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Sample records for fast collisionless reconnection

  1. A new fast reconnection model in a collisionless regime

    SciTech Connect

    Tsiklauri, David

    2008-11-15

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

  2. The Fast Collisionless Reconnection Condition and the Self-Organization of Solar Coronal Heating

    SciTech Connect

    Uzdensky, D. A.

    2007-12-20

    I propose that solar coronal heating is a self-regulating process that keeps the coronal plasma roughly marginally collisionless. The proposed self-regulating mechanism is based on the interplay of two effects. First, plasma density controls coronal energy release via the transition between the slow collisional Sweet-Parker regime and the fast collisionless reconnection regime. This transition takes place when the Sweet-Parker layer becomes thinner than the characteristic collisionless reconnection scale. I present a simple criterion for this transition in terms of the upstream plasma density (ne), the reconnecting (B0) and guide (Bz) magnetic field components, and the global length (L) of the reconnection layer: L ≲ 6 × 109 cm (ne/1010 cm-3)-3(B0/30G)4(B0/Bz)2. Next, coronal energy release by reconnection raises the ambient plasma density via chromospheric evaporation, and this in turn temporarily inhibits subsequent reconnection involving the newly reconnected loops. Over time, however, radiative cooling gradually lowers the density again below the critical value and fast reconnection again becomes possible. As a result, the density is highly inhomogeneous and intermittent but, statistically, does not deviate strongly from the critical value, which is comparable with the observed coronal density. Thus, in the long run the coronal heating process can be represented by repeating cycles that consist of fast reconnection events (i.e., nanoflares), followed by rapid evaporation episodes, followed by relatively long periods ( 1 hr) during which magnetic stresses build up and the plasma simultaneously cools down and precipitates.

  3. 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.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Jovanović, D.; Shukla, P. K.

    2005-05-01

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

  5. 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.

  6. 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.

  7. Evidence for collisionless magnetic reconnection at Mars

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Eastwood, J. P.; Brain, D. A.; Halekas, J. S.; Drake, J. F.; Phan, T. D.; Øieroset, M.; Mitchell, D. L.; Lin, R. P.; Acuña, M.

    2008-01-01

    Using data from Mars Global Surveyor (MGS) in combination with Particle-In-Cell (PIC) simulations of reconnection, we present the first direct evidence of collisionless magnetic reconnection at Mars. The evidence indicates that the spacecraft passed through the diffusion region where reconnection is initiated and observed the magnetic field signatures of differential electron and ion motion - the Hall magnetic field - that uniquely indicate the reconnection process. These are the first such in-situ reconnection observations at an astronomical body other than the Earth. Reconnection may be the source of Mars' recently discovered auroral activity and the changing boundaries of the closed regions of crustal magnetic field.

  8. Collisionless Reconnection in an Electron-Positron Plasma

    SciTech Connect

    Bessho, N.; Bhattacharjee, A.

    2005-12-09

    Electromagnetic particle-in-cell simulations of fast collisionless reconnection in a two-dimensional electron-positron plasma (without an equilibrium guide field) are presented. A generalized Ohm's law in which the Hall current cancels out exactly is given. It is suggested that the key to fast reconnection in this plasma is the localization caused by the off-diagonal components of the pressure tensors, which produce an effect analogous to a spatially localized resistivity.

  9. Magnetic reconnection in collisionless plasmas - Prescribed fields

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Burkhart, G. R.; Drake, J. F.; Chen, J.

    1990-01-01

    The structure of the dissipation region during magnetic reconnection in collisionless plasma is investigated by examining a prescribed two-dimensional magnetic x line configuration with an imposed inductive electric field E(y). The calculations represent an extension of recent MHD simulations of steady state reconnection (Biskamp, 1986; Lee and Fu, 1986) to the collisionless kinetic regime. It is shown that the structure of the x line reconnection configuration depends on only two parameters: a normalized inductive field and a parameter R which represents the opening angle of the magnetic x lines.

  10. Lessons on collisionless reconnection from quantum fluids

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Narita, Yasuhito; Baumjohann, Wolfgang

    2014-12-01

    Magnetic reconnection in space plasmas remains a challenge in physics in that the phenomenon is associated with the breakdown of frozen-in magnetic field in a collisionless medium. Such a topology change can also be found in superfluidity, known as the quantum vortex reconnection. We give a plasma physicists' view of superfluidity to obtain insights on essential processes in collisionless reconnection, including discussion of the kinetic and fluid pictures, wave dynamics, and time reversal asymmetry. The most important lesson from the quantum fluid is the scenario that reconnection is controlled by the physics of topological defects on the microscopic scale, and by the physics of turbulence on the macroscopic scale. Quantum vortex reconnection is accompanied by wave emission in the form of Kelvin waves and sound waves, which imprints the time reversal asymmetry.

  11. Evidence for Collisionless Magnetic Reconnection at Mars

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Brain, D.; Eastwood, J.; Halekas, J.; Drake, J.; Phan, T.; Oieroset, M.; Mitchell, D.; Lin, R.; Acuna, M.

    2007-12-01

    Magnetic reconnection is a fundamental plasma process that enables the rapid conversion of magnetic to particle energy and is important in astrophysics as well as solar, space and planetary physics. Using data from the Mars Global Surveyor (MGS) spacecraft in combination with simulations of reconnection, we present the first direct evidence of collisionless magnetic reconnection at Mars. The evidence indicates that the spacecraft passed through the diffusion region where reconnection is initiated and observed the magnetic field signatures of differential electron and ion motion that uniquely indicate the reconnection process. These are the first such in- situ reconnection observations at an astronomical body other than the Earth. Reconnection may be the source of Mars" recently discovered auroral activity and the changing boundaries of the closed regions of crustal magnetic field.

  12. New Expression for Collisionless Magnetic Reconnection Rate

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Klimas, Alexander J.

    2014-01-01

    For 2D, symmetric, anti-parallel, collisionless magnetic reconnection, a new expression for the reconnection rate in the electron diffusion region is introduced. It is shown that this expression can be derived in just a few simple steps from a physically intuitive starting point; the derivation is given in its entirety and the validity of each step is confirmed. The predictions of this expression are compared to the results of several long-duration, open-boundary PIC reconnection simulations to demonstrate excellent agreement.

  13. New expression for collisionless magnetic reconnection rate

    SciTech Connect

    Klimas, Alex

    2015-04-15

    For 2D, symmetric, anti-parallel, collisionless magnetic reconnection, new expressions for the reconnection rate in the electron diffusion region are introduced. It is shown that these expressions can be derived in just a few simple steps from a physically intuitive starting point; the derivations are given in their entirety, and the validity of each step is confirmed. The predictions of these expressions are compared to the results of several long-duration, open-boundary particle-in-cell reconnection simulations to demonstrate excellent agreement.

  14. 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

  15. Collisionless magnetic reconnection under anisotropic MHD approximation

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hirabayashi, Kota; Hoshino, Masahiro

    We study the formation of slow-mode shocks in collisionless magnetic reconnection by using one- and two-dimensional collisionless magneto-hydro-dynamic (MHD) simulations based on the double adiabatic approximation, which is an important step to bridge the gap between the Petschek-type MHD reconnection model accompanied by a pair of slow shocks and the observational evidence of the rare occasion of in-situ slow shock observation. According to our results, a pair of slow shocks does form in the reconnection layer. The resultant shock waves, however, are quite weak compared with those in an isotropic MHD from the point of view of the plasma compression and the amount of the magnetic energy released across the shock. Once the slow shock forms, the downstream plasma are heated in highly anisotropic manner and a firehose-sense (P_{||}>P_{⊥}) pressure anisotropy arises. The maximum anisotropy is limited by the marginal firehose criterion, 1-(P_{||}-P_{⊥})/B(2) =0. In spite of the weakness of the shocks, the resultant reconnection rate is kept at the same level compared with that in the corresponding ordinary MHD simulations. It is also revealed that the sequential order of propagation of the slow shock and the rotational discontinuity, which appears when the guide field component exists, changes depending on the magnitude of the guide field. Especially, when no guide field exists, the rotational discontinuity degenerates with the contact discontinuity remaining at the position of the initial current sheet, while with the slow shock in the isotropic MHD. Our result implies that the slow shock does not necessarily play an important role in the energy conversion in the reconnection system and is consistent with the satellite observation in the Earth's magnetosphere.

  16. Effects of electron inertia in collisionless magnetic reconnection

    SciTech Connect

    Andrés, Nahuel Gómez, Daniel; Martin, Luis; Dmitruk, Pablo

    2014-07-15

    We present a study of collisionless magnetic reconnection within the framework of full two-fluid MHD for a completely ionized hydrogen plasma, retaining the effects of the Hall current, electron pressure and electron inertia. We performed 2.5D simulations using a pseudo-spectral code with no dissipative effects. We check that the ideal invariants of the problem are conserved down to round-off errors. Our numerical results confirm that the change in the topology of the magnetic field lines is exclusively due to the presence of electron inertia. The computed reconnection rates remain a fair fraction of the Alfvén velocity, which therefore qualifies as fast reconnection.

  17. In situ detection of collisionless reconnection in the Earth's magnetotail.

    PubMed

    Oieroset, M; Phan, T D; Fujimoto, M; Lin, R P; Lepping, R P

    2001-07-26

    Magnetic reconnection is the process by which magnetic field lines of opposite polarity reconfigure to a lower-energy state, with the release of magnetic energy to the surroundings. Reconnection at the Earth's dayside magnetopause and in the magnetotail allows the solar wind into the magnetosphere. It begins in a small 'diffusion region', where a kink in the newly reconnected lines produces jets of plasma away from the region. Although plasma jets from reconnection have previously been reported, the physical processes that underlie jet formation have remained poorly understood because of the scarcity of in situ observations of the minuscule diffusion region. Theoretically, both resistive and collisionless processes can initiate reconnection, but which process dominates in the magnetosphere is still debated. Here we report the serendipitous encounter of the Wind spacecraft with an active reconnection diffusion region, in which are detected key processes predicted by models of collisionless reconnection. The data therefore demonstrate that collisionless reconnection occurs in the magnetotail.

  18. Particle simulation of collisionless reconnection using TRISTAN

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kotzé, P. B.; Nishikawa, K.-I.; Büchner, J.

    Magnetic reconnection is an important mechanism in the dynamics of the magnetosphere in facilitating the change in magnetospheric topology in response to the orientation of the interplanetary magnetic field (IMF). In the magnetosphere the classical collision rate is small, while the inertia of the electrons allows the frozen-in flux constraint to be broken. At small values of resistivity, this dissipation region then controls the rate of reconnection by forming an elongated Sweet-Parker layer, with an inflow velocity νi into the x-line that scales like: νi = δ ∆ νA νA (1) where δ and ∆ are the width (controlled by resistivity) and length (macroscopic) of the dissipation region respectively and νA is the Alfvén velocity. The scale length around the x-line where the electrons become demagnetised is of the order of the electron skin depth c/ωpe. This region is however much smaller than the ion inertial length c/ωpi, below which the Hall terms in the kinetic Ohm's law become important. Within this distance from the x-line the ions decouple from the electrons and are accelerated away at Alfv´enic velocities (Burkhart et al., 1990) The dynamics of the system at the scale length of the electron dissipation layer is therefore linked to Hall physics, making it a critical ingredient in determining collisionless reconnection rates. Particle simulation techniques have been used to investigate magnetic reconnection in 2-D for a Harris sheet equilibrium. A set of parameters are chosen as well as the dimensions of the computational domain, the boundary conditions and the initial amplitude and form of a seed magnetic island to start the reconnection process. Some preliminary results will be given in this paper.

  19. 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).

  20. Reconnection properties in collisionless plasma with open boundary conditions

    SciTech Connect

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

    2014-07-15

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

  1. Self-Regulation of Solar Coronal Heating Process via the Collisionless Reconnection Condition

    SciTech Connect

    Uzdensky, Dmitri A.

    2007-12-31

    I propose a new paradigm for solar coronal heating viewed as a self-regulating process keeping the plasma marginally collisionless. The mechanism is based on the coupling between two effects. First, coronal density controls the plasma collisionality and hence the transition between the slow collisional Sweet-Parker and the fast collisionless reconnection regimes. In turn, coronal energy release leads to chromospheric evaporation, increasing the density and thus inhibiting subsequent reconnection of the newly reconnected loops. As a result, statistically, the density fluctuates around some critical level, comparable to that observed in the corona. In the long run, coronal heating can be represented by repeating cycles of fast reconnection events (nanoflares), evaporation episodes, and long periods of slow magnetic stress buildup and radiative cooling of the coronal plasma.

  2. Self-regulation of solar coronal heating process via the collisionless reconnection condition.

    PubMed

    Uzdensky, Dmitri A

    2007-12-31

    I propose a new paradigm for solar coronal heating viewed as a self-regulating process keeping the plasma marginally collisionless. The mechanism is based on the coupling between two effects. First, coronal density controls the plasma collisionality and hence the transition between the slow collisional Sweet-Parker and the fast collisionless reconnection regimes. In turn, coronal energy release leads to chromospheric evaporation, increasing the density and thus inhibiting subsequent reconnection of the newly reconnected loops. As a result, statistically, the density fluctuates around some critical level, comparable to that observed in the corona. In the long run, coronal heating can be represented by repeating cycles of fast reconnection events (nanoflares), evaporation episodes, and long periods of slow magnetic stress buildup and radiative cooling of the coronal plasma. PMID:18233563

  3. Electron nongyrotropy in the context of collisionless magnetic reconnection

    SciTech Connect

    Aunai, Nicolas; Hesse, Michael; Kuznetsova, Maria

    2013-09-15

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

  4. Fast, purely growing collisionless reconnection as an eigenfunction problem related to but not involving linear whistler waves

    SciTech Connect

    Bellan, Paul M.

    2014-10-15

    If either finite electron inertia or finite resistivity is included in 2D magnetic reconnection, the two-fluid equations become a pair of second-order differential equations coupling the out-of-plane magnetic field and vector potential to each other to form a fourth-order system. The coupling at an X-point is such that out-of-plane even-parity electric and odd-parity magnetic fields feed off each other to produce instability if the scale length on which the equilibrium magnetic field changes is less than the ion skin depth. The instability growth rate is given by an eigenvalue of the fourth-order system determined by boundary and symmetry conditions. The instability is a purely growing mode, not a wave, and has growth rate of the order of the whistler frequency. The spatial profile of both the out-of-plane electric and magnetic eigenfunctions consists of an inner concave region having extent of the order of the electron skin depth, an intermediate convex region having extent of the order of the equilibrium magnetic field scale length, and a concave outer exponentially decaying region. If finite electron inertia and resistivity are not included, the inner concave region does not exist and the coupled pair of equations reduces to a second-order differential equation having non-physical solutions at an X-point.

  5. Vlasov simulations of collisionless magnetic reconnection without background density

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Schmitz, H.; Grauer, R.

    2008-02-01

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

  6. Collisionless Hall MHD Reconnection Dynamics: Is the Nonlinear Reconnection Rate Independent of the Mechanism that Breaks Field Lines?

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bhattacharjee, A.; Germaschewski, K.; Wang, X.; Linde, T.; Rosner, R.; Siegel, A.

    2002-12-01

    There has been considerable interest in recent years in collisionless reconnection dynamics governed by the generalized Ohm's law in which electron inertia provides the mechanism for breaking field lines. It has been suggested in several theoretical studies that the nonlinear reconnection dynamics, to leading order, is independent of the mechanism that breaks field lines (that is, electron inertia). We test this suggestion carefully using the new Magnetic Reconnection Code (MRC) developed at the Center for Magnetic Reconnection Studies. The MRC is a new massively parallel code with Adaptive Mesh Refinement (AMR) that integrates the equations of Hall MHD. The use of AMR enables unprecedented levels of resolution of the current and vorticity layers and uncovers interesting secondary dynamics not seen in previous studies. We apply the MRC to the study of two problems, one involving free reconnection caused by a spontaneous and fast collisionless instability, the other involving forced reconnection induced by boundary perturbations on a stable plasma. In the case of free reconnection, over the range of parameters covered by our simulations, it is shown that the nonlinear reconnection rate is near-explosive, and furthermore, that the nonlinear magnetic island width is an invariant function of a dimensionless variable which is the product of the linear growth rate and time. Now, since the linear growth rate is a function of the ion sound radius as well as the electron skin depth, we conclude that the nonlinear reconnection rate is not independent of electron inertia. In the case of forced reconnection, after a slow growth phase, the dynamics exhibits an impulsive growth in the amplitude of the thin current sheet, and a subsequent current disruption mediated by secondary instabilities. These results, in which electron inertia provides the mechanism for breaking field lines, are contrasted with resistive Hall MHD simulations in which resistivity provides the mechanism for

  7. The Diffusion Region in Collisionless Magnetic Reconnection

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

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

    2011-01-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2007-05-01

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

  9. The role of microturbulence on collisionless reconnection. [in magnetospheric plasmas

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Papadopoulos, K.

    1980-01-01

    The linear, non-linear and anomalous transport properties associated with various microinstabilities driven by cross field currents in reconnecting geometries are reviewed. An assessment of their role in collisionless tearing based on analytic theory, computer simulations and experimental evidence, supports the dominant role of lower hybrid waves. The relevance of microturbulence on macroscopic stationary and time dependent models of merging is presented. It is concluded that a fluid-numerical simulation approach that includes (at each space and time step) the effects of anomalous transport in a self consistent manner, similar to the one used for laboratory collisionless shocks, represents the best method for studying and modeling the details of the reconnection process.

  10. Collisionless Reconnection with Weak Slow Shocks Under Anisotropic MHD Approximation

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hirabayashi, K.; Hoshino, M.

    2014-12-01

    Magnetic reconnection accompanied by a pair of slow-mode shock waves, known as Petschek's theory, has been widely studied as an efficient mechanism to convert magnetically stored energy to thermal and/or kinetic energy in plasmas. Satellite observations in the Earth's magnetotail, on the other hand, report that the detection of slow shocks is rare compared with the theory. As an important step to bridge the gap between the observational fact and the Petschek-type reconnection, we performed one- and two- dimensional collisionless magnetohydrodynamic (MHD) simulations of magnetic reconnection paying special attention to the effect of temperature anisotropy. In high-beta plasmas such as a plasma sheet in the magnetotail, it is expected that even weak temperature anisotropy can greatly modify the dynamics. We demonstrate that the slow shocks do exist in the reconnection layer even under the anisotropic temperature. The resultant shocks, however, are weaker than those in isotropic MHD in terms of plasma compression. In addition, the amount of magnetic energy released across the shock is extremely small, that is, the shock is no longer switch-off type. In spite of the weakness of the shocks, the reconnection rates measured by the inflow velocities are kept at the same level as the isotropic cases. Once the slow shock forms, the downstream plasma is heated in highly anisotropic manner, and the firehose-sense anisotropy affects the wave structure in the system. In particular, it is remarkable that the sequential order of propagation of slow shocks and rotational discontinuities reverses depending upon the magnitude of a superposed guide field. Our result is consistent with the rareness of the slow shock detection in the magnetotail, and implies that shocks do not necessarily play an important role. Furthermore, a variety of wave structure of a reconnection layer shown here will help interpretation of observational data in collisionless reconnection.

  11. Electron Force Balance in Steady Collisionless-Driven Reconnection

    SciTech Connect

    Li Bin; Horiuchi, Ritoku

    2008-11-21

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

  12. Kinetic Vlasov simulations of collisionless magnetic reconnection

    SciTech Connect

    Schmitz, H.; Grauer, R.

    2006-09-15

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

  13. ONSET OF FAST MAGNETIC RECONNECTION IN PARTIALLY IONIZED GASES

    SciTech Connect

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

    2011-10-01

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

  14. Scaling of Magnetic Reconnection in Relativistic Collisionless Pair Plasmas

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

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

    2015-01-01

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

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

    SciTech Connect

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

    2014-06-15

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

  16. 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.

  17. Improved Boundary Model for Particle Simulation of Collisionless Driven Reconnection

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ohtani, H.; Horiuchi, R.

    2006-10-01

    To clarify the relationship between particle kinetic effects and anomalous resistivity due to plasma instabilities in collisionless driven reconnection, we develop a three-dimensional Particle Simulation code for Magnetic reconnection in an Open system (PASMO). Recently, we have improved a model of upstream boundary to satisfy sufficiently the frozen-in condition both for ions and electrons. From the condition, plasma inflow is driven by ExB drift due to a driving electric field. In the previous model, particles are supplied into the system each time step, based on the particle flux through upstream boundary. The number density changes in proportion to magnetic field. In the improved model, particles in a cell near upstream boundary are newly loaded so as to satisfy shifted Maxwellian rigorously every time step. Using this model, the frozen-in condition is satisfied near the boundary both for electrons and ions. We will discuss the relationship between excitation of instability and mechanism of magnetic reconnection in the meeting.

  18. 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.

  19. 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.

  20. Secondary Island Formation in Collisional and Collisionless Kinetic Simulations of Magnetic Reconnection

    SciTech Connect

    Daughton, W.; Roytershteyn, V.; Yin, L.; Albright, B. J.; Gary, S. P.; Karimabadi, H.; Bowers, Kevin J.

    2011-01-04

    The evolution of magnetic reconnection in large-scale systems often gives rise to extended current layers that are unstable to the formation of secondary magnetic islands. The role of these islands in the reconnection process and the conditions under which they form remains a subject of debate. In this work, we benchmark two different kinetic particle-in-cell codes to address the formation of secondary islands for several types of global boundary conditions. The influence on reconnection is examined for a range of conditions and collisionality limits. Although secondary islands are observed in all cases, their influence on reconnection may be different depending on the regime. In the collisional limit, the secondary islands play a key role in breaking away from the slow Sweet-Parker scaling and pushing the evolution towards small scales where kinetic effects can dominate. In the collisionless limit, fast reconnection can proceed in small systems (30x ion inertial scale) without producing any secondary islands. However, in large-scale systems the diffusion region forms extended current layers that are unstable to the formation of secondary islands, giving rise to a time-dependent reconnection process. These instabilities provide one possible mechanism for controlling the average length of the diffusion region in large systems. New results from Fokker-Planck kinetic simulations are used to examine the role of secondary islands in electron-positron plasmas for both collisional and kinetic parameter regimes. Simple physics arguments suggest the transition should occur when the resistive layers approach the inertial scale. These expectations are confirmed by simulations, which demonstrate the average rate remains fast in large systems and is accompanied by the continuous formation of secondary islands.

  1. Hamiltonian derivation of a gyrofluid model for collisionless magnetic reconnection

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Tassi, E.

    2014-11-01

    We consider a simple electromagnetic gyrokinetic model for collisionless plasmas and show that it possesses a Hamiltonian structure. Subsequently, from this model we derive a two-moment gyrofluid model by means of a procedure which guarantees that the resulting gyrofluid model is also Hamiltonian. The first step in the derivation consists of imposing a generic fluid closure in the Poisson bracket of the gyrokinetic model, after expressing such bracket in terms of the gyrofluid moments. The constraint of the Jacobi identity, which every Poisson bracket has to satisfy, selects then what closures can lead to a Hamiltonian gyrofluid system. For the case at hand, it turns out that the only closures (not involving integro/differential operators or an explicit dependence on the spatial coordinates) that lead to a valid Poisson bracket are those for which the second order parallel moment, independently for each species, is proportional to the zero order moment. In particular, if one chooses an isothermal closure based on the equilibrium temperatures and derives accordingly the Hamiltonian of the system from the Hamiltonian of the parent gyrokinetic model, one recovers a known Hamiltonian gyrofluid model for collisionless reconnection. The proposed procedure, in addition to yield a gyrofluid model which automatically conserves the total energy, provides also, through the resulting Poisson bracket, a way to derive further conservation laws of the gyrofluid model, associated with the so called Casimir invariants. We show that a relation exists between Casimir invariants of the gyrofluid model and those of the gyrokinetic parent model. The application of such Hamiltonian derivation procedure to this two-moment gyrofluid model is a first step toward its application to more realistic, higher-order fluid or gyrofluid models for tokamaks. It also extends to the electromagnetic gyrokinetic case, recent applications of the same procedure to Vlasov and drift- kinetic systems.

  2. Physics of collisionless reconnection in a stressed X-point collapse

    SciTech Connect

    Tsiklauri, D.; Haruki, T.

    2008-10-15

    Recently, magnetic reconnection during collisionless, stressed, X-point collapse was studied using kinetic, 2.5-dimensional, fully electromagnetic, relativistic particle-in-cell numerical code [D. Tsiklauri and T. Haruki, Phys. Plasmas 14, 112905 (2007)]. Here we finalize the investigation of this topic by addressing key outstanding physical questions: (i) Which term in the generalized Ohm's law is responsible for the generation of the reconnection electric field? (ii) How does the time evolution of the reconnected flux vary with the ion-electron mass ratio? (iii) What is the exact energy budget of the reconnection process; i.e., in which proportion initial (mostly magnetic) energy is converted into other forms of energy? (iv) Are there any anisotropies in the velocity distribution of the accelerated particles? The following points have been established. (i) A reconnection electric field is generated by the electron pressure tensor off-diagonal terms, resembling to the case of tearing unstable Harris current sheet studied by the GEM reconnection challenge. (ii) For m{sub i}/m{sub e}>>1, the time evolution of the reconnected flux is independent of ion-electron mass ratio. In addition, in the case of m{sub i}/m{sub e}=1, we show that reconnection proceeds slowly as the Hall term is zero; when m{sub i}/m{sub e}>>1 (i.e., the Hall term is nonzero) reconnection is fast and we conjecture that this is due to magnetic field being frozen into electron fluid, which moves significantly faster than ion fluid. (iii) Within one Alfven time, somewhat less than half ({approx}40%) of the initial total (roughly magnetic) energy is converted into the kinetic energy of electrons, and somewhat more than half ({approx}60%) into kinetic energy of ions (similar to solar flare observations). (iv) In the strongly stressed X-point case, in about one Alfven time, a full isotropy in all three spatial directions of the velocity distribution is seen for superthermal electrons (also commensurate

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2016-06-01

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

  4. Suppression of collisionless magnetic reconnection in asymmetric current sheets

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Liu, Yi-Hsin; Hesse, Michael

    2016-06-01

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

  5. Suppression of Collisionless Magnetic Reconnection in Asymmetric Current Sheets

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Liu, Yi-Hsin; Hesse, Michael

    2016-01-01

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

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

    SciTech Connect

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

    2013-04-15

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

  7. 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} .

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

    SciTech Connect

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

    2015-05-15

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

  9. Self-reinforcing process of the reconnection electric field in the electron diffusion region and onset of collisionless magnetic reconnection

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2013-08-01

    The onset of collisionless magnetic reconnection is considered to be controlled by electron dynamics in the electron diffusion region, where the reconnection electric field is balanced mainly by the off-diagonal electron pressure tensor term. Two-dimensional particle-in-cell simulations are employed in this paper to investigate the self-reinforcing process of the reconnection electric field in the electron diffusion region, which is found to grow exponentially. A theoretical model is proposed to demonstrate such a process in the electron diffusion region. In addition the reconnection electric field in the pileup region, which is balanced mainly by the electromotive force term, is also found to grow exponentially and its growth rate is twice that in the electron diffusion region.

  10. Numerical comparison between a gyrofluid and gyrokinetic model investigating collisionless magnetic reconnection

    SciTech Connect

    Zacharias, O.; Kleiber, R.; Borchardt, M.; Comisso, L.; Grasso, D.; Hatzky, R.

    2014-06-15

    The first detailed comparison between gyrokinetic and gyrofluid simulations of collisionless magnetic reconnection has been carried out. Both the linear and nonlinear evolution of the collisionless tearing mode have been analyzed. In the linear regime, we have found a good agreement between the two approaches over the whole spectrum of linearly unstable wave numbers, both in the drift kinetic limit and for finite ion temperature. Nonlinearly, focusing on the small-Δ′ regime, with Δ′ indicating the standard tearing stability parameter, we have compared relevant observables such as the evolution and saturation of the island width, as well as the island oscillation frequency in the saturated phase. The results are basically the same, with small discrepancies only in the value of the saturated island width for moderately high values of Δ′. Therefore, in the regimes investigated here, the gyrofluid approach can describe the collisionless reconnection process as well as the more complete gyrokinetic model.

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

    SciTech Connect

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

    1990-06-29

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

  12. Origins of effective resistivity in collisionless magnetic reconnection

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Singh, Nagendra

    2014-07-01

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

  13. Full Two-Fluid Collisionless Magnetic Reconnection Simulations

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2015-12-01

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

  14. Origins of effective resistivity in collisionless magnetic reconnection

    SciTech Connect

    Singh, Nagendra

    2014-07-15

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

  15. Magnetic Reconnection during Collisionless, Stressed, X-point Collapse using Particle-in-cell Simulation

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Tsiklauri, D.; Haruki, T.

    2008-09-01

    Dungey's (1953) work on X-point collapse is the earliest analysis done on magnetic reconnection and predates the tearing mode, Sweet-Parker and Petcheck reconnection models. X-point collapse soon fell out of favour because in the collisional (MHD) regime, for the plausible space plasma parameters, it was found to be inefficient. We however show [Tsiklauri D. and T. Haruki, Phys. of Plasmas, 14, 112905, (2007)] that in the collisionless regime, which is indeed more applicable to space plasmas, the reconnection is efficient. We study magnetic reconnection during collisionless, stressed, X-point collapse using kinetic, 2.5D, fully electromagnetic, relativistic Particle-in-Cell numerical code. Two cases of weakly and strongly stressed X-point collapse were considered. Here descriptors weakly and strongly refer to 20% and 124% unidirectional spatial compression of the X-point, respectively. We found that within about one Alfven time, 2% and 20% of the initial magnetic energy is converted into heat and accelerated particle energy in the case of weak and strong stress, respectively. In the both cases, during the peak of the reconnection, the quadruple out-of-plane magnetic field is generated. These results strongly suggest the importance of the collisionless, stressed X-point collapse as an efficient mechanism of converting magnetic energy into heat and super-thermal particle energy. In the weakly stressed case, the reconnection rate, defined as the out-of-plane electric field in the X-point normalized by the product of external magnetic field and Alfven speeds, peaks at 0.11, with its average over 1.25 Alfven times being 0.04. Electron energy distribution in the current sheet, at the high-energy end of the spectrum, shows a power-law distribution with the index varying in time, attaining a maximal value of -4.1 at the final simulation time step (1.25 Alfven times). In the strongly stressed case, magnetic reconnection peak occurs 3.4 times faster and is more efficient

  16. 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.

  17. Final Report for DOE Grant DE-FG02-03ER54712, Experimental Studies of Collisionless Reconnection Processes in Plasmas

    SciTech Connect

    Porkolab, Miklos; Egedal, Jan

    2007-11-30

    The Grant DE-FG-02-00ER54712, ?Experimental Studies of Collisionless Reconnection Processes in Plasmas?, financed within the DoE/NSF, spanned a period from September , 2003 to August, 2007. It partly supported an MIT Research scientist, two graduate students and material expenses. The grant enabled the operation of a basic plasma physics experiment (on magnetic reconnection) at the MIT Plasma Science and Fusion Center and the MIT Physics Department. A strong educational component characterized this work throughout, with the participation of a large number of graduate and undergraduate students and interns to the experimental activities. The study of the collisionless magnetic reconnection constituted the primary work carried out under this grant. The investigations utilized two magnetic configurations with distinct boundary conditions. Both configurations were based upon the Versatile Toroidal Facility (VTF). The first configuration is characterized by open boundary conditions where the magnetic field lines interface directly with the vacuum vessel walls. The reconnection dynamics for this configuration has been methodically characterized and it has been shown that kinetic effects related to trapped electron trajectories are responsible for the high rates of reconnection observed [7]. This type of reconnection has not been investigated before. Nevertheless, the results are directly relevant to observations by the Wind spacecraft of fast reconnection deep in the Earth magnetotail [9]. The second configuration was developed to be specifically relevant to numerical simulations of magnetic reconnection, allowing the magnetic field-lines to be contained inside the device. The configuration is compatible with the presence of large current sheets in the reconnection region and reconnection is observed in fast powerful bursts. These reconnection events facilitate the first experimental investigations of the physics governing the spontaneous onset of fast reconnection [12

  18. Secondary island formation in collisional and collisionless kinetic simulations of magnetic reconnection

    SciTech Connect

    Dayton, William S; Roytershteyn, Vadim; Gary, Peter; Yin, L; Albright, B J; Bowers, K J; Karimabadi, H

    2009-01-01

    The evolution of magnetic reconnection in large-scale systems often gives rise to extended current layers that are unstable to the formation of secondary magnetic islands. The role of these islands in the reconnection process and the conditions under which they form remains a subject of debate. In this work, we benchmark two different kinetic particle-in-cell codes to address the formation of secondary islands for several types of global boundary conditions. The influence on reconnection is examined for a range of conditions and collisionality limits. Although secondary islands are observed in all cases, their influence on reconnection may be different depending on the regime. In the collisional limit, the secondary islands playa key role in breaking away from the Sweet-Parker scaling and enabling faster reconnection. In the collisionless limit, their formation is one mechanism for controlling the length of the diffusion region. In both limits, the onset of secondary islands leads to a time dependent behavior in the reconnection rate. In all cases considered, the number of secondary islands increases for larger systems.

  19. The self-reinforcing process of the reconnection electric field in the electron diffusion region and onset of collisionless magnetic reconnection

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lu, Q.; Lu, S.; Huang, C.; Wang, S.

    2012-12-01

    The onset of collisionless magnetic reconnection is considered to be controlled by electron dynamics in the electron diffusion region, where the reconnection electric field is dominated by the off-diagonal electron pressure tensor term. We present a theoretical model to demonstrate the self-reinforcing process of the reconnection electric field in the electron diffusion region, which is found to grow exponentially. In addition, we found that the reconnection electric field in the pileup region also grows exponentially with the growth rate twice that in the electron diffusion region. Two-dimensional (2-D) particle-in-cell (PIC) simulations are employed to verify the results of the theoretical model.

  20. HYBRID AND HALL-MHD SIMULATIONS OF COLLISIONLESS RECONNECTION: EFFECTS OF PLASMA PRESSURE TENSOR

    SciTech Connect

    L. YIN; D. WINSKE; ET AL

    2001-05-01

    In this study we performed two-dimensional hybrid (particle ions, massless fluid electrons) and Hall-MHD simulations of collisionless reconnection in a thin current sheet. Both calculations include the full electron pressure tensor (instead of a localized resistivity) in the generalized Ohm's law to initiate reconnection, and in both an initial perturbation to the Harris equilibrium is applied. First, electron dynamics from the two calculations are compared, and we find overall agreement between the two calculations in both the reconnection rate and the global configuration. To address the issue of how kinetic treatment for the ions affects the reconnection dynamics, we compared the fluid-ion dynamics from the Hall-MHD calculation to the particle-ion dynamics obtained from the hybrid simulation. The comparison demonstrates that off-diagonal elements of the ion pressure tensor are important in correctly modeling the ion out-of-plane momentum transport from the X point. It is that these effects can be modeled efficiently using a particle Hall-MHD simulation method in which particle ions used in a predictor/corrector to implement the ion gyro-radius corrections. We also investigate the micro- macro-scale coupling in the magnetotail dynamics by using a new integrated approach in which particle Hall-MHD calculations are embedded inside a MHD simulation. Initial results of the simulation concerning current sheet thinning and reconnection dynamics are discussed.

  1. 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.

  2. The extent of power-law energy spectra in collisionless relativistic magnetic reconnection in pair plasma

    SciTech Connect

    Werner, G. R.; Uzdensky, D. A.; Cerutti, B.; Nalewajko, K.; Begelman, M. C.

    2015-12-30

    Using two-dimensional particle-in-cell simulations, we characterize the energy spectra of particles accelerated by relativistic magnetic reconnection (without guide field) in collisionless electron–positron plasmas, for a wide range of upstream magnetizations σ and system sizes L. The particle spectra are well-represented by a power law ${\\gamma }^{-\\alpha }$, with a combination of exponential and super-exponential high-energy cutoffs, proportional to σ and L, respectively. As a result, for large L and σ, the power-law index α approaches about 1.2.

  3. The extent of power-law energy spectra in collisionless relativistic magnetic reconnection in pair plasma

    DOE PAGESBeta

    Werner, G. R.; Uzdensky, D. A.; Cerutti, B.; Nalewajko, K.; Begelman, M. C.

    2015-12-30

    Using two-dimensional particle-in-cell simulations, we characterize the energy spectra of particles accelerated by relativistic magnetic reconnection (without guide field) in collisionless electron–positron plasmas, for a wide range of upstream magnetizations σ and system sizes L. The particle spectra are well-represented by a power lawmore » $${\\gamma }^{-\\alpha }$$, with a combination of exponential and super-exponential high-energy cutoffs, proportional to σ and L, respectively. As a result, for large L and σ, the power-law index α approaches about 1.2.« less

  4. The Extent of Power-law Energy Spectra in Collisionless Relativistic Magnetic Reconnection in Pair Plasmas

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Werner, G. R.; Uzdensky, D. A.; Cerutti, B.; Nalewajko, K.; Begelman, M. C.

    2016-01-01

    Using two-dimensional particle-in-cell simulations, we characterize the energy spectra of particles accelerated by relativistic magnetic reconnection (without guide field) in collisionless electron-positron plasmas, for a wide range of upstream magnetizations σ and system sizes L. The particle spectra are well-represented by a power law {γ }-α , with a combination of exponential and super-exponential high-energy cutoffs, proportional to σ and L, respectively. For large L and σ, the power-law index α approaches about 1.2.

  5. 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.

  6. Evidence of Magnetic Field Switch-off in Collisionless Magnetic Reconnection

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2015-09-01

    The long-term evolution of large domain particle-in-cell simulations of collisionless magnetic reconnection is investigated following observations that show two possible outcomes for collisionless reconnection: toward a Petschek-like configuration or toward multiple X points. In the present simulation, a mixed scenario develops. At earlier time, plasmoids are emitted, disrupting the formation of Petschek-like structures. Later, an almost stationary monster plasmoid forms, preventing the emission of other plasmoids. A situation reminiscent of Petschek’s switch-off then ensues. Switch-off is obtained through a slow shock/rotational discontinuity compound structure. Two external slow shocks (SS) located at the separatrices reduce the in-plane tangential component of the magnetic field, but not to zero. Two transitions reminiscent of rotational discontinuities (RD) in the internal part of the exhaust then perform the final switch-off. Both the SS and the RD are characterized through analysis of their Rankine-Hugoniot jump conditions. A moderate guide field is used to suppress the development of the firehose instability in the exhaust.

  7. EVIDENCE OF MAGNETIC FIELD SWITCH-OFF IN COLLISIONLESS MAGNETIC RECONNECTION

    SciTech Connect

    Innocenti, M. E.; Lapenta, G.; Goldman, M.; Newman, D.; Markidis, S. E-mail: giovanni.lapenta@wis.kuleuven.be E-mail: david.newman@colorado.edu

    2015-09-10

    The long-term evolution of large domain particle-in-cell simulations of collisionless magnetic reconnection is investigated following observations that show two possible outcomes for collisionless reconnection: toward a Petschek-like configuration or toward multiple X points. In the present simulation, a mixed scenario develops. At earlier time, plasmoids are emitted, disrupting the formation of Petschek-like structures. Later, an almost stationary monster plasmoid forms, preventing the emission of other plasmoids. A situation reminiscent of Petschek’s switch-off then ensues. Switch-off is obtained through a slow shock/rotational discontinuity compound structure. Two external slow shocks (SS) located at the separatrices reduce the in-plane tangential component of the magnetic field, but not to zero. Two transitions reminiscent of rotational discontinuities (RD) in the internal part of the exhaust then perform the final switch-off. Both the SS and the RD are characterized through analysis of their Rankine–Hugoniot jump conditions. A moderate guide field is used to suppress the development of the firehose instability in the exhaust.

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

    SciTech Connect

    Jain, Neeraj; Büchner, Jörg

    2014-06-15

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

  9. Micro-instabilities and anomalous transport effects in collisionless guide field reconnection

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2016-07-01

    It is often the case that magnetic reconnection takes place in collisionless plasmas with a current aligned guide magnetic field, such as in the Solar corona. The general characteristics of this process have been exhaustively analyzed with theory and numerical simulations, under different approximations, since some time ago. However, some consequences and properties of the secondary instabilities arising spontaneously -other than tearing instability-, and their dependence on the guide field strength, have not been completely understood yet. For this sake, we use the results of fully kinetic 2D PIC numerical simulations of guide field reconnection. By using a mean field approach for the Generalized Ohm's law that explains the balance of the reconnected electric field, we find that some of the cross-streaming and gradient driven instabilities -in the guide field case- produce an additional anomalous transport term. The latter can be interpreted as a result of the enhanced correlated electromagnetic fluctuations, leading to a slow down of the current carriers and kinetic scale turbulence. We characterize these processes on dependence on the guide field strength, and explore the causal relation with the source of free energy driving the mentioned instabilities. Finally, we show the main consequences that a fully 3D approach have on all those phenomena in contrast to the reduced 2D description.

  10. Particle-in-Cell Simulation of Collisionless Driven Reconnection with Open Boundaries

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Kimas, Alex; Hesse, Michael; Zenitani, Seiji; Kuznetsova, Maria

    2010-01-01

    First results are discussed from an ongoing study of driven collisionless reconnection using a 2 1/2-dimensional electromagnetic particle-in-cell simulation model with open inflow and outflow boundaries. An extended electron diffusion region (EEDR) is defined as that region surrounding a reconnecting neutral line in which the out-of-plane nonideal electric field is positive. It is shown that the boundaries of this region in the directions of the outflow jets are at the positions where the electrons make the transition from unfrozen meandering motion in the current sheet to outward drifting with the magnetic field in the outflow jets; a turning length scale is defined to mark these positions, The initial width of the EEDR in the inflow directions is comparable to the electron bounce width. Later. as shoulders develop to form a two-scale structure. thc EEDR width expands to the ion bounce width scale. The inner portion of the EEDR or the electron diffusion region proper remains at the electron bounce width. Two methods are introduced for predicting the reconnection electric field using the dimensions of the EEDR. These results are interpreted as further evidence that the EEDR is the region that is relevant to understanding the electron role in the neutral line vicinity.

  11. Fast magnetic reconnection with large guide fields

    SciTech Connect

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

    2015-01-09

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

  12. Fast magnetic reconnection with large guide fields

    DOE PAGESBeta

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

    2015-01-09

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

  13. Plasma Waves Around Separatrix in Collisionless Magnetic Reconnection with Weak Guide Field

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Chen, Y.; Fujimoto, K.; Xiao, C.; Ji, H.

    2015-12-01

    Electrostatic and electromagnetic waves excited by electron beam around the separatrix region are analyzed in detail during the collisionless magnetic reconnection with a weak guide field by using 2D particle-in-cell simulation with the adaptive mesh refinement. Broadband electrostatic waves are excited both in the inflow and outflow regions around the separatrices due to the electron bump-on-tail, two-stream, and Buneman instabilities. In contrast, the quasi-monochromatic electromagnetic waves are excited only in the inflow side of the separatrices due to a beam-driven Whistler instability. The localization of the Whistler waves is attributed to the non-uniformity of the out-of-plane magnetic field By. The Whistler instability is suppressed in the outflow side where By is too small for the oblique propagation. The electrostatic waves with distinct speeds can explain the in situ spacecraft observations. From the causality point of view, the waves are generated as the consequence of the electron bulk acceleration to thermalize the particles through wave-particle interactions. These simulation results provide guidance to analyze high-resolution wave observations during reconnection in the ongoing and upcoming satellite missions, as well as in dedicated laboratory experiments.

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

    SciTech Connect

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

    2013-06-15

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

  15. A Next-Generation Experiment To Study Magnetic Reconnection and Related Explosive Phenomena in Large and Collisionless Plasmas

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ji, H.; Yamada, M.; Prager, S.; Daughton, W.; Roytershteyn, V.

    2009-11-01

    Magnetic reconnection, a topological change in magnetic field in plasmas, often occurs explosively leading to rapid conversion of magnetic energy to plasma particle energy in space, astrophysical and laboratory fusion plasmas. The Magnetic Reconnection Experiment (MRX, http://mrx.pppl.gov) is a primary dedicated experiment to study reconnection in a controlled environment. However, further critical understanding and contributions to space and astrophysical plasmas are limited by the parameters achievable in MRX and other dedicated experiments. The MRX plasmas are relatively collisional (Lundquist numbers S ˜10^3) and effectively small (plasma size normalized by ion skin depth or ion sound radius ˜10). In this paper, we discuss plans for a next-generation reconnection experiment based on MRX. By a combination of larger physical size, stronger magnetic field, and higher heating power, we aim to increase S by a factor of 100 and effective size by a factor of 10, representing a very large jump in the laboratory capabilities. Kinetic simulations in realistic boundaries will be used to guide the experimental design. Research topics include: (1) transition of collisional to collisionless reconnection and its scaling with collisionality and size, (2) interacting multiple reconnections as a possible cause of explosive phenomena, (3) particle energization by reconnection, (4) relation between local reconnection and global magnetic self-organization in 3D realistic geometry and boundary.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hirota, Makoto; Hattori, Yuji

    2014-10-01

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

  17. Octupolar out-of-plane magnetic field structure generation during collisionless magnetic reconnection in a stressed X-point collapse

    SciTech Connect

    Graf von der Pahlen, J.; Tsiklauri, D.

    2014-06-15

    The out-of-plane magnetic field, generated by fast magnetic reconnection, during collisionless, stressed X-point collapse, was studied with a kinetic, 2.5D, fully electromagnetic, relativistic particle-in-cell numerical code, using both closed (flux conserving) and open boundary conditions on a square grid. It was discovered that the well known quadrupolar structure in the out-of-plane magnetic field gains four additional regions of opposite magnetic polarity, emerging near the corners of the simulation box, moving towards the X-point. The emerging, outer, magnetic field structure has opposite polarity to the inner quadrupolar structure, leading to an overall octupolar structure. Using Ampere's law and integrating electron and ion currents, defined at grid cells, over the simulation domain, contributions to the out-of-plane magnetic field from electron and ion currents were determined. The emerging regions of opposite magnetic polarity were shown to be the result of ion currents. Magnetic octupolar structure is found to be a signature of X-point collapse, rather than tearing mode, and factors relating to potential discoveries in experimental scenarios or space-craft observations are discussed.

  18. Non-Maxwellian electron distribution functions due to self-generated turbulence in collisionless guide-field reconnection

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Muñoz, P. A.; Büchner, J.

    2016-10-01

    Non-Maxwellian electron velocity space distribution functions (EVDFs) are useful signatures of plasma conditions and non-local consequences of collisionless magnetic reconnection. In the past, EVDFs were obtained mainly for antiparallel reconnection and under the influence of weak guide-fields in the direction perpendicular to the reconnection plane. EVDFs are, however, not well known, yet, for oblique (or component-) reconnection in case and in dependence on stronger guide-magnetic fields and for the exhaust (outflow) region of reconnection away from the diffusion region. In view of the multi-spacecraft Magnetospheric Multiscale Mission (MMS), we derived the non-Maxwellian EVDFs of collisionless magnetic reconnection in dependence on the guide-field strength bg from small ( b g ≈ 0 ) to very strong (bg = 8) guide-fields, taking into account the feedback of the self-generated turbulence. For this sake, we carried out 2.5D fully kinetic Particle-in-Cell simulations using the ACRONYM code. We obtained anisotropic EVDFs and electron beams propagating along the separatrices as well as in the exhaust region of reconnection. The beams are anisotropic with a higher temperature in the direction perpendicular rather than parallel to the local magnetic field. The beams propagate in the direction opposite to the background electrons and cause instabilities. We also obtained the guide-field dependence of the relative electron-beam drift speed, threshold, and properties of the resulting streaming instabilities including the strongly non-linear saturation of the self-generated plasma turbulence. This turbulence and its non-linear feedback cause non-adiabatic parallel electron acceleration. We further obtained the resulting EVDFs due to the non-linear feedback of the saturated self-generated turbulence near the separatrices and in the exhaust region of reconnection in dependence on the guide field strength. We found that the influence of the self-generated plasma turbulence

  19. Fast Magnetic Reconnection in the Plasmoid-Dominated Regime

    SciTech Connect

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

    2010-12-03

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

  20. Particle-in-cell simulation of collisionless undriven reconnection with open boundaries

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Klimas, Alex; Hesse, Michael; Zenitani, Seiji

    2012-04-01

    The results are discussed of a 2½ dimensional, undriven, fully open-boundary particle-in-cell simulation of symmetric, anti-parallel reconnection. It is shown that the reconnection rate as measured by the strength of the out-of-plane electric field component at the dominant x-line is fast and unrelated to the emergence of magnetic islands. In contrast, it is shown that this reconnection rate normalized by the inflowing VAlf,inBin at the x-line does show a striking relationship to island emergence in a majority of cases. A detailed study of an outflow jet is discussed. It is shown that for this example the concept of an outer electron diffusion region is a misnomer. In this jet, the electrons are tied to the magnetic field motion in the local Hall plane. The extended electron diffusion region (E2DR) surrounding a reconnection site, where the out-of-plane non-ideal electric field is greater than zero, is discussed. The width d of this region is shown to remain between the ion and electron bounce length scales, in contrast, to the behavior in driven reconnection simulations in which d evolves from the electron bounce width to the ion bounce width, where it remains. The boundaries of the E2DR in the outflow directions are shown to mark the positions at which the electrons are magnetized and begin their drift with the field in the local Hall plane. It is shown that the aspect ratio d /L, in which L is the length of the E2DR, yields an excellent approximation to the normalized reconnection rate while the expression Ti/L, in which Ti is the ion temperature at the x-line, yields an excellent approximation to the un-normalized rate. It is concluded that the dynamics of the electrons in the E2DR is intimately related to the reconnection rate and it is suggested that in two dimensional, anti parallel, symmetric simulations, this region is the correct choice for the controversial electron diffusion region.

  1. Collisionless Magnetic Reconnection and Dynamo Processes in a Spatially Rotating Magnetic Field

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Choe, Gwangson; Lee, Junggi

    2016-04-01

    Spatially rotating magnetic fields have been observed in the solar wind and in the Earth's magnetopause as well as in reversed field pinch (RFP) devices. Such field configurations have a similarity with extended current layers having a spatially varying plasma pressure instead of the spatially varying guide field. It is thus expected that magnetic reconnection may take place in a rotating magnetic field no less than in an extended current layer. We have investigated the spontaneous evolution of a collisionless plasma system embedding a rotating magnetic field with a two-and-a-half-dimensional electromagnetic particle-in-cell (PIC) simulation. It is found that a magnetic-flux-reducing diffusion phase and a magnetic-flux-increasing dynamo phase are alternating with a certain period. The temperature of the system also varies with the same period, showing a similarity to sawtooth oscillations in tokamaks. We have shown that a modified theory of sawtooth oscillations can explain the periodic behavior observed in the simulation. A strong guide field distorts the current layer as was observed in laboratory experiments. This distortion is smoothed out as magnetic islands fade away by the O-line diffusion, but is soon strengthened by the growth of magnetic islands. These processes are all repeating with a fixed period. Our results suggest that a rotating magnetic field configuration continuously undergoes deformation and relaxation in a short time-scale although it might look rather steady in a long-term view.

  2. Particle description of the electron diffusion region in collisionless magnetic reconnection

    SciTech Connect

    Fujimoto, Keizo; Sydora, Richard D.

    2009-11-15

    The present study clarifies the dissipation mechanism of collisionless magnetic reconnection in two-dimensional system based on particle dynamics. The electrons are accelerated without thermalization in the electron diffusion region, carry out the meandering oscillation, and are ejected away from the X-line. This electron behavior not only generates the electron inertia resistivity based on the particle description, but also it can be the origin of the electron viscosity resulting in the off-diagonal pressure tensor term in the generalized Ohm's law near the X-line. We derive an analytical profile for the electron pressure tensor term and confirm that the profile is consistent with the particle-in-cell simulation. The present results demonstrate that the magnetic dissipation due to the electron viscosity in the fluid picture is equivalent to that due to the inertia resistivity in the particle description. It is also suggested that the width of the electron current sheet is on the order of the electron inertia length in the case without electron scattering and thermalization, while it is expected that the width is broadened if the electron scattering occurs in the current sheet.

  3. A review of pressure anisotropy caused by electron trapping in collisionless plasma, and its implications for magnetic reconnection

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Egedal, Jan; Le, Ari; Daughton, William

    2013-06-01

    From spacecraft data, it is evident that electron pressure anisotropy develops in collisionless plasmas. This is in contrast to the results of theoretical investigations, which suggest this anisotropy should be limited. Common for such theoretical studies is that the effects of electron trapping are not included; simply speaking, electron trapping is a non-linear effect and is, therefore, eliminated when utilizing the standard methods for linearizing the underlying kinetic equations. Here, we review our recent work on the anisotropy that develops when retaining the effects of electron trapping. A general analytic model is derived for the electron guiding center distribution f¯(v∥,v⊥) of an expanding flux tube. The model is consistent with anisotropic distributions observed by spacecraft, and is applied as a fluid closure yielding anisotropic equations of state for the parallel and perpendicular components (relative to the local magnetic field direction) of the electron pressure. In the context of reconnection, the new closure accounts for the strong pressure anisotropy that develops in the reconnection regions. It is shown that for generic reconnection in a collisionless plasma nearly all thermal electrons are trapped, and dominate the properties of the electron fluid. A new numerical code is developed implementing the anisotropic closure within the standard two-fluid framework. The code accurately reproduces the detailed structure of the reconnection region observed in fully kinetic simulations. These results emphasize the important role of pressure anisotropy for the reconnection process. In particular, for reconnection geometries characterized by small values of the normalized upstream electron pressure, βe∞, the pressure anisotropy becomes large with p∥≫p⊥ and strong parallel electric fields develop in conjunction with this anisotropy. The parallel electric fields can be sustained over large spatial scales and, therefore, become important for

  4. "Ideal" tearing and the transition to fast reconnection in the weakly collisional MHD and EMHD regimes

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2016-03-01

    This paper discusses the transition to fast growth of the tearing instability in thin current sheets in the collisionless limit where electron inertia drives the reconnection process. It has been previously suggested that in resistive MHD there is a natural maximum aspect ratio (ratio of sheet length and breadth to thickness) which may be reached for current sheets with a macroscopic length L, the limit being provided by the fact that the tearing mode growth time becomes of the same order as the Alfvén time calculated on the macroscopic scale. For current sheets with a smaller aspect ratio than critical the normalized growth rate tends to zero with increasing Lundquist number S, while for current sheets with an aspect ratio greater than critical the growth rate diverges with S. Here we carry out a similar analysis but with electron inertia as the term violating magnetic flux conservation: previously found scalings of critical current sheet aspect ratios with the Lundquist number are generalized to include the dependence on the ratio de2/L2, where de is the electron skin depth, and it is shown that there are limiting scalings which, as in the resistive case, result in reconnecting modes growing on ideal time scales. Finite Larmor radius effects are then included, and the rescaling argument at the basis of "ideal" reconnection is proposed to explain secondary fast reconnection regimes naturally appearing in numerical simulations of current sheet evolution.

  5. The scaling of collisionless magnetic reconnection in an electron-positron plasma with non-scalar pressure

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hosseinpour, M.; Mohammadi, M. A.; Biabani, S.; Biabani

    2013-10-01

    Collisionless magnetic reconnection via tearing instability in non-relativistic electron-positron (pair) plasma with an anisotropic pressure is investigated. The equilibrium magnetic field is considered to be sheared force-free, and a set of linearized collisionless Magnetohydrodynamics equations describes the evolution of reconnection dynamics. A linear analytical analysis, based on scaling, demonstrates that in such a pair plasma, breaking the frozen in flow constraint for field lines can be mainly provided by the non-gyrotropic pressure of electrons and positrons (rather than the particle bulk inertia) when the current sheet width is smaller than the particle Larmor radius (Δx < r L ). This condition is satisfied when β > d 2 (d = c/ω p is the particle skin-depth with the electron/positron frequency ω p and β = 8πP (0)/B 0 2 << 1). Meanwhile, on top of the Lorentz force and in the absence of the reconnection facilitating mechanism of the Hall effect, non-scalar pressure force can accelerate bulk plasma into the diffusion region at the scale lengths of the order of dx. Therefore, the respective regime of tearing instability proceeds much faster compared with the case of an isotropic pressure with a new dimensionless growth rate of (γτ A ) ~ d.

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

    SciTech Connect

    Bhattacharjee, Amitava

    2012-02-16

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

  7. Comparison of multi-fluid moment models with particle-in-cell simulations of collisionless magnetic reconnection

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wang, Liang; Hakim, Ammar H.; Bhattacharjee, A.; Germaschewski, K.

    2015-01-01

    We introduce an extensible multi-fluid moment model in the context of collisionless magnetic reconnection. This model evolves full Maxwell equations and simultaneously moments of the Vlasov-Maxwell equation for each species in the plasma. Effects like electron inertia and pressure gradient are self-consistently embedded in the resulting multi-fluid moment equations, without the need to explicitly solving a generalized Ohm's law. Two limits of the multi-fluid moment model are discussed, namely, the five-moment limit that evolves a scalar pressures for each species and the ten-moment limit that evolves the full anisotropic, non-gyrotropic pressure tensor for each species. We first demonstrate analytically and numerically that the five-moment model reduces to the widely used Hall magnetohydrodynamics (Hall MHD) model under the assumptions of vanishing electron inertia, infinite speed of light, and quasi-neutrality. Then, we compare ten-moment and fully kinetic particle-in-cell (PIC) simulations of a large scale Harris sheet reconnection problem, where the ten-moment equations are closed with a local linear collisionless approximation for the heat flux. The ten-moment simulation gives reasonable agreement with the PIC results regarding the structures and magnitudes of the electron flows, the polarities and magnitudes of elements of the electron pressure tensor, and the decomposition of the generalized Ohm's law. Possible ways to improve the simple local closure towards a nonlocal fully three-dimensional closure are also discussed.

  8. Comparison of multi-fluid moment models with particle-in-cell simulations of collisionless magnetic reconnection

    SciTech Connect

    Wang, Liang Germaschewski, K.; Hakim, Ammar H.; Bhattacharjee, A.

    2015-01-15

    We introduce an extensible multi-fluid moment model in the context of collisionless magnetic reconnection. This model evolves full Maxwell equations and simultaneously moments of the Vlasov-Maxwell equation for each species in the plasma. Effects like electron inertia and pressure gradient are self-consistently embedded in the resulting multi-fluid moment equations, without the need to explicitly solving a generalized Ohm's law. Two limits of the multi-fluid moment model are discussed, namely, the five-moment limit that evolves a scalar pressures for each species and the ten-moment limit that evolves the full anisotropic, non-gyrotropic pressure tensor for each species. We first demonstrate analytically and numerically that the five-moment model reduces to the widely used Hall magnetohydrodynamics (Hall MHD) model under the assumptions of vanishing electron inertia, infinite speed of light, and quasi-neutrality. Then, we compare ten-moment and fully kinetic particle-in-cell (PIC) simulations of a large scale Harris sheet reconnection problem, where the ten-moment equations are closed with a local linear collisionless approximation for the heat flux. The ten-moment simulation gives reasonable agreement with the PIC results regarding the structures and magnitudes of the electron flows, the polarities and magnitudes of elements of the electron pressure tensor, and the decomposition of the generalized Ohm's law. Possible ways to improve the simple local closure towards a nonlocal fully three-dimensional closure are also discussed.

  9. Two Case Studies of Stochastic Transport: Anomalous Transport in Two Drift Waves, and Collisionless Reconnection.

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Doxas, Isidoros

    1988-12-01

    One-wave vec E times vec B motion in a slab geometry is described by a hamiltonian with a phase space composed of an infinite square lattice of counterrotating rolls. When a small amount of a second wave is added, the hamiltonian becomes time dependent, the energy of a single particle is no longer conserved, and all energy values are accessible to the particle. Most of the contribution to the change in the energy of a particle that moves close to the separatrix from the vicinity of one X-point to the next, is shown to be imparted to the particle during a short interaction time around the midpoint of the particle's trajectory. The magnitude of the change in energy is calculated, and particle motion near the separatrix is reduced to the standard map. Collisionless magnetic reconnection is studied in the context of a reversed field with a small normal component b, modelling the geomagnetic tail. The magnetic moment is adiabatically conserved far from the reversal layer, but it changes in small increments Deltamu as the particle crosses the layer. The magnitude of Deltamu is calculated and the analytic expression is found to agree well with numerical calculations for epsilon < 1, where epsilon is the small parameter in the adiabatic expansion. A test particle code is used to study the time evolution of ensembles of particles placed in the model magnetic field. The code gives ion temperatures of a few keV and earthward drift velocities of 400 -900 km/s in the Plasma Sheet Boundary Layer, in good quantitative agreement with observed values. The numerical value of the height-integrated in-phase current < jcdot E> seems to be in qualitative agreement with theoretical values based on a decorrelation time equal to half a gyroperiod around the normal field, while a decorrelation time equal to 1/kv, where k is the wavenumber of the tearing mode, seems to give the wrong scaling. Finally the system seems to always tend to the same (qualitatively) state around the time the

  10. Evidence of magnetic field switch-off in Particle In Cell simulations of collisionless magnetic reconnection with guide field

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2015-12-01

    The long term evolution of large domain Particle In Cell simulations of collisionless magnetic reconnection is investigated following observations that show two possible outcomes for collisionless reconnection: towards a Petschek-like configuration (Gosling 2007) or towards multiple X points (Eriksson et al. 2014). In the simulations presented here and described in [Innocenti2015*], a mixed scenario develops. At earlier time, plasmoids are emitted, disrupting the formation of Petschek-like structures. Later, an almost stationary monster plasmoid forms, preventing the emission of other plasmoids. A situation reminding of Petschek's switch-off then ensues. Switch-off is obtained through a slow shock / rotational discontinuity (SS/RD) compound structure, with the rotation discontinuity downstreamthe slow shock. Two external slow shocks located in correspondence of the separatrices reduce the in plane tangential component of the magnetic field, but not to zero. Two transitions reminding of rotational discontinuities in the internal part of the exhausts then perform the final switch-off. Both the slow shocks and the rotational discontinuities are characterized as such through the analysis of their Rankine-Hugoniot jump conditions. A moderate guide field is used to suppress the development of the firehose instability in the exhaust that prevented switch off in [Liu2012]. Compound SS/RD structures, with the RD located downstream the SS, have been observed in both the solar wind and the magnetosphere in Wind and Geotail data respectively [Whang1998, Whang2004]. Ion trajectiories across the SS/RD structure are followed and the kinetic origin of the SS/RD structure is investigated. * Innocenti, Goldman, Newman, Markidis, Lapenta, Evidence of magnetic field switch-off in collisionless magnetic reconnection, accepted in Astrophysical Journal Letters, 2015 Acknowledgements: NERSC, a DOE Office of Science User Facility supported by the Office of Science of the U.S. Department of

  11. Trigger of Fast Reconnection via Collapsing Current Sheets

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2015-12-01

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

  12. A Simple, Analytical Model of Collisionless Magnetic Reconnection in a Pair Plasma

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

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

    2011-01-01

    A set of conservation equations is utilized to derive balance equations in the reconnection diffusion region of a symmetric pair plasma. The reconnection electric field is assumed to have the function to maintain the current density in the diffusion region, and to impart thermal energy to the plasma by means of quasi-viscous dissipation. Using these assumptions it is possible to derive a simple set of equations for diffusion region parameters in dependence on inflow conditions and on plasma compressibility. These equations are solved by means of a simple, iterative, procedure. The solutions show expected features such as dominance of enthalpy flux in the reconnection outflow, as well as combination of adiabatic and quasi-viscous heating. Furthermore, the model predicts a maximum reconnection electric field of E(sup *)=0.4, normalized to the parameters at the inflow edge of the diffusion region.

  13. The effects of strong temperature anisotropy on the kinetic structure of collisionless slow shocks and reconnection exhausts. II. Theory

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Liu, Yi-Hsin; Drake, J. F.; Swisdak, M.

    2011-09-01

    Simulations of collisionless oblique propagating slow shocks have revealed the existence of a transition associated with a critical temperature anisotropy ɛ = 1 - μ0(P|| - P⊥)/B2 = 0.25 (Y.-H. Liu, J. F. Drake, and M. Swisdak, Phys. Plasmas 18, 062110 (2011)). An explanation for this phenomenon is proposed here based on anisotropic fluid theory, in particular, the anisotropic derivative nonlinear-Schrödinger-Burgers equation, with an intuitive model of the energy closure for the downstream counter-streaming ions. The anisotropy value of 0.25 is significant because it is closely related to the degeneracy point of the slow and intermediate modes and corresponds to the lower bound of the coplanar to non-coplanar transition that occurs inside a compound slow shock (SS)/rotational discontinuity (RD) wave. This work implies that it is a pair of compound SS/RD waves that bound the outflows in magnetic reconnection, instead of a pair of switch-off slow shocks as in Petschek's model. This fact might explain the rareness of in-situ observations of Petschek-reconnection-associated switch-off slow shocks.

  14. The effects of strong temperature anisotropy on the kinetic structure of collisionless slow shocks and reconnection exhausts. II. Theory

    SciTech Connect

    Liu, Yi-Hsin; Drake, J. F.; Swisdak, M.

    2011-09-15

    Simulations of collisionless oblique propagating slow shocks have revealed the existence of a transition associated with a critical temperature anisotropy {epsilon} = 1 - {mu}{sub 0}(P{sub ||} - P{sub perpendicular})/B{sup 2} = 0.25 (Y.-H. Liu, J. F. Drake, and M. Swisdak, Phys. Plasmas 18, 062110 (2011)). An explanation for this phenomenon is proposed here based on anisotropic fluid theory, in particular, the anisotropic derivative nonlinear-Schroedinger-Burgers equation, with an intuitive model of the energy closure for the downstream counter-streaming ions. The anisotropy value of 0.25 is significant because it is closely related to the degeneracy point of the slow and intermediate modes and corresponds to the lower bound of the coplanar to non-coplanar transition that occurs inside a compound slow shock (SS)/rotational discontinuity (RD) wave. This work implies that it is a pair of compound SS/RD waves that bound the outflows in magnetic reconnection, instead of a pair of switch-off slow shocks as in Petschek's model. This fact might explain the rareness of in-situ observations of Petschek-reconnection-associated switch-off slow shocks.

  15. Numerical evidence of undriven, fast reconnection in the solar-wind interaction with earth's magnetosphere: formation of electromagnetic coherent structures.

    PubMed

    Faganello, M; Califano, F; Pegoraro, F

    2008-09-01

    We give evidence for the first time of the onset of undriven fast, collisionless magnetic reconnection during the evolution of an initially homogeneous magnetic field advected in a sheared velocity field. We consider the interaction of the solar wind with the magnetospheric plasma at low latitude and show that reconnection takes place in the layer between adjacent vortices generated by the Kelvin-Helmholtz instability. This process generates coherent magnetic structures with a size comparable to the ion inertial scale, much smaller than the system dimensions but much larger than the electron inertial scale. These magnetic structures are further advected in the plasma in a complex pattern but remain stable over a time interval much longer than their formation time. These results can be crucial for the interpretation of satellite data showing coherent magnetic structures in the Earth's magnetosheath or the magnetotail. PMID:18851219

  16. Numerical evidence of undriven, fast reconnection in the solar-wind interaction with earth's magnetosphere: formation of electromagnetic coherent structures.

    PubMed

    Faganello, M; Califano, F; Pegoraro, F

    2008-09-01

    We give evidence for the first time of the onset of undriven fast, collisionless magnetic reconnection during the evolution of an initially homogeneous magnetic field advected in a sheared velocity field. We consider the interaction of the solar wind with the magnetospheric plasma at low latitude and show that reconnection takes place in the layer between adjacent vortices generated by the Kelvin-Helmholtz instability. This process generates coherent magnetic structures with a size comparable to the ion inertial scale, much smaller than the system dimensions but much larger than the electron inertial scale. These magnetic structures are further advected in the plasma in a complex pattern but remain stable over a time interval much longer than their formation time. These results can be crucial for the interpretation of satellite data showing coherent magnetic structures in the Earth's magnetosheath or the magnetotail.

  17. `Effective' collisions in weakly magnetized collisionless plasma: importance of Pitaevski's effect for magnetic reconnection

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Zelenyi, Lev M.; Artemyev, Anton V.

    2016-02-01

    In this paper we revisit the paradigm of space science turbulent dissipation traditionally considered as myth (Coroniti, Space Sci. Rev., vol. 42, 1985, pp. 399-410). We demonstrate that due to approach introduced by Pitaevskii (Sov. J. Expl Theor. Phys., vol. 44, 1963, pp. 969-979 (in Russian)) (the effect of a finite Larmor radius on a classical collision integral) dissipation induced by effective interaction with microturbulence produces a significant effect on plasma dynamics, especially in the vicinity of the reconnection region. We estimate the multiplication factor of collision frequency in the collision integral for short wavelength perturbations. For waves propagating transverse to the background magnetic field, this factor is approximately ρekx)2 an electron gyroradius and where kx a transverse wavenumber. We consider recent spacecraft observations in the Earth's magnetotail reconnection region to the estimate possible impact of this multiplication factor. For small-scale reconnection regions this factor can significantly increase the effective collision frequency produced both by lower-hybrid drift turbulence and by kinetic Alfvén waves. We discuss the possibility that the Pitaevskii's effect may be responsible for the excitation of a resistive electron tearing mode in thin current sheets formed in the outflow region of the primary X-line.

  18. Fast magnetic reconnection due to anisotropic electron pressure

    SciTech Connect

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

    2015-02-15

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

  19. Fast magnetic reconnection due to anisotropic electron pressure

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2015-11-01

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

  20. Fast magnetic reconnection due to anisotropic electron pressure

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2015-02-01

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

  1. Effects of a Guide Field on the Larmor Electric Field in Collisionless Asymmetric Reconnection

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ruffolo, D. J.; Malakit, K.; Ek-In, S.; Shay, M. A.; Cassak, P.

    2014-12-01

    Recently it has been pointed out that when the inflow conditions of magnetic reconnection are asymmetric, a new in-plane electric field can arise from the physics of finite ion Larmor radius, called the Larmor electric field. It is located next to the Hall electric field structure, making it a potential indicator of proximity to the diffusion region. However, the properties of the Larmor electric field have not previously been explored for the case of a nonzero guide field, which could occur for many reconnection sites, including the day-side magnetopause. In this study, we therefore further explore the properties of the Larmor electric field by adding guide fields with different strengths into our simulations. The results show that the width of the Larmor electric field structure will be smaller, but the strength of the field will be stronger as the guide field increases, consistent with what we expect from the existing theory. Moreover, we show that in the region where the Larmor electric field occurs, there also appears an electron anisotropy. The widths of the electron anisotropy and Larmor electric field structures are found to be similar, suggesting that observing the combination of these two signatures provides a useful indicator of proximity to a reconnection site. Partially supported by a Mahidol University Postdoctoral Fellowship and the Thailand Research Fund. This research was supported by the postdoctoral research sponsorship of Mahidol University (K. M.), the Thailand Research Fund (D. R.), NSF Grants No. ATM-0645271 (M. A. S.) and No. AGS-0953463 (P.A. C.), NASA Grants No. NNX08A083G—MMS IDS, No. NNX11AD69G, and No. NNX13AD72G(M. A. S.).

  2. Barriers in the transition to global chaos in collisionless magnetic reconnection. II. Field line spectroscopy

    SciTech Connect

    Borgogno, D.; Grasso, D.; Pegoraro, F.; Schep, T. J.

    2011-10-15

    The transitional phase from local to global chaos in the magnetic field of a reconnecting current layer is investigated. The identification of the ridges in the field of the finite time Lyapunov exponent as barriers to the field line motion is carried out adopting the technique of field line spectroscopy to analyze the radial position of a field line while it winds its way through partial stochastic layers and to compare the frequencies of the field line motion with the corresponding frequencies of the distinguished hyperbolic field lines that are the nonlinear generalizations of linear X-lines.

  3. Fermi acceleration in plasmoids interacting with fast shocks of reconnection via fractal reconnection.

    PubMed

    Nishizuka, Naoto; Shibata, Kazunari

    2013-02-01

    We propose the particle acceleration model coupled with multiple plasmoid ejections in a solar flare. Unsteady reconnection produces plasmoids in a current sheet and ejects them out to the fast shocks, where particles in a plasmoid are reflected upstream the shock front by magnetic mirror effect. As the plasmoid passes through the shock front, the reflection distance becomes shorter and shorter driving Fermi acceleration, until it becomes proton Larmor radius. The fractal distribution of plasmoids may also have a role in naturally explaining the power-law spectrum in nonthermal emissions.

  4. Achievement of the switch-off condition through Rotational Discontinuity structures in PIC simulations of collisionless magnetic reconnection with guide field

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Innocenti, Maria Elena; Lapenta, Giovanni; Goldman, Martin; Newman, David; Markidis, Stefano

    2015-04-01

    In Petschek's model for magnetic reconnection, switch-off (SO) condition is achieved through back-to-back slow mode shocks (SS). No rotational discontinuity (RD) is needed, unless in specific cases detailed in [Vasyliunas 1975]. Decades of simulations with different models (MHD, Hall MHD, hybrid, PIC) have yielded contradictory results regarding the achievement of the SO condition during magnetic reconnection events. It has been recently argued that the formation of Petschek's SO-SS is inhibited by the development of the firehose instability, which provokes the flapping of the magnetic field in the reconnection exhausts (Liu et al., 2012). We report here on the formation of localized switch-off areas in simulations of collisionless magnetic reconnection in extremely large domains (hundreds of ion skin depths) for extremely long times (hundreds of inverse ion cyclotron frequency). A guide field (a magnetic field in the direction perpendicular to the reconnection plane) prevents the development of the firehose instability. The switch-off areas are marked by magnetic field line bending (in a way closely resembling the textbook description of RDs), by the formation of a nozzle-like structure in the in-plane projection of the ion and electron velocities perpendicular to the magnetic field direction and by a reduced rate of plasmoid formation. We use Rankine-Hugoniot conditions to characterize the transitions as Rotational Discontinuities and we comment on their origin. Priest, E. and Forbes, T. (2007). Magnetic reconnection. Magnetic Reconnection, by Eric Priest, Terry Forbes, Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press, 2007, 1. Vasyliunas V. (1975). Theoretical models of magnetic field line merging. Review of Geophysics and Space Phsyics, 1975. Liu, Y.-H., Drake, J. F., and Swisdak, M. (2012). The structure of the magnetic reconnection exhaust boundary. Physics of Plasmas (1994-present), 19(2):-.

  5. 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

  6. 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.

  7. PARTICLE ACCELERATION DURING MAGNETOROTATIONAL INSTABILITY IN A COLLISIONLESS ACCRETION DISK

    SciTech Connect

    Hoshino, Masahiro

    2013-08-20

    Particle acceleration during the magnetorotational instability (MRI) in a collisionless accretion disk was investigated by using a particle-in-cell simulation. We discuss the important role that magnetic reconnection plays not only on the saturation of MRI but also on the relativistic particle generation. The plasma pressure anisotropy of p > p{sub ||} induced by the action of MRI dynamo leads to rapid growth in magnetic reconnection, resulting in the fast generation of nonthermal particles with a hard power-law spectrum. This efficient particle acceleration mechanism involved in a collisionless accretion disk may be a possible model to explain the origin of high-energy particles observed around massive black holes.

  8. Three-dimensional non-linear instability of spontaneous fast magnetic reconnection

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Shimizu, T.; Kondoh, K.; Ugai, M.

    2009-05-01

    Three-dimensional instability of spontaneous fast magnetic reconnection is studied using MHD (magnetohydro- dynamic) simulation. Previous two-dimensional MHD studies have demonstrated that, if a current-driven anomalous resistivity is assumed, two-dimensional fast magnetic reconnection occurs and two-dimensional largescale magnetic loops, i.e., plasmoids, are ejected from the reconnection region. In most two-dimensional MHD studies, the structure of the current sheet is initially one-dimensinal. On the other hand, in recent space plasma observations, fully three-dimensional magnetic loops frequently appear even in the almost one-dimensional current sheet. This suggests that the classical two-dimensional fast magnetic reconnection may be unstable to any three-dimensional perturbation, resulting in three-dimensional fast magnetic reconnection. In this paper, we show that a three-dimensional resistive perturbation destabilizes two-dimensional fast magnetic reconnection and results in three-dimensional fast magnetic reconnection. The resulting three-dimensional fast reconnection repeatedly ejects three-dimensional magnetic loops downstream. The obtained numerical results are similar to the pulsating downflows observed in solar flares. According to the Fourier analysis of the ejected magnetic loops, the time evolution of this three-dimensional instability is fully non-linear.

  9. Fast reconnection in relativistic plasmas: the magnetohydrodynamics tearing instability revisited

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Del Zanna, L.; Papini, E.; Landi, S.; Bugli, M.; Bucciantini, N.

    2016-08-01

    Fast reconnection operating in magnetically dominated plasmas is often invoked in models for magnetar giant flares, for magnetic dissipation in pulsar winds, or to explain the gamma-ray flares observed in the Crab nebula; hence, its investigation is of paramount importance in high-energy astrophysics. Here we study, by means of two-dimensional numerical simulations, the linear phase and the subsequent non-linear evolution of the tearing instability within the framework of relativistic resistive magnetohydrodynamics (MHD), as appropriate in situations where the Alfvén velocity approaches the speed of light. It is found that the linear phase of the instability closely matches the analysis in classical MHD, where the growth rate scales with the Lundquist number S as S-1/2, with the only exception of an enhanced inertial term due to the thermal and magnetic energy contributions. In addition, when thin current sheets of inverse aspect ratio scaling as S-1/3 are considered, the so-called ideal tearing regime is retrieved, with modes growing independently of S and extremely fast, on only a few light crossing times of the sheet length. The overall growth of fluctuations is seen to solely depend on the value of the background Alfvén velocity. In the fully non-linear stage, we observe an inverse cascade towards the fundamental mode, with Petschek-type supersonic jets propagating at the external Alfvén speed from the X-point, and a fast reconnection rate at the predicted value {R}˜ (ln S)^{-1}.

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

    SciTech Connect

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

    2015-10-15

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

  11. 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.

  12. Three-dimensional shock formation in the spontaneous fast reconnection evolution

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kondoh, K.; Ugai, M.; Shimizu, T.

    2011-12-01

    Shock structure associated with magnetic reconnection is studied using three-dimensional magneto-hydro-dynamics simulations on the basis of the spontaneous fast reconnection model. In the two-dimensional reconnection, the angle between the slow shock pair (thickness of the plasma sheet) is smaller (thinner) in the region with higher reconnection rate. On the other hand, in the three-dimensional reconnection, the reconnection rate in the diffusion region is not uniform in the direction of sheet current, and the angle between the shock pair at the center of the diffusion region should be smallest. However, the profile of the angle in the direction of sheet current is not satisfied with this relationship. It is shown that this structure is caused by the inflow from the direction of the positive and negative sheet current and the inflow of the magnetic flux accompanied with it.

  13. Fast Magnetic Field Amplification in the Early Universe: Growth of Collisionless Plasma Instabilities in Turbulent Media

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Falceta-Gonçalves, D.; Kowal, G.

    2015-07-01

    In this work we report on a numerical study of the cosmic magnetic field amplification due to collisionless plasma instabilities. The collisionless magnetohydrodynamic equations derived account for the pressure anisotropy that leads, in specific conditions, to the firehose and mirror instabilities. We study the time evolution of seed fields in turbulence under the influence of such instabilities. An approximate analytical time evolution of the magnetic field is provided. The numerical simulations and the analytical predictions are compared. We found that (i) amplification of the magnetic field was efficient in firehose-unstable turbulent regimes, but not in the mirror-unstable models (ii) the growth rate of the magnetic energy density is much faster than the turbulent dynamo and (iii) the efficient amplification occurs at small scales. The analytical prediction for the correlation between the growth timescales and pressure anisotropy is confirmed by the numerical simulations. These results reinforce the idea that pressure anisotropies—driven naturally in a turbulent collisionless medium, e.g., the intergalactic medium, could efficiently amplify the magnetic field in the early universe (post-recombination era), previous to the collapse of the first large-scale gravitational structures. This mechanism, though fast for the small-scale fields (∼kpc scales), is unable to provide relatively strong magnetic fields at large scales. Other mechanisms that were not accounted for here (e.g., collisional turbulence once instabilities are quenched, velocity shear, or gravitationally induced inflows of gas into galaxies and clusters) could operate afterward to build up large-scale coherent field structures in the long time evolution.

  14. 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

  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

    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.

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

    SciTech Connect

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

    2015-09-15

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

  18. Large-amplitude hydromagnetic waves in collisionless relativistic plasma - Exact solution for the fast-mode magnetoacoustic wave

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Barnes, A.

    1983-01-01

    An exact nonlinear solution is found to the relativistic kinetic and electrodynamic equations (in their hydromagnetic limit) that describes the large-amplitude fast-mode magnetoacoustic wave propagating normal to the magnetic field in a collisionless, previously uniform plasma. It is pointed out that a wave of this kind will be generated by transverse compression of any collisionless plasma. The solution is in essence independent of the detailed form of the particle momentum distribution functions. The solution is obtained, in part, through the method of characteristics; the wave exhibits the familiar properties of steepening and shock formation. A detailed analysis is given of the ultrarelativistic limit of this wave.

  19. Electromagnetic Fluctuations during Fast Reconnection in a Laboratory Plasma

    SciTech Connect

    Hantao Ji; Stephen Terry; Masaaki Yamada; Russell Kulsrud; Aleksey Kuritsyn; Yang Ren

    2003-02-11

    Clear evidence for a positive correlation is established between the magnitude of magnetic fluctuations in the lower-hybrid frequency range and enhancement of reconnection rates in a well-controlled laboratory plasma. The fluctuations belong to the right-hand polarized whistler wave branch, propagating obliquely to the reconnecting magnetic field, with a phase velocity comparable to the relative drift velocity between electrons and ions. The short coherence length and large variation along the propagation direction indicate their strongly nonlinear nature in three dimensions.

  20. Can Three-Dimensional Instabilities Enable Fast Reconnection?

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    McClymont, Alexander N.

    1997-05-01

    Most studies of magnetic reconnection have assumed a two-dimensional geometry. Gas swept into the current sheet halts the collapse to the near-singularity required to effectively dissipate magnetic energy. The gas is squeezed out of the current sheet along the separatrices at the local sound speed (McClymont and Craig, 1996, Ap. J. 466, 487). Although this allows collapse to proceed (at a slower pace) it is not yet clear whether all the gas can be removed, particularly in a closed system. Therefore it is of interest to examine how relaxing invariance along the third dimension might allow escape of gas from the current sheet and reconnection to proceed at an explosive rate. Uchida and Sakurai (1977, Solar Phys. 51, 413) have examined the possibility of reconnection rate enhancement by the three-dimensional interchange instability. Some three-dimensional analyses (e.g. Craig and Fabling, 1995, Ap. J. 462, 969) have assumed analytic forms of solution which preclude many outcomes. Another three dimensional simulation (Strauss, 1993, Geophys. Res. Lett., 20, 325) assumes a strong magnetic field along the current sheet. We discuss ideal instabilities and other phenomena which might allow gas to escape more effectively from the current sheet, and enhance the reconnection rate.

  1. Computer studies on plasmoids and TCRs by the spontaneous fast reconnection model

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Zheng, L.; Ugai, M.; Kondoh, K.

    The temporal dynamics of plasmoids propagating tailward and the associated traveling compression regions TCRs in the surrounding magnetic lobe region are studied by using high-resolution three-dimensional MHD simulations on the basis of the spontaneous fast reconnection model Once the fast reconnection mechanism is triggered a large-scale plasmoid develops and propagates at the end of the fast reconnection Alfvenic jet between a pair of standing slow shocks Accordingly the TCR is caused in the tail lobe region by the interaction between the plasmoid and the ambient magnetic field The complicated inner structure of the plasmoid and the dynamics of TCR are analyzed in details and it is demonstrated that the simulation results are in good agreement with the satellite observations

  2. Final Scientific/Technical Report for "Role of Electron Kinetic Effects on the Macroscopic Structure and Evolution of Collisionless Reconnection in Simulations with Open Boundary Conditions"

    SciTech Connect

    Scudder, Jack

    2011-02-04

    The final years of this grant have been dedicated to diagnosing the observable properties of Collisionless Magnetic Reconnection (CMR) as disclosed by the open boundary condition PIC simulations developed under this grant. Particular attention has focussed on identifying the Electron Diffusion Region (EDR), the short scale domain where the process is thought to be enabled. The critical issue has been the need for experimental closure for CMR that is widely invoked in astrophysics, but has actually rather little direct, incontrovertible evidence for its involvement. This difficulty arises because CMR is about topology change of the magnetic field - a concept that is not conducive to single, or even few point correlations as are beginning to be possible with spacecraft armada, like Cluster or the planned Magnetospheric Multi-Scale (MMS) mission to be launched in 2014. Alternate formulations about the time rate of magnetic flux inventoried by a moving observer, reformulate the needed evidence in terms of the curl of various weak vector fields, such as E+UexB, that is zero in ideal MHD. To sense E+UexB from space measurements is already a heroic task. The curl of such a small vector field is outside the domain of the possible.

  3. Formation of fast shocks by magnetic reconnection in the solar corona

    SciTech Connect

    Hsieh, M. H.; Tsai, C. L.; Ma, Z. W.; Lee, L. C.

    2009-09-15

    Reconnections of magnetic fields over the solar surface are expected to generate abundant magnetohydrodynamic (MHD) discontinuities and shocks, including slow shocks and rotational discontinuities. However, the generation of fast shocks by magnetic reconnection process is relatively not well studied. In this paper, magnetic reconnection in a current sheet is studied based on two-dimensional resistive MHD numerical simulations. Magnetic reconnections in the current sheet lead to the formation of plasma jets and plasma bulges. It is further found that the plasma bulges, the leading part of plasma jets, in turn lead to the generation of fast shocks on flanks of the bulges. The simulation results show that during the magnetic reconnection process, the plasma forms a series of structures: plasma jets, plasma bulges, and fast shocks. As time increases, the bulges spread out along the current sheet ({+-}z direction) and the fast shocks move just ahead of the bulges. The effects of initial parameters {rho}{sub s}/{rho}{sub m}, {beta}{sub {infinity}}, and t{sub rec} on the fast shock generation are also examined, where {rho}{sub s}/{rho}{sub m} is the ratio of plasma densities on two sides of the initial current sheet, {beta}{sub {infinity}}=P{sub {infinity}}/(B{sub {infinity}}{sup 2}/2{mu}{sub 0}), P{sub {infinity}} is the plasma pressure and B{sub {infinity}} is the magnetic field magnitude far from the current sheet, and t{sub rec} is the reconnection duration. In the asymmetric case with {rho}{sub s}/{rho}{sub m}=2, {beta}{sub {infinity}}=0.01 and t{sub rec}=1000, the maximum Alfven Mach number of fast shocks (M{sub A1max}) is M{sub A1max} congruent with 1.1, where M{sub A1}=V{sub n1}/V{sub A1}, and V{sub n1} and V{sub A1} are, respectively, the normal upstream fluid velocity and the upstream Alfven speed in the fast shocks frame. As the density ratio {rho}{sub s}/{rho}{sub m} (=1-8) and plasma beta {beta}{sub {infinity}} (=0.0001-1) increase, M{sub A1max} varies

  4. Barriers in the transition to global chaos in collisionless magnetic reconnection. I. Ridges of the finite time Lyapunov exponent field

    SciTech Connect

    Borgogno, D.; Grasso, D.; Pegoraro, F.; Schep, T. J.

    2011-10-15

    The transitional phase from local to global chaos in the magnetic field of a reconnecting current layer is investigated. Regions where the magnetic field is stochastic exist next to regions where the field is more regular. In regions between stochastic layers and between a stochastic layer and an island structure, the field of the finite time Lyapunov exponent (FTLE) shows a structure with ridges. These ridges, which are special gradient lines that are transverse to the direction of minimum curvature of this field, are approximate Lagrangian coherent structures (LCS) that act as barriers for the transport of field lines.

  5. Circularly polarized Magnetic Field of Whistler Wave during Fast Magnetic Reconnection

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Zhai, Xiang; Wongwaitayakornkul, Pakorn; Bellan, Paul; Bellan Group Team

    2014-10-01

    Obliquely propagating whistler waves are expected to have circularly polarized magnetic components and to be associated with fast magnetic reconnection. In the Caltech plasma jet experiment, a current-carrying collimated jet is created from the merging of eight plasma-filled flux ropes. Fast magnetic reconnection occurs during the merging process. When the current- carrying jet undergoes fast kink instability, a lateral Rayleigh-Taylor instability occurs on the jet surface and induces another fast magnetic reconnection event. A capacitive coupling probe placed near the jet has measured fast electric field fluctuations at 15MHz which is in the whistler regime for this plasma. A 3D fast Bdot probe with good electrostatic rejection has been specifically designed to measure the 3D magnetic components of the whistler wave. Preliminary results have revealed a 3D 15 MHz magnetic fluctuation. Work is underway to increase the sensitivity of the induction probe and also to reduce electrostatic pickup. With the improved probe, the polarization property of the magnetic component of the whistler wave is expected to be resolved if it exists.

  6. ON THE ROLE OF FAST MAGNETIC RECONNECTION IN ACCRETING BLACK HOLE SOURCES

    SciTech Connect

    Singh, C. B.; De Gouveia Dal Pino, E. M.; Kadowaki, L. H. S. E-mail: dalpino@iag.usp.br

    2015-01-30

    We attempt to explain the observed radio and gamma-ray emission produced in the surroundings of black holes by employing a magnetically dominated accretion flow model and fast magnetic reconnection triggered by turbulence. In earlier work, a standard disk model was used and we refine the model by focusing on the sub-Eddington regime to address the fundamental plane of black hole activity. The results do not change substantially with regard to previous work, ensuring that the details of accretion physics are not relevant in the magnetic reconnection process occurring in the corona. Rather, our work puts fast magnetic reconnection events as a powerful mechanism operating in the core region near the jet base of black hole sources on more solid ground. For microquasars and low-luminosity active galactic nuclei, the observed correlation between radio emission and the mass of the sources can be explained by this process. The corresponding gamma-ray emission also seems to be produced in the same core region. On the other hand, emission from blazars and gamma-ray bursts cannot be correlated to core emission based on fast reconnection.

  7. Reconnection-driven plasmoids in blazars: fast flares on a slow envelope

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Giannios, Dimitrios

    2013-05-01

    TeV flares of a duration of ˜10 min have been observed in several blazars. The fast flaring requires compact regions in the jet that boost their emission towards the observer at an extreme Doppler factor of δem ≳ 50. For ˜100 GeV photons to avoid annihilation in the broad-line region of PKS 1222+216, the flares must come from large (pc) scales, challenging most models proposed to explain them. Here I elaborate on the magnetic reconnection minijet model for the blazar flaring, focusing on the inherently time-dependent aspects of the process of magnetic reconnection. I argue that, for the physical conditions prevailing in blazar jets, the reconnection layer fragments, leading to the formation a large number of plasmoids. Occasionally, a plasmoid grows to become a large, `monster' plasmoid. I show that radiation emitted from the reconnection event can account for the observed `envelope' of day-long blazar activity, while radiation from monster plasmoids can power the fastest TeV flares. The model is applied to several blazars with observed fast flaring. The inferred distance of the dissipation zone from the black hole and the typical size of the reconnection regions are Rdiss ˜ 0.3-1 pc and l' ≲ 1016 cm, respectively. The required magnetization of the jet at this distance is modest: σ ˜ a few. Such distance Rdiss and reconnection size l' are expected if the jet contains field structures with a size of the order of the black hole horizon.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Shimizu, Tohru; Torii, Hiroyuki; Kondoh, Koji

    2016-05-01

    The 3D instability of spontaneous fast magnetic reconnection process is studied with magnetohydrodynamic simulations, where 2D model of the spontaneous fast magnetic reconnection process is destabilized in three dimensions. In this 3D instability, the spontaneous fast magnetic reconnection process is intermittently and randomly caused in 3D. In this paper, as a typical event study, a single 3D fast magnetic reconnection process often observed in the 3D instability is studied in detail. As a remarkable feature, it is reported that, when the 3D fast magnetic reconnection process starts, plasma inflows along the magnetic neutral line are observed, which are driven by plasma static pressure gradient along the neutral line. The plasma inflow speed reaches about 15 in the upstream field region. The unmagnetized inflow tends to prevent the 3D reconnection process; nevertheless, the 3D reconnection process is intermittently maintained. Such high-speed plasma inflows along the neutral line may be observed as dawn-dusk flows in space satellite observations of magnetotail's bursty bulk flows.

  9. Modeling of traveling compression regions in the Earth's magnetotail by the spontaneous fast reconnection model

    SciTech Connect

    Ugai, M.; Zheng, L.

    2006-03-15

    The spontaneous fast reconnection model is applied to the traveling compression regions (TCRs) observed in the Earth's magnetotail lobe region in association with substorms. For this purpose, virtual satellites are located at spatial points in the (low-{beta}) magnetic field region in the three-dimenisonal simulation domain, so that each satellite directly observes the temporal variations of magnetic fields, obtained from simulations, in accordance with the growth and proceeding of the fast reconnection mechanism. If the virtual satellite is located ahead of the initial plasmoid formation, it observes a pulse-like field compression with the compression rate of more than 10% as well as the bipolar structure of the magnetic field component from northward to southward tilting, when the plasmoid center passes through the satellite location. On the other hand, if it is located behind the plasmoid formation, it observes the unipolar structure of the southward field component. The simulation results are shown to be, both quantitatively and qualitatively, in good agreement with the actual satellite observations. It is demonstrated that the TCR event is the fast reconnection mechanism itself that is seen in the ambient (low-{beta}) magnetic field (magnetotail lobe) region.

  10. Patterns of X-ray, Chromospheric, and Radio Emission in Low-mass Stars: Fast and Slow Magnetic Reconnection

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Mullan, D. J.

    2010-10-01

    Magnetic reconnection events in the atmospheres of low-mass dwarf stars can be classified as either slow or fast, depending on whether ohmic diffusion or Hall currents dominate in the reconnection process. We suggest that the separation of reconnection into slow and fast categories can help to explain some systematics of low-mass dwarfs as regards their emissions in X-rays, Hα, and radio. On the one hand, in the warmer dwarfs (fast reconnection is permitted, and this can explain the occurrence of flares and "quiescent" coronal heating. On the other hand, the fact that the coolest dwarfs (>M7) are inefficient emitters in Hα and X-rays but strong emitters in radio, may be understood in the context that only slow reconnection is permitted to occur in those stars, as a result of high electrical resistivity. However, even though only slow reconnection is permitted in the latter stars, the speed of the outflow jets from reconnection sites can serve as efficient sources of radio emission as a result of the electron cyclotron maser instability.

  11. FAST MAGNETIC RECONNECTION IN THE SOLAR CHROMOSPHERE MEDIATED BY THE PLASMOID INSTABILITY

    SciTech Connect

    Ni, Lei; Kliem, Bernhard; Lin, Jun; Wu, Ning

    2015-01-20

    Magnetic reconnection in the partially ionized solar chromosphere is studied in 2.5 dimensional magnetohydrodynamic simulations including radiative cooling and ambipolar diffusion. A Harris current sheet with and without a guide field is considered. Characteristic values of the parameters in the middle chromosphere imply a high magnetic Reynolds number of ∼10{sup 6}-10{sup 7} in the present simulations. Fast magnetic reconnection then develops as a consequence of the plasmoid instability without the need to invoke anomalous resistivity enhancements. Multiple levels of the instability are followed as it cascades to smaller scales, which approach the ion inertial length. The reconnection rate, normalized to the asymptotic values of magnetic field and Alfvén velocity in the inflow region, reaches values in the range ∼0.01-0.03 throughout the cascading plasmoid formation and for zero as well as for strong guide field. The outflow velocity reaches ≈40 km s{sup –1}. Slow-mode shocks extend from the X-points, heating the plasmoids up to ∼8 × 10{sup 4} K. In the case of zero guide field, the inclusion of both ambipolar diffusion and radiative cooling causes a rapid thinning of the current sheet (down to ∼30 m) and early formation of secondary islands. Both of these processes have very little effect on the plasmoid instability for a strong guide field. The reconnection rates, temperature enhancements, and upward outflow velocities from the vertical current sheet correspond well to their characteristic values in chromospheric jets.

  12. 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.

  13. 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

  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. Extreme ultra-violet burst, particle heating, and whistler wave emission in fast magnetic reconnection induced by kink-driven Rayleigh-Taylor instability

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Chai, Kil-Byoung; Zhai, Xiang; Bellan, Paul M.

    2016-03-01

    A spatially localized energetic extreme ultra-violet (EUV) burst is imaged at the presumed position of fast magnetic reconnection in a plasma jet produced by a coaxial helicity injection source; this EUV burst indicates strong localized electron heating. A circularly polarized high frequency magnetic field perturbation is simultaneously observed at some distance from the reconnection region indicating that the reconnection emits whistler waves and that Hall dynamics likely governs the reconnection. Spectroscopic measurement shows simultaneous fast ion heating. The electron heating is consistent with Ohmic dissipation, while the ion heating is consistent with ion trajectories becoming stochastic.

  16. 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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Karimabadi, H.; Lazarian, A.

    2013-11-01

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

  18. The effect of guide-field and boundary conditions on the features and signatures of collisionless magnetic reconnection in a stressed X-point collapse

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Graf von der Pahlen, J.; Tsiklauri, D.

    2015-12-01

    Magnetic X-point collapse is investigated using a 2.5D fully relativistic particle-in-cell simulation, with varying strengths of guide-field as well as open and closed boundary conditions. In the zero guide-field case we discover a new signature of Hall-reconnection in the out-of-plane magnetic field, namely an octupolar pattern, as opposed to the well-studied quadrupolar out-of-plane field of reconnection. The emergence of the octupolar components was found to be caused by ion currents and is a general feature of X-point collapse. In a comparative study of tearing-mode reconnection, signatures of octupolar components are found only in the out-flow region. It is argued that space-craft observations of magnetic fields at reconnection sites may be used accordingly to identify the type of reconnection [1][2]. Further, initial oscillatory reconnection is observed, prior to reconnection onset, generating electro-magnetic waves at the upper-hybrid frequency, matching solar flare progenitor emission. When applying a guide-field, in both open and closed boundary conditions, thinner dissipation regions are obtained and the onset of reconnection is increasingly delayed. Investigations with open boundary conditions show that, for guide-fields close to the strength of the in-plane field, shear flows emerge, leading to the formation of electron flow vortices and magnetic islands [3]. Asymmetries in the components of the generalised Ohm's law across the dissipation region are observed. Extended in 3D geometry, it is shown that locations of magnetic islands and vortices are not constant along the height of the current-sheet. Vortices formed on opposite sites of the current-sheet travel in opposite directions along it, leading to a criss-cross vortex pattern. Possible instabilities resulting from this specific structure formation are to be investigated [4].[1] J. Graf von der Pahlen and D. Tsiklauri, Phys. Plasmas 21, 060705 (2014), [2] J. Graf von der Pahlen and D. Tsiklauri

  19. Whistler mode based explanation for the fast reconnection rate measured in the mit versatile toroidal facility.

    PubMed

    Singh, Nagendra

    2011-12-01

    Despite the widely discussed role of whistler waves in mediating magnetic reconnection (MR), the direct connection between such waves and the MR has not been demonstrated by comparing the characteristic temporal and spatial features of the waves and the MR process. Using the whistler wave dispersion relation, we theoretically predict the experimentally measured rise time (τ(rise)) of a few microseconds for the fast rising MR rate in the Versatile Toroidal Facility at MIT. The rise time is closely given by the inverse of the frequency bandwidth of the whistler waves generated in the evolving current sheet. The wave frequencies lie much above the ion cyclotron frequency, but they are limited to less than 0.1% of the electron cyclotron frequency in the argon plasma. The maximum normalized MR rate R=0.35 measured experimentally is precisely predicted by the angular dispersion of the whistler waves.

  20. EUV burst, particle heating and whistler wave emission in fast magnetic reconnection induced by kink-driven Rayleigh-Taylor instability

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Zhai, Xiang; Chai, Kil-Byoung; Bellan, Paul; Bellan plasma Group Team

    2015-11-01

    Fast magnetic reconnection associated with a Rayleigh-Taylor instability in a kinked flux rope is studied in the Caltech jet experiment. As the kinked plasma accelerates laterally away from its equilibrium position, an effective gravity due to the acceleration results in a secondary Rayleigh-Taylor instability. This Rayleigh-Taylor instability erodes the plasma to a scale smaller than the ion skin depth and induces a fast magnetic reconnection. A spatially localized energetic EUV burst is observed at the position of fast magnetic reconnection, indicating strong localized electron heating. A circularly polarized high frequency magnetic field perturbation is simultaneously observed at some distance from the reconnection region indicating that the reconnection emits whistler waves and that Hall dynamics governs the reconnection. Spectroscopic measurement including Stark broadening and Doppler broadening shows simultaneous fast ion heating. It is also observed that the voltage across the source electrodes spikes when there is fast magnetic reconnection resulting from the fact that magnetic reconnection changes the magnetic flux linking the electrode circuit. The electron heating is consistent with Ohmic dissipation while the ion heating is consistent with stochastic heating.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2015-04-01

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

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

    SciTech Connect

    Jan Egedal-Pedersen

    2010-01-29

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

  3. Experimental Verification of the Hall Effect during Magnetic Reconnection in a Laboratory Plasma

    SciTech Connect

    Yang Ren; Masaaki Yamada; Stefan Gerhardt; Hantao Ji; Russell Kulsrud; Aleksey Kuritsyn

    2005-06-16

    In this letter we report a clear and unambiguous observation of the out-of-plane quadrupole magnetic field suggested by numerical simulations in the reconnecting current sheet in the Magnetic Reconnection Experiment (MRX). Measurements show that the Hall effect is large in collisionless regime and becomes small as the collisionality increases, indicating that the Hall effect plays an important role in collisionless reconnection.

  4. Localized electron heating during magnetic reconnection in MAST

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Yamada, T.; Tanabe, H.; Watanabe, T. G.; Hayashi, Y.; Imazawa, R.; Inomoto, M.; Ono, Y.; Gryaznevich, M.; Scannell, R.; Michael, C.; The MAST Team

    2016-10-01

    Significant increase in the plasma temperature above 1 keV was measured during the kilogauss magnetic field reconnection of two merging toroidal plasmas under the high-guide field and collision-less conditions. The electron temperature was observed to peak significantly at the X-point inside the current sheet, indicating Joule heating caused by the toroidal electric field along the X-line. This peaked temperature increases significantly with the guide field, in agreement with the electron mean-free path calculation. The slow electron heating in the downstream suggests energy conversion from ions to electrons through ion-electron collisions in the bulk plasma as the second electron heating mechanism in the bulk plasma. The electron density profile clearly reveals the electron density pile-up / fast shock structures in the downstream of reconnection, suggesting energy conversion from ion flow energy to ion thermal energy as well as significant ion heating by reconnection outflow.

  5. Multi-Scale Modeling of Magnetospheric Reconnection

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

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

    2007-01-01

    One of the major challenges in modeling the magnetospheric magnetic reconnection is to quantify the interaction between large-scale global magnetospheric dynamics and microphysical processes in diffusion regions near reconnection sites. There is still considerable debate as to what degree microphysical processes on kinetic scales affect the global evolution and how important it is to substitute numerical dissipation and/or ad hoc anomalous resistivity by a physically motivated model of dissipation. Comparative studies of magnetic reconnection in small scale geometries demonstrated that MHD simulations that included non-ideal processes in terms of a resistive term $\\eta J$ did not produce the fast reconnection rates observed in kinetic simulations. For a broad range of physical parameters in collisionless magnetospheric plasma, the primary mechanism controlling the dissipation in the vicinity of the reconnection site is non-gyrotropic effects with spatial scales comparable with the particle Larmor radius. We utilize the global MHD code BATSRUS and incorporate nongyrotropic effects in diffusion regions in terms of corrections to the induction equation. We developed an algorithm to search for magnetotail reconnection sites, specifically where the magnetic field components perpendicular to the local current direction approaches zero and form an X-type configuration. Spatial scales of the diffusion region and magnitude of the reconnection electric field are calculated selfconsistently using MHD plasma and field parameters in the vicinity of the reconnection site. The location of the reconnection sites is updated during the simulations. To clarify the role of nongyrotropic effects in diffusion region on the global magnetospheric dynamic we perform simulations with steady southward IMF driving of the magnetosphere. Ideal MHD simulations with magnetic reconnection supported by numerical resistivity produce steady configuration with almost stationary near-earth neutral

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

    SciTech Connect

    Egedal-Pedersen, Jan; Porkolab, Miklos

    2011-05-31

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

  7. Secondary instabilities in two- and three-dimensional magnetic reconnection in fusion relevant plasmas

    SciTech Connect

    Grasso, D.; Borgogno, D.; Pegoraro, F.

    2007-05-15

    The fast collisionless reconnection process typical of fusion relevant plasma regimes is analyzed with both two-dimensional and three-dimensional models. The vorticity and current density layers, which typically form in these regimes, are followed during all the phases of their dynamical evolution. Here, these structures are shown to be unstable in the cold electron case to secondary Kelvin-Helmholtz-like instabilities not only in the two-dimensional approximation but also in the full three-dimensional setting.

  8. 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.

  9. Particle simulation of high-energy-density laser-driven reconnection experiments

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2012-10-01

    Recently, reconnection between magnetic fields, self-generated through the Biermann battery effect, has been observed and studied in high-energy-density, laser-driven experiments on the Vulcan, OMEGA, and Shenguang laser facilities. This is a novel regime for magnetic reconnection study, characterized by extremely high magnetic fields, high plasma beta and strong, supersonic plasma inflow. Reconnection in this regime is investigated with particle-in-cell simulations using the PSC code. Previous 2-d particle-in-cell reconnection simulations with parameters and geometry relevant to the experiments identified key ingredients for obtaining the very fast reconnection rates, namely two-fluid reconnection mediated by collisionless effects (that is, the Hall current and electron pressure tensor), strong flux pile-up of the inflowing magnetic field [1], and secondary instabilities that lead to magnetic island formation. We present further detailed simulations of reconnection in this geometry, exploring the role of binary particle collisions and examining mechanisms for particle energization and acceleration, as has been recently observed in laser-driven reconnection experiments [2].[4pt] [1] W. Fox, et al, PRL 106, 215003 (2011).[0pt] [2] Q.L.Dong, et al., PRL 108, 215001 (2012).

  10. The effects of strong temperature anisotropy on the kinetic structure of collisionless slow shocks and reconnection exhausts. I. Particle-in-cell simulations

    SciTech Connect

    Liu, Yi-Hsin; Drake, J. F.; Swisdak, M.

    2011-06-15

    A 2-D Riemann problem is designed to study the development and dynamics of the slow shocks that are thought to form at the boundaries of reconnection exhausts. Simulations are carried out for varying ratios of normal magnetic field to the transverse upstream magnetic field (i.e., propagation angle with respect to the upstream magnetic field). When the angle is sufficiently oblique, the simulations reveal a large firehose-sense (P{sub ||}>P{sub perpendicular}) temperature anisotropy in the downstream region, accompanied by a transition from a coplanar slow shock to a non-coplanar rotational mode. In the downstream region the firehose stability parameter {epsilon}=1-{mu}{sub 0}(P{sub ||}-P{sub perpendicular})/B{sup 2} tends to plateau at 0.25. This balance arises from the competition between counterstreaming ions, which drive {epsilon} down, and the scattering due to ion inertial scale waves, which are driven unstable by the downstream rotational wave. At very oblique propagating angles, 2-D turbulence also develops in the downstream region.

  11. 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.

  12. The effects of ion mass variation and domain size on octupolar out-of-plane magnetic field generation in collisionless magnetic reconnection

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Graf von der Pahlen, J.; Tsiklauri, D.

    2015-03-01

    Graf von der Pahlen and Tsiklauri [Phys. Plasmas 21, 060705 (2014)] established that the generation of octupolar out-of-plane magnetic field structure in a stressed X-point collapse is due to ion currents. The field has a central region, comprising of the well-known quadrupolar field (quadrupolar components), as well as four additional poles of reversed polarity closer to the corners of the domain (octupolar components). In this extended work, the dependence of the octupolar structure on domain size and ion mass variation is investigated. Simulations show that the strength and spatial structure of the generated octupolar magnetic field is independent of ion to electron mass ratio; thus showing that ion currents play a significant role in out-of-plane magnetic structure generation in physically realistic scenarios. Simulations of different system sizes show that the width of the octupolar structure remains the same and has a spacial extent of the order of the ion inertial length. The width of the structure thus appears to be independent on boundary condition effects. The length of the octupolar structure, however, increases for greater domain sizes, prescribed by the external system size. This was found to be a consequence of the structure of the in-plane magnetic field in the outflow region halting the particle flow and thus terminating the in-plane currents that generate the out-of-plane field. The generation of octupolar magnetic field structure is also established in a tearing-mode reconnection scenario. The differences in the generation of the octupolar field and resulting qualitative differences between X-point collapse and tearing-mode are discussed.

  13. The effects of ion mass variation and domain size on octupolar out-of-plane magnetic field generation in collisionless magnetic reconnection

    SciTech Connect

    Graf von der Pahlen, J.; Tsiklauri, D.

    2015-03-15

    Graf von der Pahlen and Tsiklauri [Phys. Plasmas 21, 060705 (2014)] established that the generation of octupolar out-of-plane magnetic field structure in a stressed X-point collapse is due to ion currents. The field has a central region, comprising of the well-known quadrupolar field (quadrupolar components), as well as four additional poles of reversed polarity closer to the corners of the domain (octupolar components). In this extended work, the dependence of the octupolar structure on domain size and ion mass variation is investigated. Simulations show that the strength and spatial structure of the generated octupolar magnetic field is independent of ion to electron mass ratio; thus showing that ion currents play a significant role in out-of-plane magnetic structure generation in physically realistic scenarios. Simulations of different system sizes show that the width of the octupolar structure remains the same and has a spacial extent of the order of the ion inertial length. The width of the structure thus appears to be independent on boundary condition effects. The length of the octupolar structure, however, increases for greater domain sizes, prescribed by the external system size. This was found to be a consequence of the structure of the in-plane magnetic field in the outflow region halting the particle flow and thus terminating the in-plane currents that generate the out-of-plane field. The generation of octupolar magnetic field structure is also established in a tearing-mode reconnection scenario. The differences in the generation of the octupolar field and resulting qualitative differences between X-point collapse and tearing-mode are discussed.

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

    DOE PAGESBeta

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

    2015-05-20

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

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

    SciTech Connect

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

    2015-05-20

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

  16. 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

  17. 3-D simulations of magnetic reconnection in high-energy-density laser-produced plasmas

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2012-10-01

    Magnetic reconnection has recently been observed and studied in high-energy-density, laser-produced plasmas, in a regime characterized by extremely high magnetic fields, high plasma beta and strong, supersonic plasma inflow. These experiments are interesting both for obtaining fundamental data on reconnection, and may also be relevant for inertial fusion, as this magnetic reconnection geometry, with multiple, colliding, magnetized plasma bubbles occurs naturally inside ICF hohlraums. Previous 2-d particle-in-cell reconnection simulations, with parameters and geometry relevant to the experiments, identified key ingredients for obtaining the very fast reconnection rates, namely two-fluid reconnection mediated by collisionless effects (the Hall current and electron pressure tensor), and strong flux pile-up of the inflowing magnetic field [1]. We present results from extending the previous simulations to 3-d, and discuss 3-d effects in the experiments, including instabilities in the reconnection layer, the topological skeleton of null-null lines, and field-generation from the Biermann battery effect. [4pt] [1] W. Fox, A. Bhattacharjee, and K. Germaschewski, PRL 106, 215003 (2011).

  18. THE ROLE OF FAST MAGNETIC RECONNECTION ON THE RADIO AND GAMMA-RAY EMISSION FROM THE NUCLEAR REGIONS OF MICROQUASARS AND LOW LUMINOSITY AGNs

    SciTech Connect

    Kadowaki, L. H. S.; Pino, E. M. de Gouveia Dal; Singh, C. B. E-mail: dalpino@iag.usp.br

    2015-04-01

    Fast magnetic reconnection events can be a very powerful mechanism operating in the core region of microquasars and active galactic nuclei (AGNs). In earlier work, it has been suggested that the power released by fast reconnection events between the magnetic field lines lifting from the inner accretion disk region and the lines anchored into the central black hole could accelerate relativistic particles and produce the observed radio emission from microquasars and low luminosity AGNs (LLAGNs). Moreover, it has been proposed that the observed correlation between the radio emission and the mass of these sources, spanning 10{sup 10} orders of magnitude in mass, might be related to this process. In the present work, we revisit this model comparing two different fast magnetic reconnection mechanisms, namely, fast reconnection driven by anomalous resistivity (AR) and by turbulence. We apply the scenario above to a much larger sample of sources (including also blazars, and gamma-ray bursts—GRBs), and find that LLAGNs and microquasars do confirm the trend above. Furthermore, when driven by turbulence, not only their radio but also their gamma-ray emission can be due to magnetic power released by fast reconnection, which may accelerate particles to relativistic velocities in the core region of these sources. Thus the turbulent-driven fast reconnection model is able to reproduce verywell the observed emission. On the other hand, the emission from blazars and GRBs does not follow the same trend as that of the LLAGNs and microquasars, indicating that the radio and gamma-ray emission in these cases is produced beyond the core, along the jet, by another population of relativistic particles, as expected.

  19. Origin of resistivity in reconnection

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Treumann, Rudolf A.

    2001-06-01

    Resistivity is believed to play an important role in reconnection leading to the distinction between resistive and collisionless reconnection. The former is treated in the Sweet-Parker model of long current sheets, and the Petschek model of a small resistive region. Both models in spite of their different dynamics attribute to the violation of the frozen-in condition in their diffusion regions due to the action of resistivity. In collisionless reconnection there is little consensus about the processes breaking the frozen-in condition. The question is whether anomalous processes generate sufficient resistivity or whether other processes free the particles from slavery by the magnetic field. In the present paper we review processes that may cause anomalous resistivity in collisionless current sheets. Our general conclusion is that in space plasma boundaries accessible to in situ spacecraft, wave levels have always been found to be high enough to explain the existence of large enough local diffusivity for igniting local reconnection. However, other processes might take place as well. Non-resistive reconnection can be caused by inertia or diamagnetism.

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

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

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

    2008-01-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2016-04-01

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

  2. Nonlinear fast magnetoacoustic wave propagation in the neighbourhood of a 2D magnetic X-point: oscillatory reconnection

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    McLaughlin, J. A.; De Moortel, I.; Hood, A. W.; Brady, C. S.

    2009-01-01

    Context: This paper extends the models of Craig & McClymont (1991, ApJ, 371, L41) and McLaughlin & Hood (2004, A&A, 420, 1129) to include finite β and nonlinear effects. Aims: We investigate the nature of nonlinear fast magnetoacoustic waves about a 2D magnetic X-point. Methods: We solve the compressible and resistive MHD equations using a Lagrangian remap, shock capturing code (Arber et al. 2001, J. Comp. Phys., 171, 151) and consider an initial condition in {v}×{B} \\cdot {hat{z}} (a natural variable of the system). Results: We observe the formation of both fast and slow oblique magnetic shocks. The nonlinear wave deforms the X-point into a “cusp-like” point which in turn collapses to a current sheet. The system then evolves through a series of horizontal and vertical current sheets, with associated changes in connectivity, i.e. the system exhibits oscillatory reconnection. Our final state is non-potential (but in force balance) due to asymmetric heating from the shocks. Larger amplitudes in our initial condition correspond to larger values of the final current density left in the system. Conclusions: The inclusion of nonlinear terms introduces several new features to the system that were absent from the linear regime. A movie is available in electronic form at http://www.aanda.org

  3. Radiative tearing - Magnetic reconnection on a fast thermal-instability time scale

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Steinolfson, R. S.; Van Hoven, G.

    1984-01-01

    Two energy modification mechanisms which are known to occur in sheared magnetic fields are the tearing and thermal instabilities. These processes can be studied separately with formalisms incorporating just the effective driving mechanism of interest (finite resistivity for the tearing mode and unstable radiation for the thermal mode). A model which includes both effects, and a temperature-dependent resistivity, indicates that modified forms of these two instabilities may coexist for identical physical conditions. When they are isolated computationally, one can show that their limiting growth rates are approximately those of the uncoupled instabilities. The spatial structure and energy content of these two new hybrid processes are then individually examined and are found to differ considerably from those obtained from separate treatments of the driving mechanisms. The faster radiative instability, which has a hydromagnetically scaled growth rate like the condensation mode of the thermal instability, is shown to involve a substantial amount of magnetic field reconnection. This can be partially explained by a large temperature drop (or resistivity rise) at the X-point. The island width of the Coulomb-coupled radiative mode is 30 percent of that produced by a comparable level of the slower tearing instability. In addition, the perturbed magnetic energy in the radiative instability is 5 times that of the perturbed thermal energy, indicating an appreciable modification of the initial magnetic structure.

  4. Self-organization of Reconnecting Plasmas to Marginal Collisionality in the Solar Corona

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Imada, S.; Zweibel, E. G.

    2012-08-01

    We explore the suggestions by Uzdensky and Cassak et al. that coronal loops heated by magnetic reconnection should self-organize to a state of marginal collisionality. We discuss their model of coronal loop dynamics with a one-dimensional hydrodynamic calculation. We assume that many current sheets are present, with a distribution of thicknesses, but that only current sheets thinner than the ion skin depth can rapidly reconnect. This assumption naturally causes a density-dependent heating rate which is actively regulated by the plasma. We report nine numerical simulation results of coronal loop hydrodynamics in which the absolute values of the heating rates are different but their density dependences are the same. We find two regimes of behavior, depending on the amplitude of the heating rate. In the case that the amplitude of heating is below a threshold value, the loop is in stable equilibrium. Typically, the upper and less dense part of a coronal loop is collisionlessly heated and conductively cooled. When the amplitude of heating is above the threshold, the conductive flux to the lower atmosphere required to balance collisionless heating drives an evaporative flow which quenches fast reconnection, ultimately cooling and draining the loop until the cycle begins again. The key elements of this cycle are gravity and the density dependence of the heating function. Some additional factors are present, including pressure-driven flows from the loop top, which carry a large enthalpy flux and play an important role in reducing the density. We find that on average the density of the system is close to the marginally collisionless value.

  5. SELF-ORGANIZATION OF RECONNECTING PLASMAS TO MARGINAL COLLISIONALITY IN THE SOLAR CORONA

    SciTech Connect

    Imada, S.; Zweibel, E. G.

    2012-08-20

    We explore the suggestions by Uzdensky and Cassak et al. that coronal loops heated by magnetic reconnection should self-organize to a state of marginal collisionality. We discuss their model of coronal loop dynamics with a one-dimensional hydrodynamic calculation. We assume that many current sheets are present, with a distribution of thicknesses, but that only current sheets thinner than the ion skin depth can rapidly reconnect. This assumption naturally causes a density-dependent heating rate which is actively regulated by the plasma. We report nine numerical simulation results of coronal loop hydrodynamics in which the absolute values of the heating rates are different but their density dependences are the same. We find two regimes of behavior, depending on the amplitude of the heating rate. In the case that the amplitude of heating is below a threshold value, the loop is in stable equilibrium. Typically, the upper and less dense part of a coronal loop is collisionlessly heated and conductively cooled. When the amplitude of heating is above the threshold, the conductive flux to the lower atmosphere required to balance collisionless heating drives an evaporative flow which quenches fast reconnection, ultimately cooling and draining the loop until the cycle begins again. The key elements of this cycle are gravity and the density dependence of the heating function. Some additional factors are present, including pressure-driven flows from the loop top, which carry a large enthalpy flux and play an important role in reducing the density. We find that on average the density of the system is close to the marginally collisionless value.

  6. Resistive Magnetohydrodynamic Simulations of Fast Reconnection in Thin Current Sheets: Analysis of the Linear and Nonlinear Stages of the "Ideal" Tearing Mode

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Landi, S.; Del Zanna, L.; Papini, E.; Pucci, F.; Velli, M.

    2015-12-01

    Thin current sheets are known to be unstable to tearing and even super-tearing modes, leading to explosive reconnection events as required to explain the rapid release of magnetic energy in astrophysical plasmas (solar flares, magnetar bursts, dissipation in pulsar winds). Here we study by means of resistive, compressible MHD simulations the behavior of current sheets whose inverse aspect ratio scales with the Lundquist number S as S-1/3, known to give rise to fast, ideal reconnection, with an evolution and growth that are independent of S. In the linear phase we retrieve the expected eigenmodes and the growth rate, which can be as high as γ ≈ 0.6 τA-1, where τA is the ideal Alfvénic time set by the macroscopic scales. The nonlinear stages are characterized by the coalescence of magnetic islands and by secondary reconnection events, obeying the same critical scaling with the local S, leading to the production and ejection of plasmoids on increasingly shorter timescales. Preliminary simulations of the ideal tearing mode are presented also for magnetically dominated plasmas, in the relativistic MHD regime.

  7. Study of the effects of guide field on Hall reconnection

    SciTech Connect

    Tharp, T. D.; Yamada, M.; Ji, H.; Lawrence, E.; Dorfman, S.; Myers, C.; Yoo, J.; Huang, Y.-M.; Bhattacharjee, A.

    2013-05-15

    The results from guide field studies on the Magnetic Reconnection Experiment (MRX) are compared with results from Hall magnetohydrodynamic (HMHD) reconnection simulation with guide field. The quadrupole field, a signature of two-fluid reconnection at zero guide field, is modified by the presence of a finite guide field in a manner consistent with HMHD simulation. The modified Hall current profile contains reduced electron flows in the reconnection plane, which quantitatively explains the observed reduction of the reconnection rate. The present results are consistent with the hypothesis that the local reconnection dynamics is dominated by Hall effects in the collisionless regime of the MRX plasmas. While very good agreement is seen between experiment and simulations, we note that an important global feature of the experiments, a compression of the guide field by the reconnecting plasma, is not represented in the simulations.

  8. Magnetotail Reconnection

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Petrukovich, A.; Artemyev, A.; Nakamura, R.

    Reconnection is the key process responsible for the magnetotail dynamics. Driven reconnection in the distant tail is not sufficient to support global magnetospheric convection and the near Earth neutral line spontaneously forms to restore the balance. Mechanisms of initiation of such near-Earth magnetotail reconnection still represent one of major unresolved issues in space physics. We review the progress in this topic during the last decade. Recent theoretical advances suggest several variants of overcoming the famous tearing stability problem. Multipoint spacecraft observations reveal detailed structure of pre-onset current sheet of and reconnection zone down to ion larmor scale, supporting the importance of unstable state development through internal magnetotail reconfiguration.

  9. BEAMING AND RAPID VARIABILITY OF HIGH-ENERGY RADIATION FROM RELATIVISTIC PAIR PLASMA RECONNECTION

    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

    2012-08-01

    We report on the first study of the angular distribution of energetic particles and radiation generated in relativistic collisionless electron-positron pair plasma reconnection using two-dimensional particle-in-cell simulations. We discover a strong anisotropy of the particles accelerated by reconnection and the associated strong beaming of their radiation. The focusing of particles and radiation increases with their energy; in this sense, this 'kinetic beaming' effect differs fundamentally from the relativistic Doppler beaming usually invoked in high-energy astrophysics, in which all photons are focused and boosted achromatically. We also present, for the first time, the modeling of the synchrotron emission as seen by an external observer during the reconnection process. The expected light curves comprise several bright symmetric sub-flares emitted by the energetic beam of particles sweeping across the line of sight intermittently, and exhibit super-fast time variability as short as about one-tenth of the system light-crossing time. The concentration of the energetic particles into compact regions inside magnetic islands and particle anisotropy explain the rapid variability. This radiative signature of reconnection can account for the brightness and variability of the gamma-ray flares in the Crab Nebula and in blazars.

  10. 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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2015-12-01

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

  12. 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.

  13. Magnetic reconnection under anisotropic magnetohydrodynamic approximation

    SciTech Connect

    Hirabayashi, K.; Hoshino, M.

    2013-11-15

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

  14. Scaling of the magnetic reconnection rate with symmetric shear flow

    SciTech Connect

    Cassak, P. A.; Otto, A.

    2011-07-15

    The scaling of the reconnection rate during (fast) Hall magnetic reconnection in the presence of an oppositely directed bulk shear flow parallel to the reconnecting magnetic field is studied using two-dimensional numerical simulations of Hall reconnection with two different codes. Previous studies noted that the reconnection rate falls with increasing flow speed and shuts off entirely for super-Alfvenic flow, but no quantitative expression for the reconnection rate in sub-Alfvenic shear flows is known. An expression for the scaling of the reconnection rate is presented.

  15. Evolutions of nonsteady state magnetic reconnection

    SciTech Connect

    Wan, Weigang; Lapenta, Giovanni

    2008-01-01

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

  16. 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...

  17. Magnetohydrodynamic structure of a plasmoid in fast reconnection in low-beta plasmas: Shock-shock interactions

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Zenitani, Seiji

    2015-03-01

    The shock structure of a plasmoid in magnetic reconnection in low-beta plasmas is investigated by two-dimensional magnetohydrodynamic simulations. Using a high-accuracy code with unprecedented resolution, shocks, discontinuities, and their intersections are resolved and clarified. Contact discontinuities emanate from triple-shock intersection points, separating fluids of different origins. Shock-diamonds inside the plasmoid appear to decelerate a supersonic flow. New shock-diamonds and a slow expansion fan are found inside the Petschek outflow. A sufficient condition for the new shock-diamonds and the relevance to astrophysical jets are discussed.

  18. Magnetohydrodynamic structure of a plasmoid in fast reconnection in low-beta plasmas: Shock-shock interactions

    SciTech Connect

    Zenitani, Seiji

    2015-03-15

    The shock structure of a plasmoid in magnetic reconnection in low-beta plasmas is investigated by two-dimensional magnetohydrodynamic simulations. Using a high-accuracy code with unprecedented resolution, shocks, discontinuities, and their intersections are resolved and clarified. Contact discontinuities emanate from triple-shock intersection points, separating fluids of different origins. Shock-diamonds inside the plasmoid appear to decelerate a supersonic flow. New shock-diamonds and a slow expansion fan are found inside the Petschek outflow. A sufficient condition for the new shock-diamonds and the relevance to astrophysical jets are discussed.

  19. Chromospheric anemone jets and magnetic reconnection in partially ionized solar atmosphere

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Singh, K. A. P.; Shibata, K.; Nishizuka, N.; Isobe, H.

    2011-11-01

    The solar optical telescope onboard Hinode with temporal resolution of less than 5 s and spatial resolution of 150 km has observed the lower solar atmosphere with an unprecedented detail. This has led to many important findings, one of them is the discovery of chromospheric anemone jets in the solar chromosphere. The chromospheric anemone jets are ubiquitous in solar chromosphere and statistical studies show that the typical length, life time and energy of the chromospheric anemone jets are much smaller than the coronal events (e.g., jets/flares/CMEs). Among various observational parameters, the apparent length and maximum velocity shows good correlation. The velocity of chromospheric anemone jets is comparable to the local Alfvén speed in the lower solar chromosphere. Since the discovery of chromospheric anemone jets by Hinode, several evidences of magnetic reconnection in chromospheric anemone jets have been found and these observations are summarized in this paper. These observations clearly suggest that reconnection occurs quite rapidly as well as intermittently in the solar chromosphere. In the solar corona (λi > δSP), anomalous resistivity arises due to various collisionless processes. Previous MHD simulations show that reconnection becomes fast as well as strongly time-dependent due to anomalous resistivity. Such processes would not arise in the solar chromosphere which is fully collisional and partially-ionized. So, it is unclear how the rapid and strongly time-dependent reconnection would occur in the solar chromosphere. It is quite likely that the Hall and ambipolar diffusion are present in the solar chromosphere and they could play an important role in driving such rapid, strongly time-dependent reconnection in the solar chromosphere.

  20. Chromospheric anemone jets and magnetic reconnection in partially ionized solar atmosphere

    SciTech Connect

    Singh, K. A. P.; Shibata, K.; Nishizuka, N.; Isobe, H.

    2011-11-15

    The solar optical telescope onboard Hinode with temporal resolution of less than 5 s and spatial resolution of 150 km has observed the lower solar atmosphere with an unprecedented detail. This has led to many important findings, one of them is the discovery of chromospheric anemone jets in the solar chromosphere. The chromospheric anemone jets are ubiquitous in solar chromosphere and statistical studies show that the typical length, life time and energy of the chromospheric anemone jets are much smaller than the coronal events (e.g., jets/flares/CMEs). Among various observational parameters, the apparent length and maximum velocity shows good correlation. The velocity of chromospheric anemone jets is comparable to the local Alfven speed in the lower solar chromosphere. Since the discovery of chromospheric anemone jets by Hinode, several evidences of magnetic reconnection in chromospheric anemone jets have been found and these observations are summarized in this paper. These observations clearly suggest that reconnection occurs quite rapidly as well as intermittently in the solar chromosphere. In the solar corona ({lambda}{sub i} > {delta}{sub SP}), anomalous resistivity arises due to various collisionless processes. Previous MHD simulations show that reconnection becomes fast as well as strongly time-dependent due to anomalous resistivity. Such processes would not arise in the solar chromosphere which is fully collisional and partially-ionized. So, it is unclear how the rapid and strongly time-dependent reconnection would occur in the solar chromosphere. It is quite likely that the Hall and ambipolar diffusion are present in the solar chromosphere and they could play an important role in driving such rapid, strongly time-dependent reconnection in the solar chromosphere.

  1. Global Scale-Invariant Dissipation in Collisionless Plasma Turbulence

    SciTech Connect

    Kiyani, K. H.; Chapman, S. C.; Khotyaintsev, Yu. V.; Dunlop, M. W.; Sahraoui, F.

    2009-08-14

    A higher-order multiscale analysis of the dissipation range of collisionless plasma turbulence is presented using in situ high-frequency magnetic field measurements from the Cluster spacecraft in a stationary interval of fast ambient solar wind. The observations, spanning five decades in temporal scales, show a crossover from multifractal intermittent turbulence in the inertial range to non-Gaussian monoscaling in the dissipation range. This presents a strong observational constraint on theories of dissipation mechanisms in turbulent collisionless plasmas.

  2. 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.

  3. 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.

  4. 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

  5. Toward a dispersion model for magnetic reconnection: lessons from quantum vortex dynamics

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Narita, Yasuhito

    2015-04-01

    The phenomenon of quantum vortex reconnection as realized by a turbulent helium superfluid offers astrophysical plasma physicists a great amount of hints and ideas to extract the essence of collisionless magnetic reconnection. Based on the recent review of quantum vortex reconnection [Narita, Y. and Baumjohann, W., Lessons on collisionless reconnection from quantum fluids, Front. Phys., 2, 76, 2014], a scenario of dispersion model for magnetic reconnection is proposed here. In this scenario, the dispersion effect causing the wave packet broadening plays a more essential role in reconnection than other effects such as anomalous resistivity, electron pressure anisotropy and stress, or electron inertia. The nonlinearity is neglected in the weak magnetic field region of reconnection (i.e., diffusion region), and the reconnection dynamics is given as a linear dispersive picture. The dispersion effect can be found not only in quantum mechanics (the Schroedinger equation) but also in plasma physics as dispersive waves (whistler waves, for example). While magnetic reconnection is often associated with turbulence, the dispersion model suggests that reconnection be a smooth transition of magnetic field line topology.

  6. 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.

  7. Magnetic Reconnection: A Fundamental Process in Space Plasmas

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Hesse, Michael

    2010-01-01

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

  8. Supermagnetosonic Jets behind a Collisionless Quasiparallel Shock

    SciTech Connect

    Hietala, H.; Vainio, R.; Laitinen, T. V.; Vaivads, A.; Andreeova, K.; Palmroth, M.; Pulkkinen, T. I.; Koskinen, H. E. J.; Lucek, E. A.; Reme, H.

    2009-12-11

    The downstream region of a collisionless quasiparallel shock is structured containing bulk flows with high kinetic energy density from a previously unidentified source. We present Cluster multispacecraft measurements of this type of supermagnetosonic jet as well as of a weak secondary shock front within the sheath, that allow us to propose the following generation mechanism for the jets: The local curvature variations inherent to quasiparallel shocks can create fast, deflected jets accompanied by density variations in the downstream region. If the speed of the jet is super(magneto)sonic in the reference frame of the obstacle, a second shock front forms in the sheath closer to the obstacle. Our results can be applied to collisionless quasiparallel shocks in many plasma environments.

  9. 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

  10. 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

  11. 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.

  12. Aspects of three-dimensional magnetic reconnection

    SciTech Connect

    Borgogno, D.; Grasso, D.; Porcelli, F.; Califano, F.; Pegoraro, F.; Farina, D.

    2005-03-01

    The nonlinear behavior of reconnecting modes in three spatial dimensions (3D) is investigated, on the basis of a collisionless fluid model in slab geometry, assuming a strong constant guide field in one direction. Unstable modes in the so-called large {delta}{sup '} regime are considered. Single helicity modes, i.e., modes with the same orientation with respect to the guide field, depending on all three spatial coordinates correspond to 'oblique' modes with, in general, mixed parity around the corresponding resonant magnetic surface, giving rise to a nonlinear drift of the magnetic island X point. The nonlinear coupling of initial perturbations with different helicities introduces additional helicities that evolve in time in agreement with quasilinear estimates, as long as their amplitudes remain relatively small. Magnetic field lines become stochastic when islands with different helicities are present. Basic questions such as the proper definition of the reconnection rate in 3D are addressed.

  13. VINETA II: a linear magnetic reconnection experiment.

    PubMed

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

    2014-02-01

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

  14. 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.

  15. VINETA II: A linear magnetic reconnection experiment

    SciTech Connect

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

    2014-02-15

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

  16. Collisionless parallel shocks

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Khabibrakhmanov, I. KH.; Galeev, A. A.; Galinskii, V. L.

    1993-01-01

    Consideration is given to a collisionless parallel shock based on solitary-type solutions of the modified derivative nonlinear Schroedinger equation (MDNLS) for parallel Alfven waves. The standard derivative nonlinear Schroedinger equation is generalized in order to include the possible anisotropy of the plasma distribution and higher-order Korteweg-de Vies-type dispersion. Stationary solutions of MDNLS are discussed. The anisotropic nature of 'adiabatic' reflections leads to the asymmetric particle distribution in the upstream as well as in the downstream regions of the shock. As a result, nonzero heat flux appears near the front of the shock. It is shown that this causes the stochastic behavior of the nonlinear waves, which can significantly contribute to the shock thermalization.

  17. 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.

  18. Two-fluid regimes of the resistive and collisionless tearing instability

    SciTech Connect

    Hosseinpour, M.; Vekstein, G.; Bian, N.

    2009-01-15

    The two-fluid (electrons and ions) plasma description is used to investigate spontaneous magnetic reconnection (tearing instability) in a sheared force-free magnetic configuration. The study includes both collisional (resistive) and collisionless (electron inertia) reconnection mechanisms. Together with the Hall effect, this yields various instability regimes, which can be identified by the magnitude of the four nondimensional parameters: Lundquist number S>>1, electron/ion mass ratio {mu}{identical_to}m{sub e}/m{sub i}<<1, plasma {beta}, and the scaled ion inertial skin-depth d{sub i}=c/({omega}{sub pi}l), with l being the shear length of the magnetic field. The role of the electron gyroviscosity in the collisionless case is also clarified.

  19. Simulation of 3-D Magnetic Reconnection by Gyrokinetic Electron and Fully Kinetic Ion Particle Model

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wang, X.; Lin, Y.; Chen, L.

    2015-12-01

    3-D collisionless magnetic reconnection is investigated using the gyrokinetic electron and fully-kinetic ion (GeFi) particle simulation model. The simulation is carried out for cases with various finite guide field BG in a current sheet as occurring in space and laboratory plasmas. Turbulence power spectrum of magenetic field is found in the reconnection current sheet, with a clear k-5/3 dependence. The wave properties are analyzed. The anomalous resistivity in the electron diffusion region is estimated. The Dependence of the reconnection physics on the ion-to-electron mass ratio mi/me, beta values, and the half-width of the current sheet are also investigated.

  20. A fast tearing mode instability driven by agyrotropic electron pressure

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hosseinpour, M.

    2014-09-01

    The collisionless plasma environment at the current sheet of the Earth’s magnetotail is subjected to fast dynamic evolutions such as tearing instability. By considering agyrotropic pressure for electron and ion components of a collisionless plasma, we analytically investigate the dynamics of tearing mode instability, in which, breaking the frozen-in condition can either be provided by the electron inertia or by agyrotropic electron pressure. A set of linearized Hall-Magnetohydrodynamic (MHD) equations describes the evolution of tearing mode in a sheared force-free field. The presented scaling analysis shows that if the plasma-β exceeds a specified value, then the main mechanism of magnetic reconnection process is the nongyrotropic electron pressure. In this regime, the role played by agyrotropic ion pressure inside the reconnection layer is out of significance. Therefore, the electron-MHD framework, adequately, describes the dynamics of tearing instability with a growth rate which is much faster compared to the cases with a dominated bulk inertia or a gyrotropic plasma pressure.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Rosenberg, Michael

    2013-10-01

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

  2. Characterizing plasmoid reconnection by turbulence dynamics

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2016-09-01

    In weakly dissipative plasmas, the plasmoid instability may lead, in principle, to fast magnetic reconnection through long current sheets. On the other hand, it is well known that weakly dissipative large-Reynolds-number plasmas easily become turbulent. We address the question of whether turbulence can enhance the reconnection rate of plasmoid-unstable current sheets by carrying out high resolution MHD simulations. Instead of resolving all scales down to dissipation, we utilize a turbulence model to investigate the influence of turbulence on the plasmoid instability. For this sake, we extend a Reynolds-averaged turbulence model expressing the energy, cross-helicity, and helicity due to the turbulence to a subgrid-scale (SGS) model of turbulence by means of a Gaussian filter. We then use the SGS turbulence model to investigate the contributions of the turbulent energy and cross-helicity to the plasmoid reconnection rate. In particular, we address the consequences of a finite guide magnetic field parallel to the reconnection electric field on the reconnection rate in terms of the residual turbulent helicity. To validate the turbulence model, we compare the SGS electromotive force with that obtained statistically from the high resolution simulations. This way, we characterize the influence of turbulence on the reconnection rate of plasmoid-unstable current sheets and attribute the plasmoid reconnection rate at large-magnetic-Reynolds-numbers to turbulence.

  3. Toward multi-scale simulation of reconnection phenomena in space plasma

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Den, M.; Horiuchi, R.; Usami, S.; Tanaka, T.; Ogawa, T.; Ohtani, H.

    2013-12-01

    Magnetic reconnection is considered to play an important role in space phenomena such as substorm in the Earth's magnetosphere. It is well known that magnetic reconnection is controlled by microscopic kinetic mechanism. Frozen-in condition is broken due to particle kinetic effects and collisionless reconnection is triggered when current sheet is compressed as thin as ion kinetic scales under the influence of external driving flow. On the other hand configuration of the magnetic field leading to formation of diffusion region is determined in macroscopic scale and topological change after reconnection is also expressed in macroscopic scale. Thus magnetic reconnection is typical multi-scale phenomenon and microscopic and macroscopic physics are strongly coupled. Recently Horiuchi et al. developed an effective resistivity model based on particle-in-cell (PIC) simulation results obtained in study of collisionless driven reconnection and applied to a global magnetohydrodynamics (MHD) simulation of substorm in the Earth's magnetosphere. They showed reproduction of global behavior in substrom such as dipolarization and flux rope formation by global three dimensional MHD simulation. Usami et al. developed multi-hierarchy simulation model, in which macroscopic and microscopic physics are solved self-consistently and simultaneously. Based on the domain decomposition method, this model consists of three parts: a MHD algorithm for macroscopic global dynamics, a PIC algorithm for microscopic kinetic physics, and an interface algorithm to interlock macro and micro hierarchies. They verified the interface algorithm by simulation of plasma injection flow. In their latest work, this model was applied to collisionless reconnection in an open system and magnetic reconnection was successfully found. In this paper, we describe our approach to clarify multi-scale phenomena and report the current status. Our recent study about extension of the MHD domain to global system is presented. We

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Chen, Li-Jen

    2016-07-01

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

  5. 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.

  6. Resistive Magnetohydrodynamic Simulations of Relativistic Magnetic Reconnection

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Zenitani, Seiji; Hesse, Michael; Klimas, Alex

    2010-01-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2014-12-01

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

  8. High-Frequency Fluctuations During Magnetic Reconnection

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Jara-Almonte, J.; Ji, H.; Daughton, W. S.; Roytershteyn, V.; Yamada, M.; Yoo, J.; Fox, W. R., II

    2014-12-01

    During collisionless reconnection, the decoupling of the field from the plasma is known to occur only within the localized ion and electron diffusion regions, however predictions from fully kinetic simulations do not agree with experimental observations on the size of the electron diffusion region, implying differing reconnection mechanisms. Previous experiments, along with 2D and 3D simulations, have conclusively shown that this discrepancy cannot be explained by either classical collisions or Lower-Hybrid Drift Instability (Roytershtyn 2010, 2013). Due to computational limitations, however, previous simulations were constrained to have minimal scale separation between the electron skin depth and the Debye length (de/λD ~ 10), much smaller than in experiments (de/λD ~ 300). This lack of scale-separation can drastically modify the electrostatic microphysics within the diffusion layer. Using 3D, fully explicit kinetic simulations with a realistic and unprecedentedly large separation between the Debye length and the electron skin depth, de/λD = 64, we show that high frequency electrostatic waves (ω >> ωLH) can exist within the electron diffusion region. These waves generate small-scale turbulence within the electron diffusion region which acts to broaden the layer. Anomalous resistivity is also generated by the turbulence and significantly modifies the force balance. In addition to simulation results, initial experimental measurements of high frequency fluctuations (electrostatic and electromagnetic, f ≤ 1 GHz) in the Magnetic Reconnection Experiment (MRX) will be presented.

  9. A collisionless shock wave experiment

    SciTech Connect

    Winske, D.; Jones, M.E.; Sgro, A.G.; Thomas, V.A.

    1995-04-01

    Collisionless shock waves are a very important heating mechanism for plasmas and are commonly found in space and astrophysical environments. Collisionless shocks were studied in the laboratory more than 20 years ago, and more recently in space via in situ satellite measurements. The authors propose a new laboratory shock wave experiment to address unresolved issues related to the differences in the partition of plasma heating between electrons and ions in space and laboratory plasmas, which can have important implications for a number of physical systems.

  10. 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.

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

    SciTech Connect

    Hsu, S.C.

    2000-01-28

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

  12. 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.

  13. Weak collisionless shocks in laser-plasmas

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Cairns, R. A.; Bingham, R.; Trines, R. G. M.; Norreys, P.

    2015-04-01

    We obtain a theory describing laminar shock-like structures in a collisionless plasma and examine the parameter limits, in terms of the ion sound Mach number and the electron/ion temperature ratio, within which these structures exist. The essential feature is the inclusion of finite ion temperature with the result that some ions are reflected from a potential ramp. This destroys the symmetry between upstream and downstream regions that would otherwise give the well-known ion solitary wave solution. We have shown earlier (Cairns et al 2014 Phys. Plasmas 21 022112) that such structures may be relevant to problems such as the existence of strong, localized electric fields observed in laser compressed pellets and laser acceleration of ions. Here we present results on the way in which these structures may produce species separation in fusion targets and suggest that it may be possible to use shock ion acceleration for fast ignition.

  14. Hall Reconnection in Partially Ionized Plasmas in the Magnetic Reconnection Experiment

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lawrence, Eric; Ji, Hantao; Yamada, Masaaki; Yoo, Jongsoo

    2011-10-01

    In many space and astrophysical plasmas, such as the solar chromosphere and protoplanetary disks, the degree of ionization can be quite low; often 1% or less. In addition, magnetic reconnection is thought to be a fundamental process in these plasmas. The presence of a large neutral atom population has at least two effects relevant to magnetic reconnection. First, electron-neutral collisions enhance resistive dissipation. Second, strong ion-neutral collisions increase effective ion inertia. This may increase the length scales on which fast Hall reconnection is predicted to occur. By using high gas fill pressures in the Magnetic Reconnection Experiment (MRX), we can study reconnection in partially or weakly ionized plasmas (nn /ne = 1 - - 200). A newly constructed magnetic probe array allows us to make magnetic measurements of the reconnection region with high spatial resolution and large spatial extent. This will allow us to diagnose, for example, the structure of the Hall quadrupole field in these conditions. Langmuir and spectroscopic diagnostics will also provide insight into how neutrals affect the reconnection process. These results will also be discussed in the context of ongoing theoretical work.

  15. 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.

  16. A New Electric Field in Asymmetric Magnetic Reconnection

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Malakit, K.; Shay, M. A.; Cassak, P.; Ruffolo, D. J.

    2013-12-01

    Magnetic reconnection is an important plasma process that drives the dynamics of the plasma in the magnetosphere and plays a crucial role in the interaction between magnetospheric and magnetosheath plasma. It has been shown that when a reconnection occurs in a collisionless plasma, it exhibits the Hall electric field, an in-plane electric field structure pointing toward the X-line. In this work, we show that when the reconnection has asymmetric inflow conditions such as the reconnection at the day-side magnetopause, a new in-plane electric field structure can exist. This electric field points away from the X-line and is distinct from the known Hall electric field. We argue that the origin of the electric field is associated with the physics of finite Larmor radius. A theory and predictions of the electric field properties are presented and backed up by results from fully kinetic particle-in-cell simulations of asymmetric reconnection with various inflow conditions. Under normal day-side reconnection inflow conditions, the electric field is expected to occur on the magnetospheric side of the X-line pointing Earthward. Hence, it has a potential to be used as a signature for satellites, such as the upcoming Magnetospheric Multi-Scale (MMS) mission, to locate the reconnection sites at the day-side magnetopause. This research was supported by the postdoctoral research sponsorship of Mahidol University (KM), NSF grants ATM-0645271 - Career Award (MAS) and AGS-0953463 (PAC), NASA grants NNX08A083G - MMS IDS, NNX11AD69G, and NNX13AD72G (MAS) and NNX10AN08A (PAC), and the Thailand Research Fund (DR).

  17. 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.

  18. Quantum vortex reconnections

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Zuccher, S.; Caliari, M.; Baggaley, A. W.; Barenghi, C. F.

    2012-12-01

    We study reconnections of quantum vortices by numerically solving the governing Gross-Pitaevskii equation. We find that the minimum distance between vortices scales differently with time before and after the vortex reconnection. We also compute vortex reconnections using the Biot-Savart law for vortex filaments of infinitesimal thickness, and find that, in this model, reconnections are time symmetric. We argue that the likely cause of the difference between the Gross-Pitaevskii model and the Biot-Savart model is the intense rarefaction wave which is radiated away from a Gross-Pitaeveskii reconnection. Finally we compare our results to experimental observations in superfluid helium and discuss the different length scales probed by the two models and by experiments.

  19. Observed Aspects of Reconnection in Solar Eruptions

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Moore, Ronald L.

    2010-01-01

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

  20. Magnetotail Reconnection Jets at Lunar Distances

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hietala, H.; Eastwood, J. P.; Drake, J. F.; Phan, T.; Mistry, R.; McFadden, J. P.

    2015-12-01

    Magnetic reconnection redistributes energy by releasing magnetic energy into particle energies—high speed bulk flows, heating, and particle acceleration. With near-Earth in situ observations, we have access to different parameter regimes: The magnetotail has typically a very large magnetic shear and symmetric boundary conditions. Reconnection at the magnetopause, in contrast, usually takes place under asymmetric boundary conditions and a variety of shear angles. Finally, reconnecting current sheets in the solar wind are typically large scale and not affected by nearby obstacles, and observations are typically made extremely far downstream from the X-line. As such, magnetotail reconnection, especially at lunar distances where the effect of the Earth's dipole is small, should be closest to simple models. Ion heating has recently been studied systematically in solar wind and magnetopause reconnection, but not in the magnetotail. The energetics of magnetotail reconnection jets are particularly interesting as the available magnetic energy per particle (Bin2/μ0nin = miVA,in2) is typically orders of magnitude higher and the inflow plasma beta much lower than in the solar wind and at the magnetopause. We survey ARTEMIS data from 2011-2014 for fast reconnection flows and analyse their statistical properties. In particular, we address (i) the ion temperature increase (ii) ion temperature anisotropy and firehose instability, and (iii) the underlying ion dynamics. We examine the spatial structure of the ion temperature across the exhaust, and compare with particle-in-cell simulations. We find that the temperature parallel to the magnetic field dominates near the edges of the jet, while the very center of the exhaust has Tperp > Tpara, indicating Speiser-like ion motion.

  1. Nonlinear regimes of forced magnetic reconnection

    SciTech Connect

    Vekstein, G.; Kusano, K.

    2015-09-15

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

  2. Two-stage bulk electron heating in the diffusion region of anti-parallel symmetric reconnection

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2016-10-01

    Electron bulk energization in the diffusion region during anti-parallel symmetric reconnection entails two stages. First, the inflowing electrons are adiabatically trapped and energized by an ambipolar parallel electric field. Next, the electrons gain energy from the reconnection electric field as they undergo meandering motion. These collisionless mechanisms have been described previously, and they lead to highly structured electron velocity distributions. Nevertheless, a simplified control-volume analysis gives estimates for how the net effective heating scales with the upstream plasma conditions in agreement with fully kinetic simulations and spacecraft observations.

  3. Dissipation in Turbulent Plasma due to Reconnection in Thin Current Sheets

    SciTech Connect

    Sundkvist, David; Bale, Stuart D.; Retino, Alessandro; Vaivads, Andris

    2007-07-13

    We present in situ measurements in a space plasma showing that thin current sheets the size of an ion inertial length exist and are abundant in strong and intermittent plasma turbulence. Many of these current sheets exhibit the microphysical signatures of reconnection. The spatial scale where intermittency occurs corresponds to the observed structures. The reconnecting current sheets represent a type of dissipation mechanism, with observed dissipation rates comparable to or even dominating over collisionless damping rates of waves at ion inertial length scales (x100), and can have far reaching implications for small-scale dissipation in all turbulent plasmas.

  4. Boosting magnetic reconnection by viscosity and thermal conduction

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Minoshima, Takashi; Miyoshi, Takahiro; Imada, Shinsuke

    2016-07-01

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

  5. Entropy conservation in simulations of magnetic reconnection

    SciTech Connect

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

    2006-09-15

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

  6. Is collisionless heating in capacitively coupled plasmas really collisionless?

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lafleur, T.; Chabert, P.

    2015-08-01

    By performing a combination of test-particle and particle-in-cell simulations, we investigate electron heating in single frequency capacitively coupled plasmas (CCPs). In agreement with previous theoretical considerations highlighted in Kaganovich et al (1996 Appl. Phys. Lett. 69 3818), we show that the level of true collisionless/stochastic heating in typical CCPs is significantly smaller than that due to collisional interactions; even at very low pressures and wide gap lengths. Fundamentally electron heating is a collisional phenomenon whereby particle collisions provide the vital phase randomization and stochastization mechanism needed to generate both a local (or ohmic) heating component, and a non-local (or hybrid) heating component.

  7. Dispersion discontinuities of strong collisionless shocks

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Coroniti, F. V.

    1970-01-01

    Linear fluid equations are used to estimate wave train properties of strong collisionless shocks. Fast shocks exhibit several dispersion changes with increasing Mach number. For perpendicular propagation into a finite-beta plasma, an ion cyclotron radius trailing wave train exists only for (M sub F)2 is smaller than 2. Oblique fast shocks have a leading ion inertia wave train if M sub A is smaller than root of M(+)/M(-) cos theta/2 and a trailing electron inertia train if M sub A is greater than root of M(+)/M(-) cos theta/2. If the downstream sound speed exceeds the flow speed, linear wave theory predicts a trailing ion acoustic structure which probably resides within the magnetic shock. For a turbulent shock model in which an effective electron-ion collision frequency exceeds the lower hybrid frequency, ions decouple from the magnetic field; the shock wave train now trails with electron inertia and electron gyroradius lengths. Comparisons of this turbulent model and observations on the earth's bow shock are made.

  8. Expansion techniques for collisionless stellar dynamical simulations

    SciTech Connect

    Meiron, Yohai; Li, Baile; Holley-Bockelmann, Kelly; Spurzem, Rainer

    2014-09-10

    We present graphics processing unit (GPU) implementations of two fast force calculation methods based on series expansions of the Poisson equation. One method is the self-consistent field (SCF) method, which is a Fourier-like expansion of the density field in some basis set; the other method is the multipole expansion (MEX) method, which is a Taylor-like expansion of the Green's function. MEX, which has been advocated in the past, has not gained as much popularity as SCF. Both are particle-field methods and optimized for collisionless galactic dynamics, but while SCF is a 'pure' expansion, MEX is an expansion in just the angular part; thus, MEX is capable of capturing radial structure easily, while SCF needs a large number of radial terms. We show that despite the expansion bias, these methods are more accurate than direct techniques for the same number of particles. The performance of our GPU code, which we call ETICS, is profiled and compared to a CPU implementation. On the tested GPU hardware, a full force calculation for one million particles took ∼0.1 s (depending on expansion cutoff), making simulations with as many as 10{sup 8} particles fast for a comparatively small number of nodes.

  9. 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.

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

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Cole, K. D.

    1984-01-01

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

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

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Hesse, Michael; Birn, Joachim; Kuznetsova, Masha

    1999-01-01

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

  12. 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}.

  13. 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...

  14. 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,...

  15. 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.

  16. Numerical simulations of multiple X-line reconnection in the dayside magnetopause

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kondoh, K.

    2015-12-01

    We study about the magnetic reconnection evolutions in the dayside geomagnetopause using the MHD numerical simulations on the basis of the spontaneous fast magnetic reconnection model. In this spontaneous reconnection model, the diffusion region is localized and the magnetic reconnection drastically evolves by the positive feedback between the growths of the macroscopic plasma flow and the microscopic resistivity. The localized diffusion region eventually becomes longer in the directions of the reconnection outflow. Then, the secondary reconnection occurs to divide into the two diffusion regions before forming the Sweet-Parker type diffusion region. In this term, background sheath flow helps stretching of the diffusion region and causes the difference of the strength of the reconnection rate at the each x-line.

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

    SciTech Connect

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

    2015-10-15

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2015-10-01

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

  19. Generation of collisionless shock in laser-produced plasmas

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Fiuza, Frederico

    2015-08-01

    Collisionless shocks are ubiquitous in astrophysical environments and are tightly connected with magnetic-field amplification and particle acceleration. The fast progress in high-power laser technology is bringing the study of high Mach number shocks into the realm of laboratory plasmas, where in situ measurements can be made helping us understand the fundamental kinetic processes behind shocks. I will discuss the recent progress in laser-driven shock experiments at state-of-the-art facilities like NIF and Omega and how these results, together with ab initio massively parallel simulations, can impact our understanding of magnetic field amplification and particle acceleration in astrophysical plasmas.

  20. 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.

  1. The role of entropy in collisionless evolution

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Barnes, Eric

    2011-04-01

    Understanding the path to mechanical equilibria for collisionless systems is a topic with a rich history. We are investigating the part that entropy plays in determining the outcome of collisionless evolution. I will discuss some previous work that lays a foundation for our current studies. With that framework in place, I will explain a modification to the entropy maximization procedure and compare the results to previous ideas. It is possible that entropy maxima are not achievable, and we argue that entropy production rates can influence collisionless system evolution. This work has been supported by NASA ATP grant NNX07AG86G.

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

    SciTech Connect

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

    2012-12-01

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

  3. Physics of collisionless phase mixing

    SciTech Connect

    Tsiklauri, D.; Haruki, T.

    2008-11-15

    Previous studies of phase mixing of ion cyclotron (IC), Alfvenic, waves in the collisionless regime have established the generation of parallel electric field and hence acceleration of electrons in the regions of transverse density inhomogeneity. However, outstanding issues were left open. Here we use the 2.5 D, relativistic, fully electromagnetic particle-in-cell code and an analytic magnetohydrodynamic (MHD) formulation, to establish the following points: (i) Using the generalized Ohm's law we find that the parallel electric field is supported mostly by the electron pressure tensor, with a smaller contribution from the electron inertia term. (ii) The generated parallel electric field and the fraction of accelerated electrons are independent of the IC wave frequency remaining at a level of six orders of magnitude larger than the Dreicer value and approximately 20%, respectively. The generated parallel electric field and the fraction of accelerated electrons increase with the increase of IC wave amplitude. The generated parallel electric field seems to be independent of plasma beta, while the fraction of accelerated electrons strongly increases with the decrease of plasma beta (for plasma beta of 0.0001 the fraction of accelerated electrons can be as large as 47%). (iii) In the collisionless regime IC wave dissipation length (that is defined as the distance over which the wave damps) variation with the driving frequency shows a deviation from the analytical MHD result, which we attribute to a possible frequency dependence of the effective resistivity. (iv) Effective anomalous resistivity, inferred from our numerical simulations, is at least four orders of magnitude larger than the classical Spitzer value.

  4. 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.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Yamada, Masaaki

    2014-10-01

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

  6. 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.

  7. 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

  8. In situ observations of reconnection Hall magnetic fields at Mars: Evidence for ion diffusion region encounters

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Halekas, J. S.; Eastwood, J. P.; Brain, D. A.; Phan, T. D.; Øieroset, M.; Lin, R. P.

    2009-11-01

    We present Mars Global Surveyor measurements of bipolar out-of-plane magnetic fields at current sheets in Mars' magnetosphere. These signatures match predictions from simulations and terrestrial observations of collisionless magnetic reconnection, and could similarly indicate differential ion and electron motion and the resulting Hall current systems near magnetic X lines. Thus, these observations may represent passages through or very near reconnection diffusion regions at Mars. Out of 28 events found at 400 km altitude with well-defined current sheet orientations, 26 have magnetic fields consistent with the expected polarities of Hall fields near diffusion regions. For these events, we find an average ratio of Hall field to main field of 0.51 ± 0.13, and an average ratio of normal to main field (reconnection rate) of 0.16 ± 0.09, consistent with terrestrial observations of reconnection. These events do not consistently correlate with the location of crustal fields or with IMF reversals, indicating that magnetic field draping alone (perhaps enhanced by high solar wind dynamic pressure) may generate current sheets capable of reconnection. For some events, we observe field-aligned electrons that may carry parallel currents that close the Hall current loop. Electron distributions around current sheets often indicate magnetic connection to the collisional exosphere. For crossings sunward of the X line, we usually observe an electron flux minimum at the current sheet, consistent with the resulting closed magnetic structure. For crossings antisunward of the X line, we do not observe flux minima, consistent with field lines open downstream. Collisionless reconnection, if common at Mars, could represent a significant atmospheric loss process.

  9. LOCAL TWO-DIMENSIONAL PARTICLE-IN-CELL SIMULATIONS OF THE COLLISIONLESS MAGNETOROTATIONAL INSTABILITY

    SciTech Connect

    Riquelme, Mario A.; Quataert, Eliot; Sharma, Prateek; Spitkovsky, Anatoly E-mail: eliot@astro.berkeley.edu E-mail: anatoly@astro.princeton.edu

    2012-08-10

    The magnetorotational instability (MRI) is a crucial mechanism of angular momentum transport in a variety of astrophysical accretion disks. In systems accreting at well below the Eddington rate, such as the central black hole in the Milky Way (Sgr A*), the plasma in the disk is essentially collisionless. We present a nonlinear study of the collisionless MRI using first-principles particle-in-cell plasma simulations. We focus on local two-dimensional (axisymmetric) simulations, deferring more realistic three-dimensional simulations to future work. For simulations with net vertical magnetic flux, the MRI continuously amplifies the magnetic field, B, until the Alfven velocity, v{sub A} , is comparable to the speed of light, c (independent of the initial value of v{sub A} /c). This is consistent with the lack of saturation of MRI channel modes in analogous axisymmetric MHD simulations. The amplification of the magnetic field by the MRI generates a significant pressure anisotropy in the plasma (with the pressure perpendicular to B being larger than the parallel pressure). We find that this pressure anisotropy in turn excites mirror modes and that the volume-averaged pressure anisotropy remains near the threshold for mirror mode excitation. Particle energization is due to both reconnection and viscous heating associated with the pressure anisotropy. Reconnection produces a distinctive power-law component in the energy distribution function of the particles, indicating the likelihood of non-thermal ion and electron acceleration in collisionless accretion disks. This has important implications for interpreting the observed emission-from the radio to the gamma-rays-of systems such as Sgr A*.

  10. Integrating Kinetic Effects into Global Models for Reconnection

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Antiochos, S. K.

    2012-01-01

    Magnetic reconnection is the most striking example of how the coupling between global and kinetic scales can lead to fast energy release. Explosive solar activity, such as coronal mass ejections and flares for example, is widely believed to be due to the release of magnetic energy stored on global scales by magnetic reconnection operating on kinetic scales. Understanding how processes couple across spatial scales is one of the most difficult challenges in all of physics, and is undoubtedly the main obstacle to developing predictive models for the Sun's activity. Consequently, the NASA Living With a Star Program selected a Focused Science Team to attack the problem of cross-scale coupling in reconnection. In this talk I will present some of the results of the Team and review our latest theories and methods for modeling the global-local coupling in solar reconnection.

  11. Reconnecting the Sciences.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Eggebrecht, John

    1996-01-01

    During the past three years, staff at the Illinois Mathematics and Science Academy have developed a partial reconstruction of Whitehead's "one subject matter," a course reconnecting biology, chemistry, earth and space sciences, and physics into an integrated science program. Staff successfully overcame dilemmas regarding thematic organization,…

  12. Magneto-thermal reconnection of significance to space and astrophysics

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Coppi, B.

    2016-05-01

    Magnetic reconnection processes that can be excited in collisionless plasma regimes are of interest to space and astrophysics to the extent that the layers in which reconnection takes place are not rendered unrealistically small by their unfavorable dependence on relevant macroscopic distances. The equations describing new modes producing magnetic reconnection over relatively small but significant distances, unlike tearing types of mode, even when dealing with large macroscopic scale lengths, are given. The considered modes are associated with a finite electron temperature gradient and have a phase velocity in the direction of the electron diamagnetic velocity that can reverse to the opposite direction as relevant parameters are varied over a relatively wide range. The electron temperature perturbation has a primary role in the relevant theory. In particular, when referring to regimes in which the longitudinal (to the magnetic field) electron thermal conductivity is relatively large, the electron temperature perturbation becomes singular if the ratio of the transverse to the longitudinal electron thermal conductivity becomes negligible.

  13. Role of Inertial and Inductive Modes in Magnetic Reconnection Events

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Buratti, P.; Coppi, B.; Basu, B.

    2015-11-01

    Recently, an accurate analysis of the database of magnetic island rotation performed with the JET machine has revealed that, in the frame of zero radial electric field, the island rotation frequency is about 0.9ωdi, where ωdi is the ion diamagnetic frequency. The drift-tearing mode theory of reconnection in low collisionality regimes predicts a phase velocity in the opposite direction and, under strictly collisionless conditions, stability in the presence of electron temperature gradients. To explain the observations, a ``mode inductivity'' L∥ ≡ (4 π /c2) SL has been introduced whose effects replace those of finite resistivity. This has led to a linear instability with ω close to ωdi. The reconnection layer thickness is proportional to the inductivity and the mode has a dissipative growth rate. When considering plasmas with ultrarelativistic energies, the inertial skin depth becomes significant. Thus the width of the reconnection layer can be considered as relevant to realistic theories. Sponsored in part by the U.S. DoE.

  14. 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.

  15. 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.

  16. 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

  17. 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.

  18. Nonlinear Weibel Instability and Turbulence in Strong Collisionless Shocks

    SciTech Connect

    Medvedev, Mikhail M.

    2008-08-31

    This research project was devoted to studies of collisionless shocks, their properties, microphysics and plasma physics of underlying phenomena, such as Weibel instability and generation of small-scale fields at shocks, particle acceleration and transport in the generated random fields, radiation mechanisms from these fields in application to astrophysical phenomena and laboratory experiments (e.g., laser-plasma and beam-plasma interactions, the fast ignition and inertial confinement, etc.). Thus, this study is highly relevant to astrophysical sciences, the inertial confinement program and, in particular, the Fast Ignition concept, etc. It makes valuable contributions to the shock physics, nonlinear plasma theory, as well as to the basic plasma science, in general.

  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. 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.

  1. Visualizing electromagnetic fields in laser-produced counter-streaming plasma experiments for collisionless shock laboratory astrophysicsa)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kugland, N. L.; Ross, J. S.; Chang, P.-Y.; Drake, R. P.; Fiksel, G.; Froula, D. H.; Glenzer, S. H.; Gregori, G.; Grosskopf, M.; Huntington, C.; Koenig, M.; Kuramitsu, Y.; Kuranz, C.; Levy, M. C.; Liang, E.; Martinez, D.; Meinecke, J.; Miniati, F.; Morita, T.; Pelka, A.; Plechaty, C.; Presura, R.; Ravasio, A.; Remington, B. A.; Reville, B.; Ryutov, D. D.; Sakawa, Y.; Spitkovsky, A.; Takabe, H.; Park, H.-S.

    2013-05-01

    Collisionless shocks are often observed in fast-moving astrophysical plasmas, formed by non-classical viscosity that is believed to originate from collective electromagnetic fields driven by kinetic plasma instabilities. However, the development of small-scale plasma processes into large-scale structures, such as a collisionless shock, is not well understood. It is also unknown to what extent collisionless shocks contain macroscopic fields with a long coherence length. For these reasons, it is valuable to explore collisionless shock formation, including the growth and self-organization of fields, in laboratory plasmas. The experimental results presented here show at a glance with proton imaging how macroscopic fields can emerge from a system of supersonic counter-streaming plasmas produced at the OMEGA EP laser. Interpretation of these results, plans for additional measurements, and the difficulty of achieving truly collisionless conditions are discussed. Future experiments at the National Ignition Facility are expected to create fully formed collisionless shocks in plasmas with no pre-imposed magnetic field.

  2. X-Point Reconnection from Shear Driving in Kinetic Simulations

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2014-12-01

    The explosive energy release in solar eruptive phenomena such as CMEs/eruptive flares and coronal jets is believed to be due to magnetic reconnection. Magnetic free energy builds up slowly in the corona due to footpoint stressing by the photospheric motions. Along with the free energy, current sheets build up at coronal nulls, which eventually triggers fast reconnection and explosive energy release. This basic scenario has been modeled extensively by MHD simulations and applied to both CMEs/eruptive flares and jets, but the reconnection itself is well-known to be due to kinetic processes. Consequently, it is imperative that shear-driven X-point reconnection be modeled in a fully kinetic system so as to test and guide the MHD results. In MHD simulations, the application of a magnetic-field shear at the system boundary is a trivial matter, but this is definitely not the case for a kinetic system, because the electric currents need to be fully consistent with all the mass motions. We present the first results of reconnection in a 2D X-Point geometry due to a velocity shear driver perpendicular to the plane of reconnection. We compare the results to high-resolution MHD simulations and discuss the implications for coronal activity.

  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 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.

  5. Modeling combined collisional/collisionless plasma interpenetration

    SciTech Connect

    Thomas, V.A.

    1997-04-01

    This paper describes one technique by which multifluid modeling capability can be achieved within the context of a Lagrangean single-fluid model. This technique is applied to the interpenetration of laser-produced, substantially collisionless plasmas. A single-fluid model by itself cannot simulate the interpenetration of a collisionless plasma correctly, but must be augmented with some other tool. One tool that can calculate collisionless plasma interpenetration correctly is ISIS, a particle code for plasma simulations which includes appropriate collision models. However, ISIS does not have the necessary physics to do the laser deposition, the atomic physics, the radiation transport, and does not possess a realistic electron temperature model. With appropriate integration of the single-fluid code and ISIS, a new capability is achieved which allows simulation of the colliding plasma problem, a problem that neither code can properly simulate individually.

  6. 3D RECONNECTION AND FLOW DYNAMICS IN THE SSX EXPERIMENT

    SciTech Connect

    Brown, M. R.; Cothran, C. D.; Cohen, D. H.; Horwitz, J.; Chaplin, V.

    2009-07-26

    Several new experimental results are reported from plasma merging studies at the Swarthmore Spheromak Experiment (SSX) with relevance to collisionless three-dimensional magnetic reconnection in laboratory and space plasmas. First, recent high-resolution velocity measurements of impurity ions using ion Doppler spectroscopy (IDS) show bi-directional outflow jets at 40 km/s (nearly the Alfven speed). The SSX IDS instrument measures with 1 mus or better time resolution the width and Doppler shift of the C{sub III} impurity (H plasma) 229.7 nm line to determine the temperature and line-averaged flow velocity during spheromak merging events. High flow speeds are corroborated using an in situ Mach probe. Second, ion heating to nearly 10{sup 6} K is observed after reconnection events in a low-density kinetic regime. Transient electron heating is inferred from bursts on a 4-channel soft x-ray array as well as vacuum ultraviolet spectroscopy. Third, the out-of-plane magnetic field and the in-plane Lorentz force in a reconnection volume both show a quadrupolar structure at the ion inertial scale (c/omega{sub pi}). Time resolved vector magnetic field measurements on a 3D lattice B(r, t)) enables this measurement. Earlier work at SSX has shown that formation of three-dimensional structure at the ion inertial scale is temporally and spatially correlated with the observation of superthermal, super-Alfvenic ions accelerated along the X-line normal to the local 2D plane of reconnection. Each of these measurements will be related to and compared with similar observations in a solar or space context. Keywords: spheromak, flow, heating.

  7. Comparison between hybrid and fully kinetic models of asymmetric magnetic reconnection: Coplanar and guide field configurations

    SciTech Connect

    Aunai, Nicolas; Hesse, Michael; Kuznetsova, Maria; Black, Carrie; Evans, Rebekah; Zenitani, Seiji; Smets, Roch

    2013-02-15

    Magnetic reconnection occurring in collisionless environments is a multi-scale process involving both ion and electron kinetic processes. Because of their small mass, the electron scales are difficult to resolve in numerical and satellite data, it is therefore critical to know whether the overall evolution of the reconnection process is influenced by the kinetic nature of the electrons, or is unchanged when assuming a simpler, fluid, electron model. This paper investigates this issue in the general context of an asymmetric current sheet, where both the magnetic field amplitude and the density vary through the discontinuity. A comparison is made between fully kinetic and hybrid kinetic simulations of magnetic reconnection in coplanar and guide field systems. The models share the initial condition but differ in their electron modeling. It is found that the overall evolution of the system, including the reconnection rate, is very similar between both models. The best agreement is found in the guide field system, which confines particle better than the coplanar one, where the locality of the moments is violated by the electron bounce motion. It is also shown that, contrary to the common understanding, reconnection is much faster in the guide field system than in the coplanar one. Both models show this tendency, indicating that the phenomenon is driven by ion kinetic effects and not electron ones.

  8. Physics of collisionless shocks: theory and simulation

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Stockem Novo, A.; Bret, A.; Fonseca, R. A.; Silva, L. O.

    2016-01-01

    Collisionless shocks occur in various fields of physics. In the context of space and astrophysics they have been investigated for many decades. However, a thorough understanding of shock formation and particle acceleration is still missing. Collisionless shocks can be distinguished into electromagnetic and electrostatic shocks. Electromagnetic shocks are of importance mainly in astrophysical environments and they are mediated by the Weibel or filamentation instability. In such shocks, charged particles gain energy by diffusive shock acceleration. Electrostatic shocks are characterized by a strong electrostatic field, which leads to electron trapping. Ions are accelerated by reflection from the electrostatic potential. Shock formation and particle acceleration will be discussed in theory and simulations.

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

    SciTech Connect

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

    2010-08-31

    nonlinear solitary wave known to evolve from a strong beam-on-tail instability. We established that fast electrons were produced by magnetic reconnection. Overall, these instabilities were found to be a consequence of reconnection, specifically the strong energization of electrons, leading to steep gradients in both coordinate- and velocity-space. Estimates (using quasi-linear theory) of the anomalous resistivity due to these modes did not appear large enough to substantially impact the reconnection process. Relevant publications: W. Fox, M. Porkolab, et al, Phys. Rev. Lett. 101, 255003 (2008). W. Fox, M. Porkolab, et al, Phys. Plasmas 17, 072303, (2010).

  10. Current sheets and pressure anisotropy in the reconnection exhaust

    SciTech Connect

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

    2014-01-15

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

  11. Radiative Magnetic Reconnection in Astrophysics

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Uzdensky, D. A.

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

  12. Reconnection and electron temperature anisotropy in sub-proton scale plasma turbulence

    SciTech Connect

    Haynes, C. T.; Burgess, D.; Camporeale, E.

    2014-03-01

    Knowledge of turbulent behavior at sub-proton scales in magnetized plasmas is important for a full understanding of the energetics of astrophysical flows such as the solar wind. We study the formation of electron temperature anisotropy due to reconnection in the turbulent decay of sub-proton scale fluctuations using two-dimensional, particle-in-cell plasma simulations with a realistic electron-proton mass ratio and a guide field perpendicular to the simulation plane. A power spectrum fluctuation with approximately power-law form is created down to scales of the order of the electron gyroradius. We identify the signatures of collisionless reconnection at sites of X-point field geometry in the dynamic magnetic field topology, which gradually relaxes in complexity. The reconnection sites are generally associated with regions of strong parallel electron temperature anisotropy. The evolving topology of magnetic field lines connected to a reconnection site allows for the spatial mixing of electrons accelerated at multiple, spatially separated reconnection regions. This leads to the formation of multi-peaked velocity distribution functions with strong parallel temperature anisotropy. In a three-dimensional system that can support the appropriate wave vectors, the multi-peaked distribution functions would be expected to be unstable to kinetic instabilities, contributing to dissipation. The proposed mechanism of anisotropy formation is also relevant to space and astrophysical systems where the evolution of the plasma is constrained by linear temperature anisotropy instability thresholds. The presence of reconnection sites leads to electron energy gain, nonlocal velocity space mixing, and the formation of strong temperature anisotropy; this is evidence of an important role for reconnection in the dissipation of turbulent fluctuations.

  13. 3D Dynamics of Magnetopause Reconnection Using Hall-MHD Global Simulations

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Maynard, K.; Germaschewski, K.; Raeder, J.; Bhattacharjee, A.

    2011-12-01

    Magnetic reconnection at Earth's magnetopause and in the magnetotail is of crucial importance for the dynamics of the global magnetosphere and space weather. Even though the plasma conditions in the magnetosphere are largely in the collisionless regime, most of the existing research using global computational models employ single-fluid magnetohydrodynamics (MHD) with artificial resistivity. Studies of reconnection in simplified, two-dimensional geometries have established that two-fluid and kinetic effects can dramatically alter dynamics and reconnection rates when compared with single-fluid models. These enhanced models also introduce particular signatures, for example a quadrupolar out-of-plane magnetic field component that has already been observed in space by satellite measurements. However, results from simplified geometries cannot be translated directly to the dynamics of three-dimensional magnetospheric reconnection. For instance, magnetic flux originating from the solar wind and arriving at the magnetopause can either reconnect or be advected around the magnetosphere. In this study, we use a new version of the OpenGGCM code that incorporates the Hall term in a Generalized Ohm's Law to study magnetopause reconnection under synthetic solar wind conditions and investigate how reconnection rates and dynamics of flux transfer events depend on the strength of the Hall term. The OpenGGCM, a global model of Earth's magnetosphere, has recently been ported to exploit modern computing architectures like the Cell processor and SIMD capabilities of conventional processors using an automatic code generator. These enhancements provide us with the performance needed to include the computationally expensive Hall physics.

  14. 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…

  15. Transition from Collisionless to Collisional MRI

    SciTech Connect

    Prateek Sharma; Gregory W. Hammett; Eliot Quataert

    2003-07-24

    Recent calculations by Quataert et al. (2002) found that the growth rates of the magnetorotational instability (MRI) in a collisionless plasma can differ significantly from those calculated using MHD. This can be important in hot accretion flows around compact objects. In this paper, we study the transition from the collisionless kinetic regime to the collisional MHD regime, mapping out the dependence of the MRI growth rate on collisionality. A kinetic closure scheme for a magnetized plasma is used that includes the effect of collisions via a BGK operator. The transition to MHD occurs as the mean free path becomes short compared to the parallel wavelength 2*/k(sub)||. In the weak magnetic field regime where the Alfven and MRI frequencies w are small compared to the sound wave frequency k(sub)||c(sub)0, the dynamics are still effectively collisionless even if omega << v, so long as the collision frequency v << k(sub)||c(sub)0; for an accretion flow this requires n less than or approximately equal to *(square root of b). The low collisionality regime not only modifies the MRI growth rate, but also introduces collisionless Landau or Barnes damping of long wavelength modes, which may be important for the nonlinear saturation of the MRI.

  16. Turbulent reconnection and its implications.

    PubMed

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

    2015-05-13

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

  17. Turbulent reconnection and its implications

    PubMed Central

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

    2015-01-01

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

  18. Turbulent reconnection and its implications.

    PubMed

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

    2015-05-13

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

  19. Separatrices: The crux of reconnection

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lapenta, Giovanni; Markidis, Stefano; Divin, Andrey; Newman, David; Goldman, Martin

    2015-01-01

    Magnetic reconnection is one of the key processes in astrophysical and laboratory plasmas: it is the opposite of a dynamo. Looking at energy, a dynamo transforms kinetic energy in magnetic energy while reconnection takes magnetic energy and returns it to its kinetic form. Most plasma processes at their core involve first storing magnetic energy accumulated over time and then releasing it suddenly. We focus here on this release. A key concept in analysing reconnection is that of the separatrix, a surface (line in 2D) that separates the fresh unperturbed plasma embedded in magnetic field lines not yet reconnected with the hotter exhaust embedded in reconnected field lines. In kinetic physics, the separatrices become a layer where many key processes develop. We present here new results relative to the processes at the separatrices that regulate the plasma flow, the energization of the species, the electromagnetic fields and the instabilities developing at the separatrices.

  20. THEMIS Reconnection Animation

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    2006-01-01

    As the Sun's ionized and magnetized particles are passing by Earth they impart mechanical energy which is transformed into magnetic energy by compressing the tail. The tail field lines eventually merge (or 'reconnect') and slingshot particles towards and away from Earth, thereby converting magnetic into particle energy. This energy finds itself along field lines and powers the aurora on the one hand, and down the tail via the expulsion of a plasma blob, a plasmoid, on the other. This storage-and-release process of solar wind energy by the magnetosphere is called a substorm.

  1. Spatiotemporal evolution of electron characteristics in the electron diffusion region of magnetic reconnection: Implications for acceleration and heating

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Shuster, J. R.; Chen, L.-J.; Hesse, M.; Argall, M. R.; Daughton, W.; Torbert, R. B.; Bessho, N.

    2015-04-01

    Based on particle-in-cell simulations of collisionless magnetic reconnection, the spatiotemporal evolution of electron velocity distributions in the electron diffusion region (EDR) is reported to illustrate how electrons are accelerated and heated. Approximately when the reconnection rate maximizes, electron distributions in the vicinity of the X line exhibit triangular structures with discrete striations and a temperature (Te) twice that of the inflow region. Te increases as the meandering EDR populations mix with inflowing electrons. As the distance from the X line increases within the electron outflow jet, the discrete populations swirl into arcs and gyrotropize by the end of the jet with Te about 3 times that of the X line. Two dominant processes increase Te and produce the spatially and temporally evolving EDR distributions: (1) electric field acceleration preferential to electrons which meander in the EDR for longer times and (2) cyclotron turning by the magnetic field normal to the reconnection layer.

  2. Evidence of "Tether-Cutting" Reconnection in the Onset of a Quadrupolar Solar Magnetic Eruption

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Choudhary, Debi Prasad; Sterling, Alphonse C.; Moore, Ronald L.; Yurchyshyn, Vasyl

    2004-01-01

    Extensive study of the near-limb solar filament eruption event on 2000 February 26, involving coronal images from YOHKOH, SOHO EIT and photospheric magnetogram from MID have shown that that both "runaway-tether-cutting-type reconnection" and "fast breakout-type reconnection" may have occurred early in the fast phase of the eruption and may have played an important role in unleashing the explosion (Sterling & Moore 2004). That study did not identify which or if either of these types of reconnection actually triggered the fast phase. Here, together with a magnetogram and He1 10830 A filtergram from NSO/KP, we present Halpha filtergrams from Big Bear Solar Observatory, that show evidence of "tether-cutting-type reconnection" before and during the eruption of the southern filament, situated at one of the neutral lines of the quadrupole magnetic structure.

  3. 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.

  4. Reconnecting to the biosphere.

    PubMed

    Folke, Carl; Jansson, Asa; Rockström, Johan; Olsson, Per; Carpenter, Stephen R; Chapin, F Stuart; Crépin, Anne-Sophie; Daily, Gretchen; Danell, Kjell; Ebbesson, Jonas; Elmqvist, Thomas; Galaz, Victor; Moberg, Fredrik; Nilsson, Måns; Osterblom, Henrik; Ostrom, Elinor; Persson, Asa; Peterson, Garry; Polasky, Stephen; Steffen, Will; Walker, Brian; Westley, Frances

    2011-11-01

    Humanity has emerged as a major force in the operation of the biosphere, with a significant imprint on the Earth System, challenging social-ecological resilience. This new situation calls for a fundamental shift in perspectives, world views, and institutions. Human development and progress must be reconnected to the capacity of the biosphere and essential ecosystem services to be sustained. Governance challenges include a highly interconnected and faster world, cascading social-ecological interactions and planetary boundaries that create vulnerabilities but also opportunities for social-ecological change and transformation. Tipping points and thresholds highlight the importance of understanding and managing resilience. New modes of flexible governance are emerging. A central challenge is to reconnect these efforts to the changing preconditions for societal development as active stewards of the Earth System. We suggest that the Millennium Development Goals need to be reframed in such a planetary stewardship context combined with a call for a new social contract on global sustainability. The ongoing mind shift in human relations with Earth and its boundaries provides exciting opportunities for societal development in collaboration with the biosphere--a global sustainability agenda for humanity.

  5. 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.

  6. New Dissipation Mechanism for Three-Dimensional Current Dissipation/Reconnection in Astrophysical Plasmas

    SciTech Connect

    Pellat, R.; Hurricane, O.; Luciani, J.

    1996-11-01

    A {open_quote}{open_quote}magnetohydrodynamiclike{close_quote}{close_quote} theory has been previously developed for chaotic nonintegrable proton orbits which occur in highly stressed magnetic configurations. In this paper we give the solution to the Vlasov equation to next order in expansion of the particle bounce motion. The new contribution, a Boltzmann-like operator, provides a collisionless dissipation mechanism which may destabilize drift or drift ballooning Alfv{acute e}n waves in high {beta} plasmas. We discuss a number of applications of this new, potentially reconnective, mechanism in the magnetosphere, in stellar wind formation, and in the galactic dynamo. {copyright} {ital 1996 The American Physical Society.}

  7. 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.

  8. 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.

  9. The Magnetic Reconnection Code: Center for Magnetic Reconnection Studies

    SciTech Connect

    Amitava Bhattacharjee

    2007-04-20

    Understanding magnetic reconnection is one of the principal challenges in plasma physics. Reconnection is a process by which magnetic fields reconfigure themselves, releasing energy that can be converted to particle energies and bulk flows. Thanks to the availability of sophisticated diagnostics in fusion and laboratory experiments, in situ probing of magnetospheric and solar wind plasmas, and X-ray emission measurements from solar and stellar plasmas, theoretical models of magnetic reconnection can now be constrained by stringent observational tests. The members of the CMRS comprise an interdisciplinary group drawn from applied mathematics, astrophysics, computer science, fluid dynamics, plasma physics, and space science communities.

  10. Magnetic reconnection in incompressible fluids. [of solar atmosphere and interior

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Deluca, Edward E.; Craig, Ian J.

    1992-01-01

    The paper investigates the dynamical relaxation of a disturbed X-type magnetic neutral point in a periodic geometry, with an ignorable coordinate, for an incompressible fluid. It is found that the properties of the current sheet cannot be understood in terms of steady state reconnection theory or more recent linear dynamical solutions. Accordingly, a new scaling law for magnetic reconnection is presented, consistent with fast energy dissipation (i.e., the dissipation rate at current maximum is approximately independent of magnetic diffusivity (eta)). The flux annihilation rate, however, scales at eta exp 1/4, faster than the Sweet-Parker rate of sq rt eta but asymptotically much slower than the dissipation rate. These results suggest a flux pile-up regime in which the bulk of the free magnetic energy is released as heat rather than as kinetic energy of mass motion. The implications of our results for reconnection in the solar atmosphere and interior are discussed.

  11. Laboratory studies of magnetized collisionless flows and shocks using accelerated plasmoids

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Weber, T. E.; Smith, R. J.; Hsu, S. C.

    2015-11-01

    Magnetized collisionless shocks are thought to play a dominant role in the overall partition of energy throughout the universe, but have historically proven difficult to create in the laboratory. The Magnetized Shock Experiment (MSX) at LANL creates conditions similar to those found in both space and astrophysical shocks by accelerating hot (100s of eV during translation) dense (1022 - 1023 m-3) Field Reversed Configuration (FRC) plasmoids to high velocities (100s of km/s); resulting in β ~ 1, collisionless plasma flows with sonic and Alfvén Mach numbers of ~10. The FRC subsequently impacts a static target such as a strong parallel or anti-parallel (reconnection-wise) magnetic mirror, a solid obstacle, or neutral gas cloud to create shocks with characteristic length and time scales that are both large enough to observe yet small enough to fit within the experiment. This enables study of the complex interplay of kinetic and fluid processes that mediate cosmic shocks and can generate non-thermal distributions, produce density and magnetic field enhancements much greater than predicted by fluid theory, and accelerate particles. An overview of the experimental capabilities of MSX will be presented, including diagnostics, selected recent results, and future directions. Supported by the DOE Office of Fusion Energy Sciences under contract DE-AC52-06NA25369.

  12. 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.

  13. The Inner Workings of Magnetic Reconnection: Diffusion Region in the Balance

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Hesse, Michael

    2010-01-01

    The question of whether the micro scale controls the macroscale or vice-versa remains one of the most challenging problems in plasmas. A particular topic of interest within this context is collisionless magnetic reconnection, where both points of views are espoused by different groups of researchers. This presentation will focus on this topic. We will begin by analyzing the properties of electron diffusion region dynamics both for guide field and anti-parallel reconnection, and how they can be scaled to different inflow conditions. As a next step, we will study typical temporal variations of the microscopic dynamics with the objective of understanding the potential for secular changes to the macroscopic system. The research will be based on a combination of analytical theory and numerical modeling.

  14. Roles of Magnetic Reconnection and Developments of Modern Theory^*

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Coppi, B.

    2007-11-01

    The role of reconnection was recognized in Solar and Space Physics and auroral substorms were suggested to originate in the night-side of the Earth's magnetosphere as a result collisionless reconnectionootnotetextB. Coppi, Nature 205, 998 (1965). well before the kind of modern theory employed for this became applied to laboratory plasmas. Experiments have reached low collisionality regimes where, like in space plasmas, the features of the electron distribution and in particular of the electron temperature gradient become important and the factors contributing to the electron thermal energy balance equation (transverse thermal and longitudinal diffusivities, or electron Landau dampingootnotetextB. Coppi, J.W.-K. Mark, L. Sugiyama, G. Bertin, Phys. Rev. Letters 42, 1058 (1978) and J. Drake, et al., Phys. Fluids 26, 2509 (1983). play a key role. For this an asymptotic theory of modes producing macroscopic islands has been developed involving 3 regions, the innermost one related to finite resistivity and the intermediate one to the finite ratio of the to thermal conductivitiesootnotetextB. Coppi, C. Crabtree, and V. Roytershteyn contribution to Paper TH/R2-19, I.A.E.A. Conference 2006.,^4. A background of excited micro-reconnecting modes, driven by the electron temperature gradient, is considered to make this ratio significantootnotetextB. Coppi, in``Collective Phenomena in Macroscopic Systems'' Eds. G. Bertin et al. (World Scientific, 2007) MIT-LNS Report 06/11(2006). ^*Supported in part by the US D.O.E.

  15. Slip Running Reconnection in Magnetic Flux Ropes

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2012-12-01

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

  16. Expansion techniques for collisionless stellar dynamical simulations

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Meiron, Yohai

    2016-02-01

    We present ETICS, a collisionless N-body code based on two kinds of series expansions of the Poisson equation, implemented for graphics processing units (GPUs). The code is publicly available and can be used as a standalone program or as a library (an AMUSE plugin is included). One of the two expansion methods available is the self-consistent field (SCF) method, which is a Fourier-like expansion of the density field in some basis set; the other is the multipole expansion (MEX) method, which is a Taylor-like expansion of the Green's function. MEX, which has been advocated in the past, has not gained as much popularity as SCF. Both are particle-field methods and optimized for collisionless galactic dynamics, but while SCF is a ``pure'' expansion, MEX is an expansion in just the angular part; thus, MEX is capable of capturing radial structure easily, while SCF needs a large number of radial terms.

  17. Spontaneous Reconnection Onset in the Magnetotail: Kinetic and MHD Pictures

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Sitnov, M. I.; Merkin, V. G.

    2014-12-01

    The mechanism of the reconnection onset in planetary magnetotails has been a topic of hot debate for more than three decades. At the kinetic level of description the key problem is a seemingly universal stability of the collisionless tearing mode when electrons are magnetized by the magnetic field normal to the current sheet. This effect can be eliminated in 2D equilibria with magnetic flux accumulated at the anti-sunward end of the tail. However, the resulting instability seen in 2D PIC simulations with open boundaries differs from the classical tearing mode because its main effect is the formation of dipolarization fronts, i. e., regions of an enhanced normal magnetic field rather than the reversal of its sign. Strong tailward gradients of the normal magnetic field characteristic of fronts suggest that they can be destroyed in 3D by buoyancy and flapping instabilities. However, 3D PIC simulations show that buoyancy and flapping motions can neither destroy nor change critically the near-2D picture of the front evolution, although they do significantly disturb it. Modeling and understanding of this kinetic picture of the reconnection onset in MHD terms is critically important for incorporating the explosive reconnection physics into global models of the magnetosphere and solar corona. A key to this has become the recognition that tail current sheets with accumulated flux regions can also be unstable with respect to an ideal analog of the tearing mode, which has a similar structure of the electromagnetic field and plasma perturbations but preserves the original magnetic field topology. MHD simulations with high Lundquist number confirm the existence of such "pseudo-tearing" instability regimes. Non-MHD effects, including different motions of electron and ion species as well as the ion Landau dissipation transform these ideal MHD motions into the tearing/slippage instability obtained in PIC simulations.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Retinò, Alessandro

    2016-04-01

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

  19. Multiple Spacecraft Study of the Effect of Turbulence on Reconnection Rates

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wendel, D. E.; Goldstein, M. L.; Vinas, A. F.; Sahraoui, F.; Adrian, M. L.

    2010-12-01

    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, 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. Comparison with results from the wavevector and wave mode analyses measures the effect of turbulence or islands on the reconnection rate. From several case studies of reconnection events, we obtain preliminary estimates of the spectral scaling law, associated wave modes , and the resulting effective reconnection electric field.

  20. Role of electron inertia and reconnection dynamics in a stressed X-point collapse with a guide-field

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Graf von der Pahlen, J.; Tsiklauri, D.

    2016-11-01

    Aims: In previous simulations of collisionless 2D magnetic reconnection it was consistently found that the term in the generalised Ohm's law that breaks the frozen-in condition is the divergence of the electron pressure tensor's non-gyrotropic components. The motivation for this study is to investigate the effect of the variation of the guide-field on the reconnection mechanism in simulations of X-point collapse, and the related changes in reconnection dynamics. Methods: A fully relativistic particle-in-cell (PIC) code was used to model X-point collapse with a guide-field in two and three spatial dimensions. Results: We show that in a 2D X-point collapse with a guide-field close to the strength of the in-plane field, the increased induced shear flows along the diffusion region lead to a new reconnection regime in which electron inertial terms play a dominant role at the X-point. This transition is marked by the emergence of a magnetic island - and hence a second reconnection site - as well as electron flow vortices moving along the current sheet. The reconnection electric field at the X-point is shown to exceed all lower guide-field cases for a brief period, indicating a strong burst in reconnection. By extending the simulation to three spatial dimensions it is shown that the locations of vortices along the current sheet (visualised by their Q-value) vary in the out-of-plane direction, producing tilted vortex tubes. The vortex tubes on opposite sides of the diffusion region are tilted in opposite directions, similarly to bifurcated current sheets in oblique tearing-mode reconnection. The tilt angles of vortex tubes were compared to a theoretical estimation and were found to be a good match. Particle velocity distribution functions for different guide-field runs, for 2.5D and 3D simulations, are analysed and compared.

  1. Optical Plasma Diagnostics for Magnetic Reconnection Studies in the Versatile Toroidal Facility

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Tarkowski, David; Fasoli, Ambrogio; Egedal, Jan

    2000-10-01

    Magnetic reconnection studies in a collisionless regime are performed on the MIT Versatile Toroidal Facility (VTF) with emphasis on particle dynamics around the magnetic null point. Plasmas are produced in the VTF by electron cyclotron resonance heating and are confined in a magnetic cusp field. Magnetic reconnection is driven by the ExB drift generated by the combination of the cusp field and the toroidal electric field, which is created by electromagnetic induction using an ohmic transformer. The plasmas are composed primarily of singly ionized argon with typical densities and electron temperatures on the order of 10^17 m-3 and 10 eV. The number of available optical lines and the optical thinness of the plasma suggest that optical diagnostics can play a key role on VTF. Passive spectroscopic measurements yield ion temperature and density and electron temperature as a function of time both before and after the reconnection event. The active measurement is a three level laser induced fluorescence (LIF) scheme. A 10 ns pulsed dye laser is used to pump the 611 nm Argon II line. LIF yields the ion distribution function at a single point in time and can be used to study ion evolution during the reconnection event. Measurement techniques and an analysis of first results will be presented.

  2. The island coalescence problem: Scaling of reconnection in extended fluid models including higher-order moments

    DOE PAGESBeta

    Ng, Jonathan; Huang, Yi -Min; Hakim, Ammar; Bhattacharjee, A.; Stanier, Adam; Daughton, William; Wang, Liang; Germaschewski, Kai

    2015-11-05

    As modeling of collisionless magnetic reconnection in most space plasmas with realistic parameters is beyond the capability of today's simulations, due to the separation between global and kinetic length scales, it is important to establish scaling relations in model problems so as to extrapolate to realistic scales. Furthermore, large scale particle-in-cell simulations of island coalescence have shown that the time averaged reconnection rate decreases with system size, while fluid systems at such large scales in the Hall regime have not been studied. Here, we perform the complementary resistive magnetohydrodynamic (MHD), Hall MHD, and two fluid simulations using a ten-moment modelmore » with the same geometry. In contrast to the standard Harris sheet reconnection problem, Hall MHD is insufficient to capture the physics of the reconnection region. Additionally, motivated by the results of a recent set of hybrid simulations which show the importance of ion kinetics in this geometry, we evaluate the efficacy of the ten-moment model in reproducing such results.« less

  3. Ion beta dependence on the development of Alfvénic fluctuations in reconnection jets

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Higashimori, Katsuaki; Hoshino, Masahiro

    2015-03-01

    The generation of magneto-hydro-dynamic (MHD) to ion-scale fluctuations in collisionless magnetic reconnection is discussed using a two-dimensional electromagnetic hybrid code. It is shown that reconnection jets become turbulent specifically in low beta conditions, βi0<0.1-0.2 (where βi0 is the ion plasma beta in initial inflow regions). The fluctuations observed in reconnection jets consist of outgoing Alfvénic fluctuations. As probable candidates for the origin of Alfvénic fluctuations, this study focused on the dynamics in the plasma sheet boundary layer (PSBL) and a current sheet. We suggest that PSBL ion dynamics play an important part in excitation and suppression of waves. PSBL beam ions drive Alfvén waves in MHD to ion scale, kλi<0.5 (λi is ion inertial length), independent of βi0. On the other hand, because the beam temperature is highly correlated with that of inflowing ions, the waves decay by cyclotron damping as the value of the inflow ion beta increases. Local linear analysis suggests that this damping signature changes in βi0˜0.1-0.2 and suppresses the wave activity of Alfvén modes in high beta reconnection jets.

  4. The island coalescence problem: Scaling of reconnection in extended fluid models including higher-order moments

    SciTech Connect

    Ng, Jonathan; Huang, Yi-Min; Hakim, Ammar; Bhattacharjee, A.; Stanier, Adam; Daughton, William; Wang, Liang; Germaschewski, Kai

    2015-11-15

    As modeling of collisionless magnetic reconnection in most space plasmas with realistic parameters is beyond the capability of today's simulations, due to the separation between global and kinetic length scales, it is important to establish scaling relations in model problems so as to extrapolate to realistic scales. Recently, large scale particle-in-cell simulations of island coalescence have shown that the time averaged reconnection rate decreases with system size, while fluid systems at such large scales in the Hall regime have not been studied. Here, we perform the complementary resistive magnetohydrodynamic (MHD), Hall MHD, and two fluid simulations using a ten-moment model with the same geometry. In contrast to the standard Harris sheet reconnection problem, Hall MHD is insufficient to capture the physics of the reconnection region. Additionally, motivated by the results of a recent set of hybrid simulations which show the importance of ion kinetics in this geometry, we evaluate the efficacy of the ten-moment model in reproducing such results.

  5. The island coalescence problem: Scaling of reconnection in extended fluid models including higher-order moments

    SciTech Connect

    Ng, Jonathan; Huang, Yi -Min; Hakim, Ammar; Bhattacharjee, A.; Stanier, Adam; Daughton, William; Wang, Liang; Germaschewski, Kai

    2015-11-05

    As modeling of collisionless magnetic reconnection in most space plasmas with realistic parameters is beyond the capability of today's simulations, due to the separation between global and kinetic length scales, it is important to establish scaling relations in model problems so as to extrapolate to realistic scales. Furthermore, large scale particle-in-cell simulations of island coalescence have shown that the time averaged reconnection rate decreases with system size, while fluid systems at such large scales in the Hall regime have not been studied. Here, we perform the complementary resistive magnetohydrodynamic (MHD), Hall MHD, and two fluid simulations using a ten-moment model with the same geometry. In contrast to the standard Harris sheet reconnection problem, Hall MHD is insufficient to capture the physics of the reconnection region. Additionally, motivated by the results of a recent set of hybrid simulations which show the importance of ion kinetics in this geometry, we evaluate the efficacy of the ten-moment model in reproducing such results.

  6. 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...

  7. 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.

  8. 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.

  9. Magnetic reconnection in space plasmas

    SciTech Connect

    Gosling, J.; Feldman, W.; Walthour, D.

    1996-04-01

    This is the final report of a three-year, Laboratory-Directed Research and Development (LDRD) project at the Los Alamos National Laboratory (LANL). Magnetic reconnection produces fundamental changes in the magnetic field topology of plasmas and leads ultimately to substantial plasma heating and acceleration. The transfer of stored magnetic field energy to the plasma occurs primarily at thin conversion layers that extend outward from the reconnection site. We performed a comparative study of the structure and nature of these conversion layers as observed during reconnection at Earth`s magnetopause and in the geomagnetic tail. Our research utilized plasma and magnetic field data from the Earth-orbiting ISEE satellites during crossings of the conversion layers at the magnetopause and in the geomagnetic tail, as well as data obtained during a long-duration balloon flight in Antarctica and simultaneously from satellites in geosynchronous orbit. We have found that the reconnection layer at the magnetopause usually does not contain a slow mode shock, contrary to earlier theoretical expectations. Through a coordinated analysis of data obtained from balloon altitudes and at geosynchronous orbit, we obtained evidence that reconnection can occur simultaneously in both hemispheres at the magnetopause above the polar caps. The final year of our study was oriented primarily towards the question of determining the magnetic topology of disturbances in the solar wind associated with coronal mass ejections (CMEs) and understanding how that topology is affected by magnetic reconnection occurring near the Sun.

  10. Formation of current sheets in magnetic reconnection

    SciTech Connect

    Boozer, Allen H.

    2014-07-15

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

  11. 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.

  12. Magnetohydrodynamic Numerical Simulations of Magnetic Reconnection in Interstellar Medium

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Tanuma, Syuniti

    2000-03-01

    reconnection, triggered by a supernova explosion, creates hot plasmas and magnetic islands (helical tubes), and how the magnetic islands confine the hot plasmas in Galaxy. The supernova shock is one of the possible mechanisms to trigger reconnection in Galaxy. We conclude that magnetic reconnection is able to heat the GRXE plasma if the magnetic field is localized in an intense flux tube with Blocal sim 30 muG. Part III This is the main part of the thesis. We examine the magnetic reconnection triggered by a supernova shock (or a point explosion) in interstellar medium, by performing 2D MHD numerical simulations with high spatial resolution. The magnetic reconnection starts long after the supernova shock (fast-mode MHD shock wave) passes a current sheet. The current sheet evolves as follows: (i) The tearing-mode instability is excited by the supernova shock. The current sheet becomes thin in the nonlinear phase of tearing instability. (ii) The current-sheet thinning is saturated when the current-sheet thickness becomes comparable to that of Sweet-Parker current sheet. After that, Sweet-Parker type reconnection starts, and the current-sheet length increases. (iii) The secondary tearing-mode instability occurs in the thin Sweet-Parker current sheet. (iv) As a result, further current-sheet thinning occurs, because gas density decreases in the current sheet. The anomalous resistivity sets in, and Petschek type reconnection starts. The interstellar gas is accelerated and heated. The magnetic energy is released quickly while magnetic islands are moving in the current sheet during Petschek type reconnection. (v) Magnetic reconnection stops because the gas pressure increases in the current sheet near left and right boundaries. The released magnetic energy is determined by the interstellar magnetic field strength, not by the energy of initial supernova nor distance between the supernova and the current sheet. We suggest that magnetic reconnection is a possible mechanism to generate X

  13. Collisionless Plasma Turbulence: Insights from Magnetohydrodynamic and Hall Magnetohydrodynamic Simulations and Observations of the Earth's Magnetosphere

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Stawarz, Julia E.

    Turbulence is a ubiquitous phenomenon that occurs throughout the universe, in both neutral fluids and plasmas. For collisionless plasmas, kinetic effects, which alter the nonlinear dynamics and result in small-scale dissipation, are still not well understood in the context of turbulence. This work uses direct numerical simulations (DNS) and observations of Earth's magnetosphere to study plasma turbulence. Long-time relaxation in magnetohydrodynamic (MHD) turbulence is examined using DNS with particular focus on the role of magnetic and cross helicity and symmetries of the initial configurations. When strong symmetries are absent or broken through perturbations, flows evolve towards states predicted by statistical mechanics with an energy minimization principle, which features two main regimes; one magnetic helicity dominated and one with quasi-equipartition of kinetic and magnetic energy. The role of the Hall effect, which contributes to the dynamics of collisionless plasmas, is also explored numerically. At scales below the ion inertial length, a transition to a magnetically dominated state, associated with advection becoming subdominant to dissipation, occurs. Real-space current, vorticity, and electric fields are examined. Strong current structures are associated with alignment between the current and magnetic field, which may be important in collisionless plasmas where field-aligned currents can be unstable. Turbulence within bursty bulk flow braking events, thought to be associated with near-Earth magnetotail reconnection, are then studied using the THEMIS spacecraft. It is proposed that strong field-aligned currents associated with turbulent intermittency destabilize into double layers, providing a collisionless dissipation mechanism for the turbulence. Plasma waves may also radiate from the region, removing energy from the turbulence and potentially depositing it in the aurora. Finally, evidence for turbulence in the Kelvin-Helmholtz instability (KHI) on the

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2015-10-01

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

  15. Extreme ultra-violet movie camera for imaging microsecond time scale magnetic reconnection

    SciTech Connect

    Chai, Kil-Byoung; Bellan, Paul M.

    2013-12-15

    An ultra-fast extreme ultra-violet (EUV) movie camera has been developed for imaging magnetic reconnection in the Caltech spheromak/astrophysical jet experiment. The camera consists of a broadband Mo:Si multilayer mirror, a fast decaying YAG:Ce scintillator, a visible light block, and a high-speed visible light CCD camera. The camera can capture EUV images as fast as 3.3 × 10{sup 6} frames per second with 0.5 cm spatial resolution. The spectral range is from 20 eV to 60 eV. EUV images reveal strong, transient, highly localized bursts of EUV radiation when magnetic reconnection occurs.

  16. 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-magnetohydrodynamics (MHD

  17. A magnetic reconnection model for shock-turbulence interaction

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Yokoi, Nobumitsu

    2014-05-01

    It is well recognized that several kinds of shock waves such as the Earth's bow shocks, transient shocks produced by solar flares, etc. play very important roles in solar system plasmas. Shocks are also ubiquitous in reconnection situations. It has been considered that shocks are essential to materialize a fast reconnection. In the previous papers [1-3], we considered the effects of turbulence in the fast magnetic reconnection. There we stressed the importance of the interaction between turbulence and mean-field structures as well as the importance of the balance between the transport enhancement and suppression. Considering the importance of shocks, it is required to treat shock--turbulent interaction properly in a turbulent reconnection model. In the context of turbulence theory and modeling, the shock--turbulence interaction is a very challenging problem. With the interactions with a shock, turbulence properties change considerably: (i) The intensity of fluctuations changes in an anisotropic manner; (ii) The vorticity structure is also strongly affected; (iii) The turbulence length scale changes in a complex manner across the shock; and so on. Towards the theory treating these points, in the present work, we propose a turbulence model with the density fluctuation effects incorporated. The inclusion of the density variance leads to a complicated expressions for the turbulent correlations such as the Reynolds (and Maxwell) stresses and the turbulent electromotive force, which leads to deeper understanding of the turbulent transport in shocks. It is expected that a numerical simulation of magnetic reconnection with the present turbulence model will give substantially different results near the shock regions. [1] Yokoi, N. and Hoshino, M. Phys. Plasmas 18, 111208 (2011). [2] Higashimori, K., Yokoi, N., and Hoshino, M.) Phys. Rev. Lett. 110, 255001 (2013). [3] Yokoi, N., Higashimori, K., and Hoshino, M. Phys. Plsamas 20, 122310 (2013).

  18. 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

  19. A review of astrophysical reconnection

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Uzdensky, Dmitri

    Magnetic reconnection is a basic plasma process involving rapid rearrangement of magnetic field topology. It often leads to violent release of magnetic energy and its conversion to the plasma thermal and kinetic energy as well as nonthermal particle acceleration. It is thus believed to power numerous types of explosive phenomena both inside and outside the Solar system, including various kinds of high-energy flares. In this talk I will first give an overview of astrophysical systems where reconnection is believed to play an important role. Examples include pulsed high-energy emission in pulsar magnetospheres; gamma-ray flares in pulsar wind nebulae and AGN/blazar jets; Gamma-Ray Bursts; and giant flares in magnetar systems. I will also analyze the physical conditions of the plasma in some of these astrophysical systems and will discuss the fundamental physical differences between various astrophysical instances of magnetic reconnection and the more familiar solar and space examples of reconnection. In particular, I will demonstrate the importance of including radiative effects in order to understand astrophysical magnetic reconnection and in order to connect our theoretical models with the observed radiation signatures.

  20. Helicity, Reconnection, and Dynamo Effects

    SciTech Connect

    Ji, Hantao

    1998-11-01

    The inter-relationships between magnetic helicity, magnetic reconnection, and dynamo effects are discussed. In laboratory experiments, where two plasmas are driven to merge, the helicity content of each plasma strongly affects the reconnection rate, as well as the shape of the diffusion region. Conversely, magnetic reconnection events also strongly affect the global helicity, resulting in efficient helicity cancellation (but not dissipation) during counter-helicity reconnection and a finite helicity increase or decrease (but less efficiently than dissipation of magnetic energy) during co-helicity reconnection. Close relationships also exist between magnetic helicity and dynamo effects. The turbulent electromotive force along the mean magnetic field (alpha-effect), due to either electrostatic turbulence or the electron diamagnetic effect, transports mean-field helicity across space without dissipation. This has been supported by direct measurements of helicity flux in a laboratory plasma. When the dynamo effect is driven by electromagnetic turbulence, helicity in the turbulent field is converted to mean-field helicity. In all cases, however, dynamo processes conserve total helicity except for a small battery effect, consistent with the observation that the helicity is approximately conserved during magnetic relaxation.

  1. Collisionless shocks in the heliosphere: A tutorial review

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Stone, Robert G. (Editor); Tsurutani, Bruce T. (Editor)

    1985-01-01

    An update is presented on current knowledge of collisionless shocks in the heliosphere. The individual papers address: a quarter century of collisionless shock research, some macroscopic properties of shock waves in the heliosphere, microinstabilities and anomalous transport, and acceleration of energetic particles.

  2. Collisionless stellar hydrodynamics as an efficient alternative to N-body methods

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Mitchell, Nigel L.; Vorobyov, Eduard I.; Hensler, Gerhard

    2013-01-01

    The dominant constituents of the Universe's matter are believed to be collisionless in nature and thus their modelling in any self-consistent simulation is extremely important. For simulations that deal only with dark matter or stellar systems, the conventional N-body technique is fast, memory efficient and relatively simple to implement. However when extending simulations to include the effects of gas physics, mesh codes are at a distinct disadvantage compared to Smooth Particle Hydrodynamics (SPH) codes. Whereas implementing the N-body approach into SPH codes is fairly trivial, the particle-mesh technique used in mesh codes to couple collisionless stars and dark matter to the gas on the mesh has a series of significant scientific and technical limitations. These include spurious entropy generation resulting from discreteness effects, poor load balancing and increased communication overhead which spoil the excellent scaling in massively parallel grid codes. In this paper we propose the use of the collisionless Boltzmann moment equations as a means to model the collisionless material as a fluid on the mesh, implementing it into the massively parallel FLASH Adaptive Mesh Refinement (AMR) code. This approach which we term `collisionless stellar hydrodynamics' enables us to do away with the particle-mesh approach and since the parallelization scheme is identical to that used for the hydrodynamics, it preserves the excellent scaling of the FLASH code already demonstrated on peta-flop machines. We find that the classic hydrodynamic equations and the Boltzmann moment equations can be reconciled under specific conditions, allowing us to generate analytic solutions for collisionless systems using conventional test problems. We confirm the validity of our approach using a suite of demanding test problems, including the use of a modified Sod shock test. By deriving the relevant eigenvalues and eigenvectors of the Boltzmann moment equations, we are able to use high order

  3. Observations of Magnetic Reconnection and Plasma Dynamics in Mercury's Magnetosphere

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    DiBraccio, Gina A.

    Mercury's magnetosphere is formed as a result of the supersonic solar wind interacting with the planet's intrinsic magnetic field. The combination of the weak planetary dipole moment and intense solar wind forcing of the inner heliosphere creates a unique space environment, which can teach us about planetary magnetospheres. In this work, we analyze the first in situ orbital observations at Mercury, provided by the MErcury Surface, Space ENvironment, GEochemistry, and Ranging (MESSENGER) spacecraft. Magnetic reconnection and the transport of plasma and magnetic flux are investigated using MESSENGER Magnetometer and Fast Imaging Plasma Spectrometer measurements. Here, we report our results on the effect of magnetic reconnection and plasma dynamics on Mercury's space environment: (1) Mercury's magnetosphere is driven by frequent, intense magnetic reconnection observed in the form of magnetic field components normal to the magnetopause, BN, and as helical bundles of flux, called magnetic flux ropes, in the cross-tail current sheet. The high reconnection rates are determined to be a direct consequence of the low plasma beta, the ratio of plasma to magnetic pressure, in the inner heliosphere. (2) As upstream solar wind conditions vary, we find that reconnection occurs at Mercury's magnetopause for all orientations of the interplanetary magnetic field, independent of shear angle. During the most extreme solar wind forcing events, the influence of induction fields generated within Mercury's highly conducting core are negated by erosion due to persistent magnetopause reconnection. (3) We present the first observations of Mercury's plasma mantle, which forms as a result of magnetopause reconnection and allows solar wind plasma to enter into the high-latitude magnetotail through the dayside cusps. The energy dispersion observed in the plasma mantle protons is used to infer the cross-magnetosphere electric field, providing a direct measurement of solar wind momentum

  4. Thin-shell instability in collisionless plasma.

    PubMed

    Dieckmann, M E; Ahmed, H; Doria, D; Sarri, G; Walder, R; Folini, D; Bret, A; Ynnerman, A; Borghesi, M

    2015-09-01

    Thin-shell instability is one process which can generate entangled structures in astrophysical plasma on collisional (fluid) scales. It is driven by a spatially varying imbalance between the ram pressure of the inflowing upstream plasma and the downstream's thermal pressure at a nonplanar shock. Here we show by means of a particle-in-cell simulation that an analog process can destabilize a thin shell formed by two interpenetrating, unmagnetized, and collisionless plasma clouds. The amplitude of the shell's spatial modulation grows and saturates after about ten inverse proton plasma frequencies, when the shell consists of connected piecewise linear patches.

  5. Scattering of radiation in collisionless dusty plasmas

    SciTech Connect

    Tolias, P.; Ratynskaia, S.

    2013-04-15

    Scattering of electromagnetic waves in collisionless dusty plasmas is studied in the framework of a multi-component kinetic model. The investigation focuses on the spectral distribution of the scattered radiation. Pronounced dust signatures are identified in the coherent spectrum due to scattering from the shielding cloud around the dust grains, dust acoustic waves, and dust-ion acoustic waves. The magnitude and shape of the scattered signal near these spectral regions are determined with the aid of analytical expressions and its dependence on the dust parameters is investigated. The use of radiation scattering as a potential diagnostic tool for dust detection is discussed.

  6. Cascaded proton acceleration by collisionless electrostatic shock

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Xu, T. J.; Shen, B. F.; Zhang, X. M.; Yi, L. Q.; Wang, W. P.; Zhang, L. G.; Xu, J. C.; Zhao, X. Y.; Shi, Y.; Liu, C.; Pei, Z. K.

    2015-07-01

    A new scheme for proton acceleration by cascaded collisionless electrostatic shock (CES) is proposed. By irradiating a foil target with a moderate high-intensity laser beam, a stable CES field can be induced, which is employed as the accelerating field for the booster stage of proton acceleration. The mechanism is studied through simulations and theoretical analysis, showing that a 55 MeV seed proton beam can be further accelerated to 265 MeV while keeping a good energy spread. This scheme offers a feasible approach to produce proton beams with energy of hundreds of MeV by existing available high-intensity laser facilities.

  7. Cascaded proton acceleration by collisionless electrostatic shock

    SciTech Connect

    Xu, T. J.; Shen, B. F. E-mail: zhxm@siom.ac.cn; Zhang, X. M. E-mail: zhxm@siom.ac.cn; Yi, L. Q.; Wang, W. P.; Zhang, L. G.; Xu, J. C.; Zhao, X. Y.; Shi, Y.; Liu, C.; Pei, Z. K.

    2015-07-15

    A new scheme for proton acceleration by cascaded collisionless electrostatic shock (CES) is proposed. By irradiating a foil target with a moderate high-intensity laser beam, a stable CES field can be induced, which is employed as the accelerating field for the booster stage of proton acceleration. The mechanism is studied through simulations and theoretical analysis, showing that a 55 MeV seed proton beam can be further accelerated to 265 MeV while keeping a good energy spread. This scheme offers a feasible approach to produce proton beams with energy of hundreds of MeV by existing available high-intensity laser facilities.

  8. Collisionless Relaxation in Non-Neutral Plasmas

    SciTech Connect

    Levin, Yan; Pakter, Renato; Teles, Tarcisio N.

    2008-02-01

    A theoretical framework is presented which allows us to quantitatively predict the final stationary state achieved by a non-neutral plasma during a process of collisionless relaxation. As a specific application, the theory is used to study relaxation of charged-particle beams. It is shown that a fully matched beam relaxes to the Lynden-Bell distribution. However, when a mismatch is present and the beam oscillates, parametric resonances lead to a core-halo phase separation. The approach developed accounts for both the density and the velocity distributions in the final stationary state.

  9. 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.

  10. On Lorentz invariants in relativistic magnetic reconnection

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Yang, Shu-Di; Wang, Xiao-Gang

    2016-08-01

    Lorentz invariants whose nonrelativistic correspondences play important roles in magnetic reconnection are discussed in this paper. Particularly, the relativistic invariant of the magnetic reconnection rate is defined and investigated in a covariant two-fluid model. Certain Lorentz covariant representations for energy conversion and magnetic structures in reconnection processes are also investigated. Furthermore, relativistic measures for topological features of reconnection sites, particularly magnetic nulls and separatrices, are analyzed.

  11. Magnetic Reconnection Dynamics in the Presence of Low-energy Ion Component: PIC Simulations of Hidden Particle Population

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Khotyaintsev, Y. V.; Divin, A. V.; Toledo Redondo, S.; Andre, M.; Vaivads, A.; Markidis, S.; Lapenta, G.

    2015-12-01

    Magnetospheric and astrophysical plasmas are rarely in the state of thermal equilibrium. Plasma distribution functions may contain beams, supra-thermal tails, multiple ion and electron populations which are not thermalized over long time scales due to the lack of collisions between particles. In particular, the equatorial region of the dayside Earth's magnetosphere is often populated by plasma containing hot and cold ion components of comparable densities [Andre and Cully, 2012], and such ion distribution alters properties of the magnetic reconnection regions at the magnetopause [Toledo-Redondo et. al., 2015]. Motivated by these recent findings and also by fact that this region is one of the targets of the recently launched MMS mission, we performed 2D PIC simulations of magnetic reconnection in collisionless plasma with hot and cold ion components. We used a standard Harris current sheet, to which a uniform cold ion background is added. We found that introduction of the cold component modifies the structure of reconnection diffusion region. Diffusion region displays three-scale structure, with the cold Ion Diffusion Region (cIDR) scale appearing in-between the Electron Diffusion Region (EDR) and Ion Diffusion Region (IDR) scales. Structure and strength of the Hall magnetic field depends weakly on cold ion temperature or density, and is rather controlled by the conditions (B, n) upstream the reconnection region. The cold ions are accelerated predominantly transverse to the magnetic field by the Hall electric fields inside the IDR, leading to a large ion pressure anisotropy, which is unstable to ion Weibel-type or mirror-type mode. On the opposite, acceleration of cold ions is mostly field-aligned at the reconnection jet fronts downstream the X-line, producing intense ion phase-space holes there. Despite comparable reconnection rates produced , we find that the overall evolution of reconnection in presence of cold ion population is more dynamic compared to the case

  12. Magnetic reconnection process in transient coaxial helicity injection

    SciTech Connect

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

    2013-09-15

    The physics of magnetic reconnection and fast flux closure in transient coaxial helicity injection experiments in NSTX is examined using resistive MHD simulations. These simulations have been performed using the NIMROD code with fixed boundary flux (including NSTX poloidal coil currents) in the NSTX experimental geometry. Simulations show that an X point is formed in the injector region, followed by formation of closed flux surfaces within 0.5 ms after the driven injector voltage and injector current begin to rapidly decrease. As the injector voltage is turned off, the field lines tend to untwist in the toroidal direction and magnetic field compression exerts a radial J × B force and generates a bi-directional radial E{sub toroidal}×B{sub poloidal} pinch flow to bring oppositely directed field lines closer together to reconnect. At sufficiently low magnetic diffusivity (high Lundquist number), and with a sufficiently narrow injector flux footprint width, the oppositely directed field lines have sufficient time to reconnect (before dissipating), leading to the formation of closed flux surfaces. The reconnection process is shown to have transient Sweet-Parker characteristics.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Cassak, P. A.

    2008-05-01

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

  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. 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.

  16. 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.

  17. 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.

  18. IRIS Si IV Line Profiles: An Indication for the Plasmoid Instability during Small-scale Magnetic Reconnection on the Sun

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Innes, D. E.; Guo, L.-J.; Huang, Y.-M.; Bhattacharjee, A.

    2015-11-01

    Our understanding of the process of fast reconnection has undergone a dramatic change in the last 10 years driven, in part, by the availability of high-resolution numerical simulations that have consistently demonstrated the break-up of current sheets into magnetic islands, with reconnection rates that become independent of Lundquist number, challenging the belief that fast magnetic reconnection in flares proceeds via the Petschek mechanism which invokes pairs of slow-mode shocks connected to a compact diffusion region. The reconnection sites are too small to be resolved with images, but these reconnection mechanisms, Petschek and the plasmoid instability, have reconnection sites with very different density and velocity structures and so can be distinguished by high-resolution line-profile observations. Using IRIS spectroscopic observations we obtain a survey of typical line profiles produced by small-scale events thought to be reconnection sites on the Sun. Slit-jaw images are used to investigate the plasma heating and re-configuration at the sites. A sample of 15 events from 2 active regions is presented. The line profiles are complex with bright cores and broad wings extending to over 300 km s-1. The profiles can be reproduced with the multiple magnetic islands and acceleration sites that characterize the plasmoid instability but not by bi-directional jets that characterize the Petschek mechanism. This result suggests that if these small-scale events are reconnection sites, then fast reconnection proceeds via the plasmoid instability, rather than the Petschek mechanism during small-scale reconnection on the Sun.

  19. IRIS Si iv LINE PROFILES: AN INDICATION FOR THE PLASMOID INSTABILITY DURING SMALL-SCALE MAGNETIC RECONNECTION ON THE SUN

    SciTech Connect

    Innes, D. E.; Guo, L.-J.; Huang, Y.-M.; Bhattacharjee, A.

    2015-11-10

    Our understanding of the process of fast reconnection has undergone a dramatic change in the last 10 years driven, in part, by the availability of high-resolution numerical simulations that have consistently demonstrated the break-up of current sheets into magnetic islands, with reconnection rates that become independent of Lundquist number, challenging the belief that fast magnetic reconnection in flares proceeds via the Petschek mechanism which invokes pairs of slow-mode shocks connected to a compact diffusion region. The reconnection sites are too small to be resolved with images, but these reconnection mechanisms, Petschek and the plasmoid instability, have reconnection sites with very different density and velocity structures and so can be distinguished by high-resolution line-profile observations. Using IRIS spectroscopic observations we obtain a survey of typical line profiles produced by small-scale events thought to be reconnection sites on the Sun. Slit-jaw images are used to investigate the plasma heating and re-configuration at the sites. A sample of 15 events from 2 active regions is presented. The line profiles are complex with bright cores and broad wings extending to over 300 km s{sup −1}. The profiles can be reproduced with the multiple magnetic islands and acceleration sites that characterize the plasmoid instability but not by bi-directional jets that characterize the Petschek mechanism. This result suggests that if these small-scale events are reconnection sites, then fast reconnection proceeds via the plasmoid instability, rather than the Petschek mechanism during small-scale reconnection on the Sun.

  20. A Magnetic Reconnection Mechanism for the Generation of Anomalous Cosmic Rays

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Drake, J. F.; Opher, M.; Swisdak, M.; Chamoun, J. N.

    2010-02-01

    The recent observations of the anomalous cosmic ray (ACR) energy spectrum as Voyager 1 and Voyager 2 crossed the heliospheric termination shock have called into question the conventional shock source of these energetic particles. We suggest that the sectored heliospheric magnetic field, which results from the flapping of the heliospheric current sheet, piles up as it approaches the heliopause, narrowing the current sheets that separate the sectors and triggering the onset of collisionless magnetic reconnection. Particle-in-cell simulations reveal that most of the magnetic energy is released and most of this energy goes into energetic ions with significant but smaller amounts of energy going into electrons. The energy gain of the most energetic ions results from their reflection from the ends of contracting magnetic islands, a first-order Fermi process. The energy gain of the ions in contracting islands increases their parallel (to the magnetic field B) pressure p par until the marginal fire-hose condition is reached, causing magnetic reconnection and associated particle acceleration to shut down. Thus, the feedback of the self-consistent development of the energetic ion pressure on reconnection is a crucial element of any reconnection-based, particle-acceleration model. The model calls into question the strong scattering assumption used to derive the Parker transport equation and therefore the absence of first-order Fermi acceleration in incompressible flows. A simple one-dimensional model for particle energy gain and loss is presented in which the feedback of the energetic particles on the reconnection drive is included. The ACR differential energy spectrum takes the form of a power law with a spectral index slightly above 1.5. The model has the potential to explain several key Voyager observations, including the similarities in the spectra of different ion species.

  1. Modeling of magnetic reconnection in the magnetotail using global MHD simulation with an effective resistivity model

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Den, M.; Horiuchi, R.; Fujita, S.; Tanaka, T.

    2011-12-01

    Magnetic reconnection is considered to play an important role in space phenomena such as substorm in the Earth's magnetosphere. Tanaka and Fujita reproduced substorm evolution process by numerical simulation with the global MHD code [1]. In the MHD framework, the dissipation model is introduced for modeling of the kinetic effects. They found that the normalized reconnection viscosity, one of the dissipation model employed there, gave a large effect for the dipolarization, central phenomenon in the substorm development process, though that viscosity was assumed to be a constant parameter. It is well known that magnetic reconnection is controlled by microscopic kinetic mechanism. Frozen-in condition is broken due to particle kinetic effects and collisionless reconnection is triggered when current sheet is compressed as thin as ion kinetic scales under the influence of external driving flow [2, 3]. Horiuchi and his collaborators showed that reconnection electric field generated by microscopic physics evolves inside ion meandering scale so as to balance the flux inflow rate at the inflow boundary, which is controlled by macroscopic physics [2]. That is, effective resistivity generated through this process can be expressed by balance equation between micro and macro physics. In this paper, we perform substorm simulation by using the global MHD code developed by Tanaka [3] with this effective resistivity instead of the empirical resistivity model. We obtain the AE indices from simulation data, in which substorm onset can be seen clearly, and investigate the relationship between the substorm development and the effective resistivity model. [1] T. Tanaka, A, Nakamizo, A. Yoshikawa, S. Fujita, H. Shinagawa, H. Shimazu, T. Kikuchi, and K. K. Hashimoto, J. Geophys. Res. 115 (2010) A05220,doi:10.1029/2009JA014676. [2] W. Pei, R. Horiuchi, and T. Sato, Physics of Plasmas,Vol. 8 (2001), pp. 3251-3257. [3] A. Ishizawa, and R. Horiuchi, Phys. Rev. Lett., Vol. 95, 045003 (2005). [4

  2. A MAGNETIC RECONNECTION MECHANISM FOR THE GENERATION OF ANOMALOUS COSMIC RAYS

    SciTech Connect

    Drake, J. F.; Opher, M.; Swisdak, M.; Chamoun, J. N. E-mail: swisdak@umd.ed

    2010-02-01

    The recent observations of the anomalous cosmic ray (ACR) energy spectrum as Voyager 1 and Voyager 2 crossed the heliospheric termination shock have called into question the conventional shock source of these energetic particles. We suggest that the sectored heliospheric magnetic field, which results from the flapping of the heliospheric current sheet, piles up as it approaches the heliopause, narrowing the current sheets that separate the sectors and triggering the onset of collisionless magnetic reconnection. Particle-in-cell simulations reveal that most of the magnetic energy is released and most of this energy goes into energetic ions with significant but smaller amounts of energy going into electrons. The energy gain of the most energetic ions results from their reflection from the ends of contracting magnetic islands, a first-order Fermi process. The energy gain of the ions in contracting islands increases their parallel (to the magnetic field B) pressure p{sub ||} until the marginal fire-hose condition is reached, causing magnetic reconnection and associated particle acceleration to shut down. Thus, the feedback of the self-consistent development of the energetic ion pressure on reconnection is a crucial element of any reconnection-based, particle-acceleration model. The model calls into question the strong scattering assumption used to derive the Parker transport equation and therefore the absence of first-order Fermi acceleration in incompressible flows. A simple one-dimensional model for particle energy gain and loss is presented in which the feedback of the energetic particles on the reconnection drive is included. The ACR differential energy spectrum takes the form of a power law with a spectral index slightly above 1.5. The model has the potential to explain several key Voyager observations, including the similarities in the spectra of different ion species.

  3. The collisionless magnetoviscous-thermal instability

    SciTech Connect

    Islam, Tanim

    2014-05-20

    It is likely that nearly all central galactic massive and supermassive black holes are nonradiative: their accretion luminosities are orders of magnitude below what can be explained by efficient black hole accretion within their ambient environments. These objects, of which Sagittarius A* is the best-known example, are also dilute (mildly collisional to highly collisionless) and optically thin. In order for accretion to occur, magnetohydrodynamic (MHD) instabilities must develop that not only transport angular momentum, but also gravitational energy generated through matter infall, outward. A class of new magnetohydrodynamical fluid instabilities—the magnetoviscous-thermal instability (MVTI)—was found to transport angular momentum and energy along magnetic field lines through large (fluid) viscosities and thermal conductivities. This paper describes the analog to the MVTI, the collisionless MVTI (CMVTI), that similarly transports energy and angular momentum outward, expected to be important in describing the flow properties of hot, dilute, and radiatively inefficient accretion flows around black holes. We construct a local equilibrium for MHD stability analysis in this differentially rotating disk. We then find and characterize specific instabilities expected to be important in describing their flow properties, and show their qualitative similarities to instabilities derived using the fluid formalism. We conclude with further work needed in modeling this class of accretion flow.

  4. Nonlinear Gyroviscous Force in a Collisionless Plasma

    SciTech Connect

    Belova, E.V.

    2001-05-23

    Nonlinear gyroviscous forces in a collisionless plasma with temperature variations are calculated from the gyrofluid moments of the gyrokinetic Vlasov equation. The low-frequency gyrokinetic ordering and electrostatic perturbations are assumed, and an additional finite Larmor radius (FLR) expansion is performed. This approach leads naturally to an expression for the gyroviscous force in terms of the gyrocenter distribution function, thus including all resonant effects, and represents a systematic FLR expansion in a general form (no assumption of any closure is made). The expression for the gyroviscous force is also calculated in terms of the particle-fluid moments by making the transformation from the gyrocenter to particle coordinates. The calculated expression represents a modification of the Braginskii gyroviscosity for a collisionless plasma with nonuniform temperature. It is compared with previous calculations based on the traditional fluid approach. As a byproduct of the gyroviscosity calculations, we derive a set of nonlinear reduced gyrofluid (and a corresponding set of particle-fluid) moment equations with FLR corrections, which exhibit a generalized form of the ''gyroviscous cancellation.''

  5. MHD simulations of three-dimensional resistive reconnection in a cylindrical plasma column

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Striani, E.; Mignone, A.; Vaidya, B.; Bodo, G.; Ferrari, A.

    2016-11-01

    Magnetic reconnection is a plasma phenomenon where a topological rearrangement of magnetic field lines with opposite polarity results in dissipation of magnetic energy into heat, kinetic energy and particle acceleration. Such a phenomenon is considered as an efficient mechanism for energy release in laboratory and astrophysical plasmas. An important question is how to make the process fast enough to account for observed explosive energy releases. The classical model for steady state magnetic reconnection predicts reconnection times scaling as S1/2 (where S is the Lundquist number) and yields time-scales several order of magnitude larger than the observed ones. Earlier two-dimensional MHD simulations showed that for large Lundquist number the reconnection time becomes independent of S (`fast reconnection' regime) due to the presence of the secondary tearing instability that takes place for S ≳ 1 × 104. We report on our 3D MHD simulations of magnetic reconnection in a magnetically confined cylindrical plasma column under either a pressure balanced or a force-free equilibrium and compare the results with 2D simulations of a circular current sheet. We find that the 3D instabilities acting on these configurations result in a fragmentation of the initial current sheet in small filaments, leading to enhanced dissipation rate that becomes independent of the Lundquist number already at S ≃ 1 × 103.

  6. Transition to Petschek-type Reconnection in Solar Wind Reconnection Exhausts

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Mistry, R.; Eastwood, J. P.; Phan, T.; Hietala, H.

    2015-12-01

    The Petschek reconnection model predicts that for antiparallel symmetric conditions, slow-mode shocks should form along reconnection exhaust boundaries, and that the reconnection current sheet should bifurcate. However, closer to the X-line it is expected that Hall physics effects should play a more significant role in controlling the reconnection dynamics. Whilst in-situ observations at the magnetopause and magnetotail have provided a detailed insight into reconnection physics, imprecise knowledge of the spacecraft location both within the reconnection exhaust and relative to the X-line limits the extent to which the spatial structure of reconnection exhausts can be probed. In the solar wind, however, the rapid transit of a spacecraft across the solar wind exhausts allow us to make detailed observations with precise knowledge of the spacecraft location within the jet, such that the magnetic structure of the reconnecting boundary can be directly deduced. If two spacecraft measure the reconnection jets either side of the X-line, this enables a much more precise reconstruction of the reconnection geometry, but this is a rare occurrence. Here we present three solar wind reconnection events where different spacecraft (ACE, Cluster and Wind) sampled both of the oppositely directed reconnection exhausts from a common reconnection X-line, which allows us to estimate each spacecraft's distance from the X-line. We find that in all three cases spacecraft furthest from the reconnection site observed bifurcated current sheets, consistent with Petschek reconnection, whereas spacecraft closer to the reconnection site did not. This suggests that bifurcations of reconnection current sheets develop with increasing distance from the X-line, and that Petschek-type signatures are less developed close to the reconnection site. We discuss these results and consider what may control the point at which these signatures appear, and implications for other reconnection environments.

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-01-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2016-06-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2016-01-01

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

  10. Transition to whistler mediated magnetic reconnection

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Mandt, M. E.; Denton, R. E.; Drake, J. F.

    1994-01-01

    The transition in the magnetic reconnection rate from the resistive magnetohydrodynamic (MHD) regime where the Alfen wave controls reconnection to a regime in which the ions become unmagnetized and the whistler wave mediates reconnection is explored with 2-D hybrid simulations. In the whistler regime the electrons carry the currents while the ions provide a neutralizing background. A simple physical picture is presented illustrating the role of the whistler mediated reconnection is calculated analytically. The development of an out-of-plane component of the magnetic field is an observable signature of whistler driven reconnection.

  11. Firehose, Mirror, and Magnetorotational Instabilities in a Collisionless Shearing Plasma

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kunz, Matthew; Schekochihin, Alexander; Stone, James; Melville, Scott; Quataert, Eliot

    2015-11-01

    Describing the large-scale behavior of weakly collisional magnetized plasmas, such as the solar wind, black-hole accretion flows, or the intracluster medium of galaxy clusters, necessitates a detailed understanding of the kinetic-scale physics governing the dynamics of magnetic fields and the transport of momentum and heat. This physics is complicated by the fact that such plasmas are expected to exhibit particle distribution functions with unequal thermal pressures in the directions parallel and perpendicular to the local magnetic field. This pressure anisotropy can trigger fast Larmor-scale instabilities - namely, firehose and mirror - which solar-wind observations suggest to be effective at regulating the pressure anisotropy to marginally stable levels. Results from weakly nonlinear theory and hybrid-kinetic particle-in-cell simulations that address how marginal stability is achieved and maintained in a plasma whose pressure anisotropy is driven by a shearing magnetic field are presented. Fluctuation spectra and effective collisionality are highlighted. These results are placed in the context of our ongoing studies of magnetorotational turbulence in collisionless astrophysical accretion disks, in which microscale plasma instabilities regulate angular-momentum transport.

  12. Landau, Case, van Kampen and Collisionless Fluid Closures

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Joseph, Ilon

    2015-11-01

    Landau damping represents a fundamental paradox within plasma physics. The equations of motion of classical particles and fields are symmetric under time-reversal; yet, the open system formed by integration over velocity space is not invariant and damping results from phase-mixing. Here, it is shown that the Case-van Kampen theorem can be extended to magnetized plasmas: the linear eigenfunctions provide a complete representation of the particle distribution function and exponentially damped and growing eigenmodes must appear in pairs. The numerical Case-van Kampen transformation can performed efficiently in Fourier velocity space and allows fast timescales in the evolution of the system to be treated using exponential integration. On the other hand, fluid moments require integration over velocity space, and, thus, representation of Landau damping requires explicit introduction of the arrow of time through a collisionless damping operator. This operator captures linear phenomena at the cost of damping nonlinear phenomena such as the plasma echo. Numerical comparisons of these two rather different representations will be presented. LLNL-ABS-674917 prepared by LLNL under Contract DE-AC52-07NA27344.

  13. Collisionless high energy particle losses in optimized stellarators calculated in real-space coordinates

    SciTech Connect

    Nemov, V. V.; Kasilov, S. V.; Kernbichler, W.

    2014-06-15

    An approach for the direct computation of collisionless losses of high energy charged particles is developed for stellarator magnetic fields given in real space coordinates. With this approach, the corresponding computations can be performed for magnetic fields with three-dimensional inhomogeneities in the presence of stochastic regions as well as magnetic islands. A code, which is based on this approach, is applied to various stellarator configurations. It is found that the life time of fast particles obtained in real-space coordinates can be smaller than that obtained in magnetic coordinates.

  14. The theory of magnetohydrodynamic wave generation by localized sources. II - Collisionless dissipation of wave packets

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Collins, William

    1989-01-01

    The dispersion equation of Barnes (1966) is used to study the dissipation of asymptotic wave packets generated by localized periodic sources. The solutions of the equation are linear waves, damped by Landau and transit-time processes, in a collisionless warm plasma. For the case of an ideal MHD system, most of the waves emitted from a source are shown to cancel asympotically through destructive interference. The modes transporting significant flux to asymptotic distances are found to be Alfven waves and fast waves with theta (the angle between the magnetic field and the characteristics of the far-field waves) of about 0 and about pi/2.

  15. Collisionless Dynamics and the Cosmic Web

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hahn, Oliver

    2016-10-01

    I review the nature of three-dimensional collapse in the Zeldovich approximation, how it relates to the underlying nature of the three-dimensional Lagrangian manifold and naturally gives rise to a hierarchical structure formation scenario that progresses through collapse from voids to pancakes, filaments and then halos. I then discuss how variations of the Zeldovich approximation (based on the gravitational or the velocity potential) have been used to define classifications of the cosmic large-scale structure into dynamically distinct parts. Finally, I turn to recent efforts to devise new approaches relying on tessellations of the Lagrangian manifold to follow the fine-grained dynamics of the dark matter fluid into the highly non-linear regime and both extract the maximum amount of information from existing simulations as well as devise new simulation techniques for cold collisionless dynamics.

  16. The microphysics of collisionless shock waves

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Marcowith, A.; Bret, A.; Bykov, A.; Dieckman, M. E.; O'C Drury, L.; Lembège, B.; Lemoine, M.; Morlino, G.; Murphy, G.; Pelletier, G.; Plotnikov, I.; Reville, B.; Riquelme, M.; Sironi, L.; Stockem Novo, A.

    2016-04-01

    Collisionless shocks, that is shocks mediated by electromagnetic processes, are customary in space physics and in astrophysics. They are to be found in a great variety of objects and environments: magnetospheric and heliospheric shocks, supernova remnants, pulsar winds and their nebulæ, active galactic nuclei, gamma-ray bursts and clusters of galaxies shock waves. Collisionless shock microphysics enters at different stages of shock formation, shock dynamics and particle energization and/or acceleration. It turns out that the shock phenomenon is a multi-scale non-linear problem in time and space. It is complexified by the impact due to high-energy cosmic rays in astrophysical environments. This review adresses the physics of shock formation, shock dynamics and particle acceleration based on a close examination of available multi-wavelength or in situ observations, analytical and numerical developments. A particular emphasis is made on the different instabilities triggered during the shock formation and in association with particle acceleration processes with regards to the properties of the background upstream medium. It appears that among the most important parameters the background magnetic field through the magnetization and its obliquity is the dominant one. The shock velocity that can reach relativistic speeds has also a strong impact over the development of the micro-instabilities and the fate of particle acceleration. Recent developments of laboratory shock experiments has started to bring some new insights in the physics of space plasma and astrophysical shock waves. A special section is dedicated to new laser plasma experiments probing shock physics.

  17. The microphysics of collisionless shock waves.

    PubMed

    Marcowith, A; Bret, A; Bykov, A; Dieckman, M E; Drury, L O'C; Lembège, B; Lemoine, M; Morlino, G; Murphy, G; Pelletier, G; Plotnikov, I; Reville, B; Riquelme, M; Sironi, L; Novo, A Stockem

    2016-04-01

    Collisionless shocks, that is shocks mediated by electromagnetic processes, are customary in space physics and in astrophysics. They are to be found in a great variety of objects and environments: magnetospheric and heliospheric shocks, supernova remnants, pulsar winds and their nebulæ, active galactic nuclei, gamma-ray bursts and clusters of galaxies shock waves. Collisionless shock microphysics enters at different stages of shock formation, shock dynamics and particle energization and/or acceleration. It turns out that the shock phenomenon is a multi-scale non-linear problem in time and space. It is complexified by the impact due to high-energy cosmic rays in astrophysical environments. This review adresses the physics of shock formation, shock dynamics and particle acceleration based on a close examination of available multi-wavelength or in situ observations, analytical and numerical developments. A particular emphasis is made on the different instabilities triggered during the shock formation and in association with particle acceleration processes with regards to the properties of the background upstream medium. It appears that among the most important parameters the background magnetic field through the magnetization and its obliquity is the dominant one. The shock velocity that can reach relativistic speeds has also a strong impact over the development of the micro-instabilities and the fate of particle acceleration. Recent developments of laboratory shock experiments has started to bring some new insights in the physics of space plasma and astrophysical shock waves. A special section is dedicated to new laser plasma experiments probing shock physics. PMID:27007555

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2015-11-01

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

  19. Kinetic model for the collisionless sheath of a collisional plasma

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Tang, Xian-Zhu; Guo, Zehua

    2016-08-01

    Collisional plasmas typically have mean-free-path still much greater than the Debye length, so the sheath is mostly collisionless. Once the plasma density, temperature, and flow are specified at the sheath entrance, the profile variation of electron and ion density, temperature, flow speed, and conductive heat fluxes inside the sheath is set by collisionless dynamics, and can be predicted by an analytical kinetic model distribution. These predictions are contrasted here with direct kinetic simulations, showing good agreement.

  20. 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.

  1. 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.

  2. Spectroscopic Signature of Bursty Reconnection

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Schmit, D. J.; Innes, D.; Barta, M.

    2013-12-01

    Bursty reconnection is thought to play a central role in explosive events in the solar atmosphere. Time dependent reconnection occurs when a current sheet undergoes tearing and coalescence instabilities. We simulate these dynamics using a 2.5D adiabatic dimensionless single-fluid MHD model. We scale the model output into the regime appropriate for the upper chromosphere and forward model time dependent spectral profiles which incorporate the projection effects of viewing angle and temperature sensitivity. We find that the profiles are often bimodal and red wing dominant. Both red and blue shifted peaks are visible at velocities 40% of the Alfven speed outside the current sheet. This spectral modeling provides a platform for direct comparison with the novel dataset to be provided by IRIS, particularly in the context of jets and flares.

  3. 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.

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

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Moore, Ronald L.

    2010-01-01

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

  5. 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

  6. Reconnection Diffusion in Turbulent Fluids and Its Implications for Star Formation

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lazarian, A.

    2014-05-01

    Astrophysical fluids are turbulent a fact which changes the dynamics of many key processes, including magnetic reconnection. Fast reconnection of magnetic field in turbulent fluids allows the field to change its topology and connections. As a result, the traditional concept of magnetic fields being frozen into the plasma is no longer applicable. Plasma associated with a given magnetic field line at one instant is distributed along a different set of magnetic field lines at the next instant. This diffusion of plasmas and magnetic field is enabled by reconnection and therefore is termed "reconnection diffusion". The astrophysical implications of this concept include heat transfer in plasmas, advection of heavy elements in interstellar medium, magnetic field generation etc. However, the most dramatic implications of the concept are related to the star formation process. The reason is that magnetic fields are dynamically important for most of the stages of star formation. The existing theory of star formation has been developed ignoring the possibility of reconnection diffusion. Instead, it appeals to the decoupling of mass and magnetic field arising from neutrals drifting in respect to ions entrained on magnetic field lines, i.e. through the process that is termed "ambipolar diffusion". The predictions of ambipolar diffusion and reconnection diffusion are very different. For instance, if the ionization of media is high, ambipolar diffusion predicts that the coupling of mass and magnetic field is nearly perfect. At the same time, reconnection diffusion is independent of the ionization but depends on the scale of the turbulent eddies and on the turbulent velocities. In the paper we explain the physics of reconnection diffusion both from macroscopic and microscopic points of view, i.e. appealing to the reconnection of flux tubes and to the diffusion of magnetic field lines. We make use of the Lazarian and Vishniac (Astrophys. J. 517:700, 1999) theory of magnetic

  7. Magnetic reconnection in a compressible MHD plasma

    SciTech Connect

    Hesse, Michael; Zenitani, Seiji; Birn, Joachim

    2011-04-15

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

  8. Simulating Magnetotail Reconnection in the Presence of a Significant Guide Field

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ashour-Abdalla, Maha; Lapenta, Giovanni; Walker, Raymond; El-Alaoui, Mostafa; Liang, Haoming; Zhou, Meng; Berchem, Jean; Goldstein, Melvyn

    2016-04-01

    For a large number of solar wind driven substorms a significant guide field is present in the magnetotail. We have developed a new simulation approach for magnetotail reconnection in which we combine results from global magnetohydrodynamic simulations of the solar wind, magnetosphere and ionosphere system with large-scale 3D particle-in-cell simulations of the magnetotail. In this approach we first run a global MHD simulation driven by upstream solar wind observations. Then we use the results from the MHD simulation to set the initial and boundary conditions of a large-scale PIC simulation. We have selected the iPIC3D kinetic code to go along with the UCLA global simulation model. Our approach allows us to investigate indicators of reconnection in a realistic magnetospheric configuration, which is essential to determine the dynamics of the substorm process, in particular the evolution of reconnection and dipolarization fronts. In preparation for the MMS phase in the magnetotail, we have developed an analysis system with multiprobes so we can directly compare the simulation results with MMS observations and have applied our multiscale simulation approach to the solar wind driven substorm observed on March 1, 2008. This substorm was characterized by a significant guide field. In the PIC simulation fast but episodic reconnection is found in the near-Earth tail. The reconnection has a complex 3D structure. When normalized by the Alfvén speed and magnetic field magnitude, the reconnection rate although highly variable oscillates about the expected value of 0.1. The location of reconnection also is highly variable. In the simulation it moves several RE across the tail in less than two minutes. We have evaluated several indicators of reconnection and find that agyrotropy (or non-gyrotropy) is the most reliable indicator.

  9. Gravitational Instability in Collisionless Cosmological Pancakes

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Valinia, Azita; Shapiro, Paul R.; Martel, Hugo; Vishniac, Ethan T.

    1997-04-01

    The gravitational instability of cosmological pancakes composed of collisionless dark matter in an Einstein-de Sitter universe is investigated numerically to demonstrate that pancakes are unstable with respect to fragmentation and the formation of filaments. A ``pancake'' is defined here as the nonlinear outcome of the growth of a one-dimensional, sinusoidal, plane-wave, adiabatic density perturbation. We have used high-resolution, two-dimensional, N-body simulations by the particle mesh (PM) method to study the response of pancakes to perturbation by either symmetric (density) or antisymmetric (bending or rippling) modes, with corresponding wavevectors ks and ka transverse to the wavevector kp of the unperturbed pancake plane wave. We consider dark matter that is initially ``cold'' (i.e., with no random thermal velocity in the initial conditions). We also investigate the effect of a finite, random, isotropic, initial velocity dispersion (i.e., initial thermal velocity) on the fate of pancake collapse and instability. Our results include the following: (1) For ``cold'' initial conditions, pancakes are gravitationally unstable with respect to all perturbations of wavenumber k >~ 1 (where k = λp/λ, and λp and λ are the wavelengths of the unperturbed pancake and of the perturbation, respectively). This is contrary to the expectations of an approximate, thin-sheet energy argument applied to the results of one-dimensional pancake simulations. The latter predicts that unstable wavenumbers are restricted to the range kmin < k < kmax, where perturbations with k < kmin ~ 1 are stabilized by Hubble expansion, while those with k > kmax > 1 are stabilized by the one-dimensional velocity dispersion of the collisionless particles along the direction of pancake collapse, within the region of shell crossing. (2) Shortly after the pancake first reaches a nonlinear state of collapse, the dimensionless growth rate of the perturbation of pancake surface density by unstable

  10. 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.

  11. 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.

  12. 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.

  13. 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.

  14. Magnetopause-foreshock interactions induced by dayside reconnection

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Pfau-Kempf, Yann; Hietala, Heli; Hoilijoki, Sanni; Palmroth, Minna; Ganse, Urs; Sandroos, Arto; Hannuksela, Otto; von Alfthan, Sebastian; Vainio, Rami

    2016-04-01

    We investigate the effects of dayside reconnection events on the bow shock in global hybrid-Vlasov simulations of the terrestrial magnetosphere. Using the Finnish Meteorological Institute's hybrid-Vlasov model Vlasiator (http://vlasiator.fmi.fi), which couples kinetic ions through Vlasov's equation with charge-neutralising fluid electrons, the solar wind-magnetosphere interaction is modelled self-consistently in two spatial and three velocity dimensions. Recent polar plane simulations with southward IMF cover both the dayside and nightside reconnection sites, in a volume ranging from about 40 Earth radii (RE) upstream to about one hundred RE downstream. Dayside reconnection at the magnetopause results in the formation of the two-dimensional equivalents of flux transfer events. These magnetic islands are accelerated and move from the subsolar region towards the cusps and beyond. In doing so, they generate fast-mode waves ahead and behind, which propagate throughout the magnetosheath and can lead to significant perturbations in the bow shock shape and position. We investigate such simulated events and their signatures in the magnetosheath, at the bow shock and in the foreshock. We also analyse observational data to find similar signatures in spacecraft measurements and discuss the requirements for THOR instruments if they were to be able to fully characterise such an event.

  15. Turbulent dynamo in a collisionless plasma.

    PubMed

    Rincon, François; Califano, Francesco; Schekochihin, Alexander A; Valentini, Francesco

    2016-04-12

    Magnetic fields pervade the entire universe and affect the formation and evolution of astrophysical systems from cosmological to planetary scales. The generation and dynamical amplification of extragalactic magnetic fields through cosmic times (up to microgauss levels reported in nearby galaxy clusters, near equipartition with kinetic energy of plasma motions, and on scales of at least tens of kiloparsecs) are major puzzles largely unconstrained by observations. A dynamo effect converting kinetic flow energy into magnetic energy is often invoked in that context; however, extragalactic plasmas are weakly collisional (as opposed to magnetohydrodynamic fluids), and whether magnetic field growth and sustainment through an efficient turbulent dynamo instability are possible in such plasmas is not established. Fully kinetic numerical simulations of the Vlasov equation in a 6D-phase space necessary to answer this question have, until recently, remained beyond computational capabilities. Here, we show by means of such simulations that magnetic field amplification by dynamo instability does occur in a stochastically driven, nonrelativistic subsonic flow of initially unmagnetized collisionless plasma. We also find that the dynamo self-accelerates and becomes entangled with kinetic instabilities as magnetization increases. The results suggest that such a plasma dynamo may be realizable in laboratory experiments, support the idea that intracluster medium turbulence may have significantly contributed to the amplification of cluster magnetic fields up to near-equipartition levels on a timescale shorter than the Hubble time, and emphasize the crucial role of multiscale kinetic physics in high-energy astrophysical plasmas. PMID:27035981

  16. Tether-Induced Airglow: Collisionless Effects

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Mishin, E. V.; Khazanov, G. V.

    2006-01-01

    Martinez-Sanchez and Sanmartin [1997] showed that a bare conducting tether can be used as a source of an energetic electron beam. Interacting with the E region atmosphere, the beam should produce airglow thus making possible to deduce the neutral density on a continuous basis. Fujii et al. [2005] suggested that this idea be tested in a specially-designed sounding rocket experiment. We show that collisionless beam-plasma interactions (BPI) complement direct impact, leading to appreciable green-line (557.7 nm) emissions in the F region. In the E region, BPI develops near the entry in the valley, resulting in a narrow layer of strongly-elevated and airglow. Besides, neutralizing electric currents carried by ionospheric electrons in the valley can become unstable or even insufficient to compensate the beam current. Developing plasma waves inhibit neutralizing currents. In the extreme case, the beam might be locked in the valley (the 'virtual cathode'). In addition to optical observations, these effects can also be observed by radiophysical means.

  17. Turbulent dynamo in a collisionless plasma

    PubMed Central

    Rincon, François; Califano, Francesco; Schekochihin, Alexander A.; Valentini, Francesco

    2016-01-01

    Magnetic fields pervade the entire universe and affect the formation and evolution of astrophysical systems from cosmological to planetary scales. The generation and dynamical amplification of extragalactic magnetic fields through cosmic times (up to microgauss levels reported in nearby galaxy clusters, near equipartition with kinetic energy of plasma motions, and on scales of at least tens of kiloparsecs) are major puzzles largely unconstrained by observations. A dynamo effect converting kinetic flow energy into magnetic energy is often invoked in that context; however, extragalactic plasmas are weakly collisional (as opposed to magnetohydrodynamic fluids), and whether magnetic field growth and sustainment through an efficient turbulent dynamo instability are possible in such plasmas is not established. Fully kinetic numerical simulations of the Vlasov equation in a 6D-phase space necessary to answer this question have, until recently, remained beyond computational capabilities. Here, we show by means of such simulations that magnetic field amplification by dynamo instability does occur in a stochastically driven, nonrelativistic subsonic flow of initially unmagnetized collisionless plasma. We also find that the dynamo self-accelerates and becomes entangled with kinetic instabilities as magnetization increases. The results suggest that such a plasma dynamo may be realizable in laboratory experiments, support the idea that intracluster medium turbulence may have significantly contributed to the amplification of cluster magnetic fields up to near-equipartition levels on a timescale shorter than the Hubble time, and emphasize the crucial role of multiscale kinetic physics in high-energy astrophysical plasmas. PMID:27035981

  18. Turbulent dynamo in a collisionless plasma

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Rincon, François; Califano, Francesco; Schekochihin, Alexander A.; Valentini, Francesco

    2016-04-01

    Magnetic fields pervade the entire universe and affect the formation and evolution of astrophysical systems from cosmological to planetary scales. The generation and dynamical amplification of extragalactic magnetic fields through cosmic times (up to microgauss levels reported in nearby galaxy clusters, near equipartition with kinetic energy of plasma motions, and on scales of at least tens of kiloparsecs) are major puzzles largely unconstrained by observations. A dynamo effect converting kinetic flow energy into magnetic energy is often invoked in that context; however, extragalactic plasmas are weakly collisional (as opposed to magnetohydrodynamic fluids), and whether magnetic field growth and sustainment through an efficient turbulent dynamo instability are possible in such plasmas is not established. Fully kinetic numerical simulations of the Vlasov equation in a 6D-phase space necessary to answer this question have, until recently, remained beyond computational capabilities. Here, we show by means of such simulations that magnetic field amplification by dynamo instability does occur in a stochastically driven, nonrelativistic subsonic flow of initially unmagnetized collisionless plasma. We also find that the dynamo self-accelerates and becomes entangled with kinetic instabilities as magnetization increases. The results suggest that such a plasma dynamo may be realizable in laboratory experiments, support the idea that intracluster medium turbulence may have significantly contributed to the amplification of cluster magnetic fields up to near-equipartition levels on a timescale shorter than the Hubble time, and emphasize the crucial role of multiscale kinetic physics in high-energy astrophysical plasmas.

  19. Turbulent dynamo in a collisionless plasma.

    PubMed

    Rincon, François; Califano, Francesco; Schekochihin, Alexander A; Valentini, Francesco

    2016-04-12

    Magnetic fields pervade the entire universe and affect the formation and evolution of astrophysical systems from cosmological to planetary scales. The generation and dynamical amplification of extragalactic magnetic fields through cosmic times (up to microgauss levels reported in nearby galaxy clusters, near equipartition with kinetic energy of plasma motions, and on scales of at least tens of kiloparsecs) are major puzzles largely unconstrained by observations. A dynamo effect converting kinetic flow energy into magnetic energy is often invoked in that context; however, extragalactic plasmas are weakly collisional (as opposed to magnetohydrodynamic fluids), and whether magnetic field growth and sustainment through an efficient turbulent dynamo instability are possible in such plasmas is not established. Fully kinetic numerical simulations of the Vlasov equation in a 6D-phase space necessary to answer this question have, until recently, remained beyond computational capabilities. Here, we show by means of such simulations that magnetic field amplification by dynamo instability does occur in a stochastically driven, nonrelativistic subsonic flow of initially unmagnetized collisionless plasma. We also find that the dynamo self-accelerates and becomes entangled with kinetic instabilities as magnetization increases. The results suggest that such a plasma dynamo may be realizable in laboratory experiments, support the idea that intracluster medium turbulence may have significantly contributed to the amplification of cluster magnetic fields up to near-equipartition levels on a timescale shorter than the Hubble time, and emphasize the crucial role of multiscale kinetic physics in high-energy astrophysical plasmas.

  20. Energy dissipation and scaling of the electron diffusion region by MMS during asymmetric reconnection

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Argall, Matthew; Torbert, Roy; Lindqvist, Per-Arne; Khotyaintsev, Yuri; Ergun, Robert; Giles, Barbara; Pollock, Craig; Gershman, Dan; Russell, Chris; Strangeway, Robert; Magnes, Werner

    2016-04-01

    In-situ measurements of the electron diffusion region (EDR) during magnetic reconnection are essential to our understanding of energy dissipation in collisionless plasmas. The Magnetosphere Multiscale mission consists of four spacecraft in a tetrahedron formation with an average inter-spacecraft separation as small as 2-5 electron inertial lengths, allowing for the first time a multi-satellite exploration of the EDR. We study the EDR at the magnetopause under a variety of plasma and field asymmetries, particularly density, to understand how the thickness of the dissipation region scales as a function of local and upstream parameters. Current density and energy dissipation are computed using both spatial gradient techniques and individual spacecraft measurements. The thickness of the dissipation region is then compared over several encounters of the EDR.

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

    SciTech Connect

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

    2015-03-15

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

  2. Intense laser driven collision-less shock and ion acceleration in magnetized plasmas

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Mima, K.; Jia, Q.; Cai, H. B.; Taguchi, T.; Nagatomo, H.; Sanz, J. R.; Honrubia, J.

    2016-05-01

    The generation of strong magnetic field with a laser driven coil has been demonstrated by many experiments. It is applicable to the magnetized fast ignition (MFI), the collision-less shock in the astrophysics and the ion shock acceleration. In this paper, the longitudinal magnetic field effect on the shock wave driven by the radiation pressure of an intense short pulse laser is investigated by theory and simulations. The transition of a laminar shock (electro static shock) to the turbulent shock (electromagnetic shock) occurs, when the external magnetic field is applied in near relativistic cut-off density plasmas. This transition leads to the enhancement of conversion of the laser energy into high energy ions. The enhancement of the conversion efficiency is important for the ion driven fast ignition and the laser driven neutron source. It is found that the total number of ions reflected by the shock increases by six time when the magnetic field is applied.

  3. 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.

  4. Development of bifurcated current sheets in solar wind reconnection exhausts

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Mistry, R.; Eastwood, J. P.; Phan, T. D.; Hietala, H.

    2015-12-01

    Petschek-type reconnection is expected to result in bifurcations of reconnection current sheets. In contrast, Hall reconnection simulations show smooth changes in the reconnecting magnetic field. Here we study three solar wind reconnection events where different spacecraft sample oppositely directed reconnection exhausts from a common reconnection site. The spacecraft's relative separations and measurements of the exhaust width are used to geometrically calculate each spacecraft's distance from the X line. We find that in all cases spacecraft farthest from the X line observe clearly bifurcated reconnection current sheets, while spacecraft nearer to the X line do not. These observations suggest that clear bifurcations of reconnection current sheets occur at large distances from the X line (~1000 ion skin depths) and that Petschek-type signatures are less developed close to the reconnection site. This may imply that fully developed bifurcations of reconnection current sheets are unlikely to be observed in the near-Earth magnetotail.

  5. Driving Weibel-mediated collisionless shocks with NIF

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Fiuza, Frederico; Spitkovsky, Anatoly; Ryutov, Dmitri; Ross, Steven; Huntington, Channing; Mori, Warren; Silva, Luis; Park, Hye-Sook; Remington, Bruce

    2013-10-01

    Collisionless shocks are ubiquitous in astrophysical plasmas and are known to be responsible for particle acceleration; however, the microphysics underlying shock formation and particle acceleration is not yet fully understood. High-power lasers are bringing the study of collisionless shocks into the realm of laboratory experiments. In particular, the National Ignition Facility allows for the generation of collisionless plasma flows that are hundreds of ion skin-depths long and provides ideal conditions for the study of Weibel-mediated shocks. We have performed detailed 2D and 3D particle-in-cell simulations with OSIRIS to explore the laboratory conditions associated with counter-streaming high-velocity plasma flows for realistic profiles. We have modeled the proton radiography of the interaction for self-consistent fields and determined the experimental signatures of the generation of Weibel B-fields and collisionless shocks. We will discuss the importance of modeling realistic ion to electron mass ratios and of taking into account Biermann battery B-fields. Our work identifies the conditions for the formation of collisionless shocks in laboratory, both in unmagnetized and magnetized scenarios, showing the possibility of observing for the first time Weibel-mediated shocks in near future experiments.

  6. Shearing Box Simulations of the MRI in a Collisionless Plasma

    SciTech Connect

    Sharma, Prateek; Hammett, Gregory, W.; Quataert, Eliot; Stone, James, M.

    2005-08-31

    We describe local shearing box simulations of turbulence driven by the magnetorotational instability (MRI) in a collisionless plasma. Collisionless effects may be important in radiatively inefficient accretion flows, such as near the black hole in the Galactic Center. The MHD version of ZEUS is modified to evolve an anisotropic pressure tensor. A fluid closure approximation is used to calculate heat conduction along magnetic field lines. The anisotropic pressure tensor provides a qualitatively new mechanism for transporting angular momentum in accretion flows (in addition to the Maxwell and Reynolds stresses). We estimate limits on the pressure anisotropy due to pitch angle scattering by kinetic instabilities. Such instabilities provide an effective ''collision'' rate in a collisionless plasma and lead to more MHD-like dynamics. We find that the MRI leads to efficient growth of the magnetic field in a collisionless plasma, with saturation amplitudes comparable to those in MHD. In the saturated state, the anisotropic stress is comparable to the Maxwell stress, implying that the rate of angular momentum transport may be moderately enhanced in a collisionless plasma.

  7. Simulation of the 3-D Evolution of Electron Scale Magnetic Reconnection - Motivated by Laboratory Experiments Predictions for MMS

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Buechner, J.; Jain, N.; Sharma, A.

    2013-12-01

    The four s/c of the Magnetospheric Multiscale (MMS) mission, to be launched in 2014, will use the Earth's magnetosphere as a laboratory to study the microphysics of three fundamental plasma processes. One of them is magnetic reconnection, an essentially multi-scale process. While laboratory experiments and past theoretical investigations have shown that important processes necessary to understand magnetic reconnection take place at electron scales the MMS mission for the first time will be able to resolve these scales by in space observations. For the measurement strategy of MMS it is important to make specific predictions of the behavior of current sheets with a thickness of the order of the electron skin depth which play an important role in the evolution of collisionless magnetic reconnection. Since these processes are highly nonlinear and non-local numerical simulation is needed to specify the current sheet evolution. Here we present new results about the nonlinear evolution of electron-scale current sheets starting from the linear stage and using 3-D electron-magnetohydrodynamic (EMHD) simulations. The growth rates of the simulated instabilities compared well with the growth rates obtained from linear theory. Mechanisms and conditions of the formation of flux ropes and of current filamentation will be discussed in comparison with the results of fully kinetic simulations. In 3D the X- and O-point configurations of the magnetic field formed in reconnection planes alternate along the out-of-reconnection-plane direction with the wavelength of the unstable mode. In the presence of multiple reconnection sites, the out-of-plane magnetic field can develop nested structure of quadrupoles in reconnection planes, similar to the 2-D case, but now with variations in the out-of-plane direction. The structures of the electron flow and magnetic field in 3-D simulations will be compared with those in 2-D simulations to discriminate the essentially 3D features. We also discuss

  8. Numerical Investigations of Reconnection of Quantized Vortices

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Rorai, Cecilia; Fisher, Michael E.; Lathrop, Daniel P.; Sreenivasan, Katepalli R.; Kerr, Robert M.

    2011-11-01

    Reconnection of quantized vortices in superfluid helium was conjectured by Feynman in 1955, and first observed experimentally by Bewley et al. (PNAS 105, 13708, 2007). The nature of this phenomenon is quantum mechanical, involving atomically thin vortex cores. At the same time, this phenomenon influences the large scale dynamics, since a tangle of vortices can change topology through reconnection and evolve in time. Numerically, the Gross-Pitaevskii (GP) equation allows detailed predictions of vortex reconnection as first shown by Koplik and Levine (1993). We have undertaken further calculations to characterize the dynamics of isolated reconnection events. Initial conditions have been analyzed carefully, different geometries have been considered and a new approach has been proposed. This approach consists in using the diffusion equation associated to the GP equation to set minimum energy initial vortex profiles. The underlying questions we wish to answer are the universality of vortex reconnection and its effect on energy dissipation to the phonon field.

  9. ICPP: Collisionless shock and supernova remnant simulation experiments on VULCAN.

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Woolsey, Nigel C.

    2000-10-01

    The VULCAN laser at the Central Laser Facility is used for laboratory-based simulations of collisionless shocks. One of the most difficult aspects of collisionless shock behaviour, the role of the magnetic field, is to be tested directly against experiment. Preliminary experiments to generate strong magnetic fields using a laser-driven mm-scale Helmholtz coil, and the formation of collisionless colliding plasmas using two counter-streaming exploding foil plasmas will be discussed. We consider the scaling of the hydrodynamics and magnetic field of the these experiments to those in supernova remnants (SNR) impacting the interstellar medium (ISM). This is achieved by ensuring the experiment and the SNR-ISM exhibit similar values of key dimensionless parameters. Work supported in part by EPSRC, CLF Direct Access, CEC-ERB FMR XCT 980168, Euratom and the UK DTI.

  10. Low Frequency Waves at and Upstream of Collisionless Shocks

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wilson, L. B.

    2016-02-01

    This chapter focuses on the range of low frequency electromagnetic modes observed at and upstream of collisionless shocks in the heliosphere. It discusses a specific class of whistler mode wave observed immediately upstream of collisionless shock ramps, called a whistler precursor. Though these modes have been (and are often) observed upstream of quasi-parallel shocks, the authors limit their discussion to those observed upstream of quasi-perpendicular shocks. The chapter discusses the various ion velocity distributions observed at and upstream of collisionless shocks. It also introduces some terminology and relevant instabilities for ion foreshock waves. The chapter discusses the most common ultra-low frequency (ULF) wave types, their properties, and their free energy sources. It discusses modes that are mostly Alfvénic (i.e., mostly transverse but can be compressive) in nature.

  11. Laboratory Study of Magnetic Reconnection in 3D Geometry Relevant to Magnetopause and Magnetotail

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ren, Y.; Lu, Q.; Ji, H.; Mao, A.; Wang, X.; E, P.; Wang, Z.; Xiao, Q.; Ding, W.; Zheng, J.

    2015-12-01

    Laboratory Study of Magnetic Reconnection in 3D Geometry Relevant to Magnetopause and Magnetotail Y. Ren1,2, Quaming Lu3, Hantao Ji1,2, Aohua Mao1, Xiaogang Wang1, Peng E1, Zhibin Wang1, Qingmei Xiao1, Weixing Ding4, Jinxing Zheng51 Harbin Institute of Technology, Harbin, China2 Princeton Plasma Physics Laboratory, Princeton University, Princeton, NJ 08543 3University of Science and Technology of China, Hefei, China 4University of California at Los Angeles, Los Angeles, CA, 90095 5ASIPP, Hefei, China A new magnetic reconnection experiment, Harbin reconnection eXperiment (HRX), is currently being designed as a key part of Space Plasma Environment Research Facility (SPERF) at Harbin Institute of Technology in Harbin, China. HRX aims to provide a unique experimental platform for studying reconnections in 3D geometry relevant to magnetopause and magnetotail to address: the role of electron and ion-scale dynamics in the current sheet; particle and energy transfer from magnetosheath to magnetosphere; particle energization/heating mechanisms during magnetic reconnection; 3D effects in fast reconnection, e.g. the role of 3D magnetic null point. HRX employs a unique set of coils to generate the required 3D magnetic geometry and provides a wide range of plasma parameters. Here, important motivating scientific problems are reviewed and the physics design of HRX is presented, including plasma parameters determined from Vlasov scaling law, reconnection scenarios explored using vacuum magnetic field calculations and numerical simulations of HRX using hybrid and MHD codes. Plasma diagnostics plan and engineering design of important coils will also be briefly presented.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2016-01-01

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

  13. Ion-scale secondary island flux-ropes in magnetopause reconnection as resolved by MMS

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Eastwood, Jonathan

    2016-04-01

    Magnetic reconnection on the dayside magnetopause of the Earth's magnetosphere leads to the formation of flux transfer events (FTEs), whose primary signature is a bipolar variation in the component of the magnetic field perpendicular to the magnetopause plane. Many FTEs exhibit a flux rope type structure, and several different formation mechanisms have been proposed, including: as a consequence of patchy reconnection; bursty reconnection at a single X-line; or multiple X-line reconnection. Here we present new observations from the four-spacecraft Magnetospheric MultiScale mission of FTE-type structure observed at the dayside magnetopause. These FTE structures last only a few seconds, and are embedded in a reconnection jet that is close to a reconnection X-line. They are identified as flux rope type islands produced by secondary reconnection processes. We examine the structure and properties of the flux ropes using multispacecraft techniques applied to the MMS data where the spacecraft were separated by only 10 km. Measurements of the ion and electron from the Fast Plasma Instrument are used to calculate the flux rope current density and this is compared with current densities calculated from the four-point magnetic field measurements. The velocity moments together with measurements of the electric and magnetic field are also used to examine the sub-structure of the flux rope and assess differences in the ion and electron behaviour inside the flux rope on ion-scales and below. This reveals flux-rope sub-structure in new detail which is compared with the output of particle-in-cell simulation.

  14. Laboratory astrophysical collisionless shock experiments with interpenetrating plasma flows on Omega and NIF

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ross, James; Park, H.-S.; Huntington, C.; Ryutov, D.; Drake, R. P.; Froula, D.; Gregori, G.; Levy, M.; Lamb, D.; Fiuza, F.; Petrasso, R.; Li, C.; Zylastra, A.; Rinderknecht, H.; Sakawa, Y.; Spitkovsky, A.

    2015-11-01

    Shock formation from high-Mach number plasma flows is observed in many astrophysical objects such as supernova remnants and gamma ray bursts. These are collisionless shocks as the ion-ion collision mean free path is much larger than the system size. It is believed that seed magnetic fields can be generated on a cosmologically fast timescale via the Weibel instability when such environments are initially unmagnetized. Here we present laboratory experiments using high-power lasers whose ultimate goal is to investigate the dynamics of collisionless shock formation in two interpenetrating plasma streams. Particle-in-cell numerical simulations have confirmed that the strength and structure of the generated magnetic field are consistent with the Weibel mediated electromagnetic nature and that the inferred magnetization level could be as high as ~ 1%. This paper will review recent experimental results from various laser facilities as well as the simulation results and the theoretical understanding of these observations. Taken together, these results imply that electromagnetic instabilities can be significant in both inertial fusion and astrophysical conditions. We will present results from initial NIF experiments, where we observe the neutrons and x-rays generated from the hot plasmas at the center of weakly collisional, counterstreaming flows. Prepared by LLNL under Contract DE-AC52-07NA27344.

  15. Stellar dynamics around a massive black hole - I. Secular collisionless theory

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Sridhar, S.; Touma, Jihad R.

    2016-06-01

    We present a theory in three parts, of the secular dynamics of a (Keplerian) stellar system of mass M orbiting a black hole of mass M• ≫ M. Here we describe the collisionless dynamics; Papers II and III are on the (collisional) theory of resonant relaxation. The mass ratio, ε = M/M• ≪ 1, is a natural small parameter implying a separation of time-scales between the short Kepler orbital periods and the longer orbital precessional periods. The collisionless Boltzmann equation (CBE) for the stellar distribution function (DF) is averaged over the fast Kepler orbital phase using the method of multiple scales. The orbit-averaged system is described by a secular DF, F, in a reduced phase space. F obeys a secular CBE that includes stellar self-gravity, general relativistic corrections up to 1.5 post-Newtonian order, and external sources varying over secular times. Secular dynamics, even with general time dependence, conserves the semimajor axis of every star. This additional integral of motion promotes extra regularity of the stellar orbits, and enables the construction of equilibria, F0, through a secular Jeans theorem. A linearized secular CBE determines the response and stability of F0. Spherical, non-rotating equilibria may support long-lived, warp-like distortions. We also prove that an axisymmetric, zero-thickness, flat disc is secularly stable to all in-plane perturbations, when its DF, F0, is a monotonic function of the angular momentum at fixed energy.

  16. Collisionless loss-cone refilling: there is no final parsec problem

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Gualandris, Alessia; Read, Justin I.; Dehnen, Walter; Bortolas, Elisa

    2016-10-01

    Coalescing massive black hole binaries, formed during galaxy mergers, are expected to be a primary source of low frequency gravitational waves. Yet in isolated gas-free spherical stellar systems, the hardening of the binary stalls at parsec-scale separations owing to the inefficiency of relaxation-driven loss-cone refilling. Repopulation via collisionless orbit diffusion in triaxial systems is more efficient, but published simulation results are contradictory. While sustained hardening has been reported in simulations of galaxy mergers with N ˜ 106 stars and in early simulations of rotating models, in isolated non-rotating triaxial models the hardening rate continues to fall with increasing N, a signature of spurious two-body relaxation. We present a novel approach for studying loss cone repopulation in galactic nuclei. Since loss cone repopulation in triaxial systems owes to orbit diffusion, it is a purely collisionless phenomenon and can be studied with an approximated force calculation technique, provided the force errors are well behaved and sufficiently small. We achieve this using an accurate fast multipole method and define a proxy for the hardening rate that depends only on stellar angular momenta. We find that the loss cone is efficiently replenished even in very mildly triaxial models (with axis ratios 1 : 0.9 : 0.8). Such triaxiality is unavoidable following galactic mergers and can drive binaries into the gravitational wave regime. We conclude that there is no `final parsec problem'.

  17. 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.

  18. Progress on study of unusual structure of electrostatic solitary waves associated with magnetic reconnection in the near-Earth magnetotail

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Li, Shiyou; Chen, Xiaoqian; Guo, Jianming

    2016-07-01

    The electrostatic solitary waves (ESWs) have been widely observed and studied for many years. In the magnetic reconnection process, ESWs are regarded as one kind of means for the fast energy release by outward propagating electrons along re-connecting magnetic field lines. In this report, we present observation evidences of two kinds of unusual structures of ESWs associated with magnetic reconnection in the near-Earth magnetotail, including the 2-D ESWs and the tri-polar ESWs. First of all, more than 300 of electrostatic solitary waves (ESWs) with large perpendicular component which is bi-polar waveform structure are observed in the boundary layer within magnetic reconnection diffusion region in the near-Earth magnetotail. Such kinds of ESWs are named as 2-D ESWs. Singe-Reconnection-Based-Statistical study of 2-D ESWs is performed. Secondly, more than 200 waveforms with clear tri-polar characteristics are differentiated along the plasma sheet boundary layer near the magnetic reconnection X-line in the near-Earth magnetotail. Within reconnection diffusion region, the tri-polar ESWs are ample and are continuously observed during one burst interval (8.75 seconds) of the Geotail/WFC in the neutral plasma sheet where and thus the tri-polar ESW is suggested to be one kind of steady-going solitary structure. Statistical analysis to the characteristics of tri-polar ESWs will also be carried out. The observation of 2-D ESWs and the tri-polar ESWs presents evidence of complex structure of electron holes within the reconnection diffusion region and is helpful to the understanding of the energy release process of reconnection.

  19. 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.

  20. 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.

  1. Plans for a 3D reconnection experiment

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bellan, Paul

    2010-11-01

    Plasma-filled, current-carrying magnetic flux tubes are the essence of tokamaks, RFP's, spheromaks, solar coronal loops, and astrophysical jets. Relevant behaviors/issues are magnetic helicity content and injection, motion of the tube axis (hoop force, kinking), plasma confinement (balance between hydrodynamic pressure and pinch force), axial jet flows (acceleration and stagnation), waves, particle orbits, reconnection, and open v. closed field lines. These behaviors/issues and their mutual interaction are being investigated via Alfven time-scale imaging and conventional diagnostics in highly reproducible experiments having the simplest relevant geometry. High-speed movies clearly show flux tube kinking, motion of the flux tube axis due to hoop force, axial jet flows, an unusual particle orbit associated with flows counter to the electrical current, and reconnection between adjacent co- or counter-helicity flux tubes. A new experiment now under construction will have two slightly offset plasma-filled, current carrying flux tubes locally reconnect in 3D to form a single long flux tube. The setup requires two floating power supplies to drive the pre-reconnection currents as post-reconnection the power supplies become series-connected. A means for overcoming the topologically unavoidable mutual repulsion between the pre-reconnection currents is also required. It is anticipated that Alfven waves will radiate from the 3D localized reconnection region.

  2. Evidence for Gradual External Reconnection Before Explosive Eruption of a Solar Filament

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Sterling, Alphonse C.; Moore, Ronald L.

    2004-01-01

    We observe a slowly evolving quiet-region solar eruption of 1999 April 18, using extreme-ultraviolet (EUV) images from the EUV Imaging Telescope (EIT) on the Solar and Heliospheric Observatory (SOHO) and soft X-ray images from the Soft X-ray Telescope (SXT) on Yohkoh. Using difference images, in which an early image is subtracted from later images, we examine dimmings and brightenings in the region for evidence of the eruption mechanism. A filament rose slowly at about 1 km/s for 6 hours before being rapidly ejected at about 16 km/s leaving flare brightenings and postflare loops in its wake. Magnetograms from the Michelson Doppler Imager (MDI) on SOHO show that the eruption occurred in a large quadrupolar magnetic region with the filament located on the neutral line of the quadrupole s central inner lobe between the inner two of the four polarity domains. In step with the slow rise, subtle EIT dimmings commence and gradually increase over the two polarity domains on one side of the filament, i.e., in some of the loops of one of the two sidelobes of the quadrupole. Concurrently, soft X-ray brightenings gradually increase in both sidelobes. Both of these effects suggest heating in the sidelobe magnetic arcades. which gradually increase over several hours before the fast eruption. Also, during the slow pre- eruption phase, SXT dimmings gradually increase in the feet and legs of the central lobe, indicating expansion of the central-lobe magnetic arcade enveloping the filament. During the rapid ejection. these dimmings rapidly grow in darkness and in area, especially in the ends of the sigmoid field that erupts with the filament. and flare brightenings begin underneath the fast-moving but still low-altitude filament. We consider two models for explaining the eruption: "breakout. which says that reconnection occurs high above the filament prior to eruption, and tether cutting, which says that the eruption is unleashed by reconnection beneath the filament. The pre

  3. Evidence for Gradual External Reconnection Before Explosive Eruption of a Solar Filament

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Sterling, Alphonse C.; Moore, Ronald L.

    2003-01-01

    We observe a slowly-evolving quiet region solar eruption of 1999 April 18, using EUV images from the EUV Imaging Telescope (EIT) on the Solar and Heliospheric Observatory (SOHO), and soft X-ray images from the Soft X-ray Telescope (SXT) on Yohkoh. Using difference images, where an early image is subtracted from later images, we examine dimmings and brightenings in the region for evidence of the eruption mechanism. A filament rose slowly at about 1 kilometer per second for six hours before being rapidly ejected at about 16 kilometers per second, leaving flare brightenings and post-flare loops in its wake. Magnetograms from the Michelson Doppler Imager (MDI) on SOHO show that the eruption occurred in a large quadrupo1ar magnetic region, with the filament located on the neutral line of the quadrupole's central inner lobe, between the inner two of the four polarity domains. In step with the slow rise, subtle EIT dimmings commence and gradually increase over the two polarity domains on one side of the filament, i.e. in some of the loops of one of the two side lobes of the quadrupole. Concurrently, soft X-ray brightenings gradually increase in both side lobes. Both of these effects suggest heating in the side-lobe magnetic arcades, which gradually increase over several hours before the fast eruption. Also during the slow pre-eruption phase, SXT dimmings gradually increase in the feet and legs of the central lobe, indicating expansion of the central-lobe magnetic arcade enveloping the filament. During the rapid ejection, these dimmings rapidly grow in darkness and in area, especially in the ends of the sigmoid field that erupts with the filament, and flare brightenings begin underneath the fast-moving but still low-altitude filament. We consider two models for explaining the eruption: "breakout," which says that reconnection occurs high above the filament prior to eruption, and tether cutting, which says that the eruption is unleashed by reconnection beneath the filament

  4. DIRECT OBSERVATIONS OF MAGNETIC RECONNECTION OUTFLOW AND CME TRIGGERING IN A SMALL ERUPTING SOLAR PROMINENCE

    SciTech Connect

    Reeves, Katharine K.; McCauley, Patrick I.; Tian, Hui

    2015-07-01

    We examine a small prominence eruption that occurred on 2014 May 1 at 01:35 UT and was observed by the Interface Region Imaging Spectrometer (IRIS) and the Atmospheric Imaging Assembly (AIA) on the Solar Dynamics Observatory. Pre- and post-eruption images were taken by the X-ray Telescope (XRT) on Hinode. Pre-eruption, a dome-like structure exists above the prominence, as demarcated by coronal rain. As the eruption progresses, we find evidence for reconnection between the prominence magnetic field and the overlying field. Fast flows are seen in AIA and IRIS, indicating reconnection outflows. Plane-of-sky flows of 300 km s{sup −1} are observed in the AIA 171 A channel along a potentially reconnected field line. IRIS detects intermittent fast line of sight flows of 200 km s{sup −1} coincident with the AIA flows. Differential emission measure calculations show heating at the origin of the fast flows. Post-eruption XRT images show hot loops probably due to reconfiguration of magnetic fields during the eruption and subsequent heating of plasma in these loops. Although there is evidence for reconnection above the prominence during the eruption, high spatial resolution images from IRIS reveal potential reconnection sites below the prominence. A height–time analysis of the erupting prominence shows a slow initial rise with a velocity of 0.4 km s{sup −1} followed by a rapid acceleration with a final velocity of 250 km s{sup −1}. Brightenings in IRIS during the transition between these two phases indicate the eruption trigger for the fast part of the eruption is likely a tether-cutting mechanism rather than a break-out mechanism.

  5. Physics of forced magnetic reconnection in coaxial helicity injection experiments in National Spherical Torus Experimenta)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2014-05-01

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

  6. 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.

  7. 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

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

    SciTech Connect

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

    2014-05-15

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

  9. IMAGING AND SPECTROSCOPIC OBSERVATIONS OF MAGNETIC RECONNECTION AND CHROMOSPHERIC EVAPORATION IN A SOLAR FLARE

    SciTech Connect

    Tian, Hui; Reeves, Katharine K.; Raymond, John C.; Chen, Bin; Murphy, Nicholas A.; Li, Gang; Guo, Fan; Liu, Wei

    2014-12-20

    Magnetic reconnection is believed to be the dominant energy release mechanism in solar flares. The standard flare model predicts both downward and upward outflow plasmas with speeds close to the coronal Alfvén speed. Yet, spectroscopic observations of such outflows, especially the downflows, are extremely rare. With observations of the newly launched Interface Region Imaging Spectrograph (IRIS), we report the detection of a greatly redshifted (∼125 km s{sup –1} along the line of sight) Fe XXI 1354.08 Å emission line with a ∼100 km s{sup –1} nonthermal width at the reconnection site of a flare. The redshifted Fe XXI feature coincides spatially with the loop-top X-ray source observed by RHESSI. We interpret this large redshift as the signature of downward-moving reconnection outflow/hot retracting loops. Imaging observations from both IRIS and the Atmospheric Imaging Assembly (AIA) on board the Solar Dynamics Observatory also reveal the eruption and reconnection processes. Fast downward-propagating blobs along these loops are also found from cool emission lines (e.g., Si IV, O IV, C II, Mg II) and images of AIA and IRIS. Furthermore, the entire Fe XXI line is blueshifted by ∼260 km s{sup –1} at the loop footpoints, where the cool lines mentioned above all exhibit obvious redshift, a result that is consistent with the scenario of chromospheric evaporation induced by downward-propagating nonthermal electrons from the reconnection site.

  10. NONTHERMALLY DOMINATED ELECTRON ACCELERATION DURING MAGNETIC RECONNECTION IN A LOW-β PLASMA

    SciTech Connect

    Li, Xiaocan; Li, Gang; Guo, Fan; Li, Hui

    2015-10-01

    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. 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.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2015-11-01

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

  12. Three-dimensional magnetic reconnection under coupling of tearing and lower-hybrid-drift instabilities

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hoshino, Masahiro

    2016-07-01

    Understanding of the particle acceleration and plasma heating in a current sheet is an important problem in space and astrophysical plasmas. So far the inertia resistivity associated with tearing instability and the current driven instability such as the lower hybrid drift instability (LHDI) have been discussed as possible candidates for the origin of microscopic process of magnetic energy dissipation. It is known that the inertia resistivity effectively works at the neutral sheet, while the LHDI is mainly excited in the plasma sheet boundary. Then it is commonly understood that the role of the LHDI to the magnetic field dissipation is less important than that of the inertia resistivity. However, the heated electrons together with the activity of lower hybrid drift waves are often observed in the plasma sheet boundary by modern satellite observations, and their impact on the magnetic field dissipation at the neutral sheet might not be necessarily neglected. In addition, the nonlinear coupling between them is not theoretically understood yet. In this talk, we study the coupling of the collisionless reconnection and the LHDI by using a three-dimensional PIC simulation, and discuss that the current driven instabilities dynamically play an important role on magnetic reconnection.

  13. Magnetic reconnection in a weakly ionized plasma

    SciTech Connect

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

    2013-06-15

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

  14. 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.

  15. External and Internal Reconnection in Two Filament-Carrying Magnetic-Cavity Solar Eruptions

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Sterling, Alphonse C.; Moore, Ronald L.

    2004-01-01

    We observe two near-limb solar filament eruptions, one of 2000 February 26 and the other of 2002 January 4. For both we use 195 A Fe XII images from the Extreme-Ultraviolet Imaging Telescope (EIT) and magnetograms from the Michelson Doppler Imager (MDI), both of which are on the Solar and Heliospheric Observatory (SOHO). For the earlier event we also use soft X-ray telescope (SXT), hard X-ray telescope (HXT), and Bragg Crystal Spectrometer (BCS) data from the Yohkoh satellite, and hard X-ray data from the BATSE experiment on the Compton Gamma Ra.v Observatory (CGRO). Both events occur in quadrupolar magnetic regions, and both have coronal features that we infer belong to the same magnetic cavity structures as the filaments. In both cases, the cavity and filament first rise slowly at approx.10 km/s prior to eruption and then accelerate to approx.100 km/s during the eruption, although the slow-rise movement for the higher altitude cavity elements is clearer in the later event. We estimate that both filaments and both cavities contain masses of approx.10(exp 14)-10(exp 15) and approx.10(exp 15)-10(exp 16) g, respectively. We consider whether two specific magnetic reconnection-based models for eruption onset, the "tether cutting" and the "breakout" models, are consistent with our observations. In the earlier event, soft X-rays from SXT show an intensity increase during the 12 minute interval over which fast eruption begins, which is consistent with tether- cutting-model predictions. Substantial hard X-rays, however, do not occur until after fast eruption is underway, and so this is a constraint the tether-cutting model must satisfy. During the same 12 minute interval over which fast eruption begins, there are brightenings and topological changes in the corona indicative of high-altitude reconnection early in the eruption, and this is consistent with breakout predictions. In both eruptions, the state of the overlying loops at the time of onset of the fast-rise phase of

  16. External and Internal Reconnection in Two Filament-Carrying Magnetic Cavity Solar Eruptions

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Sterling, Alphonse C.; Moore, Ronald L.

    2004-01-01

    We observe two near-limb solar filament eruptions. one of 2000 February 26 and the other of 2002 January 4. For both we use 195 A Fe XII images from the Extreme-Ultraviolet Imaging Telescope (EIT) and magnetograms from the Michelson Doppler Imager (MDI). both of which are on the Solar and Heliospheric Observatory. (SOHO). For the earlier event we also use soft X-ray telescope (SXT). hard X-ray telescope (HXT). and Bragg Crystal Spectrometer (BCS) data from the Yohkoh satellite. and hard X-ray data from the BATSE experiment on the Compton Gamma Ray Observatory. (CGRO). Both events occur in quadrupolar magnetic regions. and both have coronal features that we infer belong to the same magnetic cavity structures as the filaments. In both cases. the cavity and filament first rise slowly at approx. 10 km/s prior to eruption and then accelerate to approx. 100 km/s during the eruption. although the slow-rise movement for the higher altitude cavity elements is clearer in the later event. We estimate that both filaments and both cavities contain masses of approx. 10(exp14) - 1 0(exp 15) and approx. l0(exp 15) - l0(exp 16) g. respectively. We consider whether two specific magnetic reconnection-based models for eruption onset. the "tether cutting" and the "breakout" models. are consistent with our observations. In the earlier event, soft X-rays from SXT show an intensity increase during the 12 minute interval over which fast eruption begins. which is consistent with tether- cutting-model predictions. Substantial hard X-ray. however. do not occur until after fast eruption is underway. and so this is a constraint the tether-cutting model must satisfy. During the same 12 minute interval over which fast eruption begins, there are brightenings and topological changes in the corona indicative of high-altitude reconnection early in the eruption. and this is consistent with breakout predictions. In both eruptions. the state of the overlying loops at the time of onset of the fast

  17. External and Internal Reconnection in Two Filament-Carrying Magnetic-Cavity Solar Eruptions

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Sterling, Alphonse C.; Moore, Ronald L.

    2004-01-01

    We observe two near-limb solar filament eruptions, one of 2000 February 26 and the other of 2002 January 4. For both we use 195 Angstroms, Fe XII images from the Extreme-Ultraviolet Imaging Telescope (EIT) and magnetograms from the Michelson Doppler Imager (MDI), both of which are on the Solar arid Heliospheric Observatory (SOHO). For the earlier event we also use soft X-ray telescope (SXT), hard X-ray telescope (HXT), and Bragg Crystal Spectrometer (BCS) data from the Yohkoh satellite, and hard X-ray data from the BATSE experiment on the Compton Gamma Ray Observation, (CGRO). Both events occur in quadrupolar magnetic regions, and both have coronal features that we infer belong to the same magnetic cavity structures as the filaments. In both cases, the cavity and filament first rise slowly at approximately 10 kilometers per second prior to eruption and then accelerate to approximately 100 kilometers per second during the eruption, although the slow-rise movement for the higher altitude cavity elements is clearer in the later event. We estimate that both filaments and both cavities contain masses of approximately 10(exp 14)-10(exp 15) and approximately 10(exp 15)-10(exp 16)g, respectively. We consider whether two specific magnetic reconnection-based models for eruption onset, the tether cutting and the breakout models, are consistent with our observations. In the earlier event, soft X-rays from SXT show an intensity increase during the 12 minute interval over which fast eruption begins, which is consistent with tether-cutting-model predictions. Substantial hard X-rays, however, do not occur until after fast eruption is underway, and so this is a constraint the tether-cutting model must satisfy. During the same 12 minute interval over which fast eruption begins, there are brightenings and topological changes in the corona indicative of high-altitude reconnection early in the eruption, and this is consistent with breakout predictions. In both eruptions, the state of

  18. Asymmetric coupled interchange-ballooning dynamics during magnetic reconnection in the solar wind driven magnetosphere

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hassan, Ehab; Horton, W.; Hatch, D. R.; Agullo, O.; Muraglia, M.; Benkadda, S.; InstituteFusion Studies Collaboration; PIIM/CNRS, AMU, Marseille, France Collaboration

    2015-11-01

    Fast reconnection in the magnetosphere and the geomagnetic tail involves electron scale dynamics that includes the electron inertial scale length on the inner scale and the ion gyroradius on the outer scale. New forms of the partial differential equations for the electric and magnetic field during the fast interchange dynamics. Typical data is that of the fast reconnection with dominant electron heating reported in the Nakamura et al. from CLUSTER data. New formulas extend to smaller scales the previous simulations of Horton et al. [2007] for this event by including more electron dynamics and heating. 3D-simulations and movies of the dynamics are presented. Supported by US-DoE grant to UT and CNRS grant to AMU.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2015-12-01

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

  20. ON THE DISTRIBUTION OF PARTICLE ACCELERATION SITES IN PLASMOID-DOMINATED RELATIVISTIC MAGNETIC RECONNECTION

    SciTech Connect

    Nalewajko, Krzysztof; Cerutti, Benoit; Begelman, Mitchell C.

    2015-12-20

    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.

  1. Coupled electron and ion nonlinear oscillations in a collisionless plasma

    SciTech Connect

    Karimov, A. R.

    2013-05-15

    Dynamics of coupled electrostatic electron and ion nonlinear oscillations in a collisionless plasma is studied with reference to a kinetic description. Proceeding from the exact solution of Vlasov-Maxwell equations written as a function of linear functions in the electron and ion velocities, we arrive at the two coupled nonlinear equations which describe the evolution of the system.

  2. Hydrodynamics of Collisionless Boltzmann Equation for a Highly Flattened Galaxy

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Aoki, S.

    The collisionless Boltzmann equation is studied in order to be connected with hydrodynamic equations. Each of the later equations can be obtained by taking a moment of the former equation. The difficulty against the system of moment equations, called closure problem, can be overtaken by a trick of neglecting the terms of higher order moments under small-pressure assumption.

  3. 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

  4. 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

  5. Magnetic Reconnection in the Earth's Magnetosphere

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Tsurutani, B. T.; Lakhina, G. S.

    1997-01-01

    The process of magnetic reconnection plays an important role during the interaction of the solar wind with the Earth's magnetosphere which leads to the exchange of mass, momentum, and energy between these two highly conducting plasmas.

  6. Forcing continuous reconnection in hybrid simulations

    SciTech Connect

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

    2014-07-15

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

  7. Relating magnetic reconnection to coronal heating

    PubMed Central

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

    2015-01-01

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

  8. Magnetic Reconnection Models of Prominence Formation

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2005-12-01

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

  9. Characterization of reconnecting vortices in superfluid helium

    PubMed Central

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

    2008-01-01

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

  10. Experimental study of subcritical laboratory magnetized collisionless shocks using a laser-driven magnetic piston

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Schaeffer, D. B.; Everson, E. T.; Bondarenko, A. S.; Clark, S. E.; Constantin, C. G.; Winske, D.; Gekelman, W.; Niemann, C.

    2015-11-01

    Recent experiments at the University of California, Los Angeles have successfully generated subcritical magnetized collisionless shocks, allowing new laboratory studies of shock formation relevant to space shocks. The characteristics of these shocks are compared with new data in which no shock or a pre-shock formed. The results are consistent with theory and 2D hybrid simulations and indicate that the observed shock or shock-like structures can be organized into distinct regimes by coupling strength. With additional experiments on the early time parameters of the laser plasma utilizing Thomson scattering, spectroscopy, and fast-gate filtered imaging, these regimes are found to be in good agreement with theoretical shock formation criteria.

  11. 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

  12. Patchy reconnection in the solar corona

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Guidoni, Silvina Esther

    2011-05-01

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

  13. Stepwise tailward retreat of magnetic reconnection: THEMIS observations of an auroral substorm

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ieda, A.; Nishimura, Y.; Miyashita, Y.; Angelopoulos, V.; Runov, A.; Nagai, T.; Frey, H. U.; Fairfield, D. H.; Slavin, J. A.; Vanhamäki, H.; Uchino, H.; Fujii, R.; Miyoshi, Y.; Machida, S.

    2016-05-01

    Auroral stepwise poleward expansions were clarified by investigating a multiple-onset substorm that occurred on 27 February 2009. Five successive auroral brightenings were identified in all-sky images, occurring at approximately 10 min intervals. The first brightening was a faint precursor. The second brightening had a wide longitude; thus, it represented the Akasofu substorm onset. Other brightenings expanded poleward; thus, they were interpreted to be auroral breakups. These breakups occurred stepwise; that is, later breakups were initiated at higher latitudes. Corresponding reconnection signatures were studied using Time History of Events and Macroscale Interactions during Substorms (THEMIS) satellite observations between 8 and 24 RE down the magnetotail. The Akasofu substorm onset was not accompanied by a clear reconnection signature in the tail. In contrast, the three subsequent auroral breakups occurred simultaneously (within a few minutes) with three successive fast flows at 24 RE; thus, these were interpreted to be associated with impulsive reconnection episodes. These three fast flows consisted of a tailward flow and two subsequent earthward flows. The flow reversal at the second breakup indicated that a tailward retreat of the near-Earth reconnection site occurred during the substorm expansion phase. In addition, the earthward flow at the third breakup was consistent with the classic tailward retreat near the end of the expansion phase; therefore, the tailward retreat is likely to have occurred in a stepwise manner. We interpreted the stepwise characteristics of the tailward retreat and poleward expansion to be potentially associated by a stepwise magnetic flux pileup.

  14. Rapid magnetic reconnection in the Earth's magnetosphere mediated by whistler waves.

    PubMed

    Deng, X H; Matsumoto, H

    2001-03-29

    Magnetic reconnection has a crucial role in a variety of plasma environments in providing a mechanism for the fast release of stored magnetic energy. During reconnection the plasma forms a 'magnetic nozzle', like the nozzle of a hose, and the rate is controlled by how fast plasma can flow out of the nozzle. But the traditional picture of reconnection has been unable to explain satisfactorily the short timescales associated with the energy release, because the flow is mediated by heavy ions with a slow resultant velocity. Recent theoretical work has suggested that the energy release is instead mediated by electrons in waves called 'whistlers', which move much faster for a given perturbation of the magnetic field because of their smaller mass. Moreover, the whistler velocity and associated plasma velocity both increase as the 'nozzle' becomes narrower. A narrower nozzle therefore no longer reduces the total plasma flow-the outflow is independent of the size of the nozzle. Here we report observations demonstrating that reconnection in the magnetosphere is driven by whistlers, in good agreement with the theoretical predictions.

  15. Magnetic Reconnection in Interplanetary Coronal Mass Ejections

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2014-12-01

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

  16. Asymmetric Magnetic Reconnection in the Solar Atmosphere

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Murphy, N. A.; Miralles, M. P.; Ranquist, D. A.; Pope, C. L.; Raymond, J. C.; Lukin, V. S.; McKillop, S.; Shen, C.; Winter, H. D.; Reeves, K. K.; Lin, J.

    2013-12-01

    Models of solar flares and coronal mass ejections typically predict the development of an elongated current sheet in the wake behind the rising flux rope. In reality, reconnection in these current sheets will be asymmetric along the inflow, outflow, and out-of-plane directions. We perform resistive MHD simulations to investigate the consequences of asymmetry during solar reconnection. We predict several observational signatures of asymmetric reconnection, including flare loops with a skewed candle flame shape, slow drifting of the current sheet into the strong field upstream region, asymmetric footpoint speeds and hard X-ray emission, and rolling motions within the erupting flux rope. There is net plasma flow across the magnetic field null along both the inflow and outflow directions. We compare simulations to SDO/AIA, Hinode/XRT, and STEREO observations of flare loop shapes, current sheet drifting, and rolling motions during prominence eruptions. Simulations of the plasmoid instability with different upstream magnetic fields show that the reconnection rate remains enhanced even during the asymmetric case. The islands preferentially grow into the weak field upstream region. The islands develop net vorticity because the outflow jets impact them obliquely rather than directly. Asymmetric reconnection in the chromosphere occurs when emerging flux interacts with pre-existing overlying flux. We present initial results on asymmetric reconnection in partially ionized chromospheric plasmas. Finally, we discuss how comparisons to observations are necessary to understand the role of three-dimensional effects.

  17. Asymmetric Magnetic Reconnection in the Solar Atmosphere

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Murphy, N. A.; Miralles, M. P.; Ranquist, D. A.; Pope, C. L.; Raymond, J. C.; Lukin, V. S.; McKillop, S. C.; Shen, C.; Winter, H. D.; Reeves, K. K.; Lin, J.

    2013-12-01

    Models of solar flares and coronal mass ejections typically predict the development of an elongated current sheet in the wake behind the rising flux rope. In reality, reconnection in these current sheets will be asymmetric along the inflow, outflow, and out-of-plane directions. We perform resistive MHD simulations to investigate the consequences of asymmetry during solar reconnection. We predict several observational signatures of asymmetric reconnection, including flare loops with a skewed candle flame shape, slow drifting of the current sheet into the strong field upstream region, asymmetric footpoint speeds and hard X-ray emission, and rolling motions within the erupting flux rope. There is net plasma flow across the magnetic field null along both the inflow and outflow directions. We compare simulations to SDO/AIA, Hinode/XRT, and STEREO observations of flare loop shapes, current sheet drifting, and rolling motions during prominence eruptions. Simulations of the plasm! oid instability with different upstream magnetic fields show that the reconnection rate remains enhanced even during the asymmetric case. The islands preferentially grow into the weak field upstream region. The islands develop net vorticity because the outflow jets impact them obliquely rather than directly. Asymmetric reconnection in the chromosphere occurs when emerging flux interacts with pre-existing overlying flux. We present initial results on asymmetric reconnection in partially ionized chromospheric plasmas. Finally, we discuss how comparisons to observations are necessary to understand the role of three-dimensional effects.

  18. Impulsive Reconnection in the Sun's Atmosphere

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Antiochos, Spiro K.

    2009-01-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2014-06-01

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

  20. Acceleration of energetic charged particles: Shocks, reconnection or turbulence?

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Jokipii, J. R.

    2012-05-01

    Acceleration of energetic charged charged particles, most-often with power-law energy spectra occurs everywhere is space where particle-particle collision mean free paths are significantly larger than their gyro-radii. Shocks, reconnection events and turbulence have variously been proposed as acceleration mechanisms, and each must currently be considered a viable mechanism. Shocks have the advantage that they produce naturally power-law spectra in the observed range which are not very sensitive to the parameters. They are usually also fast accelerators. I first discuss the constraints which observations place on the acceleration mechanisms and show that there are both temporal and spatial constraints. Stochastic acceleration tends to be slow, so the rate of acceleration is important. In the inner heliosphere, this rate must exceed the rate of adiabatic cooling ~ 2Vw/r, where Vw is the radial solar-wind velocity. Acceleration of anomalous cosmic rays (ACR) in the heliosheath must occur on a time scale of on year to avoid producing too many multiply charged ACR. It is shown that here, stochastic acceleration has difficulties in the inner heliosheath. Reconnection events are essentially incompressible, so the divergence of the flow velocity is nearly zero, and the Parker equation would give little acceleration. Acceleration at reconnection therefore must go beyond the Parker equation - either by invoking large pitch-angle anisotropies or by extending the equation to higher order in the flow speed relative to the particle speed. An approach to using an extension of Parker's equation is discussed. Diffusive shock acceleration at the heliospheric termination shock is also discussed. It is suggested that inclusion of upstream turbulence and shock geometry provides reasonable solutions to the perceived problems with this mechanism. Finally, observation evidence is presented which suggests, strongly, that the acceleration of the ACR occurs in the inner heliosphere, not far

  1. Inferring proximity to the reconnection site via structural changes to the magnetopause caused by asymmetric reconnection.

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Argall, M. R.; Chen, L. J.; Torbert, R. B.; Daughton, W. S.; Yoo, J.; Yamada, M.

    2014-12-01

    The mechanisms of field line breaking and magnetic energy dissipation that result in magnetic reconnection have yet to be determined by spacecraft observations. Many parameters have been proposed to locate the reconnection site, but they either fail to identify uniquely the reconnection site or have not been tested for asymmetric reconnection. We demonstrate that the change in magnetopause structure caused by reconnection can be used to locate and estimate proximity to the site of reconnection. Cluster observations of quiet magnetopause crossings, for which no evidence of reconnection is found, show no obvious spatial dependence of the DC electric field, while the plasma density and velocity make the transition from magnetosheath to magnetosphere values simultaneously with the tangential magnetic field (BL) reversal. Conversely, in-situ observations of several active crossings, for which signs of reconnection are evident, show that the density transition and BL reversal can occur simultaneously or be offset from one another by over 100 ion skin depths (λi) (assuming a constant magnetopause velocity), the outflow jet can occur anywhere from the BL reversal to several λi earthward of the density gradient, and the DC electric field changes sign on either side of the density gradient. Laboratory experiments and 2D and 3D particle-in-cell simulations of asymmetric reconnection reveal that the relative transition offsets are due to exhaust crossings at different proximities to the X-line. Only within the thin electron current layer surrounding the X-line do the transitions remain concurrent. We present one reconnection event during which the transitions in plasma density, DC electric field, and BL are simultaneous in two of the four Cluster spacecraft and offset in the other two spacecraft. The multiple satellite encounter allows us to examine spatial features in the region surrounding the X-line.

  2. 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.

  3. 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.

  4. The role of Reconnection Diffusion in star formation

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Santos-Lima, Reinaldo; Lazarian, Alex; De Gouveia Dal Pino, Elisabete; Guerrero, Gustavo; Leao, Marcia

    Fast magnetic reconnection is an omnipresent process in turbulent astrophysical flows. It allows the magnetic flux to diffuse through the gas even when the ideal MHD approximation is applicable. Recently we have tested this diffusive mechanism (termed ``Reconnection Diffusion'', RD) for solving two intriguing problems related to star formation: (i) the removal of magnetic flux from collapsing molecular clouds in order to explain the observed magnetic field intensities in protostars (the ``magnetic flux problem''), and (ii) the formation of rotationally sustained protostellar disks in the presence of the magnetic fields, which tend to remove all the angular momentum (the ``magnetic braking catastrophe''). Using 3D MHD simulations we have demonstrated successfully the efficiency of the RD in both problems. More recently, we have also identified the conditions under which RD is able to produce supercritical cores from self-gravitating subcritical molecular cloud clumps. In this presentation we review the RD theory and the results of our numerical studies in different phases of star formation. We also derive the RD coefficient profile from the numerical simulations and compare with the theoretical predictions.

  5. 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

  6. 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

  7. Collisionless shock experiments with lasers and observation of Weibel instabilitiesa)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Park, H.-S.; Huntington, C. M.; Fiuza, F.; Drake, R. P.; Froula, D. H.; Gregori, G.; Koenig, M.; Kugland, N. L.; Kuranz, C. C.; Lamb, D. Q.; Levy, M. C.; Li, C. K.; Meinecke, J.; Morita, T.; Petrasso, R. D.; Pollock, B. B.; Remington, B. A.; Rinderknecht, H. G.; Rosenberg, M.; Ross, J. S.; Ryutov, D. D.; Sakawa, Y.; Spitkovsky, A.; Takabe, H.; Turnbull, D. P.; Tzeferacos, P.; Weber, S. V.; Zylstra, A. B.

    2015-05-01

    Astrophysical collisionless shocks are common in the universe, occurring in supernova remnants, gamma ray bursts, and protostellar jets. They appear in colliding plasma flows when the mean free path for ion-ion collisions is much larger than the system size. It is believed that such shocks could be mediated via the electromagnetic Weibel instability in astrophysical environments without pre-existing magnetic fields. Here, we present laboratory experiments using high-power lasers and investigate the dynamics of high-Mach-number collisionless shock formation in two interpenetrating plasma streams. Our recent proton-probe experiments on Omega show the characteristic filamentary structures of the Weibel instability that are electromagnetic in nature with an inferred magnetization level as high as ˜1% [C. M. Huntington et al., "Observation of magnetic field generation via the weibel instability in interpenetrating plasma flows," Nat. Phys. 11, 173-176 (2015)]. These results imply that electromagnetic instabilities are significant in the interaction of astrophysical conditions.

  8. Collisionless shock experiments with lasers and observation of Weibel instabilities

    SciTech Connect

    Park, H. -S.; Huntington, C. M.; Fiuza, F.; Drake, R. P.; Froula, D. H.; Gregori, G.; Koenig, M.; Kugland, N. L.; Kuranz, C. C.; Lamb, D. Q.; Levy, M. C.; Li, C. K.; Meinecke, J.; Morita, T.; Petrasso, R. D.; Pollock, B. B.; Remington, B. A.; Rinderknecht, H. G.; Rosenberg, M.; Ross, J. S.; Ryutov, D. D.; Sakawa, Y.; Spitkovsky, A.; Takabe, H.; Turnbull, D. P.; Tzeferacos, P.; Weber, S. V.; Zylstra, A. B.

    2015-05-13

    Astrophysical collisionless shocks are common in the universe, occurring in supernova remnants, gamma ray bursts, and protostellar jets. They appear in colliding plasma flows when the mean free path for ion-ion collisions is much larger than the system size. It is believed that such shocks could be mediated via the electromagnetic Weibel instability in astrophysical environments without preexisting magnetic fields. Here, we present laboratory experiments using high-power lasers and investigate the dynamics of high-Mach-number collisionless shock formation in two interpenetrating plasma streams. Our recent proton-probe experiments on Omega show the characteristic filamentary structures of the Weibel instability that are electromagnetic in nature with an inferred magnetization level as high as ~1% These results imply that electromagnetic instabilities are significant in the interaction of astrophysical conditions.

  9. Exploring the nature of collisionless shocks under laboratory conditions

    PubMed Central

    Stockem, A.; Fiuza, F.; Bret, A.; Fonseca, R. A.; Silva, L. O.

    2014-01-01

    Collisionless shocks are pervasive in astrophysics and they are critical to understand cosmic ray acceleration. Laboratory experiments with intense lasers are now opening the way to explore and characterise the underlying microphysics, which determine the acceleration process of collisionless shocks. We determine the shock character – electrostatic or electromagnetic – based on the stability of electrostatic shocks to transverse electromagnetic fluctuations as a function of the electron temperature and flow velocity of the plasma components, and we compare the analytical model with particle-in-cell simulations. By making the connection with the laser parameters driving the plasma flows, we demonstrate that shocks with different and distinct underlying microphysics can be explored in the laboratory with state-of-the-art laser systems. PMID:24488212

  10. Evolution of velocity dispersion along cold collisionless flows

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Banik, Nilanjan; Sikivie, Pierre

    2016-05-01

    The infall of cold dark matter onto a galaxy produces cold collisionless flows and caustics in its halo. If a signal is found in the cavity detector of dark matter axions, the flows will be readily apparent as peaks in the energy spectrum of photons from axion conversion, allowing the densities, velocity vectors and velocity dispersions of the flows to be determined. We discuss the evolution of velocity dispersion along cold collisionless flows in one and two dimensions. A technique is presented for obtaining the leading behavior of the velocity dispersion near caustics. The results are used to derive an upper limit on the energy dispersion of the big flow from the sharpness of its nearby caustic and a prediction for the dispersions in its velocity components.

  11. Collisionless shock formation, spontaneous electromagnetic fluctuations, and streaming instabilities

    SciTech Connect

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

    2013-04-15

    Collisionless shocks are ubiquitous in astrophysics and in the lab. Recent numerical simulations and experiments have shown how they can arise from the encounter of two collisionless plasma shells. When the shells interpenetrate, the overlapping region turns unstable, triggering the shock formation. As a first step towards a microscopic understanding of the process, we analyze here in detail the initial instability phase. On the one hand, 2D relativistic Particle-In-Cell simulations are performed where two symmetric initially cold pair plasmas collide. On the other hand, the instabilities at work are analyzed, as well as the field at saturation and the seed field which gets amplified. For mildly relativistic motions and onward, Weibel modes govern the linear phase. We derive an expression for the duration of the linear phase in good agreement with the simulations. This saturation time constitutes indeed a lower-bound for the shock formation time.

  12. Collisionless shock experiments with lasers and observation of Weibel instabilities

    DOE PAGESBeta

    Park, H. -S.; Huntington, C. M.; Fiuza, F.; Drake, R. P.; Froula, D. H.; Gregori, G.; Koenig, M.; Kugland, N. L.; Kuranz, C. C.; Lamb, D. Q.; et al

    2015-05-13

    Astrophysical collisionless shocks are common in the universe, occurring in supernova remnants, gamma ray bursts, and protostellar jets. They appear in colliding plasma flows when the mean free path for ion-ion collisions is much larger than the system size. It is believed that such shocks could be mediated via the electromagnetic Weibel instability in astrophysical environments without preexisting magnetic fields. Here, we present laboratory experiments using high-power lasers and investigate the dynamics of high-Mach-number collisionless shock formation in two interpenetrating plasma streams. Our recent proton-probe experiments on Omega show the characteristic filamentary structures of the Weibel instability that are electromagneticmore » in nature with an inferred magnetization level as high as ~1% These results imply that electromagnetic instabilities are significant in the interaction of astrophysical conditions.« less

  13. Evolution of velocity dispersion along cold collisionless flows

    DOE PAGESBeta

    Banik, Nilanjan; Sikivie, Pierre

    2016-05-01

    We found that the infall of cold dark matter onto a galaxy produces cold collisionless flows and caustics in its halo. If a signal is found in the cavity detector of dark matter axions, the flows will be readily apparent as peaks in the energy spectrum of photons from axion conversion, allowing the densities, velocity vectors and velocity dispersions of the flows to be determined. We also discuss the evolution of velocity dispersion along cold collisionless flows in one and two dimensions. A technique is presented for obtaining the leading behaviour of the velocity dispersion near caustics. The results aremore » used to derive an upper limit on the energy dispersion of the Big Flow from the sharpness of its nearby caustic, and a prediction for the dispersions in its velocity components.« less

  14. Guide Field Reconnection Turbulence and Coronal Heating

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2014-10-01

    Magnetic reconnection is a prime contender for explaining plasma heating in the solar corona. This work focuses on turbulent reconnection simulations in the strong-guide-field limit, where the gyrokinetics both captures all relevant physical effects and is numerically efficient. Continuously replenished current sheets force a quasi-stationary turbulent state, where significant levels of j . E heating can be measured. In addition, plasmoids are observed to form in the turbulence, causing secondary reconnection events through mergers. Under coronal conditions, the volumetric heating rate is evaluated as 1 . 5 ×10-3 erg cm-3 s-1, in good agreement with observations. This value scales as, in particular, the reconnecting field to the power of 1 . 8 , and the characteristic current sheet width to the power of 0 . 75 . Moreover, heating bursts associated with plasmoid mergers conform with time scales associated observationally with nanoflares. For further details on this work, as well as on the emergence of temperature anisotropies, see [M.J. Pueschel et al., Magnetic Reconnection Turbulence in Strong Guide Fields: Basic Properties and Application to Coronal Heating, accepted for publication in Astrophys. J. Suppl. Ser.].

  15. Multiple eigenmodes of geodesic acoustic mode in collisionless plasmas

    SciTech Connect

    Gao Zhe; Itoh, K.; Sanuki, H.; Dong, J. Q.

    2006-10-15

    We report a series of eigenmodes of the geodesic acoustic mode (GAM), which includes the standard GAM, a branch of low-frequency mode, and a series of ion sound wave-like modes. The case of T{sub i}>>T{sub e} is investigated, and eigenfrequencies of these modes are obtained analytically from a linear gyrokinetic model in collisionless plasmas with a rigid constant electrostatic potential around a magnetic surface.

  16. How to Patch Active Plasma and Collisionless Sheath: Practical Guide

    SciTech Connect

    Kaganovich, Igor D.

    2002-08-22

    Most plasmas have a very thin sheath compared with the plasma dimension. This necessitates separate calculations of the plasma and sheath. The Bohm criterion provides the boundary condition for calculation of plasma profiles. To calculate sheath properties, a value of electric field at the plasma-sheath interface has to be specified in addition to the Bohm criterion. The value of the boundary electric field and robust procedure to approximately patch plasma and collisionless sheath with a very good accuracy are reported.

  17. MHD instabilities of collisionless space plasma with heat fluxes

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kuznetsov, V. D.; Dzhalilov, N. S.

    2014-12-01

    Properties of instabilities in a collisionless plasma are considered based on 16-moment MHD equations with allowance for differences between the heat fluxes along the magnetic field due to longitudinal and transverse thermal ion motions. It is shown that the increments and thresholds appreciably depend on these two heat fluxes for all compressible instabilities arising in the MHD approach (second compressible fire-hose, mirror, and thermal instabilities).

  18. Intercomponent momentum transport and electrical conductivity of collisionless plasma

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Wilhelm, H. E.

    1973-01-01

    Based on the Lenard-Balescu equation, the interaction integral for the intercomponent momentum transfer in a two-component, collisionless plasma is evaluated in closed form. The distribution functions of the electrons and ions are represented in the form of nonisothermal, displaced Maxwellians corresponding to the 5-moment approximation. As an application, the transport of electrical current in an electric field is discussed for infrasonic up to sonic electron-ion drift velocities.

  19. 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

  20. Electron precipitation in solar flares - Collisionless effects

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Vlahos, L.; Rowland, H. L.

    1984-01-01

    A large fraction of the electrons which are accelerated during the impulsive phase of solar flares stream towards the chromosphere and are unstable to the growth of plasma waves. The linear and nonlinear evolution of plasma waves as a function of time is analyzed with a set of rate equations that follows, in time, the nonlinearly coupled system of plasma waves-ion fluctuations. As an outcome of the fast transfer of wave energy from the beam to the ambient plasma, nonthermal electron tails are formed which can stabilize the anomalous Doppler resonance instability responsible for the pitch angle scattering of the beam electrons. The non-collisional losses of the precipitating electrons are estimated, and the observational implication of these results are discussed.

  1. Laboratory study of diffusion region with electron energization during high guide field reconnection

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Yamasaki, K.; Inoue, S.; Kamio, S.; Watanabe, T. G.; Ushiki, T.; Guo, X.; Sugawara, T.; Matsuyama, K.; Kawakami, N.; Yamada, T.; Inomoto, M.; Ono, Y.

    2015-10-01

    Floating potential profile was measured around the X-point during high guide field reconnection in UTST merging experiment where the ratio of guide field ( Bg ) to reconnecting magnetic field ( Brec ) is Bg/Brec>10 . Floating potential measurement revealed that a quadrupole structure of electric potential is formed around the X-point during the fast reconnection phase due to the polarization by inductive electric field. Also, our floating potential measurement revealed the existence of parallel electric field in the vicinity of the X-point. While field-aligned components of inductive electric field ( E∥ind ) and electrostatic electric field ( E∥es ) cancel out with each other away from the X-point, E∥ind exceeds E∥es around the X-point, indicating the deviation from ideal MHD criterion within the region. The diffusion region extends in the outflow region and the scale length of region is an order of ion skin depth, which is quite different from the VTF experiment result. Based on the measured magnetic field and electric field profile, our particle trajectory analysis indicates that fast electrons with energies over 300 eV are produced within 1 μs around the X-point in the non-ideal MHD region. These results indicate that production of fast electrons or electron heating are expected to be observed in the vicinity of the X-point.

  2. Pressure-anisotropy-driven microturbulence and magnetic-field evolution in shearing, collisionless plasma

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Melville, Scott; Schekochihin, Alexander A.; Kunz, Matthew W.

    2016-07-01

    The non-linear state of a high-beta collisionless plasma is investigated where an imposed shear amplifies or diminishes a uniform mean magnetic field, driving pressure anisotropies and, therefore, firehose or mirror instabilities. To mimic the local behaviour of a macroscopic flow, the shear is switched off or reversed after one shear time, so a new macroscale configuration is superimposed on previous microscale state. A threshold plasma beta is found: when β ≪ Ω/S (ion cyclotron frequency/shear rate), the emergence/disappearance of firehose or mirror fluctuations is quasi-instantaneous compared to the shear time (lending some credence to popular closures that assume this). This follows from the free decay of these fluctuations being constrained by the same marginal-stability conditions as their growth in the unstable regime, giving the decay time ˜β/Ω ≪ S-1. In contrast, when β ≳ Ω/S, the old microscale state only disappears on the shear time-scale. In this `ultra-high-beta' regime, driven firehose fluctuations grow secularly to order-unity amplitudes, compensating for the decrease of the mean field and thus pinning the pressure anisotropy at marginal stability without scattering particles - unlike what happens at moderate β. After the shear reverses, the shearing away of these fluctuations compensates for the increase of the mean field and thus prevents growth of the pressure anisotropy, so the system stays close to the firehose threshold, does not go mirror-unstable, the total magnetic energy barely changing at all. Implications for various astrophysical situations, especially the origin of cosmic magnetism, are discussed: collisionless effects appear mostly beneficial to fast magnetic-field generation.

  3. Magnetic field amplification and evolution in turbulent collisionless magnetohydrodynamics: An application to the intracluster medium

    SciTech Connect

    Santos-Lima, R.; De Gouveia Dal Pino, E. M.; Kowal, G.; Falceta-Gonçalves, D.; Lazarian, A.; Nakwacki, M. S.

    2014-02-01

    The amplification of magnetic fields (MFs) in the intracluster medium (ICM) is attributed to turbulent dynamo (TD) action, which is generally derived in the collisional-MHD framework. However, this assumption is poorly justified a priori, since in the ICM the ion mean free path between collisions is of the order of the dynamical scales, thus requiring a collisionless MHD description. The present study uses an anisotropic plasma pressure that brings the plasma within a parametric space where collisionless instabilities take place. In this model, a relaxation term of the pressure anisotropy simulates the feedback of the mirror and firehose instabilities, in consistency with empirical studies. Our three-dimensional numerical simulations of forced transonic turbulence, aiming the modeling of the turbulent ICM, were performed for different initial values of the MF intensity and different relaxation rates of the pressure anisotropy. We found that in the high-β plasma regime corresponding to the ICM conditions, a fast anisotropy relaxation rate gives results that are similar to the collisional-MHD model, as far as the statistical properties of the turbulence are concerned. Also, the TD amplification of seed MFs was found to be similar to the collisional-MHD model. The simulations that do not employ the anisotropy relaxation deviate significantly from the collisional-MHD results and show more power at the small-scale fluctuations of both density and velocity as a result of the action of the instabilities. For these simulations, the large-scale fluctuations in the MF are mostly suppressed and the TD fails in amplifying seed MFs.

  4. 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.

  5. Distinguishing between pulsed and continuous reconnection at the dayside magnetopause

    PubMed Central

    Onsager, T. G.; Petrinec, S. M.; Fuselier, S. A.

    2015-01-01

    Abstract Magnetic reconnection has been established as the dominant mechanism by which magnetic fields in different regions change topology to create open magnetic field lines that allow energy and momentum to flow into the magnetosphere. One of the persistent problems of magnetic reconnection is the question of whether the process is continuous or intermittent and what input condition(s) might favor one type of reconnection over the other. Observations from imagers that record FUV emissions caused by precipitating cusp ions demonstrate the global nature of magnetic reconnection. Those images show continuous ionospheric emissions even during changing interplanetary magnetic field conditions. On the other hand, in situ observations from polar‐orbiting satellites show distinctive cusp structures in flux distributions of precipitating ions, which are interpreted as the telltale signature of intermittent reconnection. This study uses a modification of the low‐velocity cutoff method, which was previously successfully used to determine the location of the reconnection site, to calculate for the cusp ion distributions the “time since reconnection occurred.” The “time since reconnection” is used to determine the “reconnection time” for the cusp magnetic field lines where these distributions have been observed. The profile of the reconnection time, either continuous or stepped, is a direct measurement of the nature of magnetic reconnection at the reconnection site. This paper will discuss a continuous and pulsed reconnection event from the Polar spacecraft to illustrate the methodology.

  6. Distinguishing between pulsed and continuous reconnection at the dayside magnetopause

    PubMed Central

    Onsager, T. G.; Petrinec, S. M.; Fuselier, S. A.

    2015-01-01

    Abstract Magnetic reconnection has been established as the dominant mechanism by which magnetic fields in different regions change topology to create open magnetic field lines that allow energy and momentum to flow into the magnetosphere. One of the persistent problems of magnetic reconnection is the question of whether the process is continuous or intermittent and what input condition(s) might favor one type of reconnection over the other. Observations from imagers that record FUV emissions caused by precipitating cusp ions demonstrate the global nature of magnetic reconnection. Those images show continuous ionospheric emissions even during changing interplanetary magnetic field conditions. On the other hand, in situ observations from polar‐orbiting satellites show distinctive cusp structures in flux distributions of precipitating ions, which are interpreted as the telltale signature of intermittent reconnection. This study uses a modification of the low‐velocity cutoff method, which was previously successfully used to determine the location of the reconnection site, to calculate for the cusp ion distributions the “time since reconnection occurred.” The “time since reconnection” is used to determine the “reconnection time” for the cusp magnetic field lines where these distributions have been observed. The profile of the reconnection time, either continuous or stepped, is a direct measurement of the nature of magnetic reconnection at the reconnection site. This paper will discuss a continuous and pulsed reconnection event from the Polar spacecraft to illustrate the methodology. PMID:27656333

  7. Gyrokinetic and kinetic particle-in-cell simulations of guide-field reconnection

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Munoz Sepulveda, Patricio Alejandro; Büchner, Jörg; Kilian, Patrick; Told, Daniel; Jenko, Frank

    2016-07-01

    Fully kinetic Particle-in-Cell (PIC) simulations of (strong) guide-field reconnection can be computationally very demanding, due to the intrinsic stability and accuracy conditions required by this numerical method. One convenient approach to circumvent this issue is using gyrokinetic theory, an approximation of the Vlasov-Maxwell equations for strongly magnetized plasmas that eliminates the fast gyromotion, and thus reduces the computational cost. Although previous works have started to compare the features of reconnection between both approaches, a complete understanding of the differences is far from being complete. This knowledge is essential to discern the limitations of the gyrokinetic simulations of magnetic reconnection when applied to scenarios with moderate guide fields, such as the Solar corona, in contrast to most of the fusion/laboratory plasmas. We extend a previous work by our group, focused in the differences in the macroscopic flows, by analyzing the heating processes and non-thermal features developed by reconnection between both plasma approximations. We relate these processes by identifying some high-frequency cross-streaming instabilities appearing only in the fully kinetic approach. We characterize the effects of these phenonema such as anisotropic electron heating, beam formation and turbulence under different parameter regimes. And finally, we identify the conditions under which these instabilities tends to become negligible in the fully kinetic model, and thus a comparison with gyrokinetic theory becomes more reliable.

  8. Propagation speed of rotation signals for field lines undergoing magnetic reconnection

    SciTech Connect

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

    2013-10-15

    Reconnection is associated with two bending of the magnetic field lines. Considering the usual plane of a 2D reconnection simulation, the first bending is in-plane and produces the needed topological changes by bringing oppositely directed filed lines in proximity. The second is typical of fast reconnection and is out of plane, leading to the formation of the Hall magnetic field. This second rotation has recently been observed to proceed at superAlfvénic speeds and to carry substantial energy fluxes (Shay et al., Phys. Rev. Lett. 107, 065001 (2011)). We revisit these rotations with a new diagnostics based on dispersing a multitude of virtual probes into a kinetic simulation, akin the approach of multi spacecraft missions. The results of the new diagnostics are compared with the theory of characteristics applied to the two fluid model. The comparison of virtual probes and the method of characteristics confirm the findings relative to the out of plane rotation and uncover the existence of two families of characteristics. Both are observed in the simulation. The early stage of reconnection develops on the slower compressional branch and the later faster phase develops on the faster torsional branch. The superAlfvénic signal is only relevant in the second phase.

  9. Magnetic Reconnection in Extreme Astrophysical Environments

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Uzdensky, Dmitri

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

  10. Stable reconnection at the dusk flank magnetopause

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Gomez, R. G.; Vines, S. K.; Fuselier, S. A.; Cassak, P. A.; Strangeway, R. J.; Petrinec, S. M.; Burch, J. L.; Trattner, K. J.; Russell, C. T.; Torbert, R. B.; Pollock, C.; Young, D. T.; Lewis, W. S.; Mukherjee, J.

    2016-09-01

    The dusk flank magnetopause was surveyed with instruments on board the Magnetospheric Multiscale (MMS) spacecraft on 28 August 2015 between 13:55 UT and 14:15 UT during a period of persistent southward interplanetary magnetic field (IMF) with varying dawn-dusk component. Plasma measurements (500 eV electrons, > 2 keV ions) revealed the existence of at least one active reconnection region that persisted throughout the interval. The reconnection region convected equatorward despite the poleward and tailward magnetosheath flow, which ranged from slightly sub-Alfvénic to slightly super-Alfvénic throughout the interval. These results suggest that magnetic reconnection moved in response to changes in the IMF clock angle rather than the magnetosheath flow, which is corroborated using predictions of the maximum magnetic shear model.

  11. Turbulence structure of finite-beta perpendicular fast shocks

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Coroniti, F. V.

    1970-01-01

    In a finite-beta plasma ion cyclotron, radius dispersion which forms a trailing wave train for a perpendicular fast shock is examined. Collisionless dissipation is provided by the three wave decay of the wave train into very oblique fast and parallel Alfven waves. Particle thermalization results from Landau damping of oblique fast wave turbulence. The shock damping length to three wave decay is many ion cyclotron radii. Undamped Alfven turbulence should persist far downstream from the shock.

  12. DENSITY ENHANCEMENTS AND VOIDS FOLLOWING PATCHY RECONNECTION

    SciTech Connect

    Guidoni, S. E.; Longcope, D. W.

    2011-04-01

    We show, through a simple patchy reconnection model, that retracting reconnected flux tubes may present elongated regions relatively devoid of plasma, as well as long lasting, dense central hot regions. Reconnection is assumed to happen in a small patch across a Syrovatskii (non-uniform) current sheet (CS) with skewed magnetic fields. The background magnetic pressure has its maximum at the center of the CS plane and decreases toward its edges. The reconnection patch creates two V-shaped reconnected tubes that shorten as they retract in opposite directions, due to magnetic tension. One of them moves upward toward the top edge of the CS, and the other one moves downward toward the top of the underlying arcade. Rotational discontinuities (RDs) propagate along the legs of the tubes and generate parallel supersonic flows that collide at the center of the tube. There, gas-dynamic shocks that compress and heat the plasma are launched outwardly. The descending tube moves through the bottom part of the CS where it expands laterally in response to the decreasing background magnetic pressure. This effect may decrease plasma density by 30%-50% of background levels. This tube will arrive at the top of the arcade that will slow it to a stop. Here, the perpendicular dynamics is halted, but the parallel dynamics continues along its legs; the RDs are shut down, and the gas is rarified to even lower densities. The hot post-shock regions continue evolving, determining a long lasting hot region on top of the arcade. We provide an observational method based on total emission measure and mean temperature that indicates where in the CS the tube has been reconnected.

  13. Laboratory observations of electron energization and associated lower-hybrid and Trivelpiece-Gould wave turbulence during magnetic reconnection

    SciTech Connect

    Fox, W.; Porkolab, M.; Egedal, J.; Katz, N.; Le, A.

    2010-07-15

    This work presents an experimental study of current-driven turbulence in a plasma undergoing magnetic reconnection in a low-beta, strong-guide-field regime. Electrostatic fluctuations are observed by small, high-bandwidth, and impedance-matched Langmuir probes. The observed modes, identified by their characteristic frequency and wavelength, include lower-hybrid fluctuations and high-frequency Trivelpiece-Gould modes. The observed waves are believed to arise from electrons energized by the reconnection process via direct bump-on-tail instability (Trivelpiece-Gould) or gradients in the fast electron population (lower-hybrid).

  14. Exact solutions for steady reconnective annihilation revisited

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Titov, Vyacheslav S.; Tassi, Emanuele; Hornig, Gunnar

    2004-10-01

    This work complements the previous studies on steady reconnective magnetic annihilation in three different geometries: the two-dimensional Cartesian and polar ones and the three-dimensional (3D) cylindrical one. A special class of diffusive solutions is found analytically in explicit form for all of the three geometries. In the 3D case it is extended to a much wider class of exact solutions describing reconnective magnetic annihilation at the separatrix spine line of a magnetic null point. One of the obtained solutions provides an explicit expression for the Craig-Fabling solution. It is also identified which of the steady flow regimes found are dynamically accessible.

  15. Localized reconnection in the near jovian magnetotail

    PubMed

    Russell; Khurana; Huddleston; Kivelson

    1998-05-15

    The oppositely directed magnetic field in the jovian magnetic tail is expected eventually to reconnect across the current sheet, allowing plasma produced deep inside the magnetosphere near Io's orbit to escape in the antisolar direction down the tail. The Galileo spacecraft found localized regions of strong northward and southward field components beyond about 50 jovian radii in the postmidnight, predawn sector of the jovian magnetosphere. These pockets of vertical magnetic fields can be stronger than the surrounding magnetotail and magnetodisk fields. They may result from episodic reconnection of patches of the near jovian magnetotail. PMID:9582116

  16. Magnetic reconnection in a magnetohydrodynamic plasma

    SciTech Connect

    Kulsrud, R.M.

    1998-05-01

    Magnetic reconnection is important because of its connection with the topology of field lines. In general, a change in topology means a change of equilibrium, and a release of energy, such as occurs in solar flares. In the context of the solar flare two models for magnetic reconnection, the Sweet{endash}Parker and the Petschek mechanism are presented. The pros and cons of these two models are presented. The role of anomalous resistivity in the Sweet{endash}Parker model is discussed. The bearing of a laboratory experiment and a boundary layer analysis of the problem are described. {copyright} {ital 1998 American Institute of Physics.}

  17. Magnetic reconnection in a magnetohydrodynamic plasma

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kulsrud, Russell M.

    1998-05-01

    Magnetic reconnection is important because of its connection with the topology of field lines. In general, a change in topology means a change of equilibrium, and a release of energy, such as occurs in solar flares. In the context of the solar flare two models for magnetic reconnection, the Sweet-Parker and the Petschek mechanism are presented. The pros and cons of these two models are presented. The role of anomalous resistivity in the Sweet-Parker model is discussed. The bearing of a laboratory experiment and a boundary layer analysis of the problem are described.

  18. Magnetic Reconnection: Theoretical and Observational Perspectives: Preface

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

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

    2011-01-01

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

  19. The effects of plasmaspheric plumes on dayside reconnection

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ouellette, J. E.; Lyon, J. G.; Brambles, O. J.; Zhang, B.; Lotko, W.

    2016-05-01

    We summarize the results of a study on the impact of plasmaspheric plumes on dayside reconnection using a three-dimensional magnetospheric simulation code. We find that the mass loading of magnetospheric flux tubes slows local reconnection rates, though not as much as predicted by Borovsky et al. (2013) due to differences in how well the Cassak-Shay theory matches magnetospheric configurations with and without plasmaspheric plumes. Additionally, we find that in some circumstances reconnection activity is enhanced on either side of the plumes, which moderates its impact on the total dayside reconnection rate. These results provide evidence that plasmaspheric plumes have both local- and global-scale effects on dayside reconnection.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Radioti, Aikaterini; Grodent, Denis; Jia, Xianzhe; Gérard, Jean-Claude; Bonfond, Bertrand; Pryor, Wayne; Gustin, Jacques; Mitchell, Donald; Jackman, Caitriona

    2015-04-01

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

  1. Anti-parallel and Component Reconnection at the Magnetopause

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Trattner, K. J.; Mulcock, J. S.; Petrinec, S. M.; Fuselier, S. A.

    2007-05-01

    Reconnection at the magnetopause is clearly the dominant mechanism by which magnetic fields in different regions change topology to create open magnetic field lines that allow energy and momentum to flow into the magnetosphere. Observations and data analysis methods have reached the maturity to address one of the major outstanding questions about magnetic reconnection: The location of the reconnection site. There are two scenarios discussed in the literature, a) anti-parallel reconnection where shear angles between the magnetospheric field and the IMF are near 180 degrees, and b) component reconnection where shear angles are as low as 50 degrees. One popular component reconnection model is the tilted neutral line model. Both reconnection scenarios have a profound impact on the location of the X-line and plasma transfer into the magnetosphere. We have analyzed 3D plasma measurements observed by the Polar satellite in the northern hemisphere cusp region during southward IMF conditions. These 3D plasma measurements are used to estimate the distance to the reconnection line by using the low-velocity cutoff technique for precipitating and mirrored magnetosheath populations in the cusp. The calculated distances are subsequently traced back along geomagnetic field lines to the expected reconnection sites at the magnetopause. The Polar survey of northern cusp passes reveal that both reconnection scenarios occur at the magnetopause. The IMF clock angle appears to be the dominant parameter in causing either the anti-parallel or the tilted X-line reconnection scenario.

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

    SciTech Connect

    Materassi, Massimo; Consolini, Giuseppe

    2007-10-26

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

  3. Magnetic reconnection at the dayside magnetopause: Advances with MMS

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Burch, J. L.; Phan, T. D.

    2016-08-01

    Magnetic reconnection is known to be an important process for coupling solar wind mass and momentum into the Earth's magnetosphere. Reconnection is initiated in an electron-scale dissipation/diffusion region around an X line, but its consequences are large scale. While past experimental efforts have advanced our understanding of ion-scale physics and the consequences of magnetic reconnection, much higher spatial and temporal resolutions are needed to understand the electron-scale processes that cause reconnection. The Magnetospheric Multiscale (MMS) mission was implemented to probe the electron scale of reconnection. This article reports on results from the first scan of the dayside magnetopause with MMS. Specifically, we introduce a new event involving the radial traversal of guide-field reconnection to illustrate features of reconnection physics on the electron scale.

  4. Frozen flux violation, electron demagnetization and magnetic reconnection

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2015-10-01

    We argue that the analogue in collisionless plasma of the collisional diffusion region of magnetic reconnection is properly defined in terms of the demagnetization of the plasma electrons that enable "frozen flux" slippage to occur. This condition differs from the violation of the "frozen-in" condition, which only implies that two fluid effects are involved, rather than the necessary slippage of magnetic flux as viewed in the electron frame. Using 2D Particle In Cell (PIC) simulations, this approach properly finds the saddle point region of the flux function. Our demagnetization conditions are the dimensionless guiding center approximation expansion parameters for electrons which we show are observable and determined locally by the ratio of non-ideal electric to magnetic field strengths. Proxies for frozen flux slippage are developed that (a) are measurable on a single spacecraft, (b) are dimensionless with theoretically justified threshold values of significance, and (c) are shown in 2D simulations to recover distinctions theoretically possible with the (unmeasurable) flux function. A new potentially observable dimensionless frozen flux rate, ΛΦ, differentiates significant from anecdotal frozen flux slippage. A single spacecraft observable, ϒ, is shown with PIC simulations to be essentially proportional to the unobservable local Maxwell frozen flux rate. This relationship theoretically establishes electron demagnetization in 3D as the general cause of frozen flux slippage. In simple 2D cases with an isolated central diffusion region surrounded by separatrices, these diagnostics uniquely identify the traditional diffusion region (without confusing it with the two fluid "ion-diffusion" region) and clarify the role of the separatrices where frozen flux violations do occur but are not substantial. In the more complicated guide and asymmetric 2D cases, substantial flux slippage regions extend out along, but inside of, the preferred separatrices, demonstrating that

  5. Frozen flux violation, electron demagnetization and magnetic reconnection

    SciTech Connect

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

    2015-10-15

    We argue that the analogue in collisionless plasma of the collisional diffusion region of magnetic reconnection is properly defined in terms of the demagnetization of the plasma electrons that enable “frozen flux” slippage to occur. This condition differs from the violation of the “frozen-in” condition, which only implies that two fluid effects are involved, rather than the necessary slippage of magnetic flux as viewed in the electron frame. Using 2D Particle In Cell (PIC) simulations, this approach properly finds the saddle point region of the flux function. Our demagnetization conditions are the dimensionless guiding center approximation expansion parameters for electrons which we show are observable and determined locally by the ratio of non-ideal electric to magnetic field strengths. Proxies for frozen flux slippage are developed that (a) are measurable on a single spacecraft, (b) are dimensionless with theoretically justified threshold values of significance, and (c) are shown in 2D simulations to recover distinctions theoretically possible with the (unmeasurable) flux function. A new potentially observable dimensionless frozen flux rate, Λ{sub Φ}, differentiates significant from anecdotal frozen flux slippage. A single spacecraft observable, ϒ, is shown with PIC simulations to be essentially proportional to the unobservable local Maxwell frozen flux rate. This relationship theoretically establishes electron demagnetization in 3D as the general cause of frozen flux slippage. In simple 2D cases with an isolated central diffusion region surrounded by separatrices, these diagnostics uniquely identify the traditional diffusion region (without confusing it with the two fluid “ion-diffusion” region) and clarify the role of the separatrices where frozen flux violations do occur but are not substantial. In the more complicated guide and asymmetric 2D cases, substantial flux slippage regions extend out along, but inside of, the preferred separatrices

  6. Reconnecting Youth. What Works Clearinghouse Intervention Report

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    What Works Clearinghouse, 2015

    2015-01-01

    "Reconnecting Youth" is an elective, credit-bearing course for students at risk of dropping out of school due to frequent absenteeism, low grades, or a history of dropping out. The curriculum focuses on building self-esteem, decision making, personal control, and interpersonal communication skills. The What Works Clearninghouse (WWC)…

  7. Understanding the Global Characteristics of Magnetic Reconnection

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2016-07-01

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

  8. Percussion Discussion: Using Drums To Reconnect Youth.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Wilbur, John; Harris, Tom

    1998-01-01

    Reports on a therapeutic program for juvenile offenders that uses drum playing and drum building to provide alternatives for youth activities. Drums play five important roles for youth: creating a sense of community, reconnecting with history and heritage, promoting healing, educating, and celebrating victories or rites of passage. Provides…

  9. Three-dimensional null point reconnection regimes

    SciTech Connect

    Priest, E. R.; Pontin, D. I.

    2009-12-15

    Recent advances in theory and computational experiments have shown the need to refine the previous categorization of magnetic reconnection at three-dimensional null points--points at which the magnetic field vanishes. We propose here a division into three different types, depending on the nature of the flow near the spine and fan of the null. The spine is an isolated field line which approaches the null (or recedes from it), while the fan is a surface of field lines which recede from it (or approach it). So-called torsional spine reconnection occurs when field lines in the vicinity of the fan rotate, with current becoming concentrated along the spine so that nearby field lines undergo rotational slippage. In torsional fan reconnection field lines near the spine rotate and create a current that is concentrated in the fan with a rotational flux mismatch and rotational slippage. In both of these regimes, the spine and fan are perpendicular and there is no flux transfer across spine or fan. The third regime, called spine-fan reconnection, is the most common in practice and combines elements of the previous spine and fan models. In this case, in response to a generic shearing motion, the null point collapses to form a current sheet that is focused at the null itself, in a sheet that locally spans both the spine and fan. In this regime the spine and fan are no longer perpendicular and there is flux transfer across both of them.

  10. Helicity Annihilation in Trefoil Reconnection: Simulations

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kerr, Robert M.

    2015-11-01

    The simulated evolution and self-reconnection of a perturbed trefoil vortex knot is compared to the experiment. To have a single initial reconnection, as in the experiments, the trefoil is perturbed by 4 weak vortex rings. Visualizations show that the simulations and experiments undergo similar topological changes. Quantitative comparisons using the helicity and global topological number show that both are preserved for a long period before reconnection begins, as in the experiments. Unlike the experiments, once reconnection begins, a significant fraction of the helicity is dissipated and the global topological number changes by a discrete amount in a fixed time. Helicity spectra and physical space correlations show that the change in helicity is associated with the appearance of negative helicity at lower wavenumbers and in the outer regions of the trefoil. Furthermore, using a range of Reynolds numbers, with the highest comparable to the experiments, it is demonstrated that a Reynolds number independent fraction of the initial helicity is dissipated in a finite time. This observation does not violate any current mathematics restricting the strong growth of Navier-Stokes norms as the viscosity goes to zero due to the structure of the trefoil.

  11. Rapid Change of Field Line Connectivity and Reconnection in Stochastic Magnetic Fields

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Huang, Y. M.; Bhattacharjee, A.; Boozer, A. H.

    2014-12-01

    address the difficulty in distinguishing magnetic reconnection from enhanced diffusion in the presence of field line stochasticity. Rapid change of field line connectivity appears to be a necessary, but may not be sufficient, condition for fast reconnection.

  12. 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.

  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. Interchange Reconnection and Coronal Hole Dynamics

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

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

    2011-01-01

    We investigate the effect of magnetic reconnection between open and closed field, (often referred to as "interchange" reconnection), on the dynamics and topology of coronal hole boundaries. The most important and most prevalent 3D topology of the interchange process is that of a small-scale bipolar magnetic field interacting with a large-scale background field. We determine the evolution of such a magnetic topology by numerical solution of the fully 3D MHD equations in spherical coordinates. First, we calculate the evolution of a small-scale bipole that initially is completely inside an open field region and then is driven across a coronal hole boundary by photospheric motions. Next the reverse situation is calculated in which the bipole is initially inside the closed region and driven toward the coronal hole boundary. In both cases we find that the stress imparted by the photospheric motions results in deformation of the separatrix surface between the closed field of the bipole and the background field, leading to rapid current sheet formation and to efficient reconnection. When the bipole is inside the open field region, the reconnection is of the interchange type in that it exchanges open and closed field. We examine, in detail, the topology of the field as the bipole moves across the coronal hole boundary, and find that the field remains well-connected throughout this process. Our results imply that open flux cannot penetrate deeply into the closed field region below a helmet streamer and, hence, support the quasi-steady models in which open and closed flux remain topologically distinct. Our results also support the uniqueness hypothesis for open field regions as postulated by Antiochos et al. We discuss the implications of this work for coronal observations. Subject Headings: Sun: corona Sun: magnetic fields Sun: reconnection Sun: coronal hole

  15. Time-dependent closure relations for relativistic collisionless fluid equations

    SciTech Connect

    Bendib-Kalache, K.; Bendib, A.; El Hadj, K. Mohammed

    2010-11-15

    Linear fluid equations for relativistic and collisionless plasmas are derived. Closure relations for the fluid equations are analytically computed from the relativistic Vlasov equation in the Fourier space ({omega},k), where {omega} and k are the conjugate variables of time t and space x variables, respectively. The mathematical method used is based on the projection operator techniques and the continued fraction mathematical tools. The generalized heat flux and stress tensor are calculated for arbitrary parameter {omega}/kc where c is the speed of light, and for arbitrary relativistic parameter z=mc{sup 2}/T, where m is the particle rest mass and T, the plasma temperature in energy units.

  16. A mean field Ohm's law for collisionless plasmas

    SciTech Connect

    Biglari, H. ); Diamond, P.H. )

    1993-11-01

    A mean field Ohm's law valid for collisionless plasmas is derived kinetically. It is shown that contrary to conventional thinking, the resulting hyperresistivity is significantly smaller than its fluid counterpart due to the fact that the turbulent decorrelation rate is linked to the rapid electron ballistic motion rather than the slower nonlinear mixing time. Moreover, the off-diagonal contributions to the parallel electron momentum flux are shown to result in Ohm's law renormalizations that dwarf the current diffusivity and break radial parity symmetry.

  17. Neoclassical Transport Caused by Collisionless Scattering across an Asymmetric Separatrix

    SciTech Connect

    Dubin, Daniel H. E.; Driscoll, C. F.; Tsidulko, Yu. A.

    2010-10-29

    Plasma loss due to apparatus asymmetries is a ubiquitous phenomenon in magnetic plasma confinement. When the plasma equilibrium has locally trapped particle populations partitioned by a separatrix from one another and from passing particles, the asymmetry transport is enhanced. The trapped and passing particle populations react differently to the asymmetries, leading to the standard 1/{nu} and {radical}({nu}) transport regimes of superbanana orbit theory as particles collisionally scatter from one orbit type to another. However, when the separatrix is itself asymmetric, particles can collisionlessly transit from trapped to passing and back, leading to enhanced transport.

  18. Entropy production rate as a constraint for collisionless fluid closures

    SciTech Connect

    Fleurence, E.; Sarazin, Y.; Garbet, X.; Dif-Pradalier, G.; Ghendrih, Ph.; Grandgirard, V.; Ottaviani, M.

    2006-11-30

    A novel method is proposed to construct collisionless fluid closures accounting for some kinetic properties. The first dropped fluid moment is assumed to be a linear function of the lower order ones. Optimizing the agreement between the fluid and kinetic entropy production rates is used to constrain the coefficients of the linear development. This procedure is applied to a reduced version of the interchange instability. The closure, involving the absolute value of the wave vector, is non-local in real space. In this case, the linear instability thresholds are the same, and the linear growth rates exhibit similar characteristics. Such a method is applicable to other models and classes of instabilities.

  19. Vlasov equation and collisionless hydrodynamics adapted to curved spacetime

    SciTech Connect

    Dodin, I. Y.; Fisch, N. J.

    2010-11-15

    The modification of the Vlasov equation, in its standard form describing a charged particle distribution in the six-dimensional phase space, is derived explicitly within a formal Hamiltonian approach for arbitrarily curved spacetime. The equation accounts simultaneously for the Lorentz force and the effects of general relativity, with the latter appearing as the gravity force and an additional force due to the extrinsic curvature of spatial hypersurfaces. For an arbitrary spatial metric, the equations of collisionless hydrodynamics are also obtained in the usual three-vector form.

  20. Analytical collisionless damping rate of geodesic acoustic mode

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ren, H.; Xu, X. Q.

    2016-10-01

    Collisionless damping of geodesic acoustic mode (GAM) is analytically investigated by considering the finite-orbit-width (FOW) resonance effect to the 3rd order in the gyro-kinetic equations. A concise and transparent expression for the damping rate is presented for the first time. Good agreement is found between the analytical damping rate and the previous TEMPEST simulation result (Xu 2008 et al Phys. Rev. Lett. 100 215001) for systematic q scans. Our result also shows that it is of sufficient accuracy and has to take into account the FOW effect to the 3rd order.