostatic waves. The frequency spectrum of the composite wave turbulence extends from the low frequency of the Alfvenic waves to the high frequency of proton plasma frequency and/or the lower hybrid frequency. The spectrum does not show any feature organized by the ion cyclotron frequencies and their harmonics. Such broadband waves consisting of both the EM and ES waves are now popularly referred as BBELF waves. We present results here from 2.5-D particle-in-cell simulations showing that the ES components are directly generated by cross- field plasma instabilities driven by the drifts of the ions and electrons in the EM component of the BBELF waves.

  10. Reconnecting Flux Ropes

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Gekelman, Walter; van Compernolle, Bart

    2012-10-01

    Magnetic flux ropes are due to helical currents and form a dense carpet of arches on the surface of the sun. Occasionally one tears loose as a coronal mass ejection and its rope structure is detected by satellites close to the earth. Current sheets can tear into filaments and these are nothing other than flux ropes. Ropes are not static, they exert mutual JxB forces causing them to twist about each other and merge. Kink instabilities cause them to violently smash into each other and reconnect at the point of contact. We report on experiments done in the large plasma device (LAPD) at UCLA (L=17m,dia=60cm,0.3<=B0z<=2.5kG,n˜2x10^12cm-3)on three dimensional flux ropes. Two, three or more magnetic flux ropes are generated from initially adjacent pulsed current channels in a background magnetized plasma. The currents and magnetic fields form exotic shapes with no ignorable direction and no magnetic nulls. Volumetric space-time data show multiple reconnection sites with time-dependent locations. The concept of a quasi-separatrix layer (QSL), a tool to understand 3D reconnection without null points. In our experiment the QSL is a narrow ribbon-like region(s) that twists between field lines. Within the QSL(s) field lines that start close to one another rapidly diverge as they pass through one or more reconnection regions. When the field lines are tracked they are observed to slip along the QSL when reconnection occurs. The Heating and other co-existing waves will be presented.

  11. Reconnection on the Sun

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kohler, Susanna

    2016-05-01

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

  12. Lower hybrid turbulence at cometary bow wave and acceleration of cometary protons

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Shapiro, V. D.; Shevchenko, V. I.; Sharma, A. S.; Papadopoulos, K.; Sagdeev, R. Z.; Lebedev, V. B.

    1993-01-01

    The wave measurements at the spacecraft encounters with Comet Halley have shown intense wave activity at the lower hybrid frequency. The excitation of the lower hybrid instability by the pickup cometary ions (protons and water group) in the bow wave region and the quasi-linear diffusion of the ions in these fluctuations are discussed. The quasi-linear diffusion of the pickup protons takes place over a scale length shorter than that of the heavier water group ions. This enhances damping of the waves by protons, and when the pickup proton density is large enough, it can result in the saturation of the instability as this damping balances the heavy ion driven growth. The observed electric field amplitude and the scale length of proton relaxation are in agreement with the theory. For small pickup proton density the instability can saturate due to the wave energy cascade arising from the modulation instability of the large-amplitude lower hybrid waves. This saturation mechanism leads to electron acceleration and suprathermal tail formation.

  13. Statistical study of reconnection exhausts in the solar wind

    SciTech Connect

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

    2014-11-20

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

  14. 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

  15. RELATIVISTIC RECONNECTION: AN EFFICIENT SOURCE OF NON-THERMAL PARTICLES

    SciTech Connect

    Sironi, Lorenzo; Spitkovsky, Anatoly E-mail: anatoly@astro.princeton.edu

    2014-03-01

    In magnetized astrophysical outflows, the dissipation of field energy into particle energy via magnetic reconnection is often invoked to explain the observed non-thermal signatures. By means of two- and three-dimensional particle-in-cell simulations, we investigate anti-parallel reconnection in magnetically dominated electron-positron plasmas. Our simulations extend to unprecedentedly long temporal and spatial scales, so we can capture the asymptotic state of the system beyond the initial transients, and without any artificial limitation by the boundary conditions. At late times, the reconnection layer is organized into a chain of large magnetic islands connected by thin X-lines. The plasmoid instability further fragments each X-line into a series of smaller islands, separated by X-points. At the X-points, the particles become unmagnetized and they get accelerated along the reconnection electric field. We provide definitive evidence that the late-time particle spectrum integrated over the whole reconnection region is a power law whose slope is harder than –2 for magnetizations σ ≳ 10. Efficient particle acceleration to non-thermal energies is a generic by-product of the long-term evolution of relativistic reconnection in both two and three dimensions. In three dimensions, the drift-kink mode corrugates the reconnection layer at early times, but the long-term evolution is controlled by the plasmoid instability which facilitates efficient particle acceleration, analogous to the two-dimensional physics. Our findings have important implications for the generation of hard photon spectra in pulsar winds and relativistic astrophysical jets.

  16. 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.

  17. 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.

  18. Electrostatic Wave Generation and Transverse Ion Acceleration by Alfvenic Wave Components of BBELF Turbulence

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Singh, Nagendra; Khazanov, George; Mukhter, Ali

    2007-01-01

    We present results here from 2.5-D particle-in-cell simulations showing that the electrostatic (ES) components of broadband extremely low frequency (BBELF) waves could possibly be generated by cross-field plasma instabilities driven by the relative drifts between the heavy and light ion species in the electromagnetic (EM) Alfvenic component of the BBELF waves in a multi-ion plasma. The ES components consist of ion cyclotron as well as lower hybrid modes. We also demonstrate that the ES wave generation is directly involved in the transverse acceleration of ions (TAI) as commonly measured with the BBELF wave events. The heating is affected by ion cyclotron resonance in the cyclotron modes and Landau resonance in the lower hybrid waves. In the simulation we drive the plasma by the transverse electric field, E(sub y), of the EM waves; the frequency of E(sub y), omega(sub d), is varied from a frequency below the heavy ion cyclotron frequency, OMEGA(sub h), to below the light ion cyclotron frequency, OMEGA(sub i). We have also performed simulations for E(sub y) having a continuous spectrum given by a power law, namely, |Ey| approx. omega(sub d) (exp -alpha), where the exponent alpha = _, 1, and 2 in three different simulations. The driving electric field generates polarization and ExB drifts of the ions and electrons. When the interspecies relative drifts are sufficiently large, they drive electrostatic waves, which cause perpendicular heating of both light and heavy ions. The transverse ion heating found here is discussed in relation to observations from Cluster, FAST and Freja.

  19. Reconnection on the Sun

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kohler, Susanna

    2016-05-01

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

  20. Kinetic simulations of secondary reconnection in the reconnection jet

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2015-08-01

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

  1. Effects of Turbulent Magnetic Fields on the Transport and Acceleration of Energetic Charged Particles: Numerical Simulations with Application to Heliospheric Physics

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Guo, Fan

    2012-11-01

    Turbulent magnetic fields are ubiquitous in space physics and astrophysics. The influence of magnetic turbulence on the motions of charged particles contains the essential physics of the transport and acceleration of energetic charged particles in the heliosphere, which is to be explored in this thesis. After a brief introduction on the energetic charged particles and magnetic fields in the heliosphere, the rest of this dissertation focuses on three specific topics: 1. the transport of energetic charged particles in the inner heliosphere, 2. the acceleration of ions at collisionless shocks, and 3. the acceleration of electrons at collisionless shocks. We utilize various numerical techniques to study these topics. In Chapter 2 we study the propagation of charged particles in turbulent magnetic fields similar to the propagation of solar energetic particles in the inner heliosphere. The trajectories of energetic charged particles in the turbulent magnetic field are numerically integrated. The turbulence model includes a Kolmogorov-like magnetic field power spectrum containing a broad range of scales from those that lead to large-scale field-line random walk to small scales leading to resonant pitch-angle scattering of energetic particles. We show that small-scale variations in particle intensities (the so-called "dropouts") and velocity dispersions observed by spacecraft can be reproduced using this method. Our study gives a new constraint on the error of "onset analysis", which is a technique commonly used to infer information about the initial release of energetic particles. We also find that the dropouts are rarely produced in the simulations using the so-called "two-component" magnetic turbulence model (Matthaeus et al., 1990). The result questions the validity of this model in studying particle transport. In the first part of Chapter 3 we study the acceleration of ions in the existence of turbulent magnetic fields. We use 3-D self-consistent hybrid simulations

  2. Particle Acceleration At Small-Scale Flux Ropes In The Heliosphere

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Zank, G. P.; Hunana, P.; Mostafavi, P.; le Roux, J. A.; Li, G.; Webb, G. M.; Khabarova, O.; Cummings, A. C.; Stone, E. C.; Decker, R. B.

    2015-12-01

    An emerging paradigm for the dissipation of magnetic turbulence in the supersonic solar wind is via localized small-scale reconnection processes, essentially between quasi-2D interacting magnetic islands or flux roped. Charged particles trapped in merging magnetic islands can be accelerated by the electric field generated by magnetic island merging and the contraction of magnetic islands. We discuss the basic physics of particle acceleration by single magnetic islands and describe how to incorporate these ideas in a distributed "sea of magnetic islands". We describe briefly some observations, selected simulations, and then introduce a transport approach for describing particle acceleration at small-scale flux ropes. We discuss particle acceleration in the supersonic solar wind and extend these ideas to particle acceleration at shock waves. These models are appropriate to the acceleration of both electrons and ions. We describe model predictions and supporting observations.

  3. 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.

  4. Explosive reconnection in magnetars

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lyutikov, Maxim

    2003-12-01

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

  5. Radiative diagnostics for sub-Larmor scale magnetic turbulence

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Reynolds, Sarah J.; Medvedev, Mikhail V.

    2012-02-01

    Radiative diagnostics of high-energy density plasmas is addressed in this paper. We propose that the radiation produced by energetic particles in small-scale magnetic field turbulence, which can occur in laser-plasma experiments, collisionless shocks, and during magnetic reconnection, can be used to deduce some properties of the turbulent magnetic field. Particles propagating through such turbulence encounter locally strong magnetic fields but over lengths much shorter than a particle gyroradius (that is λB<<γmν/q). Consequently, the particle does not gyrate but undergoes a series of transverse accelerations reflective of the magnetic field variations it encounters.In the limit of small deflection angle, the particle is accelerated but never substantially deviated from a straight line path. We develop the general jitter radiation solutions for this case and show that the resulting radiation is directly dependent upon the spectral distribution of the magnetic field through which the particle propagates. We demonstrate the power of this approach in considering the radiation produced by particles moving through a region in which a (Weibel-like) filamentation instability grows magnetic fields randomly oriented in a plane transverse to counterstreaming particle populations. We calculate the spectrum as would be seen from the original particle population and as could be seen by using a quasi-monoenergetic electron beam to probe the turbulent region at various angles to the filamentation axis.

  6. Reconnection of colliding vortex rings.

    PubMed

    Chatelain, Philippe; Kivotides, Demosthenes; Leonard, Anthony

    2003-02-01

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

  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. Interchange Slip-Running Reconnection and Sweeping SEP-Beams

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Masson, S.; Aulanier, G.; Pariat, E.; Klein, K.-L.

    2011-01-01

    We present a new model to explain how particles, accelerated at a reconnection site that is not magnetically connected to the Earth, could eventually propagate along the well-connected open flux tube. Our model is based on the results of a low-beta resistive magnetohydrodynamics simulation of a three-dimensional line-tied and initially current-free bipole, that is embedded in a non-uniform open potential field. The topology of this configuration is that of an asymmetric coronal null-point, with a closed fan surface and an open outer spine. When driven by slow photospheric shearing motions, field lines, initially fully anchored below the fan dome, reconnect at the null point, and jump to the open magnetic domain. This is the standard interchange mode as sketched and calculated in 2D. The key result in 3D is that, reconnected open field lines located in the vicinity of the outer spine, keep reconnecting continuously, across an open quasi-separatrix layer, as previously identified for non-open-null-point reconnection. The apparent slipping motion of these field lines leads to form an extended narrow magnetic flux tube at high altitude. Because of the slip-running reconnection, we conjecture that if energetic particles would be travelling through, or be accelerated inside, the diffusion region, they would be successively injected along continuously reconnecting field lines that are connected farther and farther from the spine. At the scale of the full Sun, owing to the super-radial expansion of field lines below 3 solar radius, such energetic particles could easily be injected in field lines slipping over significant distances, and could eventually reach the distant flux tube that is well-connected to the Earth.

  9. 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).

  10. 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

  11. 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.

  12. Intermittent Emission of High-Frequency Waves by Magnetic Reconnection Between Canopy Field and Small-Scale Horizontal Field

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Isobe, H.

    2007-12-01

    The energy source of coronal heating and solar wind acceleration is the interaction of magnetic field and thermal convection in the photosphere. Magnetoconvection has complicated bifurcation structure, and the mode, spectra and power of the waves generated in the photosphere depend on the nature of magnetoconvection in the photosphere. In order to study the relation between magnetoconvection and coronal heating/solar wind acceleration, we performed three-dimensional magnetohydrodynamic simulation of a domain that includes from upper convection zone to the corona. We first ran the simulation without magnetic field until convection developed to quasi-steady state, and then imposed a vertical and uniform magnetic field. We found that, in addition to the well-known fact that vertical magnetic field is swept into the downflow region, small scale horizontal fields as strong as 800G intermittently emerge in the photosphere. Even though the initial magnetic field is vertical and uniform, magnetic field in the convection zone become turbulent, and occasionally a bundle of strong magnetic flux is driven by the upward convection flow and emerges in the photosphere. Such horizontal fields undergo magnetic reconnection with pre-existing magnetic field in the chromosphere (so called "canopy" field), and then emit high-frequency (>0.05mHz) waves into the corona. We discuss the possible role of these processes in heating, acceleration and turbulence of the corona and the solar wind.

  13. 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).

  14. The flux tube paradigm and its role in MHD turbulence in the solar atmosphere

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Matthaeus, W. H.; Greco, A.; Servidio, S.; Wan, M.; Osman, K.; Ruffolo, D. J.

    2011-12-01

    Descriptions of magnetic field and plasma structures in terms of flux tubes, plasmoids and other bundles of magnetic field lines are familiar in the vocabulary of observational and theoretical space physics. "Spaghetti models" and flux ropes are well known examples. Flux tubes and families of field lines can also be defined in a medium that admits magnetic fluctuations, including strong MHD turbulence, but their behavior can become complicated. In 3D fluctuations the smooth flux tube description itself becomes in some sense unstable, as nearby field lines diverge and flux surfaces shred. This lends complexity to the structure of flux tubes, and can give rise to temporarily trapped field lines and charged test particle trajectories, with immediate implications for transport, e.g., of solar energetic particles. The properties of the turbulent magnetic field can also be strongly influenced by the dynamics of turbulence. Large scale self organizing behavior, or inverse cascade, can enhance very long wavelength structure, favoring Bohm scaling of diffusion coefficients. Meanwhile smaller scale flux tube structures are integral features of the inertial range of turbulence, giving rise to a cellularization of the plasma due to rapid dynamical relaxation processes. These drive the turbulent system locally towards low-acceleration states, including Alfvenic, Beltrami and force-free states. Cell boundaries are natural positions for formation of near discontinuous boundaries, where dynamical activity can be enhanced. A primary example is appearance of numerous discontinuities and active reconnection sites in turbulence, which appear to support a wide distribution of reconnection rates associated with coherent current structures. These discontinuities are also potential sites of enhanced heating, as expected in Kolmogorov's Refined Similarity Hypothesis. All of these features are related to self organization, cascade and intermittency of the turbulence. Examples of these

  15. A 10-stage reconnection demonstration launcher

    SciTech Connect

    Cnare, E.G.; Widner, M.M.; Duggins, B.W. )

    1991-01-01

    This paper reports on a small-scale, 10-stage cylindrical reconnection launcher that has been designed, fabricated, and tested. Ten-gram projectiles are accelerated from rest to 317 m/s through the 0.44 m launcher assembly with a projectile kinetic energy to capacitor stored energy efficiency of 9%. Comparison of test results and computer code predictions are presented. Results of these studies have substantiated launcher scaling at small size and have provided a useful test bed for launcher components and diagnostics.

  16. Reconnections of Wave Vortex Lines

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

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

    2012-01-01

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

  17. Collisionless reconnection in Jupiter's magnetotail

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Zimbardo, G.

    1991-04-01

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

  18. Advances in turbulence studies. [Magnetohydrodynamic flows

    SciTech Connect

    Branover, H.; Unger, Y.

    1993-01-01

    Important contemporary trends in both experimental and theoretical turbulence research are reported. Particular attention is given to vortex reconnection, cascade, and mixing in turbulent flows; intermittent turbulence from closures; tearing instabilities in 2D MHD turbulence; axisymmetric hydromagnetic dynamo; bifurcations in MHD flow generated by electric current discharge; renormalization group analysis of MHD turbulence with low magnetic Reynolds number; Solution for turbulent primary azimuthal velocity in liquid-metal flows in sliding electric contacts; analogies between geophysical and hydromagnetic flows; turbulent electrically-induced vortical flows; dissipation length scale dynamics; two-phase grid turbulence; abridged octave wavenumber ring models for 2D turbulence; rag theory of magnetic fluctuations in turbulent flow; and instabilities of the nonuniform flows of a low-temperature plasma in MHD channels.

  19. Electron Energization and Structure of the Diffusion Region During Asymmetric Reconnection

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Chen, Li-Jen; Hesse, Michael; Wang, Shan; Bessho, Naoki; Daughton, William

    2016-01-01

    Results from particle-in-cell simulations of reconnection with asymmetric upstream conditions are reported to elucidate electron energization and structure of the electron diffusion region (EDR). Acceleration of unmagnetized electrons results in discrete structures in the distribution functions and supports the intense current and perpendicular heating in the EDR. The accelerated electrons are cyclotron turned by the reconnected magnetic field to produce the outflow jets, and as such, the acceleration by the reconnection electric field is limited, leading to resistivity without particle-particle or particle-wave collisions. A map of electron distributions is constructed, and its spatial evolution is compared with quantities previously proposed to be EDR identifiers to enable effective identifications of the EDR in terrestrial magnetopause reconnection.

  20. 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

  1. Rapid Reconnection and Field Line Topology

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    Rapid reconnection of magnetic fields arises where the magnetic stresses push the plasma and field so as to increase the field gradient without limit. The intent of the present writing is to show the larger topological context in which this commonly occurs. Consider an interlaced field line topology as commonly occurs in the bipolar magnetic regions on the Sun. A simple model is constructed starting with a strong uniform magnetic field B 0 in the z-direction through an infinitely conducting fluid from the end plate z = 0 to z = L with the field lines tied at both end plates. Field line interlacing is introduced by smooth continuous random turbulent mixing of the footpoints at the end plates. This configuration is well suited to be modeled with the reduced magnetohydrodynamic (MHD) equations, with the equilibria given by the solutions of the 2D vorticity equation in this case. The set of continuous solutions to the "vorticity" equation have greatly restricted topologies, so almost all interlaced field topologies do not have continuous solutions. That infinite set represents the "weak" solutions of the vorticity equation, wherein there are surfaces of tangential discontinuity (current sheets) in the field dividing regions of smooth continuous field. It follows then that current sheets are to be found throughout interlaced fields, providing potential sites for rapid reconnection. That is to say, rapid reconnection and nanoflaring are expected throughout the bipolar magnetic fields in the solar corona, providing substantial heating to the ambient gas. Numerical simulations provide a direct illustration of the process, showing that current sheets thin on fast ideal Alfvén timescales down to the smallest numerically resolved scales. The asymmetric structure of the equilibria and the interlacing threshold for the onset of singularities are discussed. Current sheet formation and dynamics are further analyzed with dissipative and ideal numerical simulations.

  2. 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.

  3. Analysis of Fast Reconnection in MRX

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Yamada, M.; Ji, H.; Kulsrud, R.; Kuritsyn, A.; Terry, S.

    2002-11-01

    In MRX (Magnetic Reconnection Experiment), the detailed magnetic field structure and the plasma profiles of the neutral sheet have been measured and evidence for non-MHD physics mechanisms has been obtained(M. Yamada et al., Phys. Plasmas, 7), 1781 (2000). As the electron-ion collision frequency is reduced, the reconnection rate has been observed to be significantly enhanced over the classical value. Both electrostatic and magnetic turbulence of lower hybrid frequency range has been observed in the low collisionality regime. The amplitude of magnetic fluctuation is the largest at the center of neutral sheet while electropotential fluctuations peak at the edge of the sheath. To describe the physics of this region, much thought has been given to the `` generalized" Ohm's law where electrons and ions are treated separately. In this `` E-MHD" region electrons but not ions are considered to be magnetized and the lower hybrid wave can be connected continuously to an obliquely propagating Whistler wave(R.L. Stenzel and J.M. Urrutia, Phys. Plasmas, 7), 4450 (2000). In this paper we examine the entire spectrum of waves from the electron cyclotron frequency down to the ion cyclotron frequency, focusing on comparisons with the recent experimental data from the MRX neutral sheet plasmas(H. Ji, et al., this meeting). The physical mechanisms of the observed enhanced resistivity due to these waves will be discussed. This work is supported by DoE, NASA and NSF.

  4. Kelvin waves cascade in superfluid turbulence.

    PubMed

    Kivotides, D; Vassilicos, J C; Samuels, D C; Barenghi, C F

    2001-04-01

    We study numerically the interaction of four initial superfluid vortex rings in the absence of any dissipation or friction. We find evidence for a cascade of Kelvin waves generated by individual vortex reconnection events which transfers energy to higher and higher wave numbers k. After the vortex reconnections occur, the energy spectrum scales as k(-1) and the curvature spectrum becomes flat. These effects highlight the importance of Kelvin waves and reconnections in the transfer of energy within a turbulent vortex tangle. PMID:11290112

  5. Multi-Spacecraft Turbulence Analysis Methods

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Horbury, Tim S.; Osman, Kareem T.

    Turbulence is ubiquitous in space plasmas, from the solar wind to supernova remnants, and on scales from the electron gyroradius to interstellar separations. Turbulence is responsible for transporting energy across space and between scales and plays a key role in plasma heating, particle acceleration and thermalisation downstream of shocks. Just as with other plasma processes such as shocks or reconnection, turbulence results in complex, structured and time-varying behaviour which is hard to measure with a single spacecraft. However, turbulence is a particularly hard phenomenon to study because it is usually broadband in nature: it covers many scales simultaneously. One must therefore use techniques to extract information on multiple scales in order to quantify plasma turbulence and its effects. The Cluster orbit takes the spacecraft through turbulent regions with a range of characteristics: the solar wind, magnetosheath, cusp and magnetosphere. In each, the nature of the turbulence (strongly driven or fully evolved; dominated by kinetic effects or largely on fluid scales), as well as characteristics of the medium (thermalised or not; high or low plasma sub- or super-Alfvenic) mean that particular techniques are better suited to the analysis of Cluster data in different locations. In this chapter, we consider a range of methods and how they are best applied to these different regions. Perhaps the most studied turbulent space plasma environment is the solar wind, see Bruno and Carbone [2005]; Goldstein et al. [2005] for recent reviews. This is the case for a number of reasons: it is scientifically important for cosmic ray and solar energetic particle scattering and propagation, for example. However, perhaps the most significant motivations for studying solar wind turbulence are pragmatic: large volumes of high quality measurements are available; the stability of the solar wind on the scales of hours makes it possible to identify statistically stationary intervals to

  6. 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.

  7. 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

  8. 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

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

    SciTech Connect

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

    2011-02-15

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

  10. Reconnection rates of magnetic fields

    SciTech Connect

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

    1983-05-01

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

  11. Intuitive approach to magnetic reconnection

    SciTech Connect

    Kulsrud, Russell M.

    2011-11-15

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

  12. 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. Colour Reconnection in WW Events

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    D'Hondt, J.

    2003-07-01

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

  14. Inward Motions in the Outer Solar Corona Between 6 And 12 R : Evidence For Waves or Magnetic Reconnection Jets?

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Velli, Marco; Tenerani, Anna; DeForest, Craig

    2016-05-01

    DeForest et al. (2014) used synoptic visible-light image sequences from the COR2 coronagraph on board the STEREO-A spacecraft to identify inbound wave motions in the outer corona beyond 6 solar radii and inferred, from the observation, that the Alfven surface separating the magnetically dominated corona from the ow dominated wind must be located at least 12 solar radii from the Sun over polar coronal holes and 15 solar radii in the streamer belt. Here we will discuss both this and previous observations of inflows further down and attempt identification of the observed inward signals. We will theoretically reconstruct height-speed diagrams and compare them to the observed profiles. Interpretation in terms of Alfven / magnetoacouatic modes or Alfvenic turbulence appears to be ruled out by the fact that the observed signal shows a deceleration of inward motion when approaching the Sun. Fast magnetoacoustic waves are not directly ruled out in this way, as it is possible for inward waves observed in quadrature, but not propagating exactly radially, to suffer total reflection as the Alfven speed rises close to the Sun. However, the reconstructed signal in the height speed diagram has the wrong concavity. A final possibility is decelerating reconnection jets, most probably from component reconnection, in the accelerating wind: the profile in this case appears to match the observations very well. This interpretation does not alter the conclusion that the Alfven surface must be at least 12 solar radii from the photosphere.

  15. Spectroscopy of Reconnection Inflow and Outflow in Solar Flares

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hara, Hirohisa

    We report reconnection inflow and outflow structures in a type of solar flares that were observed by spectroscopic observations with the Hinode EUV Imaging Spectrometer. A dark outflow has been found by EIS raster scan observations in hot emission lines like Fe XXIII and Fe XXIV as a structure extended from a site above a bright flare loop. The outflow structure is heated to ~10 MK, and the electron density of the outflow is enhanced by about a factor of 2 from the surrounding corona. The hot emission lines in the outflow structure show a large excess width, which may imply the presence of an internal flow structure or the plasma in a turbulent state. A high-density blob structure that appears above the loop-top region where the reconnection outflow collides shows the Doppler motion toward the low-altitude direction. The reconnection rate is estimated to be 0.01-0.1 in combination with the signature of reconnection inflow from the Doppler velocity measurement.

  16. 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.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2016-04-01

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

  18. 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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2014-05-01

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

  20. Geomagnetically Induced Currents From Reconnection

    NASA Video Gallery

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

  1. Estimation of Reconnection Electric Field in the 2003 October 29 X10 Flare

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Cheng, C. Z.; Yang, Ya-Hui; Krucker, S.; Hsieh, M.

    2011-05-01

    The electric field in the reconnecting current sheet is estimated from the change rate of photospheric magnetic flux in the newly brightened areas of TRACE UV ribbons. The X10 flare on 2003 October 29 is selected due to its distinct two-phase HXR footpoint motion, two arcade systems with different magnetic shear, and the high-cadence and complete coverage of TRACE 1600 Å, MDI magnetogram, and RHESSI HXR observations. Besides the strengths of reconnection electric field in different flare phases, we particularly pay attention to the temporal correlation between the reconnection electric field and the corresponding characteristics at the conjugate HXR footpoints (such as the HXR emissions, HXR power-law spectral indexes, and the photospheric magnetic field strengths). We found that in the early impulsive phase, the reconnection electric field peaks just before the HXR emission peaks and the energy spectrum hardens. The result could be consistent with the scenario that more particles are accelerated to higher energies by larger reconnection electric field and then precipitate into lower chromosphere to produce stronger HXR emissions. Moreover, such particle acceleration mechanism plays most significant role in the impulsive phase of this X10 flare. In addition, our results provide the evidence that the highly-sheared magnetic field lines are mapped to the magnetic reconnection diffusion region to produce large reconnection electric field.

  2. Multiscale modeling of magnetospheric reconnection

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2007-10-01

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

  3. Exploring Magnetopause Reconnection with MMS

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2015-12-01

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

  4. Direct Particle Acceleration in Astroplasmas

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hoshino, M.

    2002-10-01

    The high energy particle acceleration mechanisms are discussed by focusing on the direct acceleration in the astrophysical context. We specifically argue that the relativistic magnetic reconnection and the shock surfing/surfatron processes can efficiently accelerate charged particles to a relativistic energy, and that those mechanisms may produce a non-thermal, power-law energy spectrum. [copyright] 2002 American Institute of Physics

  5. 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

  6. 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.

  7. The role of turbulence in coronal heating and solar wind expansion.

    PubMed

    Cranmer, Steven R; Asgari-Targhi, Mahboubeh; Miralles, Mari Paz; Raymond, John C; Strachan, Leonard; Tian, Hui; Woolsey, Lauren N

    2015-05-13

    Plasma in the Sun's hot corona expands into the heliosphere as a supersonic and highly magnetized solar wind. This paper provides an overview of our current understanding of how the corona is heated and how the solar wind is accelerated. Recent models of magnetohydrodynamic turbulence have progressed to the point of successfully predicting many observed properties of this complex, multi-scale system. However, it is not clear whether the heating in open-field regions comes mainly from the dissipation of turbulent fluctuations that are launched from the solar surface, or whether the chaotic 'magnetic carpet' in the low corona energizes the system via magnetic reconnection. To help pin down the physics, we also review some key observational results from ultraviolet spectroscopy of the collisionless outer corona. PMID:25848083

  8. The role of turbulence in coronal heating and solar wind expansion

    PubMed Central

    Cranmer, Steven R.; Asgari-Targhi, Mahboubeh; Miralles, Mari Paz; Raymond, John C.; Strachan, Leonard; Tian, Hui; Woolsey, Lauren N.

    2015-01-01

    Plasma in the Sun's hot corona expands into the heliosphere as a supersonic and highly magnetized solar wind. This paper provides an overview of our current understanding of how the corona is heated and how the solar wind is accelerated. Recent models of magnetohydrodynamic turbulence have progressed to the point of successfully predicting many observed properties of this complex, multi-scale system. However, it is not clear whether the heating in open-field regions comes mainly from the dissipation of turbulent fluctuations that are launched from the solar surface, or whether the chaotic ‘magnetic carpet’ in the low corona energizes the system via magnetic reconnection. To help pin down the physics, we also review some key observational results from ultraviolet spectroscopy of the collisionless outer corona. PMID:25848083

  9. Particle Acceleration At Shock Waves and Downstream Small-Scale Flux Ropes

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Zank, Gary; Hunana, Peter; Mostafavi, Parisa; le Roux, Jakobus; Webb, Gary; Khabarova, Olga; Li, Gang; Cummungs, Alan; Stone, Edward; Decker, Robert

    2016-04-01

    An emerging paradigm for the dissipation of magnetic turbulence in the supersonic solar wind is via localized small-scale reconnection processes, essentially between quasi-2D interacting magnetic islands or flux ropes. Charged particles trapped in merging magnetic islands can be accelerated by the electric field generated by magnetic island merging and the contraction of magnetic islands. We discuss the basic physics of particle acceleration by single magnetic islands and describe how to incorporate these ideas in a distributed "sea of magnetic islands" by developing a transport formalism. We discuss particle acceleration in the supersonic solar wind and extend these ideas to particle acceleration at shock waves. Shock waves generate naturally vortical turbulence and particle acceleration at shocks is likely therefore to be a combination of classical diffusive shock acceleration and acceleration by downstream magnetic islands or flux ropes. These models are appropriate to the acceleration of both electrons and ions. We describe model predictions and supporting observations made at the heliospheric termination shock.

  10. New observations of flux ropes in the magnetotail reconnection region

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Huang, Shiyong; Retino, Alessandro; Phan, Tai; Daughton, W. Bill; Vaivads, Andris; Karimabadi, Homa; Pang, Ye; Zhou, Meng; Sahraoui, Fouad; Li, Guanlai; Yuan, Zhigang; Deng, Xiaohua; Fu, Huishan; Fu, Song; Wang, Dedong

    2016-04-01

    Magnetic reconnection is a fundamental physical process that enables the rapid transfer of magnetic energy into plasma kinetic and thermal energy in the laboratory, astrophysical and space plasma. Flux ropes have been suggested to play important role in controlling the micro-scale physics of magnetic reconnection and electron acceleration. In this presentation, we report new observations of flux ropes in the magnetotail reconnection region based on the Cluster multi-spacecraft data. Firstly, two consecutive magnetic flux ropes, separated by less than 30 s (Δt < 30 s), are observed within one magnetic reconnection diffusion region without strong guide field. In spite of the small but non-trivial global scale negative guide field (-By), there exists a directional change of the core fields of two flux ropes, i.e. -By for the first one, and +By for the second one. This is inconsistent with any theory and simulations. Therefore, we suggest that the core field of flux ropes is formed by compression of the local preexisting By, and that the directional change of core field is due to the change of local preexisting By. Such a change in ambientBy might be caused by some microscale physics. Secondary, we will present in-situ observations of a small scale flux rope locally formed at the separatrix region of magnetic reconnection without large guide field. Bidirectional electron beams (cold and hot beams) and density cavity accompanied by intense wave activities substantiate the crossing of the separatrix region. Density compression and one parallel electron beam are detected inside the flux rope. We suggest that this flux rope is locally generated at the separatrix region due to the tearing instability within the separatrix current layer. This observation sheds new light on the 3D picture of magnetic reconnection in space plasma.

  11. 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.

  12. 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.

  13. Global Simulations of Magnetotail Reconnection

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

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

    2007-01-01

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

  14. Ion acceleration and reflection on magnetotail antidipolarization fronts

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Zhou, Xu-Zhi; Pan, Dong-Xiao; Angelopoulos, Vassilis; Liu, Jiang; Runov, Andrei; Li, Shan-Shan; Li, Jia-Zheng; Zong, Qiu-Gang; Fu, Sui-Yan

    2015-11-01

    Antidipolarization fronts (ADFs), tailward moving structures in the Earth's magnetotail with sharp decreases in their magnetic Bz component, are thought to be mirror images of earthward propagating dipolarization fronts (DFs) generated on the opposite side of the reconnection site. We use ARTEMIS (Acceleration, Reconnection, Turbulence, and Electrodynamics of the Moon's Interaction with the Sun) observations and numerical simulations to study the role of ADFs in accelerating and reflecting ambient plasma sheet ions. In both case and statistical observations before ADF arrival, tailward streaming, energy-dispersed ions are seen first. After about 1 min, the ion fluxes are enhanced significantly with the peak shifted duskward, and then the peak gradually shifts back to the tailward direction until the ADF arrives. All these signatures are reproduced by our simulation model of ion acceleration and reflection on ADFs. We further examine typical ion trajectories before and after ADF reflection, to understand these seemingly complicated ion signatures as well as their similarities with and differences from the DF preceding signatures.

  15. Demonstrations that the Solar Wind Is Not Accelerated by Waves

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Roberts, Aaron

    2008-01-01

    The present work uses both observations and theoretical considerations to show that hydromagnetic waves cannot produce the acceleration of the fast solar wind and the related heating of the open solar corona. Waves do exist, and can play a role in the differential heating and acceleration of minor ions, but their amplitudes are not sufficient to power the wind, as demonstrated by extrapolation of magnetic spectra from Helios and Ulysses observations. Dissipation mechanisms invoked to circumvent this conclusion cannot be effective for a variety of reasons. In particular, turbulence does not play a strong role in the corona as shown by both observations of coronal striations and theoretical considerations of line-tying to a nonturbulent photosphere, nonlocality of interactions, and the nature of the kinetic dissipation. In the absence of wave heating and acceleration, the chromosphere and transition region become the natural source of open coronal energization. We suggest a variant of the 'velocity filtration' approach in which the emergence and complex churning of the magnetic flux in the chromosphere and transition region continuously and ubiquitously produces the nonthermal distributions required. These particles are then released by magnetic carpet reconnection at a wide range of scales and produce the wind as described in kinetic approaches. Since the carpet reconnection is not the main source of the energization of the plasma, there is no expectation of an observable release of energy in nanoflares.

  16. 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.

  17. 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.

  18. 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.

  19. 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

  20. Turbulence modeling

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Rubesin, Morris W.

    1987-01-01

    Recent developments at several levels of statistical turbulence modeling applicable to aerodynamics are briefly surveyed. Emphasis is on examples of model improvements for transonic, two-dimensional flows. Experience with the development of these improved models is cited to suggest methods of accelerating the modeling process necessary to keep abreast of the rapid movement of computational fluid dynamics into the computation of complex three-dimensional flows.

  1. Dipolarization Fronts from Reconnection Onset

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2012-12-01

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

  2. THE EFFECT OF LARGE-SCALE MAGNETIC TURBULENCE ON THE ACCELERATION OF ELECTRONS BY PERPENDICULAR COLLISIONLESS SHOCKS

    SciTech Connect

    Guo Fan; Giacalone, Joe

    2010-05-20

    We study the physics of electron acceleration at collisionless shocks that move through a plasma containing large-scale magnetic fluctuations. We numerically integrate the trajectories of a large number of electrons, which are treated as test particles moving in the time-dependent electric and magnetic fields determined from two-dimensional hybrid simulations (kinetic ions and fluid electron). The large-scale magnetic fluctuations effect the electrons in a number of ways and lead to efficient and rapid energization at the shock front. Since the electrons mainly follow along magnetic lines of force, the large-scale braiding of field lines in space allows the fast-moving electrons to cross the shock front several times, leading to efficient acceleration. Ripples in the shock front occurring at various scales will also contribute to the acceleration by mirroring the electrons. Our calculation shows that this process favors electron acceleration at perpendicular shocks. The current study is also helpful in understanding the injection problem for electron acceleration by collisionless shocks. It is also shown that the spatial distribution of energetic electrons is similar to in situ observations. The process may be important to our understanding of energetic electrons in planetary bow shocks and interplanetary shocks, and explaining herringbone structures seen in some type II solar radio bursts.

  3. The Effect of Large-scale Magnetic Turbulence on the Acceleration of Electrons by Perpendicular Collisionless Shocks

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Guo, Fan; Giacalone, Joe

    2010-05-01

    We study the physics of electron acceleration at collisionless shocks that move through a plasma containing large-scale magnetic fluctuations. We numerically integrate the trajectories of a large number of electrons, which are treated as test particles moving in the time-dependent electric and magnetic fields determined from two-dimensional hybrid simulations (kinetic ions and fluid electron). The large-scale magnetic fluctuations effect the electrons in a number of ways and lead to efficient and rapid energization at the shock front. Since the electrons mainly follow along magnetic lines of force, the large-scale braiding of field lines in space allows the fast-moving electrons to cross the shock front several times, leading to efficient acceleration. Ripples in the shock front occurring at various scales will also contribute to the acceleration by mirroring the electrons. Our calculation shows that this process favors electron acceleration at perpendicular shocks. The current study is also helpful in understanding the injection problem for electron acceleration by collisionless shocks. It is also shown that the spatial distribution of energetic electrons is similar to in situ observations. The process may be important to our understanding of energetic electrons in planetary bow shocks and interplanetary shocks, and explaining herringbone structures seen in some type II solar radio bursts.

  4. Reconnection rates, small scale structures and simulations

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Matthaeus, W. H.

    1983-01-01

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

  5. Cluster Observations of Energetic Particles at the Reconnecting Magnetopause

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2011-12-01

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

  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. 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.

  8. Relating reconnection rate, exhaust structure and effective resistivity

    SciTech Connect

    Singh, Nagendra

    2014-03-15

    The magnetic reconnection structure consists of a central diffusion region (CDR) and a cone or wedge shaped reconnection exhaust containing accelerated plasma flows and electromagnetic fluctuations. We predict here the relationship among the exhaust half-cone angle (θ{sub e}), the half width (w) of the CDR, the outflow velocity V{sub o}, and the effective resistivity (η{sub eff}), which includes the effects of all the nonideal terms in the generalized Ohm's law. The effective resistivity is defined as the ratio of reconnection electric field E{sub rec} to the current density J{sub y} at the X point and it essentially represents the loss of momentum from the current-carrying plasma particles due to scattering by waves, their inertia or outflux from the CDR. The relation is checked against relevant results previously reported from laboratory experiments, space observations, and simulations, showing excellent agreement. The relation can be used for estimating the ad-hoc effective resistivity often used in magnetohydrodynamic modeling of reconnection.

  9. 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.

  10. 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

  11. 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.

  12. 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.

  13. 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.

  14. Tail reconnection triggering substorm onset.

    PubMed

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

    2008-08-15

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

  15. Interplanetary magnetic field as a detector of turbulence in the inner heliosphere

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Khabarova, O.

    2013-12-01

    Analysis of the interplanetary magnetic field (IMF) behavior at different scales may give a key for understanding of turbulence spatial evolution in the heliosphere. It has been known that the solar wind plasma becomes more and more turbulent with heliocentric distance. Recent multi-spacecraft investigations of the large-scale IMF [1] show unexpectedly fast lost of the regular sector structure of the solar wind in the inner heliosphere. In the ecliptic plane, it seems to be broken at 3-4 AU, much closer to the Sun than the Parker spiral gets perpendicular to the sunward direction. At the same time, the high-latitude solar wind remains more structured at the same heliocentric distances [2]. This fact may bear evidence of radial increase of turbulence and intermittency in the solar wind due to magnetic reconnection. The magnetic reconnection recurrently occurs at the large-scale heliospheric current sheet (HCS) as well as at smaller-scale current sheets during the solar wind expansion [3]. As a result, a significant part of the heliosphere is filled with secondary current sheets as well as with waves and accelerated particles in some vicinity of the HCS. Under averaging, it looks as a radial increase of turbulence, especially in low latitudes. It also can be considered as one of the main causes of the break of the expected IMF radial dependence law [1, 2]. Results of the consequent multi-spacecraft analysis of plasma and magnetic filed turbulence characteristics at different heliocentric distances and heliolatitudes will be discussed. 1. O. Khabarova, V. Obridko, Puzzles of the Interplanetary Magnetic Field in the Inner Heliosphere, 2012, Astrophysical Journal, 761, 2, 82, doi:10.1088/0004-637X/761/2/82, http://arxiv.org/pdf/1204.6672v2.pdf 2. O.V. Khabarova, The interplanetary magnetic field: radial and latitudinal dependences, Astronomy Reports, 2013, 57, 11, http://arxiv.org/ftp/arxiv/papers/1305/1305.1204.pdf 3. V. Zharkova, O. Khabarova, Particle Acceleration in

  16. (Parameterization of intermittant turbulence and the vorton method)

    SciTech Connect

    Novikov, E.

    1991-01-01

    The main mechanism of three-dimensional turbulent flow is the stretching of vortex filaments and self-amplification of vorticity field. Stretching eventually leads to vortex reconnections and strong dissipation of energy in the areas of reconnections -- which are manifestations of intermittency. An example of vortex breakdown and reconnection is the shedding of vortex rings from the horseshoe-like vortices in a boundary layer. Another example is the transformation of vortex ring into horseshoe vortex during the oblique interaction with a boundary in shear flow. Vortex events of this kind probably make a significant contribution to momentum and heat transport in turbulent boundary layers. Analogous events in the atmospheric boundary layer cause aircraft accidents. Vortex reconnections occur also in a free flow far from the boundary, for example, an elliptic vortex ring splits into two deformed vortex rings. Another example is Grow instability of two perturbed antiparallel vortex filaments. An example of successive vortex reconnections is merging and subsequent splitting of vortex rings. Generally, successive vortex reconnections can be considered as a manifestation of the energy transport from large scale to small scale motions in three-dimensional turbulent flows and can be used in statistical description of turbulence.

  17. Acceleration of SEPs in Flaring Loops and CME Driven shocks

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Petrosian, Vahe; Chen, Qingrong

    2014-06-01

    We consider two stage acceleration of the Solar Energetic Particles (SEPs). The first occurring via the stochastic acceleration mechanism at the flare site in the corona, which produces the so-called impulsive SEPs, with anomalous abundances, as well as nonthermal particles responsible for the observed radiation. The second is re-acceleration the flare accelerated particles at the CME driven shock associated with larger, longer duration events with relatively normal abundances. Turbulence plays a major role in both stages. We will show how stochastic acceleration can explain some of the salient features of the impulsive SEP observations; such as extreme enrichment of 3He (and heavy ions), and the observed broad distributions and ranges of the 3He and 4He fluences. We will then show that the above hybrid mechanism of first stochastic acceleration of ions in the reconnecting coronal magnetic structures and then their re-acceleration in the CME shock can produce the varied shapes of the 3He and 4He spectra observed in all events ranging from weak impulsive to strong gradual events.

  18. 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.

  19. 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.

  20. 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).

  1. 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.

  2. 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.

  3. 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.

  4. 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.

  5. Statistics of energetic electrons in the magnetotail reconnection

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2016-04-01

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

  6. Interstellar Pickup Ion Acceleration in the Turbulent Magnetic Field at the Solar Wind Termination Shock Using a Focused Transport Approach

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ye, Junye; le Roux, Jakobus A.; Arthur, Aaron D.

    2016-08-01

    We study the physics of locally born interstellar pickup proton acceleration at the nearly perpendicular solar wind termination shock (SWTS) in the presence of a random magnetic field spiral angle using a focused transport model. Guided by Voyager 2 observations, the spiral angle is modeled with a q-Gaussian distribution. The spiral angle fluctuations, which are used to generate the perpendicular diffusion of pickup protons across the SWTS, play a key role in enabling efficient injection and rapid diffusive shock acceleration (DSA) when these particles follow field lines. Our simulations suggest that variation of both the shape (q-value) and the standard deviation (σ-value) of the q-Gaussian distribution significantly affect the injection speed, pitch-angle anisotropy, radial distribution, and the efficiency of the DSA of pickup protons at the SWTS. For example, increasing q and especially reducing σ enhances the DSA rate.

  7. 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.

  8. Reconnection in thin current sheets

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2016-05-01

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

  9. Colour Reconnection at LEP2

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Abreu, P.

    2002-03-01

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

  10. 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.

  11. TURBULENT DYNAMICS IN SOLAR FLARE SHEET STRUCTURES MEASURED WITH LOCAL CORRELATION TRACKING

    SciTech Connect

    McKenzie, D. E.

    2013-03-20

    High-resolution observations of the Sun's corona in extreme ultraviolet and soft X-rays have revealed a new world of complexity in the sheet-like structures connecting coronal mass ejections (CMEs) to the post-eruption flare arcades. This article presents initial findings from an exploration of dynamic flows in two flares observed with Hinode/XRT and SDO/AIA. The flows are observed in the hot ({approx}> 10 MK) plasma above the post-eruption arcades and measured with local correlation tracking. The observations demonstrate significant shears in velocity, giving the appearance of vortices and stagnations. Plasma diagnostics indicate that the plasma {beta} exceeds unity in at least one of the studied events, suggesting that the coronal magnetic fields may be significantly affected by the turbulent flows. Although reconnection models of eruptive flares tend to predict a macroscopic current sheet in the region between the CME and the flare arcade, it is not yet clear whether the observed sheet-like structures are identifiable as the current sheets or 'thermal halos' surrounding the current sheets. Regardless, the relationship between the turbulent motions and the embedded magnetic field is likely to be complicated, involving dynamic fluid processes that produce small length scales in the current sheet. Such processes may be crucial for triggering, accelerating, and/or prolonging reconnection in the corona.

  12. 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.

  13. 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.

  14. 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.

  15. 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.

  16. 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.

  17. The role of Alfvénic turbulence in the acceleration of the fast solar wind: "linkage" science with Solar Orbiter

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Dolla, Laurent; Rodriguez, Luciano; Zhukov, Andrei; Verdini, Andrea

    2016-07-01

    One of the key points of the Solar Orbiter mission will be the joint observations by remote sensing and in situ instruments: the remote sensing instruments will observe the sources of the solar wind that will later be measured in situ at the spacecraft (or at Solar Probe Plus). This is an opportunity to elucidate the role of MHD waves and turbulence in the acceleration of the fast solar wind. Using spectro-imagers (SPICE) or EUV imagers (EUI), various observables of the plasma can be measured remotely in coronal holes: electron temperature and density, element abundances, Doppler velocities and especially ion temperatures, non-thermal velocity and amplitude of MHD waves in solar features, the latter three being different manifestations of the MHD wave spectrum and its effects. We present some preliminary results on correlations of such remote sensing observables with in-situ measurement at 1 AU, as one may expect on the base of currently available observations (Hinode/EIS, SDO/AIA, and Wind).

  18. Indeterminacy and instability in Petschek reconnection

    SciTech Connect

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

    2013-05-15

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

  19. The Plasmaspheric Plume and Magnetopause Reconnection

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

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

    2014-01-01

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

  20. Excitation of electrostatic waves in the electron cyclotron frequency range during magnetic reconnection in laboratory overdense plasmas

    SciTech Connect

    Kuwahata, A.; Igami, H.; Kawamori, E.; Kogi, Y.; Inomoto, M.; Ono, Y.

    2014-10-15

    We report the observation of electromagnetic radiation at high harmonics of the electron cyclotron frequency that was considered to be converted from electrostatic waves called electron Bernstein waves (EBWs) during magnetic reconnection in laboratory overdense plasmas. The excitation of EBWs was attributed to the thermalization of electrons accelerated by the reconnection electric field around the X-point. The radiative process discussed here is an acceptable explanation for observed radio waves pulsation associated with major flares.

  1. Observation and Modeling of a Termination Shock in a Solar Eruption as a Possible Particle Accelerator

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Gary, Dale E.; Chen, Bin; Bastian, Timothy S.; Shen, Chengcai; Krucker, Sam

    2015-04-01

    Solar eruptions and their associated solar flares are the most energetic particle accelerators in our solar system. Yet the acceleration mechanism remains uncertain. A possible candidate often invoked in the standard picture of solar eruptions is a termination shock, produced by fast reconnection outflows impinging upon dense, closed loops in a helmet-type geometry. However, the importance of termination shocks in solar particle acceleration remains controversial, mainly because there has been no direct detection of such shocks. Here we report direct imaging of the location and evolution of a termination shock during the rise phase of a solar eruption. The shock appears at radio wavelengths as a narrow surface sandwiched between multitudes of downward-moving plasma blobs and the underlying, newly-reconnected flaring loops, and evolves coherently with a loop-top hard X-ray source in the shock downstream region. The shock produces many short-lived, point-like radio sources, each interpreted as emission from a turbulence cell interacting with fast (nonthermal) electrons. These point-like radio sources clearly outline the termination shock front and their positions change in reaction to the arrival of the fast plasma blobs, which are well-reproduced by our numerical simulations based on a resistive magnetohydrodynamics reconnection model in a standard two-ribbon flare geometry. We further show that a temporary disruption of the shock coincides with a reduction of radio and hard X-ray emission associated with the energetic electron population. Our observations strongly favor a scenario in which the termination shock is responsible for accelerating electrons to high energies.

  2. 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.

  3. Vortex reconnection in a swirling flow

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2016-04-01

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

  4. 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.

  5. Collisionless Reconnection and Electron Demagnetization

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Scudder, J. D.

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

  6. 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

  7. Dissipation in Relativistic Pair-Plasma Reconnection

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Hesse, Michael; Zenitani, Seiji

    2007-01-01

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

  8. Dissipation in relativistic pair-plasma reconnection

    SciTech Connect

    Hesse, Michael; Zenitani, Seiji

    2007-11-15

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

  9. Inward Motions in the Outer Solar Corona between 7 and 12 R ⊙: Evidence for Waves or Magnetic Reconnection Jets?

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Tenerani, Anna; Velli, Marco; DeForest, Craig

    2016-07-01

    DeForest et al. used synoptic visible-light image sequences from the COR2 coronagraph on board the STEREO-A spacecraft to identify inbound wave motions in the outer corona beyond 7 solar radii and inferred, from the observation, that the Alfvén surface separating the magnetically dominated corona from the flow dominated wind must be located beyond at least 12 solar radii from the Sun over polar coronal holes and beyond 15 solar radii in the streamer belt. Here, we attempt identification of the observed inward signal by theoretically reconstructing height-speed diagrams and comparing them to the observed profiles. Interpretation in terms of Alfvén waves or Alfvénic turbulence appears to be ruled out by the fact that the observed signal shows a deceleration of inward motion when approaching the Sun. Fast magnetoacoustic waves are not directly ruled out in this way, as it is possible for inward waves observed in quadrature, but not propagating exactly radially, to suffer total reflection as the Alfvén speed rises close to the Sun. However, the reconstructed signal in the height-speed diagram has the wrong concavity. A final possibility is decelerating reconnection jets, most probably from component reconnection, in the accelerating wind: the profile in this case appears to match the observations very well. This interpretation does not alter the conclusion that the Alfvén surface must be at least 12 solar radii from the photosphere. Further observations should help constrain this process, never identified previously in this way, in the distance range from 7 to 12 solar radii.

  10. 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.

  11. 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

  12. 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.

  13. 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.

  14. 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.

  15. 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.

  16. The reconnection site of temporal cusp structures

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2008-07-01

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

  17. Turbulence in laboratory and natural plasmas: Connecting the dots

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Jenko, Frank

    2015-11-01

    It is widely recognized that turbulence is an important and fascinating frontier topic of both basic and applied plasma physics. Numerous aspects of this paradigmatic example of self-organization in nonlinear systems far from thermodynamic equilibrium remain to be better understood. Meanwhile, for both laboratory and natural plasmas, an impressive combination of new experimental and observational data, new theoretical concepts, and new computational capabilities (on the brink of the exascale era) have become available. Thus, it seems fair to say that we are currently facing a golden age of plasma turbulence research, characterized by fundamental new insights regarding the role and nature of turbulent processes in phenomena like cross-field transport, particle acceleration and propagation, plasma heating, magnetic reconnection, or dynamo action. At the same time, there starts to emerge a more unified view of this key topic of basic plasma physics, putting it into the much broader context of complex systems research and connecting it, e.g., to condensed matter physics and biophysics. I will describe recent advances and future challenges in this vibrant area of plasma physics, highlighting novel insights into the redistribution and dissipation of energy in turbulent plasmas at kinetic scales, using gyrokinetic, hybrid, and fully kinetic approaches in a complementary fashion. In this context, I will discuss, among other things, the influence of damped eigenmodes, the importance of nonlocal interactions, the origin and nature of non-universal power law spectra, as well as the role of coherent structures. Moreover, I will outline exciting new research opportunities on the horizon, combining extreme scale simulations with basic plasma and fusion experiments as well as with observations from satellites.

  18. 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.

  19. 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.

  20. Intermittency of magnetic field turbulence: Astrophysical applications of in-situ observations

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Zelenyi, Lev M.; Bykov, Andrei M.; Uvarov, Yury A.; Artemyev, Anton V.

    2015-08-01

    We briefly review some aspects of magnetic turbulence intermittency observed in space plasmas. Deviation of statistical characteristics of a system (e.g. its high statistical momenta) from the Gaussian can manifest itself as domination of rare large intensity peaks often associated with the intermittency in the system's dynamics. Thirty years ago, Zeldovich stressed the importance of the non-Gaussian appearance of the sharp values of vector and scalar physical parameters in random media as a factor of magnetic field amplification in cosmic structures. Magnetic turbulence is governing the behavior of collisionless plasmas in space and especially the physics of shocks and magnetic reconnections. Clear evidence of intermittent magnetic turbulence was found in recent in-situ spacecraft measurements of magnetic fields in the near-Earth and interplanetary plasma environments. We discuss the potentially promising approaches of incorporating the knowledge gained from spacecraft in-situ measurements into modern models describing plasma dynamics and radiation in various astrophysical systems. As an example, we discuss supernova remnants (SNRs) which are known to be the sources of energy, momentum, chemical elements, and high-energy cosmic rays (CRs) in galaxies. Supernova shocks accelerate charged particles to very high energies and may strongly amplify turbulent magnetic fields via instabilities driven by CRs. Relativistic electrons accelerated in SNRs radiate polarized synchrotron emission in a broad range of frequencies spanning from the radio to gamma-rays. We discuss the effects of intermittency of magnetic turbulence on the images of polarized synchrotron X-ray emission of young SNRs and emission spectra of pulsar wind nebula.

  1. 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.

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

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

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

    1986-01-01

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

  3. 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.

  4. 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.

  5. 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

    Here, magnetic reconnection is a fundamental process at work in laboratory, space, and astrophysical plasmas, in which magnetic field lines change their topology and convert magnetic energy to plasma particles by acceleration and heating. One of the most important problems in reconnection research has been to understand why reconnection occurs so much faster than predicted by magnetohydrodynamics theory. Following the recent pedagogical review of this subject [Yamada et al., Rev. Mod. Phys. 82, 603 (2010)], this paper presents a review of more recent discoveries and findings in the research of fast magnetic reconnection in laboratory, space, and astrophysical plasmas. Inmore » spite of the huge difference in physical scales, we find remarkable commonality between the characteristics of the magnetic reconnection in laboratory and space plasmas. In this paper, we will focus especially on the energy flow, a key feature of the reconnection process. In particular, the experimental results on the energy conversion and partitioning in a laboratory reconnection layer [Yamada et al., Nat. Commun. 5, 4474 (2014)] are discussed and compared with quantitative estimates based on two-fluid analysis. In the Magnetic ReconnectionExperiment, we find that energy deposition to electrons is localized near the X-point and is mostly from the electric field component perpendicular to the magnetic field. The mechanisms of ion acceleration and heating are also identified, and a systematic and quantitative study on the inventory of converted energy within a reconnection layer with a well-defined but variable boundary. The measured energy partition in a reconnection region of similar effective size (L ≈ 3 ion skin depths) of the Earth's magneto-tail [Eastwood et al., Phys. Rev. Lett. 110, 225001 (2013)] is notably consistent with our laboratory results. Finally, to study the global aspects of magnetic reconnection, we have carried out a laboratory experiment on the stability criteria for

  6. 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

    Magnetic reconnection is a fundamental process at work in laboratory, space, and astrophysical plasmas, in which magnetic field lines change their topology and convert magnetic energy to plasma particles by acceleration and heating. One of the most important problems in reconnection research has been to understand why reconnection occurs so much faster than predicted by magnetohydrodynamics theory. Following the recent pedagogical review of this subject [Yamada et al., Rev. Mod. Phys. 82, 603 (2010)], this paper presents a review of more recent discoveries and findings in the research of fast magnetic reconnection in laboratory, space, and astrophysical plasmas. In spite of the huge difference in physical scales, we find remarkable commonality between the characteristics of the magnetic reconnection in laboratory and space plasmas. In this paper, we will focus especially on the energy flow, a key feature of the reconnection process. In particular, the experimental results on the energy conversion and partitioning in a laboratory reconnection layer [Yamada et al., Nat. Commun. 5, 4474 (2014)] are discussed and compared with quantitative estimates based on two-fluid analysis. In the Magnetic Reconnection Experiment, we find that energy deposition to electrons is localized near the X-point and is mostly from the electric field component perpendicular to the magnetic field. The mechanisms of ion acceleration and heating are also identified, and a systematic and quantitative study on the inventory of converted energy within a reconnection layer with a well-defined but variable boundary. The measured energy partition in a reconnection region of similar effective size (L ≈ 3 ion skin depths) of the Earth's magneto-tail [Eastwood et al., Phys. Rev. Lett. 110, 225001 (2013)] is notably consistent with our laboratory results. Finally, to study the global aspects of magnetic reconnection, we have carried out a laboratory experiment on the stability criteria for solar flare

  7. Impulsively Fast Magnetic Reconnection in Solar Flares and Coronal Mass Ejections and in Laboratory Plasma Merging Experiments

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Cheng, Chio Z.; Ono, Yasushi; Yang, Ya-Hui; Choe, Gwangson

    2012-10-01

    Impulsively fast magnetic reconnection has been shown to be the major mechanism responsible for explosive flare non-thermal energy release and acceleration of coronal mass ejection (CME) 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 have also 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).

  8. 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.

  9. 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.

  10. 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

  11. Stirring turbulence with turbulence

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Cekli, Hakki Ergun; Joosten, René; van de Water, Willem

    2015-12-01

    We stir wind-tunnel turbulence with an active grid that consists of rods with attached vanes. The time-varying angle of these rods is controlled by random numbers. We study the response of turbulence on the statistical properties of these random numbers. The random numbers are generated by the Gledzer-Ohkitani-Yamada shell model, which is a simple dynamical model of turbulence that produces a velocity field displaying inertial-range scaling behavior. The range of scales can be adjusted by selection of shells. We find that the largest energy input and the smallest anisotropy are reached when the time scale of the random numbers matches that of the largest eddies of the wind-tunnel turbulence. A large mismatch of these times creates a highly intermittent random flow with interesting but quite anomalous statistics.

  12. 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

  13. Low-Beta MHD Reconnection As a Showcase of Compressible Fluid Dynamics

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Zenitani, S.

    2014-12-01

    In the solar corona, in the magnetosphere, and in other astrophysical settings, magnetic reconnection often occurs in a low-beta plasma. Unfortunately, less is known about low-beta reconnection, partially due to lack of attention and partially due to numerical difficulties. Recent MHD simulations revealed several new features of low-beta reconnection; For example, Zenitani et al.(2010,2011) [1,2] discovered a normal shock which is perpendicular to the Petschek shock and a repeated shock-reflection in front of a magnetic island. In this contribution, we extend earlier works with improved MHD codes and organize the results from the perspective of compressible fluid dynamics. In fluid dynamics, once a flow speed becomes comparable with the local sound speed, various compressible effects take place. This is the case for low-beta reconnection, because an Alfvenic reconnection jet becomes supersonic. Many phenomena can be understood as compressible fluid effects: the normal shock is equivalent to a recompression shock on a transonic airfoil, the shock-reflection corresponds to shock-diamonds in an over-expanded supersonic flow, the adiabatic acceleration similarly takes place as the Laval nozzle, and so on. They appear regardless of Sweet-Parker, plasmoid-mediated, or Petschek reconnections. We further discover another shock-diamonds in extreme cases. A critical condition for these hidden shocks is derived. All these issues can be applied to more extreme cases of relativistic reconnection, in which the sound speed is ``relatively'' slow. We will also address the relevance to the physics of extragalactic jets. References:[1] Zenitani, Hesse, & Klimas, ApJ, 716, L214 (2010).[2] Zenitani and Miyoshi, Phys. Plasmas, 18, 022105 (2011).

  14. Vortices, Reconnection and Turbulence in High Electron-Beta Plasmas

    SciTech Connect

    Stenzel, R. L.

    2004-08-31

    Plasmas in which the kinetic energy exceeds the magnetic energy by a significant factor are common in space and in the laboratory. Such plasmas can convect magnetic fields and create null points in whose vicinity first the ions become unmagnetized, then the electrons. This project focuses on the detailed study of the transition regime of these plasmas.

  15. A Reconnection Switch to Trigger gamma-Ray Burst Jet Dissipation

    SciTech Connect

    McKinney, Jonathan C.; Uzdensky, Dmitri A.

    2012-03-14

    Prompt gamma-ray burst (GRB) emission requires some mechanism to dissipate an ultrarelativistic jet. Internal shocks or some form of electromagnetic dissipation are candidate mechanisms. Any mechanism needs to answer basic questions, such as what is the origin of variability, what radius does dissipation occur at, and how does efficient prompt emission occur. These mechanisms also need to be consistent with how ultrarelativistic jets form and stay baryon pure despite turbulence and electromagnetic reconnection near the compact object and despite stellar entrainment within the collapsar model. We use the latest magnetohydrodynamical models of ultrarelativistic jets to explore some of these questions in the context of electromagnetic dissipation due to the slow collisional and fast collisionless reconnection mechanisms, as often associated with Sweet-Parker and Petschek reconnection, respectively. For a highly magnetized ultrarelativistic jet and typical collapsar parameters, we find that significant electromagnetic dissipation may be avoided until it proceeds catastrophically near the jet photosphere at large radii (r {approx} 10{sup 13}-10{sup 14}cm), by which the jet obtains a high Lorentz factor ({gamma} {approx} 100-1000), has a luminosity of L{sub j} {approx} 10{sup 50}-10{sup 51} erg s{sup -1}, has observer variability timescales of order 1s (ranging from 0.001-10s), achieves {gamma}{theta}{sub j} {approx} 10-20 (for opening half-angle {theta}{sub j}) and so is able to produce jet breaks, and has comparable energy available for both prompt and afterglow emission. A range of model parameters are investigated and simplified scaling laws are derived. This reconnection switch mechanism allows for highly efficient conversion of electromagnetic energy into prompt emission and associates the observed prompt GRB pulse temporal structure with dissipation timescales of some number of reconnecting current sheets embedded in the jet. We hope this work helps motivate the

  16. Comparison of Magnetospheric Multiscale ion jet signatures with predicted reconnection site locations at the magnetopause

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Petrinec, S. M.; Burch, J. L.; Fuselier, S. A.; Gomez, R. G.; Lewis, W.; Trattner, K. J.; Ergun, R.; Mauk, B.; Pollock, C. J.; Schiff, C.; Strangeway, R. J.; Russell, C. T.; Phan, T.-D.; Young, D.

    2016-06-01

    Magnetic reconnection at the Earth's magnetopause is the primary process by which solar wind plasma and energy gains access to the magnetosphere. One indication that magnetic reconnection is occurring is the observation of accelerated plasma as a jet tangential to the magnetopause. The direction of ion jets along the magnetopause surface as observed by the Fast Plasma Instrument (FPI) and the Hot Plasma Composition Analyzer (HPCA) instrument on board the recently launched Magnetospheric Multiscale (MMS) set of spacecraft is examined. For those cases where ion jets are clearly discerned, the direction of origin compares well statistically with the predicted location of magnetic reconnection using convected solar wind observations in conjunction with the Maximum Magnetic Shear model.

  17. 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

  18. Formation of Hard Power Laws in the Energetic Particle Spectra Result