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Sample records for forced magnetic reconnection

  1. 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.

  2. Hyper-resistive forced magnetic reconnection

    SciTech Connect

    Vekstein, G.

    2016-02-15

    We study Taylor's model of forced magnetic reconnection mediated by plasma hyper-resistivity. This includes both linear and nonlinear regimes of the process. It is shown how the onset of plasmoid instability occurs in the strongly nonlinear regime of forced reconnection.

  3. 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.

  4. Forced Magnetic Reconnection In A Tokamak Plasma

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2015-11-01

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

  5. Magnetic Reconnection in a Force Free Plasma

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Nishimura, Kazumi; Li, Hui; Gary, S. Peter; Colgate, Stirling A.

    2002-04-01

    Recent observations and theoretical considerations have pointed to a dynamic intergalactic medium, a sizable part of which is filled with magnetic fields (e.g., Kronberg et al. 2001, ApJ, 560, 178). Magnetic reconnection is an important mechanism of converting magnetic energy into heating and accelerating particles. Astrophysical plasmas often store their magnetic energy in the twists of magnetic fields and with low plasma beta (ratio of thermal to magnetic pressure), in which case it can be assumed that currents flow nearly parallel to the background magnetic field (i.e., force-free). We are investigating the onset of magnetic reconnection in such a plasma using both 2D and 3D fully kinetic particle-in- cell simulations. We use a sheet pinch, kinetic equilibrium as an initial force-free configuration (Bobrova et al. 2001, Phys. Plasmas, 8, 759). We have carried out simulations for a range of parameters, especially the current density. We have confirmed that both a short wavelength instability (Buneman mode) and a longer wavelength instability (tearing mode) may be excited (Sakai et al. 2001, Phys. Rev. E, 63, 046408). Furthermore, we find that the tearing mode is inherently unstable, regardless of whether the Buneman mode is excited. Implications for particle acceleration and heating will be presented as well as a detailed comparison with linear theories.

  6. Forced magnetic reconnection in Tokamak plasmas

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Cole, Andrew Joseph

    This dissertation addresses two related problems in the study of forced magnetic reconnection in Tokamak plasmas. First, a recent controversy concerning a model forced magnetic reconnection problem, the Taylor problem, has been resolved. The criticisms of Ishizawa and Tokuda [21] concerning the original analysis of Hahm and Kulsrud [17] are shown to be unwarranted, both analytically and numerically. Second, one possible reason for the discrepancy between recent experimental [29] and previous theoretical [13] scaling of the critical error-field penetration threshold with device parameters is addressed. The theory in question is entirely based on a single-fluid MHD (magnetohydrodynamical) treatment of the plasma. As is well-known, high temperature plasmas are far better modeled using the drift-MHD ordering.[18] Hence we develop a drift-MHD theory of error-field penetration. Although two new drift-MHD plasma response regimes are identified, the overall threshold scaling with device parameters is not altogether different from that predicted by single-fluid MHD.

  7. 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...

  8. Visco-Resistive MHD Modeling Benchmark of Forced Magnetic Reconnection

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Beidler, M. T.; Hegna, C. C.; Sovinec, C. R.; Callen, J. D.; Ferraro, N. M.

    2016-10-01

    The presence of externally-applied 3D magnetic fields can affect important phenomena in tokamaks, including mode locking, disruptions, and edge localized modes. External fields penetrate into the plasma and can lead to forced magnetic reconnection (FMR), and hence magnetic islands, on resonant surfaces if the local plasma rotation relative to the external field is slow. Preliminary visco-resistive MHD simulations of FMR in a slab geometry are consistent with theory. Specifically, linear simulations exhibit proper scaling of the penetrated field with resistivity, viscosity, and flow, and nonlinear simulations exhibit a bifurcation from a flow-screened to a field-penetrated, magnetic island state as the external field is increased, due to the 3D electromagnetic force. These results will be compared to simulations of FMR in a circular cross-section, cylindrical geometry by way of a benchmark between the NIMROD and M3D-C1 extended-MHD codes. Because neither this geometry nor the MHD model has the physics of poloidal flow damping, the theory of will be expanded to include poloidal flow effects. The resulting theory will be tested with linear and nonlinear simulations that vary the resistivity, viscosity, flow, and external field. Supported by OFES DoE Grants DE-FG02-92ER54139, DE-FG02-86ER53218, DE-AC02-09CH11466, and the SciDAC Center for Extended MHD Modeling.

  9. 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.

  10. 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.

  11. A numerical study of forced magnetic reconnection in the viscous Taylor problem

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Fitzpatrick, Richard

    2003-06-01

    Two-dimensional, nonlinear magnetohydrodynamical simulations are used to investigate the so-called Taylor problem, in which a small amplitude boundary perturbation is suddenly applied to a tearing stable, slab plasma equilibrium—the perturbation being such as to drive magnetic reconnection within the plasma. This type of reconnection, which is not due to an intrinsic plasma instability, is generally known as "forced reconnection." For numerical reasons, the investigation is restricted to the large magnetic Prandtl number limit. The simulation results are highly consistent with the analysis of Hahm and Kulsrud [Phys. Fluids 28, 2412 (1985)] (modified by strong plasma viscosity). At high perturbation amplitudes, the system exhibits a phase of Sweet-Parker reconnection, as predicted by Wang and Bhattacharjee [Phys. Fluids B 4, 1795 (1992)]. An expression for the threshold perturbation amplitude required to trigger Sweet-Parker reconnection is derived, and successfully benchmarked against numerical simulations. This expression suggests that a Sweet-Parker phase is only likely to occur during forced reconnection in tokamaks when the plasma is extremely hot and perturbation amplitude relatively large.

  12. On transition from Alfvén resonance to forced magnetic reconnection

    SciTech Connect

    Luan, Q.; Wang, X.

    2014-07-15

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

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

    SciTech Connect

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

    2014-05-15

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

  14. Particle acceleration in solar flares: merging magnetic islands in forced reconnection

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Potter, Max; Browning, Philippa; Gordovskyy, Mykola

    2017-04-01

    There are many proposed mechanisms for particle acceleration in flares, but no single model is able to fully reproduce the range of observed spectra and fluxes from solar flares. It is therefore likely that there are multiple acceleration mechanisms operating as part of a multi-stage process. Forced magnetic reconnection requires an external process as a trigger and thus operates as part of a chain of perturbative processes in the plasma. Furthermore, many studies of particle acceleration deal with steady reconnection, yet this is unlike the conditions in flares, which are transient event. Forced reconnection has three stages: perturbation to the equilibrium, initial reconnection to form a chain of magnetic islands, and finally the islands begin to coalesce and form 'monster' islands. Previous studies of magnetic energy release and particle acceleration in flares have considered only the first two stages, but we now incorporate also coalescence. This study is also concerned with the relationship between the nature of the perturbation and the dynamics and energetics of the MHD fields. As such, the effects of sinusoid, multiple sinusoid and localised (Gaussian) perturbations of varying amplitude are considered, thereby building towards more realistic models. To this end, we utilise 2D MHD simulations of forced magnetic reconnection using Lare2d with anomalous resistivity, and a long, periodic simulation domain which allows islands to move and coalesce. Test particles are introduced using a guiding centre approximation code, allowing us to predict the energy spectra of non-thermal ions and electrons, as well as the spatial distributions and evolution on non-thermal particle populations in time-evolving fields.

  15. 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.

  16. 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.

  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. Reversible collisionless magnetic reconnection

    SciTech Connect

    Ishizawa, A.; Watanabe, T.-H.

    2013-10-15

    Reversible magnetic reconnection is demonstrated for the first time by means of gyrokinetic numerical simulations of a collisionless magnetized plasma. Growth of a current-driven instability in a sheared magnetic field is accompanied by magnetic reconnection due to electron inertia effects. Following the instability growth, the collisionless reconnection is accelerated with development of a cross-shaped structure of current density, and then all field lines are reconnected. The fully reconnected state is followed by the secondary reconnection resulting in a weakly turbulent state. A time-reversed simulation starting from the turbulent state manifests that the collisionless reconnection process proceeds inversely leading to the initial state. During the reversed reconnection, the kinetic energy is reconverted into the original magnetic field energy. In order to understand the stability of reversed process, an external perturbation is added to the fully reconnected state, and it is found that the accelerated reconnection is reversible when the deviation of the E × B streamlines due to the perturbation is comparable with or smaller than a current layer width.

  19. Forced Magnetic Reconnection at an X-point: A Fully Kinetic Study

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wang, L.; Bhattacharjee, A.; Bessho, N.; Germaschewski, K.

    2012-12-01

    We will present electromagnetic Particle-In-Cell (PIC) simulation of the current sheet formation and resulting magnetic reconnection at an X-point of an initially potential field closed by conducting wall boundaries. The reconnection we study is driven by forcing that is far from the initial separatrices and is slow compared to a characteristic Alfvén speed. The effects of two types of forcing will be investigated separately: (i) convergent flows at two opposite boundaries, and (ii) enhanced pressure gradient in two spatial domains on opposite sides of the initial separatrix. For both cases, we will present the time dependence of the reconnecting electric field (suitably normalized), energy partitioning, and dependence on system size. Our results will be compared with fluid simulations of the same setup to seek suitable closure relation with necessary kinetic effects in the fluid models. This challenge problem is carried out under the auspices of a Focus Team in the NASA Living With a Star Targeted Research and Technology Program.; Reconnecting electric field Ey in the case of forcing by boundary convergent flows. Change of sign of Ey is observed. Note that the value shown is unnormalized and that if normalized by upstream B and outflow velocity, the value can be of order 0.1. ; The out-of-plane current along two axes passing the X-point at two times. The signs are opposite for the two times. The length of the current sheet is in tens of di while the width is about 1di.

  20. Magnetic reconnection launcher

    DOEpatents

    Cowan, Maynard

    1989-01-01

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

  1. 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.

  2. Nonlinear modeling of forced magnetic reconnection in slab geometry with NIMROD

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Beidler, M. T.; Callen, J. D.; Hegna, C. C.; Sovinec, C. R.

    2017-05-01

    The nonlinear, extended-magnetohydrodynamic (MHD) code NIMROD is benchmarked with the theory of time-dependent forced magnetic reconnection induced by small resonant fields in slab geometry in the context of visco-resistive MHD modeling. Linear computations agree with time-asymptotic, linear theory of flow screening of externally applied fields. The inclusion of flow in nonlinear computations can result in mode penetration due to the balance between electromagnetic and viscous forces in the time-asymptotic state, which produces bifurcations from a high-slip state to a low-slip state as the external field is slowly increased. We reproduce mode penetration and unlocking transitions by employing time-dependent externally applied magnetic fields. Mode penetration and unlocking exhibit hysteresis and occur at different magnitudes of applied field. We also establish how nonlinearly determined flow screening of the resonant field is affected by the square of the magnitude of the externally applied field. These results emphasize that the inclusion of nonlinear physics is essential for accurate prediction of the reconnected field in a flowing plasma.

  3. 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

  4. 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.

  5. 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

  6. 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...

  7. On the observability of 'out-of-plane' quadrupolar magnetic perturbations in two-dimensional force-free reconnection

    SciTech Connect

    Wang Jiaqi; Wang Xiaogang

    2008-09-15

    Nonlinear studies for 'out-of-plane' magnetic perturbations in two-dimensional force-free magnetic reconnection are carried out to analyze if they are significant enough to be observable in concerned regimes. It is found that though in linear analysis [Bian et al., Phys. Plasmas 14, 120702 (2007)] the 'out-of-plane' quadrupolar magnetic perturbation can be generated in the 'standard magnetohydrodynamics regime', it is too weak to be detected in observations.

  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. 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.

  10. Forced Magnetic Reconnection and Field Penetration of an Externally Applied Rotating Helical Magnetic Field in the TEXTOR Tokamak

    SciTech Connect

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

    2006-08-25

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

  11. 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.

  12. Forced magnetic reconnection in a plasma sheet with localized resistivity profile excited by lower hybrid drift type instability

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Hoshino, M.

    1991-01-01

    A forced magnetic reconnection process with a temporal evolution of resistivity is studied for a plasma sheet with a nonuniform resistivity profile based on the nonlocal mode structure of the lower hybrid drift type instability. The growth rate of the mode found is almost independent of the resistivity at the neutral sheet, but depends on the resistivity of the region of maximum density gradient away from the neutral sheet. This is studied by using both a nonlinear numerical MHD simulation and a linear theory. The mode may be relevant to the prevalent theoretical concept of MHD reconnection and the localized anomalous resistivity profile based on the lower hybrid drift instability.

  13. Magnetic reconnection launcher

    DOEpatents

    Cowan, M.

    1987-04-06

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

  14. Forced reconnection in the Hall limit

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Huba, J. D.

    2006-12-01

    We present new numerical results of the dynamics of forced magnetic reconnection in the Hall limit using the NRL Hall MHD code VooDoo. The system is forced by imposing inflow boundary conditions on the plasma density and velocity, and the magnetic field. A magnetic field of opposite polarity is injected from opposite boundaries. The inflow velocity is spatially uniform but the density profile is spatially nonuniform which allows an X-line to develop and magnetic reconnection to proceed. We present simulation results for various inflow conditions in both 2D and 3D geometries. We apply our results to laboratory and space plasma processes. Research supported by ONR and NASA.

  15. Forced Reconnection in the Hall Limit

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Huba, J.

    2006-10-01

    We present new numerical results of the dynamics of forced magnetic reconnection in the Hall limit using the NRL Hall MHD code VooDoo. The system is forced by imposing inflow boundary conditions on the plasma density and velocity, and the magnetic field. A magnetic field of opposite polarity is injected from opposite boundaries. The inflow velocity is spatially uniform but the density profile is spatially nonuniform which allows an X-line to develop and magnetic reconnection to proceed. We present simulation results for various inflow conditions in both 2D and 3D geometries. We apply our results to laboratory and space plasma processes.

  16. Forced Magnetic Reconnection at an X-point: Particle-In-Cell and Ten-Moment Extended MHD Simulations

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2013-12-01

    We will present comparative numerical studies of current sheet formation and forced magnetic reconnection at an X-point, beginning from a potential field. The problem will be simulated by the fully kinetic Particle Simulation Code (PSC) [1] and an extended ten-moment MHD code Gkeyll [2] that retains important kinetic physics, particularly, electron inertia and full electron/ion pressure tensors. Our goals are to investigate the similarities and differences between the two models, and to seek suitable parameterization of kinetic effects in the fluid models. The simulation domain is restrained in 2-D and is closed by conducting wall boundaries. The reconnection is forced by in-plane flows imposed on two opposite boundaries, where the forcing flows converge at the two boundary centers, and are slow compared to the characteristic Alfvén speed. We will compare results on the time-dependence of the reconnecting electric field (suitably normalized), as well as the structure of current sheets from PSC, Gkeyll, and an MHD code, varying ion-to-electron mass ratio and domain size. This study is carried out under the auspices of a Focus Topic in the NASA Living With a Star Targeted Research and Technology Program. [1] Fox, W., A. Bhattacharjee, and K. Germaschewski. "Magnetic reconnection in high-energy-density laser-produced plasmas." Physics of Plasmas 19 (2012): 056309. [2] Hakim, Ammar H. "Extended MHD modelling with the ten-moment equations." Journal of Fusion Energy 27.1-2 (2008): 36-43.

  17. 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.

  18. 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.

  19. Forcing continuous reconnection in hybrid simulations

    SciTech Connect

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

    2014-07-15

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

  20. Relativistic Magnetic Reconnection in Kerr Spacetime.

    PubMed

    Asenjo, Felipe A; Comisso, Luca

    2017-02-03

    The magnetic reconnection process is analyzed for relativistic magnetohydrodynamical plasmas around rotating black holes. A simple generalization of the Sweet-Parker model is used as a first approximation to the problem. The reconnection rate, as well as other important properties of the reconnection layer, has been calculated taking into account the effect of spacetime curvature. Azimuthal and radial current sheet configurations in the equatorial plane of the black hole have been studied, and the case of small black hole rotation rate has been analyzed. For the azimuthal configuration, it is found that the black hole rotation decreases the reconnection rate. On the other hand, in the radial configuration, it is the gravitational force created by the black hole mass that decreases the reconnection rate. These results establish a fundamental interaction between gravity and magnetic reconnection in astrophysical contexts.

  1. Relativistic Magnetic Reconnection in Kerr Spacetime

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Asenjo, Felipe A.; Comisso, Luca

    2017-02-01

    The magnetic reconnection process is analyzed for relativistic magnetohydrodynamical plasmas around rotating black holes. A simple generalization of the Sweet-Parker model is used as a first approximation to the problem. The reconnection rate, as well as other important properties of the reconnection layer, has been calculated taking into account the effect of spacetime curvature. Azimuthal and radial current sheet configurations in the equatorial plane of the black hole have been studied, and the case of small black hole rotation rate has been analyzed. For the azimuthal configuration, it is found that the black hole rotation decreases the reconnection rate. On the other hand, in the radial configuration, it is the gravitational force created by the black hole mass that decreases the reconnection rate. These results establish a fundamental interaction between gravity and magnetic reconnection in astrophysical contexts.

  2. 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.

  3. Forced Magnetic Reconnection at an X-point: Particle-In-Cell and Ten-Moment Extended MHD Simulations

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wang, Liang; Bessho, Naoki; Bhattacharjee, Amitava; Germaschewski, Kai; Hakim, Ammar

    2013-10-01

    We will present comparative numerical studies of current sheet formation and forced magnetic reconnection at an X-point, beginning from a potential field. The problem will be simulated by the fully kinetic Particle Simulation Code (PSC) and an extended ten-moment MHD code Gkeyll that retains important kinetic physics, particularly, electron inertia and full electron/ion pressure tensors. Our goals are to investigate the similarities and differences between the two models, and to seek suitable parameterization of kinetic effects in the fluid models. The simulation domain is restrained in 2-D and is closed by conducting wall boundaries. The reconnection is forced by in-plane flows imposed on two opposite boundaries, where the forcing flows converge at the two boundary centers, and are slow compared to the characteristic Alfvén speed. We will compare results on the time-dependence of the reconnecting electric field (suitably normalized), as well as the structure of current sheets from PSC, Gkeyll, and an MHD code, varying ion-to-electron mass ratio and domain size. This study is carried out under the auspices of a Focus Topic in the NASA Living With a Star Targeted Research and Technology Program.

  4. 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

  5. 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

  6. Multiscale Modeling of Solar Coronal Magnetic Reconnection

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2010-12-01

    Magnetic reconnection is widely believed to be the primary process by which the magnetic field releases energy to plasma in the Sun's corona. For example, in the breakout model for the initiation of coronal mass ejections/eruptive flares, reconnection is responsible for the catastrophic destabilizing of magnetic force balance in the corona, leading to explosive energy release. A critical requirement for the reconnection is that it have a "switch-on' nature in that the reconnection stays off until a large store of magnetic free energy has built up, and then it turn on abruptly and stay on until most of this free energy has been released. We discuss the implications of this requirement for reconnection in the context of the breakout model for CMEs/flares. We argue that it imposes stringent constraints on the properties of the flux breaking mechanism, which is expected to operate in the corona on kinetic scales. We present numerical simulations demonstrating how the reconnection and the eruption depend on the effective resistivity, i.e., the effective Lundquist number, and propose a model for incorporating kinetic flux-breaking mechanisms into MHD calculation of CMEs/flares. This work has been supported by the NASA HTP, SR&T, and LWS programs. High-resolution simulation of a breakout CME showing details of the reconnection region (Karpen et al 2010).

  7. 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.

  8. 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.

  9. 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.

  10. 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.

  11. 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.

  12. 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.

  13. 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.

  14. 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.

  15. Fundamental Concepts Associated with Magnetic Reconnection

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Gonzalez, W. D.; Parker, E. N.; Mozer, F. S.; Vasyliūnas, V. M.; Pritchett, P. L.; Karimabadi, H.; Cassak, P. A.; Scudder, J. D.; Yamada, M.; Kulsrud, R. M.; Koga, D.

    The chapter starts with a discussion about the importance of the concept of magnetic field lines in space plasmas and magnetic reconnection, followed by presentations on: (a) the meaning and validity of empirical constructs related with magnetic reconnection research, such as: "moving" magnetic field lines, "frozen-in" condition and "diffusion region" of reconnection; and (b) experimental evidence of the diffusion region and related energetics. Next, aims to link external (MHD) with internal (non-MHD) regions of reconnection are discussed in association with the so-called "Axford conjecture", followed by short presentations on: (a) global equilibria in reconnection; and (b) the role of the separatrices in global aspects of reconnection. In the last section, we present additional discussion about the concept of "diffusion region" and about the two fundamental questions associated with magnetic reconnection reviewed in this chapter.

  16. Secondary Instability in 3-D Magnetic Reconnection

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2016-12-01

    3-D magnetic reconnection is investigated using the gyrokinetic-electron and fully-kinetic ion (GeFi) particle simulation model. The simulation is carried out in the force free current sheet for cases with a strong guide field BG as occurring in the solar and laboratory plasmas. It is found that, following the growth of the primary reconnection, a secondary instability is excited in the separatrix region, which leads to the electron heating and acceleration in the direction parallel to the magnetic field. The instability is due to the 3-D physics associated with a finite kz, where kz is the wave number along the guide field direction. Dependences of the growth rate of the secondary instability on the electron-ion resistivity, the ion-to-electron mass ratio mi/me, beta values, and the half-width of the current sheet are investigated. It is demonstrated that the secondary instability is of the magnetohydrodynamic (MHD) kink type.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Treumann, R. A.; Baumjohann, W.

    2015-10-01

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

  18. 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.

  19. 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.

  20. 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

  1. 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.

  2. Magnetic reconnection in a compressible MHD plasma

    SciTech Connect

    Hesse, Michael; Zenitani, Seiji; Birn, Joachim

    2011-04-15

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

  3. Magnetic Reconnection in a Compressible MHD Plasma

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Hesse, Michael; Birn, Joachim; Zenitani, Seiji

    2011-01-01

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

  4. 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.

  5. The Onset of Magnetic Reconnection

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2015-04-01

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

  6. The Onset of Magnetic Reconnection

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Daldorff, L. K. S.; Klimchuk, J. A.

    2015-12-01

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

  7. 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.

  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. Frontiers for Laboratory Research of Magnetic Reconnection

    SciTech Connect

    Ji, Hantao; Guo, Fan

    2015-07-16

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

  10. 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.

  11. Magnetic Reconnection in the Solar Chromosphere

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lukin, Vyacheslav S.; Ni, Lei; Murphy, Nicholas Arnold

    2017-08-01

    We report on the most recent efforts to accurately and self-consistently model magnetic reconnection processes in the context of the solar chromosphere. The solar chromosphere is a notoriously complex and highly dynamic boundary layer of the solar atmosphere where local variations in the plasma parameters can be of the order of the mean values. At the same time, the interdependence of the physical processes such as magnetic field evolution, local and global energy transfer between internal and electromagnetic plasma energy, radiation transport, plasma reactivity, and dissipation mechanisms make it a particularly difficult system to self-consistently model and understand. Several recent studies have focused on the micro-physics of multi-fluid magnetic reconnection at magnetic nulls in the weakly ionized plasma environment of the lower chromosphere[1-3]. Here, we extend the previous work by considering a range of spatial scales and magnetic field strengths in a configuration with component magnetic reconnection, i.e., for magnetic reconnection with a guide field. We show that in all cases the non-equilibrium reactivity of the plasma and the dynamic interaction among the plasma processes play important roles in determining the structure of the reconnection region. We also speculate as to the possible observables of chromospheric magnetic reconnection and the likely plasma conditions required for generation of Ellerman and IRIS bombs.[1] Leake, Lukin, Linton, and Meier, “Multi-fluid simulations of chromospheric magnetic reconnection in a weakly ionized reacting plasma,” ApJ 760 (2012).[2] Leake, Lukin, and Linton, “Magnetic reconnection in a weakly ionized plasma,” PoP 20 (2013).[3] Murphy and Lukin, “Asymmetric magnetic reconnection in weakly ionized chromospheric plasmas,” ApJ 805 (2015).[*Any opinion, findings, and conclusions or recommendations expressed in this material are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the views of the National

  12. 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.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2015-04-01

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

  14. 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

  15. On phase diagrams of magnetic reconnection

    SciTech Connect

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

    2013-06-15

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

  16. Acceleration mechanisms 2: force-free reconnection

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Colgate, S.

    2004-05-01

    We propose that nearly every accelerated CR was part of the parallel current that maintains all force-free (f-f) magnetic fields. Charged particles are accelerated by the E-parallel (to the magnetic filed B) produced by reconnection. The inferred total energy in extra-galactic cosmic rays is 10^(60) ergs per galaxy spacing volume, provided that acceleration mechanisms assumed do not preferentially only accelerate ultra high energy cosmic rays (UHECRs). This total energy is about 10^5 times the parent galactic CR or magnetic energy. The formation energy of supermassive black holes (SMBHs) at galaxy centers, 10^(62) ergs, becomes the only feasible source. An efficient dynamo process converts gravitational free energy into magnetic energy in an accretion disk around a SMBH. Aided by Keplerian winding, this dynamo converts a poloidal seed field into f-f fields, which are transported into the general inter-galactic medium (IGM). This magnetic energy is also efficiently converted into particle energies, as evidenced by the radiation from energetic particles. CRs of the IGM are then the result of the continuing dissipation, in a Hubble time, of this magnetic energy, by acceleration within the f-f fields confined within the super-galactic walls and filaments of large scale structures. In addition, most UHECRs are diffusively lost to the galactic voids before the GZK attenuation time, 10^8 years and hence are lost from view. Similarly within the galaxy we expect that the winding by accretion are the sources of galactic CR acceleration. [edited

  17. Relativistic Magnetic Reconnection in the Laboratory

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Krushelnick, Karl; Raymond, Anthony; Dong, Cf; McKelvey, A.; Zulick, C.; Alexander, N.; Bhattacharjee, A.; Campbell, Pt; Chen, H.; Chvykov, V.; Del Rio, E.; Fitzsimmons, P.; Fox, W.; Hou, Bx; Maksimchuk, A.; Mileham, C.; Nees, J.; Nilson, Pm; Stoekl, C.; Thomas, Agr; Wei, Ms; Yanovsky, V.; Willingale, L.

    2016-10-01

    Magnetic reconnection is a fundamental plasma process involving an exchange of magnetic energy to plasma kinetic energy through changes in the magnetic field topology. Here we present experimental measurements using the OMEGA EP laser at LLE and the HERCULES laser at the University of Michigan as well as numerical modeling which indicate that relativistic magnetic reconnection can be driven by short-pulse, high-intensity lasers that produce a relativistic plasma along with very strong magnetic fields. Evidence of magnetic reconnection was identified by the plasma's X-ray emission patterns, changes to the electron energy spectrum, and by measuring the time over which reconnection occurs. Funded by DOE Award No. DE-NA0002727.

  18. Transient magnetic reconnection and unstable shear layers.

    PubMed

    Brackbill, J U; Knoll, D A

    2001-03-12

    We study three-dimensional magnetic reconnection caused by the Kelvin-Helmholtz (KH) instability and differential rotation in subsonic and sub-Alfvenic flows. The flows, which are modeled by the resistive magnetohydrodynamic equations with constant resistivity, are stable in the direction of the magnetic field but unstable perpendicular to the magnetic field. Localized transient reconnection is observed on the KH time scale, and kinetic energy increases with decreasing resistivity. As in flux-transfer events in the Earth's magnetopause boundary layer, bipolar structures in the normal flux and bidirectional jetting away from reconnection zones are observed.

  19. TWO-FLUID MAGNETOHYDRODYNAMIC SIMULATIONS OF RELATIVISTIC MAGNETIC RECONNECTION

    SciTech Connect

    Zenitani, Seiji; Hesse, Michael; Klimas, Alex

    2009-05-10

    We investigate the large-scale evolution of a relativistic magnetic reconnection in an electron-positron pair plasma by a relativistic two-fluid magnetohydrodynamic (MHD) code. We introduce an interspecies friction force as an effective resistivity to dissipate magnetic fields. We demonstrate that magnetic reconnection successfully occurs in our two-fluid system, and that it involves Petschek-type bifurcated current layers in a later stage. We further observe a quasi-steady evolution thanks to an open boundary condition, and find that the Petschek-type structure is stable over the long time period. Simulation results and theoretical analyses exhibit that the Petschek outflow channel becomes narrower when the reconnection inflow contains more magnetic energy, as previously claimed. Meanwhile, we find that the reconnection rate goes up to {approx}1 in extreme cases, which is faster than previously thought. The role of the resistivity, implications for reconnection models in the magnetically dominated limit, and relevance to kinetic reconnection works are discussed.

  20. Forced reconnection, current sheets, and coronal heating

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wang, Xiaogang; Bhattacharjee, A.

    1992-12-01

    The formation of current sheets in the solar corona is investigated by a simple model in which forced reconnection occurs due to the perturbation caused at the photospheric boundary of footpoint motion. The time dependence of the process is considered by means of an initial-value calculation. It is found that on the Alfvenic time scale, current sheets tend to develop with an amplitude that increases linearly with time. The effect of resistivity becomes important subsequently, and the reconnected flux at the separatrix increases quadratically with time. In the nonlinear phase, helicity-conserving islands support current sheets, and the rate of reconnection is given by a modified Sweet-Parker model. Implications for coronal heating are discussed.

  1. The Role of Geometry in Magnetic Reconnection

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Hesse, Michael; Aunai, Nicholas; Birn, Joachim; Zenitani, Seiji

    2012-01-01

    Magnetic reconnection is arguably the most effective energy conversion and transport process in plasmas. Reconnection is subject to topological considerations in two ways. First, the process itself involves a change in topology of the combined plasma-magnetic field system. This change in topology transcends that of the magnetic field alone and accounts for flux transport relative to the motion of the plasma in the system under investigation. The second way topology is important to magnetic reconnection is through modifications of the diffUSion/dissipation physics brought about by the structure of the reconnecting system. This presentation will present an overview and summary of both past and recent results pertaining to both aspects.

  2. Dissipation in magnetic reconnection with a guide magnetic field

    SciTech Connect

    Hesse, Michael

    2006-12-15

    A combination of numerical simulation results and analytical theory is applied to the problem of magnetic reconnection in a guide magnetic field. An investigation of electron distribution functions within the electron diffusion region leads to a picture of mixing of particles with different acceleration histories on electron Larmor scales. Based on an apparent average loss of accelerated particles by field-aligned and ExB transport, it is proposed that the role of the reconnection electric field is to replenish this loss by acceleration of particles that enter the electron diffusion region. Analytic theory is employed to verify this model, and an equation is derived, which balances the average electric field force density by a diffusion term applied to the electron momentum density. The diffusion coefficient contains explicitly the electron Larmor spatial scale and a poloidal transport time scale.

  3. Three-dimensional Oscillatory Magnetic Reconnection

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Thurgood, Jonathan O.; Pontin, David I.; McLaughlin, James A.

    2017-07-01

    Here we detail the dynamic evolution of localized reconnection regions about 3D magnetic null points using numerical simulation. We demonstrate for the first time that reconnection triggered by the localized collapse of a 3D null point that is due to an external magnetohydrodynamic (MHD) wave involves a self-generated oscillation, whereby the current sheet and outflow jets undergo a reconnection reversal process during which back-pressure formation at the jet heads acts to prise open the collapsed field before overshooting the equilibrium into an opposite-polarity configuration. The discovery that reconnection at fully 3D nulls can proceed naturally in a time-dependent and periodic fashion suggests that oscillatory reconnection mechanisms may play a role in explaining periodicity in astrophysical phenomena associated with magnetic reconnection, such as the observed quasi-periodicity of solar and stellar flare emission. Furthermore, we find that a consequence of oscillatory reconnection is the generation of a plethora of freely propagating MHD waves that escape the vicinity of the reconnection region.

  4. Relativistic Magnetic Reconnection around rotating black holes

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Asenjo, Felipe; Comisso, Luca

    2016-10-01

    In recent years, the classical Sweet-Parker and Petschek models have been extended in the special relativistic regime, both for MHD plasmas and two-fluid electron-positron plasmas. Nevertheless, there could be situations, like in the vicinity of black holes, where also general relativistic effects can become important. Here, we calculate analytically the reconnection rate and other relevant quantities in a magnetic reconnection process around a rotating black hole. A striking result is that the black hole rotation is capable to produce an enhancement of the rate at which magnetic reconnection proceeds. This work is supported by Fondecyt-Chile, Grant No. 11140025.

  5. Magnetohydrodynamic Numerical Simulations of Magnetic Reconnection in Interstellar Medium

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Tanuma, Syuniti

    2000-03-01

    -ray gas in Galaxy. Part IV We examine the magnetic reconnection triggered by Parker instability and the resulting magnetic structure in Galaxy, by performing 2D MHD numerical simulations with simple assumptions. We assume, as the initial condition, that there exists horizontal magnetic flux sheet unstable to Parker instability in the disk, and anti-parallel field in the halo, because there is another magnetic field (which is not parallel) generated by Colioris force or shear motion. The magnetic field in the disk inflates toward Galactic halo, collide with magnetic field in the halo, and trigger the magnetic reconnection. The magnetic reconnection accelerates the interstellar gas, and releases the magnetic energy to heat the gas in Galactic halo. The released magnetic energy is determined by the interstellar magnetic field strength. We suggest that the magnetic reconnection is a possible mechanism to generate X-ray plasma in Galactic halo. Part V We examine the magnetic reconnection triggered by a supernova shock (or a pont explosion) in interstellar medium, by performing 3D MHD numerical simulations. We extend the 2D numerical simulations, performed in part III, to 3D. All assumption is same with those in 2D model except for the grid size and simulation region size. The magnetic reconnection occurs in the current sheet, which is similar to 2D model with the large glid size. We study the 3D effects on the magnetic reconnection. Part VI We discuss how can we apply the results to magnetic reconnections in the actual interstellar medium. We estimate the actual time scale and length scale of the magnetic reconnection and tearing instability. Magnetic reconnection will occur by the current-sheet thinning by the secondary tearing instability in nonlinear phase. Otherwise, the magnetic reconnection will occur through third, forth, and fifth tearing instability. We discuss the implications for the observations and possibility of oblique shock in reconnection jets and particle

  6. 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.

  7. Electron acceleration during guide field magnetic reconnection

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wan, Weigang; Lapenta, Giovanni; Delzanno, Gian Luca; Egedal, Jan

    2008-03-01

    Particle-in-cell simulations of the guide field intermittent magnetic reconnection are performed to study electron acceleration and pitch angle distributions. During the growing stage of reconnection, the power-law distribution function for the high-energy electrons and the pitch angle distributions of the low-energy electrons are obtained and compare favorably with observations by the Wind spacecraft. Direct evidence is found for the secondary acceleration during the later reconnection stage. A correlation between the generation of energetic electrons and the induced reconnection electric field is found. Energetic electrons are accelerated first around the X line, and then in the region outside the diffusion region, when the reconnection electric field has a bipolar structure. The physical mechanisms of these accelerations are discussed. The in-plane electrostatic field that traps the low-energy electrons and causes the anisotropic pitch angle distributions has been observed.

  8. Relating magnetic reconnection to coronal heating

    PubMed Central

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

    2015-01-01

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

  9. Relating magnetic reconnection to coronal heating.

    PubMed

    Longcope, D W; Tarr, L A

    2015-05-28

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

  10. Magnetic reconnection in a weakly ionized plasma

    SciTech Connect

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

    2013-06-15

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

  11. Magnetic reconnection during eruptive magnetic flux ropes

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Mei, Z. X.; Keppens, R.; Roussev, I. I.; Lin, J.

    2017-08-01

    Aims: We perform a three-dimensional (3D) high resolution numerical simulation in isothermal magnetohydrodynamics to study the magnetic reconnection process in a current sheet (CS) formed during an eruption of a twisted magnetic flux rope (MFR). Because the twist distribution violates the Kruskal-Shafranov condition, the kink instability occurs, and the MFR is distorted. The centre part of the MFR loses its equilibrium and erupts upward, which leads to the formation of a 3D CS underneath it. Methods: In order to study the magnetic reconnection inside the CS in detail, mesh refinement has been used to reduce the numerical diffusion and we estimate a Lundquist number S = 104 in the vicinity of the CS. Results: The refined mesh allows us to resolve fine structures inside the 3D CS: a bifurcating sheet structure signaling the 3D generalization of Petschek slow shocks, some distorted-cylindrical substructures due to the tearing mode instabilities, and two turbulence regions near the upper and the lower tips of the CS. The topological characteristics of the MFR depend sensitively on the observer's viewing angle: it presents as a sigmoid structure, an outwardly expanding MFR with helical distortion, or a flare-CS-coronal mass ejection symbiosis as in 2D flux-rope models when observed from the top, the front, or the side. The movie associated to Fig. 2 is available at http://www.aanda.org

  12. Magnetic reconnection, merging, and viscous interaction in the magnetosphere

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Heikkila, W. J.

    1990-01-01

    This paper discusses the historical development of the reconnection theory, with consideration given to the effects of a magnetic field within the plasma and the mechanisms of magnetic reconnection, merging, and viscouslike interaction. Particular attention is given to Dungey's (1958, 1961) steady-state reconnection model of the magnetosphere and to its criticism. Observational evidence supporting the reconnection model is presented.

  13. 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.

  14. 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.

  15. 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.

  16. 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.

  17. 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.

  18. 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

  19. Magnetic Reconnection Models of Prominence Formation

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2005-12-01

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

  20. 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.

  1. 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.

  2. 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.

  3. Turbulent magnetic fluctuations in laboratory reconnection

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2016-07-01

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

  4. Nonthermal Particle Acceleration in Magnetic Reconnection

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Guo, Fan; Li, Hui; Zhang, Haocheng; Daughton, William; Liu, Yi-Hsin; Lloyd-Ronning, Nicole

    2017-08-01

    Magnetic reconnection is a leading mechanism for dissipating magnetic energy and accelerating nonthermal particles in Poynting-flux-dominated flows. In this study, we investigate nonthermal particle acceleration during magnetic reconnection in a magnetically dominated plasma using fully kinetic simulations. We have studied the magnetically dominated regime by varying σe = 103-105 and mass ratios. The results demonstrate that reconnection quickly establishes power-law energy distributions for both electrons and ions within several (2-3) light-crossing times. For the cases with periodic boundary conditions, the power-law index is 1 < p < 2 for both electrons and ions. We study particle acceleration in magnetic reconnection via large-scale 3D kinetic simulations to examine several effects that may be important, including pre-existing fluctuations, kink and secondary tearing instabilities, and open boundary conditions. The results show that particle acceleration in reconnection layers is surprisingly robust despite the development of 3D turbulence and instabilities. The main acceleration mechanism is a Fermi-like acceleration through the drift motions of charged particles. We discuss the implication of this study in the context of Poynting-flux dominated jets and pulsar winds, especially the applications for explaining nonthermal high-energy emissions.

  5. 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.

  6. 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.

  7. 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

  8. 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.

  9. 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.

  10. Asymmetric Magnetic Reconnection in the Solar Atmosphere

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2013-12-01

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

  11. Asymmetric Magnetic Reconnection in the Solar Atmosphere

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2013-12-01

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

  12. Recurrent Magnetic Reconnection in Protostellar Magnetospheres

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hayashi, Mitsuru; Shibata, K.; Matsumoto, R.

    The solar X-ray satellite Yohkoh, has found extensive evidence for magnetic reconnection in the solar corona. Here we extend the magnetic reconnection model of solar flares to hard X-ray flares observed in star forming regions. A new ingredient is a protostellar disk which can inject helicity into the magnetosphere if the disk is threaded by the dipole magnetic field of the protostar. We carried out 2.5-dimensional magnetohydrodynamical (MHD) simulations of the disk-star interaction. The closed magnetic loops connecting the central star and the disk are twisted by the rotation of the disk. In the presence of resistivity, magnetic reconnection takes place in the current sheet formed inside the expanding loops. A hot, outgoing plasmoid and hot post flare loops are formed as a result of the reconnection. Numerical results are consistent with the observed plasma temperature (107 - 108K), the length of the flaring loop (1011 - 1012cm), and the velocity of optical jets (200 - 400km/s). We use high-resolution numerical simulations to show that multiple magnetic islands are created in the current sheet due to the growth of the tearing mode instability. The magnetic islands are ejected quasi-periodically. Intermittent flaring activity continues as long as the disk matter twists the dipole magnetic field

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2015-12-01

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

  14. Magnetic reconnection in the near Venusian magnetotail.

    PubMed

    Zhang, T L; Lu, Q M; Baumjohann, W; Russell, C T; Fedorov, A; Barabash, S; Coates, A J; Du, A M; Cao, J B; Nakamura, R; Teh, W L; Wang, R S; Dou, X K; Wang, S; Glassmeier, K H; Auster, H U; Balikhin, M

    2012-05-04

    Observations with the Venus Express magnetometer and low-energy particle detector revealed magnetic field and plasma behavior in the near-Venus wake that is symptomatic of magnetic reconnection, a process that occurs in Earth's magnetotail but is not expected in the magnetotail of a nonmagnetized planet such as Venus. On 15 May 2006, the plasma flow in this region was toward the planet, and the magnetic field component transverse to the flow was reversed. Magnetic reconnection is a plasma process that changes the topology of the magnetic field and results in energy exchange between the magnetic field and the plasma. Thus, the energetics of the Venus magnetotail resembles that of the terrestrial tail, where energy is stored and later released from the magnetic field to the plasma.

  15. 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.

  16. OBSERVATIONS OF A SMALL INTERPLANETARY MAGNETIC FLUX ROPE ASSOCIATED WITH A MAGNETIC RECONNECTION EXHAUST

    SciTech Connect

    Feng, H. Q.; Wu, D. J.

    2009-11-10

    A small interplanetary magnetic flux rope prior to an X-line magnetic reconnection exhaust was observed on 1998 March 25 at 1 AU. The X-line magnetic reconnection exhaust has been identified and reported by Gosling et al. The duration of this small magnetic flux rope is about 2 hr. We fitted the constant alpha force-free model to the observed magnetic fields. The model fitting results show that the spacecraft crosses the magnetic flux rope well away from the axis, with d {sub 0}/R {sub 0} being 0.76. The fitting results also show that its magnetic configuration is a right-handed helical flux rope, that the estimated field intensity at the axis is 16.3 nT, and that its diameter is 0.0190 AU. In addition, the axial direction of this rope is (theta = 6 deg., phi = 214 deg.), namely, this magnetic flux rope is lying nearly in the ecliptic plane. According to the geometric relation of the small flux rope and the reconnection exhaust, it is very possible that the small magnetic flux rope has a larger scale initially and comes from the corona; its magnetic fields are peeled off when moving from the Sun to the Earth and at last it reaches a small scale. Though magnetic reconnection can produce a flux-rope topology, in this case the X-line magnetic reconnection is destroying rather than generating the small magnetic flux rope.

  17. Magnetic Reconnection Onset and Energy Release at Current Sheets

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    DeVore, C. R.; Antiochos, Spiro K.

    2015-04-01

    Reconnection and energy release at current sheets are important at the Sun (coronal heating, coronal mass ejections, flares, and jets) and at the Earth (magnetopause flux transfer events and magnetotail substorms) and other magnetized planets, and occur also at the interface between the Heliosphere and the interstellar medium, the heliopause. The consequences range from relatively quiescent heating of the ambient plasma to highly explosive releases of energy and accelerated particles. We use the Adaptively Refined Magnetohydrodynamics Solver (ARMS) model to investigate the self-consistent formation and reconnection of current sheets in an initially potential 2D magnetic field containing a magnetic null point. Unequal stresses applied to the four quadrants bounded by the X-line separatrix distort the potential null into a double-Y-type current sheet. We find that this distortion eventually leads to onset of fast magnetic reconnection across the sheet, with copious production, merging, and ejection of magnetic islands due to plasmoid instability. In the absence of a mechanism for ideal instability or loss of equilibrium of the global structure, however, this reconnection leads to minimal energy release. Essentially, the current sheet oscillates about its force-free equilibrium configuration. When the structure is susceptible to a large-scale rearrangement of the magnetic field, on the other hand, the energy release becomes explosive. We identify the conditions required for reconnection to transform rapidly a large fraction of the magnetic free energy into kinetic and other forms of plasma energy, and to restructure the current sheet and its surrounding magnetic field dramatically. We discuss the implications of our results for understanding heliophysical activity, particularly eruptions, flares, and jets in the corona.Our research was supported by NASA’s Heliophysics Supporting Research and Living With a Star Targeted Research and Technology programs.

  18. 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.

  19. Magnetic Reconnection: Theoretical and Observational Perspectives: Preface

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

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

    2011-01-01

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

  20. Magnetic Reconnection: Theoretical and Observational Perspectives: Preface

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

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

    2011-01-01

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

  1. 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.

  2. 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)).

  3. 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.

  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. 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.

  6. 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.

  7. Quantized Chiral Magnetic Current from Reconnections of Magnetic Flux

    SciTech Connect

    Hirono, Yuji; Kharzeev, Dmitri E.; Yin, Yi

    2016-10-20

    We introduce a new mechanism for the chiral magnetic e ect that does not require an initial chirality imbalance. The chiral magnetic current is generated by reconnections of magnetic ux that change the magnetic helicity of the system. The resulting current is entirely determined by the change of magnetic helicity, and it is quantized.

  8. Magnetic reconnection in the turbulent magnetosheath

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Yordanova, Emiliya; Vörös, Zoltan

    2017-04-01

    Magnetosheath downstream a quasi-parallel bow shock is one of the most turbulent regions in the near Earth' space. It has complex topology and it is characterized by strong fluctuations in all field and plasma parameters. The turbulence gives rise to coherent structures (vortices, flux tubes, current sheets) from MHD to kinetic (proton and electron) scales. In some parts of the region the physical processes are plasma flow dominated while in others magnetic field dominated. This dynamical behavior leads to continuous interaction between the structures providing means for turbulence to dissipate energy by processes such as magnetic reconnection. We present spacecraft observations of kinetic-scales current sheets in the magnetosheath, formed by the interaction of magnetic structures. We observe signature of magnetic reconnection, such as ion demagnetization, electron heating, electron jets and pressure anisotropy.

  9. Magnetic reconnection as a chondrule heating mechanism

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lazerson, Samuel A.

    2010-12-01

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

  10. 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.

  11. Magnetic Reconnection in Extreme Astrophysical Environments

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Uzdensky, Dmitri A.

    2011-10-01

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

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

    SciTech Connect

    Russell Kulsrud; Hantao Ji; Will Fox; Masaaki Yamada

    2005-06-07

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

  13. Magnetic reconnection process in accretion disk systems

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Piovezan, P.; de Gouveia Dal Pino, E. M.

    2009-08-01

    At the present study, we investigate the role of magnetic reconnection in three different astrophysical systems, namely young stellar objects (YSO's), microquasars, and active galactic nuclei (AGN's). In the case of microquasars and AGN's, violent reconnection episodes between the magnetic field lines of the inner disk region (which are established by a turbulent dynamo) and those anchored into the black hole are able to heat the coronal/disk gas and accelerate particles to relativistic velocities through a diffusive first-order Fermi-like process within the reconnection site that will produce relativistic blobs. The heating of the coronal/disk gas is able to produce a steep X-ray spectrum with a luminosity that is consistent with the observations and we argue that it is being produced mainly at the foot of the reconnection zone, while the Fermi-like acceleration process within the reconnection site results a power-law electron distribution with N(E) ∝ E-α, with α=5/2, and a corresponding synchrotron radio power-law spectrum with a spectral index that is compatible with that observed during the radio flares in microquasars (Sν ∝ ν-0.75). The scaling laws that we derive for AGN's indicate that the same mechanism may be occurring there. Finally, in the case of the YSO's, a similar magnetic configuration can be reached. The amount of magnetic energy that can be extracted from the inner disk region can heat the coronal gas to temperatures of the order of 10^8 K and could explain the observed X-ray flaring emission.

  14. Turbulent reconnection of magnetic bipoles in stratified turbulence

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2016-07-01

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

  15. Magnetic reconnection process in transient coaxial helicity injection

    SciTech Connect

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

    2013-09-15

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2015-10-01

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

  17. 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.

  18. 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

  19. 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.

  20. Magnetic Reconnection in Different Environments: Similarities and Differences

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

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

    2014-01-01

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

  1. Model of magnetic reconnection in space and astrophysical plasmas

    SciTech Connect

    Boozer, Allen H.

    2013-03-15

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

  2. 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.

  3. 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.

  4. Laboratory experiments on magnetic reconnection and current systems

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Stenzel, R. L.; Urrutia, J. M.; Gekelman, W.; Pfister, H.

    After a brief review of laboratory experiments involving magnetic reconnection a series of basic physics experiments on reconnection phenomena is described. These include magnetic annihilation, transport of magnetic energy by waves, stable and unstable current sheets, energy conversion mechanisms, and the role of global current systems vs. local reconnection processes. Current systems driven by electric fields resulting in particle flows are examined. Also, the role of a magnetic field component B(y) along the separator has been investigated.

  5. 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.

  6. Magnetic reconnection between a solar filament and nearby coronal loops

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Li, Leping; Zhang, Jun; Peter, Hardi; Priest, Eric; Chen, Huadong; Guo, Lijia; Chen, Feng; Mackay, Duncan

    2016-09-01

    Magnetic reconnection is difficult to observe directly but coronal structures on the Sun often betray the magnetic field geometry and its evolution. Here we report the observation of magnetic reconnection between an erupting filament and its nearby coronal loops, resulting in changes in the filament connection. X-type structures form when the erupting filament encounters the loops. The filament becomes straight, and bright current sheets form at the interfaces. Plasmoids appear in these current sheets and propagate bi-directionally. The filament disconnects from the current sheets, which gradually disperse and disappear, then reconnects to the loops. This evolution suggests successive magnetic reconnection events predicted by theory but rarely detected with such clarity in observations. Our results confirm the three-dimensional magnetic reconnection theory and have implications for the evolution of dissipation regions and the release of magnetic energy for reconnection in many magnetized plasma systems.

  7. 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}.

  8. Magnetic Reconnection During Major Magnetospheric Storms

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hubert, B. A.; Milan, S. E.; Cowley, S. W. H.

    2014-12-01

    We combine imaging of the proton aurora from the SI12-IMAGE instrument with ionospheric convection measurement from the SuperDARN radar network to analyze the cycle of magnetic flux opening and closure of the Earth magnetosphere. Interaction between the solar wind and the Earth geomagnetic environment causes a reconfiguration of the magnetic field that connects the interplanetary magnetic field (IMF) to the geomagnetic field. This reconnection process produces open magnetic field lines (i.e. field lines of the magnetosphere that close through the interplanetary medium) that are dragged to the magnetotail by the solar wind flow, where they eventually reconnect again, back to a closed topology. The SI12 imaging of the Doppler-shifted Lyman-α emission of the proton aurora is used to estimate the location of the boundary separating open and closed field lines at ionospheric altitude. We then estimate the open magnetic flux of the Earth magnetosphere, encircled by this boundary. The rate of reconnection causing a variation of the open magnetic flux can be expressed as a voltage in application of Faraday's law. This voltage is measured along the open/closed field line boundary determined from the imaging data. The electric field associated with the voltage has two origins: motion of the boundary and the ionospheric field. We use the ionospheric electric field deduced from ionospheric convection measurement from the SuperDARN to estimate the reconnection voltage at the magnetopause (flux opening) and in the magnetotail (flux closure) accounting for the motion of the open/closed field line boundary determined from the SI12 images. The method is applied during several (strong) geomagnetic storms. These intervals are characterized by large values of open flux and reconnection rates, as a result of coupling between the solar wind and the geomagnetic environment. We present these results in terms of a magnetospheric mode that develops under strong coupling with the solar wind

  9. 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} .

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

    DOE PAGES

    Guo, Fan; Liu, Yi -Hsin; Daughton, William; ...

    2015-06-17

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2015-06-01

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

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

    SciTech Connect

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

    2015-06-17

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

  13. 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

  14. Observational Aspects of Magnetic Reconnection at the Earth's Magnetosphere

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Souza, Vitor M.; Koga, Daiki; Gonzalez, Walter D.; Cardoso, Flavia R.

    2017-08-01

    Magnetic field reconnection has shown to be the dominant process in the solar wind-Earth's magnetosphere interaction. It enables mass, momentum, and energy exchange between different plasma regimes, and it is regarded as an efficient plasma acceleration and heating mechanism. Reconnection has been observed to occur in laboratory plasmas, at planetary magnetospheres in our Solar System, and the Sun. In this work, we focus on analyzing the characteristics of magnetic reconnection at the Earth's magnetosphere according to spaceborne observations in the vicinity of our planet. Firstly, the locations where magnetic field reconnection are expected to occur within the vast magnetospheric region are addressed, and is shown how they are influenced by changes in the interplanetary magnetic field direction. The main magnetic field and plasma signatures of magnetic reconnection are discussed from both theoretical and observational points of view. Spacecraft observations of ion inertial length scale reconnection are also presented.

  15. 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.

  16. Properties of Magnetic Reconnection as a function of magnetic shear

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Liu, Y.; Daughton, W. S.; Karimabadi, H.; Li, H.; Gary, S. P.; Guo, F.

    2013-12-01

    Observations of reconnection events at the Earth's magnetopause and in the solar wind show that reconnection occurs for a large range in magnetic shear angles extending to the very low shear limit 1. Here we report a fully kinetic study of the influence of the magnetic shear on details of reconnection such as its structure and rate. In previous work, we found that the electron diffusion region bifurcates into two or more distinct layers in regimes with weak magnetic shear2, a new feature that may be observable by NASA's up-coming Magnetospheric Multiscale mission. In this work, we have systematically extended the study to lower shear cases and found a new regime, where the reconnection electric field becomes much smaller and the properties of the reconnection changes significantly. We will discuss the role of various physics mechanisms in determining the observed scaling of the reconnection rate, including the dispersive properties of the waves in the system, the dissipation mechanisms and the tearing instability. 1 J. T. Goslings and T. D. Phan. APJL 763, L39, 2013 2 Yi-Hsin Liu et al. Phys. Rev. Lett. 110 , 265004, 2013

  17. Fluctuation dynamo based on magnetic reconnections

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Baggaley, A. W.; Shukurov, A.; Barenghi, C. F.; Subramanian, K.

    2010-01-01

    We develop a new model of the fluctuation dynamo in which the magnetic field is confined to thin flux ropes advected by a multi-scale flow which models turbulence. Magnetic dissipation occurs only via reconnections of flux ropes. The model is particularly suitable for rarefied plasma, such as the solar corona or galactic halos. We investigate the kinetic energy release into heat, mediated by dynamo action, both in our model and by solving the induction equation with the same flow. We find that the flux rope dynamo is more than an order of magnitude more efficient at converting mechanical energy into heat. The probability density of the magnetic energy released during reconnections has a power-law form with the slope -3, consistent with the solar corona heating by nanoflares. We also present a nonlinear extension of the model. This shows that a plausible saturation mechanism of the fluctuation dynamo is the suppression of turbulent magnetic diffusivity, due to suppression of random stretching at the location of the flux ropes. We confirm that the probability distribution function of the magnetic line curvature has a power-law form suggested by \\citet{Sheck:2002b}. We argue, however, using our results that this does not imply a persistent folded structure of magnetic field, at least in the nonlinear stage.

  18. Effect of magnetic reconnection in stellar plasma

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hammoud, M.; El Eid, M.; Darwish, M.

    2017-06-01

    An important phenomenon in Astrophysics is the process of magnetic reconnection (MGR), which is envisaged to understand the solar flares, coronal mass ejection, interaction of the solar wind with the Earth’s magnetic field (so called geomagnetic storm) and other phenomena. In addition, it plays a role in the formation of stars. MGR involves topological change of a set of magnetic field lines leading to a new equilibrium configuration of lower magnetic energy. The MGR is basically described in the framework of the Maxwell’s equations linked to Navier-Stockes equations. Nevertheless, many details are still not understood. In this paper, we investigate the MGR process in the framework of the Magnetohydrodynamic (MHD) model of a single conducting fluid using a modern powerful computational tool (OpenFOAM). We will show that the MGR process takes place only if resistivity exists. However, despite the high conductivity of the plasma, resistivity becomes effective in a very thin layer generating sharp gradients of the magnetic field, and thus accelerating the reconnection process. The net effect of MGR is that magnetic energy is converted into thermal and kinetic energies leading to heating and acceleration of charged particles. The Sun’s coronal ejection is an example of the MGR process.

  19. Reconnection rates of magnetic fields including the effects of viscosity

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    1984-01-01

    An accurate quantitative study of reconnection in Tokamak geometry using the magnetohydrodynamic model with scalar resistivity and viscosity is presented. Sweet-Parker and Petschek scalings of the magnetic connection rate, modified to include viscosity effects, are compared with numerical simulation results for three cases: a forced reconnection driven by external coils, the nonlinear m = 1 resistive internal link, and the nonlinear m = 2 tearing mode. With sufficiently large viscosity, the numerical reconnection rate for the first two cases agrees well with the modified Sweet-Parker scalings. With negligible viscosity, a steady state is not reached and the current sheet 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 scalings is obtained. For the third case where the instability is purely resistive, the reconnection occurs on the slower dissipation time scale. The scalings are also compared with experimental data of the nonlinear m = 1 resistive internal link in Tokamak charges, giving reasonable agreement.

  20. Magnetic reconnection driven by current repulsion

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

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

    1990-01-01

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

  1. On Magnetic Reconnection in a Turbulent MagnetoFluid

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Diamond, P. H.; Kim, E.-J.

    2000-10-01

    Recently, there has been renewed interest in the problem of magnetic reconnection in a turbulent magnetofluid^1. Most models of such a process (see (1), for example), tacitly assume that the turbulence can be given or specified ab-initio, and that reconnection will proceed in the presence of this turbulence without significantly modifying it. Here, we examine the simple Sweet-Parker problem in the presence of turbulent hydrodynamic forcing, but with magnetic fluctuations computed self-consistently via the conservation of mean-square potential (2D) or magnetic helicity (3D). This conservation law introduces important modifications to the conventionally invoked "turbulent resistivity" and "electron viscosity" (aka hyper-resistivity). In 2D, results indicate that Sweet-Parker scaling of the reconnection speed is modified only by a factor of the turbulent Alfvenic Mach number, but that the resistivity scaling remains unchanged. Work on 3D is ongoing and will be discussed. ^1 A. Lazarian and E. Vishniac, ApJ 517, 700 (1999).

  2. 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.

  3. 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.

  4. 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.

  5. 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.

  6. On the Location of Magnetic Reconnection at the Dayside Magnetopause

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Komar, C. M.; Cassak, P.; Fermo, R. L.

    2013-12-01

    Predicting where magnetic reconnection occurs at Earth's dayside magnetopause has been the subject of studies for nearly 50 years and remains an unsolved problem. The location of dayside magnetic reconnection was originally discussed in terms of anti-parallel vs. component (guide field) reconnection, but it is now known that these descriptions are too basic to fully describe the observations. Recent models suggest that reconnection orients itself such that the local properties maximize some measure of asymmetric reconnection efficiency [Swisdak and Drake, 2007; Borovsky, 2013; Hesse, et al., 2013]. Alternatively, Trattner, et al., [2007] proposed the Maximum Magnetic Shear model, in which reconnection occurs along the curve where the shear angle between the magnetospheric and magnetosheath magnetic fields is a maximum. Each of these models is independent of the reconnection dissipation mechanism, so they should hold for any self-consistent magnetospheric model. We use global magnetospheric resistive magnetohydrodynamic simulations to identify the locus of possible magnetic reconnection sites by finding the magnetic separator where different magnetic topologies meet at the dayside magnetopause. Employing image processing techniques, we compare the separator locations with the predictions of these models to determine which, if any, accurately predict the location of reconnection.

  7. On two-dimensional magnetic reconnection with nonuniform resistivity

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Malyshkin, Leonid M.; Kulsrud, Russell M.

    2010-12-01

    In this paper, two theoretical approaches for the calculation of the rate of quasi-stationary, two-dimensional magnetic reconnection with nonuniform anomalous resistivity are considered in the framework of incompressible magnetohydrodynamics (MHD). In the first, 'global' equations approach, the MHD equations are approximately solved for a whole reconnection layer, including the upstream and downstream regions and the layer center. In the second, 'local' equations approach, the equations are solved across the reconnection layer, including only the upstream region and the layer center. Both approaches give the same approximate answer for the reconnection rate. Our theoretical model is in agreement with the results of recent simulations of reconnection with spatially nonuniform resistivity.

  8. RELATIVISTIC TWO-FLUID SIMULATIONS OF GUIDE FIELD MAGNETIC RECONNECTION

    SciTech Connect

    Zenitani, Seiji; Hesse, Michael; Klimas, Alex

    2009-11-01

    The nonlinear evolution of relativistic magnetic reconnection in sheared magnetic configuration (with a guide field) is investigated by using two-dimensional relativistic two-fluid simulations. Relativistic guide field reconnection features the charge separation and the guide field compression in and around the outflow channel. As the guide field increases, the composition of the outgoing energy changes from enthalpy-dominated to Poynting-dominated. The inertial effects of the two-fluid model play an important role to sustain magnetic reconnection. Implications for the single-fluid magnetohydrodynamic approach and the physics models of relativistic reconnection are briefly addressed.

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

    SciTech Connect

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

    2005-10-01

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

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

    SciTech Connect

    Hsu, S.C.

    2000-01-28

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

  11. Three-dimensional magnetic reconnection in Earth's magnetosphere

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Dorelli, John

    2007-11-01

    Magnetic reconnection is thought to be the primary mode by which the solar wind couples to the terrestrial magnetosphere, driving phenomena such as magnetic storms and aurorae. While the theory of two-dimensional reconnection is well developed, and has been applied with great success to axisymmetric and toroidal systems such as laboratory plasma experiments and fusion devices, it is difficult to justify the application of two-dimensional theory to nontoroidal plasma systems such as Earth's magnetosphere. Unfortunately, the theory of three-dimensional magnetic reconnection is much less well developed, and even defining magnetic reconnection has turned out to be problematic. In this talk, we review recent progress in the use of MHD to address the physics of three-dimensional reconnection in Earth's magnetosphere. The talk consists of two parts. In the first part, we review the various definitions of three-dimensional reconnection which have appeared in the literature in the last twenty years. Our goal here is to map these definitions to sets of physical phenomena which have been identified as ``reconnection'' in various three-dimensional contexts. In the second part of the talk, we present our latest magnetosphere MHD simulation results and indentify two qualitatively distinct types of reconnection phenomena (organized by the orientation of the Interplanetary Magnetic Field): 1) steady separator reconnection under generic northward IMF conditions, involving plasma flow across magnetic separatrix boundaries, and 2) time-dependent reconnection under generic southward IMF conditions, involving a global change in the topology of the magnetic field. While neither of these types of reconnection is well described by two-dimensional theory (indeed, we argue that attempts to apply two-dimensional ideas to the magnetopause have resulted in more confusion than clarification), both can be easily categorized according to existing definitions of three-dimensional reconnection.

  12. 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.

  13. Three-dimensional lattice Boltzmann model for magnetic reconnection

    SciTech Connect

    Mendoza, M.; Munoz, J. D.

    2008-02-15

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2016-04-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-04-01

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

  16. Test particle acceleration in turbulent reconnecting magnetic fields

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Ambrosiano, John; Matthaeus, William H.; Goldstein, Melvyn L.; Plante, Daniel

    1988-01-01

    The effect of turbulence on particle acceleration in a MHD field was investigated by computing test particle trajectories in turbulent MHD reconnecting fields, including reconnection simulations at different magnetic Reynolds numbers. The dynamics of individual particles were investigated making it possible to examine the acceleration mechanism in great detail. It was found that turbulence influences the acceleration in two ways. It enhances the reconnection electric field while producing a stochastic electric field that gives rise to momentum diffusion; and it produces magnetic 'bubbles' and other irregularities that can temporarily trap test particles in the strong reconnection electric field for times comparable to the magnetofluid characteristic time.

  17. Test particle acceleration in turbulent reconnecting magnetic fields

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Ambrosiano, John; Matthaeus, William H.; Goldstein, Melvyn L.; Plante, Daniel

    1988-01-01

    The effect of turbulence on particle acceleration in a MHD field was investigated by computing test particle trajectories in turbulent MHD reconnecting fields, including reconnection simulations at different magnetic Reynolds numbers. The dynamics of individual particles were investigated making it possible to examine the acceleration mechanism in great detail. It was found that turbulence influences the acceleration in two ways. It enhances the reconnection electric field while producing a stochastic electric field that gives rise to momentum diffusion; and it produces magnetic 'bubbles' and other irregularities that can temporarily trap test particles in the strong reconnection electric field for times comparable to the magnetofluid characteristic time.

  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. Reconnection of vorticity lines and magnetic lines

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Greene, John M.

    1993-01-01

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

  20. Initial results from investigation of three-dimensional magnetic reconnection in a laboratory plasma

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Yamada, M.; Perkins, F. W.; MacAulay, A. K.; Ono, Y.; Katsurai, M.

    1991-08-01

    A comprehensive laboratory experiment has been proposed to investigate the fundamental 3-D physics of magnetic reconnection regions and their associated hydromagnetic flows. Two toroidal plasma rings, with equal or opposite magnetic helicity, are formed and then brought together, contacting along a toroidally symmetric line. This research addresses three important questions: (1) How does magnetic helicity affect reconnection? (2) Will three-dimensional processes arise spontaneously and modify the usual Sweet-Parker or Petschek picture of two-dimensional reconnection where the global configuration is that of an axisymmetric X-point line? (3) How does the reconnection rate respond to global forcing? In a preliminary experiment carried out at the University of Tokyo [Phys. Rev. Lett. 65, 721 (1990)], the direction of the toroidal field plays an important role in the merging process. It is found that plasmas of opposite helicity merge appreciably faster than those of similar helicity. It is also found that the reconnection rate is proportional to the external force suggesting that magnetic reconnection, in the present experiment, is a forced phenomenon. A comparison of the present experimental data with 2-D computer simulation results is made.

  1. Statistical Properties of Magnetic Reconnection in MHD turbulence

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Servidio, Sergio; Matthaeus, William; Cassak, Paul; Shay, Michael; Dmitruk, Pablo

    2009-11-01

    Magnetic reconnection is an integral part of MHD turbulence[1] in that the fragmentation of magnetic eddies into smaller structures necessarily involves change of magnetic topology. To better understand this relationship, recently the properties of thousands of magnetic reconnection events in moderate Reynolds number MHD turbulence have been studied [1] using 2D spectral method simulations of compressible and incompressible MHD. Reconnection between magnetic islands, different in size and energy, occurs locally and sporadically in time. The associated reconnection rates are distributed over a wide range of values and scale with the geometry of the diffusion region. Matching classical turbulence analysis with the Sweet-Parker theory, the main statistical features of these multi-scale reconnection events are identified. Magnetic reconnection in turbulence can be described through an asymmetric Sweet-Parker model, in which the parameters that control the reconnection rates are determined by turbulence itself. This new and general perspective on reconnection is relevant in space and astrophysical systems, where plasma is generally in a fully nonlinear regime. [1] W. Matthaeus and S. Lamkin, Phys. Fluids, 29, 2513 (1986). [2] S. Servidio et al, PRL, 102, 115003 (2009).

  2. MAVEN Observations of Magnetic Reconnection on the Dayside Martian Magnetosphere

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    DiBraccio, Gina A.; Espley, Jared R.; Connerney, John E. P.; Brain, David A.; Halekas, Jasper S.; Mitchell, David L.; Harada, Yuki; Hara, Takuya

    2015-04-01

    The Mars Atmosphere and Volatile EvolutioN (MAVEN) mission offers a unique opportunity to investigate the complex solar wind-planetary interaction at Mars. The Martian magnetosphere is formed as the interplanetary magnetic field (IMF) drapes around the planet's ionosphere and localized crustal magnetic fields. As the solar wind interacts with this induced magnetosphere, magnetic reconnection can occur at any location where a magnetic shear is present. Reconnection between the IMF and the induced and crustal fields facilitates a direct plasma exchange between the solar wind and the Martian ionosphere. Here we address the occurrence of magnetic reconnection on the dayside magnetosphere of Mars using MAVEN magnetic field and plasma data. When reconnection occurs on the dayside, a non-zero magnetic field component normal to the obstacle, B_N, will result. Using minimum variance analysis, we measure BN by transforming Magnetometer data into boundary-normal coordinates. Selected events are then further examined to identify plasma heating and energization, in the form of Alfvénic outflow jets, using Solar Wind Ion Analyzer measurements. Additionally, the topology of the crustal fields is validated from electron pitch angle distributions provided by the Solar Wind Electron Analyzer. To understand which parameters are responsible for the onset of reconnection, we test the dependency of the dimensionless reconnection rate, calculated from BN measurements, on magnetic field shear angle and plasma beta (the ratio of plasma pressure to magnetic pressure). We assess the global impact of reconnection on Mars' induced magnetosphere by combining analytical models with MAVEN observations to predict the regions where reconnection may occur. Using this approach we examine how IMF orientation and magnetosheath parameters affect reconnection on a global scale. With the aid of analytical models we are able to assess the role of reconnection on a global scale to better understand which

  3. 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.

  4. 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.

  5. 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.

  6. 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.

  7. 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

  8. 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.

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-06-16

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2016-01-01

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

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

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

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

    1984-01-01

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

  12. SCALING LAW OF RELATIVISTIC SWEET-PARKER-TYPE MAGNETIC RECONNECTION

    SciTech Connect

    Takahashi, Hiroyuki R.; Kudoh, Takahiro; Masada, Youhei; Matsumoto, Jin

    2011-10-01

    Relativistic Sweet-Parker-type magnetic reconnection is investigated by relativistic resistive magnetohydrodynamic (RRMHD) simulations. As an initial setting, we assume anti-parallel magnetic fields and a spatially uniform resistivity. A perturbation imposed on the magnetic fields triggers magnetic reconnection around a current sheet, and the plasma inflows into the reconnection region. The inflows are then heated due to ohmic dissipation in the diffusion region and finally become relativistically hot outflows. The outflows are not accelerated to ultrarelativistic speeds (i.e., Lorentz factor {approx_equal} 1), even when the magnetic energy dominates the thermal and rest mass energies in the inflow region. Most of the magnetic energy in the inflow region is converted into the thermal energy of the outflow during the reconnection process. The energy conversion from magnetic to thermal energy in the diffusion region results in an increase in the plasma inertia. This prevents the outflows from being accelerated to ultrarelativistic speeds. We find that the reconnection rate R obeys the scaling relation R{approx_equal}S{sup -0.5}, where S is the Lundquist number. This feature is the same as that of non-relativistic reconnection. Our results are consistent with the theoretical predictions of Lyubarsky for Sweet-Parker-type magnetic reconnection.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2014-12-01

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

  14. 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.

  15. Identifying magnetic reconnection events using the FOTE method

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Fu, H. S.; Cao, J. B.; Vaivads, A.; Khotyaintsev, Y. V.; Andre, M.; Dunlop, M.; Liu, W. L.; Lu, H. Y.; Huang, S. Y.; Ma, Y. D.; Eriksson, E.

    2016-02-01

    A magnetic reconnection event detected by Cluster is analyzed using three methods: Single-spacecraft Inference based on Flow-reversal Sequence (SIFS), Multispacecraft Inference based on Timing a Structure (MITS), and the First-Order Taylor Expansion (FOTE). Using the SIFS method, we find that the reconnection structure is an X line; while using the MITS and FOTE methods, we find it is a magnetic island (O line). We compare the efficiency and accuracy of these three methods and find that the most efficient and accurate approach to identify a reconnection event is FOTE. In both the guide and nonguide field reconnection regimes, the FOTE method is equally applicable. This study for the first time demonstrates the capability of FOTE in identifying magnetic reconnection events; it would be useful to the forthcoming Magnetospheric Multiscale (MMS) mission.

  16. Enhanced magnetic reconnection in the presence of pressure gradients

    SciTech Connect

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

    2015-06-15

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

  17. BIDIRECTIONAL OUTFLOWS AS EVIDENCE OF MAGNETIC RECONNECTION LEADING TO A SOLAR MICROFLARE

    SciTech Connect

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

    2016-03-20

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

  18. Electron-scale measurements of magnetic reconnection in space

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2016-06-01

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

  19. 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.

  20. Electron-Scale Measurements of Magnetic Reconnection in Space

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Burch, J. L.; Torbert, R. B.; Phan, T. D.; Chen, L.-J.; Moore, T. E.; Ergun, R. E.; Eastwood, J. P.; Gershman, D. J.; Cassak, P. A.; Argall, M. R.; hide

    2016-01-01

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

  1. Electron-Scale Measurements of Magnetic Reconnection in Space

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Burch, J. L.; Torbert, R. B.; Phan, T. D.; Chen, L.-J.; Moore, T. E.; Ergun, R. E.; Eastwood, J. P.; Gershman, D. J.; Cassak, P. A.; Argall, M. R.; Wang, S.; Hesse, M.; Pollock, C. J.; Jiles, B. L.; Nakamura, R.; Mauk, B. H.; Fuselier, S. A.; Russell, C. T.; Strangeway, R. J.; Drake, J. F.; Shay, M. A.; Khotyaintsev, Yu. V.; Lindqvist, P.-A.; Marklund, G.; Wilder, F. D.

    2016-01-01

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

  2. 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.

  3. 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.

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

    SciTech Connect

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

    2008-01-01

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

  5. 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

  6. 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.

  7. 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.

  8. 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.

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

    PubMed

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

    2009-05-01

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

  10. Ion Bernstein waves in a magnetic reconnection region

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Narita, Y.; Nakamura, R.; Baumjohann, W.; Glassmeier, K. H.; Motschmann, U.; Comisel, H.

    2015-12-01

    Four-dimensional energy spectra and a diagram for dispersion relations are determined for the first time in a magnetic reconnection region in the magnetotail using the four-point magnetometer data from the Cluster mission on a spatial scale of 200 km, about 0.1 ion inertial lengths. The energy spectra are anisotropic with an extension in the perpendicular direction and axially asymmetric with respect to the mean magnetic field. The dispersion diagram for the waves in the quasi-perpendicular directions in the plasma rest frame is in reasonably good agreement with the ion Bernstein waves particularly at the second harmonic of the proton gyro-frequency. Perpendicular-propagating ion Bernstein waves likely exist in an outflow region of magnetic reconnection. We discuss the causality of the Bernstein waves with magnetic reconnection with an estimate of the anomalous resistivity, and propose an observationally-driven model of turbulent magnetic reconnection.

  11. Core magnetic field enhancement in single X line, multiple X line and patchy reconnection

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Ma, Z. W.; Otto, A.; Lee, L. C.

    1994-01-01

    Magnetic flux transfer events often show a significant increase of the magnetic field strength at the center of the events. Similar magnetic field observations have been reported for structures in or near the plasma sheet of the magnetotail at about 20 R(sub E). We have carried out two-dimensional (2D) and three-dimensional (3D) and simulations of single X line reconnection (SXR), multiple X line reconnection (MXR), and patchy reconnection to determine and compare the amplification of the magnetic field in the center of the developing flux tubes. The various processes are achieved by appropriate choices of 2D or 3D resistivity models. The simulations show that the increase in magnetic field strength depends on both the property of the initial configuration and the particular reconnection geometry. For the chosen initial conditions the MXR process leads to a larger increase in the core magnetic field than the patchy reconnection and SXR caused by larger magnetic tensions in the MXR process. The 3D processes always lead to a larger amplification than the corresponding 2D processes. In the 3D cases, force imbalance in the y direction will accelerate plasma out of the flux tube. This process reduces the thermal pressure and leads to a further compression of the flux rope, which yields an additional increase in the interior magnetic field strength.

  12. Cross-scale Observational Signatures of Magnetic Reconnection

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Savage, S. L.; Malaspina, D.

    2014-12-01

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

  13. Cross-Scale Observational Signatures of Magnetic Reconnection

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Savage, Sabrina; Malaspina, David

    2014-01-01

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

  14. Scaling of asymmetric magnetic reconnection: General theory and collisional simulations

    SciTech Connect

    Cassak, P. A.; Shay, M. A.

    2007-10-15

    A Sweet-Parker-type scaling analysis for asymmetric antiparallel reconnection (in which the reconnecting magnetic field strengths and plasma densities are different on opposite sides of the dissipation region) is performed. Scaling laws for the reconnection rate, outflow speed, the density of the outflow, and the structure of the dissipation region are derived from first principles. These results are independent of the dissipation mechanism. It is shown that a generic feature of asymmetric reconnection is that the X-line and stagnation point are not colocated, leading to a bulk flow of plasma across the X-line. The scaling laws are verified using two-dimensional resistive magnetohydrodynamics numerical simulations for the special case of asymmetric magnetic fields with symmetric density. Observational signatures and applications to reconnection in the magnetosphere are discussed.

  15. 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.

  16. Efficiency of the FOTE method in identifying magnetic reconnection

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Fu, Huishan; Cao, Jinbin; Vaivads, Andris; Khotyaintsev, Yuri; Andre, Mats; Dunlop, Malcolm; Liu, Wenlong; Lu, Haoyu; Huang, Shiyong; Ma, Yuduan; Eriksson, Elin

    2016-04-01

    A magnetic reconnection event detected by Cluster is analyzed using three methods: Single-spacecraft Inference based on Flow-reversal Sequence (SIFS), Multi-spacecraft Inference based on Timing a Structure (MITS), and the First-Order Taylor Expansion (FOTE). Using the SIFS method, we find that the reconnection structure is an X-line; while using the MITS and FOTE methods, we find it is a magnetic island (O-line). We compare the efficiency and accuracy of these three methods, and find that the most efficient and accurate approach to identify a reconnection event is FOTE. Even in the guide-field reconnection, the FOTE method still works. This study for the first time demonstrates the capability of FOTE in identifying guide- and non-guide-field reconnection. It would be useful to the NASA MMS mission.

  17. 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.

  18. 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.

  19. Nonlinear evolution of the coronal magnetic field under reconnective relaxation

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Wolfson, R.; Vekstein, G. E.; Priest, E. R.

    1994-01-01

    Recently, Vekstein et al. (Vekstein, Priest, & Steele 1993) have developed a model for coronal heating in which the corona responds to photospheric footpoint motions by small-scale reconnection events that bring about a relaxed state while conserving magnetic helicity but not field-line connectivity. Vekstein et al. consider a partially open field configuration in which magnetic helicity is ejected to infinity on open field lines but retained in the closed-field region. Under this scheme, they describe the evolution of an initially potential field, in response to helicity injection, in the linear regime. The present work uses numerical calculations to extend the model of Vekstein et al. into the fully nonlinear regime. The results show a rise and bulging of the field lines of the closed-field region with increasing magnetic helicity, to a point where further solutions are impossible. We interpret these solution-sequence endpoints as indicating a possible loss of equilibrium, in the sense that a relaxed equilibrium state may no longer be available to the corona when sufficient helicity has been injected. The rise and bulging behavior is reminiscent of what is observed in a helmet streamer just before the start of a coronal mass ejection (CME), and so our model suggests that a catastrophic loss of magnetic equilibrium might be the initiation mechanism for CMEs. We also find that some choices of boundary conditions can result in qualitative changes in the magnetic topology, with the appearance of magnetic islands. Whether or not this behavior occurs depends on the relative strengths of the fields in the closed- and open-field regions; in particular, island formation is most likely when the open field (which is potential) is strong and thus acts to confine the force-free closed field. Finally, we show that the energy released through reconnective relaxation can be a substantial fraction of the magnetic energy injected into the corona through footpoint motions and may

  20. Investigations of Magnetic Reconnection at the Dayside Magnetopause

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Komar, C. M.; Cassak, P.; Dorelli, J.; Glocer, A.; Kuznetsova, M. M.; Chen, L. J.

    2016-12-01

    Magnetic reconnection at Earth's dayside magnetopause has traditionally been very difficult to analyze due the difficulty in locating where reconnection occurs for oblique IMF. However, new techniques make this possible by identifying magnetic separators, the curves that separate four regions of differing magnetic topology, and map the reconnection X-line. In this talk, we will discuss different methods for locating magnetic separators and apply them to 3-D resistive MHD simulations of the Earth's magnetosphere using the Block-Adaptive-Tree Solar-wind Roe-type Upwind Scheme code, although the methods described here are extensible to any global magnetospheric simulation model. Once the magnetic separators are found, one can calculate the electric field parallel to the separator and compare these results with a simple model of local two-dimensional asymmetric reconnection. To do so, plasma parameters that locally drive reconnection are measured in the magnetosheath and magnetosphere in planes perpendicular to the separator. We find that the predicted local reconnection rates scale well with the measured values in the simulations for oblique IMF with and without a dipole tilt. However, the absolute predictions differ by an undetermined constant of proportionality, whose magnitude increases as the IMF clock angle changes from southward to northward. Finally, we compare separators in global simulations with MMS observations and find that separators are consistent with observed reconnection signatures.

  1. An assessment of magnetic reconnection at Saturn's magnetopause

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Masters, A.; Jia, X.; Fujimoto, M.; Russell, C.; Hasegawa, H.; Hansen, K. C.; Dougherty, M. K.; Gombosi, T. I.

    2013-12-01

    Magnetic reconnection is an important process that occurs at the magnetopause boundary of Earth's magnetosphere because it leads to transport of solar wind energy into the system, driving magnetospheric dynamics. However, the nature of magnetopause reconnection in the case of Saturn's magnetosphere is unclear, and has been the subject of debate. Here we use a global magnetohydrodynamic simulation of Saturn's magnetosphere as a basis for assessing when and where reconnection is likely to occur on the Saturnian magnetopause. We extract conditions adjacent to the modeled magnetopause boundary, compare to Cassini spacecraft observations, and apply current understanding of the conditions required for reconnection onset. We discuss the influence of bulk flow shears and local plasma β conditions on magnetopause reconnection, including their anticipated effect on the reconnection rate. Both these factors are expected to have a negative influence on the reconnection process at Saturn's magnetopause, compared to reconnection at Earth's magnetopause. Our results imply that the nature of solar wind-magnetosphere coupling via reconnection can vary between planets, and we should not assume that the nature of this coupling is always Earth-like.

  2. Cold ions at the dayside magnetopause: implications for magnetic reconnection

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Toledo-Redondo, Sergio; Andre, Mats; Khotyaintsev, Yuri; Lavraud, Benoit; Li, Wenya; Perrone, Denise; Gershman, Daniel; Giles, Barbara; Pollock, Craig; Fuselier, Stephen; Lindqvist, Per-Arne; Torbert, Roy; Russell, Christopher T.

    2017-04-01

    Magnetic reconnection is a key plasma process that couples the shocked solar wind (magnetosheath) to the Earth's magnetosphere. The magnetospheric side of the subsolar magnetopause is often populated by cold (10 eV) plasma of ionospheric origin, in addition to the common hot (10 keV) magnetospheric plasma. The presence of cold plasma mass loads the subsolar region up to several particles per cc. In addition, the ion gyroradius of cold plasma is much smaller than the hot ion gyroradius and introduces a new length-scale into magnetic reconnection and its associated processes. Finally, the cold plasma is heated inside the separatrix region of magnetic reconnection, although this mechanism is not always present. We present MMS observations of magnetic reconnection with the presence of ionospheric cold plasma and investigate the heating mechanisms as well as their implications for the global energy budget.

  3. From flares to nanoflares: magnetic reconnection on the Sun

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Cargill, Peter

    2013-06-01

    Peter Cargill discusses the history and current thinking on magnetic reconnection, in the first James Dungey Lecture, which was given in the presence of Jim Dungey himself at the RAS on 11 January 2013.

  4. 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

  5. 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.

  6. 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.

  7. 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

  8. 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

  9. Particle Acceleration Due to Coronal Non-null Magnetic Reconnection

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Threlfall, James; Neukirch, Thomas; Parnell, Clare Elizabeth

    2017-03-01

    Various topological features, for example magnetic null points and separators, have been inferred as likely sites of magnetic reconnection and particle acceleration in the solar atmosphere. In fact, magnetic reconnection is not constrained to solely take place at or near such topological features and may also take place in the absence of such features. Studies of particle acceleration using non-topological reconnection experiments embedded in the solar atmosphere are uncommon. We aim to investigate and characterise particle behaviour in a model of magnetic reconnection which causes an arcade of solar coronal magnetic field to twist and form an erupting flux rope, crucially in the absence of any common topological features where reconnection is often thought to occur. We use a numerical scheme that evolves the gyro-averaged orbit equations of single electrons and protons in time and space, and simulate the gyromotion of particles in a fully analytical global field model. We observe and discuss how the magnetic and electric fields of the model and the initial conditions of each orbit may lead to acceleration of protons and electrons up to 2 MeV in energy (depending on model parameters). We describe the morphology of time-dependent acceleration and impact sites for each particle species and compare our findings to those recovered by topologically based studies of three-dimensional (3D) reconnection and particle acceleration. We also broadly compare aspects of our findings to general observational features typically seen during two-ribbon flare events.

  10. MAVEN observations of magnetic reconnection in the Martian magnetotail

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2015-12-01

    Magnetic reconnection is a fundamental process that changes magnetic field topology and converts magnetic energy into particle energy. Although reconnection may play a key role in controlling ion escape processes at Mars, the fundamental properties of local physics and global dynamics of magnetic reconnection in the Martian environment remain unclear owing to the lack of simultaneous measurements of ions, electrons, and magnetic fields by modern instrumentation. Here we present comprehensive MAVEN observations of reconnection signatures in the near-Mars magnetotail. The observed reconnection signatures include (i) Marsward bulk flows of H+, O+, and O2+ ions, (ii) counterstreaming ion beams along the current sheet normal direction, (iii) Hall magnetic fields, and (iv) trapped electrons with two-sided loss cones. The measured velocity distribution functions of different ion species exhibit mass-dependent characteristics which are qualitatively consistent with previous multi-species kinetic simulations and terrestrial tail observations. The MAVEN observations demonstrate that the near-Mars magnetotail provides a unique environment for studying multi-ion reconnection.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2015-12-01

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

  12. General Method for Describing Three-Dimensional Magnetic Reconnection

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Titov, Viacheslav; Forbes, Terry; Priest, Eric; Mikic, Zoran; Linker, Jon

    2009-11-01

    A general method for describing magnetic reconnection in arbitrary three-dimensional magnetic configurations is proposed. The method is based on the field-line mapping technique previously used only for the analysis of magnetic structure at a given time. This technique is extended here so as to analyze the evolution of magnetic structure. Such a generalization is made with the help of new dimensionless quantities called ``slip-squashing factors''. Their large values define the surfaces that border the reconnected or to-be-reconnected magnetic flux tubes for a given period of time during the magnetic evolution. The proposed method is universal, since it assumes only that the time sequence of evolving magnetic field and the tangential boundary flows are known. We illustrate our method for several examples and compare it with the general magnetic reconnection theory, proposed previously by Hesse and coworkers. The new method admits a straightforward numerical implementation and provides a powerful tool for the diagnostics of numerical data obtained in theoretical or experimental studies of magnetic reconnection in space and laboratory plasmas.

  13. Experimental Investigation of 3-D Global Magnetic Reconnection by Use of Merging Plasmas

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ono, Yasushi

    1996-11-01

    A laboratory experiment of magnetic reconnection and plasma merging has been developed in the TS-3 merging device at University of Tokyo by use of two colliding spheromaks and tokamaks. The global MHD physics issues for magnetic reconnection have been primarily investigated( M. Katsurai and Y. Ono, Trans. Inst. Electr. Eng. Jpn. 107, 65 (1987)), together with the global equilibrium transition of counter-helicity spheromaks to a high-beta FRC( Y. Ono et al.), Plas. Phys. Cont. Nucl. Rus. Res. 1992, Wurzburg, 2, p. 619 (1992). The 3-D features of magnetic reconnection were found to be quite different from the 2-D features depending on whether the plasma toroids have co-helicity or counter-helicity configurations( M. Yamada et al.), Phys. Rev. Letts. 65, 721 (1990). Evidences of driven reconnection have been observed and a quantitative dependence of the reconnection rate on external force was documented in connection with the anomalous dissipation of the current sheet. A new plasma acceleration mechanism accompanied by a significant direct ion heating has been measured during the 3-D reconnection process( Y. Ono et al.), Phys. Rev. Letts. vol.76, 3328 (1996).

  14. ASYMMETRIC MAGNETIC RECONNECTION IN WEAKLY IONIZED CHROMOSPHERIC PLASMAS

    SciTech Connect

    Murphy, Nicholas A.; Lukin, Vyacheslav S.

    2015-06-01

    Realistic models of magnetic reconnection in the solar chromosphere must take into account that the plasma is partially ionized and that plasma conditions within any two magnetic flux bundles undergoing reconnection may not be the same. Asymmetric reconnection in the chromosphere may occur when newly emerged flux interacts with pre-existing, overlying flux. We present 2.5D simulations of asymmetric reconnection in weakly ionized, reacting plasmas where the magnetic field strengths, ion and neutral densities, and temperatures are different in each upstream region. The plasma and neutral components are evolved separately to allow non-equilibrium ionization. As in previous simulations of chromospheric reconnection, the current sheet thins to the scale of the neutral–ion mean free path and the ion and neutral outflows are strongly coupled. However, the ion and neutral inflows are asymmetrically decoupled. In cases with magnetic asymmetry, a net flow of neutrals through the current sheet from the weak-field (high-density) upstream region into the strong-field upstream region results from a neutral pressure gradient. Consequently, neutrals dragged along with the outflow are more likely to originate from the weak-field region. The Hall effect leads to the development of a characteristic quadrupole magnetic field modified by asymmetry, but the X-point geometry expected during Hall reconnection does not occur. All simulations show the development of plasmoids after an initial laminar phase.

  15. The Role of Magnetic Reconnection in Solar Activity

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Antiochos, Spiro; DeVore, C. R.

    2008-01-01

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

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

    DOE PAGES

    Yamada, Masaaki; Yoo, Jongsoo; Jara-Almonte, Jonathan; ...

    2014-09-10

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2014-09-10

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

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

    SciTech Connect

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

    2014-09-10

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2015-11-01

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

  20. 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.

  1. Plasma dynamics and heating/acceleration during driven magnetic reconnection

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Cheng, C. Z.; Inoue, Shizuo; Ono, Yasushi; Horiuchi, Ritoku

    2015-11-01

    Highlights of the plasma dynamics and energization during driven anti-parallel magnetic reconnection are presented. The MHD condition breaks down in the entire reconnection layer (the reconnection current layer, the separatrix region and the whole downstream), and the plasma dynamics is significantly different from the results of the Hall-MHD model. In particular, we explain (1) how electron and ion dynamics decouple and how the charge separation and electrostatic electric field are produced in the magnetic field reversal region (reconnection current layer and outflow exhaust) and around the separatrix regions, (2) how electrons and ions gain energy in the reconnection current layer, (3) why the electron outflow velocity in the reconnection exhaust reaches super-Alfvenic speed and the ion outflow velocity reaches Alfvenic speed and how the parallel electric field is produced, (4) how electrons are accelerated by the parallel electric field around the separatrix region, and (5) how ions gain energy when they move across the separatrix region into the downstream. Finally we show that electrons and ions gain energy mainly from the inductive reconnection driven electric field and less from the electrostatic electric field.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2016-07-01

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

  3. 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.

  4. Imaging Observations of Magnetic Reconnection in a Solar Eruptive Flare

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Li, Y.; Sun, X.; Ding, M. D.; Qiu, J.; Priest, E. R.

    2017-02-01

    Solar flares are among the most energetic events in the solar atmosphere. It is widely accepted that flares are powered by magnetic reconnection in the corona. An eruptive flare is usually accompanied by a coronal mass ejection, both of which are probably driven by the eruption of a magnetic flux rope (MFR). Here we report an eruptive flare on 2016 March 23 observed by the Atmospheric Imaging Assembly on board the Solar Dynamics Observatory. The extreme-ultraviolet imaging observations exhibit the clear rise and eruption of an MFR. In particular, the observations reveal solid evidence of magnetic reconnection from both the corona and chromosphere during the flare. Moreover, weak reconnection is observed before the start of the flare. We find that the preflare weak reconnection is of tether-cutting type and helps the MFR to rise slowly. Induced by a further rise of the MFR, strong reconnection occurs in the rise phases of the flare, which is temporally related to the MFR eruption. We also find that the magnetic reconnection is more of 3D-type in the early phase, as manifested in a strong-to-weak shear transition in flare loops, and becomes more 2D-like in the later phase, as shown by the apparent rising motion of an arcade of flare loops.

  5. The role of compressibility in energy release by magnetic reconnection

    SciTech Connect

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

    2012-08-15

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

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

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

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

    2012-01-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Litvinenko, Yuri E.

    2015-06-01

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

  8. 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.

  9. 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.

  10. 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.

  11. Predicting the Electron Diffusion Region in Asymmetric Magnetic Reconnection

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hesse, Michael; Liu, Yi-Hsin; Chen, Li-Jen; Bessho, Naoki; Kuznetsova, Masha; Burch, James; Birn, Joachim

    2016-04-01

    The launch of the Magnetospheric Multiscale mission is leading to a revolution in our understanding of the way magnetic reconnection works. During the first orbit phases, MMS science focuses on asymmetric reconnection, as is commonly found at the Earth's magnetopause. MMS observations have begun to support the view that reconnection operates primarily as a quasi-laminar process, supporting one class of theoretical precitions and a number of concurrent simulations. In this presentation, we present a brief overview of these theoretical and modeling predictions, and we present a comparison to recent MMS observations.

  12. 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.

  13. Magnetic field reconnection. [energy conversion in space plasma

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Sonnerup, U. O.

    1979-01-01

    A reasonably detailed description is obtained of the current status of our understanding of magnetic field reconnection. The picture that emerges is of a process, simple in concept but extremely complicated and multifaceted in detail. Nonlinear MHD processes in the external flow region, governed by distant boundary conditions, are coupled to nonlinear microscopic plasma processes in the diffusion region, in a manner not clearly understood. It appears that reconnection may operate in entirely different ways for different plasma parameters and different external boundary conditions. Steady reconnection may be allowed in some cases, forbidden in others, with intermediate situations involving impulsive or pulsative events.

  14. 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.

  15. 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.

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

    SciTech Connect

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

    2015-05-15

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

  17. 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.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2010-12-01

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

  19. Observations of Slow Electron Holes at a Magnetic Reconnection Site

    SciTech Connect

    Khotyaintsev, Yu. V.; Vaivads, A.; Andre, M.; Fujimoto, M.; Retino, A.; Owen, C. J.

    2010-10-15

    We report in situ observations of high-frequency electrostatic waves in the vicinity of a reconnection site in the Earth's magnetotail. Two different types of waves are observed inside an ion-scale magnetic flux rope embedded in a reconnecting current sheet. Electron holes (weak double layers) produced by the Buneman instability are observed in the density minimum in the center of the flux rope. Higher frequency broadband electrostatic waves with frequencies extending up to f{sub pe} are driven by the electron beam and are observed in the denser part of the rope. Our observations demonstrate multiscale coupling during the reconnection: Electron-scale physics is induced by the dynamics of an ion-scale flux rope embedded in a yet larger-scale magnetic reconnection process.

  20. 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.

  1. 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.

  2. 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.

  3. THE ACCELERATION OF IONS IN SOLAR FLARES DURING MAGNETIC RECONNECTION

    SciTech Connect

    Knizhnik, K.; Swisdak, M.; Drake, J. F. E-mail: swisdak@umd.edu

    2011-12-20

    The acceleration of solar flare ions during magnetic reconnection is explored via particle-in-cell simulations that self-consistently and simultaneously follow the motions of both protons and {alpha} particles. We show that the dominant heating of thermal ions during guide field reconnection, the usual type in the solar corona, results from pickup behavior during the entry into reconnection exhausts. In contrast to anti-parallel reconnection, the temperature increment is dominantly transverse, rather than parallel, to the local magnetic field. A comparison of protons and {alpha} reveals a mass-to-charge (M/Q) threshold in pickup behavior that favors the heating of high-M/Q ions, which is consistent with impulsive flare observations.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Yamada, Masaaki

    2014-10-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2016-06-01

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

  6. Effects of guide field in driven magnetic reconnection

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Cheng, C. Z.; Inoue, S.; Horiuchi, R.; Ono, Y.; Guo, X.

    2016-10-01

    Decoupling of electron and ion dynamics is the key physical process in the magnetic reconnection layer. It leads to the generation of parallel E-field and in-plane electrostatic E-field, and determines how particles gain energy. For antiparallel magnetic reconnection (zero guide field case), the electron and ion dynamics decoupling is due to meandering particle (unmagnetized) orbits in the field reversal region and particle acceleration by parallel electric field in the separatrix region. The parallel E-field is produced mainly from the driven inductive E-field due to the quadrupole out-of-plane magnetic field generation. The decoupling of electron and ion dynamics causes charge separation which produces the in-plane electrostatic E-field. If the guide field is stronger than the reconnecting magnetic field, both electrons and ions are magnetized in the entire magnetic reconnection domain, and the electron-ion dynamics decoupling process changes from the zero guide field case. Then, the structure of parallel and electrostatic E-fields, and thus how electrons/ions gain energy also changes. We will explain the physical mechanisms of electron-ion dynamics decoupling on the E-field generation, and how electron and ion are heated/accelerated based on the driven reconnection simulation results.

  7. Plasmoid instability in high-Lundquist-number magnetic reconnection

    SciTech Connect

    Huang, Yi-Min; Bhattacharjee, A.

    2013-05-15

    Our understanding of magnetic reconnection in resistive magnetohydrodynamics has gone through a fundamental change in recent years. The conventional wisdom is that magnetic reconnection mediated by resistivity is slow in laminar high Lundquist (S) plasmas, constrained by the scaling of the reconnection rate predicted by Sweet-Parker theory. However, recent studies have shown that when S exceeds a critical value ∼10{sup 4}, the Sweet-Parker current sheet is unstable to a super-Alfvénic plasmoid instability, with a linear growth rate that scales as S{sup 1/4}. In the fully developed statistical steady state of two-dimensional resistive magnetohydrodynamic simulations, the normalized average reconnection rate is approximately 0.01, nearly independent of S, and the distribution function f(ψ) of plasmoid magnetic flux ψ follows a power law f(ψ)∼ψ{sup −1}. When Hall effects are included, the plasmoid instability may trigger onset of Hall reconnection even when the conventional criterion for onset is not satisfied. The rich variety of possible reconnection dynamics is organized in the framework of a phase diagram.

  8. Vlasov simulations of collisionless magnetic reconnection without background density

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Schmitz, H.; Grauer, R.

    2008-02-01

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

  9. 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.

  10. Kinetic Simulations of Current-Sheet Formation and Reconnection at a Magnetic X Line

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Black, Carrie; Antiochos, S. K.; Hesse, M.; Karpen, J. T.; DeVore, C. R.; Kuznetsova, M. M.; Zenitani, S.

    2011-10-01

    The integration of kinetic effects into macroscopic numerical models is currently of great interest to the plasma physics community, particularly in the context of magnetic reconnection. We are examining the formation and reconnection of current sheets in a simple, two-dimensional X-line configuration using high-resolution particle-in-cell (PIC) simulations. The initial potential magnetic field is perturbed by thermal pressure introduced into the particle distribution far from the X line. The relaxation of this added stress leads to the development of a current sheet, which reconnects for imposed stress of sufficient strength. We compare the evolution and final state of our PIC simulations with magnetohydrodynamic simulations assuming both uniform and localized resistivities, and with force-free magnetic-field equilibria in which the amount of reconnection across the X line can be constrained to be zero (ideal evolution) or optimal (minimum final magnetic energy). We will discuss implications of our results for reconnection onset and cessation at kinetic scales in dynamically formed current sheets, such as those occurring in the terrestrial magnetotail and solar corona. This research was supported by NASA.

  11. 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.

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

    SciTech Connect

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

    2010-08-31

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

  13. 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.

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

    SciTech Connect

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

    2013-12-15

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

  15. 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.

  16. Numerical study of magnetic reconnection in merging flux tubes

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Breslau, Joshua Adam

    2001-09-01

    A comprehensive 2D numerical study of magnetic reconnection in merging magnetic islands has been conducted using a new parallel resistive MHD/two-fluid code developed for the purpose. The code's variable resolution and parallel scalability make it possible to resolve both the narrow reconnection boundary layer and the global plasma, and to follow the evolution of both from triple-island to single-island equilibrium. An initial resistive MHD study showed slow reconnection in strong agreement with the Sweet-Parker model. Subsequent studies were conducted to compare two proposed mechanisms for increasing the reconnection rate: anomalous localized enhanced resistivity and two-fluid effects, which enter the fluid equations via the Hall term in Ohm's law. Both anomalous resistivity and the Hall term showed a clear tendency to increase the reconnection rate significantly and to eliminate its dependence on the resistivity. In both cases, this effect is associated with a broadening of the toroidal current sheet and consequently with an opening of the angle of the X-point at the field null. These faster reconnection rates are in better agreement with observational and experimental data.

  17. Proton acceleration by 3D magnetic reconnection in solar flares

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Browning, P. K.; Dalla, S.

    2007-05-01

    High energy charged particles are an important feature of solar activity such as flares, and indeed non thermal particles play a significant role in flare energy balance. Magnetic reconnection is the primary energy release mechanism in flares, and the strong DC electric fields associated with this reconnection may well be the origin of the high energy charged particles. Whilst particle acceleration has been widely studied for 2D configurations, little is known about 3D configurations. We investigate particle acceleration using a test particle approach, in the simplest 3D reconnection configuration, a 3D magnetic null point. Two modes of reconnection are possible: with a strong current filament along the "spine" field line connecting to the null, or with a sheet current at the "fan" plane of field lines emerging from the null. Using simple model fields, incorporating intiially only thee ideal reconnection region outside the current sheet (or filament), particle trajectories are investigated and the energy spectra and spatial distribution of accelerated particles are determined. We consider and compare fan and spine reconnection, and determine how the properties of the accelerated particles depend on the parameters of the reonnecting field. We also present preliminary results using more realistic, self consistent model fields.

  18. 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.

  19. Magnetic reconnection in Hall-MHD including electron inertia

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2013-12-01

    Magnetic reconnection is an important energy conversion process in highly conducting plasmas, such as those present in the solar corona or in planetary magnetospheres. Within the framework 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 might significantly increase the reconnection rates. Within the more general framework of two-fluid MHD for a fully ionized hydrogen plasma, we retain the effects of the Hall current and electron inertia. We performed 2.5D Hall MHD simulations including electron inertia using a pseudo-spectral code which yields exact conservation (to round-off errors) of all the ideal invariants. We obtain finite reconnection rates even in the case of zero resistivity, thus showing the important influence of the electron inertia.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2016-05-01

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

  1. Evidence for magnetic field reconnection at the Earth's magnetopause

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Sonnerup, B. U. O.; Paschmann, G.; Papamastorakis, I.; Sckopke, N.; Haerendel, G.; Bame, S. J.; Asbridge, J. R.; Gosling, J. T.; Russell, C. T.

    1981-01-01

    Eleven passes of the ISEE satellites through the frontside terrestrial magnetopause were identified, where the plasma velocity in the magnetopause and boundary layer was substantially larger than in the magnetosheath. The nature of the plasma flow, magnetic field, and energetic particle fluxes in these regions were examined, with a view to determining whether the velocity enhancements can be explained by magnetic field reconnection.

  2. 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.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2015-11-01

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

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

    DOE PAGES

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

    2016-05-11

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

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

    SciTech Connect

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

    2016-05-11

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

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

    SciTech Connect

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

    2016-05-11

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

  7. Evolution of field line helicity during magnetic reconnection

    SciTech Connect

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

    2015-03-15

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

  8. Evolution of field line helicity during magnetic reconnection

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2015-03-01

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

  9. The plasmoid instability during asymmetric inflow magnetic reconnection

    SciTech Connect

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

    2013-06-15

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

  10. 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.

  11. 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

  12. 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.

  13. Rapid magnetic reconnection caused by finite amplitude fluctuations

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Matthaeus, W. H.; Lamkin, S. L.

    1985-01-01

    The nonlinear dynamics of the magnetohydrodynamic sheet pinch have been investigated as an unforced initial value problem for large scale Reynolds numbers up to 1000. Reconnection is triggered by adding to the sheet pinch a small but finite level of broadband random perturbations. Effects of turbulence in the solutions include the production of reconnected magnetic islands at rates that are insensitive to resistivity at early times. This is explained by noting that electric field fluctuations near the X point produce irregularities in the vector potential, sometimes taking the form of 'magnetic bubbles', which allow rapid change of field topology.

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

    SciTech Connect

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

    2015-10-15

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

  15. Flux Rope Acceleration and Enhanced Magnetic Reconnection Rate

    SciTech Connect

    C.Z. Cheng; Y. Ren; G.S. Choe; Y.-J. Moon

    2003-03-25

    A physical mechanism of flares, in particular for the flare rise phase, has emerged from our 2-1/2-dimensional resistive MHD simulations. The dynamical evolution of current-sheet formation and magnetic reconnection and flux-rope acceleration subject to continuous, slow increase of magnetic shear in the arcade are studied by employing a non-uniform anomalous resistivity in the reconnecting current sheet under gravity. The simulation results directly relate the flux rope's accelerated rising motion with an enhanced magnetic reconnection rate and thus an enhanced reconnection electric field in the current sheet during the flare rise phase. The simulation results provide good quantitative agreements with observations of the acceleration of flux rope, which manifests in the form of SXR ejecta or erupting filament or CMEs, in the low corona. Moreover, for the X-class flare events studied in this paper the peak reconnection electric field is about O(10{sup 2} V/m) or larger, enough to accelerate p articles to over 100 keV in a field-aligned distance of 10 km. Nonthermal electrons thus generated can produce hard X-rays, consistent with impulsive HXR emission observed during the flare rise phase.

  16. Origins of effective resistivity in collisionless magnetic reconnection

    SciTech Connect

    Singh, Nagendra

    2014-07-15

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

  17. 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.

  18. 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.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2014-07-01

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

  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. 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.

  3. 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.

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

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Moore, Ronald L.

    2010-01-01

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

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

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Hesse, Michael

    2005-01-01

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

  6. 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.

  7. 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.

  8. 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.

  9. Observational Evidence of Magnetic Reconnection for Brightenings and Transition Region Arcades in IRIS Observations

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Zhao, Jie; Schmieder, Brigitte; Li, Hui; Pariat, Etienne; Zhu, Xiaoshuai; Feng, Li; Grubecka, Michalina

    2017-02-01

    By using a new method of forced-field extrapolation, we study the emerging flux region AR11850 observed by the Interface Region Imaging Spectrograph and Solar Dynamical Observatory. Our results suggest that the bright points (BPs) in this emerging region exhibit responses in lines formed from the upper photosphere to the transition region, which have relatively similar morphologies. They have an oscillation of several minutes according to the Atmospheric Imaging Assembly data at 1600 and 1700 Å. The ratio between the BP intensities measured in 1600 and 1700 Å filtergrams reveals that these BPs are heated differently. Our analysis of the Helioseismic and Magnetic Imager vector magnetic field and the corresponding topology in AR11850 indicates that the BPs are located at the polarity inversion line and most of them are related to magnetic reconnection or cancelation. The heating of the BPs might be different due to different magnetic topology. We find that the heating due to the magnetic cancelation would be stronger than the case of bald patch reconnection. The plasma density rather than the magnetic field strength could play a dominant role in this process. Based on physical conditions in the lower atmosphere, our forced-field extrapolation shows consistent results between the bright arcades visible in slit-jaw image 1400 Å and the extrapolated field lines that pass through the bald patches. It provides reliable observational evidence for testing the mechanism of magnetic reconnection for the BPs and arcades in the emerging flux region, as proposed in simulation studies.

  10. Plasma Heating During Magnetic Reconnection: Implications for Turbulent Dissipation

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Shay, M. A.; Parashar, T.; Matthaeus, W. H.; Haggerty, C. C.

    2015-12-01

    Current sheets and associated intermittency are known to be prevalent in many turbulent plasmas and have been shown to be correlated with heating in observations of solar wind turbulence [1] and dissipation in kinetic particle-in-cell simulations [5]. Most intriguing, recent PIC simulations have found that the relative ion to electron heating ratio is strongly dependent on the turbulence amplitude [3]. An important question is whether magnetic reconnection is an important mechanism responsible for this heating. Studies focused on laminar reconnection have made significant progress recently on the magnitude and physics responsible for heating during magnetic reconnection [2,4]. The ambient Alfven speed of plasma flowing into the reconnection region plays a critical role, with heating initially taking the form of counterstreaming beams generated by non-local acceleration mechanism. However, there are significant uncertainties with how to link this basic reconnection heating with generic heating in a turbulent plasma. In this presentation, our current understanding of heating due to reconnection will be reviewed, and the factors determining the applicability of this heating to turbulent dissipation and heating will be discussed. These ideas will be explored through the comparison of kinetic PIC simulations of turbulence with reconnection heating models. Key aspects that will be examined are the effect of differing turbulent conditions on the magnitude and anisotropy of the heating, as well as the ion to electron heating ratio. [1] Osman et al., ApJ Letters, 727, L11, 2011. [2] Phan, et al., GRL, 40, 50917, 2013. [3] Wu et al., ApJ Letters, 763, L30, 2013. [4] Shay et al., Phys. Plasmas, 21, 122902, 2014. [5] Wan et al., PRL, 114, 175002, 2015.

  11. 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.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Cassak, P. A.

    2008-05-01

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

  13. 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.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Yamada, M.

    2014-12-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Gomez, Daniel; Dmitruk, Pablo; Andrés, Nahuel

    2016-07-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Murphy, Nicholas Arnold; Lukin, Vyacheslav

    2016-01-01

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

  17. 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.

  18. Energy conversion during magnetic reconnection for magnetotail-like equilibria

    SciTech Connect

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

    2006-10-15

    The principle of magnetic field-to-particle energy conversion for magnetic reconnection, originally developed by the authors for Harris-Fadeev equilibria, is extended to include a finite north-south (normal) component of the magnetic field, which is typical of the Earth's magnetotail environment. On the basis of the exact conservation laws derived from the nonlinear Vlasov equation, it is demonstrated that a small portion of the energy stored in the magnetic field is released and converted to particle thermal energy as a result of the magnetic field topological transformation, i.e., reconnection. It is also found that the normal field component has a minimal impact on the efficacy of the energy exchange.

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

    SciTech Connect

    Gosling, J.T.

    1995-09-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2010-06-01

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

  1. Solar flares as cascades of reconnecting magnetic loops.

    PubMed

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

    2003-04-04

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

  2. 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.

  3. 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.

  4. 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).

  5. 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.

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

    SciTech Connect

    S Dorfman, et al

    2013-05-03

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

  7. 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.

  8. 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.

  9. Observational Signatures of Magnetic Reconnection in the Extended Corona

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

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

    2016-01-01

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

  10. Observational Signatures of Magnetic Reconnection in the Extended Corona

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

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

    2016-01-01

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

  11. Observational Signatures of Magnetic Reconnection in the Corona

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Savage, S. L.; West, M. J.; Seaton, D. B.; Kobelski, A.

    2016-12-01

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

  12. Local Dynamics and Global Size Coupling during Magnetic Reconnection

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Jacobson, C. M.; Breslau, J. A.; Jardin, S. C.; Ji, H.

    2008-11-01

    Magnetic reconnection is an important physical process not only in small systems such as laboratory plasmas, but also in large systems such as solar flares. The reconnection rate increases with resistivity η and decreases with the current sheet length L. Recent experimental results suggest that these parameters are not independent, but anti-correlate such that ηL is kept roughly constant; thus the reconnection rate is a function of both local dynamics and global size [1]. In order to verify these results and further extend the system size, a numerical MHD model [2] is used. This code allows simulation of either two-fluid or single-fluid resistive MHD reconnection of colliding flux tubes on a 2D grid. The resistivity and system size are systematically varied, and scalings of the ion skin depth, collisionality, and reconnection rate due to these quantities are presented. Results are compared to experimental data, and findings are projected to solar flare scales. [1] A. Kuritsyn et al. Geophys. Res. Lett. 34, L16106 (2007) [2] J. A. Breslau and S. C. Jardin, Comput. Phys. Commun. 151, 8 (2003)

  13. Observational Signatures of Magnetic Reconnection in the Extended Corona

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

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

    2017-01-01

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

  14. Dayside and nightside magnetic field responses at 780 km altitude to dayside reconnection.

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Snekvik, Kristian; Østgaard, Nikolai; Tenfjord, Paul; Petter Reistad, Jone; Magnus Laundal, Karl; Milan, Stephen E.; Haaland, Stein E.

    2017-04-01

    During southward IMF, dayside reconnection will drive the Dungey cycle in the Earth's magnetosphere, which is manifested as a two cell convection pattern in the ionosphere. We address the response of the ionospheric convection to changes in the dayside reconnection rate. Previous studies have reported two apparently contradicting results. The first is that the ionospheric convection responds within one minute both near noon and near midnight. The second is that the response is 10-20 minutes delayed near midnight compared to near noon. To test these apparently contradicting scenarios, we have performed a statistical investigation of the response by examining the magnetic field perturbations at 780 km altitude due to dayside reconnection. The AMPERE data products derived from the Iridium constellation provide global maps of the disturbance magnetic field. The time development of the convection is modelled as the sum of an accelerating force and a decelerating force. Furthermore, the accelerating force is parametrised as a linear sum of past reconnection rates, while the decelerating force is proportional to the convection itself. This results in an asymptotic model which gradually reaches a steady-state value. By fitting the data to the model, we confirm previous reports of an almost immediate response both near noon and near midnight combined with a 10-20 minutes reconfiguration time of the two cell convection pattern. The e-folding time of the asymptotic model was found to be about 40 minutes. We present a new explanation of the response and reconfiguration times based on how MHD waves propagate in the magnetospheric lobes when newly reconnected open flux tubes are added to the lobes, and the magnetopause flaring angle increases.

  15. Particle acceleration in laser-driven magnetic reconnection

    DOE PAGES

    Totorica, S. R.; Abel, T.; Fiuza, F.

    2017-04-03

    Particle acceleration induced by magnetic reconnection is thought to be a promising candidate for producing the nonthermal emissions associated with explosive phenomena such as solar flares, pulsar wind nebulae, and jets from active galactic nuclei. Laboratory experiments can play an important role in the study of the detailed microphysics of magnetic reconnection and the dominant particle acceleration mechanisms. We have used two- and three-dimensional particle-in-cell simulations to study particle acceleration in high Lundquist number reconnection regimes associated with laser-driven plasma experiments. For current experimental conditions, we show that nonthermal electrons can be accelerated to energies more than an order ofmore » magnitude larger than the initial thermal energy. The nonthermal electrons gain their energy mainly from the reconnection electric field near the X points, and particle injection into the reconnection layer and escape from the finite system establish a distribution of energies that resembles a power-law spectrum. Energetic electrons can also become trapped inside the plasmoids that form in the current layer and gain additional energy from the electric field arising from the motion of the plasmoid. We compare simulations for finite and infinite periodic systems to demonstrate the importance of particle escape on the shape of the spectrum. Based on our findings, we provide an analytical estimate of the maximum electron energy and threshold condition for observing suprathermal electron acceleration in terms of experimentally tunable parameters. We also discuss experimental signatures, including the angular distribution of the accelerated particles, and construct synthetic detector spectra. Finally, these results open the way for novel experimental studies of particle acceleration induced by reconnection.« less

  16. Particle acceleration in laser-driven magnetic reconnection

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Totorica, S. R.; Abel, T.; Fiuza, F.

    2017-04-01

    Particle acceleration induced by magnetic reconnection is thought to be a promising candidate for producing the nonthermal emissions associated with explosive phenomena such as solar flares, pulsar wind nebulae, and jets from active galactic nuclei. Laboratory experiments can play an important role in the study of the detailed microphysics of magnetic reconnection and the dominant particle acceleration mechanisms. We have used two- and three-dimensional particle-in-cell simulations to study particle acceleration in high Lundquist number reconnection regimes associated with laser-driven plasma experiments. For current experimental conditions, we show that nonthermal electrons can be accelerated to energies more than an order of magnitude larger than the initial thermal energy. The nonthermal electrons gain their energy mainly from the reconnection electric field near the X points, and particle injection into the reconnection layer and escape from the finite system establish a distribution of energies that resembles a power-law spectrum. Energetic electrons can also become trapped inside the plasmoids that form in the current layer and gain additional energy from the electric field arising from the motion of the plasmoid. We compare simulations for finite and infinite periodic systems to demonstrate the importance of particle escape on the shape of the spectrum. Based on our findings, we provide an analytical estimate of the maximum electron energy and threshold condition for observing suprathermal electron acceleration in terms of experimentally tunable parameters. We also discuss experimental signatures, including the angular distribution of the accelerated particles, and construct synthetic detector spectra. These results open the way for novel experimental studies of particle acceleration induced by reconnection.

  17. 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

  18. 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

  19. The role of magnetic reconnection in solar activity

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Antiochos, Spiro

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

  20. Unsteady magnetic reconnection in laboratory experiments with current sheets

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Frank, Anna

    2009-11-01

    According to present notion, unsteady magnetic reconnection in current sheets (CS) is basic to dramatic natural phenomena: solar and stellar flares, substorms in the Earth and other planetary magnetospheres, as well as to disruptive instabilities in tokamak plasmas. We present a review of laboratory experiments studying evolution of CS formed in 3D and 2D magnetic configurations with an X line, in the CS-3D device. Usually CS exists during an extended period in a metastable stage, without essential changes of its structure and parameters. Under certain conditions this stage may be suddenly interrupted by unsteady phase of magnetic reconnection, which manifests itself in a rapid change of the magnetic field topology, current redistribution, excitation of pulsed electric fields, and other dynamic effects. The unsteady phase results in effective conversion of magnetic energy into the energy of plasma and accelerated particles, and may finally bring about the CS disruption. In the context of the solar flares, a metastable CS is associated with a pre-flare situation, while CS disruption -- with the flare itself. The physical mechanisms triggering the unsteady magnetic reconnection in the laboratory produced current sheets are discussed. Supported by the Russian Foundation for Basic Research (project # 09-02-00971).

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

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Slavin. James A.

    2009-01-01

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

  2. The Relation between Reconnected Flux, the Parallel Electric Field, and the Reconnection Rate in a Three-Dimensional Kinetic Simulation of Magnetic Reconnection

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wendel, D. E.; Olson, D. K.; Hesse, M.; Karimabadi, H.; Daughton, W. S.

    2013-12-01

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

  3. Ion Bernstein waves in the magnetic reconnection region

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Narita, Y.; Nakamura, R.; Baumjohann, W.; Glassmeier, K.-H.; Motschmann, U.; Comişel, H.

    2016-01-01

    Four-dimensional energy spectra and a diagram for dispersion relations are determined for the first time in a magnetic reconnection region in the magnetotail using data from four-spacecraft measurements by the Cluster mission on a spatial scale of 200 km, about 0.1 ion inertial lengths. The energy spectra are anisotropic with an extension in the perpendicular direction and axially asymmetric with respect to the mean magnetic field. The dispersion diagram in the plasma rest frame is in reasonably good agreement with the ion Bernstein waves at the second and higher harmonics of the proton gyrofrequency. Perpendicular-propagating ion Bernstein waves likely exist in an outflow region of magnetic reconnection, which may contribute to bifurcation of the current sheet in the outflow region.

  4. The Pressure Limitations on Flux Pile-Up Magnetic Reconnection

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Litvinenko, Y. E.

    1999-05-01

    Flux pile-up magnetic reconnection was thought to be able to provide fast energy dissipation a strongly magnetized plasma, for example, in solar flares. We examine the problem of the plasma pressure limitations on the rapidity of flux pile-up reconnection. It is shown that for a two-dimensional stagnation point flow with nonzero vorticity the magnetic merging rate cannot exceed the Sweet-Parker scaling in a low-beta plasma, which is too slow to explain flares. Moreover, the solution has some undesireable properties such as a diffusion layer at the external boundary and the massively increasing inflow speed. The pressure limitation appears to be somewhat less restrictive for three-dimensional flux pile-up. This work was supported by NSF grant ATM-9813933.

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

    SciTech Connect

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

    2010-09-01

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

  6. Magnetic Reconnection with Strong Synchrotron Cooling in Pulsar Magnetospheres

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Uzdensky, Dmitri; Spitkovsky, Anatoly

    2012-10-01

    The magnetosphere of a rotating pulsar naturally develops a current sheet beyond the light cylinder (LC). Magnetic reconnection in this current sheet inevitably dissipates a nontrivial fraction of the pulsar spin-down power within a few LC radii. In this presentation, a basic physical picture of reconnection in this environment is developed. It is shown that reconnection proceeds in the plasmoid-dominated regime, via an hierarchical chain of multiple secondary islands/flux ropes. The inter-plasmoid reconnection layers are subject to strong synchrotron cooling, leading to significant plasma compression. The basic parameters of these current layers --- temperature, density, and layer thickness --- are estimated in terms of the upstream magnetic field. It is argued that, after accounting for the bulk Doppler boosting, the synchrotron and inverse-Compton emission mechanisms can explain the observed pulsed high-energy (GeV) and VHE (˜ 100 GeV) radiation, respectively. The motions of the secondary plasmoids may contribute to the pulsar's radio emission.

  7. 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).;

  8. 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.

  9. 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

  10. Multi-scale structures of turbulent magnetic reconnection

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2016-05-01

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

  11. Reciprocatory magnetic reconnection in a coronal bright point

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Zhang, Q. M.; Chen, P. F.; Ding, M. D.; Ji, H. S.

    2014-08-01

    Context. Coronal bright points (CBPs) are small-scale and long-duration brightenings in the lower solar corona. They are often explained in terms of magnetic reconnection. Aims: We aim to study the substructures of a CBP and clarify the relationship among the brightenings of different patches inside the CBP. Methods: The event was observed by the X-ray Telescope (XRT) aboard the Hinode spacecraft on 2009 August 22-23. Results: The CBP showed repeated brightenings (or CBP flashes). During each of the two successive CBP flashes, that is, weak and strong flashes that were separated by ~2 hr, the XRT images revealed that the CBP was composed of two chambers, patches A and B. During the weak flash, patch A brightened first, and patch B brightened ~2 min later. During the transition, the right leg of a large-scale coronal loop drifted from the right side of the CBP to the left side. During the strong flash, patch B brightened first, and patch A brightened ~2 min later. During the transition, the right leg of the large-scale coronal loop drifted from the left side of the CBP to the right side. In each flash, the rapid change of the connectivity of the large-scale coronal loop is strongly suggestive of the interchange reconnection. Conclusions: For the first time we found reciprocatory reconnection in the CBP, which means that reconnected loops in the outflow region of the first reconnection process serve as the inflow of the second reconnection process. Movies associated with Figs. 2 and 5 are available in electronic form at http://www.aanda.org

  12. Multi-scale structures of turbulent magnetic reconnection

    SciTech Connect

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

    2016-05-15

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

  13. 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.

  14. 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.

  15. 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

  16. A mechanism to produce a dawn-dusk component of plasma flow during magnetic reconnection in the magnetotail

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Hawkins, J. G.; Lee, L. C.; Yan, M.; Lin, Y.; Perkins, F. W.; Yamada, M.

    1994-01-01

    Magnetic reconnection between antiparallel field lines in the magnetotail is generally thought to produce plasma acceleration in the earthward-tailward direction. However, measurements of the plasma velocity in the magnetotail during substorm activity sometimes reveal a dawn-dusk component of plasma flow. In this paper, we show that a dawn-dusk component of plasma acceleration may be produced during reconnection if the neutral line is not perpendicular to the magnetic field. In this case, Magnetohydrodynamic (MHD) simulations show that reconnection between antiparallel field lines will initially produce plasma acceleration that is nearly parallel to the neutral line because the magnetic tension force is not opposed by a pressure gradient force in this direction. As the magnetic field topology evolves to a steady state, the plasma flow direction rotates until it is nearly parallel to the plane that initially contained the antiparallel magnetic field lines before reconnection (hereafter referred to as the initial field plane). However, the time required to reach a steady state (typically several hundred seconds in the magnetotail region) may be greater than the time during which the reconnection process is active. Consequently, bursts of plasma flow with a dawn-dusk component may occur in the magnetotail. The initial acceleration along the neutral line depends on the angle theta (sub B) between the neutral line and the initial field plane, with the largest burst of plasma flow along the neutral line occuring when theta (s ub B) = 45 degs.

  17. 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.

  18. Relativistic jets shine through shocks or magnetic reconnection?

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Sironi, Lorenzo; Petropoulou, Maria; Giannios, Dimitrios

    2015-06-01

    Observations of gamma-ray-bursts and jets from active galactic nuclei reveal that the jet flow is characterized by a high radiative efficiency and that the dissipative mechanism must be a powerful accelerator of non-thermal particles. Shocks and magnetic reconnection have long been considered as possible candidates for powering the jet emission. Recent progress via fully-kinetic particle-in-cell simulations allows us to revisit this issue on firm physical grounds. We show that shock models are unlikely to account for the jet emission. In fact, when shocks are efficient at dissipating energy, they typically do not accelerate particles far beyond the thermal energy, and vice versa. In contrast, we show that magnetic reconnection can deposit more than 50 per cent of the dissipated energy into non-thermal leptons as long as the energy density of the magnetic field in the bulk flow is larger than the rest-mass energy density. The emitting region, i.e. the reconnection downstream, is characterized by a rough energy equipartition between magnetic fields and radiating particles, which naturally accounts for a commonly observed property of blazar jets.

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

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

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

    1992-01-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2013-12-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2015-10-01

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

  2. Particle acceleration at 3D reconnecting magnetic separators

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Threlfall, James; Neukirch, Thomas; Parnell, Clare; Stevenson, Julie

    2015-04-01

    We present results of test particle orbit calculations in three different environments which model separator reconnection in three dimensions. The test particle (electron and proton) orbits are calculated using the relativistic guiding centre approximation. We investigate test particle orbits in a time-dependent (analytical) electro-magnetic field configuration [detailed in Threlfall et al. (A&A, in press); arXiv:1410.6465]. These results are also compared with orbits based upon large-scale 3D MHD simulations of both a single reconnecting magnetic separator and an observationally driven 3D model of a solar active region which contains several topological features of interest, including separators. We discuss how the test-particle orbits and the energy gain depend on the initial conditions, and how observations (for example, of solar flares) may be used to constrain model parameters.

  3. 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.

  4. 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.

  5. Suppression of Collisionless Magnetic Reconnection in Asymmetric Current Sheets

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Liu, Yi-Hsin; Hesse, Michael

    2016-01-01

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

  6. New Kind of Magnetic Reconnection in Neutral Sheet Configurations

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Fletcher, Alex; Coppi, Bruno

    2016-10-01

    Neutral Sheet configurations are relatively simple models of the plasma and field configuration found in space physics that lend themselves to investigate the onset of relevant reconnection processes. In weakly collisional regimes these are shown to be intrinsically different from those occurring in plasma current sheets where the magnetic field is sheared but does not vanish. Considering an inhomogenous electron temperature profile with finite curvature at the center of the sheet, and anisotropic thermal conductivities one of the two kinds of mode that can produce magnetic reconnection is localized over a layer that remains significant when the macroscopic scale distances involved are very large as is the case in space and astrophysics. This mode lends itself to produce high-energy particle populations through a realistic combination of mode-particle resonances. Sponsored in part by the U.S. D.O.E. and the N.S.F.

  7. 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.

  8. 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.

  9. Particle acceleration in laser-driven magnetic reconnection

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Totorica, Samuel; Abel, Tom; Fiuza, Frederico

    2016-10-01

    Particle acceleration induced by magnetic reconnection is a promising candidate for producing the nonthermal emissions associated with explosive astrophysical phenomena. We have used two- and three-dimensional particle-in-cell simulations to explore the possibility of studying particle acceleration from reconnection in laser-driven plasma experiments. For current experimental conditions, we show that nonthermal electrons can be accelerated to energies up to two orders of magnitude larger than the initial thermal energy. The nonthermal electrons gain energy primarily by the reconnection electric field near the X-points, and particle injection into the reconnection layer and escape from the finite system establishes a distribution of energies resembling a power-law spectrum. Energetic electrons can also become trapped inside the plasmoids that form in the current layer and gain additional energy from the electric field arising from the motion of the plasmoid. Based on our findings, we provide an analytical estimate of the maximum electron energy and threshold condition for suprathermal electron acceleration in terms of experimentally tunable parameters. Finally, we investigate future experiments with a more energetic laser drive and larger system size. We discuss the influence of plasmoids on the particle acceleration, and the use of proton radiography to probe plasmoids. This work was supported by the DOE Office of Science, Fusion Energy Science (FWP 100182).

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hoshino, M.

    2014-12-01

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

  11. Magnetic Reconnection During Flux Conversion in a Driven Spheromak

    SciTech Connect

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

    2005-06-07

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2016-03-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-06-26

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

  14. 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.

  15. OSCILLATION OF NEWLY FORMED LOOPS AFTER MAGNETIC RECONNECTION IN THE SOLAR CHROMOSPHERE

    SciTech Connect

    Yang, Shuhong; Xiang, Yongyuan

    2016-03-10

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

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

    PubMed Central

    Zhang, Y. C.

    2016-01-01

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

  17. Observation of Two Slow Shocks Associated with Magnetic Reconnection Exhausts in the Interplanetary Space

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Feng, HengQiang; Li, QiuHuan; Wang, JieMin; Zhao, GuoQing

    2017-04-01

    In the Petschek magnetic reconnection model, two groups of slow shocks play an important role in the energy release. In the past half century, a large number of slow shocks were observed in the geomagnetic tail, and many slow shocks were associated with magnetic reconnection events in the geomagnetic tail. Slow shocks in the interplanetary space are rarer than in the geomagnetic tail. We investigated whether slow shocks associated with interplanetary reconnection exhausts are rare. We examined the boundaries of 50 reconnection exhausts reported by Phan, Gosling, and Davis (Geophys. Res. Lett. 36:L09108, 2009) in interplanetary space to identify slow shocks by fitting the Rankine-Hugoniot relations. Two slow shocks associated with magnetic reconnection exhausts were found and evaluated using observations from Wind and the Advanced Composition Explorer. The observed slow shocks associated with interplanetary reconnection exhausts are rarer than the observed slow shocks associated with geomagnetic tail reconnection exhausts.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Zhang, Y. C.

    2016-06-01

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

  19. Magnetic reconnection during steady magnetospheric convection and other magnetospheric modes

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hubert, Benoit; Gérard, Jean-Claude; Milan, Steve E.; Cowley, Stanley W. H.

    2017-03-01

    We use remote sensing of the proton aurora with the IMAGE-FUV SI12 (Imager for Magnetopause to Aurora Global Exploration-Far Ultraviolet-Spectrographic Imaging at 121.8 nm) instrument and radar measurements of the ionospheric convection from the SuperDARN (Super Dual Aurora Radar Network) facility to estimate the open magnetic flux in the Earth's magnetosphere and the reconnection rates at the dayside magnetopause and in the magnetotail during intervals of steady magnetospheric convection (SMC). We find that SMC intervals occur with relatively high open magnetic flux (average ˜ 0.745 GWb, standard deviation ˜ 0.16 GWb), which is often found to be nearly steady, when the magnetic flux opening and closure rates approximately balance around 55 kV on average, with a standard deviation of 21 kV. We find that the residence timescale of open magnetic flux, defined as the ratio between the open magnetospheric flux and the flux closure rate, is roughly 4 h during SMCs. Interestingly, this number is approximately what can be deduced from the discussion of the length of the tail published by Dungey (1965), assuming a solar wind speed of ˜ 450 km s-1. We also infer an enhanced convection velocity in the tail, driving open magnetic flux to the nightside reconnection site. We compare our results with previously published studies in order to identify different magnetospheric modes. These are ordered by increasing open magnetic flux and reconnection rate as quiet conditions, SMCs, substorms (with an important overlap between these last two) and sawtooth intervals.

  20. Observation of Magnetic Reconnection Driven by Granular Scale Advection

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Zeng, Zhichen; Cao, W.; Ji, H.

    2013-07-01

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

  1. Observation of Magnetic Reconnection Driven by Granular Scale Advection

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Zeng, Zhicheng; Cao, Wenda; Ji, Haisheng

    2013-06-01

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

  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. 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.

  4. Rapid Changes of Photospheric Magnetic Field after Tether-cutting Reconnection and Magnetic Implosion

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Liu, Chang; Deng, N.; Liu, R.; Lee, J.; Wiegelmann, T.; Jing, J.; Xu, Y.; Wang, S.; Wang, H.

    2012-05-01

    A rapid and persistent change of the photospheric magnetic field co-temporal with the impulsive phase of solar flare emissions has been recognized as an important element of the flare process from both observational and theoretical points of view. Using the state-of-the-art photospheric vector magnetograms acquired by HMI and Hinode, we have studied such a change associated with the 2011 February 13 M6.6 flare in NOAA AR 11158. Our aim is not only to identify the field change but also to understand it in the context of magnetic reconnection involved with the flare. In our analysis, (1) the rapid change is detected in a compact region lying at the central neutral line, where the mean horizontal field strength increased significantly by 28% in 30 minutes. The field also becomes more sheared and inclined to the surface. (2) Sunspot umbrae with opposite polarity lying on the two sides of the compact region experienced sudden perturbations, moving in opposite directions at an apparent velocity of 3 km/s against the long-term evolution. (3) The field variation induces a downward Lorentz-force change acting on the compact region and two opposite horizontal components of the Lorentz-force change consistent with the sunspot motions. (4) Four conspicuous UV flare kernels appear at the event onset and are linked to ribbon-like hard X-ray emissions in the impulsive phase. The compact region lies between the central two kernels that are co-spatial with the central feet of the sigmoid according to the nonlinear force-free field (NLFFF) model. (5) The NLFFF model further shows that strong coronal currents are concentrated immediately above the compact region and undergo apparent downward collapse after the sigmoid eruption. These results are discussed in favor of both the tether-cutting reconnection producing the flare and the ensuing implosion (collapse) of the coronal field resulting from the energy release.

  5. 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.

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

    SciTech Connect

    Yang, Shuhong; Zhang, Jun; Xiang, Yongyuan

    2015-01-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kagan, Daniel; Nakar, Ehud; Piran, Tsvi

    2016-08-01

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

  8. Magnetic Reconnection in a Solar Eruption -Formation of the Flux Tube and its Eruption-

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Inoue, Satoshi; Büchner, Jörg

    2016-07-01

    A solar eruption is one of a dramatic phenomenon observed in the solar corona. The flux tube, which is a bundle of highly twisted lines, is widely believed as a driver source of the eruption. Although the magnetic reconnection is a key process of the formation of the flux tube as well as the eruptive process, these dynamics are still open to be solved. In order to clarify these dynamics, we first perform a magnetohydrodynamic (MHD) simulation using a force-free field extrapolated from the photospheric magnetic field. Our simulation successfully produced the typical eruptive processes in which the twisted flux tube slowly ascends in the beginning of the eruption; afterwards, it shows the fast ascending. We found that the reconnection is a key process to break the force-free field initially constructed, and highly twisted flux tube formation during the slow rising phase and even after the fast eruption. Next we compare with Büchner + Skala simulations and compressively discuss the play of the reconnection in the solar eruption.

  9. Possible Properties of Kinetic Flux Ropes Generated by Magnetic Reconnection

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ng, C. S.

    2015-12-01

    We present latest results of numerical studies of a recently obtained analytic solution that can describe small-scale kinetic flux ropes. Such exact nonlinear solution of the Vlasov-Poisson-Ampere system of equations can be regarded as two-dimensional Bernstein-Greene-Kruskal (BGK) mode, generalizing from a solution in a magnetized plasma with finite magnetic field strength [Ng, Bhattacharjee, and Skiff, Phys. Plasmas 13, 055903 (2006)], with the additional effect of field-aligned current. Such solution might explain magnetic flux ropes observed to form within the diffusion region in 3D kinetic simulations of magnetic reconnection, and the 2D version of them (plasmoids, secondary islands). We will present properties of solutions based on a range of typical plasma parameters within regions of the magnetosphere where magnetic reconnection could happen. These solutions could potentially be used to compare with future Magnetospheric Multiscale Mission (MMS) observation. This work is supported by a National Science Foundation grant PHY-1004357 and the Alaska NASA EPSCoR Program (NNX13AB28A).

  10. Defining and identifying three-dimensional magnetic reconnection in resistive magnetohydrodynamic simulations of Earth's magnetosphere

    SciTech Connect

    Dorelli, John C.; Bhattacharjee, A.

    2008-05-15

    Magnetic reconnection is thought to be the primary mode by which the solar wind couples to the terrestrial magnetosphere, driving phenomena such as magnetic storms and aurorae. While the theory of two-dimensional reconnection is well developed and has been applied with great success to axisymmetric and toroidal systems such as laboratory plasma experiments and fusion devices, it is difficult to justify the application of two-dimensional theory to nontoroidal plasma systems such as Earth's magnetosphere. Unfortunately, the theory of three-dimensional magnetic reconnection is much less well developed, and even defining magnetic reconnection has turned out to be controversial. In this paper, recent progress in the use of magnetohydrodynamics (MHD) to address the physics of three-dimensional reconnection in Earth's magnetosphere is reviewed. The paper consists of two parts. In the first part, various definitions of three-dimensional reconnection are reviewed, with the goal of mapping these definitions to sets of physical phenomena that have been identified as 'reconnection' in various contexts. In the second part of the paper, MHD simulation results for the magnetosphere are presented, and two qualitatively distinct types of reconnection phenomena are identified: (1) Steady separator reconnection under generic northward interplanetary magnetic field (IMF) conditions, involving plasma flow across magnetic separatrices, and (2) time-dependent reconnection under generic southward IMF conditions, involving a locally detectable change in the magnetic field topology. It is concluded that magnetic reconnection phenomena at Earth's dayside magnetopause are adequately captured by two distinct definitions: The Vasyliunas definition [V. M. Vasyliunas, Rev. Geophys 13, 303 (1975)], which identifies magnetic reconnection with plasma flow across magnetic separatrices, and the Greene definition [J. Greene, Phys. Fluids B 5, 2355 (1993)], which identifies magnetic reconnection with a

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

    SciTech Connect

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

    2014-12-15

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

  12. EVIDENCE FOR SOLAR TETHER-CUTTING MAGNETIC RECONNECTION FROM CORONAL FIELD EXTRAPOLATIONS

    SciTech Connect

    Liu, Chang; Deng, Na; Lee, Jeongwoo; Wang, Haimin; Wiegelmann, Thomas; Moore, Ronald L.

    2013-12-01

    Magnetic reconnection is one of the primary mechanisms for triggering solar eruptive events, but direct observation of this rapid process has been a challenge. In this Letter, using a nonlinear force-free field (NLFFF) extrapolation technique, we present a visualization of field line connectivity changes resulting from tether-cutting reconnection over about 30 minutes during the 2011 February 13 M6.6 flare in NOAA AR 11158. Evidence for the tether-cutting reconnection was first collected through multiwavelength observations and then by analysis of the field lines traced from positions of four conspicuous flare 1700 Å footpoints observed at the event onset. Right before the flare, the four footpoints are located very close to the regions of local maxima of the magnetic twist index. In particular, the field lines from the inner two footpoints form two strongly twisted flux bundles (up to ∼1.2 turns), which shear past each other and reach out close to the outer two footpoints, respectively. Immediately after the flare, the twist index of regions around the footpoints diminishes greatly and the above field lines become low-lying and less twisted (≲0.6 turns), overarched by loops linking the two flare ribbons formed later. About 10% of the flux (∼3 × 10{sup 19} Mx) from the inner footpoints undergoes a footpoint exchange. This portion of flux originates from the edge regions of the inner footpoints that are brightened first. These rapid changes of magnetic field connectivity inferred from the NLFFF extrapolation are consistent with the tether-cutting magnetic reconnection model.

  13. Structure and evolution of flux transfer events near dayside magnetic reconnection dissipation region: MMS observations

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Dong, X.-C.; Dunlop, M. W.; Trattner, K. J.; Phan, T. D.; Fu, H.-S.; Cao, J.-B.; Russell, C. T.; Giles, B. L.; Torbert, R. B.; Le, Guan; Burch, J. L.

    2017-06-01

    We investigate a series of three small-scale flux transfer events (FTEs) associated with reconnected flux ropes, recently generated by a nearby, dayside magnetic reconnection line. The data are observed by the Magnetospheric Multiscale spacecraft near noon local time. We find that the associated FTEs are created by secondary magnetic reconnection and have different magnetic field topologies, which is a similar condition to that expected in the multiple X-line magnetic reconnection (MR) model. The calculated results show that the sizes of the FTEs become larger with the time elapsed and the MR reconnection jets at the FTEs are all located on the trailing and outer edges. The above features indicate that these FTEs are still in the evolutionary stage after they are ejected from the reconnection region. Our observations suggest that mesoscale or even typical size FTEs can be created from secondary MR, initially, and subsequently can evolve to a typical size in the process of spreading.

  14. Kinetic simulation of asymmetric magnetic reconnection with cold ions

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Dargent, J.; Aunai, N.; Lavraud, B.; Toledo-Redondo, S.; Shay, M. A.; Cassak, P. A.; Malakit, K.

    2017-05-01

    At the dayside magnetopause, the magnetosphere often contains a cold ion population of ionospheric origin. This population is not always detectable by particle instruments due to its low energy, despite having an important contribution to the total ion density and therefore an impact on key plasma processes such as magnetic reconnection. The exact role and implications of this low-temperature population are still not well known and has not been addressed with numerical simulation before. We present 2-D fully kinetic simulations of asymmetric magnetic reconnection with and without a cold ion population on the magnetospheric side of the magnetopause, but sharing the same total density, temperature, and magnetic field profiles. The comparison of the simulations suggests that cold ions directly impact signatures recently suggested as a good marker of the X line region: the Larmor electric field. Our simulations reveal that this electric field, initially present all along the magnetospheric separatrix, is related to the bounce of magnetosheath ions at the magnetopause magnetic field reversal through Speiser-like orbits. Once reconnection widens the current sheet away from the X line, the bouncing stops and the electric field signature remains solely confined near the X line. When cold ions are present, however, their very low temperature enables them to E × B drift in the electric field structure. If their density is large enough compared to other ions, their contribution to the momentum equation is capable of maintaining the signature away from the X line. This effect must be taken into account when analyzing in situ spacecraft measurements.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2015-04-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Cassak, Paul; Shepherd, Lucas

    2012-03-01

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

  17. 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.

  18. 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.

  19. Multiscale structures of resistive magnetic reconnection at high magnetic Reynolds numbers

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Miyoshi, Takahiro; Kusano, Kanya

    Magnetic reconnection is the most important process of explosive phenomena in space plasmas. The magnetic Reynolds number for the space plasmas are extremely high in general since those plasmas are thought to be collisionless or semi-collisional. However, magnetic reconnection rate becomes low as magnetic Reynolds number increases within the framework of a stationary resistive MHD model. Thus, modern models of magnetic reconnection often include kinetic effects such as the Hall effect to explain realistic explosive magnetic reconnection. It is thought, on the other hand, that the MHD approximation is valid for the plasmas within a very wide range of scales since the scale gap between the macro-and micro-scale is quite large, e.g., in the solar corona, the ratio of the macro to micro will be more than 107 . Such multiscale structures of MHD with wide range of scales, however, have not been clarified so far. Therefore, in this paper, resistive magnetic reconnection at high magnetic Reynolds numbers are investigated using very high-resolution MHD simulations. Simulation results show that the magnetic energy at high magnetic Reynolds numbers is explosively released, while that at not-so-high magnetic Reynolds numbers is steadily dissipated. In the case of high magnetic Reynolds numbers, multiple small scale plasmoids are intermittently created and ejected via secondary tearing modes in a nonlinearly developed thin current sheet. It is revealed that a secondary plasmoid is not only accelerated up to a local magnetosonic speed toward the down-stream region but also perturbs the up-stream region. Thus, complicated multiscale structures appear around the magnetic field reversal layer. Perspective for the high-resolution simulation of extremely high magnetic Reynolds numbers will be also discussed.

  20. Understanding IRIS Observations of Explosive Events in Terms of Magnetic Reconnection Mechanisms

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2016-12-01

    The explosive events (here after mentioned as EEs) are thought to be driven by small-scale reconnection in the transition region. The reconnection processes take place in scales that are far below the resolution limit of existing imaging telescopes. Nevertheless, the spectral observations from the IRIS mission have the potential to reveal convolved information of density, temperature and velocity of a reconnection site; because reconnection mechanisms, e.g. Sweet-Parker, Petschek and the plasmoid instability, have reconnection sites with very different density and velocity structures and presumably spectral line profiles of different shapes. In our numerical experiments, we trigger different kinds of reconnection, produce synthetic line profiles of the reconnection sites and manage to build connections between reconnection mechanisms with shapes of line profiles. Subsequently, by comparing the observed line profiles of EEs with the synthetic line profiles from simulation, we could probe the reconnection processes that could not be directly observed on the Sun. We find that the observed spectra during EEs can be reproduced by a reconnection site with multiple magnetic islands and null points (or X points) that characterize the plasmoid instability but not by bi-directional jets that characterize the Sweet-Parker or the Petschek mechanism. This result suggests that if EEs are small-scale reconnection sites, then the reconnection proceeds via the plasmoid instability, rather than the Sweet-Parker or Petschek mechanism.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2014-06-01

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

  2. Genesis of Interplanetary Intermittent Turbulence: A Case Study of Rope&enrope Magnetic Reconnection

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Chian, Abraham C.-L.; Feng, Heng Q.; Hu, Qiang; Loew, Murray H.; Miranda, Rodrigo A.; Muñoz, Pablo R.; Sibeck, David G.; Wu, De J.

    2016-12-01

    In a recent paper, the relation between current sheet, magnetic reconnection, and turbulence at the leading edge of an interplanetary coronal mass ejection was studied. We report here the observation of magnetic reconnection at the interface region of two interplanetary magnetic flux ropes. The front and rear boundary layers of three interplanetary magnetic flux ropes are identified, and the structures of magnetic flux ropes are reconstructed by the Grad-Shafranov method. A quantitative analysis of the reconnection condition and the degree of intermittency reveals that rope-rope magnetic reconnection is the most likely site for genesis of interplanetary intermittency turbulence in this event. The dynamic pressure pulse resulting from this reconnection triggers the onset of a geomagnetic storm.

  3. Genesis of Interplanetary Intermittent Turbulence: a Case Study of Rope-Rope Magnetic Reconnection

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Chian, Abraham C.- L.; Feng, Heng Q.; Hu, Qiang; Loew, Murray H.; Miranda, Rodrigo A.; Munoz, Pablo R.; Sibeck, David G.; Wu, De J.

    2016-01-01

    In a recent paper, the relation between current sheet, magnetic reconnection, and turbulence at the leading edge of an interplanetary coronal mass ejection was studied. We report here the observation of magnetic reconnection at the interface region of two interplanetary magnetic flux ropes. The front and rear boundary layers of three interplanetary magnetic flux ropes are identified, and the structures of magnetic flux ropes are reconstructed by the Grad Shafranov method. A quantitative analysis of the reconnection condition and the degree of intermittency reveals that rope-rope magnetic reconnection is the most likely site for genesis of interplanetary intermittency turbulence in this event. The dynamic pressure pulse resulting from this reconnection triggers the onset of a geomagnetic storm.

  4. 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.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2014-08-01

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

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

    SciTech Connect

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

    2014-10-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2015-11-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2010-11-05

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2016-03-01

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

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

    DOE PAGES

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

    2016-03-16

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

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

    SciTech Connect

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

    2016-03-16

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

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

    SciTech Connect

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

    2016-03-15

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

  13. Population Mixing in Asymmetric Magnetic Reconnection with a Guide Field

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hesse, M.; Chen, L. J.; Liu, Y.-H.; Bessho, N.; Burch, J. L.

    2017-04-01

    We investigate how population mixing leads to structured electron distribution functions in asymmetric guide-field magnetic reconnection based on particle-in-cell simulations. The change of magnetic connectivity patches populations from different inflow regions to form multicomponent distributions in the exhaust, illustrating the direct consequence of the breaking and rejoining of magnetic flux tubes. Finite Larmor radius (FLR) effects of electrons accelerated by the perpendicular electric fields result in crescent-type nongyrotropic distributions. A new type of nongyrotropy is found to be caused by the combined effects of the FLR and velocity dispersion of electrons accelerated by the parallel electric field. The patching together of populations and the effects of acceleration and the FLR form the first steps of mixing in the exhaust and separatrix regions.

  14. Double layer electric fields aiding the production of superthermal electrons within magnetic reconnection exhausts

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Egedal, Jan; Daughton, William; Le, Ari

    2015-11-01

    Using a kinetic simulation of magnetic reconnection it was recently shown that parallel electric fields (E∥) can be present over large spatial scales in reconnection exhausts. The largest values of E∥ are observed within double layers, which form through large parallel streaming of electrons into the reconnection region. The electron confinement, provided in part by the structure in E∥, allows sustained energization by perpendicular electric fields (E⊥). The energization is a consequence of the confined electrons' chaotic orbital motion that includes drifts aligned with the reconnection electric field. The mechanism is effective in an extended region of the reconnection exhaust allowing for the generation of superthermal electrons in reconnection scenarios, including those with only a single x-line. The numerical and analytical results agree with detailed spacecraft observations recorded during reconnection events in the Earth's magnetotail. Supported by NSF GEM award 1405166 and NASA grant NNX14AC68G.

  15. Three-dimensional magnetic reconnection and its application to solar flares

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Janvier, Miho

    2017-02-01

    Solar flares are powerful radiations occurring in the Sun's atmosphere. They are powered by magnetic reconnection, a phenomenon that can convert magnetic energy into other forms of energy such as heat and kinetic energy, and which is believed to be ubiquitous in the universe. With the ever increasing spatial and temporal resolutions of solar observations, as well as numerical simulations benefiting from increasing computer power, we can now probe into the nature and the characteristics of magnetic reconnection in three dimensions to better understand the phenomenon's consequences during eruptive flares in our star's atmosphere. We review in the following the efforts made on different fronts to approach the problem of magnetic reconnection. In particular, we will see how understanding the magnetic topology in three dimensions helps in locating the most probable regions for reconnection to occur, how the current layer evolves in three dimensions and how reconnection leads to the formation of flux ropes, plasmoids and flaring loops.

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

    SciTech Connect

    Craig, Darren

    2011-10-27

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

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

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

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

    1989-01-01

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

  18. Survey of magnetic reconnection signatures in the Martian magnetotail with MAVEN

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2017-05-01

    We conduct an extended survey of reconnection signatures observed in the Martian magnetotail by the Mars Atmosphere and Volatile EvolutioN (MAVEN) mission. Although it is well established that magnetic reconnection plays a fundamental role in the dynamics of intrinsic magnetospheres, the role of reconnection in the dynamics of induced magnetospheres remains poorly understood. Based on comprehensive plasma and field measurements by MAVEN in the Martian magnetotail, we first identified 776 current sheet crossings and then selected 34 crossings with Hall magnetic field signatures, which are indicative of the ion diffusion region of tail reconnection. For the majority of the identified Hall field events, we observe ion flow enhancements in the directions consistent with the reconnection outflow directions expected from the Hall magnetic field polarity. The reconnection signatures are preferentially observed in the -E hemisphere of the near-Mars magnetotail at ˜1-2 Mars radii downstream from Mars. We have found no strong correlation of the likelihood of observing reconnection signatures with local crustal field strengths or with upstream drivers. The duty cycle of tail reconnection is estimated to be ˜1-10% or even higher. The MAVEN observations suggest that magnetic reconnection can play an important role in the dynamics of the Martian magnetotail.

  19. 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

  20. 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

  1. Development of Turbulent Magnetic Reconnection in a Magnetic Island

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Huang, Can; Lu, Quanming; Wang, Rongsheng; Guo, Fan; Wu, Mingyu; Lu, San; Wang, Shui

    2017-02-01

    In this paper, with two-dimensional particle-in-cell simulations, we report that the electron Kelvin–Helmholtz instability is unstable in the current layer associated with a large-scale magnetic island, which is formed in multiple X-line guide field reconnections. The current sheet is fragmented into many small current sheets with widths down to the order of the electron inertial length. Secondary magnetic reconnection then occurs in these fragmented current sheets, which leads to a turbulent state. The electrons are highly energized in such a process.

  2. Magnetic reconnection in multispecies plasmas investigated by a kinetic fluid code

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Dong, Chuanfei; Wang, Liang; Bhattacharjee, Amitava; Hakim, Ammar; Huang, Yi-Min; Germaschewski, Kai

    2016-10-01

    We first study the reconnection process in multispecies plasmas by using Gkeyll, which is a kinetic fluid code solving the continuity, momentum and energy equations of each species, and the full Maxwell equations. Thus, there is no assumption by solving the generalized ohm's law in Gkeyll. We studied the reconnection processes in the plasma consisting of electrons, protons and oxygen ions. If time allows, we also plan to show some preliminary results of magnetic reconnection in dusty plasmas with negatively charged dust.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2015-11-01

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

  4. Two Types of Magnetic Reconnection in Coronal Bright Points and the Corresponding Magnetic Configuration

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Zhang, Q. M.; Chen, P. F.; Guo, Y.; Fang, C.; Ding, M. D.

    2012-02-01

    Coronal bright points (CBPs) are long-lived small-scale brightenings in the solar corona. They are generally explained by magnetic reconnection. However, the corresponding magnetic configurations are not well understood. We carry out a detailed multi-wavelength analysis of two neighboring CBPs on 2007 March 16, observed in soft X-ray (SXR) and EUV channels. It is seen that the SXR light curves present quasi-periodic flashes with an interval of ~1 hr superposed over the long-lived mild brightenings, suggesting that the SXR brightenings of this type of CBPs might consist of two components: one is the gentle brightenings and the other is the CBP flashes. It is found that the strong flashes of the bigger CBP are always accompanied by SXR jets. The potential field extrapolation indicates that both CBPs are covered by a dome-like separatrix surface, with a magnetic null point above. We propose that the repetitive CBP flashes, as well as the recurrent SXR jets, result from the impulsive null-point reconnection, while the long-lived brightenings are due to the interchange reconnection along the separatrix surface. Although the EUV images at high-temperature lines resemble the SXR appearance, the 171 Å and 195 Å channels reveal that the blurry CBP in SXR consists of a cusp-shaped loop and several separate bright patches, which are explained to be due to the null-point reconnection and the separatrix reconnection, respectively.

  5. TWO TYPES OF MAGNETIC RECONNECTION IN CORONAL BRIGHT POINTS AND THE CORRESPONDING MAGNETIC CONFIGURATION

    SciTech Connect

    Zhang, Q. M.; Chen, P. F.; Guo, Y.; Fang, C.; Ding, M. D.

    2012-02-10

    Coronal bright points (CBPs) are long-lived small-scale brightenings in the solar corona. They are generally explained by magnetic reconnection. However, the corresponding magnetic configurations are not well understood. We carry out a detailed multi-wavelength analysis of two neighboring CBPs on 2007 March 16, observed in soft X-ray (SXR) and EUV channels. It is seen that the SXR light curves present quasi-periodic flashes with an interval of {approx}1 hr superposed over the long-lived mild brightenings, suggesting that the SXR brightenings of this type of CBPs might consist of two components: one is the gentle brightenings and the other is the CBP flashes. It is found that the strong flashes of the bigger CBP are always accompanied by SXR jets. The potential field extrapolation indicates that both CBPs are covered by a dome-like separatrix surface, with a magnetic null point above. We propose that the repetitive CBP flashes, as well as the recurrent SXR jets, result from the impulsive null-point reconnection, while the long-lived brightenings are due to the interchange reconnection along the separatrix surface. Although the EUV images at high-temperature lines resemble the SXR appearance, the 171 Angstrom-Sign and 195 Angstrom-Sign channels reveal that the blurry CBP in SXR consists of a cusp-shaped loop and several separate bright patches, which are explained to be due to the null-point reconnection and the separatrix reconnection, respectively.

  6. Measurement of the current sheet during magnetic reconnection in a toroidal plasma.

    PubMed

    Crocker, N A; Fiksel, G; Prager, S C; Sarff, J S

    2003-01-24

    The current and magnetic-field fluctuations associated with magnetic-field-line reconnection have been measured in the reversed field pinch plasma configuration. The current sheet resulting from this reconnection has been measured. The current layer is radially broad, comparable to a magnetic-island width, as may be expected from current transport along magnetic-field lines. It is much larger than that predicted by resistive MHD for linear tearing modes and larger than prediction from two-fluid linear theory.

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

    SciTech Connect

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

    2016-01-25

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

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

    DOE PAGES

    Lu, San; Lu, Quanming; Guo, Fan; ...

    2016-01-25

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

  9. Slip-Squashing Factors as a Measure of Three-Dimensional Magnetic Reconnection

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Titov, V. S.; Forbes, T. G.; Priest, E. R.; Mikić, Z.; Linker, J. A.

    2009-03-01

    A general method for describing magnetic reconnection in arbitrary three-dimensional magnetic configurations is proposed. The method is based on the field-line mapping technique previously used only for the analysis of a magnetic structure at a given time. This technique is extended here so as to analyze the evolution of a magnetic structure. Such a generalization is made with the help of new dimensionless quantities called "slip-squashing factors." Their large values define the surfaces that border the reconnected or to-be-reconnected magnetic flux tubes for a given period of time during the magnetic evolution. The proposed method is universal, since it assumes only that the time sequence of evolving magnetic field and the tangential boundary flows are known. The application of the method is illustrated for simple examples, one of which was considered previously by Hesse and coworkers in the framework of the general magnetic reconnection theory. The examples help us to compare these two approaches; it reveals also that, just as for magnetic null points, hyperbolic and cusp minimum points of a magnetic field serve as favorable sites for magnetic reconnection. The new method admits a straightforward numerical implementation and provides a powerful tool for the diagnostics of magnetic reconnection in numerical models of solar-flare-like phenomena in space and laboratory plasmas.

  10. Slip-Squashing Factors as a Measure of Three-Dimensional Magnetic Reconnection

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Titov, V. S.; Forbes, T. G.; Priest, E. R.; Mikic, Z.; Linker, J. A.

    2008-12-01

    A general method for describing magnetic reconnection in arbitrary three-dimensional magnetic configurations is proposed. The method is based on the field-line mapping technique previously used only for the analysis of magnetic structure at a given time. This technique is extended here so as to analyze the evolution of magnetic structure. Such a generalization is made with the help of new dimensionless quantities called "slip-squashing factors". Their large values define the surfaces that border the reconnected or to-be-reconnected magnetic flux tubes for a given period of time during the magnetic evolution. The proposed method is universal, since it assumes only that the time sequence of the evolving magnetic field and the tangential boundary flows are known. The application of the method is illustrated for simple examples, one of which was considered previously by Hesse and coworkers in the framework of the general magnetic reconnection theory. The examples help to compare these two approaches; they reveal also that, just as for magnetic null points, hyperbolic and cusp minimum points of a magnetic field may serve as favorable sites for magnetic reconnection. The new method admits a straightforward numerical implementation and provides a powerful tool for the diagnostics of magnetic reconnection in numerical models of solar-flare-like phenomena in space and laboratory plasmas. Research partially supported by NASA and NSF.

  11. Three-dimensional evolution of a relativistic current sheet: triggering of magnetic reconnection by the guide field.

    PubMed

    Zenitani, S; Hoshino, M

    2005-08-26

    The linear and nonlinear evolution of a relativistic current sheet of pair (e(+/-)) plasmas is investigated by three-dimensional particle-in-cell simulations. In a Harris configuration, it is obtained that the magnetic energy is fast dissipated by the relativistic drift kink instability (RDKI). However, when a current-aligned magnetic field (the so-called "guide field") is introduced, the RDKI is stabilized by the magnetic tension force and it separates into two obliquely propagating modes, which we call the relativistic drift-kink-tearing instability. These two waves deform the current sheet so that they trigger relativistic magnetic reconnection at a crossover thinning point. Since relativistic reconnection produces a lot of nonthermal particles, the guide field is of critical importance to study the energetics of a relativistic current sheet.

  12. Influence of Spontaneously Generated Turbulence on Magnetic Reconnection

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Daughton, William; Roytershteyn, Vadim; Karimabadi, Homa

    2012-10-01

    The 3D dynamics of reconnection is examined for electron-positron plasmas within Harris sheet geometry with a guide field. This configuration is unstable to tearing modes at resonant surfaces across the layer, corresponding to oblique angles relative to 2D models. Vlasov theory predicts a spectrum of oblique modes which can destroy the flux surfaces and produce interacting flux ropes. These structures coalesce to larger scales leading to the continual formation and break-up of new current sheets and the generation of turbulence. The fluctuation spectrum is highly anisotropic and is characterized by two power-laws with a break at k di˜1, where di is the inertial length. In the large 3D simulations, the dissipation rate is reduced by ˜40% relative to small 2D cases which are steady and laminar. In both limits, the reconnection remains fast (i.e. Alfv'enic), is insensitive to the system size and ultimately occurs within inertial-scale current sheets. These results imply that the physics responsible for setting the time scale is not radically altered by the turbulence. However, the results indicate that a larger fraction of the magnetic energy is accessible in 3D and that many more particles are accelerated into the high energy tails due to the turbulence.

  13. Magnetic reconnection mediated by hyper-resistive plasmoid instability

    SciTech Connect

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

    2013-08-15

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2014-12-01

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

  15. Jet Formation in Solar Atmosphere due to Magnetic Reconnection

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    González-Avilés, J. J.; Guzmán, F. S.; Fedun, V.

    2017-02-01

    Using numerical simulations, we show that jets with features of type II spicules and cool coronal jets corresponding to temperatures of 104 K can be formed as a result of magnetic reconnection in a scenario with magnetic resistivity. For this, we model the low chromosphere–corona region using the C7 equilibrium solar atmosphere model, assuming that resistive MHD rules the dynamics of the plasma. The magnetic field configurations we analyze correspond to two neighboring loops with opposite polarity. The formation of a high-speed and sharp structure depends on the separation of the loops’ feet. We analyze the cases where the magnetic field strength of the two loops is equal and different. In the first case, with a symmetric configuration the jets rise vertically, whereas in an asymmetric configuration the structure shows an inclination. With a number of simulations carried out under a 2.5D approach, we explore various properties of the excited jets, namely, inclination, lifetime, and velocity. The parameter space involves a magnetic field strength between 20 and 40 G, and the resistivity is assumed to be uniform with a constant value of the order {10}-2{{Ω }}\\cdot m.

  16. 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.

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

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

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

    1987-01-01

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

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

    SciTech Connect

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

    2015-03-15

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

  19. 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.

  20. Fundamental limitation of a two-dimensional description of magnetic reconnection

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Firpo, Marie-Christine

    2014-10-01

    For magnetic reconnection to be possible, the electrons have at some point to ``get free from magnetic slavery,'' according to von Steiger's formulation. Stochasticity may be considered as one possible ingredient through which this may be realized in the magnetic reconnection process. It will be argued that non-ideal effects may be considered as a ``hidden'' way to introduce stochasticity. Then it will be shown that there exists a generic intrinsic stochasticity of magnetic field lines that does not require the invocation of non-ideal effects but cannot show up in effective two-dimensional models of magnetic reconnection. Possible implications will be discussed in the frame of tokamak sawteeth that form a laboratory prototype of magnetic reconnection.

  1. 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.

  2. 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.

  3. Driven magnetic reconnection in three dimensions - Energy conversion and field-aligned current generation

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Sato, T.; Walker, R. J.; Ashour-Abdalla, M.

    1984-01-01

    The energy conversion processes occurring in three-dimensional driven reconnection is analyzed. In particular, the energy conversion processes during localized reconnection in a taillike magnetic configuration are studied. It is found that three-dimensional driven reconnection is a powerful energy converter which transforms magnetic energy into plasma bulk flow and thermal energy. Three-dimensional driven reconnection is an even more powerful energy converter than two-dimensional reconnection, because in the three-dimensional case, plasmas were drawn into the reconnection region from the sides as well as from the top and bottom. Field-aligned currents are generated by three-dimensional driven reconnection. The physical mechanism responsible for these currents which flow from the tail toward the ionosphere on the dawnside of the reconnection region and from the ionosphere toward the tail on the duskside is identified. The field-aligned currents form as the neutral sheet current is diverted through the slow shocks which form on the outer edge of the reconnected field lines (outer edge of the plasma sheet).

  4. 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.

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

    SciTech Connect

    Drake, J. F.; Swisdak, M.

    2014-07-15

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

  6. Progress in Understanding Magnetic Reconnection in Laboratory and Space Astrophysical Plasmas

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Yamada, Masaaki

    2006-10-01

    Magnetic reconnection, a topological rearrangement of magnetic field lines, is a key for the self-organization processes in plasmas. It is seen in the evolution of solar flares, in the dynamics of the earth's magnetosphere, in the formation process of stars and in the self-organization of fusion research plasmas. During magnetic reconnection a conversion of magnetic energy to plasma kinetic energy occurs by way of acceleration or heating of plasma particles. This tutorial talk presents the fundamental physics of magnetic reconnection from a point of view of an experimentalist and reviews the recent significant progress made for laboratory and space plasmas with a special focus on two-fluid effects. A companion review of magnetic reconnection research is given from a theorist's point of view in this conference [1]. One of the most important questions is why reconnection occurs much faster than predicted by the classical MHD theory. In the past ten years, significant advances in understanding the physics of magnetic reconnection have been achieved through dedicated laboratory plasma experiments [2], observations from satellites [3], and numerical simulations [4]. Extensive theoretical and experimental work has revealed that two-fluid dynamics, the different behavior of ions and electrons, are important within the thin, critical layer where reconnection occurs, such as is seen in the magnetosphere2. Significant findings are: (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) Hall MHD effects have been measured in both laboratory and space plasmas, with the key signature 'out-of-reconnection-plane' quadrupole field component cleary observed, (4) Electrostatic and electromagnetic fluctuations and their spatial profiles were measured in the reconnection layer of both laboratory and space plasmas with notable

  7. Accelerated Flows at Jupiter's Magnetopause: Evidence for Magnetic Reconnection Along the Dawn Flank

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ebert, R. W.; Allegrini, F.; Bolton, S. J.; Bagenal, F.; Connerney, J. E. P.; Clark, G. B.; Kurth, W. S.; Levin, S.; Louarn, P.; Mauk, B.; McComas, D. J.; Reno, M. L.; Thomsen, M. F.; Valek, P. W.; Weidner, S.; Wilson, R. J.

    2016-12-01

    Magnetic reconnection is the physical process whereby magnetic fields separated by a thin current sheet merge and are reoriented. This process also releases magnetic energy that can heat and energize the local plasma, leading to the production of accelerated flows or jets that can be detected far from the reconnection site. Evidence of magnetic reconnection has been observed in a number of different space environments, including the magnetopause of several planetary magnetospheres. At Earth, reconnection on the dayside magnetopause can lead to the transfer of mass, energy, and momentum from the solar wind to the magnetosphere, triggering geomagnetic storms and aurora through a process known as the Dungey Cycle. At Jupiter, observations point to magnetopause reconnection being intermittent and its role in driving magnetospheric dynamics is still open to debate. The arrival of Juno at Jupiter in July 2016 has provided a new opportunity to explore the outer boundaries of Jupiter's magnetosphere. During its approach, Juno made several crossings of Jupiter's dawn magnetopause, many of which were characterized by observations of 0.01 - 50 keV/q ion and 0.1 - 100 keV electron distributions from the Jovian Auroral Distributions Experiment (JADE). These observations show evidence of accelerated flows near the magnetopause during a number of crossings that are indicative of ongoing reconnection. In this presentation, we will describe the plasma and magnetic field observations near Jupiter's magnetopause and explore the conditions under which magnetic reconnection may be taking place along Jupiter's dawn flank.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2016-03-01

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

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

    SciTech Connect

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

    2015-05-15

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2016-05-01

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

  11. Onset and Evolution of Magnetic Reconnection in Line-Tied Systems

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Daughton, W. S.; Akcay, C.; Billey, Z.; Finn, J.; Zweibel, E.; Gekelman, W. N.

    2014-12-01

    In space and astrophysical plasmas, current sheets arise spontaneously from the interaction of large-scale flows or magnetic structures. As these current layers approach kinetic scales, they may become unstable to the collisionless tearing instability, resulting in the formation and interaction of magnetic flux ropes. While theoretical treatments of the tearing instability have largely focused on 1D equilibria with periodic boundary conditions, current sheets in nature have a finite spatial extent and are embedded within larger open systems. In many applications, the field boundary conditions are line-tied as in the case of flux ropes on the dayside magnetopause where the ionosphere acts as a conducting surface. To assess the applicability of existing tearing theory to these more realistic configurations, we consider a series of 3D kinetic simulations of initially force-free current layers with line-tied boundary conditions for the fields, and open boundaries for the particles. The geometry and plasma parameters are motivated by a new laboratory experiment on the Large Plasma Device at UCLA. For sufficiently long systems, we demonstrate that key aspects of the theory remain valid, and a threshold condition is derived for the onset of reconnection in line-tied systems. To gain additional insight into the nonlinear evolution, field-line mapping diagnostics are employed to characterize the 3D structure of the magnetic field, the nonlinear reconnection rate and the dominant non-ideal terms in the generalized Ohm's law.

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

    SciTech Connect

    Pei, X. X.; Zhong, J. Y. E-mail: gzhao@bao.ac.cn; Sakawa, Y.; Sano, T.; Hara, Y.; Kondo, S.; Fujioka, S.; Zhang, Z.; Li, Y. F.; Zhu, B. J.; Zhang, K.; Wei, H. G.; Liang, G. Y.; Wang, F. L.; Zhao, G. E-mail: gzhao@bao.ac.cn; Li, Y. T.

    2016-03-15

    We demonstrate a novel plasma device for magnetic reconnection, driven by Gekko XII lasers irradiating a double-turn Helmholtz capacitor-coil target. Optical probing revealed an accumulated plasma plume near the magnetic reconnection outflow. The background electron density and magnetic field were measured to be approximately 10{sup 18 }cm{sup −3} and 60 T by using Nomarski interferometry and the Faraday effect, respectively. In contrast with experiments on magnetic reconnection constructed by the Biermann battery effect, which produced high beta values, our beta value was much lower than one, which greatly extends the parameter regime of laser-driven magnetic reconnection and reveals its potential in astrophysical plasma applications.

  13. Spatial and temporal plasma evolutions of magnetic reconnection in laser produced plasmas

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Khasanah, N.; Peng, C. W.; Chen, C. H.; Huang, T. Y.; Bolouki, N.; Moritaka, T.; Hara, Y.; Shimogawara, H.; Sano, T.; Sakawa, Y.; Sato, Y.; Tomita, K.; Uchino, K.; Matsukiyo, S.; Shoji, Y.; Tomita, S.; Tomiya, S.; Yamazaki, R.; Koenig, M.; Kuramitsu, Y.

    2017-06-01

    Magnetic reconnection is experimentally investigated in laser produced plasmas. By irradiating a solid target with a high-power laser beam, a magnetic bubble is generated due to the Biermann effect. When two laser beams with finite focal spot displacements are utilized, two magnetic bubbles are generated, and the magnetic reconnection can take place. We measure the spatial and temporal plasma evolutions with optical diagnostics using framing camera. We observed the plasma jets, which are considered to be reconnection out flows. Spatial and temporal scales of the plasma jets are much larger than those of laser. The magnetic reconnection time has been estimated from the expansion velocity, which is consistent with the Sweet-Parker model.

  14. A MAGNETIC RECONNECTION ORIGIN FOR THE SOFT X-RAY EXCESS IN AN ACTIVE GALACTIC NUCLEUS

    SciTech Connect

    Zhong Xiaogu; Wang Jiancheng

    2013-08-10

    We present a new scenario to explain the soft X-ray excess in an active galactic nucleus (AGN). Magnetic reconnection could happen in a thin layer on the surface of an accretion disk. Electrons are accelerated by a shock wave and turbulence is triggered by magnetic reconnection. Inverse Compton scattering then takes place above the accretion disk, producing soft X-rays. Based on the standard disk model, we estimate the magnetic field strength and the energy released by magnetic reconnection along the accretion disk and find that the luminosity arising from magnetic reconnection is mostly emitted in the inner disk, which is dominated by radiation pressure. We then apply the model to fit the spectra of AGNs with strong soft X-ray excess.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2015-04-01

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

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

    SciTech Connect

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

    2015-04-15

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

  17. Magnetic reconnection in three-dimensional magnetohydrodynamic Taylor-Green flows

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hao, Jinhua; Yang, Yue

    2016-10-01

    We develop the magnetic-surface field (MSF), a Lagrangian-based structure identification method, to study the evolution of magnetic surfaces in magnetohydrodynamics (MHD). Every isosurface of the MSF defines a magnetic surface consisting of magnetic lines. This method is rooted in the Alfven theorem, which is the analogue of the Helmholtz vorticity theorem to illustrate the ``frozen-in'' nature of magnetic fields. A two-time approach and a numerical dissipative regularization are introduced for evolving MSF in the conducting fluids with a finite conductivity. From the construction and evolution of MSFs in three-dimensional MHD Taylor-Green (TG-MHD) flows, the topological changes of magnetic surfaces and the reconnection of magnetic lines are characterized. By comparing the structural evolutions in a TG-MHD flow and in a Taylor-Green hydrodynamic (TG-HD) flow, we elucidate the effects of the Lorenz force on the evolution of magnetic surfaces and vortex surfaces. Moreover, we find that the significant changes in energy spectra and dissipation rates in the transition are related to the appearance of some characteristic magnetic and vortex surfaces. This work is supported by the NSFC (No. 11522215) and the Thousand Young Talent Program of China.

  18. 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.

  19. Three-dimensional geometry of magnetic reconnection induced by ballooning instability in a generalized Harris sheet

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Zhu, Ping; Bhattacharjee, Amitava; Sangari, Arash; Wang, Zechen; Bonofiglo, Phillip

    2017-02-01

    We report for the first time the intrinsically three-dimensional (3D) geometry of the magnetic reconnection process induced by ballooning instability in a generalized Harris sheet. The spatial distribution and the structure of the quasi-separatrix layers, as well as their temporal emergence and evolution, indicate that the associated magnetic reconnection can only occur in a 3D geometry, which is irreducible to that of any two-dimensional reconnection process. Such a finding provides a new perspective to the long-standing controversy over the substorm onset problem and elucidates the combined roles of reconnection and ballooning instabilities. It also connects to the universal presence of 3D reconnection processes previously discovered in various natural and laboratory plasmas.

  20. High-frequency Plasma Waves Associated with Magnetic Reconnection in the Solar Wind

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wang, Y.

    2015-12-01

    Activities of high-frequency plasma waves associated with magnetic reconnection in the solar wind observed by Time Domain Sampler (TDS) experiments on STEREO/WAVES are preliminarily analyzed. The TDS instrument can provide burst mode electric fields data with as long as 16384 sample points at 250 kHz sampling rate. In all 1120 suspected reconnection events, it is found that the most commonly occurred waves are neither ion acoustic waves, electrostatic solitary waves, nor Langmuir/upper hybrid waves, but Bernstein-like waves with harmonics of the electron cyclotron frequency. In addition, to each type of waves, Langmuir/upper hybrid waves reveal the largest occurrence rate in the reconnection region than in the ambient solar wind. These results indicate that Bernstein-like waves and Langmuir/upper hybrid waves might play important roles in the reconnection associated particle heating processes and they might also influence the dissipation of magnetic reconnection.

  1. Generation of Alfvén wave energy during magnetic reconnection in Hall MHD

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Li, Lingjie; Ma, Zhiwei; Wang, Licheng

    2017-10-01

    The effect of the reconnection rate on the generation of Alfvén wave energy is systematically investigated using Hall magnetohydrodynamics (MHD). It is well known that a decrease in magnetic energy is proportional to the reconnection rate. It is found that an instantaneous increase in Alfvén wave energy in unit Alfvén time is the square dependence on the reconnection rate. The converted Alfvén wave energy is strongly enhanced due to the large increase in the reconnection rate in Hall MHD. For solar-terrestrial plasmas, the maximum converted Alfvén wave energy in unit Alfvén time with the Hall effect can be over 50 times higher than that without the Hall effect during magnetic reconnection.

  2. Flare magnetic reconnection fluxes as possible signatures of flare contributions to gradual SEP events

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kahler, S. W.; Kazachenko, M.; Lynch, B. J.; Welsch, B. T.

    2017-09-01

    The primary sources of solar energetic (E > 20 MeV) particle (SEP) events are flares and CME-driven shocks. Some studies claim that even up to GeV energies solar flares are major contributors to SEP events. There are several candidate flare processes for producing SEPs, but acceleration in magnetic reconnection regions is probably the most efficient. Previous studies have relied on flare radiation signatures to determine the times and locations of SEP injections. An alternative approach is to use the amount of magnetic flux that gets reconnected during solar flares. The photospheric magnetic flux swept out by flare ribbons is thought to be directly related to the amount of magnetic reconnection in the corona and is therefore a key diagnostic tool for understanding the physical processes in flares and CMEs. We use the database of flare magnetic reconnection fluxes to compare these parameters with peak intensities of SEP events. We find that while sizes of 15 ∼25-MeV SEP events in the western hemisphere correlate with both CME speeds and reconnection fluxes, there are many cases of large reconnection fluxes with no observed SEP events. The occurrence of large reconnection fluxes accompanied by slow CMEs but no SEP events suggests that the CME shocks are the primary, if not the only, sources of high energy (E > 100 MeV) SEP events.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Shimizu, T.

    2015-10-01

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

  4. 3D magnetic field configuration of small-scale reconnection events in the solar plasma atmosphere

    SciTech Connect

    Shimizu, T.

    2015-10-15

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

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

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

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

    1998-01-01

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

  6. Magnetic reconnection in numerical simulations of the Bastille day flare

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Vincent, A. P.; Charbonneau, P.

    2011-12-01

    If neither waves nor adiabatic heating due to compression are taken into account, coronal heating may be obtained in numerical simulations from current dissipation inside solar flares. To increase Joule heating locally we used a model for hyper resistivity (Klimas et al., 2004: Journal of Geophysical Research, 109, 2218-2231). Here the change in resistivity is due to small scale (less than 1Mm in our simulations) current density fluctuations. Whenever the current exceeds a cut-off value, magnetic resistivity jumps sharply to reach a maximum locally thus increasing magnetic gradients at the border of the flare. In this way, not only the current increases but also the maximum is slowly displaced and simulations of the full set of 3-D MHD equations show a progression westward as can be seen in SOHO-EIT images of the ''slinky''. In our simulations of the Bastille day flare, most of the reconnection events take place just above the transition and mostly follow the neutral line but it is Spitzer thermal diffusivity together with radiative cooling that illuminates magnetic arcades in a way similar to what can be seen in extreme ultra-violet animations of the slinky.

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

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

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

    1998-01-01

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

  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. Experimental Studies on the 3D Macro- and Microphysics of Magnetic Reconnection

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2015-12-01

    Magnetic reconnection has been extensively studied in 2D geometries for many decades and considerable progress has been made in understating 2D reconnection physics, yet in real plasmas reconnection is fundamentally 3D in nature. Only recently has it become possible to study 3D reconnection using simulations, however some initial results have suggested that the inclusion of 3D effects does not strongly affect the basic properties of reconnection (e.g. reconnection rate or particle acceleration). Yet on the other hand, previous experiments, without direct 3D measurements, have implied that 3D effects could be important even in a quasi-2D system. Here we experimentally study both the (1) macro- and (2) microphysics of 3D reconnection in order to directly test the importance of 3D effects in a quasi-2D experiment. Using fully simultaneous 3D measurements, it is shown that during highly driven reconnection the macroscopic structure of the current sheet can become strongly 3D despite an essentially 2D upstream region. The correlation length along the current sheet is measured to be far shorter than suggested by kinetic simulations. Results from new experiments with stronger reconnection drive and diagnostics designed to estimate the 3D reconnection rate will be discussed. With regards to (2), the 3D microphysics, new diagnostics capable of measuring fluctuations at frequencies up to the electron cyclotron frequency (~ 300 MHz) have been developed and have identified the presence of very high frequency waves (~ 100 MHz) during asymmetric reconnection, localized to the low-density side. The detailed properties of these waves, including the measured power spectra and dispersion relation, will be discussed and compared with both previous satellite observations of high-frequency waves as well as with theoretical predictions on the generation of whistler waves during reconnection.

  10. Pulsating Reconnection in the interaction of Two Magnetic Fux Ropes.

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Gekelman, W. N.; DeHaas, T.; Daughton, W. S.; Van Compernolle, B.

    2015-12-01

    Two flux ropes (dia = 7 cm, ds= 3 cm, L = 10m, Irope = 300 A/rope) are generated by using a mask in front of a high emissivity cathode (n = 4X1012 cm3, Te-rope = 8.5 eV) in a background magnetoplasma (He, Boz= 330 G, n=1.0X1012 cm3, Te = 4 eV) in the LAPD device at UCLA. The ropes are kink unstable ( I > 250 A) but not violently so. All three components of the magnetic field were measured with small (1 mm dia) 3-axis probes sensitive to and the plasma potential measured with an emissive probe. These were measured at over 42,000 locations in the volume containing the ropes and 7000 time steps (δτ = .33 μs). The total electric field and parallel resistivity as well as the Quasi Seperatrix layer (QSL) were derived from the data. The flux ropes periodically collide as they rotate about when another and kink. Each time this happens a strong QSL (Q<400) forms and the resistivity jumps to over a hundred times the classical value at locations within the QSL and also on the gradient of the rope current. The QSL formation and 3D electric fields are presented as a function of space and time. The reconnection rate is directly evaluated by integrating the electric field along field lines as well as the energy deposition . The data indicate that there is more than one process causing the enhanced resistivity. The reconnection rate cannot be explained by conventional 2D theories.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2015-11-01

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

  12. 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