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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. 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.

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

    SciTech Connect

    Jovanovic, D.; Shukla, P.K.

    2005-05-15

    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-Alfven and kinetic-Alfven regimes, and providing the anomalous resistivity for the growth of magnetic islands beyond the shear-Alfven and kinetic-Alfven scales.

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

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

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

    2012-01-01

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

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

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

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

    2012-01-01

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

  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. 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.

  8. 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.

  9. 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.

  10. Collisionless Magnetic Reconnection in Space Plasmas

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Treumann, Rudolf A.; Baumjohann, Wolfgang

    2013-12-01

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

  11. 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

  12. Effects of electron inertia in collisionless magnetic reconnection

    SciTech Connect

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

    2014-07-15

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

  13. Effects of electron inertia in collisionless magnetic reconnection

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2014-07-01

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

  14. Nongyrotropic electron orbits in collisionless magnetic reconnection

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Zenitani, S.

    2016-12-01

    In order to study inner workings of magnetic reconnection, NASA has recently launched Magnetospheric MultiScale (MMS) spacecraft. It is expected to observe electron velocity distribution functions (VDFs) at high resolution in magnetotail reconnection sites in 2017. Since VDFs are outcomes of many particle orbits, it is important to understand the relation between electron orbits and VDFs. In this work, we study electron orbits and associated VDFs in the electron current layer in magnetic reconnection, by using a two-dimensional particle-in-cell (PIC) simulation. By analyzing millions of electron orbits, we discover several new orbits: (1) Figure-eight-shaped regular orbits inside the super-Alfvenic electron jet, (2) noncrossing Speiser orbits that do not cross the midplane, (3) noncrossing regular orbits on the jet flanks, and (4) nongyrotropic electrons in the downstream of the jet termination region. Properties of these orbits are organized by a theory on particle orbits (Buchner & Zelenyi 1989 JGR). The noncrossing orbits are mediated by the polarization electric field (Hall electric field E_z) near the midplane. These orbits can be understood as electrostatic extensions of the conventional theory. Properties of the super-Alfvenic electron jet are attributed to the traditional Speiser-orbit electrons. On the other hand, the noncrossing electrons are the majority in number density in the jet flanks. This raise a serious question to our present understanding of physics of collisionless magnetic reconnection, which only assumes crossing populations. We will also discuss spatial distribution of energetic electrons and observational signatures of noncrossing electrons. Reference: Zenitani & Nagai (2016), submitted to Phys. Plasmas.

  15. Nonlinear gyrofluid simulations of collisionless reconnection

    SciTech Connect

    Grasso, D.; Tassi, E.; Waelbroeck, F. L.

    2010-08-15

    The Hamiltonian gyrofluid model recently derived by Waelbroeck et al. [Phys. Plasmas 16, 032109 (2009)] is used to investigate nonlinear collisionless reconnection with a strong guide field by means of numerical simulations. Finite ion Larmor radius gives rise to a cascade of the electrostatic potential to scales below both the ion gyroradius and the electron skin depth. This cascade is similar to that observed previously for the density and current in models with cold ions. In addition to density cavities, the cascades create electron beams at scales below the ion gyroradius. The presence of finite ion temperature is seen to modify, inside the magnetic island, the distribution of the velocity fields that advect two Lagrangian invariants of the system. As a consequence, the fine structure in the electron density is confined to a layer surrounding the separatrix. Finite ion Larmor radius effects produce also a different partition between the electron thermal, potential, and kinetic energy, with respect to the cold-ion case. Other aspects of the dynamics such as the reconnection rate and the stability against Kelvin-Helmholtz modes are similar to simulations with finite electron compressibility but cold ions.

  16. 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.

  17. 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.

  18. A multi-model plasma simulation of collisionless magnetic reconnection

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Datta, I. A. M.; Shumlak, U.; Ho, A.; Miller, S. T.

    2016-10-01

    Collisionless magnetic reconnection is a process relevant to many areas of plasma physics in which energy stored in magnetic fields within highly conductive plasmas is rapidly converted to plasma energy. A full understanding of this phenomenon, however, is currently incomplete as models developed to date have difficulty explaining the fast reconnection rates often seen in nature, such as in the case of solar flares. Therefore, this behavior represents an area of much research in which various plasma models have been tested in order to understand the proper physics explaining the reconnection process. In this research, the WARPXM code developed at the University of Washington is used to study the problem using a hybrid multi-model simulation employing Hall-MHD and two-fluid plasma models. The simulation is performed on a decomposed domain where different plasma models are solved in different regions, depending on a trade-off between each model's physical accuracy and associated computational expense in each region. The code employs a discontinuous Galerkin (DG) finite element spatial discretization coupled with a Runge-Kutta scheme for time advancement and uses boundary conditions to couple the different plasma models. This work is supported by a Grant from the United States Air Force Office of Scientific Research.

  19. 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.

  20. 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.

  1. 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.

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

    SciTech Connect

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

    2011-05-13

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

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

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

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

    2012-01-01

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

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

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

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

    2012-01-01

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

  5. ``Illuminating'' electron diffusion regions of collisionless magnetic reconnection using electron agyrotropy

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Scudder, Jack; Daughton, William

    2008-06-01

    Agyrotropy is a scalar measure of the departure of the pressure tensor from cylindrical symmetry about the local magnetic field direction. Ordinarily electrons are well modeled as gyrotropic with very small agyrotropy. Intensified layers of electron agyrotropy are demonstrated to highlight the thin electron gyroradius scale boundary regions adjoining separatrices, X and O lines of full particle simulations of collisionless magnetic reconnection. Examples are presented to show these effects in antiparallel and guide field geometries, pair plasmas, and simulations at a variety of mass ratios, including a hydrogen plasma. Agyrotropy has been determined from the PIC pressure tensor using a new, fast algorithm developed to correct discreteness contributions to the apparent agyrotropy. As a local scalar diagnostic, agyrotropy is shown to be potentially useful with single spacecraft data to identify the crossing or proximity of electron scale current layers, thus providing a kinetic level diagnosis of a given layer's ability to be a possible site of the collisionless reconnection process. Such kinetic tools are certainly complimentary to the other macroscopic signatures of reconnection. Because of the extreme circumstances required for electron agyrotropy, detection of these signatures with framing macroscopic signatures might prove useful for the discovery of new reconnection sites in nature and 3-D codes of collisionless reconnection. The agyrotropy in the 2-D PIC codes reflect long-lived bulges on the distribution function that appear to be organized by the direction and size of slowly evolving perpendicular electric fields in these layers and are not consistent with gyrophase bunching.

  6. 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.

  7. Kinetic simulations of collisionless magnetic reconnection

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Aunai, N.; Dargent, J.; Lavraud, B.; Ciardi, A.; Drouin, M.; Smets, R.

    2016-12-01

    This paper focuses on magnetic reconnection and its role in magnetospheric physics, where collisions are inexistant. In this context, the presence of a very cold ion population of ionospheric origin is known to have an important contribution to the particle density at the magnetopause. However, besides this mass loading effect, consequences of their extremely low temperature, and therefore of their must smaller gyroscale, have not yet been addressed from a modeling viewpoint. This study presents two fully kinetic simulations with and without cold ions in the magnetosphere and highlights how their small Larmor radius can change signatures expected to be proxy of the X line in spacecraft measurements. In a second part, this paper addresses shortly the problem of the X line orientation in an asymmetric system. Using this time hybrid kinetic simulations, we show the X line aligned with the bisector of upstream magnetic field vectors results in faster reconnection rate. This have consequences regarding where reconnection at the magnetopause, although models here do not include large scale dynamics. We conclude with perspectives regarding future developments to address multi-scale magnetic reconnection dynamics at the magnetopause.

  8. 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.

  9. Turbulent transport in 2D collisionless guide field reconnection

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2017-02-01

    Transport in hot and dilute, i.e., collisionless, astrophysical and space, plasmas is called "anomalous." This transport is due to the interaction between the particles and the self-generated turbulence by their collective interactions. The anomalous transport has very different and not well known properties compared to the transport due to binary collisions, dominant in colder and denser plasmas. Because of its relevance for astrophysical and space plasmas, we explore the excitation of turbulence in current sheets prone to component- or guide-field reconnection, a process not well understood yet. This configuration is typical for stellar coronae, and it is created in the laboratory for which a 2.5D geometry applies. In our analysis, in addition to the immediate vicinity of the X-line, we also include regions outside and near the separatrices. We analyze the anomalous transport properties by using 2.5D Particle-in-Cell code simulations. We split off the mean slow variation (in contrast to the fast turbulent fluctuations) of the macroscopic observables and determine the main transport terms of the generalized Ohm's law. We verify our findings by comparing with the independently determined slowing-down rate of the macroscopic currents (due to a net momentum transfer from particles to waves) and with the transport terms obtained by the first order correlations of the turbulent fluctuations. We find that the turbulence is most intense in the "low density" separatrix region of guide-field reconnection. It is excited by streaming instabilities, is mainly electrostatic and "patchy" in space, and so is the associated anomalous transport. Parts of the energy exchange between turbulence and particles are reversible and quasi-periodic. The remaining irreversible anomalous resistivity can be parametrized by an effective collision rate ranging from the local ion-cyclotron to the lower-hybrid frequency. The contributions to the parallel and the perpendicular (to the magnetic

  10. Three-dimensional outflow jets generated in collisionless magnetic reconnection

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Fujimoto, Keizo

    2016-10-01

    The present study proposes a new theoretical model generating three-dimensional (3-D) outflow jets in collisionless magnetic reconnection by means of a large-scale particle-in-cell simulation. The key mechanism is the formation of 3-D flux ropes arising in the turbulent electron current layer formed around the magnetic x line. The scale of the flux ropes along the current density is determined by the wavelength of an electron flow shear mode which is a macroscopic scale larger than the typical kinetic scales. The 3-D flux ropes are intermittently ejected from the current layer and regulates the outflow jets into three dimensions. The gross reconnection rate is sufficiently large, since reconnection takes place almost uniformly along the x line.

  11. Electron force balance in steady collisionless-driven reconnection.

    PubMed

    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 Alfvén velocity averaged over the electron dissipation region.

  12. Momentum transport near a magnetic X line in collisionless reconnection

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Cai, H. J.; Ding, D. Q.; Lee, L. C.

    1994-01-01

    Plasma dynamics and momentum transport near an X line during time-dependent magnetic reconnection in a collisionless plasma are investigated based on two-dimensional particle simulations. We find that a weakly skewed velocity distribution is formed near the magnetic X line, leading to the presence of off-diagonal elements of the plasma pressure tensor. Let the reconnection electric field be in the y direction. The gradients of the off-diagonal elements of the pressure tensor can provide a transport of the y momentum. During the normal magnetic reconnection, the momentum transport associated with the off-diagonal terms of the pressure tensor mediates a transfer of the y momentum from the region near the X line to regions outside the X line. A period of 'reverse magnetic reconnection,' during which the plasma kinetic energy is converted into magnetic energy, is also observed in the simulation. When reverse reconnection occurs, the gradients of the off-diagonal pressure tensor elements can mediate a transfer of y momentum into the X line. It is found that the inertial term also plays a significant role in the force balance near the magnetic X line. An explanation for the origin of the off-diagonal pressure terms is also given in this paper.

  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. 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.

  15. 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.

  16. Structures of diffusion regions in collisionless magnetic reconnection

    SciTech Connect

    Umeda, Takayuki; Togano, Kentaro; Ogino, Tatsuki

    2010-05-15

    Detailed structures of diffusion regions in two-dimensional collisionless magnetic reconnection are studied by using an electromagnetic Vlasov simulation. It has been well known that plasma number density decreases near the X-point of the reconnection. However, numerical thermal fluctuations exist in particle-in-cell simulations, and there is a possibility that detailed structures near the X-point diffuse numerically when the number of particles per cell is not enough. In the present study, a high-resolution two-dimensional Vlasov simulation is performed. It is found that electron number density in the electron diffusion region decreases to a hundredth of the initial value. Structures of electron diffusion region are determined by the local electron inertial length.

  17. The Impact of Geometrical Constraints on Collisionless Magnetic Reconnection

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

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

    2012-01-01

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

  18. 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.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Tsiklauri, D.; Haruki, T.

    2008-10-01

    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 mi/me>>1, the time evolution of the reconnected flux is independent of ion-electron mass ratio. In addition, in the case of mi/me=1, we show that reconnection proceeds slowly as the Hall term is zero; when mi/me>>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 Alfvén time, somewhat less than half (~40%) of the initial total (roughly magnetic) energy is converted into the kinetic energy of electrons, and somewhat more than half (~60%) into kinetic energy of ions (similar to solar flare observations). (iv) In the strongly stressed X-point case, in about one Alfvén time, a full isotropy in all three spatial directions of the velocity distribution is seen for superthermal electrons (also commensurate with solar flare observations).

  20. Asymmetric evolution of magnetic reconnection in collisionless accretion disk

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Shirakawa, Keisuke; Hoshino, Masahiro

    2014-05-01

    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 J0×Ω0, where J0 is the initial current density in the neutral sheet and Ω0 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.

  1. 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.

  2. The Structure of the Separatix in Collisionless Magnetic Reconnection

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Daughton, W.; Scudder, J.; Karimabadi, H.

    2005-12-01

    Recent kinetic simulations of magnetic reconnection indicate the formation of intense electrostatic fields that start at the x-point and form sheet-like structures that extend outward for large distances along the separatrices. In the presence of a significant guide field, the characteristic thickness of these layers is on the order of the local electron gyroradius and there are significant deviations from charge neutrality within the layer. The resulting electrostatic fields are primarily perpendicular and may exceed the reconnection electric field by a factor of 20. A serious impediment to understanding the possible role of these structures is the use of periodic boundary conditions typically employed in kinetic simulations. In particular, the strong outward electron flow generated along one leg of a separatrix is allowed to circulate back through the system along the opposite side. This recirculation may artificially enhance beam driven instabilities and/or strongly modify the structure of the separatrix. In this work, we describe initial efforts to employ open boundary conditions in 2D fully kinetic PIC simulations, with the goal of better understanding the structure and role of the separatrix in collisionless magnetic reconnection.

  3. 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.

  4. Gyrokinetic simulations of collisionless reconnection in turbulent non-uniform plasmas

    SciTech Connect

    Kobayashi, Sumire; Rogers, Barrett N.; Numata, Ryusuke

    2014-04-15

    We present nonlinear gyrokinetic simulations of collisionless magnetic reconnection with non-uniformities in the plasma density, the electron temperature, and the ion temperature. The density gradient can stabilize reconnection due to diamagnetic effects but destabilize driftwave modes that produce turbulence. The electron temperature gradient triggers microtearing modes that drive rapid small-scale reconnection and strong electron heat transport. The ion temperature gradient destabilizes ion temperature gradient modes that, like the driftwaves, may enhance reconnection in some cases.

  5. 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.

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

    SciTech Connect

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

    2014-02-15

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

  7. Electron Scale Signatures of Asymmetric Collisionless Reconnection Obtained from Particle-in-Cel Models.

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Aunai, N.; Hesse, M.; Kuznetsova, M. M.; Lavraud, B.

    2014-12-01

    The mechanisms controlling collisionless magnetic reconnection at electron scales are still poorly understood and the canonical symmetric 2D antiparallel reconnection configuration is quite limited in front of the great diversity of upstream plasma and field configurations reconnection can encounter. Therefore, efficient comparison between numerical simulations and in situ observations requires to look at features as generic as possible and to understand what can limit their generality. In this context, we will discuss the signatures of electron nongyrotropy, the impact of non kinetic equilibrium as an initial condition of asymmetric reconnection models, and of the orientation of the reconnection plane with respect to the upstream field in 2D models.

  8. 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

  9. 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.

  10. 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.

  11. Suppression of collisionless magnetic reconnection in asymmetric current sheets

    SciTech Connect

    Liu, Yi-Hsin; Hesse, Michael

    2016-06-15

    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.

  12. Mechanisms for fast flare reconnection

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

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

    1988-01-01

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

  13. 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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2013-04-01

    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

  15. FAST MAGNETIC RECONNECTION AND SPONTANEOUS STOCHASTICITY

    SciTech Connect

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

    2011-12-10

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

  16. 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.

  17. Erratum: A Simple, Analytical Model of Collisionless Magnetic Reconnection in a Pair Plasma

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

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

    2011-01-01

    The following describes a list of errata in our paper, "A simple, analytical model of collisionless magnetic reconnection in a pair plasma." It supersedes an earlier erratum. We recently discovered an error in the derivation of the outflow-to-inflow density ratio.

  18. Model of electron pressure anisotropy in the electron diffusion region of collisionless magnetic reconnection

    SciTech Connect

    Divin, A.; Markidis, S.; Lapenta, G.; Semenov, V. S.; Erkaev, N. V.; Biernat, H. K.

    2010-12-15

    A new model of the electron pressure anisotropy in the electron diffusion region in collisionless magnetic reconnection is presented for the case of antiparallel configuration of magnetic fields. The plasma anisotropy is investigated as source of collisionless dissipation. By separating electrons in the vicinity of the neutral line into two broad classes of inflowing and accelerating populations, it is possible to derive a simple closure for the off-diagonal electron pressure component. The appearance of these two electron populations near the neutral line is responsible for the anisotropy and collisionless dissipation in the magnetic reconnection. Particle-in-cell simulations verify the proposed model, confirming first the presence of two particle populations and second the analytical results for the off-diagonal electron pressure component. Furthermore, test-particle calculations are performed to compare our approach with the model of electron pressure anisotropy in the inner electron diffusion region by Fujimoto and Sydora [Phys. Plasmas 16, 112309 (2009)].

  19. 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.

  20. Aspects of collisionless magnetic reconnection in asymmetric systems

    SciTech Connect

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

    2013-06-15

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

  1. Aspects of Collisionless Magnetic Reconnection in Asymmetric Systems

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

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

    2013-01-01

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

  2. Aspects of Collisionless Magnetic Reconnection in Asymmetric Systems

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

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

    2013-01-01

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

  3. Quasi-Separatrix Layers and Line-tied Reconnection in Collisionless Plasmas

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Billey, Zachary; Zweibel, Ellen; Finn, John; Daughton, William

    2015-11-01

    Many plasmas undergoing magnetic reconnection have boundaries that have constant magnetic flux on the dynamical timescales of the system, such as coronal loops and planetary magnetospheres. Systems where the boundary magnetic flux is constant are called line-tied systems. We conduct collisionless fully 3D particle-in-cell simulations in slab geometry to study how line-tying changes the dynamics relative non-tied systems. We confirm Quasi-Separatrix Layers (QSLs) as a model for predicting potential reconnection sites in 3D systems. Based on this theory, we use line-integrated diagnostics to investigate the collisionless physics relating to the parallel electric field. Here we find non-gyrotopic terms in the pressure tensor are important at the center of the reconnection layer. We investigate the effect of varying the length of the line-tied plasma on the growth rate and reconnection process and compare oblique modes with equivalent periodic systems. We discuss the extension into collisionless regimes of the geometric width vs tearing width theory, developed to explain line-tied suppression of tearing in MHD reconnection. Work supported by the NSF and U.S. DoE through CMSO.

  4. Physical mechanism of spontaneous fast reconnection evolution

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ugai, M.

    2001-06-01

    Large dissipative events, such as solar flares and geomagnetic substorms, result from sudden onset of magnetic reconnection, so that it is a long-standing problem to find the physical mechanism that makes magnetic reconnection explosive. As recognized by Petschek, standing slow shocks enable the effective magnetic energy conversion in space plasmas of extremely large magnetic Reynolds number. Hence, a basic question is how the fast reconnection mechanism involving slow shocks can be realized as an eventual solution? We have proposed the spontaneous fast reconnection model, which describes a new type of nonlinear instability that grows by the positive feedback between plasma microphysics (current-driven anomalous resistivity) and macrophysics (global reconnection flow). It is demonstrated that the fast reconnection mechanism explosively grows by the positive feedback in a variety of physical situations; for the larger threshold of anomalous resistivity, the fast reconnection evolves more drastically. Also, distinct plasma processes, such as large-scale plasmoid and magnetic loop dynamics, result directly from the fast reconnection evolution. Even in general asymmetric situations, the spontaneous fast reconnection model effectively works, giving rise to drastic magnetic flux transfer.

  5. 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.

  6. Magnetic field generation, Weibel-mediated collisionless shocks, and magnetic reconnection in colliding laser-produced plasmas

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Fox, W.; Bhattacharjee, A.; Fiksel, G.

    2016-10-01

    Colliding plasmas are ubiquitous in astrophysical environments and allow conversion of kinetic energy into heat and, most importantly, the acceleration of particles to extremely high energies to form the cosmic ray spectrum. In collisionless astrophysical plasmas, kinetic plasma processes govern the interaction and particle acceleration processes, including shock formation, self-generation of magnetic fields by kinetic plasma instabilities, and magnetic field compression and reconnection. How each of these contribute to the observed spectra of cosmic rays is not fully understood, in particular both shock acceleration processes and magnetic reconnection have been proposed. We will review recent results of laboratory astrophysics experiments conducted at high-power, inertial-fusion-class laser facilities, which have uncovered significant results relevant to these processes. Recent experiments have now observed the long-sought Weibel instability between two interpenetrating high temperature plasma plumes, which has been proposed to generate the magnetic field necessary for shock formation in unmagnetized regimes. Secondly, magnetic reconnection has been studied in systems of colliding plasmas using either self-generated magnetic fields or externally applied magnetic fields, and show extremely fast reconnection rates, indicating fast destruction of magnetic energy and further possibilities to accelerate particles. Finally, we highlight kinetic plasma simulations, which have proven to be essential tools in the design and interpretation of these experiments.

  7. Magnetic field generation, Weibel-mediated collisionless shocks, and magnetic reconnection in colliding laser-produced plasmas

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Fox, William

    2015-08-01

    Colliding plasmas are ubiquitous in astrophysical environments and allow conversion of kinetic energy into heat and, most importantly, the acceleration of particles to extremely high energies to form the cosmic ray spectrum. In collisionless astrophysical plasmas, kinetic plasma processes govern the interaction and particle acceleration processes, including shock formation, self-generation of magnetic fields by kinetic plasma instabilities, and magnetic field compression and reconnection. How each of these contribute to the observed spectra of cosmic rays is not fully understood, in particular both shock acceleration processes and magnetic reconnection have been proposed. We will review recent results of laboratory astrophysics experiments conducted at high-power, inertial-fusion-class laser facilities, which have uncovered significant results relevant to these processes. Recent experiments have now observed the long-sought Weibel instability between two interpenetrating high temperature plasma plumes, which has been proposed to generate the magnetic field necessary for shock formation in unmagnetized regimes. A second set of experiments has demonstrated magnetized shock formation in pre-magnetized plasmas. Finally, magnetic reconnection has been studied in systems of colliding plasmas using either self-generated magnetic fields or externally applied magnetic fields, and show extremely fast reconnection rates, indicating fast destruction of magnetic energy and further possibilities to accelerate particles. Finally, we highlight kinetic plasma simulations, which have proven to be essential tools in the design and interpretation of these experiments.

  8. Chaos-induced resistivity of collisionless magnetic reconnection in the presence of a guide field

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Shang, Meng; Wu, De-Jin; Chen, Ling; Chen, Peng-Fei

    2017-01-01

    One of the most puzzling problems in astrophysics is to understand the anomalous resistivity in collisionless magnetic reconnection that is believed extensively to be responsible for the energy release in various eruptive phenomena. The magnetic null point in the reconnecting current sheet, acting as a scattering center, can lead to chaotic motions of particles in the current sheet, which is one of the possible mechanisms for anomalous resistivity and is called chaos-induced resistivity. In many interesting cases, however, instead of the magnetic null point, there is a nonzero magnetic field perpendicular to the merging field lines, usually called the guide field, whose effect on chaos-induced resistivity has been an open problem. By use of the test particle simulation method and statistical analysis, we investigate chaos-induced resistivity in the presence of a constant guide field. The characteristics of particle motion in the reconnecting region, in particular, the chaotic behavior of particle orbits and evolving statistical features, are analyzed. The results show that as the guide field increases, the radius of the chaos region increases and the Lyapunov index decreases. However, the effective collision frequency, and hence the chaos-induced resistivity, reach their peak values when the guide field approaches half of the characteristic strength of the reconnection magnetic field. The presence of a guide field can significantly influence the chaos of the particle orbits and hence the chaos-induced resistivity in the reconnection sheet, which decides the collisionless reconnection rate. The present result is helpful for us to understand the microphysics of anomalous resistivity in collisionless reconnection with a guide field.

  9. 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.

  10. 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.

  11. 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.

  12. 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

  13. Particle-in-Cell Simulations of Collisionless Magnetic Reconnection with a Non-Uniform Guide Field

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wilson, Fiona; Neukirch, Thomas; Hesse, Michael

    2016-04-01

    Results are presented of a first study of collisionless magnetic reconnection starting from a recently found exact nonlinear force-free Vlasov-Maxwell equilibrium. The initial state has a Harris sheet magnetic field profile in one direction and a non-uniform guide field in a second direction, resulting in a spatially constant magnetic field strength as well as a constant initial plasma density and plasma pressure. It is found that the reconnection process initially resembles guide field reconnection, but that a gradual transition to anti-parallel reconnection happens as the system evolves. The time evolution of a number of plasma parameters is investigated, and the results are compared with simulations starting from a Harris sheet equilibrium and a Harris sheet plus constant guide field equilibrium.

  14. Particle-in-cell simulations of collisionless magnetic reconnection with a non-uniform guide field

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wilson, F.; Neukirch, T.; Hesse, M.; Harrison, M. G.; Stark, C. R.

    2016-03-01

    Results are presented of a first study of collisionless magnetic reconnection starting from a recently found exact nonlinear force-free Vlasov-Maxwell equilibrium. The initial state has a Harris sheet magnetic field profile in one direction and a non-uniform guide field in a second direction, resulting in a spatially constant magnetic field strength as well as a constant initial plasma density and plasma pressure. It is found that the reconnection process initially resembles guide field reconnection, but that a gradual transition to anti-parallel reconnection happens as the system evolves. The time evolution of a number of plasma parameters is investigated, and the results are compared with simulations starting from a Harris sheet equilibrium and a Harris sheet plus constant guide field equilibrium.

  15. Three Dimensional Dynamics of Collisionless Magnetic Reconnection in Large-Scale Pair Plasmas

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Yin, L.; Daughton, W.; Karimabadi, H.; Albright, B. J.; Bowers, K. J.; Margulies, J.

    2008-12-01

    Using the largest three dimensional particle-in-cell simulations to date, collisionless magnetic reconnection in large-scale electron-positron plasmas without a guide field is shown to involve complex interaction of tearing and kink modes. The reconnection onset is patchy and occurs at multiple sites which self-organize to form a single, large diffusion region. There is a basic tendency for the diffusion region to further elongate in the outflow direction and become unstable to secondary kinking and formation of "plasmoid-rope" structures with finite extent in the current direction. The secondary kink leads to folding of the reconnection current layer, while plasmoid ropes at times follow the folding of the current layer. The interplay among these secondary instabilities plays a key role in controlling the time dependent reconnection rate in large-scale systems.

  16. Particle-in-cell simulations of collisionless magnetic reconnection with a non-uniform guide field

    SciTech Connect

    Wilson, F. Neukirch, T. Harrison, M. G.; Hesse, M.; Stark, C. R.

    2016-03-15

    Results are presented of a first study of collisionless magnetic reconnection starting from a recently found exact nonlinear force-free Vlasov–Maxwell equilibrium. The initial state has a Harris sheet magnetic field profile in one direction and a non-uniform guide field in a second direction, resulting in a spatially constant magnetic field strength as well as a constant initial plasma density and plasma pressure. It is found that the reconnection process initially resembles guide field reconnection, but that a gradual transition to anti-parallel reconnection happens as the system evolves. The time evolution of a number of plasma parameters is investigated, and the results are compared with simulations starting from a Harris sheet equilibrium and a Harris sheet plus constant guide field equilibrium.

  17. Global impact of collisionless magnetic reconnection on the structure of planetary magnetospheres

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Dorelli, J.; Glocer, A.; Collinson, G.; Toth, G.

    2014-12-01

    While the local physics of collisionless magnetic reconnection has been well studied, the consequences for global magnetospheric structure remain largely unexplored. It is well known, for example, that Hall electric fields generate a new system of field-aligned currents propagating from the reconnection site along the magnetic separatrices; but it is not known how these currents contribute to the global region 1 and region 2 current systems or to auroral substorm features. In this presentation, we show that collisionless reconnection has a significant impact on the large scale structure of planetary magnetospheres. Using global Hall MHD simulations, we demonstrate that field-aligned currents generated at the reconnection sites (and carried by whistler or kinetic Alfven waves) extend all the way down to the surface of the magnetized body and must therefore be included in the magnetosphere-ionosphere coupling physics (e.g., Harang-like discontinuities in the ionospheric convection pattern -- absent in MHD -- are introduced, and the current densities are large enough to produce auroral emission). More surprisingly, ions and electrons pick up magnetic drifts (due to JxB forces in the ion diffusion regions) that significantly alter the global magnetospheric convection pattern. Ions in the plasma sheet drift duskward while electrons drift dawnward, producing large asymmetries in the plasma sheet structure even in the absense of solar wind asymmetry, asymmetric ionospheric conductance or co-rotation. We discuss the implications of these effects for the reconnection-driven magnetospheres of Ganymede, Mercury and Earth.

  18. 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.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2012-12-01

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

  20. The kinetic structure of collisionless slow shocks and reconnection exhausts

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Liu, Y.; Drake, J. F.; Swisdak, M. M.; Daughton, W. S.; Li, H.

    2011-12-01

    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. Particle-in-Cell (PIC) simulations are carried out for various 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||>P⊥) 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 ɛ =1-μ0(P||-P⊥)/B2 tends to plateau at 0.25. This balance arises from the competition between counter-streaming ions, which drives ɛ 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. An explanation for the critical value 0.25 is proposed by examining anisotropic fluid theories, in particular the Anisotropic Derivative Nonlinear-Schrodinger-Burgers equations, 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 transition point in a compound slow shock(SS)/rotational discontinuity(RD) wave. This work implies that it is a pair of compound SS/RD waves that bounds the reconnection outflow, instead of a pair of switch-off slow shocks as in Petschek's model. In large 2-D anti-parallel reconnection PIC simulations, the signature of ɛ =0.25 in the downstream exhausts which extend 200 ion-inertial scales away from the reconnection site is identified. Its implication on in-situ observations of magnetotail reconnection is discussed.

  1. 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

  2. On the collisionless magnetic reconnection rate of order 0.1

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2017-04-01

    Magnetic reconnection is the process whereby a change in topology of the magnetic field allows for a rapid release of magnetic energy into thermal and kinetic energy of the surrounding plasma. The magnitude of the reconnection electric field parallel to the X-line (where magnetic field lines break) not only determines the rate that reconnection proceeds, but can also be crucial for efficiently accelerating highly energetic super-thermal particles. Observations and numerical simulations reveal that essentially collisionless magnetic reconnection of a Harris-type current sheet in the steady state tends to proceed with a normalized reconnection rate of order 0.1, independent of dissipation mechanism or physical model. However, the explanation of this value has remained unclear for decades. We propose a model that provides insight to this long standing problem. The prediction from this model compares favorably to particle-in-cell simulations of magnetic reconnection in both the non-relativistic and extremely relativistic limits. These results may be important for applications to solar, magnetospheric, fusion, and astrophysical settings.

  3. On the collisionless magnetic reconnection rate of order 0.1

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Liu, Y. H.; Hesse, M.; Guo, F.; Daughton, W. S.; Li, H.; Cassak, P.; Shay, M. A.

    2016-12-01

    Magnetic reconnection is the process whereby a change in topology of the magnetic field allows for a rapid release of magnetic energy into thermal and kinetic energy of the surrounding plasma. The magnitude of the reconnection electric field parallel to the X-line (where magnetic field lines break) not only determines the rate that reconnection proceeds, but can also be crucial for efficiently accelerating highly energetic super-thermal particles. Observations and numerical simulations reveal that essentially collisionless magnetic reconnection of a Harris-type current sheet in the steady state tends to proceed with a normalized reconnection rate of order 0.1, independent of dissipation mechanism or physical model. However, the explanation of this value has remained unclear for decades. We propose a model that provides insight to this long standing problem. The prediction from this model compares favorably to particle-in-cell simulations of magnetic reconnection in both the non-relativistic and extremely relativistic limits. These results may be important for applications to solar, magnetospheric, fusion, and astrophysical settings.

  4. 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.

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

    SciTech Connect

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

    2014-01-15

    Works of Tsiklauri and Haruki [Phys. Plasmas 15, 102902 (2008); 14, 112905 (2007)] are extended by inclusion of the out-of-plane magnetic (guide) field. In particular, magnetic reconnection during collisionless, stressed X-point collapse for varying out-of-plane guide-fields is studied using a kinetic, 2.5D, fully electromagnetic, relativistic particle-in-cell numerical code. For zero guide-field, cases for both open and closed boundary conditions are investigated, where magnetic flux and particles are lost and conserved, respectively. It is found that reconnection rates, out-of-plane currents and density in the X-point increase more rapidly and peak sooner in the closed boundary case, but higher values are reached in the open boundary case. The normalized reconnection rate is fast: 0.10-0.25. In the open boundary case it is shown that an increase of guide-field yields later onsets in the reconnection peak rates, while in the closed boundary case initial peak rates occur sooner but are suppressed. The reconnection current changes similarly with increasing guide-field; however for low guide-fields the reconnection current increases, giving an optimal value for the guide-field between 0.1 and 0.2 times the in-plane field in both cases. Also, in the open boundary case, it is found that for guide-fields of the order of the in-plane magnetic field, the generation of electron vortices occurs. Possible causes of the vortex generation, based on the flow of decoupled particles in the diffusion region and localized plasma heating, are discussed. Before peak reconnection onset, oscillations in the out-of-plane electric field at the X-point are found, ranging in frequency from approximately 1 to 2 ω{sub pe} and coinciding with oscillatory reconnection. These oscillations are found to be part of a larger wave pattern in the simulation domain. Mapping the out-of-plane electric field along the central lines of the domain over time and applying a 2D Fourier transform reveal that

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2014-01-01

    Works of Tsiklauri and Haruki [Phys. Plasmas 15, 102902 (2008); 14, 112905 (2007)] are extended by inclusion of the out-of-plane magnetic (guide) field. In particular, magnetic reconnection during collisionless, stressed X-point collapse for varying out-of-plane guide-fields is studied using a kinetic, 2.5D, fully electromagnetic, relativistic particle-in-cell numerical code. For zero guide-field, cases for both open and closed boundary conditions are investigated, where magnetic flux and particles are lost and conserved, respectively. It is found that reconnection rates, out-of-plane currents and density in the X-point increase more rapidly and peak sooner in the closed boundary case, but higher values are reached in the open boundary case. The normalized reconnection rate is fast: 0.10-0.25. In the open boundary case it is shown that an increase of guide-field yields later onsets in the reconnection peak rates, while in the closed boundary case initial peak rates occur sooner but are suppressed. The reconnection current changes similarly with increasing guide-field; however for low guide-fields the reconnection current increases, giving an optimal value for the guide-field between 0.1 and 0.2 times the in-plane field in both cases. Also, in the open boundary case, it is found that for guide-fields of the order of the in-plane magnetic field, the generation of electron vortices occurs. Possible causes of the vortex generation, based on the flow of decoupled particles in the diffusion region and localized plasma heating, are discussed. Before peak reconnection onset, oscillations in the out-of-plane electric field at the X-point are found, ranging in frequency from approximately 1 to 2 ωpe and coinciding with oscillatory reconnection. These oscillations are found to be part of a larger wave pattern in the simulation domain. Mapping the out-of-plane electric field along the central lines of the domain over time and applying a 2D Fourier transform reveal that the

  7. Electron acceleration in collisionless shocks and magnetic reconnection by laser-produced plasma ablation

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Park, Jaehong; Spitkovksy, Anatoly; Fox, Will; Bhattacharjee, Amitava

    2016-10-01

    We perform particle-in-cell simulations of collisionless shocks and magnetic reconnection generated by ablated plasma expanding into a magnetized background plasma. We find: (1) The simulated proton radiography produces different morphology of the shock structure depending on the orientation of the magnetic field and can be used to identify a shock in the experiment. Electrons are accelerated by the whistler waves generated at oblique sites of the shock. (2) Forced collisionless magnetic reconnection is induced when the expanding plumes carry opposite magnetic polarities and interact with a background plasma. Electrons are accelerated at the reconnection X line and reveal a power-law distribution as the plasma beta is lowered, β = 0.08 . As the plasma beta is increased, β = 0.32 , the 1st order Fermi mechanism against the two plasma plumes contributes to the electron acceleration as well as the X line acceleration. Using 3-D simulations, we also explore the effect of 3-D instabilities (Weibel instability or drift-kink) on particle acceleration and magnetic field annihilation between the colliding magnetized plumes

  8. 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.

  9. Particle heating and acceleration during collisionless reconnection in a laboratory plasma

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Yoo, Jongsoo

    2013-10-01

    Particle heating and acceleration during magnetic reconnection is studied in the collisionless plasma of the Magnetic Reconnection Experiment (MRX). For ion heating and acceleration, the role of the in-plane (Hall) electric field is emphasized. An in-plane electrostatic potential profile is established by electron acceleration near the X-point. The potential profile shows a well structure along the direction normal to the reconnection current sheet that becomes deeper and wider downstream as its boundary expands along the separatrices where the in-plane electric field is strongest. The Hall electric field ballistically accelerates ions near the separatrices toward the outflow direction. After ions are accelerated, they are heated as they travel into the high-pressure downstream region due to an effect called re-magnetization. Electrons are also significantly heated during reconnection. The electron temperature sharply increases across the separatrices and peaks just outside of the electron diffusion region. Classical Ohmic dissipation based on the perpendicular Spitzer resistivity is too small to compensate for the energy loss by parallel heat conduction, indicating the presence of anomalous electron heating. Finally, a total energy inventory is calculated based on analysis of the Poynting, enthalpy, flow energy, and heat flux in the measured diffusion layer. More than half of the incoming magnetic energy is converted to particle energy during reconnection. The author thanks contributions from M. Yamada, H. Ji, J. Jara-Almonte, and C. E. Myers. This work is supported by DOE and NSF.

  10. 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.

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

    DOE PAGES

    Werner, G. R.; Uzdensky, D. A.; Cerutti, B.; ...

    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

  12. 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.

  13. The inner structure of collisionless magnetic reconnection: The electron-frame dissipation measure and Hall fields

    SciTech Connect

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

    2011-12-15

    It was recently proposed that the electron-frame dissipation measure, the energy transfer from the electromagnetic field to plasmas in the electron's rest frame, identifies the dissipation region of collisionless magnetic reconnection [Zenitani et al., Phys. Rev. Lett. 106, 195003 (2011)]. The measure is further applied to the electron-scale structures of antiparallel reconnection, by using two-dimensional particle-in-cell simulations. The size of the central dissipation region is controlled by the electron-ion mass ratio, suggesting that electron physics is essential. A narrow electron jet extends along the outflow direction until it reaches an electron shock. The jet region appears to be anti-dissipative. At the shock, electron heating is relevant to a magnetic cavity signature. The results are summarized to a unified picture of the single dissipation region in a Hall magnetic geometry.

  14. Two-dimensional and three-dimensional particle simulation studies of driven reconnection in a collisionless open system

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Horiuchi, R.; Pei, W.; Sato, T.

    Dynamical behavior and physical mechanism of collisionless reconnection in the presence of an external driving source are investigated by means of two-dimensional and three-dimensional full particle simulations. A long time scale simulation for a two-dimensional open system discloses that there are two evolving regimes in the temporal behavior of collisionless reconnection, i.e. a steady regime and an intermittent regime. The relationship between an anomalous resistivity and collisionless driven reconnection is also discussed based on three-dimensional particle simulation. 1 Open boundary model Magnetic reconnection is often discussed with steady models. On the other hand, long time scale MHD simulation (Amo et al., 1995) has demonstrated that magnetic reconnection takes place intermittently when there exists a constant energy supply from the exterior region. Which situation is realized in collisionless reconnection in the presence of an external driving source? In order to investigate long time scale evolution of collisionless driven reconnection we develop a full particle simulation model for a two-dimensional open system (Horiuchi et al., 2001; Pei et al., 2001). The plasma inflow is driven by an external driving field imposed at the upstream boundary (y = ±yb), while plasmas can freely flow in and out across the downstream boundary (x = ±xb). The amplitude of driving field is set for zero at t = 0, and increases with time while keeping a bell-shaped profile near the center and a flat profile in the periphery for an initial short moment. After then a constant profile is kept with maximum flux input rate E0. Thus, the plasma inflow at the upstream boundary is mainly controlled by two key parameters, i.e. the strength E0 (flux input rate) and the early non-uniformity scale xd (input window size). At the downstream boundary field quantities are assumed that Ex, Ey and ∂Ez/∂x are continuous at x = ±xb. The

  15. 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.

  16. 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.

  17. 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.

  18. 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.

  19. 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.

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

    SciTech Connect

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

    2010-11-15

    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, the 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.

  1. Fast magnetic reconnection with large guide fields

    SciTech Connect

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

    2015-01-09

    We domonstrate, 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. Moreover, 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. The rate is therefore independent of the DR physics and is in good agreement with kinetic results.

  2. Fast magnetic reconnection with large guide fields

    DOE PAGES

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

    2015-01-09

    We domonstrate, 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. Moreover, 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. The rate is therefore independentmore » of the DR physics and is in good agreement with kinetic results.« less

  3. The Structure of the Electron Outflow Jet in Collisionless Magnetic Reconnection

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Hesse, Michael; Zenitani, Seiji; Klimas, Alex

    2008-01-01

    Particle-in-cell simulations and analytic theory are applied to the study of the electron outflow jet in collisionless magnetic reconnection. In these jets, which have also been identified in spacecraft observations, electron flow speeds in thin layers exceed the ExB drift, suggesting that electrons are unmagnetized. In this study, we find the surprising result that the electron flow jets can be explained by a combination of EjcB drifts and of diamagnetic effects, through the combination of the gradients of particle pressure and of the magnetic field. In a suitably rotated coordinate system, the electron motion is readily decomposed into ExB drift and the motion to support the required current density, consistent with electron gyrotropy. This process appears to be nondissipative.

  4. The structure of the electron outflow jet in collisionless magnetic reconnection

    SciTech Connect

    Hesse, Michael; Zenitani, Seiji; Klimas, Alex

    2008-11-15

    Particle-in-cell simulations and analytic theory are applied to the study of the electron outflow jet in collisionless magnetic reconnection. In these jets, which have also been identified in spacecraft observations, electron flow speeds in thin layers exceed the ExB drift, suggesting that electrons are unmagnetized. In this study, we find the surprising result that the electron flow jets can be explained by a combination of ExB drifts and of diamagnetic effects through the combination of the gradients of particle pressure and of the magnetic field. In a suitably rotated coordinate system, the electron motion is readily decomposed into ExB drift and the motion to support the required current density, consistent with electron gyrotropy. This process appears to be nondissipative.

  5. Redistribution of fast ions during sawtooth reconnection

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Jaulmes, F.; Westerhof, E.; de Blank, H. J.

    2014-10-01

    In a tokamak-based fusion power plant, possible scenarios may include regulated sawtooth oscillations to remove thermalized helium from the core of the plasma. During a sawtooth crash, the helium ash and other impurities trapped in the core are driven by the instability to an outer region. However, in a fusion plasma, high energy ions will represent a significant population. We thus study the behaviour of these energetic particles during a sawtooth. This paper presents the modelling of the redistribution of fast ions during a sawtooth reconnection event in a tokamak plasma. Along the lines of the model for the evolution of the flux surfaces during a sawtooth collapse described in Ya.I. Kolesnichenko and Yu.V. Yakovenko 1996 Nucl. Fusion 36 159, we have built a time-dependent electromagnetic model of a sawtooth reconnection. The trajectories of the ions are described by a complete gyro-orbit integration. The fast particles were evolved from specific initial parameters (given energy and uniform spread in pitch) or distributed initially according to a slowing-down distribution created by fusion reactions. Our modelling is used to understand the main equilibrium parameters driving the motions during the collapse and to determine the evolution of the distribution function of energetic ions when different geometries of reconnection are considered.

  6. 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.

  7. A four-field model for collisionless reconnection: Hamiltonian structure and numerical simulations

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Tassi, Emanuele; Grasso, Daniela; Pegoraro, Francesco

    2008-11-01

    A 4-field model for magnetic reconnection in collisionless plasmas is investigated both analytically and numerically. The model equations are shown to admit a non-canonical Hamiltonian formulation with four infinite families of Casimir invariants [1]. Numerical simulations show that, consistently with previously investigated models [2,3], in the absence of significant fluctuations along the toroidal direction, reconnection can lead to a macroscopic saturated state exhibiting filamentation on microsocopic scales, or to a secondary Kelvin-Helmholtz-like instability, depending on the value of a parameter measuring the compressibility of the electron fluid. The novel feature exhibited by the four-field model is the coexistence of significant filamentation with a secondary instability when magnetic and velocity perturbations along the toroidal direction are no longer negligible. An interpretation of this phenomenon in terms of Casimir invariants is given.[0pt] [1] E. Tassi et al., Plasma Phys. Contr. Fus., 50, 085014 (2008)[0pt] [2] D. Grasso et al., Phys. Rev. Lett. 86, 5051 (2001)[0pt] [3] D. Del Sarto, F. Califano and F. Pegoraro, Phys. Plasmas 12, 012317 (2005)

  8. 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.

  9. 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.

  10. 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

  11. 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.

  12. The inversion layer of electric fields and electron phase-space-hole structure during two-dimensional collisionless magnetic reconnection

    SciTech Connect

    Chen Lijen; Lefebvre, Bertrand; Torbert, Roy B.; Daughton, William S.

    2011-01-15

    Based on two-dimensional fully kinetic simulations that resolve the electron diffusion layer in undriven collisionless magnetic reconnection with zero guide field, this paper reports the existence and evolution of an inversion layer of bipolar electric fields, its corresponding phase-space structure (an electron-hole layer), and the implication to collisionless dissipation. The inversion electric field layer is embedded in the layer of bipolar Hall electric field and extends throughout the entire length of the electron diffusion layer. The electron phase-space hole structure spontaneously arises during the explosive growth phase when there exist significant inflows into the reconnection layer, and electrons perform meandering orbits across the layer while being cyclotron-turned toward the outflow directions. The cyclotron turning of meandering electrons by the magnetic field normal to the reconnection layer is shown to be a primary factor limiting the current density in the region where the reconnection electric field is balanced by the gradient (along the current sheet normal) of the off-diagonal electron pressure-tensor.

  13. A generalized two-fluid picture of non-driven collisionless reconnection and its relation to whistler waves

    DOE PAGES

    None, None

    2017-05-05

    A generalized, intuitive two-fluid picture of 2D non-driven collisionless magnetic reconnection is described using results from a full-3D numerical simulation. The relevant two-fluid equations simplify to the condition that the flux associated with canonical circulation Q=me∇×ue+qeB is perfectly frozen into the electron fluid. In the reconnection geometry, flux tubes defined by Q are convected with the central electron current, effectively stretching the tubes and increasing the magnitude of Q exponentially. This, coupled with the fact that Q is a sum of two quantities, explains how the magnetic fields in the reconnection region reconnect and give rise to strong electron acceleration.more » The Q motion provides an interpretation for other phenomena as well, such as spiked central electron current filaments. The simulated reconnection rate was found to agree with a previous analytical calculation having the same geometry. Energy analysis shows that the magnetic energy is converted and propagated mainly in the form of the Poynting flux, and helicity analysis shows that the canonical helicity ∫P·Q dV as a whole must be considered when analyzing reconnection. A mechanism for whistler wave generation and propagation is also described, with comparisons to recent spacecraft observations.« less

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Choe, Gwangson; Lee, Junggi

    2016-04-01

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

  15. 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.

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

    SciTech Connect

    Egedal, Jan; Le, Ari; Daughton, William

    2013-06-15

    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{sub ∥},v{sub ⊥}) 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, β{sub e∞}, the pressure anisotropy becomes large with p{sub ∥}≫p{sub ⊥} and strong parallel electric fields develop in conjunction with this anisotropy. The parallel electric fields can be sustained over large spatial scales and

  17. 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

  18. Physical conditions for fast reconnection evolution in space plasmas

    SciTech Connect

    Ugai, M.

    2012-07-15

    The present paper studies physical conditions for fast reconnection mechanism involving slow shocks to evolve spontaneously in space (high-temperature) plasmas. This is fundamental for onset mechanisms of geomagnetic substorms and solar flares. It is demonstrated that reconnection evolution strongly depends on effective resistivity available in space plasmas as well as on dimensions of initial current sheet. If a current sheet is sufficiently thin, fast reconnection spontaneously evolves only when resistivity is locally enhanced around X reconnection point. This is because in space plasmas reconnection flows cause vital current concentration locally around X point. For current-driven anomalous resistivity, the resulting resistivity is automatically localized around X point, so fast reconnection mechanism can be realized. On the other hand, for uniform or Spitzer resistivity, any fast reconnection cannot grow; in particular, Spitzer resistivity is reduced around X point because of Joule heating. Regarding reconnection simulations (either fluid or particle), unless numerical resistivities are made negligibly small, they seriously mask the effects of physical resistivity, leading to a misleading conclusion that reconnection evolution is little influenced by plasma resistivity.

  19. "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.

  20. Fingerprints of collisionless reconnection at the separator, I, Ambipolar-Hall signatures

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Scudder, J. D.; Mozer, F. S.; Maynard, N. C.; Russell, C. T.

    2002-10-01

    Plasma, electric, and magnetic field data on the Polar spacecraft have been analyzed for the 29 May 1996 magnetopause traversal searching for evidence of in situ reconnection and traversal of the separator. In this paper we confine our analysis to model-free observations and intrasensor coherence of detection of the environs of the separator. (1) We illustrate the first documented penetration of the separator of collisionless magnetic reconnection in temporal proximity to successful Walén tests with opposite slopes. (2) We present the first direct measurements of E∥ at the magnetopause. (3) We make the first empirical argument that E∥ derives from the electron pressure gradient force. (4) We document the first detection of the electron pressure ridge astride the magnetic depression that extends from the separator. (5) We provide the first empirical detection of the reconnection rate at the magnetopause with the locally sub-Alfvénic ion inflow, MAi ≃ 0.1, and trans-Alfvénic exhaust at high electron pressure of MiA ≃ 1.1-5. (6) We exhibit the first empirical detection of supra-Alfvénic electron flows parallel to B in excess of 5 in narrow sheets. (7) We illustrate the detection of heat flux sheets indicative of separatrices near, but not always in superposition, with the supra-Alfvénic parallel electron bulk flows. (8) We present the first evidence that pressure gradient scales are short enough to explain the electron fluid's measured cross-field drifts not explained by E × B drift but predicted by the measured size of E∥. (9) We illustrate that the size of the observed E∥ is well organized with the limit implied by Vasyliunas's analysis of the generalized Ohm's law of scale length ?, indicative of the intermediate scale of the diffusion region. (10) We document the first detection of departure from electron gyrotropy not only at the separator crossing but also in its vicinity, an effect presaged by [1975]. (11) We make the first reports of very

  1. 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.

  2. NUMERICAL TESTS OF FAST RECONNECTION IN WEAKLY STOCHASTIC MAGNETIC FIELDS

    SciTech Connect

    Kowal, Grzegorz; Lazarian, A.; Vishniac, E. T.; Otmianowska-Mazur, K. E-mail: lazarian@astro.wisc.edu E-mail: ethan@mcmaster.ca

    2009-07-20

    We study the effects of turbulence on magnetic reconnection using three-dimensional direct numerical simulations. This is the first attempt to test a model of fast magnetic reconnection in the presence of weak turbulence proposed by Lazarian and Vishniac. This model predicts that weak turbulence, which is generically present in most astrophysical systems, enhances the rate of reconnection by reducing the transverse scale for reconnection events and by allowing many independent flux reconnection events to occur simultaneously. As a result, the reconnection speed becomes independent of Ohmic resistivity and is determined by the magnetic field wandering induced by turbulence. We test the dependence of the reconnection speed on turbulent power, the energy injection scale, and resistivity. We apply the open and experiment with the outflow boundary conditions in our numerical model and discuss the advantages and drawbacks of various setups. To test our results, we also perform simulations of turbulence with the same outflow boundaries but without a large-scale field reversal, thus without large-scale reconnection. To quantify the reconnection speed we use both an intuitive definition, i.e., the speed of the reconnected flux inflow, and a more sophisticated definition based on a formally derived analytical expression. Our results confirm the predictions of the Lazarian and Vishniac model. In particular, we find that the reconnection speed is proportional to the square root of the injected power, as predicted by the model. The dependence on the injection scale for some of our models is a bit weaker than expected, i.e., l{sup 3/4}{sub inj}, compared to the predicted linear dependence on the injection scale, which may require some refinement of the model or may be due to effects such as the finite size of the excitation region, which are not a part of the model. The reconnection speed was found to depend on the expected rate of magnetic field wandering and not on the

  3. Secondary fast reconnecting instability in the sawtooth crash

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Del Sarto, D.; Ottaviani, M.

    2017-01-01

    In this work, we consider magnetic reconnection in thin current sheets with both resistive and electron inertia effects. When the current sheet is produced by a primary instability of the internal kink type, the analysis of secondary instabilities indicates that reconnection proceeds on a time scale much shorter than the primary instability characteristic time. In the case of a sawtooth crash, non-collisional physics becomes important above a value of the Lundquist number, which scales like S ˜ ( R / d e ) 12 / 5 , in terms of the tokamak major radius R and of the electron skin depth de. This value is commonly achieved in present day devices. As collisionality is further reduced, the characteristic rate increases, approaching Alfvénic values when the primary instability approaches the collisionless regime.

  4. 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.

  5. 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.

  6. Fast magnetic reconnection in three-dimensional magnetohydrodynamics simulations

    SciTech Connect

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

    2010-10-15

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

  7. 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

  8. Fast magnetic reconnection driven by intermittent resistive tearing modes

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Miyoshi, T.; Becchaku, M.; Kusano, K.

    2008-12-01

    Magnetic reconnection is a key process of various bursty phenomena in space plasmas. In general, a magnetic Reynolds number of the space plasma is extremely high. Therefore, since magnetic reconnection rate becomes low as magnetic Reynolds number increases within the framework of the stationary resistive MHD model, kinetic effects have been considered to realize realistic fast magnetic reconnection in modern reconnection models. However, it is thought that the MHD description is valid within a very wide scale range since a scale gap between macro and micro is so large, e.g., in the solar corona, the ratio of macro to micro will be more than 107. In this situation, how an ion-scale thin current sheet can be realized from a macro scale magnetic structure? Conversely, how the microscopic processes can affect macroscopic MHD dynamics? From the analogy of hydrodynamics, we expect that the strong MHD turbulence will be developed in the wide range. Thus, in this case, fast magnetic reconnection might be driven by the turbulence other than the kinetic effects. In this study, a very high-resolution resistive MHD simulation is performed to clarify multi-scale dynamics of the resistive tearing instability at high magnetic Reynolds number. Results show that small scale plasmoids, which seem to have an internal structure by itself, are intermittently created and ejected by the secondary tearing instability. Moreover, it seems that fast magnetic reconnection is achieved by intermittent dynamics of the plasmoids. This might support that the MHD turbulence is essential for fast magnetic reconnection at very high magnetic Reynolds number.

  9. Effects of a Guide Field on the Larmor Electric Field and Upstream Electron Temperature Anisotropy in Collisionless Asymmetric Magnetic Reconnection

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ek-In, Surapat; Malakit, Kittipat; Ruffolo, David; Shay, Michael A.; Cassak, Paul A.

    2017-08-01

    We perform the first study of the properties of the Larmor electric field (LEF) in collisionless asymmetric magnetic reconnection in the presence of an out-of-plane (guide) magnetic field for different sets of representative upstream parameters at Earth’s dayside magnetopause with an ion temperature greater than the electron temperature (the ion-to-electron temperature ratio fixed at 2) using two-dimensional particle-in-cell simulations. We show that the LEF does persist in the presence of a guide field. We study how the LEF thickness and strength change as a function of guide field and the magnetospheric temperature and reconnecting magnetic field strength. We find that the thickness of the LEF structure decreases, while its magnitude increases when a guide field is added to the reconnecting magnetic field. The added guide field makes the Larmor radius smaller, so the scaling with the magnetospheric ion Larmor radius is similar to that reported for the case without a guide field. Note, however, that the physics causing the LEF is not well understood, so future work in other parameter regimes is needed to fully predict the LEF for arbitrary conditions. We also find that a previously reported upstream electron temperature anisotropy arises in the vicinity of the LEF region both with and without a guide field. We argue that the generation of the anisotropy is linked to the existence of the LEF. The LEF can be used in combination with the electron temperature anisotropy as a signature to effectively identify dayside reconnection sites in observations.

  10. Current disruption and its spreading in collision-less magnetic reconnection

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Jain, Neeraj; Buechner, Joerg; Dorfman, Seth; Ji, Hantao; Sharma, A. Surjalal; Max-Planck/Princeton CenterPlasma Physics Collaboration

    2013-10-01

    Recent magnetic reconnection experiments (MRX) [Dorfman et al., Geophys. Res. Lett. 40, 233 (2012)] have disclosed current disruption in the absence of guide field. During current disruption in MRX, current density and total out-of-reconnection-plane current drop simultaneous with a rise in out-of-reconnection-plane electric field. Here we show that current disruption is an intrinsic property of dynamic formation of X-point configuration of magnetic field in magnetic reconnection, independent of the model used for plasma description and of dimensionality (2-D or 3-D) of reconnection. An analytic expression for the current drop is derived from Ampere's equation and its predictions are verified by 2-D and 3-D electron-magnetohydrodynamic (EMHD) simulations. Three dimensional EMHD simulations show that the current disruption due to localized reconnection spreads along the direction of electron flow with a speed which depends on the wave number of the perturbation. The implications of these results for MRX and other reconnection experiments will be presented. This work was partially funded by the Max-Planck/Princeton Center for Plasma Physics.

  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

    SciTech Connect

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

    2009-10-15

    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 quasiviscous 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 quasiviscous 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. 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.

  14. 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.

  15. The kinetic scale structure of the Plasma Sheet Boundary Layer: Implications of collisionless magnetic reconnection and first MMS observations

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Dorelli, J.; Gershman, D. J.; Avanov, L. A.; Pollock, C. J.; Giles, B. L.; Nakamura, R.; Chen, L. J.; Torbert, R. B.; Gliese, U.; Barrie, A. C.; Holland, M. P.; Chandler, M. O.; Coffey, V. N.; MacDonald, E.; Salo, C.; Dickson, C.; Saito, Y.; Russell, C. T.; Baumjohann, W.; Burch, J. L.

    2015-12-01

    The relationship between magnetic reconnection and the Plasma Sheet Boundary Layer (PSBL) is still an open problem in magnetospheric physics. While one can understand observed PSBL velocity distributions on the basis of a simple steady state drift-kinetic model with prescribed electric and magnetic fields (e.g., Onsager et al. [1990,1991]), such models do not incorporate the kinetic scale dynamics at the reconnection site. For example, Shay et al. [2011] have argued that the out-of-plane quadrupole magnetic field pattern at the reconnection site can be viewed as an obliquely propagating kinetic Alfvén wave with very large parallel group velocity, the implication being that the field-aligned current structure should quickly become global, though still confined to field lines connected to the ion diffusion region at the reconnection site. This raises the very interesting question: How would such a global wave structure appear in the PSBL on the kinetic scale? Here, we present some first observations of the PSBL by NASA's Magnetospheric Multiscale (MMS) mission where Fast Plasma Investigation (FPI) Burst Data (30 ms and 150 ms resolution for 3D electron and ion velocity distributions, respectively) is available during intervals where lower resolution (4.5 s) Fast Survey distributions showed evidence of connection to a remote reconnection site. This allows us to test for the first time whether the quadrupole magnetic field structure near the reconnection site -- a local structure already observed by previous spacecraft -- does indeed support a global field-aligned current pattern around the magnetic separatrix. We will also probe for the first time the electron kinetic scale sub-structure of the PSBL and compare with electron-scale features observed near the magnetic separatrix at the dayside magnetopause.

  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

    2008-09-05

    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. On the ions acceleration via collisionless magnetic reconnection in laboratory plasmas

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Cazzola, E.; Curreli, D.; Markidis, S.; Lapenta, G.

    2016-11-01

    This work presents an analysis of the ion outflow from magnetic reconnection throughout fully kinetic simulations with typical laboratory plasma values. A symmetric initial configuration for the density and magnetic field is considered across the current sheet. After analyzing the behavior of a set of nine simulations with a reduced mass ratio and with a permuted value of three initial electron temperatures and magnetic field intensity, the best ion acceleration scenario is further studied with a realistic mass ratio in terms of the ion dynamics and energy budget. Interestingly, a series of shock wave structures are observed in the outflow, resembling the shock discontinuities found in recent magnetohydrodynamic simulations. An analysis of the ion outflow at several distances from the reconnection point is presented, in light of possible laboratory applications. The analysis suggests that magnetic reconnection could be used as a tool for plasma acceleration, with applications ranging from electric propulsion to production of ion thermal beams.

  18. Secondary fast reconnecting instability in the sawtooth crash

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Del Sarto, Daniele; Ottaviani, Maurizio

    2016-10-01

    We consider magnetic reconnection in thin current sheets with both resistive and electron inertia effects. By analysis of secondary instabilities we show that, when the current sheet is produced by a primary instability of the internal kink type (large Δ'), reconnection proceeds on a time scale much shorter than the primary instability characteristic time. We find that in the purely resistive regime our estimates agree with the numerical results obtained by for the internal kink instability in a cylindrical tokamak. We also find that, in the case of a sawtooth crash, non-collisional physics becomes important above a value of the Lundquist number which scales like S (R /de)12/5 , in terms of the tokamak major radius R and of the electron skin depth de. This value is commonly achieved in present day devices. As collisionality is further reduced, the characteristic rate increases, approaching Alfvenic values when the primary instability approaches the collisionless regime. All these results have been recently discussed in Ref..

  19. Particle-in-cell simulation of collisionless reconnection with open outflow boundaries

    SciTech Connect

    Klimas, Alex; Hesse, Michael; Zenitani, Seiji

    2008-08-15

    A new method for applying open boundary conditions in particle-in-cell (PIC) simulations is utilized to study magnetic reconnection. Particle distributions are assumed to have zero normal derivatives at the boundaries. Advantages and possible limitations of this method for PIC simulations are discussed. Results from a reconnection simulation study are presented. For the purpose of this investigation, a 2 (1/2)-dimensional electromagnetic PIC simulation using open conditions at the outflow boundaries and simple reflecting boundaries to the inflow regions is discussed. The electron diffusion region is defined as that region where the out-of-plane electron inertial electric field is positive indicating acceleration and flux transfer; the evolution of this region is analyzed. It is found that this region varies in the range 2.5-4 local electron inertial lengths in total width and in the range 10-15 local electron inertial lengths in total length for the mass ratio 25. The reconnection rate is investigated in terms of the aspect ratio of the electron diffusion region plus inflow and outflow measures at its boundaries. It is shown that a properly measured aspect ratio predicts the flux transfer rate, scaled to account for the decline in field strength and electron density at the inflow boundary to the electron diffusion region. It is concluded that this electron diffusion region either adjusts its aspect ratio for compatibility with the flux transfer rate that is set elsewhere, as in the Hall reconnection model, or that it is this region that controls the reconnection flux transfer rate.

  20. 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.

  1. How Does Collisionless Magnetic Reconnection Work in the Presence of a Guide Magnetic Field?

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Hesse, Michael

    2006-01-01

    The dissipation mechanism of guide field magnetic reconnection remains a subject of intense scientific interest. On one hand, one set of recent studies have shown that particle inertia-based processes, which include thermal and bulk inertial effects, provide the reconnection electric field in the diffusion region. On the other hand, a second set of studies emphasizes the role of wave-particle interactions in providing anomalous resistivity in the diffusion region. In this presentation, we present analytical theory results, as well as 2.5 and three-dimensional PIC simulations of guide-field magnetic reconnection. We will show that diffusion region scale sizes in moderate and large guide field cases are determined by electron Larmor radii, and that analytical estimates of diffusion region dimensions need to include description of the heat flux tensor. The dominant electron dissipation process appears to be based on thermal electron inertia, expressed through nongyrotropic electron pressure tensors. We will argue that this process remains viable in three dimensions by means of a detailed comparison of high resolution particle-in-cell simulations.

  2. Collisionless Magnetic Reconnection as an Ion Acceleration Mechanism of Low- β Laboratory Plasmas

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Cazzola, Emanuele; Curreli, Davide; Lapenta, Giovanni

    2016-10-01

    In this work we present the results from a series of fully-kinetic simulations of magnetic reconnection under typical laboratory plasma conditions. The highly-efficient energy conversion obtained from this process is of great interest for applications such as future electric propulsion systems and ion beam accelerators. We analysed initial configurations in low-beta conditions with reduced mass ratio of mi = 512me at magnetic fields between 200G and 5000G and electron temperatures between 0.5 and 10eV. The initial ion density and temperature are kept uniform and equal to 1019 m-3 and 0.0215eV (room temperature) respectively. The analysis has shown that the reconnection process under these conditions can accelerate ions up to velocities as high as a significant fraction of the inflow Alfven speed. The configuration showing the best scenario is further studied with a realistic mass ratio in terms of energetics and outflow ion momentum, with the latter featured by the traditionally used specific impulse. Finally, a more detailed analysis of the reconnection outflow has revealed the formation of different interesting set of shock structures, also recently seen from MHD simulations of relativistic plasmas and certainly subject of future more careful attention. The present work has been possible thanks to the Illinois-KULeuven Faculty/PhD Candidate Exchange Program. Computational resources provided by the PRACE Tier-0 machines.

  3. `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.

  4. A Physical Relationship Between Electron-Proton Temperature Equilibration and Mach Number in Fast Collisionless Shocks

    DTIC Science & Technology

    2007-01-01

    PHYSICAL RELATIONSHIP BETWEEN ELECTRON-PROTON TEMPERATURE EQUILIBRATION AND MACH NUMBER IN FAST COLLISIONLESS SHOCKS Parviz Ghavamian,1 J. Martin Laming,2...neutrals have had little time to equilibrate with electrons and 1 Department of Physics and Astronomy, Johns Hopkins University, Balti- more, MD; parviz

  5. New models for fast steady state magnetic reconnection

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

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

    1986-01-01

    A new unified family of models for incompressible, steady-state magnetic reconnection in a finite region is presented. The models are obtained by expanding in powers of the Alfven Mach number and may be used to elucidate some of the puzzling properties of numerical experiments on reconnection which are not present in the classical models. The conditions imposed on the inflow boundary of the finite region determine which member of the family occurs. Petscheklien and Sonnerup like solutions are particular members. The Sonneruplike regime is a special case of a weak slow mode expansion in the inflow region, and it separates two classes of members with reversed currents. The Petscheklike regime is a singular case of a weak fast mode expansion, and it separates the hybrid regime from a regime of slow mode compressions. Care should be taken in deciding which type of reconnection is operating in a numerical experiment. Indeed, no experiment to date has used boundary conditions appropriate for demonstrating steady state Petschek reconnection.

  6. Electron Demagnetization and Collisionless Magnetic Reconnection in βe ≪ 1 Plasmas: Theory and Observations

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Scudder, J. D.; Mozer, F. S.

    2005-05-01

    sites where the electron pressure tensor could become deformed from cylindrical symmetry by electric field enhancement in layers with scale sizes up to the local thermal electron's gyroradius. Such a deformation is critical for a viable mechanism that supports collisionless reconnection. After selecting events as demagnetizing based on the size of the relevant forces and work done, the geophysical locale of their detection has been investigated. Previously, all E spikes in this survey were found near the invariant latitudes Λ of the earth's magnetic cusps but at all magnetic local times. The demagnetizing events identified here via E* are strongly organized at magnetic local noon (with a secondary, much shallower maximum at local magnetic midnight), occur preferentially at orbit apogee, and without significant preference for the magnetic latitude of the spacecraft. These geophysical organizations are consistent with the demagnetizing E spikes as indices of ongoing, collisionless reconnection in low βe regimes at the earth's subsolar magnetopause. The identification of this sub-class of electric spikes at low βe with E>E* widens the observed venues in the E and B fields where topology changing departures from ideal MHD should be anticipated in collisionless astrophysical plasmas.

  7. 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.).

  8. Finite Larmor radius effects in the nonlinear dynamics of collisionless magnetic reconnection

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2011-03-01

    We provide numerical evidence of the role of finite Larmor radius effects in the nonlinear dynamics of magnetic field line reconnection in high-temperature, strong guide field plasmas in a slab configuration, in the large Δ' regime. Both ion and electron temperature effects introduce internal energy variations related to mechanical compression terms in the energy balance, thus contributing to regularize the gradients of the ion density with respect to the cold regimes. For values of the Larmor radii that are not asymptotically small, the two temperature effects are no longer interchangeable, in contrast to what is expected from linear theory, and the differences are measurable in the numerical growth rates and in the nonlinear evolution of the density layers. We interpret such differences in terms of the change, due to ion temperature effects, of the Lagrangian advection of the 'plasma invariants' that are encountered in the cold-ion, warm-electron regime. The different roles of the ion and ion-sound Larmor radii in the reconnection dynamics near the X- and O-points are evidenced by means of a local quadratic expansion of the fields.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Fujimoto, Keizo

    2016-05-01

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

  10. Models of coronal heating, turbulence and fast reconnection

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2015-04-01

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

  11. 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.

  12. 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.

  13. Properties of the first-order Fermi acceleration in fast magnetic reconnection driven by turbulence in collisional magnetohydrodynamical flows

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    del Valle, Maria V.; de Gouveia Dal Pino, E. M.; Kowal, G.

    2016-12-01

    Fast magnetic reconnection can occur in different astrophysical sources, producing flare-like emission and particle acceleration. Currently, this process is being studied as an efficient mechanism to accelerate particles via a first-order Fermi process. In this paper, we analyse the acceleration rate and the energy distribution of test particles injected into three-dimensional magnetohydrodynamical (MHD) domains with large-scale current sheets where reconnection is made fast by the presence of turbulence. We study the dependence of the particle acceleration time with the relevant parameters of the embedded turbulence: the Alfvén speed VA, the injection power Pinj and scale kinj (kinj = 1/linj). We find that the acceleration time follows a power-law dependence with the particle kinetic energy: tacc ∝ Eα, with 0.2 < α < 0.6 for a vast range of values of c/VA ˜ 20-1000. The acceleration time decreases with the Alfvén speed (and therefore with the reconnection velocity) as expected, having an approximate dependence tacc ∝ (VA/c)-κ, with κ ˜ 2.1-2.4 for particles reaching kinetic energies between 1 and 100 mpc2, respectively. Furthermore, we find that the acceleration time is only weakly dependent on the Pinj and linj parameters of the turbulence. The particle spectrum develops a high-energy tail, which can be fitted by a hard power law already in the early times of the acceleration, consistent with the results of kinetic studies of particle acceleration by magnetic reconnection in collisionless plasmas.

  14. 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.

  15. Turbulent Reconnection in the Magnetic Reconnection Experiment (MRX)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Dorfman, S.; Ji, H.; Yamada, M.; Oz, E.; Yoo, J.; Daughton, W.; Roytershteyn, V.

    2009-11-01

    One of the key open questions in Magnetic Reconnection is the nature of the mechanism that governs the reconnection rate in real astrophysical and laboratory systems. For collisonless plasmas, the Hall effect removes an important bottleneck to fast reconnection as the heavier ions exit the reconnection layer over a broader region [1]. However, the Hall term cannot balance the reconnection electric field at the layer center, and the 2-D, collisionless expression for the electric field due to particle dynamics [2] has been shown to be insufficient in the Magnetic Reconnection Experiment (MRX) [1,3]. Turbulent 3-D effects such as lower hybrid frequency range fluctuations [4] may play an important role in fast reconnection in MRX. These electromagnetic fluctuations tend to be associated with high local currents and a rapid local reconnection rate. The precise relation of these fluctuations and associated 3-D asymmetries to fast reconnection is a topic of active investigations; the most up to date results will be discussed. This work was supported by NDSEG, DOE, NASA, and NSF.[4pt] [1] Y. Ren, et al., Phys. Plasmas 15, 082113 (2008). [2] M. Hesse, et al., Phys. Plasmas, 6:1781 (1999). [3] S. Dorfman, et al., Phys. Plasmas 15, 102107 (2008). [4] H. Ji, et al., Phys.Rev.Lett. 92 (2004) 115001.

  16. 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}.

  17. Measurements of Fast Magnetic Reconnection Driven by Relativistic Electrons

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2015-11-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2014-03-01

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

  19. 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.

  20. Propagation and dispersion of whistler waves generated by fast reconnection onset

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Singh, Nagendra

    2013-02-01

    The role of whistler mode during the onset of magnetic reconnection (MR) has been widely suggested, but the manifestations of its highly dispersive and anisotropic propagation properties in reconnection events remain largely unclear. Comparing results from a recently developed theoretical model for reconnection in terms of whistler's dispersive behavior with those reported from laboratory experiments on fast spontaneous magnetic reconnection, we demonstrate that the onset of fast reconnection in electron current layers (ECLs) emits whistler wave packets. The time scale of the explosively fast reconnection events are inversely related to the whistler mode frequencies at the lower end of the whistler frequency band. The wave packets in this frequency band have a characteristic angular dispersion, which marks the initial opening of the reconnection exhaust angle. The multidimensional propagation of the whistler for the reconnection with a strong guide magnetic field is investigated, showing that the measured propagation velocities of the reconnection electric field along the guide field in the Versatile Toroidal Facility at MIT quantitatively compare with the group velocities of the whistler wave packets. The whistler mode dispersive properties measured in laboratory experiments without a guide magnetic field in the magnetic reconnection experiments at Princeton also compare well with the theoretically predicted dispersion of the wave packets depending on the ECL width. Fast normalized reconnection rates extending to ˜0.35 at the MR onset in thin ECLs imply whistler wave propagation away from the onset location. We also present evidences for the whistler wave packets being emitted from reconnection diffusion region as seen in simulations and satellite observations.

  1. 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.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Shibayama, T.; Kusano, K.; Miyoshi, T.; Nakabou, T.; Vekstein, G.

    2016-12-01

    Magnetic reconnection is a process of changing connectivity of magnetic field lines, and thought to play a core role in explosive magnetic energy conversion events observed in magnetospheric substorms, solar flares, and tokamak disruptions. According to the classic Sweet-Parker theory, it is, however, problematic to conduct magnetic reconnection efficiently enough in a highly conductive plasma such as in the solar corona. Therefore, Petschek proposed another reconnection mechanism, in which small magnetic diffusion region enables fast reconnection while the energy conversion itself occurs in slow mode MHD shocks. However, recent numerical simulations indicate that Petschek reconnection is not stable in a system with spatially uniform resistivity. Some mechanism such as anomalous resistivity or kinetic physics is needed to sustain the localized diffusion region. It is, therefore, not yet clear how fast reconnection realizes in the reality. In order to address this problem, we performed 2-D resistive MHD simulation with a very high spatial resolution. It is found that small-scale slow mode MHD shocks predicted by Petschek spontaneously form (even under a uniform plasma resistivity) as a result of the secondary tearing (plasmoid) instability of the reconnecting current sheet. In this process, fast motion of large plasmoids in the current sheet play a role of the required localization in the diffusion region, so that slow mode shocks can form in front of the moving plasmoids. Thus, the rate of reconnection is intermittently and repeatedly enhanced up to 0.02 of the Alfven speed, which is sufficient to explain, for example, the time-scale of solar flares. Furthermore, our simulation suggests that the effective reconnection rate doesn't depend on the Lundquist number of a system. Therefore, this is quite a universal mechanism of fast magnetic reconnection. A part of this study is already published in Shibayama et al., Physics of Plasmas, 22, 100706, 2015.

  3. FAST MAGNETIC FIELD AMPLIFICATION IN THE EARLY UNIVERSE: GROWTH OF COLLISIONLESS PLASMA INSTABILITIES IN TURBULENT MEDIA

    SciTech Connect

    Falceta-Gonçalves, D.; Kowal, G.

    2015-07-20

    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.

  4. Model for the partition of temperature between electrons and ions across collisionless, fast mode shocks

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hull, A. J.; Scudder, J. D.

    2000-12-01

    The partition of temperature between electrons and ions across Earth's bow shock is a long-standing problem in modeling particle entry into the magnetosphere. Observations have shown that the ion temperature increase across collisionless, fast mode shocks (as in Earth's bow shock) is substantially larger than that of the electrons. A model that can quantitatively explain this result will provide a better understanding of the relationships between collisionless shock parameters and particle behavior across the shock layer, finding applications to multifluid models of particle entry to the Earth's magnetosphere, as in the polar rain. In this paper we present a model that quantitatively determines the partition of temperature between the electrons and ions across the shock. The model couples a simplified Vlasov guiding center ordered electron fluid problem with the Rankine-Hugoniot conservation equations to determine the downstream partition of electron and ion temperature given a few observational constraints. We work in the deHoffmann-Teller reference Frame (HTF) because in HTF the electrons are only coupled to the ions through the electrostatic potential. This approach does not preclude the subsequent secondary thermalization of the ions by means of wave-particle interactions. We demonstrate under this approximation that the model recovers the electron temperature jumps of a new ISEE 1 database of 129 Earth bow shock crossings developed and analyzed by Hull et al. [2000]. The model also recovers trends in the downstream ion temperature at shocks observed by ISEE 1 previously cataloged by Thomsen et al. [1987].

  5. 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

    2015-01-28

    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.

  6. On the energization of charged particles by fast magnetic reconnection

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Sharma, Rohit; Mitra, Dhrubaditya; Oberoi, Divya

    2017-09-01

    We study the role of turbulence in magnetic reconnection, within the framework of magnetohydrodynamics, using three-dimensional direct numerical simulations. For small turbulent intensity, we find that the reconnection rate obeys Sweet-Parker scaling. For large enough turbulent intensity, reconnection rate departs significantly from Sweet-Parker behaviour, becomes almost a constant as a function of the Lundquist number. We further study energization of test-particles in the same set-up. We find that the speed of the energized particles obeys a Maxwellian distribution, whose variance also obeys Sweet-Parker scaling for small turbulent intensity but depends weakly on the Lundquist number for large turbulent intensity. Furthermore, the variance is found to increase with the strength of the reconnecting magnetic field.

  7. 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.

  8. 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.

  9. Fast gated imaging of the collisionless interaction of a laser-produced and magnetized ambient plasma

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Heuer, P. V.; Schaeffer, D. B.; Knall, E. N.; Constantin, C. G.; Hofer, L. R.; Vincena, S.; Tripathi, S.; Niemann, C.

    2017-03-01

    The collisionless interaction between a laser-produced carbon plasma (LPP) and an ambient hydrogen plasma in a background magnetic field was studied in a high shot rate experiment which allowed large planar data sets to be collected. Plasma fluorescence was imaged with a fast-gated camera with and without carbon line filters. The resulting images were compared to high-resolution two dimensional (2D) data planes of measured magnetic field and electric potential. Several features in the fluorescence images coincide with features in the field data. Relative intensity was used to determine the initial angular velocity distribution of the LPP and the growth rate of instabilities. These observations may be applied to understand fluorescence images from similar experiments where 2D planes of field data are not available.

  10. On the noncoplanarity of the magnetic field within a fast collisionless shock

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Thomsen, M. F.; Gosling, J. T.; Bame, S. J.; Quest, K. B.; Winske, D.

    1987-01-01

    Within the magnetic ramp of fast collisionless plasma shocks observed with spacecraft instruments and simulated numerically, the magnetic field undergoes an excursion out of the plane of coplanarity. This rotation is consistently in the direction such that the electrostatic potential jump across the shock, as measured in the de Hoffman-Teller frame of the reference (HTF), is about 2-6 times smaller than the electrostatic potential jump measured in the normal incidence frame. The preferred direction is consistent with a basic whistler mode transition between the upstream and downstream orientations. The potential jump in the HTF is considerably smaller than the change in bulk flow energy across the shock, confirming the recent suggestion that magnetic forces contribute importantly to the slowing of the plasma in that frame. A further consequence is that suprathermal particles leaking back into the upstream region across the shock do not gain much energy from the cross-shock electric field.

  11. On the noncoplanarity of the magnetic field within a fast collisionless shock

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Thomsen, M. F.; Gosling, J. T.; Bame, S. J.; Quest, K. B.; Winske, D.

    1987-03-01

    Within the magnetic ramp of fast collisionless plasma shocks observed with spacecraft instruments and simulated numerically, the magnetic field undergoes an excursion out of the plane of coplanarity. This rotation is consistently in the direction such that the electrostatic potential jump across the shock, as measured in the de Hoffman-Teller frame of the reference (HTF), is about 2-6 times smaller than the electrostatic potential jump measured in the normal incidence frame. The preferred direction is consistent with a basic whistler mode transition between the upstream and downstream orientations. The potential jump in the HTF is considerably smaller than the change in bulk flow energy across the shock, confirming the recent suggestion that magnetic forces contribute importantly to the slowing of the plasma in that frame. A further consequence is that suprathermal particles leaking back into the upstream region across the shock do not gain much energy from the cross-shock electric field.

  12. Magnetic Reconnection: studies of collisionless momentum balance near an X-line with a guide magnetic field

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Fox, William; Egedal, J.; Porkolab, M.; Plasma Science, Mit; Center, Fusion

    2004-11-01

    A long-standing problem in reconnection research is what provides balance for the reconnecting electric field along an X-line. Two different types of theories can account for momentum balance: turbulence theories invoke unstable waves which provide a non-linear force on the particle species, and laminar models invoke terms in the momentum equation which are typically subdominant, such as electron inertia. For a laminar theory with a strong guide field, we present a study of all these tems, and a kinetic study where we have relaxed the condition that the X-line must be a stagnation point of the reconnection plasma flow, i.e. we construct solutions with plasma flow across, not just into and out of, the X-line. We present experimental evidence from the VTF open cusp configuration that the X-line is indeed not a stagnation point, and discuss consequences for momentum balance. Second, we present the first measurements of plasma turbulence in the new VTF closed configuration and discuss their relevance for momentum balance. This work was funded by an Oak Ridge Fusion Energy Sciences Fellowship, and by NSF/DoE Award DE-FG02-03ER54712

  13. Experimental Verification of the Role of Electron Pressure in Fast Magnetic Reconnection with a Guide Field.

    PubMed

    Fox, W; Sciortino, F; V Stechow, A; Jara-Almonte, J; Yoo, J; Ji, H; Yamada, M

    2017-03-24

    We report detailed laboratory observations of the structure of a reconnection current sheet in a two-fluid plasma regime with a guide magnetic field. We observe and quantitatively analyze the quadrupolar electron pressure variation in the ion-diffusion region, as originally predicted by extended magnetohydrodynamics simulations. The projection of the electron pressure gradient parallel to the magnetic field contributes significantly to balancing the parallel electric field, and the resulting cross-field electron jets in the reconnection layer are diamagnetic in origin. These results demonstrate how parallel and perpendicular force balance are coupled in guide field reconnection and confirm basic theoretical models of the importance of electron pressure gradients for obtaining fast magnetic reconnection.

  14. Experimental Verification of the Role of Electron Pressure in Fast Magnetic Reconnection with a Guide Field

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Fox, W.; Sciortino, F.; Stechow, A. V.; Jara-Almonte, J.; Yoo, J.; Ji, H.; Yamada, M.

    2017-03-01

    We report detailed laboratory observations of the structure of a reconnection current sheet in a two-fluid plasma regime with a guide magnetic field. We observe and quantitatively analyze the quadrupolar electron pressure variation in the ion-diffusion region, as originally predicted by extended magnetohydrodynamics simulations. The projection of the electron pressure gradient parallel to the magnetic field contributes significantly to balancing the parallel electric field, and the resulting cross-field electron jets in the reconnection layer are diamagnetic in origin. These results demonstrate how parallel and perpendicular force balance are coupled in guide field reconnection and confirm basic theoretical models of the importance of electron pressure gradients for obtaining fast magnetic reconnection.

  15. Experimental verification of the role of electron pressure in fast magnetic reconnection with a guide field

    DOE PAGES

    Fox, W.; Sciortino, F.; v. Stechow, A.; ...

    2017-03-21

    We report detailed laboratory observations of the structure of a reconnection current sheet in a two-fluid plasma regime with a guide magnetic field. We observe and quantitatively analyze the quadrupolar electron pressure variation in the ion-diffusion region, as originally predicted by extended magnetohydrodynamics simulations. The projection of the electron pressure gradient parallel to the magnetic field contributes significantly to balancing the parallel electric field, and the resulting cross-field electron jets in the reconnection layer are diamagnetic in origin. Furthermore, these results demonstrate how parallel and perpendicular force balance are coupled in guide field reconnection and confirm basic theoretical models ofmore » the importance of electron pressure gradients for obtaining fast magnetic reconnection.« less

  16. `Ideally' unstable current sheets and the triggering of fast magnetic reconnection

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2016-10-01

    > - much smaller than the Sweet-Parker one - suggesting a new way to approach to the initiation of fast reconnection in collapsing current configurations. Here we present an overview of what we have called `ideal' tearing in resistive MHD, and discuss how the same reasoning can be extended to other plasma models commonly used that include electron inertia and kinetic effects. We then discuss a scenario for the onset of `ideal' fast reconnection via collapsing current sheets and describe a quantitative model for the interpretation of the nonlinear evolution of `ideally' unstable sheets in two dimensions.

  17. Magnetic field reconnection

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Axford, W. I.

    The fundamental principles of particle acceleration by magnetic reconnection in cosmic plasmas are reviewed. The history of reconnection models is traced, and consideration is given to the Kelvin-Helmholtz theorem, the frozen-field theorem, the application of the Kelvin-Helmholtz theorem to a collisionless plasma, solutions to specific reconnection problems, and configurational instability. Diagrams and graphs are provided, and the objections raised by critics of the reconnection theory and/or its astrophysical applications are discussed.

  18. On the value of the reconnection rate

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Comisso, L.; Bhattacharjee, A.

    2016-12-01

    Numerical simulations have consistently shown that the reconnection rate in certain collisionless regimes can be fast, of the order of ABu$ , where A$ and u$ are the Alfvén speed and the reconnecting magnetic field upstream of the ion diffusion region. This particular value has been reported in myriad numerical simulations under disparate conditions. However, despite decades of research, the reasons underpinning this specific value remain mysterious. Here, we present an overview of this problem and discuss the conditions under which the `0.1 value' is attained. Furthermore, we explain why this problem should be interpreted in terms of the ion diffusion region length.

  19. 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.

  20. 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.

  1. 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.

  2. 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.

  3. 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.

  4. Impulsive magnetic pulsations and electrojets in the loop footpoint driven by the fast reconnection jet

    SciTech Connect

    Ugai, M.

    2009-11-15

    It is well known that magnetic pulsations of long periods impulsively occur in accordance with the sudden onset of geomagnetic substorms and drastic enhancement of electrojets in the ionosphere. On the basis of the spontaneous fast reconnection model, the present paper examines the physical mechanism by which both magnetic pulsations and strong electrojets are impulsively driven by the fast (Alfvenic) reconnection jet. When a large-scale plasmoid [or traveling compression region (TCR)], directly caused by the fast reconnection jet, collides with the magnetic loop footpoint, strong electrojets are impulsively driven in a finite extent in the loop footpoint in accordance with the evolution of the current wedge and the generator current circuit. Simultaneously, magnetohydrodynamic (Alfven) waves, accompanied by the TCR, are reflected from the electrojet layer, leading to impulsive magnetic pulsations ahead of the loop footpoint because of the interaction (or resonance) between the reflected waves and the waves traveling toward the footpoint. The pulsations propagate outward in all directions from the source region of the wave reflection, and the pulsation periods are typically estimated to be of several tens of seconds.

  5. How anomalous resistivity accelerates magnetic reconnection

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Che, H.

    2017-08-01

    Whether turbulence induced anomalous resistivity (AR) can facilitate a fast magnetic reconnection in collisionless plasma is a subject of active debate for decades. Recent space observations suggest that the reconnection rate can be higher than the Hall-reconnection rate and turbulent dissipation is required. In this paper, using particle-in-cell simulations, we present a case study of how AR produced by Buneman instability accelerates magnetic reconnection. We first show that the AR/drag produced by Buneman instability in a thin electron current layer (1) can dissipate magnetic energy stored in the current layer through dissipation of the kinetic energy of electron beams; (2) the inhomogeneous drag caused by wave couplings spontaneously breaks the magnetic field lines and causes impulsive fast non-Hall magnetic reconnection on electron-scales with a mean rate reaching of 0.6 VA. We then show that a Buneman instability driven by intense electron beams around the x-point in a 3D magnetic reconnection significantly enhances the dissipation of the magnetic energy. Electron-scale magnetic reconnections driven by the inhomogeneous drag around the x-line enhance the reconnection electric field and the in-plane perpendicular magnetic field. About 40% of the released magnetic energy is converted into electron thermal energy by AR while 50% is converted into kinetic energy of the electron beams through the acceleration by the reconnection electric field. The enhanced magnetic energy dissipation is balanced by a net Poynting flux in-flow. About 10% of the released magnetic energy is brought out by an enhanced Poynting flux out-flow. These results suggest that AR with sufficient intensity and electron-scale inhomogeneity can significantly accelerate magnetic reconnection.

  6. Spontaneous and chaotic fast reconnection in three dimensional current-sheets (Invited)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bettarini, L.; Lapenta, G.

    2010-12-01

    Numerical experiments and analytical studies suggested that within the pure resistive magnetohydrodynamics framework it is not possible to have a magnetic field-line reconnecting dynamics that spontaneously evolves from a slow, resistive reconnection regime to a fast, high-power phase. The results presented here are the first able to show this transition in fully three dimensional volume-filling regions of macroscopic systems. It is provided a complete picture of the reconnecting dynamics of a current-sheet initially set in laminar conditions, which are representative of many laboratory and astrophysical plasmas. We show how the conversion of magnetic field energy via magnetic reconnection can progress in a fast, fully three-dimensional, volume-filling regime characterized by a chaotic evolution of the system. The process does not require any pre-existing turbulence seed which often is not observed in the host systems prior to the onset of the energy conversion. The two- and three-dimensional simulations presented here have an unprecedented low level of numerical diffusion that usually determines the dissipation of energy sources that otherwise can drive the instabilities sustaining the transition to the fast energy conversion process. Even though pre-existing two-dimensional simulation studies presented some signs of this transition, yet their limited dimensionality prevented them to correctly and completely describe the fully developed volume-filling energy conversion process. In fact this non-steady dynamics critically depends on the interplay of perturbations developing along the magnetic field lines and across them, a process possible only in three-dimensions. Examples and applications to astrophysical and solar plasmas are considered.

  7. PATTERNS OF X-RAY, CHROMOSPHERIC, AND RADIO EMISSION IN LOW-MASS STARS: FAST AND SLOW MAGNETIC RECONNECTION

    SciTech Connect

    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, H{alpha}, 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 H{alpha} 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.

  8. Plasma-beta dependence of the fast reconnection mechanism in an initially force-free current sheet

    SciTech Connect

    Ugai, M.

    2011-10-15

    The present paper systematically studies the spontaneous fast reconnection mechanism in an initially force-free current sheet in a wide range of plasma beta ({beta}); in our previous work it was studied for a special case of {beta} = 0.15. In each case, the evolution as well as the resulting structure of the fast reconnection is qualitatively similar to the one that was already reported for the case of {beta} = 0.15. Quantitatively, the fast reconnection evolution becomes more rapid and drastic for the lower plasma beta. For the cases of very low plasma beta ({beta} = 0.01 or 0.02), the plasma temperature is extremely enhanced to the value almost 1/{beta} times larger than its initial value in the resulting fast reconnection jet and large-scale plasmoid regions. Once the fast reconnection mechanism is ignited in a local spot-like region, its basic structure eventually established is sustained almost steadily, giving rise to the plasmoid swelling with time and propagating outwards. Accordingly, the characteristic reconnection regions, where plasma thermodynamic quantities are remarkably enhanced, rapidly expand in all (x, y, and z) directions in Alfven time scales, which may be responsible for the explosive expansion of large flares as well as for the distinct plasma heating observed in the solar corona.

  9. Why does Steady-State Magnetic Reconnection have a Maximum Local Rate of Order 0.1?

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Liu, Yi-Hsin; Hesse, M.; Guo, F.; Daughton, W.; Li, H.; Cassak, P. A.; Shay, M. A.

    2017-02-01

    Simulations suggest collisionless steady-state magnetic reconnection of Harris-type current sheets proceeds with a rate of order 0.1, independent of dissipation mechanism. We argue this long-standing puzzle is a result of constraints at the magnetohydrodynamic (MHD) scale. We predict the reconnection rate as a function of the opening angle made by the upstream magnetic fields, finding a maximum reconnection rate close to 0.2. The predictions compare favorably to particle-in-cell simulations of relativistic electron-positron and nonrelativistic electron-proton reconnection. The fact that simulated reconnection rates are close to the predicted maximum suggests reconnection proceeds near the most efficient state allowed at the MHD scale. The rate near the maximum is relatively insensitive to the opening angle, potentially explaining why reconnection has a similar fast rate in differing models.

  10. 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.

  11. Stratified Simulations of Collisionless Accretion Disks

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hirabayashi, Kota; Hoshino, Masahiro

    2017-06-01

    This paper presents a series of stratified-shearing-box simulations of collisionless accretion disks in the recently developed framework of kinetic magnetohydrodynamics (MHD), which can handle finite non-gyrotropy of a pressure tensor. Although a fully kinetic simulation predicted a more efficient angular-momentum transport in collisionless disks than in the standard MHD regime, the enhanced transport has not been observed in past kinetic-MHD approaches to gyrotropic pressure anisotropy. For the purpose of investigating this missing link between the fully kinetic and MHD treatments, this paper explores the role of non-gyrotropic pressure and makes the first attempt to incorporate certain collisionless effects into disk-scale, stratified disk simulations. When the timescale of gyrotropization was longer than, or comparable to, the disk-rotation frequency of the orbit, we found that the finite non-gyrotropy selectively remaining in the vicinity of current sheets contributes to suppressing magnetic reconnection in the shearing-box system. This leads to increases both in the saturated amplitude of the MHD turbulence driven by magnetorotational instabilities and in the resultant efficiency of angular-momentum transport. Our results seem to favor the fast advection of magnetic fields toward the rotation axis of a central object, which is required to launch an ultra-relativistic jet from a black hole accretion system in, for example, a magnetically arrested disk state.

  12. Fast Magnetic Reconnection and Particle Acceleration in Relativistic Low-density Electron-Positron Plasmas without Guide Field

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bessho, Naoki; Bhattacharjee, A.

    2012-05-01

    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, γ-1/4exp (- aγ1/2), where γ 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. Fast Magnetic Reconnection: “Ideal” Tearing and the Hall Effect

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Pucci, Fulvia; Velli, Marco; Tenerani, Anna

    2017-08-01

    One of the main questions in magnetic reconnection is the origin of triggering behavior with on/off properties that, once it is activated, accounts for the fast magnetic energy conversion to kinetic and thermal energies at the heart of explosive events in astrophysical and laboratory plasmas. Over the past decade, progress has been made on the initiation of fast reconnection via the plasmoid instability and what has been called “ideal” tearing, which sets in once current sheets thin to a critical inverse aspect ratio {(a/L)}c. As shown by Pucci & Velli, at {(a/L)}c∼ {S}-1/3, the timescale for the instability to develop becomes of the order of the Alfvén time and independent of the Lundquist number (here defined in terms of current sheet length L). However, given the large values of S in natural plasmas, this transition might occur for thicknesses of the inner resistive singular layer that are comparable to the ion inertial length d i . When this occurs, Hall currents produce a three-dimensional quadrupole structure of the magnetic field, and the dispersive waves introduced by the Hall effect accelerate the instability. Here we present a linear study showing how the “ideal” tearing mode critical aspect ratio is modified when Hall effects are taken into account, including more general scaling laws of the growth rates in terms of sheet inverse aspect ratio: the critical inverse aspect ratio is amended to a/L≃ {({di}/L)}0.29{(1/S)}0.19, at which point the instability growth rate becomes Alfvénic and does not depend on either of the (small) parameters {d}i/L,1/S. We discuss the implications of this generalized triggering aspect ratio for recently developed phase diagrams of magnetic reconnection.

  14. 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

  15. 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)).

  16. Fast ion generation and runaway through magnetic reconnection events in MST

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kim, Jungha; Anderson, Jay; Capecchi, William; Bonofiglo, Phillip; Sears, Stephanie

    2016-10-01

    Fokker-Planck and full orbit modeling are used to investigate how global reconnection events in MST plasmas generate an anisotropic fast ion distribution. A multi-step process is hypothesized. First, thermal ions are heated by a perpendicular heating mechanism, possibly a stochastic process that relies on turbulent diffusion and strong radial electric fields, or ion cyclotron damping in the tearing-driven turbulent cascade. Second, a small fraction of the heated ions have sufficient speed to develop substantial guiding center drifts that are relatively immune to stochastic magnetic transport. In the RFP, these fast ion drift orbits are favorable to confinement. Finally, these fast ions are accelerated by a parallel inductive electric field (up to 80 V/m) associated with the abruptly changing magnetic equilibrium. This strong impulsive field does not include any magnetic-fluctuation-based contribution as experienced by thermal particles or electrons, which do not run away like fast ions. CQL3D, a Fokker-Planck solver, and RIO, a full orbit tracing code, are used to model this multi-step process that is responsible for anisotropy in fast ion distribution in MST. Work supported by US DOE. Supported by US DOE.

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

    SciTech Connect

    Karimabadi, H.; Lazarian, A.

    2013-11-15

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

  18. 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

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

    SciTech Connect

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

    2016-03-15

    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.

  20. 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

  1. Explosive turbulent magnetic reconnection.

    PubMed

    Higashimori, K; Yokoi, N; Hoshino, M

    2013-06-21

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

  2. Current sheets, reconnection and adaptive mesh refinement

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Marliani, Christiane

    1998-11-01

    Adaptive structured mesh refinement methods have proved to be an appropriate tool for the numerical study of a variety of problems where largely separated length scales are involved, e.g. [R. Grauer, C. Marliani, K. Germaschewski, PRL, 80, 4177, (1998)]. A typical example in plasma physics are the current sheets in magnetohydrodynamic flows. Their dynamics is investigated in the framework of incompressible MHD. We present simulations of the ideal and inviscid dynamics in two and three dimensions. In addition, we show numerical simulations for the resistive case in two dimensions. Specifically, we show simulations for the case of the reconnection.html>doubly periodic coalescence instability. At the onset of the reconnection process the kinetic energy rises and drops rapidly and afterwards settles into an oscillatory phase. The timescale of the magnetic reconnection process is not affected by these fast events but consistent with the Sweet-Parker model of stationary reconnection. Taking into account the electron inertia terms in the generalized Ohm's law the electron skin depth is introduced as an additional parameter. The modified equations allow for magnetic reconnection in the collisionless regime. Current density and vorticity concentrate in extremely long and thin sheets. Their dynamics becomes numerically accessible by means of adaptive mesh refinement.

  3. On the value of the reconnection rate

    DOE PAGES

    Comisso, L.; Bhattacharjee, A.

    2016-11-04

    Numerical simulations have consistently shown that the reconnection rate in certain collisionless regimes can be fast, of the order ofmore » $$0.1v_{A}B_{u}$$, where$$v_{A}$$and$$B_{u}$$are the Alfven speed and the reconnecting magnetic field upstream of the ion diffusion region. This particular value has been reported in myriad numerical simulations under disparate conditions. But, despite decades of research, the reasons underpinning this specific value remain mysterious. We present an overview of this problem and discuss the conditions under which the '0.1 value' is attained. Finally, we explain why this problem should be interpreted in terms of the ion diffusion region length.« less

  4. Transient Reconnection as Observed in the Cusp by Cluster and FAST

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Elphic, R. C.; Dunlop, M. W.; Balogh, A.; Cargill, P.; Glassmeier, K.; Mussmann, G.; Thomsen, M. F.; Cattell, C. A.; Fazakerly, A.; Reme, H.

    2001-12-01

    In the interval from 23:10 UT on 20 February through at least 00:30 on 21 February, 2001, Cluster was inbound crossing the southern cusp. The four spacecraft were first in a northward magnetosheath field with |B| ~ 35 - 40 nT, BZ > 0, and BY < 0. However, lagged solar wind observations from ACE reveal that the magnetosheath field turned southward just before Cluster entered the cusp, identified as a region of lower average field strength (10 - 20 nT). Then the spacecraft entered the tail lobe, with southwardly-oriented field and velocity dispersed ions traveling tailward. The cusp traversal lasted roughly 15 minutes, during which large field excursions and significant ion flow changes occurred. Three distinct southward ion flow bursts (Δ VZ ~ 130 km/s) were observed, each lasting 2 - 3 minutes, each associated with northward field excursions (Δ BZ ~ 40 nT). In the first two bursts there are also large BY variations as well. The distinctive magnetic field and ion plasma flow changes suggest that these events may be related to transient reconnection due to the new southward orientation of the IMF. Between 2310 and 2350 UT, FAST crossed from the dayside plasma sheet through boundary layer/polar cap in the early afternoon sector at altitudes between 3000 and 4000 km. Though not at the cusp, the FAST magnetic stress/ionospheric convection observations qualitatively agree with the Weimer convection model for the southward IMF conditions at this time.

  5. 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.

  6. 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.

  7. Solitary fast magnetosonic waves propagating obliquely to the magnetic field in cold collisionless plasma

    SciTech Connect

    Kichigin, G. N.

    2016-01-15

    Solutions describing solitary fast magnetosonic (FMS) waves (FMS solitons) in cold magnetized plasma are obtained by numerically solving two-fluid hydrodynamic equations. The parameter domain within which steady-state solitary waves can propagate is determined. It is established that the Mach number for rarefaction FMS solitons is always less than unity. The restriction on the propagation velocity leads to the limitation on the amplitudes of the magnetic field components of rarefaction solitons. It is shown that, as the soliton propagates in plasma, the transverse component of its magnetic field rotates and makes a complete turn around the axis along which the soliton propagates.

  8. 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

  9. 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

  10. 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.

  11. Development of a fast EUV movie camera for study of magnetic reconnection in magnetically driven plasma jets

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Chai, Kil-Byoung; Bellan, Paul

    2012-10-01

    The Caltech MHD driven jet experiment involves a low temperature (˜5 eV) and high density (˜10^21 m-3) plasma that travels at 10's of km/s. During and after formation, magnetic reconnections are observed together with kink and Rayleigh-Taylor instabilities [1]. It has also been observed that there are highly transient EUV emissions when there is magnetic reconnection. The first EUV peak occurs when flux tubes merge during formation and the second one occurs when a Rayleigh-Taylor instability causes the jet to break off from its source electrode. It would be helpful for understanding magnetic reconnection to investigate the spatial and temporal behaviors of these EUV bursts associated with magnetic reconnection. In order to achieve this, we are developing a high speed EUV movie camera. It consists of an Al coated YAG:Ce scintillator, an Au parabolic mirror (or a multilayer coated mirror for a specific EUV wavelength) and a fast framing camera (2x10^8 fps). We tested our system using visible light from the actual plasma jet and obtained image sequence with submicron time resolution.[4pt] [1] A. L. Moser and P. M. Bellan, Nature 482, 379 (2012).

  12. Multifractal dissipation of intermittent turbulence generated by the magnetic reconnection in the solar wind

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wang, Y.; Wei, F.; Feng, X.

    2013-12-01

    Recent observations revealed a scale-invariant dissipation process in the fast ambient solar wind, while numerical simulations indicated that the dissipation process in collisionless reconnection was multifractal. Here, we investigate the properties of turbulent fluctuations in the magnetic reconnection prevailed region. It is found that there are large magnetic field shear angle and obvious intermittent structures in these regions. The deduced scaling exponents in the dissipation subrange show a multifractal scaling. In comparison, in the nearby region where magnetic reconnection is less prevailed, we find smaller magnetic field shear angle, less intermittent structures, and most importantly, a monofractal dissipation process. These results provide additionally observational evidence for previous observation and simulation work, and they also imply that magnetic dissipation in the solar wind magnetic reconnection might be caused by the intermittent cascade as multifractal processes.

  13. 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.

  14. The effect of turbulence on 2D magnetic reconnection

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Loureiro, Nuno

    2010-05-01

    Magnetic reconnection is a well known plasma process believed to lie at the heart of a variety of phenomena such as sub-storms in the Earth's magnetosphere, solar/stellar and accretion-disk flares, sawteeth activity in fusion devices, etc. During reconnection, the global magnetic field topology changes rapidly, leading to the violent release of magnetic energy. One of the outstanding theoretical challenges in this field is the understanding of the mechanism(s) responsible for such rapid changes. In single-fluid MHD, it is believed that magnetic reconnection is well described by the Sweet-Parker theory (SP), which, however, is orders of magnitude too slow to explain observations. In many cases of interest, reconnection takes place in plasmas which are fundamentally collisionless, and which cannot, therefore, be described by MHD theory. Indeed, a vast amount of numerical studies suggest that fast reconnection can be obtained when kinetic physics becomes important. However, in many astrophysical situations (e.g., inside stars and accretion disks) the density is so high that the reconnection layer is collisional and resistive MHD should apply. How, then, can reconnection be fast in these environments? Missing from the SP picture is that most, if not all, environments where reconnection occurs are likely to be turbulent. Theoretical arguments exist [Lazarian & Vishniac, ApJ 517, 700 (1999)] (LV) suggesting that indeed turbulence can significantly enhance the reconnection rate, but only in 3D. In this talk, we present the results of an extensive, high-resolution, numerical study of the effect of small-scale background turbulence on 2D magnetic reconnection [Loureiro et al., MNRAS 399, 1 (2009)]. We show that, contrary to theoretical expectations, turbulence has a very significant effect in speeding-up the 2D reconnection process, yielding a reconnection rate whose dependence on resistivity (ν) is extremely weak and is even consistent with an ν-independent value. We

  15. Experimental demonstration of the role of electron pressure in fast magnetic reconnection with a guide field

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Fox, W.; Sciortino, F.; von Stechow, A.; Jara-Almonte, J.; Yoo, J.; Ji, H.; Yamada, M.

    2016-10-01

    We report detailed laboratory observations of the structure of reconnection current sheets in a two-fluid plasma regime with a guide magnetic field, conducted on the Magnetic Reconnection Experiment. We observe in the laboratory for the first time the quadrupolar electron pressure variation in the ion-diffusion region, as originally predicted by extended MHD simulation. We quantitatively analyze the parallel and perpendicular force balance, and observe the projection of the electron pressure gradient parallel to the B field balances the parallel electric field. The resulting cross-field electron jets in the reconnection layer are diamagnetic in origin. Electron density variations are observed to dominate temperature variations and may provide a new diagnostic of reconnection with finite guide field for fusion experiments and spacecraft missions. Supported by Max-Planck Princeton Center for Plasma Physics.

  16. Modified Petschek Reconnection

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kulsrud, R. M.; Yamada, M.

    2001-05-01

    There is an additional condition in Petschek's theory of magnetic reconnection that uniquely determines the length of his diffusive layer. As a result this length previously thought to be a free parameter, is actually determined by the physics that holds in the reconnection layer. If the physics is resistive MHD, then the Petschek reconnection velocity, vR reduces to that of Sweet and Parker. If the physics involves enhanced resistivity, then one finds that the reconnection velocity varies as the one third power of the maximum possible value of the enhanced resistivity, or the corresponding minimum value of the Lundquist number. If the plasma is collisionless and the resistivity is absolutely zero, and the hall terms dominate, then the rate may well be that given by Drake et. al., e. g. vR ≈ 0.1 vA .

  17. 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.

  18. 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.

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

    DOE PAGES

    Rosenberg, M.  J.; Li, C.  K.; Fox, W.; ...

    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

  20. Nanoflare heating model for collisionless solar corona

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Visakh Kumar, U. L.; Varghese, Bilin Susan; Kurian, P. J.

    2017-02-01

    The problem of coronal heating remains one of the greatest unresolved problems in space science. Magnetic reconnection plays a significant role in heating the solar corona. When two oppositely directed magnetic fields come closer to form a current sheet, the current density of the plasma increases due to which magnetic reconnection and conversion of magnetic energy into thermal energy takes place. The present paper deals with a model for reconnection occurring in the solar corona under steady state in collisionless regime. The model predicts that reconnection time in the solar corona varies inversely with the cube of magnetic field and varies directly with the Lindquist number. Our analysis shows that reconnections are occurring within a time interval of 600 s in the solar corona, producing nanoflares in the energy range 10 21-10 23 erg /s which matches with Yohkoh X-ray observations.

  1. Experimental Demonstration of Resistive Electron Plasmoids in a Reconnecting Current Sheet

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Jara-Almonte, Jonathan

    2016-10-01

    Magnetic reconnection is an important process occurring in nearly all magnetized plasmas that involves the complex coupling of multiple physical scales. Significant progress has been made in understanding the cross-scale physics of magnetic reconnection around localized reconnection sites, but how reconnection couples to global physics is still an open question. Recently, the spontaneous formation of plasmoids has been proposed as a mechanism for bridging widely disparate scales, thereby permitting fast reconnection in large systems. Numerous works have demonstrated the existence of collisionless plasmoids in both space and laboratory plasmas, however to-date, direct evidence for collisional plasmoids has been confined to numerical simulations and analytic theory, although remote-sensing observations of solar and fusion plasmas have provided some indirect evidence. However, it is known that many naturally occurring plasmas, such as the solar chromosphere or the interstellar medium, are both large and collisional, thus requiring collisional plasmoids. In part, the current lack of experimental or in situ observational evidence for collisional plasmoids is due to the large Lundquist numbers required for plasmoid formation within the resistive MHD framework. In this work, experimental evidence for resistive electron plasmoid formation during magnetic reconnection in the two-fluid regime is given. Using the Magnetic Reconnection Experiment (MRX), driven reconnection is studied in collisional current sheets wherein the electric field is balanced solely by classical Spitzer resistivity. Despite low Lundquist numbers, these collisional current sheets are observed to be unstable to the spontaneous formation of plasmoids, which is explained by the importance of electron physics when in the two-fluid regime. The number of plasmoids is observed to scale with the Lundquist number. Due to the onset of plasmoids, both the local reconnection electric field and the globally

  2. INFFTM: Fast evaluation of 3d Fourier series in MATLAB with an application to quantum vortex reconnections

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Caliari, Marco; Zuccher, Simone

    2017-04-01

    Although Fourier series approximation is ubiquitous in computational physics owing to the Fast Fourier Transform (FFT) algorithm, efficient techniques for the fast evaluation of a three-dimensional truncated Fourier series at a set of arbitrary points are quite rare, especially in MATLAB language. Here we employ the Nonequispaced Fast Fourier Transform (NFFT, by J. Keiner, S. Kunis, and D. Potts), a C library designed for this purpose, and provide a Matlab® and GNU Octave interface that makes NFFT easily available to the Numerical Analysis community. We test the effectiveness of our package in the framework of quantum vortex reconnections, where pseudospectral Fourier methods are commonly used and local high resolution is required in the post-processing stage. We show that the efficient evaluation of a truncated Fourier series at arbitrary points provides excellent results at a computational cost much smaller than carrying out a numerical simulation of the problem on a sufficiently fine regular grid that can reproduce comparable details of the reconnecting vortices.

  3. 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

  4. Thin current sheets and magnetic reconnection in magnetospheric plasmas: role of nonlinear kinetic processes and structures

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kropotkin, Alexey

    Dynamics of the magnetospheric plasma configuration intrinsically features intermittent slow and fast phases. The fast transition is a nonlinear process - loss of equilibrium which ends up the slow quasi-static evolution. The process is analyzed as a dynamical bifurcation. It appears when marginal stability state is reached in the course of that evolution, either for tearing mode or for ballooning mode disturbances. The resulting force imbalance leads to spontaneous formation of nonlinear kinetic thin current structures. Those are either a pair of slow collisionless shocks or a specific anisotropic thin current sheet embedded in a thicker plasma sheet structure. Both are the sites of intense energy conversion, and they implement fast magnetic reconnection in the magnetospheric collisionless plasma. These results of the relevant theoretical and simulation studies are discussed. The analysis of a number of spacecraft observations is shown to provide evidence in agreement with those results.

  5. The Role of Fast Magnetic Reconnection on the Radio and Gamma-ray Emission from the Nuclear Regions of Microquasars and Low Luminosity AGNs

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kadowaki, L. H. S.; de Gouveia Dal Pino, E. M.; Singh, C. B.

    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 1010 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.

  6. 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.

  7. Measurements of plasma profiles using a fast swept Langmuir probe in the VINETA-II magnetic reconnection experiment

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Shesterikov, I.; Von Stechow, A.; Grulke, O.; Stenzel, R.; Klinger, T.

    2017-07-01

    A fast-swept Langmuir probe capable to be biased at a high voltages has been constructed and successfully operated at the VINETA-II magnetic reconnection experiment. The presented circuit has two main features beneficial for fast transient parameter changes in laboratory experiments as, e.g., plasma guns or magnetic reconnection: the implementation simplicity and the high voltage sweep range. This work presents its design and performance for time-dependent measurements of VINETA-II plasmas. The probe is biased with a sinusoidal voltage at a fixed frequency. Current - voltage characteristics are measured along the falling and rising slopes of the probe bias. The sweep frequency is fsweep= 150 kHz. The spatiotemporal evolution of radial plasma profiles is obtained by evaluation of the probe characteristics. The plasma density measurements agree with those derived from a microwave interferometer, demonstrating the reliability of the measurements. As a model plasma system, a plasma gun discharge with typical pulse times of 60 μ s is chosen.

  8. 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.

  9. Experimental observation of 3-D, impulsive reconnection events in a laboratory plasma

    SciTech Connect

    Dorfman, S.; Ji, H.; Yamada, M.; Yoo, J.; Lawrence, E.; Myers, C.; Tharp, T. D.

    2014-01-15

    Fast, impulsive reconnection is commonly observed in laboratory, space, and astrophysical plasmas. In this work, impulsive, local, 3-D reconnection is identified for the first time in a laboratory current sheet. The two-fluid, impulsive reconnection events observed on the Magnetic Reconnection Experiment (MRX) [Yamada et al., Phys Plasmas 4, 1936 (1997)] cannot be explained by 2-D models and are therefore fundamentally three-dimensional. Several signatures of flux ropes are identified with these events; 3-D high current density regions with O-point structure form during a slow buildup period that precedes a fast disruption of the reconnecting current layer. The observed drop in the reconnection current and spike in the reconnection rate during the disruption are due to ejection of these flux ropes from the layer. Underscoring the 3-D nature of the events, strong out-of-plane gradients in both the density and reconnecting magnetic field are found to play a key role in this process. Electromagnetic fluctuations in the lower hybrid frequency range are observed to peak at the disruption time; however, they are not the key physics responsible for the impulsive phenomena observed. Important features of the disruption dynamics cannot be explained by an anomalous resistivity model. An important discrepancy in the layer width and force balance between the collisionless regime of MRX and kinetic simulations is also revisited. The wider layers observed in MRX may be due to the formation of flux ropes with a wide range of sizes; consistent with this hypothesis, flux rope signatures are observed down to the smallest scales resolved by the diagnostics. Finally, a 3-D two-fluid model is proposed to explain how the observed out-of-plane variation may lead to a localized region of enhanced reconnection that spreads in the direction of the out-of-plane electron flow, ejecting flux ropes from the layer in a 3-D manner.

  10. 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

  11. Experimental study of 3-D, impulsive reconnection events in a laboratory plasma

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Dorfman, Seth Elliot

    Fast, impulsive reconnection is commonly observed in laboratory, space and astrophysical plasmas. Many existing models of reconnection attempt to explain this behavior without including variation in the third direction. However, the impulsive reconnection events observed on the Magnetic Reconnection Experiment (MRX) which are described in this dissertation cannot be explained by 2-D models and are therefore fundamentally three-dimensional. These events include both a slow buildup phase and a fast current layer disruption phase. The buildup phase is characterized by a slow transition from collisional to collisionless reconnection and the formation of "flux rope" structures; these "flux ropes" are defined as 3-D high current density regions associated with an O point at the measurement location. In the disruption phase, the "flux ropes" are ejected from the reconnection layer as the total current drops and the reconnection rate spikes. Strong out-of-plane gradients in both the density and reconnecting magnetic field are another key feature of disruptive discharges; after finite upstream density is depleted by reconnection during the buildup phase, the out of plane magnetic field gradient flattens and this disruption spreads in the electron flow direction. Electromagnetic fluctuations in the lower hybrid frequency range are observed to peak at the disruption time; however, they are not the key physics responsible for the impulsive phenomena observed. Important features of the disruption dynamics cannot be explained by an anomalous resistivity model. Furthermore, an important discrepancy in the layer width and force balance between the collisionless regime of MRX and kinetic simulations persists when the fluctuations are small or absent, implying that they are not the cause of the wider electron layers observed in the experiment. These wider layers may instead be due to the formation of flux ropes with a wide range of sizes; consistent with this hypothesis, flux rope

  12. Experimental Study of 3-D, Impulsive Reconnection Events in a Laboratory Plasma

    SciTech Connect

    Dorfman, Seth E.

    2012-01-01

    Fast, impulsive reconnection is commonly observed in laboratory, space and astrophysical plasmas. Many existing models of reconnection attempt to explain this behavior without including variation in the third direction. However, the impulsive reconnection events observed on the Magnetic Reconnection Experiment (MRX) which are described in this dissertation cannot be explained by 2-D models and are therefore fundamentally three-dimensional. These events include both a slow buildup phase and a fast current layer disruption phase. The buildup phase is characterized by a slow transition from collisional to collisionless reconnection and the formation of “flux rope” structures; these “flux ropes” are defined as 3-D high current density regions associated with an O point at the measurement location. In the disruption phase, the “flux ropes” are ejected from the reconnection layer as the total current drops and the reconnection rate spikes. Strong out-of-plane gradients in both the density and reconnecting magnetic field are another key feature of disruptive discharges; after finite upstream density is depleted by reconnection during the buildup phase, the out of plane magnetic field gradient flattens and this disruption spreads in the electron flow direction. Electromagnetic fluctuations in the lower hybrid frequency range are observed to peak at the disruption time; however, they are not the key physics responsible for the impulsive phenomena observed. Important features of the disruption dynamics cannot be explained by an anomalous resistivity model. Furthermore, an important discrepancy in the layer width and force balance between the collisionless regime of MRX and kinetic simulations persists when the fluctuations are small or absent, implying that they are not the cause of the wider electron layers observed in the experiment. These wider layers may instead be due to the formation of flux ropes with a wide range of sizes; consistent with this hypothesis

  13. Electron Layer Dissipation Mechanisms in Driven Magnetic Reconnection

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Dorfman, S.; Ji, H.; Yamada, M.; McGeehan, B.; Oz, E.; Schroeder, J.; Daughton, W.; Roytershteyn, V.; Ren, Y.

    2008-11-01

    An open question in magnetic reconnection is the nature of the dissipation mechanism(s) responsible for fast reconnection rates in laboratory and astrophysical plasmas. In 2-D collisionless particle in cell simulations, the off-diagonal terms in the electron pressure tensor provide the necessary force balance at the electron diffusion layer center [1]. Recent comparisons between the Magnetic Reconnection Experiment (MRX) and a well-matched PIC code have shown that this mechanism is insufficient to balance the reconnecting electric field in MRX [2,3]. Candidate mechanisms not present in the simulation are under investigation, including electromagnetic fluctuations and other 3-D effects such as layer distortions. The relationship between fluctuations and equilibrium parameters such as the outflow current and layer width is examined, and first investigations into the 3-D symmetry of the layer are presented. On the simulation side, analysis is underway to gain further insight into the nature of the off-diagonal pressure tensor terms, especially effects due to the driven nature of the simulation. [1] M. Hesse, et al., Phys. Plasmas, 6:1781 (1999). [2] S. Dorfman, et al., submitted to Phys. Plasmas (2008). [3] H. Ji, et al., Geophys. Res. Lett., 35, L13106 (2008). This work was supported by NDSEG, DOE, NASA, and NSF.

  14. 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

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

    SciTech Connect

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

    2016-04-15

    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 τ{sub t}. 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 τ{sub t} 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

  16. Perspectives on magnetic reconnection

    PubMed Central

    Yamada, Masaaki

    2016-01-01

    Magnetic reconnection is a topological rearrangement of magnetic field that occurs on time scales much faster than the global magnetic diffusion time. Since the field lines break on microscopic scales but energy is stored and the field is driven on macroscopic scales, reconnection is an inherently multi-scale process that often involves both magnetohydrodynamic (MHD) and kinetic phenomena. In this article, we begin with the MHD point of view and then describe the dynamics and energetics of reconnection using a two-fluid formulation. We also focus on the respective roles of global and local processes and how they are coupled. We conclude that the triggers for reconnection are mostly global, that the key energy conversion and dissipation processes are either local or global, and that the presence of a continuum of scales coupled from microscopic to macroscopic may be the most likely path to fast reconnection. PMID:28119547

  17. Perspectives on magnetic reconnection

    SciTech Connect

    Zweibel, Ellen G.; Yamada, Masaaki

    2016-12-07

    Magnetic reconnection is a topological rearrangement of magnetic field that occurs on time scales much faster than the global magnetic diffusion time. Since the field lines break on microscopic scales but energy is stored and the field is driven on macroscopic scales, reconnection is an inherently multi-scale process that often involves both magnetohydrodynamic (MHD) and kinetic phenomena. In this article, we begin with the MHD point of view and then describe the dynamics and energetics of reconnection using a two-fluid formulation. We also focus on the respective roles of global and local processes and how they are coupled. Here, we conclude that the triggers for reconnection are mostly global, that the key energy conversion and dissipation processes are either local or global, and that the presence of a continuum of scales coupled from microscopic to macroscopic may be the most likely path to fast reconnection.

  18. Perspectives on magnetic reconnection

    DOE PAGES

    Zweibel, Ellen G.; Yamada, Masaaki

    2016-12-07

    Magnetic reconnection is a topological rearrangement of magnetic field that occurs on time scales much faster than the global magnetic diffusion time. Since the field lines break on microscopic scales but energy is stored and the field is driven on macroscopic scales, reconnection is an inherently multi-scale process that often involves both magnetohydrodynamic (MHD) and kinetic phenomena. In this article, we begin with the MHD point of view and then describe the dynamics and energetics of reconnection using a two-fluid formulation. We also focus on the respective roles of global and local processes and how they are coupled. Here, wemore » conclude that the triggers for reconnection are mostly global, that the key energy conversion and dissipation processes are either local or global, and that the presence of a continuum of scales coupled from microscopic to macroscopic may be the most likely path to fast reconnection.« less

  19. The Reconnection Region With Fast Shock Fronts As A Source Of Microwave Spikes (Based On Soho And Yohkoh Data)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Chernov, G. P.; Fu, Q. J.; Lao, D. B.; Kosugi, T.; Hanaoka, Y.

    1999-10-01

    A new model for solar spike bursts is considered based on the interaction of Langmuir waves with ion-sound waves :l+s-->t. Such mechanism can operate in shock fronts, propagating from a magnetic reconnection region. New observations of microwave millisecond spikes are discussed. They have been observed in the event 1997.11.04 between 0552-0610 UT and 1997.11.28 event between 05:00-05:10 UT using multichannel spectrograph in the range 2,6-3.8 GHz of Beijing AO. The first time we describe very fast and narrowband microwave spikes: duration 8 ms, bandwidth 10 MHz. Yohkoh/SXTimages in AR and SOHO EIT images testify a reconstruction of bright loops after the escape of CME in Nov.4 event and X-ray jets in Nov.28 event. Fast shock fronts might be manifested as a narrow very bright line at Te SXT maps ( 18 MK) and as dense structures at Emission Mesure maps. Strong left polarization of spike emission from a source above the leader spot of south magnetic polarity in AR 8100 corresponds in this event to the extraordinary magnetoionic mode. The model gives the ordinary mode of spike emission, therefore we propose the depolarization of the emission in the transverse magnetic field and rather in the vanishing magnetic field in the middle of QT region. The scattering of O-mode into X-mode by whistlers just above the escape level of X-mode can also provide an additional depolarization. Duration and frequency band of isolated spikes are connected with parameters of fast particle beams and shock front.

  20. On the value of the reconnection rate

    SciTech Connect

    Comisso, L.; Bhattacharjee, A.

    2016-11-04

    Numerical simulations have consistently shown that the reconnection rate in certain collisionless regimes can be fast, of the order of $0.1v_{A}B_{u}$, where$v_{A}$and$B_{u}$are the Alfven speed and the reconnecting magnetic field upstream of the ion diffusion region. This particular value has been reported in myriad numerical simulations under disparate conditions. But, despite decades of research, the reasons underpinning this specific value remain mysterious. We present an overview of this problem and discuss the conditions under which the '0.1 value' is attained. Finally, we explain why this problem should be interpreted in terms of the ion diffusion region length.

  1. Local and Global 3-D Effects in the Magnetic Reconnection Experiment (MRX)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Dorfman, S.; Ji, H.; Yamada, M.; Oz, E.; Yoo, J.; Daughton, W.; Roytershteyn, V.

    2009-11-01

    One of the key open questions in Magnetic Reconnection is the nature of the mechanism that governs the reconnection rate in real astrophysical and laboratory systems. Comparisons between fully kinetic 2-D simulations of the Magnetic Reconnection Experiment (MRX) and experimental data show that the 2-D, collisionless expression for the electric field due to particle dynamics [1] does not match MRX data; related to this is a factor of 3-5 discrepancy in the layer width [2,3]. Adding collisions to the simulation leads to a broadening of the layer, but the level of collisionality present in MRX may not be high enough to resolve the discrepancy. Ongoing research on MRX explores the role of fluctuations and 3-D effects in the force balance. Significant toroidal asymmetries have been found, manifested by regions of high inductive electric field moving in the electron flow direction within the layer. Electromagnetic fluctuations in the lower hybrid frequency range [4] tend to occur in discharges with high local currents and a rapid local reconnection rate. The precise relation of these phenomena to fast reconnection is actively being investigated. [1] M. Hesse, et al., Phys. Plasmas, 6:1781 (1999). [2] Y. Ren, et al., Phys. Plasmas 15, 082113 (2008). [3] S. Dorfman, et al., Phys. Plasmas 15, 102107 (2008). [4] H. Ji, et al., Phys.Rev.Lett. 92 (2004) 115001. Supported by NDSEG, DOE, NASA, and NSF.

  2. Laser-Driven Magnetized Collisionless Shocks

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Schaeffer, Derek

    2016-10-01

    Collisionless shocks - supersonic plasma flows in which the interaction length scale is much shorter than the collisional mean free path - are common phenomena in space and astrophysical systems, including the solar wind, coronal mass ejections, supernovae remnants, and the jets of active galactic nuclei. These systems have been studied for decades, and in many the shocks are believed to efficiently accelerate particles to some of the highest observed energies. Only recently, however, have laser and diagnostic capabilities evolved sufficiently to allow the detailed study in the laboratory of the microphysics of collisionless shocks over a large parameter regime. We present experiments that demonstrate the formation of collisionless shocks utilizing the Phoenix laser laboratory and the LArge Plasma Device (LAPD) at UCLA. We also show recent observations of magnetized collisionless shocks on the Omega EP laser facility that extend the LAPD results to higher laser energy, background magnetic field, and ambient plasma density, and that may be relevant to recent experiments on strongly driven magnetic reconnection. Lastly, we discuss a new experimental regime for shocks with results from high-repetition (1 Hz), volumetric laser-driven measurements on the LAPD. These large parameter scales allow us to probe the formation physics of collisionless shocks over several Alfvénic Mach numbers (MA), from shock precursors (magnetosonic solitons with MA < 1) to subcritical (MA < 3) and supercritical (MA > 3) shocks. The results show that collisionless shocks can be generated using a laser-driven magnetic piston, and agree well with both 2D and 3D hybrid and PIC simulations. Additionally, using radiation-hydrodynamic modeling and measurements from multiple diagnostics, the different shock regimes are characterized with dimensionless formation parameters, allowing us to place disparate experiments in a common and predictive framework.

  3. Laboratory Observation of High-Mach Number, Laser-Driven Magnetized Collisionless Shocks

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Schaeffer, Derek; Fox, Will; Haberberger, Dan; Fiksel, Gennady; Bhattacharjee, Amitava; Barnak, Daniel; Hu, Suxing; Germaschewski, Kai

    2017-06-01

    Collisionless shocks are common phenomena in space and astrophysical systems, including solar and planetary winds, coronal mass ejections, supernovae remnants, and the jets of active galactic nuclei, and in many the shocks are believed to efficiently accelerate particles to some of the highest observed energies. Only recently, however, have laser and diagnostic capabilities evolved sufficiently to allow the detailed study in the laboratory of the microphysics of collisionless shocks over a large parameter regime. We present the first laboratory generation of high-Mach number magnetized collisionless shocks created through the interaction of an expanding laser-driven plasma with a magnetized ambient plasma. Time-resolved, two-dimensional imaging of plasma density and magnetic fields shows the formation and evolution of a supercritical shock propagating at magnetosonic Mach number Mms≈12. Particle-in-cell simulations constrained by experimental data further detail the shock formation and separate dynamics of the multi-ion-species ambient plasma. The results show that the shocks form on timescales as fast as one gyroperiod, aided by the efficient coupling of energy, and the generation of a magnetic barrier, between the piston and ambient ions. The development of this experimental platform complements present remote sensing and spacecraft observations, and opens the way for controlled laboratory investigations of high-Mach number collisionless shocks, including the mechanisms and efficiency of particle acceleration. The platform is also flexible, allowing us to study shocks in different magnetic field geometries, in different ambient plasma conditions, and in relation to other effects in magnetized, high-Mach number plasmas such as magnetic reconnection or the Weibel instability.

  4. Quantitative, comprehensive, analytical model for magnetic reconnection in Hall magnetohydrodynamics.

    PubMed

    Simakov, Andrei N; Chacón, L

    2008-09-05

    Dissipation-independent, or "fast", magnetic reconnection has been observed computationally in Hall magnetohydrodynamics (MHD) and predicted analytically in electron MHD. However, a quantitative analytical theory of reconnection valid for arbitrary ion inertial lengths, d{i}, has been lacking and is proposed here for the first time. The theory describes a two-dimensional reconnection diffusion region, provides expressions for reconnection rates, and derives a formal criterion for fast reconnection in terms of dissipation parameters and d{i}. It also confirms the electron MHD prediction that both open and elongated diffusion regions allow fast reconnection, and reveals strong dependence of the reconnection rates on d{i}.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2015-12-01

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

  6. 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.

  7. 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.

  8. 3-D, Impulsive Magnetic Reconnection in a Laboratory Plasma (Invited)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Dorfman, S. E.; Ji, H.; Yamada, M.; Yoo, J.; Myers, C. E.; Roytershteyn, V.; Daughton, W. S.; Jara-Almonte, J.

    2013-12-01

    Magnetic reconnection is a fundamental plasma process involving the efficient conversion of magnetic field energy to plasma kinetic energy through changing field line topology. In many space and astrophysical systems, including the solar surface and the Earth's magnetotail, reconnection is not only fast, but also impulsive; in other words, a slow buildup phase is followed by a comparatively quick release of magnetic energy. An important question in the literature is if these examples of impulsive reconnection can be described by a two-dimensional model with no variation in the out-of-plane direction or if impulsive reconnection is fundamentally three-dimensional. Events observed on the Magnetic Reconnection Experiment (MRX) are characterized by large local gradients in the third direction and cannot be explained by 2-D models [1]. Detailed measurements show that the ejection of flux rope structures from the current sheet plays a key role in these events. By contrast, even though electromagnetic fluctuations in the lower hybrid frequency range are also observed concurrently with the impulsive behavior, they are not the key physics responsible. Furthermore, an important discrepancy in the layer width and force balance between the collisionless regime of MRX and kinetic simulations [2-4] persists when the fluctuations are small or absent, implying that they are not the cause of the wider electron layers observed in the experiment [5]. These wider layers may instead be due to the formation of flux ropes with a wide range of sizes; consistent with this hypothesis, flux rope signatures are observed down to the smallest scales resolved by the diagnostics. Finally, a qualitative, 3-D, two-fluid model is proposed to explain the observed disruptions. Many of the features observed in MRX including current disruptions [6], flux ropes [7], and electromagnetic fluctuations [8] have analogues in space observations. Thus, further detailed comparisons may enhance our understanding

  9. Thin anisotropic current sheet as "reconnection layer": theory, simulation, and identification in observations

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kropotkin, Alexey

    Fast conversion of electromagnetic energy into energy of plasma flows is generally considered as a necessary constituent of reconnection process. It occurs on an extended quasi-1D plasma object named "reconnection layer". The specific structure of the reconnection layer is still under discussion. In collisionless plasma, small-scale 1D nonlinear kinetic structures appear to be involved. Depending on the problem parameter values, these are rotational "discontinuities" (strong Alfven waves), slow shocks, or anisotropic kinetic current sheets (AKCS). Recent progress in theory of the latter as a specific stationary equilibrium solution, along with hybrid simulation demonstrating AKCS generation in a typical Riemann problem, allow to view the AKCS as an important feature of reconnection process. It is expected to appear both on the magnetopause and in the plasma sheet of the geomagnetic tail. Signatures of such appearance, as expressed in the plasma properties observed near the current sheet itself, are discussed. The signatures have been really identified in CLUSTER observations. However they were not properly understood by the experiment authors. Corresponding corrections of their interpretation are suggested.

  10. Reconnection layer dynamics in the Reconnection Scaling Experiment at LANL

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Furno, Ivo; Intrator, Thomas; Hemsing, Erik; Hsu, Scott; Lapenta, Giovanni; Ricci, Paolo

    2003-10-01

    Using the Reconnection Scaling Experiment (RSX) at Los Alamos National Laboratory, we are studying quasi-2D magnetic reconnection in a 3D linear geometry. RSX is a linear plasma device that relies on plasma gun technology to generate high density (>10^14 cm-3), high current (J 200A/cm^2) ohmically heated (Te 15eV) hydrogen plasma channels ( 2 cm radius). In RSX, magnetic reconnection is induced during the current ramp-up between two axially directed parallel current channels generating a reconnection magnetic field, B_rec, up to 40 Gauss. A set of 12 magnet coils induces an axial guide magnetic field Bz of up to 0.1 T allowing the reconnection field B_rec to be independently scaled from the guiding field B_z. Plasma collisionality can also be independently scaled by varying the plasma gun fill pressure. The formation and dynamics of the current sheet is studied using time and space resolved magnetic field measurements. To date, preliminary experiments in the collisional regime and in the presence of a strong guide magnetic field (B_z/B_rec>10) show the formation of a Sweet-Parker like Y-shaped current sheet. The axial electric field, as inferred from the measured magnetic flux annihilation rate, is also consistent with Sweet-Parker magnetic reconnection. In future experiments, more collisionless regimes will be explored, and the influence of the guide magnetic field on the dynamics of the current sheet and the reconnection rate will be investigated in truly 3D geometry.

  11. 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

  12. 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.

  13. Experimental Test of the Sweet-Parker Model of Magnetic Reconnection

    SciTech Connect

    Hantao Ji; Masaaki Yamada; Hsu, S.; Kulsrud, R.

    1997-10-03

    We report a quantitative experimental test of the Sweet-Parker model of magnetic reconnection in a controlled laboratory plasma. It is found that the observed reconnection rate cannot be explained by the Sweet-Parker model unless the model is generalized to incorporate compressibility, downstream pressure, and the effective resistivity. The latter is significantly enhanced over its classical values in the collisionless limit.

  14. 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.

  15. Magnetic Reconnection

    NASA Image and Video Library

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

  16. Magnetic Reconnection by a Self-Retreating X Line

    SciTech Connect

    Oka, M.; Nishikawa, K.-I.; Fujimoto, M.; Nakamura, T. K. M.; Shinohara, I.

    2008-11-14

    Particle-in-cell simulations of collisionless magnetic reconnection are performed to study asymmetric reconnection in which an outflow is blocked by a hard wall while leaving sufficiently large room for the outflow of the opposite direction. This condition leads to a slow, roughly constant motion of the diffusion region away from the wall, the so-called 'X-line retreat'. The typical retreat speed is {approx}0.1 times the Alfven speed. At the diffusion region, ion flow pattern shows strong asymmetry and the ion stagnation point and the X line are not collocated. A surprise, however, is that the reconnection rate remains the same unaffected by the retreat motion.

  17. The Development of Drift Wave Turbulence in Magnetic Reconnection

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2013-12-01

    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) 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. Further investigations of the relative importance of drift wave turbulence in the development of reconnection will also be considered.

  18. Reconnection and small-scale fields in 2D-3V hybrid-kinetic driven turbulence simulations

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Cerri, S. S.; Califano, F.

    2017-02-01

    The understanding of the fundamental properties of turbulence in collisionless plasmas, such as the solar wind, is a frontier problem in plasma physics. In particular, the occurrence of magnetic reconnection in turbulent plasmas and its interplay with a fully-developed turbulent state is still a matter of great debate. Here we investigate the properties of small-scale electromagnetic fluctuations and the role of fast magnetic reconnection in the development of a quasi-steady turbulent state by means of 2D-3V high-resolution Vlasov–Maxwell simulations. At the largest scales turbulence is fed by external random forcing. We show that large-scale turbulent motions establish a -5/3 spectrum at {k}\\perp {d}i< 1 and, at the same time, feed the formation of current sheets where magnetic reconnection occurs. As a result coherent magnetic structures are generated which, together with the rise of the associated small-scale non-ideal electric field, mediate the transition between the inertial and the subproton-scale spectrum. A mechanism that boosts the magnetic reconnection process is identified, making the generation of coherent structures rapid enough to be competitive with wave mode interactions and leading to the formation of a fully-developed turbulent spectrum across the so-called ion break.

  19. Improved Magnetic Reconnection Experiment at FRC Device

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Xu, Ming; Zhou, Ruijie; Vasquez, Daniel; Huang, Tian-Sen; Prairie View Solar Observatory Team

    2014-10-01

    With experimental facility's improvement, magnetic reconnection has been further studied at Prairie View rotamak device. By adding one toroidal current in the central part of the rotamak device, the cutting of one magnetic field reverse configuration (FRC) as two FRCs in the experiment process becomes more obvious. Differing from the magnetic reconnection experiments conducted at other labs, where magnetic reconnection is formed with two ware-coiled currents buried in a chamber with large scale magnetic field, in our magnetic reconnection experiment the main source of the magnetic field is plasma current. Thus, the magnetic reconnection experiments conducted at rotamak device are closer to the one occurring in the space and on the sun. At the present stage, our experiments focus on the study of the change in electron temperature during the magnetic reconnection process. Furthermore, the ion temperature and plasma flow can be easily achieved from fast ion Doppler spectroscopy (IDS) diagnostic system, which makes the magnetic reconnection process more clearly.

  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. 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.

  2. Quantitative analytical model for magnetic reconnection in hall magnetohydrodynamics

    SciTech Connect

    Simakov, Andrei N

    2008-01-01

    Magnetic reconnection is of fundamental importance for laboratory and naturally occurring plasmas. Reconnection usually develops on time scales which are much shorter than those associated with classical collisional dissipation processes, and which are not fully understood. While such dissipation-independent (or 'fast') reconnection rates have been observed in particle and Hall magnetohydrodynamics (MHD) simulations and predicted analytically in electron MHD, a quantitative analytical theory of fast reconnection valid for arbitrary ion inertial lengths d{sub i} has been lacking. Here we propose such a theory without a guide field. The theory describes two-dimensional magnetic field diffusion regions, provides expressions for the reconnection rates, and derives a formal criterion for fast reconnection in terms of dissipation parameters and di. It also demonstrates that both open X-point and elongated diffusion regions allow dissipation-independent reconnection and reveals a possibility of strong dependence of the reconnection rates on d{sub i}.

  3. Recent Results from Magnetic Reconnection Experiment (MRX)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ji, H.; Yamada, M.; Hsu, S.; Morrison, K.

    1997-11-01

    Many fundamental issues of magnetic reconnection are being investigated in the MRX device, which creates an environment satisfying the criteria for MHD plasmas with well controlled boundary conditions in a nearly two-dimensional geometry. The diagnostics include internal magnetic probe arrays, Langmuir probes, Mach probes, a retarding field energy analyzer, an interferometer, and a spectrometer. Major findings of recent MRX experiments are: as the merging angle decreases from ~180^circ to ~ 60^circ, the shape of the diffusion region changes from double-Y to O-shape, the current-sheet thickness increases, and the reconnection speed decreases(M. Yamada, H. Ji, S. Hsu et al.), Phys. Rev. Lett. 78, 3117(1997).; (2) transition from collisional regime where the measured resistivity is consistent with the two-fluid theory(R. Kulsrud, invited talk in this meeting.) to collisionless regime where resistivity is greatly enhanced; (3) proportionality of current-sheet thickness to ion gyro-radius or equivalently to ion skin-depth (i.e., δ ≈ ρi ∝ c/ω_pi) in the anti-parallel reconnection case; (4) consistency of observed reconnection speed with a modified Sweet-Parker model, in which the compressibility increases the reconnection and finite down-stream pressure decreases the reconnection. Detailed analysis and physics interpretation will be presented.

  4. Intuitive approach to magnetic reconnection

    SciTech Connect

    Kulsrud, Russell M.

    2011-11-15

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

  5. Three Dimensional Dynamics of Magnetic Reconnection in Large-Scale Pair Plasmas

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Yin, L.; Daughton, W.; Albright, B. J.; Bowers, K. J.; Karimabad, H.; Roytershteyn, V.

    2009-05-01

    Using the largest three dimensional particle-in-cell simulations to date, collisionless magnetic reconnection in large-scale electron-positron plasmas without a guide field is shown to involve complex interaction of tearing and kink modes. The reconnection onset is patchy and occurs at multiple sites which self-organize to form a single, large diffusion region. The diffusion region further expands in both outflow direction and current direction and become unstable to secondary kinking and formation of "plasmoid-rope" structures. The secondary kink leads to folding of the reconnection current layer, while plasmoid ropes at times follow the folding of the current layer. The interplay among these secondary instabilities plays a key role in controlling the time dependent reconnection rate in large-scale systems. These dynamics found in collisionless reconnection are compared with those in the collisional regime.

  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. Magnetic reconnection from a multiscale instability cascade

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Moser, Auna L.; Bellan, Paul M.

    2012-02-01

    Magnetic reconnection, the process whereby magnetic field lines break and then reconnect to form a different topology, underlies critical dynamics of magnetically confined plasmas in both nature and the laboratory. Magnetic reconnection involves localized diffusion of the magnetic field across plasma, yet observed reconnection rates are typically much higher than can be accounted for using classical electrical resistivity. It is generally proposed that the field diffusion underlying fast reconnection results instead from some combination of non-magnetohydrodynamic processes that become important on the `microscopic' scale of the ion Larmor radius or the ion skin depth. A recent laboratory experiment demonstrated a transition from slow to fast magnetic reconnection when a current channel narrowed to a microscopic scale, but did not address how a macroscopic magnetohydrodynamic system accesses the microscale. Recent theoretical models and numerical simulations suggest that a macroscopic, two-dimensional magnetohydrodynamic current sheet might do this through a sequence of repetitive tearing and thinning into two-dimensional magnetized plasma structures having successively finer scales. Here we report observations demonstrating a cascade of instabilities from a distinct, macroscopic-scale magnetohydrodynamic instability to a distinct, microscopic-scale (ion skin depth) instability associated with fast magnetic reconnection. These observations resolve the full three-dimensional dynamics and give insight into the frequently impulsive nature of reconnection in space and laboratory plasmas.

  9. Properties of asymmetric magnetic reconnection

    SciTech Connect

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

    2008-03-15

    Properties of magnetic reconnection are investigated in two-dimensional, resistive magnetohydrodynamic (MHD) simulations of current sheets separating plasmas with different magnetic field strengths and densities. Specific emphasis is on the influence of the external parameters on the reconnection rate. The effect of the dissipation in the resistive MHD model is separated from this influence by evaluating resistivity dependence together with the dependence on the background parameters. Two scenarios are considered, which may be distinguished as driven and nondriven reconnection. In either scenario, the maximum reconnection rate (electric field) is found to depend on appropriate hybrid expressions based on a magnetic field strength and an Alfven speed derived from the characteristic values in the two inflow regions. The scaling compares favorably with an analytic formula derived recently by Cassak and Shay [Phys. Plasmas 14, 102114 (2007)] applied to the regime of fast reconnection. An investigation of the energy flow and conversion in the vicinity of the reconnection site revealed a significant role of enthalpy flux generation, in addition to the expected conversion of Poynting flux to kinetic energy flux. This enthalpy flux generation results from Ohmic heating as well as adiabatic, that is, compressional heating. The latter is found more important when the magnetic field strengths in the two inflow regions are comparable in magnitude.

  10. Relation of astrophysical turbulence and magnetic reconnection

    SciTech Connect

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

    2012-01-15

    Astrophysical fluids are generically turbulent and this must be taken into account for most transport processes. We discuss how the preexisting turbulence modifies magnetic reconnection and how magnetic reconnection affects the MHD turbulent cascade. We show the intrinsic interdependence and interrelation of magnetic turbulence and magnetic reconnection, in particular, that strong magnetic turbulence in 3D requires reconnection and 3D magnetic turbulence entails fast reconnection. We follow the approach in Eyink et al.[Astrophys. J. 743, 51 (2011)] to show that the expressions of fast magnetic reconnection in A. Lazarian and E. T. Vishniac [Astrophys. J. 517, 700 (1999)] can be recovered if Richardson diffusion of turbulent flows is used instead of ordinary Ohmic diffusion. This does not revive, however, the concept of magnetic turbulent diffusion which assumes that magnetic fields can be mixed up in a passive way down to a very small dissipation scales. On the contrary, we are dealing the reconnection of dynamically important magnetic field bundles which strongly resist bending and have well defined mean direction weakly perturbed by turbulence. We argue that in the presence of turbulence the very concept of flux-freezing requires modification. The diffusion that arises from magnetic turbulence can be called reconnection diffusion as it based on reconnection of magnetic field lines. The reconnection diffusion has important implications for the continuous transport processes in magnetized plasmas and for star formation. In addition, fast magnetic reconnection in turbulent media induces the First order Fermi acceleration of energetic particles, can explain solar flares and gamma ray bursts. However, the most dramatic consequence of these developments is the fact that the standard flux freezing concept must be radically modified in the presence of turbulence.

  11. 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

  12. 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

  13. 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.

  14. Turbulent Reconnection Rates from Cluster Observations in the Magnetosheath

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Wendel, Deirdre

    2011-01-01

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

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

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Wendel, Deirdre

    2011-01-01

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

  16. Shocks in collisionless plasmas

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Parks, G. K.; Lee, E.; Fu, S. Y.; Lin, N.; Liu, Y.; Yang, Z. W.

    2017-06-01

    The Earth's bow shock is the best-known collisionless shock in space. Although much is known about the bow shock, the mechanisms of heating and thermalization processes still remain poorly understood. Collisionless shocks are different from ordinary fluid shocks, because a fraction of the incident solar wind is reflected from the bow shock and the transmitted particles are not immediately thermalized. The reflected particles interact with the incident solar wind producing waves and instabilities that can heat and accelerate particles to high energies. Some of the waves can grow to large amplitudes such as Short Large Amplitude Magnetic Structures. Other upstream nonlinear structures include hot flow anomalies and density holes. The upstream nonlinear structures subsequently convect Earthward with the SW and could impact the structure and dynamics of the bow shock. These observations have clearly indicated that the upstream dynamics are an integral part of the bow shock system. Although much has been learned about the behavior of Earth's bow shock dynamics from the existing data, many fundamental questions remain not answered. This article will review observations of ion dynamics of Earth's bow shock system, what we have learned from recent and past observations. We provide new perspectives from multi-spacecraft Cluster observations about the spatial and temporal variations including the fundamental shock heating, acceleration, and entropy generation processes.

  17. 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.

  18. Effects of Magnetic Reconnection Processes in the Near Magnetosphere

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Coppi, B.; Fletcher, A.

    2016-10-01

    Magnetic reconnection processes in collisionless plasmas on the Earth's dayside and nightside are shown to be capable of producing high energy populations of both ions and electrons. These particles can interact with the Radiation Belts and reach the regions close to the Earth where auroral substorms can be produced. The main theoretical issues faced in identifying plasma modes with realistic characteristics, given the scale distances and time scales, that can be responsible for the needed reconnection processes are pointed out. Solution of relevant equations obtained by a combined analytical and numerical approach. Sponsored in part by the U.S. D.O.E. and the N.S.F.

  19. Magnetic reconnection: from MHD to QED

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bulanov, S. V.

    2017-01-01

    The paper examines the prospects of using laser plasmas for studying novel regimes of the magnetic field line reconnection and charged particle acceleration. Basic features of plasma dynamics in the three-dimensional configurations relevant to the formation of current sheets in a plasma are addressed by analyzing exact self-similar solutions of the magneto-hydrodynamics and electron magneto-hydrodynamics equations. Then the magnetic field annihilation in the ultrarelativistic limit is considered, when the opposite polarity magnetic field is generated in collisionless plasma by multiple laser pulses, in the regime with a dominant contribution of the displacement current exciting a strong large-scale electric field. This field leads to the conversion of the magnetic energy into the kinetic energy of accelerated particles inside a thin current sheet. Charged particle acceleration during magnetic field reconnection is discussed when radiation friction and quantum electrodynamics effects become dominant.

  20. Gyrokinetic Studies of Magnetic Reconnection

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Pueschel, Moritz J.; Jenko, Frank; Told, Daniel; Buechner, Joerg

    2011-10-01

    Collisionless magnetic reconnection constitutes an effective mechanism for particle acceleration in astrophysical plasmas, in particular the solar corona. In addition, it is also of relevance to fusion experiments. Gyrokinetic simulations with the GENE code are performed to explore the temporal evolution of current sheets in two-dimensional slab geometry with a strong guide field. After successful code-code benchmarking, Extensive parameter studies are performed, covering a wide range of physical scenarios. In particular, differing findings regarding the influence of the ion temperature are explained. In its nonlinear phase, the characteristics of the reconnection process depend on whether the system is driven or decaying. Decaying turbulence sees an inverse cascade, and all energy is ultimately transferred to the largest radial scale. If driven by a Krook-type term, the system develops into a turbulent, quasi-stationary state. An important quantity to investigate in nonlinear simulations is the parallel electric field which is able to accelerate particles along the background magnetic field. The spatial structure of this field is studied for the different nonlinear cases, and its amplitude reported as a function of the drive frequency.

  1. Statistics of Reconnection-driven Turbulence

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kowal, Grzegorz; Falceta-Gonçalves, Diego A.; Lazarian, Alex; Vishniac, Ethan T.

    2017-04-01

    Magnetic reconnection is a process that changes magnetic field topology in highly conducting fluids. Within the standard Sweet–Parker model, this process would be too slow to explain observations (e.g., solar flares). In reality, the process must be ubiquitous as astrophysical fluids are magnetized and motions of fluid elements necessarily entail crossing of magnetic frozen-in field lines and magnetic reconnection. In the presence of turbulence, the reconnection is independent of microscopic plasma properties and may be much faster than previously thought, as proposed in Lazarian & Vishniac and tested in Kowal et al. However, the considered turbulence in the Lazarian–Vishniac model was imposed externally. In this work, we consider reconnection-driven magnetized turbulence in realistic three-dimensional geometry initiated by stochastic noise. We demonstrate through numerical simulations that the stochastic reconnection is able to self-generate turbulence through interactions between the reconnection outflows. We analyze the statistical properties of velocity fluctuations using power spectra and anisotropy scaling in the local reference frame, which demonstrates that the reconnection produces Kolmogorov-like turbulence, compatible with the Goldreich & Sridhar model. Anisotropy statistics are, however, strongly affected by the dynamics of flows generated by the reconnection process. Once the broad turbulent region is formed, the typical anisotropy scaling {l}\\parallel \\propto {l}\\perp 2/3 is formed, especially for high resolution models, where the broader range of scales is available. The decay of reconnection outflows to turbulent-like fluctuations, characterized by different anisotropy scalings, strongly depends on the β plasma parameter. Moreover, the estimated reconnection rates are weakly dependent on the model resolution, suggesting that no external processes are required to make reconnection fast.

  2. A nonlocal fluid closure for antiparallel reconnection

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ng, J.; Hakim, A.; Bhattacharjee, A.

    2016-12-01

    The integration of kinetic effects in fluid models is an important problem in global simulations of the Earth's magnetosphere and space weather modelling. In particular, it has been shown that ion kinetics play an important role in the dynamics of large reconnecting systems, and that fluid models can account of some of these effects[1,2] . Here we introduce a new fluid model and closure for collisionless magnetic reconnection and more general applications. Taking moments of the kinetic equation, we evolve the full pressure tensor for electrons and ions, which includes the off diagonal terms necessary for reconnection. Kinetic effects are recovered by using a nonlocal heat flux closure, which approximates linear Landau damping in the fluid framework [3]. Using the island coalescence problem as a test, we show how the nonlocal ion closure improves on the typical collisional closures used for ten-moment models and circumvents the need for a colllisional free parameter. Finally, we extend the closure to study guide-field reconnection and discuss the implementation of a twenty-moment model.[1] A. Stanier et al. Phys Rev Lett (2015)[2] J. Ng et al. Phys Plasmas (2015)[3] G. Hammett et al. Phys Rev Lett (1990)

  3. 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.

  4. 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.

  5. A nonlocal fluid closure for antiparallel reconnection

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ng, Jonathan; Hakim, A.; Bhattacharjee, A.

    2016-10-01

    The integration of kinetic effects in fluid models is an important problem in global simulations of the Earth's magnetosphere and space weather modelling. In particular, it has been shown that ion kinetics play an important role in the dynamics of large reconnecting systems, and that fluid models can account of some of these effects. Here we introduce a new fluid model and closure for collisionless magnetic reconnection and more general applications. Taking moments of the kinetic equation, we evolve the full pressure tensor for electrons and ions, which includes the off diagonal terms necessary for reconnection. Kinetic effects are recovered by using a nonlocal heat flux closure, which approximates linear Landau damping in the fluid framework. Using the island coalescence problem as a test, we show how the nonlocal ion closure improves on the typical collisional closures used for ten-moment models and circumvents the need for a colllisional free parameter. Finally, we extend the closure to study guide-field reconnection and discuss the implementation of a twenty-moment model. Supported by: NSF Grant No. AGS-1338944, DOE Contract DE-AC02-09CH11466.

  6. Simulation and Analysis of Magnetic Reconnection in an Experimental Geometry

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Murphy, Nicholas Arnold; Sovinec, C. R.; Cassak, P. A.

    2009-01-01

    The process of magnetic reconnection is important in space, laboratory, and astrophysical plasmas. The Magnetic Reconnection Experiment (MRX) is designed to study controlled reconnection in collisional and marginally collisionless plasmas (Yamada et al. 1997). We present single and two-fluid simulations of MRX using the NIMROD extended MHD code (Sovinec et al. 2004). These simulations highlight the interrelationship between the small-scale physics of the reconnection layer and the global magnetic field geometry. The communication between small and large scales is dominated by pressure gradients that result from a pileup of reconnection outflow. Toroidicity leads to asymmetry in either the inflow direction or the outflow direction, depending on the experimental mode of operation. To explain effects observed during reconnection with asymmetry in the outflow direction, we present an extension of the Sweet-Parker model that takes into account asymmetric downstream pressure. This model is applicable to reconnection in coronal mass ejections, the Earth's magnetotail, and in circumstellar disks present in hot star winds. This research is supported by the NSF Center for Magnetic Self-Organization in Laboratory and Astrophysical Plasmas.

  7. High Energy Particle Populations Associated with Magnetic Reconnection

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Coppi, B.; Basu, B.

    2015-11-01

    Magnetic reconnection events associated with a variety of laboratory and astrophysical plasmas have been observed to be related to the production of high energy particles. In this context the theory of weakly collisional or collisionless reconnecting modes has been found to generate relatively large ``temperatures fluctuations'' (e.g. of the electron population) associated with significant reconnection fields. The spatial singularity of the temperature fluctuations can, in fact, be removed by the finiteness of the transverse relevant thermal conductivity. An important requirement for this is that the temperature gradient of the involved particle species be significant within the layer where reconnection takes place. With reconnection depending on a finite inductivity associated with the local current density the characteristic layer over which these modes are localized remains significant (strong reconnection) even when the involved macroscopic distances (e.g. in astrophysics) are very large. This is in contrast with the features of the well known tearing mode that is a case of weak reconnection. Sponsored in part by the U.S. DoE.

  8. Reconnection in thin current sheets

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2016-05-01

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

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

    SciTech Connect

    J.A. Breslau; S.C. Jardin

    2001-08-09

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

  10. Reconnection of Magnetic Fields

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    1984-01-01

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

  11. Three-dimensional Spontaneous Magnetic Reconnection

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Beresnyak, Andrey

    2017-01-01

    Magnetic reconnection is best known from observations of the Sun where it causes solar flares. Observations estimate the reconnection rate as a small, but non-negligible fraction of the Alfvén speed, so-called fast reconnection. Until recently, the prevailing pictures of reconnection were either of resistivity or plasma microscopic effects, which was contradictory to the observed rates. Alternative pictures were either of reconnection due to the stochasticity of magnetic field lines in turbulence or the tearing instability of the thin current sheet. In this paper we simulate long-term three-dimensional nonlinear evolution of a thin, planar current sheet subject to a fast oblique tearing instability using direct numerical simulations of resistive-viscous magnetohydrodynamics. The late-time evolution resembles generic turbulence with a ‑5/3 power spectrum and scale-dependent anisotropy, so we conclude that the tearing-driven reconnection becomes turbulent reconnection. The turbulence is local in scale, so microscopic diffusivity should not affect large-scale quantities. This is confirmed by convergence of the reconnection rate toward ∼ 0.015{v}{{A}} with increasing Lundquist number. In this spontaneous reconnection, with mean field and without driving, the dissipation rate per unit area also converges to ∼ 0.006ρ {v}{{A}}3, and the dimensionless constants 0.015 and 0.006 are governed only by self-driven nonlinear dynamics of the sheared magnetic field. Remarkably, this also means that a thin current sheet has a universal fluid resistance depending only on its length to width ratio and to {v}{{A}}/c.

  12. Intermittent magnetic reconnection in TS-3 merging experiment

    SciTech Connect

    Ono, Y.; Hayashi, Y.; Ii, T.; Tanabe, H.; Ito, S.; Kuwahata, A.; Ito, T.; Kamino, Y.; Yamada, T.; Inomoto, M.; Collaboration: TS-Group

    2011-11-15

    Ejection of current sheet with plasma mass causes impulsive and intermittent magnetic reconnection in the TS-3 spherical tokamak (ST) merging experiment. Under high guide toroidal field, the sheet resistivity is almost classical due to the sheet thickness much longer than the ion gyroradius. Large inflow flux and low current-sheet resistivity result in flux and plasma pileup followed by rapid growth of the current sheet. When the pileup exceeds a critical limit, the sheet is ejected mechanically from the squeezed X-point area. The reconnection (outflow) speed is slow during the flux/plasma pileup and is fast during the ejection, suggesting that intermittent reconnection similar to the solar flare increases the averaged reconnection speed. These transient effects enable the merging tokamaks to have the fast reconnection as well as the high-power reconnection heating, even when their current-sheet resistivity is low under high guide field.

  13. How Does the Electron Dynamics Affect the Reconnection Rate in a Typical Reconnection Layer?

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Hesse, Michael

    2009-01-01

    The question of whether the microscale 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. Gyrokinetic Electron and Fully Kinetic Ion Particle Simulation of Collisionless Plasma Dynamics

    SciTech Connect

    Yu Lin; Xueyi Wang; Liu Chen; Zhihong Lin

    2009-08-11

    Fully kinetic-particle simulations and hybrid simulations have been utilized for decades to investigate various fundamental plasma processes, such as magnetic reconnection, fast compressional waves, and wave-particle interaction. Nevertheless, due to disparate temporal and spatial scales between electrons and ions, existing fully kinetic-particle codes have to employ either unrealistically high electron-to-ion mass ratio, me/mi, or simulation domain limited to a few or a few ten's of the ion Larmor radii, or/and time much less than the global Alfven time scale in order to accommodate available computing resources. On the other hand, in the hybrid simulation, the ions are treated as fully kinetic particles but the electrons are treated as a massless fluid. The electron kinetic effects, e.g., wave-particle resonances and finite electron Larmor radius effects, are completely missing. Important physics, such as the electron transit time damping of fast compressional waves or the triggering mechanism of magnetic reconnection in collisionless plasmas is absent in the hybrid codes. Motivated by these considerations and noting that dynamics of interest to us has frequencies lower than the electron gyrofrequency, we planned to develop an innovative particle simulation model, gyrokinetic (GK) electrons and fully kinetic (FK) ions. In the GK-electron and FK-ion (GKe/FKi) particle simulation model, the rapid electron cyclotron motion is removed, while keeping finite electron Larmor radii, realistic me/mi ratio, wave-particle interactions, and off-diagonal components of electron pressure tensor. The computation power can thus be significantly improved over that of the full-particle codes. As planned in the project DE-FG02-05ER54826, we have finished the development of the new GK-electron and FK-ion scheme, finished its benchmark for a uniform plasma in 1-D, 2-D, and 3-D systems against linear waves obtained from analytical theories, and carried out a further convergence test

  15. 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.

  16. 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.

  17. Onset and saturation of guide-field magnetic reconnection

    SciTech Connect

    Pritchett, P.L.

    2005-06-15

    The onset and saturation of collisionless magnetic reconnection in the presence of a guide field are investigated using two-dimensional particle-in-cell simulations in which the reconnection evolves out of the initial thermal noise in the current sheet and in which the resolution is sufficient to resolve the electron singular layer. The simulations show that reconnection does not abate when the island width exceeds either the electron singular layer or the initial current sheet width. Instead, reconnection proceeds through an explosive stage which appears to be limited only by the spatial size of the system. The guide-field reconnection dynamics is dominated by the formation of an asymmetric configuration with a deep density cavity along one pair of separatrix arms. In this cavity an electron beam feature is formed which excites the Buneman instability. Near the X line the reconnection electric field is supported by a combination of quasiviscous and bulk inertia effects for the electrons. Around the island perimeter, intense Debye-scale, predominantly perpendicular, electric field structures are formed.

  18. Reconnection rates in driven magnetic reconnection

    SciTech Connect

    Birn, J.; Hesse, M.

    2007-08-15

    Using resistive magnetohydrodynamic simulations, we investigate the influence of various parameters on the reconnection rate in two scenarios of magnetic reconnection. The first scenario consists of the ''Newton Challenge'' problem [Birn et al., Geophys. Res. Lett. 32, L06105 (2005)]. In this scenario, reconnection is initiated in a plane Harris-type current sheet by temporally limited, spatially varying, inflow of magnetic flux. The second scenario consists of the well-studied island coalescence problem. This scenario starts from an equilibrium containing periodic magnetic islands with parallel current filaments. Due to the attraction between parallel currents, pairs of islands may move toward each other, forming a current sheet in between. This leads to reconnection and ultimately the merging of islands. In either scenario, magnetic reconnection may be considered as being driven by external or internal forcing. Consistent with that interpretation we find that in either case the maximum reconnection rate (electric field) depends approximately linearly on the maximum driving electric field, when other parameters remain unchanged. However, this can be understood mostly from the change of characteristic background parameters; particularly, the increase of the magnetic field strength in the inflow region due to the added magnetic flux. This interpretation is consistent with the result that the maximum of the reconnection electric field is assumed significantly later (tens of Alfven times) than the maximum driving and typically does not match the instantaneous driving electric field. Furthermore, the reconnection rate also depends on the resistivity and the time scale of the driving.

  19. Collisionless parallel shocks

    SciTech Connect

    Khabibrakhmanov, I.K. ); Galeev, A.A.; Galinsky, V.L. )

    1993-02-01

    A collisionless parallel shock model is presented which is based on solitary-type solutions of the modified derivative nonlinear Schrodinger equation (MDNLS) for parallel Alfven waves. We generalize the standard derivative nonlinear Schrodinger equation in order to include the possible anisotropy of the plasma distribution function and higher-order Korteweg-de Vies type dispersion. Stationary solutions of MDNLS are discussed. The new mechanism, which can be called [open quote]adiabatic[close quote] of ion reflection from the magnetic mirror of the parallel shock structure is the natural and essential feature of the parallel shock that introduces the irreversible properties into the nonlinear wave structure and may significantly contribute to the plasma heating upstream as well as downstream of the shock. The anisotropic nature of [open quotes]adiabatic[close quotes] reflections leads to the asymmetric particle distribution in the upstream as well 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. The number of adiabaticaly reflected ions define the threshold conditions of the fire-hose and mirror type instabilities in the downstream and upstream regions and thus determine a parameter region in which the described laminar parallel shock structure can exist. The threshold conditions for the fire hose and mirror-type instabilities in the downstream and upstream regions of the shock are defined by the number of reflected particles and thus determine a parameter region in which the described laminar parallel shock structure can exist. 29 refs., 4 figs.

  20. Collisionless Shocks and Particle Acceleration.

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Malkov, M.

    2016-12-01

    Collisionless shocks emerged in the 50s and 60s of the last century as an important branch of plasma physics and have remained ever since. New applications pose new challenges to our understanding of collisionless shock mechanisms. Particle acceleration in astrophysical settings, primarily studied concerning the putative origin of cosmic rays (CR) in supernova remnant (SNR) shocks, stands out with the collisionless shock mechanism being the key. Among recent laboratory applications, a laser-based tabletop proton accelerator is an affordable compact alternative to big synchrotron accelerators. The much-anticipated proof of cosmic ray (CR) acceleration in supernova remnants is hindered by our limited understanding of collisionless shock mechanisms. Over the last decade, dramatically improved observations were puzzling the theorists with unexpected discoveries. The difference between the helium/carbon and proton CR rigidity (momentum to charge ratio) spectra, seemingly inconsistent with the acceleration and propagation theories, and the perplexing positron excess in the 10-300 GeV range are just two recent examples. The latter is now also actively discussed in the particle physics and CR communities as a possible signature of decay or annihilation of hypothetical dark matter particles. By considering an initial (injection) phase of a diffusive shock acceleration mechanism, including particle reflection off the shock front - where an elemental similarity of particle dynamics does not apply - I will discuss recent suggestions of how to address the new data from the collisionless shock perspective. The backreaction of accelerated particles on the shock structure, its environment, and visibility across the electromagnetic spectrum from radio to gamma rays is another key aspect of collisionless shock that will be discussed.

  1. RESISTIVE MAGNETOHYDRODYNAMIC SIMULATIONS OF RELATIVISTIC MAGNETIC RECONNECTION

    SciTech Connect

    Zenitani, Seiji; Hesse, Michael; Klimas, Alex

    2010-06-20

    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 Alfvenic 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.

  2. 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.

  3. 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.

  4. 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.

  5. Magnetic diffusion and ion nonlinear dynamics in magnetic reconnection

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Zenitani, S.; Shinohara, I.; Nagai, T.; Wada, T.

    2013-12-01

    Magnetic reconnection is a fundamental process in many plasma systems, ranging from laboratory and solar-terrestrial environments to extreme astrophysical settings. The reconnection process is controlled by magnetic dissipation physics in a small-scale region near the reconnection point (X-line), and therefore the structure of the reconnection site is of strong interest. According to the standard picture of collisionless reconnection, the X-line is surrounded by a compact electron diffusion region and by an outer ion diffusion region. While the electron region has been extensively studied, much less is known about the ion region. In this work, we examine key aspects of the ion region in magnetic reconnection. First, we evaluate the ''diffusion'' of magnetic field lines, going back to the topology theorems. Unlike in the MHD, the idealness, the frozen-in, magnetic diffusion, and the energy dissiation can be all different in a kinetic plasma. We will apply these concepts to the reconnection site in two-dimensional particle-in-cell (PIC) simulations. Importantly, in the outer part of the ion region, even though the ion ideal condition is violated, the magnetic fields are frozen to plasma fluids. This raises a serious question to the widespread definition of the ion diffusion region, based on the ion nonidealness. We further examine the ion velocity distribution function in the same region. The distribution function contains multiple populations such as global Speiser ions, local Speiser ions, and trapped ions. The particle motion of the local Speiser ions in an appropriately rotated frame explains the plasma nonidealness. The trapped ions are the first demonstration of the regular orbits in Chen & Palmadesso (1986), in self-consistent PIC simulations. They would be observational signatures in the ion current layer near reconnection sites.

  6. Magnetic Reconnection and Energy Release in Solar Flares

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Qiu, Jiong

    2017-04-01

    In the past twenty years, solar flare observations have demonstrated a few fascinating aspects of fast reconnection responsible for impulsive energy release in the solar corona. A flare consists of a cluster of sequentially formed coronal loops and chromosphere bright kernels mapping the feet of these loops. These are believed to reflect the intermittent nature of reconnection, indicating that reconnection and subsequent energy release are temporally and spatially fragmented. What is the physical nature of the fragmentation? What are the basic scales of these fragments? Can observational measurements at present or in the near future provide the elementary quantities of reconnection and energy release? On the other hand, observations of the apparently ordered spread of brightening of flare kernels or loops suggest that the flare, or reconnection, progress is not entirely sporadic. What are the causes or consequences of such an organization? Whereas nature's purpose of reconnection is to release energy, the link between reconnection and energy release has been largely missing. It has not been clear how, and by how much, the free magnetic energy accessible via reconnection is released in packets and converted to other forms. This talk will report some recent effort to study reconnection dynamics and measure energy released in reconnection events.

  7. Corotating Magnetic Reconnection Site in Saturn’s Magnetosphere

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Yao, Z. H.; Coates, A. J.; Ray, L. C.; Rae, I. J.; Grodent, D.; Jones, G. H.; Dougherty, M. K.; Owen, C. J.; Guo, R. L.; Dunn, W. R.; Radioti, A.; Pu, Z. Y.; Lewis, G. R.; Waite, J. H.; Gérard, J.-C.

    2017-09-01

    Using measurements from the Cassini spacecraft in Saturn’s magnetosphere, we propose a 3D physical picture of a corotating reconnection site, which can only be driven by an internally generated source. Our results demonstrate that the corotating magnetic reconnection can drive an expansion of the current sheet in Saturn’s magnetosphere and, consequently, can produce Fermi acceleration of electrons. This reconnection site lasted for longer than one of Saturn’s rotation period. The long-lasting and corotating natures of the magnetic reconnection site at Saturn suggest fundamentally different roles of magnetic reconnection in driving magnetospheric dynamics (e.g., the auroral precipitation) from the Earth. Our corotating reconnection picture could also potentially shed light on the fast rotating magnetized plasma environments in the solar system and beyond.

  8. 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

  9. Observations and models of magnetic reconnection

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Barta, Miroslav

    2015-08-01

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

  10. 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.

  11. Theoretical analysis of driven magnetic reconnection experiments

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Uzdensky, Dmitri A.; Kulsrud, Russell M.; Yamada, Masaaki

    1996-04-01

    In this paper we present a theoretical framework for the Magnetic Reconnection Experiment (MRX) [M. Yamada et al., Bull. Am. Phys. Soc. 40, 1877 (1995)] in order to understand the basic physics of the experiment, including the effect of the external driving force, and the difference between co- and counterhelicity cases of the experiment. The problem is reduced to a one-dimensional (1-D) resistive magnetohydrodynamic (MHD) model. A special class of holonomic boundary conditions is defined, under which a unique sequence of global equilibria can be obtained, independent of the rate of reconnection. This enables one to break the whole problem into two parts: a global problem for the ideal region, and a local problem for the resistive reconnection layer. The calculations are then carried out and the global solution for the ideal region is obtained in one particular case of holonomic constraints, the so called ``constant force'' regime, for both the co- and counterhelicity cases. After the sequence of equilibria in the ideal region is found, the problem of the rate of reconnection in the resistive reconnection region is considered. This rate tells how fast the plasma proceeds through the sequence of global equilibria but does not affect the sequence itself. Based on a modified Sweet-Parker model for the reconnection layer, the reconnection rate is calculated, and the difference between the co- and counterhelicity cases, as well as the role of the external forces is demonstrated. The results from the present analysis are qualitatively consistent with the experimental data, predicting faster reconnection rate for the counterhelicity merging and yielding a positive correlation with external forcing.

  12. Quantifying the tailward motion of reconnecting flux ropes at magnetopauses of Earth and other planets

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Cassak, P.; Doss, C.; Palmroth, M.; Hoilijoki, S.; Pfau-Kempf, Y.; Ganse, U.; Dorelli, J.

    2015-12-01

    Flux ropes caused by magnetic reconnection commonly form at the dayside magnetopauses of Earth and other planets, such as Mercury and Jupiter. They are convected tailward due to their interaction with the solar wind and as the result of reconnection. The leading model for their tailward propagation speed at Earth's magnetopause has been described using boundary layer physics (Cowley and Owen, Planet. Space Sci., 37, 1461, 1989). We revisit this topic, noting that during times when the reconnection at both X-lines bracketing the flux ropes remain active, there should be consistency with the scaling laws of asymmetric magnetic reconnection with a flow shear. The convection speed of an isolated reconnecting X-line as a function of arbitrary upstream plasma parameters, including the reconnecting magnetic fields, densities, and upstream flow in the plane of the fields, was recently calculated analytically and tested with two-fluid simulations (Doss et al., J. Geophys. Res., submitted). Here, we present fully electromagnetic kinetic particle-in-cell simulations of local asymmetric reconnection with a flow shear that confirm the prediction in collisionless plasmas relevant to planetary magnetospheres. It is notable that the X-line convects even for sub-Alfvenic flow shear and can reconnect even for flow speeds exceeding twice the magnetosheath Alfven speed, which counters previous models. The application of these results for flux rope motion in global magnetospheric simulations of Earth is discussed, as are applications to the magnetospheres of other planets.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2016-03-01

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

  14. On temporal variation of reconnection rate and X line electric field structure

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Shimizu, K.; Fujimoto, M.; Shinohara, I.

    2016-10-01

    We have inspected how the reconnection rate and electric field structure around an X line vary in response to macroscopic circumstances surrounding the X line. In a very simple simulation of two-dimensional collisionless magnetic reconnection, wherein reconnection is initiated in a thin current sheet with antiparallel magnetic field bounded by a periodic boundary, the reconnection rate increases explosively, hits a peak, slowly declines, and then reconnection terminates. This temporal variation of the reconnection rate at an X line is affected by the condition outside the X line, but it has not been clear how the X line senses the external conditions. By inspecting the associated variation of the spatial structure of the out-of-plane electric field, we found that the out-of-plane electric field at the outer edge of the outer Electron Diffusion Region (oEDR) plays a key role in regulating the reconnection rate by communicating the conditions beyond the oEDR to the inner EDR via the electric field profile. We also show that the behavior of the reconnection rate in more complicated situations can be explained from the same perspective.

  15. On temporal variation of reconnection rate and X-line electric field structure

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Shimizu, Kenya; Fujimoto, Masaki; Shinohara, Iku

    2016-04-01

    We have inspected how reconnection rate and the electric field structure around an X-line vary in response to macroscopic circumstances surrounding the X-line. In a very simple simulation of two-dimensional collisionless magnetic reconnection, where reconnection is initiated in a thin current sheet with anti-parallel magnetic field bounded by a periodic boundary, reconnection rate explosively increases, hits a peak, slowly declines, and then reconnection terminates. This temporal variation of the reconnection rate at the X-line is affected by the condition outside the X-line but it has not been clear how the X-line senses the external condition. By inspecting the associated variation of the spatial structure of out-of-plane electric field, we found that the out-of-plane electric field at the outer-edge of the outer Electron Diffusion Region (oEDR) plays a key role in regulating the reconnection rate according to the conditions beyond the oEDR. We also show that behavior of reconnection rate in more complicated situations can be explained from the same perspective.

  16. Interaction of two collisionless shocks

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Cargill, P. J.; Goodrich, C. C.; Papadopoulos, K.

    1986-01-01

    Kinetic simulations of the interaction between two collisionless shocks are presented. During the collision of two perpendicular shocks, the shock electromagnetic field structures pass through each other, while the previously shocked ions are kept separate by the electric field arising in the collision. When two supercritical shocks collide, a fraction of ions are accelerated up to an order of magnitude in energy by first being reflected at one shock, then interacting with the electric fields of the other shock.

  17. 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).

  18. Transition in Electron Physics of Magnetic Reconnection in Weakly Collisional Plasma

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Le, A.; Roytershteyn, V.; Karimabadi, H.; Daughton, W. S.; Egedal, J.; Forest, C.

    2013-12-01

    Using self-consistent fully kinetic simulations with a Monte-Carlo treatment of the Coulomb collision operator, we explore the transition between collisional and kinetic regimes of magnetic reconnection in high-Lundquist-number current sheets. Recent research in collisionless reconnection has shown that electron kinetic physics plays a key role in the evolution. Large-scale electron current sheets may form, leading to secondary island formation and turbulent flux rope interactions in 3D. The new collisional simulations demonstrate how increasing collisionality modifies or eliminates these electron structures in the kinetic regimes. Additional basic questions that are addressed include how the reconnection rate and the release of magnetic energy into electrons and ions vary with collisionality. The numerical study provides insight into reconnection in dense regions of the solar corona, the solar wind, and upcoming laboratory experiments at MRX (Princeton) and MPDX (UW-Madison). The implications of these results for studies of turbulence dissipation in weakly collisional plasmas are discussed.

  19. Electron Scale Structures and Magnetic Reconnection Signatures in the Turbulent Magnetosheath

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Yordanova, E.; Voros, Z.; Varsani, A.; Graham, D. B.; Norgren, C.; Khotyaintsev, Yu. V.; Vaivads, A.; Eriksson, E.; Nakamura, R.; Lindqvist, P.-A.; hide

    2016-01-01

    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.

  20. Magnetic Energy Release from Electron Scale Reconnection

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Horton, Wendell; Kim, Juhyung; Militello, Fulvio; Ottaviani, Maurizio

    2006-10-01

    Magnetic reconnection may occur as bursts of nonlinear plasma dynamics on the electron collisionless skin length scale de= c/φpe during which a large fraction of the magnetic energy is converted to electron thermal energy and plasma flow energy. The energization mechanism is the crossfield compression of the electron gas between interacting magnetic islands and the parallel electric fields accelerating the small pitch angle electrons. Solutions of the reduced Hall-MHD equations show the heating pulses in nearly collisionless, energy conserving simulations. The electron energization appears to be measured in the 4s, 200km resolution data from Cluster crossing thin, multipeaked current sheets in the geotail at -17 RE (JGR, Nakamura et al (2006)). The electron PAD and energy fluxes change rapidly consistent with the magnetic fluctuations. In short time (10 ion cyclotron periods or 30s) from 0.5-0.8 keV up to 5 keV in ninety degree pitch angle flux and weak parallel electron beams formed at small pitch angles. Work partially supported by US Dept of Energy, NSF 0539099, and CEA Cadarache.

  1. Radiation-pressure-driven ion Weibel instability and collisionless shocks

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Grassi, A.; Grech, M.; Amiranoff, F.; Macchi, A.; Riconda, C.

    2017-09-01

    The Weibel instability from counterstreaming plasma flows is a basic process highly relevant for collisionless shock formation in astrophysics. In this paper we investigate, via two- and three-dimensional simulations, suitable configurations for laboratory investigations of the ion Weibel instability (IWI) driven by a fast quasineutral plasma flow launched into the target via the radiation pressure of an ultra-high-intensity laser pulse ("hole-boring" process). The use of S-polarized light at oblique incidence is found to be an optimal configuration for driving IWI, as it prevents the development of surface rippling observed at normal incidence that would lead to strong electron heating and would favor competing instabilities. Conditions for the evolution of IWI into a collisionless shock are also investigated.

  2. Oxygen Ions in Magnetotail Reconnection

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Liang, H.; Walker, R. J.; Lapenta, G.; Schriver, D.; El-Alaoui, M.; Berchem, J.

    2016-12-01

    Spacecraft have observed a significant fraction of oxygen ions (O+) in Earth's magnetotail X-line during the periods of enhanced geomagnetic activity. It is important to understand how such O+ influences the reconnection process and how the O+ ions are heated due to reconnection. To this end we have used a 2.5D implicit Particle-in-Cell simulation (iPic3D) in a 2D Harris current sheet in the presence of H+ and O+. By comparing the simulation runs for oxygen concentrations of 50%, 5% and 0% (i.e. latter run only H+ ions), we found that (1) the dipolarization front (DF) propagation is encumbered by the current sheet O+ inertia, which reduces the DF speed and delays the fast reconnection phase; (2) the reconnection rate in the 50% O+ Run is much less than the 0% O+ Run, which can be attributed to the O+ drag on the convective magnetic flux via an ambipolar electric field in the O+ diffusion region; (3) without entering the exhaust, the lobe O+ can be accelerated near the separatrices away from the X-point by the Hall electric field and form the hot population downstream of the DFs; (4) the pre-existing current sheet O+ ions are reflected by the DFs and form a hook-shaped distribution in phase space, from which the DF speed history can be deduced; (5) the DF thickness is proportional to the O+ concentration in the pre-existing current sheet. These results illustrate the differences between storm-time and non-storm substorms due to a significant concentration of oxygen ions. The oxygen heating results are expected to be observable by the Magnetospheric Multiscale (MMS) mission in the magnetotail.

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

    SciTech Connect

    Ii, Toru; Ono, Yasushi

    2013-01-15

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

  4. Reconnection in Three Dimensions

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Hesse, Michael

    1999-01-01

    Analyzing the qualitative three-dimensional magnetic structure of a plasmoid, we were led to reconsider the concept of magnetic reconnection from a general point of view. The properties of relatively simple magnetic field models provide a strong preference for one of two definitions of magnetic reconnection that exist in the literature. Any concept of magnetic reconnection defined in terms of magnetic topology seems naturally restricted to cases where the magnetic field vanishes somewhere in the nonideal (diffusion) region. The main part of this paper is concerned with magnetic reconnection in nonvanishing magnetic fields (finite-B reconnection), which has attracted less attention in the past. We show that the electric field component parallel to the magnetic field plays a crucial physical role in finite-B reconnection, and we present two theorems involving the former. The first states a necessary and sufficient condition on the parallel electric field for global reconnection to occur. Here the term "global" means the generic case where the breakdown of magnetic connection occurs for plasma elements that stay outside the nonideal region. The second theorem relates the change of magnetic helicity to the parallel electric field for cases where the electric field vanishes at large distances. That these results provide new insight into three-dimensional reconnection processes is illustrated in terms of the plasmoid configuration, which was our starting point.

  5. Influence of Coulomb Collisions on Undriven Magnetic Reconnection in Large-Scale Systems

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Daughton, W.; Albright, B. J.; Roytershteyn, V.; Bowers, K. J.; Yin, L.; Karimabadi, H.

    2008-11-01

    The influence of Coulomb collisions on magnetic reconnection is studied in neutral sheet geometry using fully kinetic particle-in-cell (PIC) simulations in which binary collisions are modeled by a Monte-Carlo technique. This approach describes a full Fokker-Planck collision operator and thus permits a first-principles study of the transition between collisionless and collisional reconnection. For sufficiently collisional regimes, this approach recovers the well-known Sweet-Parker scaling from resistive MHD. As the collisionality is reduced, a transition to faster reconnection rates is observed and the structure of the layer is dramatically altered. Although certain aspects of this transition are consistent with expectations from two-fluid theory, there are significant differences in the structure and time dependence within the weakly collisional regime. In particular, there is a basic tendency for the diffusion region to form an elongated current sheet for all collisionality regimes. For large-scale systems, these elongated current layers are unstable to secondary-island formation leading to a time-dependent reconnection process for both collisional and collisionless regimes. Results are presented to illustrate how the structure of the diffusion region is modified by Coulomb collisions and how the reconnection dynamics scales with system size in the various regimes. T. Takizuka and H. Abe, J. Comput. Phys., v. 25, p. 205, 1977

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

    DOE PAGES

    Le, Ari Yitzchak; Egedal, Jan; Daughton, William Scott

    2016-10-13

    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. Furthermore, 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.

  7. Kinetic simulation of magnetic reconnection in the presence of shear

    SciTech Connect

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

    1988-09-05

    The basic physical processes associated with collisionless magnetic reconnection are investigated using the implicit PIC code AVANTI. The code is based on a 2.5-D fully electromagnetic direct implicit algorithm which has proven stable for arbitrary time step. This stability makes it possible to separate out the respective roles of the highly magnetized electrons and the un-magnetized ions for large ion-electron mass ratios. It is found that the inclusion of a guide magnetic field (magnetic shear) severely slows the initial stages of reconnection and damps out the electrostatic ringing if local values of the guide field are above a threshold determined by questions of electron mobility. 9 refs., 6 figs.

  8. How Does the Electron Dynamics Affect the Global Reconnection Rate

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Hesse, Michael

    2012-01-01

    The question of whether the microscale 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.

  9. 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

  10. 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.

  11. 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.

  12. 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.

  13. Formation of Plasmoid Chains in Magnetic Reconnection

    SciTech Connect

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

    2009-09-09

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

  14. Implications of RHESSI Flare Observations for Magnetic Reconnection Models

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Holman, Gordon D.; Sui, Linhui; Dennis, Brian R.

    2004-01-01

    The Ramaty High Energy Solar Spectroscopic Imager (RHESSI) observations of the 2002 April 15 solar flare and related flares provide compelling evidence for the formation of a large-scale, reconnecting current sheet in at least some flares. We describe the observed evolution of the April 15 flare in terms of magnetic reconnection models. We argue that the flare most likely evolved through magnetic geometries associated with super-slow reconnection (early rise phase), fast reconnection (impulsive phase), and slow reconnection (gradual phase). We also provide evidence for X-ray brightenings within the evolving current sheet, possibly induced by the tearing mode instability. This work was supported in part by the RHESSI Program and NASA's Sun-Earth Connection Program. This work would not have been possible without the dedicated efforts of the entire RHESSI team.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lamb, Derek; DeForest, C. E.

    2011-05-01

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

  16. Generation of magnetized collisionless shocks by a novel, laser-driven magnetic piston

    SciTech Connect

    Schaeffer, D. B.; Everson, E. T.; Constantin, C. G.; Bondarenko, A. S.; Morton, L. A.; Niemann, C.; Winske, D.; Flippo, K. A.; Montgomery, D. S.; Gaillard, S. A.

    2012-07-15

    We present experiments on the Trident laser facility at Los Alamos National Laboratory which demonstrate key elements in the production of laser-driven, magnetized, laboratory-scaled astrophysical collisionless shocks. These include the creation of a novel magnetic piston to couple laser energy to a background plasma and the generation of a collisionless shock precursor. We also observe evidence of decoupling between a laser-driven fast ion population and a background plasma, in contrast to the coupling of laser-ablated slow ions with background ions through the magnetic piston. 2D hybrid simulations further support these developments and show the coupling of the slow to ambient ions, the formation of a magnetic and density compression pulses consistent with a collisionless shock, and the decoupling of the fast ions.

  17. Fluctuation dynamics in reconnecting current sheets

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    von Stechow, Adrian; Grulke, Olaf; Ji, Hantao; Yamada, Masaaki; Klinger, Thomas

    2015-11-01

    During magnetic reconnection, a highly localized current sheet forms at the boundary between opposed magnetic fields. Its steep perpendicular gradients and fast parallel drifts can give rise to a range of instabilities which can contribute to the overall reconnection dynamics. In two complementary laboratory reconnection experiments, MRX (PPPL, Princeton) and VINETA.II (IPP, Greifswald, Germany), magnetic fluctuations are observed within the current sheet. Despite the large differences in geometries (toroidal vs. linear), plasma parameters (high vs. low beta) and magnetic configuration (low vs. high magnetic guide field), similar broadband fluctuation characteristics are observed in both experiments. These are identified as Whistler-like fluctuations in the lower hybrid frequency range that propagate along the current sheet in the electron drift direction. They are intrinsic to the localized current sheet and largely independent of the slower reconnection dynamics. This contribution characterizes these magnetic fluctuations within the wide parameter range accessible by both experiments. Specifically, the fluctuation spectra and wave dispersion are characterized with respect to the magnetic topology and plasma parameters of the reconnecting current sheet.

  18. 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.

  19. Magnetic Reconnection with Sweet-Parker Characteristics in Two-dimensional Laboratory Plasmas

    SciTech Connect

    Carter, T.; Hsu, S.; Ji, H.; Kulsrud, R.; Yamada, M.; et al

    1999-01-01

    Magnetic reconnection has been experimentally studied in a well-controlled, two-dimensional laboratory magnetohydrodynamic plasma. The observations are found to be both qualitatively and quantitatively consistent with a generalized Sweet-Parker model which incorporates compressibility, downstream pressure, and the effective resistivity. The latter is significantly enhanced over its classical values in the collisionless limit. This generalized Sweet-Parker model also applies to the case in which an unidirectional, sizable third magnetic component is present.

  20. Opportunities in TREX, a New Terrestrial Reconnection EXperiment.

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Egedal, J.; Olson, J.; Endrizzi, D.; Forest, C.

    2014-12-01

    In collisionless plasmas the electron diffusion region lies in different regimes depending on the pressure anisotropy, which is regulated by the properties of thermal electron orbits. In the presence of a guide magnetic field to magnetize the electrons, large scale current layers form extending to the system size [1]. In geometries with low upstream electron pressure the heating of the electrons becomes significant and relevant to observations in the magnetotail [2]. Utilizing the Madison Plasma Dynamo Experiment (MPDX) facility at UW-Madison a new reconnection experiment is now being implemented to address the role of electron pressure anisotropy in reconnection. This requires an experiment that accesses plasmas with much lower collisionality and lower plasma beta than are available in present experiments. The new experiment will be a major addition to the MPDX facility, including an insert with internal coils to drive reconnection. The insert is designed to supplement the ongoing dynamo experiments and to permit flexible reconfiguration of the magnetic geometry for a range of reconnection studies. [1] Le A et el., PRL 110, 135004 (2013). [2] Egedal J et al., Nature Physics, 8, 321 (2012).

  1. 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.

  2. "Smoking-Gun" Observables of Magnetic Reconnection: Spatiotemporal Evolution of Electron Characteristics Throughout the Diffusion Region

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Shuster, Jason R.

    How does magnetic reconnection happen in a collisionless plasma? Knowledge of electron-scale dynamics is necessary to answer this outstanding question of plasma physics. Based on fully kinetic particle-in-cell (PIC) simulations of symmetric reconnection, the spatiotemporal evolution of velocity distribution functions in and around the electron diffusion region (EDR) elucidates how electrons are accelerated and heated by the cooperating reconnection electric and normal magnetic fields. The discrete, triangular structures characteristic of EDR distributions rotate and gyrotropize in velocity space as electrons remagnetize, forming multicomponent arc and ring structures. Further downstream, exhaust electrons are found to exhibit highly structured, time-dependent anisotropies that can be used to infer the temporal stage of reconnection. Cluster spacecraft measurements from a magnetotail reconnection exhaust region agree with these simulation predictions. In PIC simulations of asymmetric reconnection, EDR distributions acquire crescent-shaped populations, indicative of accelerated magnetosheath electrons mixing with electrons of magnetospheric origin. NASA's successfully launched Magnetospheric Multiscale (MMS) mission caught an EDR at the magnetopause and confirmed the signature crescent electron populations. A virtual spacecraft trajectory through the PIC domain is determined quantitatively by inputting MMS magnetic field measurements into an algorithm that outputs a trajectory along which the input measurements are matched. The crescent structures observed by MMS in the EDR are consistent with the simulation distributions at the corresponding time along the computed trajectory. This work demonstrates that electron characteristics can serve as "smoking-gun" observables of the EDR at the heart of the magnetic reconnection mystery.

  3. 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.

  4. Measurements of Magnetic Fluctuations in Magnetic Reconnection Experiment

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2004-04-01

    Magnetic reconnection plays an important role in determining the evolution of magnetic topology in laboratory and astrophysical plasmas. A central question concerns why the observed reconnection rates are much faster than predictions made by classical theories, such as the Sweet-Parker model based on MHD with classical Spitzer resistivity. Often, the local resistivity is conjectured to be enhanced by micro-instabilities to accelerate reconnection rates either in the context of the Sweet-Parker model or by facilitating setup of the Pestchek model. Although it is commonly believed that there is plenty of free energy available at the reconnection region to destabilize some sort of micro-instability, a clear identification of this instability and its exact role in reconnection has never been established experimentally. We report the first such experimental evidence of a clear and positive correlation between magnetic fluctuations in the lower-hybrid frequency range and resistivity enhancement during fast reconnection in the low-collisionality regimes in the Magnetic Reconnection Experiment (MRX). The waves have been identified as right-hand polarized whistler waves, propagating obliquely to the reconnecting field, with a phase velocity comparable to the relative drift velocity. These waves are consistent with the modified two-stream instability driven by large drift speeds compared to the Alfven speed in high-beta plasmas. The short coherence length and large variation along the propagation direction indicate their strongly nonlinear nature.

  5. 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}.

  6. Model of Hall reconnection.

    PubMed

    Malyshkin, Leonid M

    2008-11-28

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

  7. THEMIS Sees Magnetic Reconnection

    NASA Image and Video Library

    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...

  8. Earth Reconnect -- July 2012

    NASA Image and Video Library

    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,...

  9. Shocks produced by impulsively driven reconnection. [during solar flares or emergence of magnetic flux from photosphere into corona

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Forbes, T. G.

    1988-01-01

    Shock waves produced by impulsively driven reconnection are investigated by carrying out numerical experiments using two-dimensional magnetohydrodynamics. The results of the numerical experiments imply that there are three different categories of shocks associated with impulsively driven reconnection: (1) fast-mode, blast waves which rapidly propagate away from the reconnection site; (2) slow-mode, Petschek shocks which are attached to the reconnection site; and (3) fast-mode, termination shocks which terminate the plasma jets flowing out from the reconnection site.

  10. Time Scales for Energy Release in Hall Magnetic Reconnection

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Huba, J. D.; Rudakov, L. I.

    2004-05-01

    We present a study of the time scales for energy release in 2D Hall magnetic reconnection. We use the NRL Hall MHD code VooDoo for this study. We consider a 2D reversed field current layer with a magnetic perturbation that initiates the reconnection process. We use boundary conditions that allow inflow and outflow (i.e., not periodic) and let the system reach a steady state. We find that the system goes through three stages: a relatively long current layer thinning process, a fast reconnection phase, and a final steady state phase. We define the time scale for energy release as the fast reconnection period: from onset to steady state. Preliminary results indicate that the time for energy release scales as the initial thickness of the current layer. We apply these results to the magnetotail and magnetopause. Research supported by NASA and ONR.

  11. Relativistic magnetic reconnection driven by intense lasers in preformed plasma

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Campbell, Paul; Raymond, A.; McKelvey, A.; Maksimchuk, A.; Nees, J.; Yanovsky, V.; Krushelnick, K.; Dong, C. F.; Fox, W.; Zulick, C.; Wei, M. S.; Chen, H.; Chvykov, V.; Mileham, C.; Nilson, P. M.; Stoeckl, C.; Thomas, A. G. R.; Willingale, L.

    2016-10-01

    Experiments were performed with the OMEGA EP laser system focusing the two short pulse beams to high intensities on foil targets. Relativistic electrons drive fast reconnection self-generated magnetic fields. To investigate the effects of a preformed plasma on this relativistic magnetic reconnection, a long pulse UV beam was used to ablate the front surface of layered targets. The density and reconnection dynamics in the preformed copper or CH plasma were diagnosed with a 4 ω optical probe. A spherically bent crystal imaged characteristic copper Kα emission induced by fast electrons accelerated into the target in the reconnection diffusion region. This work was supported by the Department of Energy National Nuclear Security Administration under Award Number DE-NA0002727.

  12. 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.

  13. Collisionless microinstabilities in stellarators. II. Numerical simulations

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Proll, J. H. E.; Xanthopoulos, P.; Helander, P.

    2013-12-01

    Microinstabilities exhibit a rich variety of behavior in stellarators due to the many degrees of freedom in the magnetic geometry. It has recently been found that certain stellarators (quasi-isodynamic ones with maximum-J geometry) are partly resilient to trapped-particle instabilities, because fast-bouncing particles tend to extract energy from these modes near marginal stability. In reality, stellarators are never perfectly quasi-isodynamic, and the question thus arises whether they still benefit from enhanced stability. Here, the stability properties of Wendelstein 7-X and a more quasi-isodynamic configuration, QIPC, are investigated numerically and compared with the National Compact Stellarator Experiment and the DIII-D tokamak. In gyrokinetic simulations, performed with the gyrokinetic code GENE in the electrostatic and collisionless approximation, ion-temperature-gradient modes, trapped-electron modes, and mixed-type instabilities are studied. Wendelstein 7-X and QIPC exhibit significantly reduced growth rates for all simulations that include kinetic electrons, and the latter are indeed found to be stabilizing in the energy budget. These results suggest that imperfectly optimized stellarators can retain most of the stabilizing properties predicted for perfect maximum-J configurations.

  14. Collisionless microinstabilities in stellarators. II. Numerical simulations

    SciTech Connect

    Proll, J. H. E.; Xanthopoulos, P.; Helander, P.

    2013-12-15

    Microinstabilities exhibit a rich variety of behavior in stellarators due to the many degrees of freedom in the magnetic geometry. It has recently been found that certain stellarators (quasi-isodynamic ones with maximum-J geometry) are partly resilient to trapped-particle instabilities, because fast-bouncing particles tend to extract energy from these modes near marginal stability. In reality, stellarators are never perfectly quasi-isodynamic, and the question thus arises whether they still benefit from enhanced stability. Here, the stability properties of Wendelstein 7-X and a more quasi-isodynamic configuration, QIPC, are investigated numerically and compared with the National Compact Stellarator Experiment and the DIII-D tokamak. In gyrokinetic simulations, performed with the gyrokinetic code GENE in the electrostatic and collisionless approximation, ion-temperature-gradient modes, trapped-electron modes, and mixed-type instabilities are studied. Wendelstein 7-X and QIPC exhibit significantly reduced growth rates for all simulations that include kinetic electrons, and the latter are indeed found to be stabilizing in the energy budget. These results suggest that imperfectly optimized stellarators can retain most of the stabilizing properties predicted for perfect maximum-J configurations.

  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. 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.

  18. 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.

  19. Impact of Heavy Ions on Reconnection Rate and Dipolarization Fronts during Magnetotail Reconnection

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Liang, H.; Ashour-Abdalla, M.; Lapenta, G.; Walker, R. J.

    2015-12-01

    Spacecraft observations show that near a magnetotail X-line, the concentration of oxygen (O+) ions varies greatly between storm-time and non-storm substorms. While O+ is a minor ion species during the non-storm substorms, it can become a major ion species during some storm-time substorms. It is important to understand how such a significant amount of O+ influences the onset of reconnection, the reconnection rate and the subsequent energy transfer at propagating dipolarization fronts (or reconnection jet fronts). In this work, we have studied the effects of O+ on the reconnection rate and DFs during magnetotail reconnection. We used a 2.5D implicit Particle-in-Cell simulation in a 2D Harris current sheet in the presence of H+ and O+ ions. We carried out a simulation with equal number densities of O+ and H+ (O+ Run) and compared the results with a simulation run using only H+ ions (H+ Run). We found that the reconnection rate in the O+ Run is much less than that in the H+ Run and identified two factors that contribute to this difference: (1) the O+ drag on the convective magnetic flux via an ambipolar electric field in O+ diffusion region; (2) the current sheet O+ inertia, which reduces the DF speed and delays the fast reconnection phase in the O+ Run. For factor (2) the O+ ions provide the main force contributions at the DFs and thereby determine the thickness of DFs provided the concentration of O+ is large enough. The velocity distribution functions of O+ have several peaks that result from ion reflection and acceleration near the DFs. These results illustrate some of the differences between the storm-time and non-storm substorms due to a significant concentration of heavy ions. They also are directly related to the expected observations by the Magnetospheric Multiscale (MMS) mission.

  20. Linear collisionless Landau damping in Hilbert space

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Zocco, Alessandro

    2015-08-01

    The equivalence between the Laplace transform (Landau, J. Phys. USSR 10 (1946), 25) and Hermite transform (Zocco and Schekochihin, Phys. Plasmas 18, 102309 (2011)) solutions of the linear collisionless Landau damping problem is proven.

  1. 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

  2. Magnetic Reconnection: A Powerful Cosmic Particle Accelerator

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Guo, Fan

    2015-11-01

    Astrophysical magnetic reconnection sites have long been expected to be sources of high-energy particles. Recent observations of high-energy gamma-ray flares from the Crab nebula and hard X-ray emission from solar flares have motivated us to better understand magnetic reconnection and its associated particle acceleration in plasma conditions where the magnetic energy is dominant. We will present fully kinetic particle-in-cell simulations of anti-parallel magnetic reconnection in the highly magnetized regime (the magnetization parameter sigma >> 1 or plasma beta << 1). The magnetic energy is converted efficiently into kinetic energy of nonthermal relativistic particles in a power-law spectrum. For a sufficiently large system and strong magnetic field, the power-law index approaches ``-1''. The dominant acceleration mechanism is a first-order Fermi process accomplished through the curvature drift motion of particles in magnetic flux tubes along the electric field induced by fast plasma flows. We will show simulations in three dimensions and with open boundary conditions. We will present an analytical model for the formation of power-law distribution and show the nonthermal distribution may be a common feature of magnetically dominated reconnection. Collaborators: Hui Li, William Daughton, Yi-Hsin Liu, Xiaocan Li

  3. Gyrotropy During Magnetic Reconnection

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Swisdak, M.

    2015-12-01

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

  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. Onset and stagnation of reconnection in 3D geometry

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Sears, J.; Intrator, T. P.; Weber, T. E.; Liu, D.; Pulliam, D.; Lapenta, G.; Lazarian, A.

    2011-10-01

    The bursty onset of reconnection is partly determined by a balance of macroscopic MHD forces. In a setting of multiple interacting flux ropes, 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 unsteady dynamics that may become turbulent. In the Reconnection Scaling Experiment (RSX) 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 vA /S 1 / 2 , where vA is the Alfven speed and S is the Lundquist number. The flux rope boundary conditions also influence the propagation of the merging interface and the reconnection site along the flux rope axes. (LA-UR 11-03936).

  6. Onset and stagnation of reconnection in 3D geometry

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Sears, J.; Intrator, T.; Weber, T.; Liu, D.; Pulliam, D.; Lazarian, A.; Lapenta, G.

    2011-12-01

    The bursty onset of reconnection is partly determined by a balance of macroscopic MHD forces. In a setting of multiple interacting flux ropes, there exist many individual reconnection sites. Each X-line is finite in axial extent, leading to intrinsically three-dimensional (3D) structure. The balance between MHD forces and flux pile-up continuously shifts as mutually tangled flux ropes merge or bounce. Flux ropes may subdivide into smaller plasmoid and island structures. The spatial scale and thus the rate of reconnection are therefore intimately related to the unsteady dynamics that may become turbulent. In the Reconnection Scaling Experiment (RSX) 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 vA/S1/2, where vA is the Alfven speed and S is the Lundquist number. The flux rope boundary conditions also influence the propagation of the merging interface and the reconnection site along the flux rope axes.

  7. 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.

  8. 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.

  9. New Description of Collisionless Dynamics in Beam-Plasma Systems

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Backhaus, E. Yu.; Wurtele, J. S.

    1999-11-01

    The dynamics of collisionless relaxation has been an active topic of research in plasma and astrophysical systems for over thirty years. This is studied in the context of one-dimensional beam dynamics in overdense plasmas with slab geometry. A new description is presented in which the phase space distribution function is decomposed into a set of modes and the system is modeled as an initial value problem for the amplitudes of these modes. The model can also be considered as a natural extension of the well-celebrated envelope equation formalism to include the coupling to higher order moments. The predicted dynamics of the beam rms properties and the emittance growth during the violent relaxation are in a good agreement with the results of PIC simulations over a wide range of initial conditions. Predictions for beam density and temperature evolution contain main features observed in PIC simulations. Simple analytical estimates for the beam properties after phase-mixing agree with PIC simulation within 10% over a factor of 20 change in the initial mismatch of a gaussian beam. The method offers not only a fast numerical technique to describe the dynamics of the bulk beam properties but also offers new insights into the physics of collisionless relaxation: the resonant coupling between modes is shown to cause the fast relaxation of rms beam properties.

  10. Forced magnetic reconnection

    SciTech Connect

    Hahm, T.S.; Kulsrud, R.M.

    1984-11-01

    By studying a simple model problem, we examine the time evolution of magnetic field islands which are induced by perturbing the boundary surrounding an incompressible plasma with a resonant surface inside. We find that for sufficiently small boundary perturbations, the reconnection and island formation process occurs on the tearing mode time scale defined by Furth, Killeen, and Rosenbluth. For larger perturbations the time scale is that defined by Rutherford. The resulting asymptotic equilibrium is such that surface currents in the resonant region vanish. A detailed analytical picture of this reconnection process is presented.

  11. 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.

  12. Anisotropic Electron Tail Generation during Tearing Mode Magnetic Reconnection

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    DuBois, Ami M.; Almagri, Abdulgader F.; Anderson, Jay K.; Den Hartog, Daniel J.; Lee, John David; Sarff, John S.

    2017-02-01

    The first experimental evidence of anisotropic electron energization during magnetic reconnection that favors a direction perpendicular to the guide magnetic field in a toroidal, magnetically confined plasma is reported in this Letter. Magnetic reconnection plays an important role in particle heating, energization, and transport in space and laboratory plasmas. In toroidal devices like the Madison Symmetric Torus, discrete magnetic reconnection events release large amounts of energy from the equilibrium magnetic field. Fast x-ray measurements imply a non-Maxwellian, anisotropic energetic electron tail is formed at the time of reconnection. The tail is well described by a power-law energy dependence. The expected bremsstrahlung from an electron distribution with an anisotropic energetic tail (v⊥>v∥ ) spatially localized in the core region is consistent with x-ray emission measurements. A turbulent process related to tearing fluctuations is the most likely cause for the energetic electron tail formation.

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

    SciTech Connect

    Coppi, B.

    2016-05-15

    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.

  14. 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.

  15. The role of suprathermal particle measurements in CrossScale studies of collisionless plasma processes

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hapgood, Mike; Perry, Chris; Davies, Jackie; Denton, Mick

    2011-05-01

    The CrossScale mission will advance our understanding of fundamental plasma processes in collisionless plasmas. It will exploit the excellent natural plasma laboratory provided by the Earth's magnetosphere and the near-Earth solar wind and, in particular, carry out multi-scale studies that will strongly complement plasma studies in ground-based laboratories. Previous studies of collisionless plasmas in space environments across the solar system have shown the ubiquitous nature of suprathermal particles and that these particles exhibit a power-law energy spectrum. In this paper we discuss the great significance of these suprathermal particles for CrossScale studies. We show that the presence of these particles is a natural consequence of the collisionless regime as they can propagate across the heliosphere with little spectral change and are not thermalised by collisions. They are a key indicator of the non-equilibrium nature of collisionless plasmas and an important source of free energy that can drive plasma processes. We discuss how these suprathermal particles influence the overall properties of the plasma. In particular, the energy distribution of particles follows a Kappa, rather than Maxwellian, distribution and thus the plasma does not have a single thermodynamic temperature. We also discuss the importance of the suprathermal tail as a tool to diagnose the processes responsible for particle energisation in collisionless plasmas. Such energisation is a common feature in collisionless plasmas, especially in terms of the primary science targets for CrossScale: reconnection, shocks and turbulence. Finally we also touch on the value of using CrossScale studies to provide ground truth measurements for a number of astrophysical techniques that exploit the effects of energetic electrons in the distant universe. Throughout the paper, we stress that suprathermal (30 keV-1 MeV) measurements are essential to fully characterise particle distributions. We show that such

  16. 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.

  17. TURBULENT GENERAL MAGNETIC RECONNECTION

    SciTech Connect

    Eyink, G. L.

    2015-07-10

    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.

  18. 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.

  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. Nonthermal Particle Acceleration in 3D Relativistic Magnetic Reconnection in Pair Plasma

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Werner, Gregory R.; Uzdensky, Dmitri A.

    2017-07-01

    As a fundamental process converting magnetic to plasma energy in high-energy astrophysical plasmas, relativistic magnetic reconnection is a leading explanation for the acceleration of particles to the ultrarelativistic energies that are necessary to power nonthermal emission (especially X-rays and gamma-rays) in pulsar magnetospheres and pulsar wind nebulae, coronae and jets of accreting black holes, and gamma-ray bursts. An important objective of plasma astrophysics is therefore the characterization of nonthermal particle acceleration (NTPA) effected by reconnection. Reconnection-powered NTPA has been demonstrated over a wide range of physical conditions using large 2D kinetic simulations. However, its robustness in realistic 3D reconnection—in particular, whether the 3D relativistic drift-kink instability (RDKI) disrupts NTPA—has not been systematically investigated, although pioneering 3D simulations have observed NTPA in isolated cases. Here, we present the first comprehensive study of NTPA in 3D relativistic reconnection in collisionless electron-positron plasmas, characterizing NTPA as the strength of 3D effects is varied systematically via the length in the third dimension and the strength of the guide magnetic field. We find that, while the RDKI prominently perturbs 3D reconnecting current sheets, it does not suppress particle acceleration, even for zero guide field; fully 3D reconnection robustly and efficiently produces nonthermal power-law particle spectra closely resembling those obtained in 2D. This finding provides strong support for reconnection as the key mechanism powering high-energy flares in various astrophysical systems. We also show that strong guide fields significantly inhibit NTPA, slowing reconnection and limiting the energy available for plasma energization, yielding steeper and shorter power-law spectra.

  1. Observations of Reconnection Flows in a Flare on the Solar Disk

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wang, Juntao; Simões, P. J. A.; Jeffrey, N. L. S.; Fletcher, L.; Wright, P. J.; Hannah, I. G.

    2017-09-01

    Magnetic reconnection is a well-accepted part of the theory of solar eruptive events, though the evidence is still circumstantial. Intrinsic to the reconnection picture of a solar eruptive event, particularly in the standard model for two-ribbon flares (CSHKP model), are an advective flow of magnetized plasma into the reconnection region, expansion of field above the reconnection region as a flux rope erupts, retraction of heated post-reconnection loops, and downflows of cooling plasma along those loops. We report on a unique set of Solar Dynamics Observatory/Atmospheric Imaging Assembly imaging and Hinode/EUV Imaging Spectrometer spectroscopic observations of the disk flare SOL2016-03-23T03:54 in which all four flows are present simultaneously. This includes spectroscopic evidence for a plasma upflow in association with large-scale expanding closed inflow field. The reconnection inflows are symmetric, and consistent with fast reconnection, and the post-reconnection loops show a clear cooling and deceleration as they retract. Observations of coronal reconnection flows are still rare, and most events are observed at the solar limb, obscured by complex foregrounds, making their relationship to the flare ribbons, cusp field, and arcades formed in the lower atmosphere difficult to interpret. The disk location and favorable perspective of this event have removed these ambiguities giving a clear picture of the reconnection dynamics.

  2. 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.

  3. Kinetic simulaitons of astrophysical collisionless shocks (Invited)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Spitkovsky, A.

    2009-12-01

    Nonthermal emission from a variety of astrophysical sources, including relativistic jets and supernova remnants, is often attributed to collisionless shocks. These shocks are inferred to accelerate particles and in some cases strongly amplify magnetic fields. How this happens remains to be clarified through both theory and observations. In this talk, I will present a summary of recent progress in kinetic modeling of collisionless shocks using particle-in-cell simulations. I will discuss the internal structure of relativistic and non-relativistic shocks, concentrating on the conditions necessary for particle acceleration. Large-scale shock simulations show ab-initio Fermi acceleration of particles from the thermal pool to power-law distributions and can set constraints on the shock acceleration efficiency and geometry. Other results that will be discussed include the amplification of magnetic fields by accelerated particles through streaming instabilities, and the electron-ion temperature equilibration in collisionless shocks.

  4. Electron Weibel Instability Mediated Laser Driven Electromagnetic Collisionless Shock

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Jia, Qing; Mima, Kunioki; Cai, Hong-Bo; Taguchi, Toshihiro; Nagatomo, Hideo; He, X. T.

    2015-11-01

    As a fundamental nonlinear structure, collisionless shock is widely studied in astrophysics. Recently, the rapidly-developing laser technology provides a good test-bed to study such shock physics in laboratory. In addition, the laser driven shock ion acceleration is also interested due to its potential applications. We explore the effect of external parallel magnetic field on the collisionless shock formation and resultant particle acceleration by using the 2D3V PIC simulations. We show that unlike the electrostatic shock generated in the unmagnetized plasma, the shock generated in the weakly-magnetized laser-driven plasma is mostly electromagnetic (EM)-like with higher Mach number. The generation mechanism is due to the stronger transverse magnetic field self-generated at the nonlinear stage of the electron Weibel instability which drastically scatters particles and leads to higher energy dissipation. Simulation results also suggest more ions are reflected by this EM shock and results in larger energy transfer rate from the laser to ions, which is of advantage for applications such as neutron production and ion fast ignition.

  5. Magnetohydrodynamic study for three-dimensional instability of the Petschek type magnetic reconnection

    SciTech Connect

    Shimizu, T.; Kondoh, K.

    2013-12-15

    The 3D instability of the spontaneous fast magnetic reconnection process is studied with magnetohydrodynamics (MHD) simulations, where the 2D model of the spontaneous fast magnetic reconnection is destabilized in three dimension. As well known in many 2D numerical MHD studies, when a 1D current sheet is destabilized with the current-driven anomalous resistivity, the 2D Petschek type fast magnetic reconnection is established. This paper shows that the 2D Petschek type fast magnetic reconnection can be destabilized in three dimension by an initial resistive disturbance which includes a weak fluctuation in the sheet current direction, i.e., along the magnetic neutral line. The resulting 3D fast magnetic reconnection finally becomes intermittent and random through a 3D instability. In addition, it is also shown that the 3D instability is suppressed by the uniform resistivity. It suggests that the 3D instability is caused in the Petschek-type reconnection process which is characterized by a strongly localized magnetic diffusion region and the slow shock acceleration of the plasma jets and is suppressed in the Sweet-Parker type reconnection process.

  6. Particle-in-cell simulations of particle energization from low Mach number fast mode shocks

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Park, Jaehong; Workman, Jared C.; Blackman, Eric G.; Ren, Chuang; Siller, Robert

    2012-06-01

    Astrophysical shocks are often studied in the high Mach number limit but weakly compressive fast shocks can occur in magnetic reconnection outflows and are considered to be a site of particle energization in solar flares. Here we study the microphysics of such perpendicular, low Mach number collisionless shocks using two-dimensional particle-in-cell simulations with a reduced ion/electron mass ratio and employ a moving wall boundary method for initial generation of the shock. This moving wall method allows for more control of the shock speed, smaller simulation box sizes, and longer simulation times than the commonly used fixed wall, reflection method of shock formation. Our results, which are independent of the shock formation method, reveal the prevalence shock drift acceleration (SDA) of both electron and ions in a purely perpendicular shock with Alfvén Mach number MA=6.8 and ratio of thermal to magnetic pressure β=8. We determine the respective minimum energies required for electrons and ions to incur SDA. We derive a theoretical electron distribution via SDA that compares to the simulation results. We also show that a modified two-stream instability due to the incoming and reflecting ions in the shock transition region acts as the mechanism to generate collisionless plasma turbulence that sustains the shock.

  7. 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.

  8. 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.

  9. Fully kinetic simulations of magnetic reconnection in partially ionised gases

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Innocenti, M. E.; Jiang, W.; Lapenta, G.; Markidis, S.

    2016-12-01

    Magnetic reconnection has been explored for decades as a way to convert magnetic energy into kinetic energy and heat and to accelerate particles in environments as different as the solar surface, planetary magnetospheres, the solar wind, accretion disks, laboratory plasmas. When studying reconnection via simulations, it is usually assumed that the plasma is fully ionised, as it is indeed the case in many of the above-mentioned cases. There are, however, exceptions, the most notable being the lower solar atmosphere. Small ionisation fractions are registered also in the warm neutral interstellar medium, in dense interstellar clouds, in protostellar and protoplanetary accreditation disks, in tokamak edge plasmas and in ad-hoc laboratory experiments [1]. We study here how magnetic reconnection is modified by the presence of a neutral background, i.e. when the majority of the gas is not ionised. The ionised plasma is simulated with the fully kinetic Particle-In-Cell (PIC) code iPic3D [2]. Collisions with the neutral background are introduced via a Monte Carlo plug-in. The standard Monte Carlo procedure [3] is employed to account for elastic, excitation and ionization electron-neutral collisions, as well as for elastic scattering and charge exchange ion-neutral collisions. Collisions with the background introduce resistivity in an otherwise collisionless plasma and modifications of the particle distribution functions: particles (and ions at a faster rate) tend to thermalise to the background. To pinpoint the consequences of this, we compare reconnection simulations with and without background. References [1] E E Lawrence et al. Physical review letters, 110(1):015001, 2013. [2] S Markidis et al. Mathematics and Computers in Simulation, 80(7):1509-1519, 2010. [3] K Nanbu. IEEE Transactions on plasma science, 28(3):971-990, 2000.

  10. Colour reconnections in Herwig++

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Gieseke, Stefan; Röhr, Christian; Siódmok, Andrzej

    2012-11-01

    We describe the implementation details of the colour reconnection model in the event generator Herwig++. We study the impact on final-state observables in detail and confirm the model idea from colour preconfinement on the basis of studies within the cluster hadronization model. Moreover, we show that the description of minimum bias and underlying event data at the LHC is improved with this model and present results of a tune to available data.

  11. 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.

  12. High Frequency Plasma Waves Associated With Solar Wind Reconnection Exhausts: WIND/WAVES Observations

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Huttunen, K. E.; Bale, S. D.; Phan, T. D.; Davis, M.; Gosling, J. T.

    2006-12-01

    Observations of strong plasma wave activity near reconnection X-line regions in THE laboratory and in the Earth's magnetosphere have suggested that plasma waves may play AN important role in the reconnection process by providing anomalous resistivity through wave-particle interactions and by accelerating electrons. Recent observations of quasi-steady magnetic reconnection in the solar wind introduces an important new environment to study the role of plasma waves in a collisionless plasma associated with the reconnection process. We have used observations by the WIND spacecraft to study high frequency plasma waves associated with 28 solar wind reconnection exhausts. The TNR (Thermal Noise Receiver) experiment included in the WAVES instrument on WIND measures electric spectral density from 4 to 256 kHz and the TDS (Time Domain Sampler) experiment also included in WAVES samples electric field waveforms at rates up to 120,000 samples/s. A large fraction (79%) of the investigated events showed significant enhancements in the wave power around ~ 4 kHz, while only about one third (39%) of the exhausts were associated with intensifications around THE local electron plasma frequency (few tens of kHz). TDS waveform samples revealed three different wave modes: electron solitary waves, ion acoustic waves and Langmuir waves. The intense plasma waves were most frequently observed close to the X-line and near the exhaust boundaries, although wave emissions were commonly observed elsewhere within the exhausts as well

  13. Multispacecraft observations of the electron current sheet, neighboring magnetic islands, and electron acceleration during magnetotail reconnection

    SciTech Connect

    Chen Lijen; Bessho, Naoki; Bhattacharjee, Amitava; Lefebvre, Bertrand; Vaith, Hans; Puhl-Quinn, Pamela; Torbert, Roy; Asnes, Arne; Fazakerley, Andrew; Khotyaintsev, Yuri; Daly, Patrick

    2009-05-15

    Open questions concerning structures and dynamics of diffusion regions and electron acceleration in collisionless magnetic reconnection are addressed based on data from the four-spacecraft mission Cluster and particle-in-cell simulations. Using time series of electron distribution functions measured by the four spacecraft, distinct electron regions around a reconnection layer are mapped out to set the framework for studying diffusion regions. A spatially extended electron current sheet (ecs), a series of magnetic islands, and bursts of energetic electrons within islands are identified during magnetotail reconnection with no appreciable guide field. The ecs is collocated with a layer of electron-scale electric fields normal to the ecs and pointing toward the ecs center plane. Both the observed electron and ion densities vary by more than a factor of 2 within one ion skin depth north and south of the ecs, and from the ecs into magnetic islands. Within each of the identified islands, there is a burst of suprathermal electrons whose fluxes peak at density compression sites [L.-J. Chen et al., Nat. Phys. 4, 19 (2008)] and whose energy spectra exhibit power laws with indices ranging from 6 to 7.3. These results indicate that the in-plane electric field normal to the ecs can be of the electron scale at certain phases of reconnection, electrons and ions are highly compressible within the ion diffusion region, and for reconnection involving magnetic islands, primary electron acceleration occurs within the islands.

  14. Laboratory Experiments on Magnetic Reconnection

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Yamada, Masaaki

    2010-05-01

    Magnetic reconnection, a topological rearrangement of magnetic field lines, is one of the key self-organization processes in laboratory and astrophysical plasmas. This talk presents the fundamental physics of magnetic reconnection reviewing the recent significant progress in laboratory experiments. Sawtooth relaxation in a tokamak plasma, which represents a repetitive change of the electron temperature profile, provides a good example of magnetic reconnection. During the relaxation phase of the sawtooth, a rapid flattening of the electron temperature profile occurs and the pitch of field lines changes suddenly as the field lines break and rearrange themselves to form a new topological profile. In the reversed field pinch (RFP) and spheromak plasmas, a sudden re-arrangement of field lines in an inner flux surface can trigger another rearrangement in the outer flux surfaces, leading to a global magnetic relaxation event. Magnetic reconnection physics has been investigated in a variety of laboratory experiments dedicated for reconnection research. These laboratory experiments have made important contributions to recent advances in our understanding of magnetic reconnection. Significant findings are as follows: 1) The reconnection dynamics are determined both by local and global conditions, 2) The profiles of the reconnection layer and reconnection rate change drastically as the plasma's collisionality is reduced, 3) Two-fluid dynamics have been verified through experimental identification of both the ion and electron diffusion layers, 4) Electrostatic and electromagnetic fluctuations and their spatial profiles were measured in the reconnection layer of both laboratory and space plasmas with notable similarities, and 5) The reconnection rate increases significantly when the ratio of the electron mean free path to the scale length approaches unity. A new scaling of reconnection resistivity with respect to this ratio has been obtained from the laboratory results. The

  15. First Reconnected Flux Tubes

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Andersson, L.; Lapenta, G.; Newman, D. L.; Markidis, S.; Spanswick, E. L.; Baker, J. B.; Clausen, L. B.; Larson, D. E.; Ergun, R. E.; Frey, H. U.; Singer, H. J.; Angelopoulos, V.; Bonnell, J. W.; McFadden, J. P.; Glassmeier, K.; Wolfgang, B.

    2011-12-01

    THEMIS observations from the magnetic equator (the equatorial plane) in the near-earth tail reveal a great amount of information regarding the plasma environment in the vicinity of the first reconnected flux tubes (a subgroup of dipolarization fronts). Two sequential observations of dipolarization fronts are analyzed in detail using three of the THEMIS spacecraft. Particle acceleration to high energies (>50 keV) is observed together with a void region interpreted as a region to which the full electron distribution has incomplete access. Whistler waves, which are observed, could be driven by one of the two electron populations located in the wake of the first reconnected flux tubes. The detailed observations are compared with 2D and 3D implicit kinetic simulation of reconnection events. This presentation focuses on the similarity between observation and simulation. One key aspect of this presentation is a demonstration of how different the signature is when observing at vs off the magnetic equator, since most observations in the literature (unlike the observations presented here) are from off the equator. For this event, additional spacecraft and ground observations have been analyzed, which demonstrate that a reconfiguration of the magnetosphere is taking place. However, the focus of this presentation is on the small scale (<~10 di), rather than the large scale (~20 Re).

  16. 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.

  17. Collisionless electrostatic shock formation and ion acceleration in intense laser interactions with near critical density plasmas

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Liu, M.; Weng, S. M.; Li, Y. T.; Yuan, D. W.; Chen, M.; Mulser, P.; Sheng, Z. M.; Murakami, M.; Yu, L. L.; Zheng, X. L.; Zhang, J.

    2016-11-01

    Laser-driven collisionless electrostatic shock formation and the subsequent ion acceleration have been studied in near critical density plasmas. Particle-in-cell simulations show that both the speed of laser-driven collisionless electrostatic shock and the energies of shock-accelerated ions can be greatly enhanced due to fast laser propagation in near critical density plasmas. However, a response time longer than tens of laser wave cycles is required before the shock formation in a near critical density plasma, in contrast to the quick shock formation in a highly overdense target. More important, we find that some ions can be reflected by the collisionless shock even if the electrostatic potential jump across the shock is smaller than the ion kinetic energy in the shock frame, which seems against the conventional ion-reflection condition. These anomalous ion reflections are attributed to the strong time-oscillating electric field accompanying the laser-driven collisionless shock in a near critical density plasma.

  18. 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).

  19. Fermi Acceleration in Magnetic Reconnection Sites

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    de Gouveia Dal Pino, E. M.; Kowal, G.; Lazarian, A.

    2014-09-01

    The mechanisms that accelerate cosmic relativistic particles are not fully understood yet. A variety of processes has been investigated and the acceleration in magnetic reconnection sites has lately gained increasing attention from researchers not only for its potential importance in the solar system, but also beyond it, in astrophysical environments like compact stellar sources, AGNs and GRBs, and even in diffusive magnetized media as the interstellar medium (ISM) and the intergalactic medium (IGM). In this talk we review this process and, supported by three-dimensional MHD simulations with the injection of thousands of test particles, we show that they can be efficiently accelerated by magnetic reconnection through a first-order Fermi process within large scale magnetic current sheets, even in a collisional fluid (contrary to what was previously believed), especially when local turbulence is present which makes reconnection fast, the acceleration layer thicker and the overall process naturally three-dimensional. Tests of particle acceleration in pure MHD turbulent environments (i.e., without the presence of large scale current sheets), on the other hand, indicate that the dominant acceleration process is a second-order Fermi.

  20. Integrating kinetic effects in fluid models for magnetic reconnection

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wang, Liang

    The integration of kinetic effects in global fluid models is a grand challenge in space plasma physics, and has implication for our ability to model space weather in collisionless plasma environments such as the Earth's magnetosphere. We propose an extensible multi-fluid moment model, with focus on the physics of magnetic reconnection. This model evolves the full Maxwell equations, and simultaneously moments of the Vlasov-Maxwell equation for each species in the plasma. Effects like the Hall effect, the electron inertia, and the 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. Particularly, 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. In this thesis, we first numerically confirm the reduction of five-moment to Hall MHD under the limit of vanishing electron inertia. 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 closure towards a non-local, fully three-dimensional description are also discussed.

  1. Integrating kinetic effects in fluid models for magnetic reconnection

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wang, L.; Hakim, A.; Bhattacharjee, A.; Germaschewski, K.

    2014-12-01

    The integration of kinetic effects in global fluid models is a grand challenge in space plasma physics, and has implication for our ability to model space weather in collisionless plasma environments such as the Earth's magnetosphere. We propose an extensible multi-fluid moment model, with focus on the physics of magnetic reconnection. This model evolves the full Maxwell equations, and simultaneously moments of the Vlasov-Maxwell equation for each species in the plasma. Effects like the Hall effect, the electron inertia, and the 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 pressure for each species, and the ten-moment limit that evolves the full anisotropic, non-gyrotropic pressure tensor. Particularly, 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. In this presentation, we first 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. Preliminary results of application of the multi-fluid moment model to Ganymede are also discussed.

  2. 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.

  3. Multi-scale Modeling of Magnetic Reconnection during Solar Eruptions and Magnetosphere Storm Times

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Evans, R. M.; Kuznetsova, M. M.; Opher, M.; van der Holst, B.; Manchester, W.; Sokolov, I.; Hesse, M.; Toth, G.

    2013-12-01

    Magnetic reconnection is an important process in the initiation and evolution of coronal mass ejections (CMEs), and in the interaction of the solar wind with planetary magnetospheres. Due to the large time and length scales involved in these problems, MHD is the natural modeling framework. In the numerical application of ideal MHD, reconnection is governed by numerical or ad hoc anomalous resistivity. Even though these simulations are missing the kinetic processes of magnetic reconnection, they have successfully reproduced many observed features. However, as we move toward more accurate space weather forecasting, we must face the challenge of quantifying the interaction between microphysical processes in diffusion regions and global evolution. In collisionless plasmas, the primary mechanism controlling the dissipation in the vicinity of the reconnection site is non-gyrotropic pressure effects, in which the spatial scales are comparable with the particle Larmor radius. We incorporate kinetic effects in the vicinity of reconnection sites into the global MHD code BATS-R-US in terms of non-gyrotropic corrections to induction and energy equations. The non-gyrotropic terms accounting for finite-Larmor radius effects depend on the local plasma and field parameters. We apply this unique approach in two important domains for space weather - the solar corona and the Earth's magnetosphere. We analyze the contribution of solar wind conditions and local conditions at the reconnection sites on the global magnetosphere dynamics, and investigate the role of small-scale reconnection effects in the liftoff and evolution of a CME. R. M. E. is supported through an appointment to the NASA Postdoctoral Program at GSFC, administered by Oak Ridge Associated Universities through a contract with NASA. This research was also supported by the NSF SHINE Program, AGS-1151422.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2013-12-01

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

  5. Processes setting the structure of the electron distribution function within the exhausts of anti-parallel reconnection

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2016-12-01

    In situ spacecraft observations within the exhausts of magnetic reconnection document a large variation in the velocity space structure of the electron distribution function. Multiple mechanisms help govern the underlying electron dynamics, yielding a range of signatures for collisionless reconnection. These signatures include passing beams of electrons separated by well-defined boundaries from betatron heated/cooled trapped electrons. The present study emphasizes how localized regions of non-adiabatic electron dynamics can mix electrons across the trapped/passing boundaries and impact the form of the electron distributions in the full width of the exhaust. While our study is based on 2D simulations, the described principles shaping the velocity space distributions also apply to 3D geometries making our findings relevant to spacecraft observation of reconnection in the Earth's magnetosphere.

  6. High-energy Nd:glass laser facility for collisionless laboratory astrophysics

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Niemann, C.; Constantin, C. G.; Schaeffer, D. B.; Tauschwitz, A.; Weiland, T.; Lucky, Z.; Gekelman, W.; Everson, E. T.; Winske, D.

    2012-03-01

    A kilojoule-class laser (Raptor) has recently been activated at the Phoenix-laser-facility at the University of California Los Angeles (UCLA) for an experimental program on laboratory astrophysics in conjunction with the Large Plasma Device (LAPD). The unique combination of a high-energy laser system and the 18 meter long, highly-magnetized but current-free plasma will support a new class of plasma physics experiments, including the first laboratory simulations of quasi-parallel collisionless shocks, experiments on magnetic reconnection, or advanced laser-based diagnostics of basic plasmas. Here we present the parameter space accessible with this new instrument, results from a laser-driven magnetic piston experiment at reduced power, and a detailed description of the laser system and its performance.

  7. 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…

  8. 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…

  9. 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

  10. 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

  11. 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.

  12. 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.}

  13. 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.

  14. The reconnection gun

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Cowan, M.; Cnare, E. C.; Duggin, B. W.; Kaye, R. J.; Tucker, T. J.

    1986-11-01

    An electromagnetic launcher called the reconnection gun is introduced. Its potential performance is shown to be superior to that of a modern railgun for projectiles with mass greater than a few hundred grams. It has a 'characteristic velocity' which is an order of magnitude lower for much lower energy loss to ohmic heating. Also, it has several advantages for producing higher acceleration including; no barrel, no drop in acceleration with increase in projectile mass, higher peak pressure on the projectile and smaller differences between average and peak pressure. Experimental results and plans for high-performance, multi-stage designs are briefly discussed.

  15. Using Field-Particle Correlations to Diagnose the Collisionless Damping of Plasma Turbulence

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Howes, Gregory; Klein, Kristropher

    2016-10-01

    Plasma turbulence occurs ubiquitously throughout the heliosphere, yet our understanding of how turbulence governs energy transport and plasma heating remains incomplete, constituting a grand challenge problem in heliophysics. In weakly collisional heliospheric plasmas, such as the solar corona and solar wind, damping of the turbulent fluctuations occurs due to collisionless interactions between the electromagnetic fields and the individual plasma particles. A particular challenge in diagnosing this energy transfer is that spacecraft measurements are typically limited to a single point in space. Here we present an innovative field-particle correlation technique that can be used with single-point measurements to estimate the energization of the plasma particles due to the damping of the electromagnetic fields, providing vital new information about this how energy transfer is distributed as a function of particle velocity. This technique has the promise to transform our ability to diagnose the kinetic plasma physical mechanisms responsible for not only the damping of turbulence, but also the energy conversion in both collisionless magnetic reconnection and particle acceleration. The work has been supported by NSF CAREER Award AGS-1054061, NSF AGS-1331355, and DOE DE-SC0014599.

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

    SciTech Connect

    G.S. Choe; C.Z. Cheng

    2001-12-12

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

  17. 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.

  18. 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.

  19. 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.

  20. 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.

  1. 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.

  2. Magnetic reconnection launcher

    SciTech Connect

    Cowan, M.

    1989-04-04

    An electromagnetic launcher is described, which 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.

  3. Three dimensional reconnection in astrophysical plasmas

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Spicer, D. S.

    1990-01-01

    Theoretical issues related to three-dimensional reconnection and its application to the space and astrophysical environment are reviewed. Consideration is given to the meaning of reconnection in three dimensions, the way in which periodic and nonperiodic magnetic topologies alter the physics of reconnections, and the effects of chaotic magnetic fields on the reconnection process.

  4. Magnetic Reconnection in high-Lundquist-number plasmas

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Loureiro, Nuno

    2011-10-01

    Magnetic reconnection is the driver of explosive phenomena in both laboratory and astrophysical contexts. Sawtooth crashes in fusion experiments and solar flares are prominent examples of fascinating events where reconnection plays a key role. Over the past few years, the basic understanding of this fundamental process has undergone profound changes. The validity of the most basic, and widely accepted, reconnection paradigm - the famous Sweet-Parker (SP) model, which predicts that, in MHD, reconnection is extremely slow, its rate scaling as S - 1 / 2, where S is the Lundquist number of the system - has been called into question as it was analytically demonstrated that, for S >> 1 , SP-like current sheets are violently unstable to the formation of a large number of secondary islands, or plasmoids. Subsequent numerical work has confirmed the validity of the linear theory, and shown that plasmoids quickly grow to become wider than the thickness of the original SP current sheet, thus effectively changing the underlying reconnection geometry. Ensuing numerical work has revealed that the process of plasmoid formation, coalescence and ejection from the sheet drastically modifies the steady state picture assumed by Sweet and Parker, and leads to the unexpected result that MHD reconnection is actually fast (i.e., independent of S). In this talk, we review these recent developments and present a novel theoretical model of MHD reconnection in high Lundquist number plasmas. The results of a detailed numerical study are presented, validating the main predictions of this theory, which we thus suggest as valid replacement of the SP paradigm. In particular, we discuss the formation of so-called monster plasmoids (whose widths are 10% of the system size, and thus not only detectable but also potentially disruptive), predicted by the theory and observed in our simulations.

  5. 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.

  6. Hamiltonian magnetic reconnection with parallel electron heat flux dynamics

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Grasso, D.; Tassi, E.

    2015-10-01

    > We analyse, both analytically and numerically, a two-dimensional six-field fluid model for collisionless magnetic reconnection, accounting for temperature and heat flux fluctuations along the direction of the magnetic guide field. We show that the model possesses a Hamiltonian structure with a non-canonical Poisson bracket. This bracket is characterized by the presence of six infinite families of Casimirs, associated with Lagrangian invariants. This reveals that the model can be reformulated as a system of advection equations, thus generalizing previous results obtained for Hamiltonian isothermal fluid models for reconnection. Numerical simulations indicate that the presence of heat flux and temperature fluctuations yields slightly larger growth rates and similar saturated island amplitudes, with respect to the isothermal models. For values of the sonic Larmor radius much smaller than the electron skin depth, heat flux fluctuations tend to be suppressed and temperature fluctuations follow density fluctuations. Increasing the sonic Larmor radius results in an increasing fraction of magnetic energy converted into heat flux, at the expense of temperature fluctuations. In particular, heat flux fluctuations tend to become relevant along the magnetic island separatrices. The qualitative structures associated with the electron field variables are also reinterpreted in terms of the rotation of the Lagrangian invariants of the system.

  7. 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.

  8. Explosive reconnection and particle acceleration in relativistic plasmas

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lyutikov, Maxim; Komissarov, Sergey; Porth, Oliver; Sironi, Lorenzo

    2016-10-01

    We develop a model of particle acceleration in explosive reconnection events in relativistic magnetically-dominated plasmas. We identify two stages of particle acceleration: (i) fast explosive prompt X-point collapse and (ii) ensuing island merger. The fastest acceleration occurs during the initial catastrophic X-point collapse, with the reconnection electric field of the order of the magnetic field. During the X-point collapse particles are accelerated by charge-starved electric fields, which can reach (and even exceed) values of the local magnetic field. The explosive stage of reconnection produces non-thermal power-law tails with slopes that depend on the average magnetization sigma. The model has all the ingredients needed for Crab flares: natural formation of highly magnetized regions, explosive dynamics on light travel time, development of high electric fields on macroscopic scales and acceleration of particles to energies well exceeding the average magnetic energy per particle.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Yamada, Masaaki

    2015-11-01

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

  10. Reconnection rates of magnetic fields

    SciTech Connect

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

    1983-05-01

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

  11. Study of astrophysical collisionless shocks at NIF

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Park, Hye-Sook; Higginson, D. P.; Huntington, C. M.; Pollock, B. B.; Remington, B. A.; Rinderknecht, H.; Ross, J. S.; Ryutov, D. D.; Swadling, G. F.; Wilks, S. C.; Sakawa, Y.; Spitkovsky, A.; Petrasso, R.; Li, C. K.; Zylstra, A. B.; Lamb, D.; Tzeferacos, P.; Gregori, G.; Meinecke, J.; Manuel, M.; Froula, D.; Fiuza, F.

    2016-10-01

    High Mach number astrophysical plasmas can create collisionless shocks via plasma instabilities and turbulence that are responsible for magnetic field generations and cosmic ray acceleration. Recently, many laboratory experiments were successful to observe the Weibel instabilities and self-generated magnetic fields using high-power lasers that generated interpenetrating plasma flows. In order to create a fully formed shock, a series of NIF experiments have begun. The characteristics of flow interaction have been diagnosed by the neutrons and protons generated via beam-beam deuteron interactions, the x-ray emission from the hot plasmas and proton probe generated by imploding DHe3 capsules. This paper will present the latest results from the NIF collisionless shock experiments. Prepared by LLNL under Contract DE-AC52-07NA27344.

  12. Collisional and collisionless expansion of Yukawa balls.

    PubMed

    Piel, Alexander; Goree, John A

    2013-12-01

    The expansion of Yukawa balls is studied by means of molecular dynamics simulations of collisionless and collisional situations. High computation speed was achieved by using the parallel computing power of graphics processing units. When the radius of the Yukawa ball is large compared to the shielding length, the expansion process starts with the blow-off of the outermost layer. A rarefactive wave subsequently propagates radially inward at the speed of longitudinal phonons. This mechanism is fundamentally different from Coulomb explosions, which employ a self-similar expansion of the entire system. In the collisionless limit, the outer layers carry away most of the available energy. The simulations are compared with analytical estimates. In the collisional case, the expansion process can be described by a nonlinear diffusion equation that is a special case of the porous medium equation.

  13. 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

  14. Dynamic balance in turbulent reconnection

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2012-12-01

    Dynamic balance between the enhancement and suppression of transports due to turbulence in magnetic reconnection is discussed analytically and numerically by considering the interaction of the large-scale field structures with the small-scale turbulence in a consistent manner. Turbulence is expected to play an important role in bridging small and large scales related to magnetic reconnection. The configurations of the mean-field structure are determined by turbulence through the effective transport. At the same time, statistical properties of turbulence are determined by the mean-field structure through the production mechanisms of turbulence. This suggests that turbulence and mean fields should be considered simultaneously in a self-consistent manner. Following the theoretical prediction on the interaction between the mean-fields and turbulence in magnetic reconnection presented by Yokoi and Hoshino (2011), a self-consistent model for the turbulent reconnection is constructed. In the model, the mean-field equations for compressible magnetohydrodynamics are treated with the turbulence effects incorporated through the turbulence correlation such as the Reynolds stress and turbulent electromotive force. Transport coefficients appearing in the expression for these correlations are not adjustable parameters but are determined through the transport equations of the turbulent statistical quantities such as the turbulent MHD energy, the turbulent cross helicity. One of the prominent features of this reconnection model lies in the point that turbulence is not implemented as a prescribed one, but the generation and sustainment of turbulence through the mean-field inhomogeneities are treated. The theoretical predictions are confirmed by the numerical simulation of the model equations. These predictions include the quadrupole cross helicity distribution around the reconnection region, enhancement of reconnection rate due to turbulence, localization of the reconnection region

  15. Finite-dimensional collisionless kinetic theory

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Burby, J. W.

    2017-03-01

    A collisionless kinetic plasma model may often be cast as an infinite-dimensional noncanonical Hamiltonian system. I show that, when this is the case, the model can be discretized in space and particles while preserving its Hamiltonian structure, thereby producing a finite-dimensional Hamiltonian system that approximates the original kinetic model. I apply the general theory to two example systems: the relativistic Vlasov-Maxwell system with spin and a gyrokinetic Vlasov-Maxwell system.

  16. Colour Reconnection in WW Events

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    D'Hondt, J.

    2003-07-01

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

  17. Observational Signatures of Magnetic Reconnection

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Savage, Sabrina

    2014-01-01

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

  18. 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.

  19. Anomalous ion mixing within a Kelvin-Helmholtz vortex in a collisionless plasma

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Terasawa, T.; Fujimoto, M.; Karimabadi, H.; Omidi, N.

    1992-01-01

    Anomalously fast ion mixing is observed in a hybrid code simulation (particle ions and a massless electron fluid) of the Kelvin-Helmholtz instability in a collisionless plasma. While the traditional view predicts that the ion mixing occurs on a time scale longer than the roll-up time T(v) of the Kelvin-Helmholtz vortex by a factor of (velocity shear scale length)/(ion Larmor radius), the simulation results show that the mixing occurs within a time scale comparable to T(v). It is shown that this fast mixing is due to the scattering of ions by unsteady electromagnetic fields.

  20. 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.

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

    DOE PAGES

    Ng, Jonathan; Huang, Yi -Min; Hakim, Ammar; ...

    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

  2. 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.

  3. Magnetic reconnection simulation using the 2. 5D em (electromagnetic) direct implicit code AVANTI

    SciTech Connect

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

    1988-08-30

    Collisionless reconnection of magnetic field lines depends upon electron inertia effects and details of the electron and ion distribution functions, thus requiring a kinetic description of both. Though traditional explicit PIC techniques provide this description in principle, they are severely limited in parameters by time step constraints. This parameter regime has been expanded by using the recently constructed 2.5 D electromagnetic code AVANTI in this work. The code runs stably with arbitrarily large {Delta}t and is quite robust with respect to large fluctuations occurring due to small numbers of particles per cell. We have found several qualitatively new features. The reconnection process is found to occur in distinct stages: early spontaneous reconnection fed by the free energy of an initial anisotropy in the electron component, coalescence of the resulting small-scale filaments of electron current, accompanied by electron jetting, and oscillatory flow of electrons through the magnetic X-point, superposed on continuing nonlinear growth of ion-mediated reconnection. The time evolution of stage is strongly dependent on M{sub i}/m{sub e}. 12 refs., 6 figs.

  4. 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.

  5. 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.

  6. Geomagnetically Induced Currents From Reconnection

    NASA Image and Video Library

    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. Energy exchanges in reconnection outflows

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lapenta, Giovanni; Goldman, Martin V.; Newman, David L.; Markidis, Stefano

    2017-01-01

    Reconnection outflows are highly energetic directed flows that interact with the ambient plasma or with flows from other reconnection regions. Under these conditions the flow becomes highly unstable and chaotic, as any flow jets interacting with a medium. We report here massively parallel simulations of the two cases of interaction between outflow jets and between a single outflow with an ambient plasma. We find in both case the development of a chaotic magnetic field, subject to secondary reconnection events that further complicate the topology of the field lines. The focus of the present analysis is on the energy balance. We compute each energy channel (electromagnetic, bulk, thermal, for each species) and find where the most energy is exchanged and in what form. The main finding is that the largest energy exchange is not at the reconnection site proper but in the regions where the outflowing jets are destabilized.

  8. The Location of Jovian tail Reconnection

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ge, Yasong; Russell, Christopher; Khurana, Krishan

    In the middle magnetosphere of Jupiter, signatures of tail reconnections have been observed. During reconnection, the north-south component of Jovian tail magnetic field suddenly enhanced, as is the field strength. These sudden southward (northward) turnings are similar to the middle tail dipolarizations during terrestrial tail reconnections and can signal that the spacecraft is located at the planet-ward edge (tailward side) of the reconnection site. In this study we investigate the magnetic field signatures of Jovian tail reconnection to infer the locations of the reconnection site. Jovian tail reconnection is found to occur mostly at the sectors from pre-midnight to dawn and the most possible location for reconnection is found close to -50 RJ in the Y direction and from -75 RJ to -50 RJ in the X direction. This location is mapped into the Jupiter's ionosphere by Khurana's magnetic field model to examine the correspondence between Jovian tail reconnection and Jupiter's polar aurora.

  9. Topology and Dynamics of Reconnection in 3D Pair Plasma Without Guide Field

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Mollica, F.; Bhattacharjee, A.; Fox, W.

    2011-10-01

    We investigate fast reconnection in 3D pair plasma without a guide field using the Particle Simulation Code (PSC), beginning from a Harris sheet with a neutral line, which is a continuum of nulls and is structurally unstable in 3D. The neutral line is shown to break up into a sequence of discrete nulls of the A- and B-type, which are joined by null-null lines that constitute an AB-web, and provide an underlying topological skeleton for 3D reconnection. The current density distribution in such a system is shown to correspond to recent 3D models of ``spine reconnection.'' The sheet current density is unstable with respect to the kink instability which introduces folding as well as plasmoid instabilities that introduce complex structure formation, while supporting fast time-dependent reconnection.

  10. 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.

  11. Exploring Magnetopause Reconnection with MMS

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2015-12-01

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

  12. 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.

  13. Reconnection AND Bursty Bulk Flow Associated Turbulence IN THE Earth'S Plasma Sheet

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Voros, Z.; Nakamura, R.; Baumjohann, W.; Runov, A.; Volwerk, M.; Jankovicova, D.; Balogh, A.; Klecker, B.

    2006-12-01

    Reconnection related fast flows in the Earth's plasma sheet can be associated with several accompanying phenomena, such as magnetic field dipolarization, current sheet thinning and turbulence. Statistical analysis of multi-scale properties of turbulence facilitates to understand the interaction of the plasma flow with the dipolar magnetic field and to recognize the remote or nearby temporal and spatial characteristics of reconnection. The main emphasis of this presentation is on differentiating between the specific statistical features of flow associated fluctuations at different distances from the reconnection site.

  14. Relaxation of flux ropes and magnetic reconnection in the Reconnection Scaling Experiment at LANL

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Furno, Ivo

    2004-11-01

    Magnetic reconnection and plasma relaxation are studied in the Reconnection Scaling Experiment (RSX) with current carrying plasma columns (magnetic flux ropes). Using plasma guns, multiple flux ropes (B_pol < 100 Gauss, L=90 cm, r < 3 cm) are generated in a three-dimensional (3D) cylindrical geometry and are observed to evolve dynamically during the injection of magnetic helicity. Detailed evolution of electron density, temperature, plasma potential and magnetic field structures is reconstructed experimentally and visible light emission is captured with a fast-gated, intensified CCD camera to provide insight into the global flux rope dynamics. Experiments with two flux ropes in collisional plasmas and in a strong axial guide field (Bz / B_pol > 10) suggest that magnetic reconnection plays an important role in the initial stages of flux rope evolution. During the early stages of the applied current drive (t < 20τ_Alfven), the flux ropes are observed to twist, partially coalesce and form a thin current sheet with a scale size comparable to that of the ion sound gyro-radius. Here, non-ideal terms in a generalized Ohm's Law appear to play a significant role in the 3D reconnection process as shown by the presence of a strong axial pressure gradient in the current sheet. In addition, a density perturbation with a structure characteristic of a kinetic Alfvén wave is observed to propagate axially in the current layer, anti-parallel to the induced sheet current. Later in the evolution, when a sufficient amount of helicity is injected into the system, a critical threshold for the kink instability is exceeded and the helical twisting of each individual flux rope can dominate the dynamics of the system. This may prevent the complete coalescence of the flux ropes.

  15. Relaxation of flux ropes and magnetic reconnection in the Reconnection Scaling Experiment at LANL

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Furno, I.; Intrator, T.; Hemsing, E.; Hsu, S.; Lapenta, G.; Abbate, S.

    2004-12-01

    Magnetic reconnection and plasma relaxation are studied in the Reconnection Scaling Experiment (RSX) with current carrying plasma columns (magnetic flux ropes). Using plasma guns, multiple flux ropes (Bθ ≤ 100 Gauss, L=90 cm, r≤3 cm) are generated in a three-dimensional (3D) cylindrical geometry and are observed to evolve dynamically during the injection of magnetic helicity. Detailed evolution of electron density, temperature, plasma potential and magnetic field structures is reconstructed experimentally and visible light emission is captured with a fast-gated, intensified CCD camera to provide insight into the global flux rope dynamics. Experiments with two flux ropes in collisional plasmas and in a strong axial guide field (Bz / Bθ > 10) suggest that magnetic reconnection plays an important role in the initial stages of flux rope evolution. During the early stages of the applied current drive (t≤ 20 τ Alfv´ {e}n), the flux ropes are observed to twist, partially coalesce and form a thin current sheet with a scale size comparable to that of the ion sound gyro-radius. Here, non-ideal terms in a generalized Ohm's Law appear to play a significant role in the 3D reconnection process as shown by the presence of a strong axial pressure gradient in the current sheet. In addition, a density perturbation with a structure characteristic of a kinetic Alfvén wave is observed to propagate axially in the current layer, anti-parallel to the induced sheet current. Later in the evolution, when a sufficient amount of helicity is injected into the system, a critical threshold for the kink instability is exceeded and the helical twisting of each individual flux rope can dominate the dynamics of the system. This may prevent the complete coalescence of the flux ropes.

  16. 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.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Vasyliunas, V. M.

    2015-12-01

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

  18. Particle-in-cell simulations of Magnetic Field Generation, Evolution, and Reconnection in Laser-driven Plasmas

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Matteucci, Jack; Moissard, Clément; Fox, Will; Bhattacharjee, Amitava

    2016-10-01

    The advent of high-energy-density physics facilities has introduced the opportunity to experimentally investigate magnetic field dynamics relevant to both ICF and astrophysical plasmas. Recent experiments have demonstrated magnetic reconnection between colliding plasma plumes, where the reconnecting magnetic fields were self-generated in the plasma by the Biermann battery effect. In this study, we simulate these experiments from first principles using 2-D and 3-D particle-in-cell simulations. Simulations self-consistently demonstrate magnetic field generation by the Biermann battery effect, followed by advection by the Hall effect and ion flow. In 2-D simulations, we find in both the collisionless case and the semi-collisional case, defined by eVi × B >> Rei /ne (where Rei is the electron ion momentum transfer) that quantitative agreement with the generalized Ohm's law is only obtained with the inclusion of the pressure tensor. Finally, we document that significant field is destroyed at the reconnection site by the Biermann term, an inverse, `anti-Biermann' effect, which has not been considered previously in analysis of the experiment. The role of the anti-Biermann effect will be compared to standard reconnection mechanisms in 3-D reconnection simulations. This research used resources of the ORLC Facility at the Oak Ridge National Laboratory, which is supported by the Office of Science of the U.S. DoE under Contract No. DE-AC05-00OR22725.

  19. Particle-In-Cell Simulations of Particle Energization from Low Mach Number Fast Mode Shocks Using the Moving Wall Boundary Condition

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Workman, Jared C.; Park, J.; Blackman, E.; Ren, C.; Siller, R.

    2012-05-01

    Astrophysical shocks are often studied in the high Mach number limit but weakly compressive fast shocks can occur in magnetic reconnection outflows and are considered to be a site of particle energization in solar flares. Here we study the microphysics of such perpendicular, low Mach number collisionless shocks using two-dimensional particle-in-cell (PIC) simulations with a reduced ion/electron mass ratio and employ a moving wall boundary method for initial generation the shock. This moving wall method allows for more control of the shock speed, smaller simulation box sizes, and longer simulation times than the commonly used fixed wall, reflection method of shock formation. Our results, which are independent of the shock formation method, reveal the prevalence shock drift acceleration (SDA) of both electron and ions in a purely perpendicular shock with Alfven Mach number MA = 6.8 and ratio of thermal to magnetic pressure β = 8. We determine the respective minimum energies required for electrons and ions to incur SDA. We derive an theoretical electron distribution via SDA that compares favorably to the simulation results. We also show that a modified two-stream instability due to the incoming and reflecting ions in the shock transition region acts as the mechanism to generate collisionless plasma turbulence that sustains the shock.

  20. 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

  1. 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

  2. Undriven magnetic reconnection in magnetohydrodynamics and Hall magnetohydrodynamics

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lottermoser, R.-F.; Scholer, M.

    1997-03-01

    Undriven magnetic reconnection in a one-dimensional current sheet is investigated by means of a two-dimensional compressible and resistive Hall MHD (HMHD) code. Reconnection is set up by applying a spatially limited resistivity in the center of an isothermal Harris sheet. Although the magnetic fields on the two sides of the initial current sheet are equal and exactly antiparallel, both magnetic field and flow velocity components out of the simulation plane are self-consistently generated in the course of the reconnection process. The quasi steady state exhibits all features of Petschek-like reconnection, such as two pairs of shock waves attached to the diffusion region, a strongly converging flow toward the field line reversal region, and a weak fast mode expansion of the inflowing plasma. The reconnection rate measured in terms of the Alfvén Mach number well upstream of the diffusion region is within the analytic limits for compressible Petschek reconnection and slightly higher than in the corresponding MHD case. In contrast to MHD, the shock in HMHD is a subfast, strong (2->4), intermediate shock; the thickness is ~=10ion inertial lengths, and the shocks exhibit an internal structure. The trailing left-handed slow mode wave train predicted from the integration of the stationary one-dimensional Hall MHD equations is not found. This is probably due to the fact that waves downstream of the shock are smeared out along the shock layer by the fast outflow jet. The shock waves generated during the decay of a current sheet are studied by a one-dimensional (1-D) Hall MHD simulation. In the 1-D case, the shocks are of slow mode type, and thus a left-handed intermediate mode wave train can form upstream of the shocks. The shock thickness is estimated to be at least a factor of 3 thicker than in 2-D HMHD fast reconnection. The intermediate shock in the 2-D HMHD simulation as well as the slow shock in the 1-D HMHD simulation exhibit an S-shaped hodogram. When starting the

  3. 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.

  4. 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.

  5. 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.

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

    PubMed

    Chai, Kil-Byoung; Bellan, Paul M

    2013-12-01

    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(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.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Chai, Kil-Byoung; Bellan, Paul M.

    2013-12-01

    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 × 106 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.

  8. 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

  9. 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.

  10. 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.

  11. Towards a parallel collisionless shock in LAPD

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Weidl, M. S.; Heuer, P.; Schaeffer, D.; Dorst, R.; Winske, D.; Constantin, C.; Niemann, C.

    2017-09-01

    Using a high-energy laser to produce a super-Alfvénic carbon-ion beam in a strongly magnetized helium plasma, we expect to be able to observe the formation of a collisionless parallel shock inside the Large Plasma Device. We compare early magnetic-field measurements of the resonant right-hand instability with analytical predictions and find excellent agreement. Hybrid simulations show that the carbon ions couple to the background plasma and compress it, although so far the background ions are mainly accelerated perpendicular to the mean-field direction.

  12. Reconnecting Eye to Brain

    PubMed Central

    2016-01-01

    Although much is known about the regenerative capacity of retinal ganglion cells, very significant barriers remain in our ability to restore visual function following traumatic injury or disease-induced degeneration. Here we summarize our current understanding of the factors regulating axon guidance and target engagement in regenerating axons, and review the state of the field of neural regeneration, focusing on the visual system and highlighting studies using other model systems that can inform analysis of visual system regeneration. This overview is motivated by a Society for Neuroscience Satellite meeting, “Reconnecting Neurons in the Visual System,” held in October 2015 sponsored by the National Eye Institute as part of their “Audacious Goals Initiative” and co-organized by Carol Mason (Columbia University) and Michael Crair (Yale University). The collective wisdom of the conference participants pointed to important gaps in our knowledge and barriers to progress in promoting the restoration of visual system function. This article is thus a summary of our existing understanding of visual system regeneration and provides a blueprint for future progress in the field. PMID:27798125

  13. Fluxon Modeling of Eruptive Events With and Without Reconnection

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2007-05-01

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

  14. 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

  15. 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.

  16. 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

  17. 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.

  18. On Lorentz invariants in relativistic magnetic reconnection

    SciTech Connect

    Yang, Shu-Di; Wang, Xiao-Gang

    2016-08-15

    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.

  19. Collisionless shock waves mediated by Weibel Instability

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Naseri, Neda; Ruan, Panpan; Zhang, Xi; Khudik, Vladimir; Shvets, Gennady

    2015-11-01

    Relativistic collisionless shocks are common events in astrophysical environments. They are thought to be responsible for generating ultra-high energy particles via the Fermi acceleration mechanism. It has been conjectured that the formation of collisionless shocks is mediated by the Weibel instability that takes place when two initially cold, unmagnetized plasma shells counter-propagate into each other with relativistic drift velocities. Using a PIC code, VLPL, which is modified to suppress numerical Cherenkov instabilities, we study the shock formation and evolution for asymmetric colliding shells with different densities in their own proper reference frame. Plasma instabilities in the region between the shock and the precursor are also investigated using a moving-window simulation that advances the computational domain at the shock's speed. This method helps both to save computation time and avoid severe numerical Cherenkov instabilities, and it allows us to study the shock evolution in a longer time period. Project is supported by US DOE grants DE-FG02-04ER41321 and DE-FG02-07ER54945.

  20. 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.

  1. Reformation and Microinstabilities at Perpendicular Collisionless Shocks

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Umeda, T.; Kidani, Y.; Matsukiyo, S.; Yamazaki, R.

    2014-12-01

    Large-scale two-dimensional (2D) full particle-in-cell (PIC) simulations are carried out for studying the relationship between the dynamics of a perpendicular shock and microinstabilities generated at the shock foot. The structure and dynamics of collisionless shocks are generally determined by Alfven Mach number and plasma beta, while microinstabilities at the shock foot are controlled by the ratio of the upstream bulk velocity to the electron thermal velocity and the ratio of the plasma-to-cyclotron frequency. With a fixed Alfven Mach number and plasma beta, the ratio of the upstream bulk velocity to the electron thermal velocity is given as a function of the ion-to-electron mass ratio. The present 2D full PIC simulations with a relatively low Alfven Mach number (MA ˜ 6) show that the modified two-stream instability is dominant with higher ion-to-electron mass ratios. It is also confirmed that waves propagating downstream are more enhanced at the shock foot near the shock ramp as the mass ratio becomes higher. The result suggests that these waves play a role in the modification of the dynamics of collisionless shocks through the interaction with shock front ripples.

  2. 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.''

  3. 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