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Sample records for forced magnetic reconnection

  1. Nonlinear regimes of forced magnetic reconnection

    SciTech Connect

    Vekstein, G.; Kusano, K.

    2015-09-15

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

  2. Forced Magnetic Reconnection In A Tokamak Plasma

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2015-11-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2015-11-01

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

  4. Magnetic Reconnection

    NASA Video Gallery

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

  5. 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.

  6. 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})

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2014-05-01

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

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

    SciTech Connect

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

    2014-05-15

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

  9. 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.

  10. 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.

  11. 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.

  12. THEMIS Sees Magnetic Reconnection

    NASA Video Gallery

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2006-08-01

    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.

  14. 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.

  15. 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.

  16. Turbulent General Magnetic Reconnection

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Eyink, G. L.

    2015-07-01

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

  17. 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.

  18. Nonlinear Collisionless Magnetic Reconnection

    SciTech Connect

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

    2008-10-15

    We review some recent results that have been obtained in the investigation of collisionless reconnection in two and three dimensional magnetic configurations with a strong guide field in regimes of interest for laboratory plasmas. First, we adopt a two-field plasma model where two distinct regimes, laminar and turbulent, can be identified. Then, we show that these regimes may combine when we consider a more general four-field model, where perturbation of the magnetic and velocity fields are allowed also along the ignorable coordinate.

  19. Inhomogeneous turbulence in magnetic reconnection

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Yokoi, Nobumitsu

    2016-07-01

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

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

    SciTech Connect

    Amitava Bhattacharjee

    2007-04-20

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

  1. Radiative Magnetic Reconnection in Astrophysics

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Uzdensky, D. A.

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

  2. 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.

  3. 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.

  4. Three-Dimensional Magnetic Reconnection Through A Moving Magnetic Null.

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lukin, Vyacheslav; Linton, M. G.

    2011-05-01

    We model the dynamics of three-dimensional (3D) magnetic reconnection in a system where magnetic fields are observed to evolve from an unstable force-free equilibrium to a minimum energy state by way of global rearrangement of the magnetic topology. The process conserves total magnetic helicity and reconnection through a magnetic null is the dominant magnetic energy loss mechanism. During the period of most intense reconnection, the 3D localized reconnection region is observed to follow the magnetic null moving at a substantial fraction of the Alfven speed (up to 0.2 vAlf). Here, we will explore the qualitative effects of a moving 3D reconnection region on the rate of change of magnetic topology and the associated non-ideal electric fields. The quantitative impact of background plasma beta and ion inertia (the Hall effect) on the measured correlation between the motion of the magnetic null and the reconnection region will also be demonstrated. This research is supported by the Office of Naval Research.

  5. Evidence for collisionless magnetic reconnection at Mars

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2008-01-01

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

  6. On Lorentz invariants in relativistic magnetic reconnection

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Yang, Shu-Di; Wang, Xiao-Gang

    2016-08-01

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

  7. Evidence for Collisionless Magnetic Reconnection at Mars

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2007-12-01

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

  8. Transition to whistler mediated magnetic reconnection

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

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

    1994-01-01

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

  9. Magnetohydrodynamic simulations of turbulent magnetic reconnection

    SciTech Connect

    Fan Quanlin; Feng Xueshang; Xiang Changqing

    2004-12-01

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

  10. 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

  11. Slipping magnetic reconnection in coronal loops.

    PubMed

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

    2007-12-01

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

  12. 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.

  13. Slip Running Reconnection in Magnetic Flux Ropes

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2012-12-01

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

  14. 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.

  15. 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.

  16. 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.

  17. Frontiers for Laboratory Research of Magnetic Reconnection

    SciTech Connect

    Ji, Hantao; Guo, Fan

    2015-07-16

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

  18. 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.

  19. Magnetic reconnection in collisionless plasmas - Prescribed fields

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

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

    1990-01-01

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

  20. Magnetic Reconnection in the Earth's Magnetosphere

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

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

    1997-01-01

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

  1. 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

  2. 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

  3. 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.

  4. Magnetic Reconnection in Interplanetary Coronal Mass Ejections

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2014-12-01

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

  5. 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.

  6. Evolutions of nonsteady state magnetic reconnection

    SciTech Connect

    Wan, Weigang; Lapenta, Giovanni

    2008-01-01

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

  7. New Expression for Collisionless Magnetic Reconnection Rate

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Klimas, Alexander J.

    2014-01-01

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

  8. New expression for collisionless magnetic reconnection rate

    SciTech Connect

    Klimas, Alex

    2015-04-15

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

  9. 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

  10. Fast Reconnection of Weak Magnetic Fields

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Zweibel, Ellen G.

    1998-01-01

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

  11. Magnetic Reconnection Models of Prominence Formation

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2005-12-01

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

  12. 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.

  13. The Diffusion Region in Collisionless Magnetic Reconnection

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

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

    2011-01-01

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

  14. 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.

  15. 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

  16. Entropy conservation in simulations of magnetic reconnection

    SciTech Connect

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

    2006-09-15

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

  17. 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.

  18. 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.

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

    SciTech Connect

    Cassak, P. A.; Otto, A.

    2011-07-15

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

  20. Magnetic Reconnection in the MST Reversed Field Pinch

    SciTech Connect

    Crocker, N.E.

    2001-06-01

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

  1. Magnetic Reconnection in Extreme Astrophysical Environments

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Uzdensky, Dmitri

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

  2. Magnetic reconnection in a magnetohydrodynamic plasma

    SciTech Connect

    Kulsrud, R.M.

    1998-05-01

    Magnetic reconnection is important because of its connection with the topology of field lines. In general, a change in topology means a change of equilibrium, and a release of energy, such as occurs in solar flares. In the context of the solar flare two models for magnetic reconnection, the Sweet{endash}Parker and the Petschek mechanism are presented. The pros and cons of these two models are presented. The role of anomalous resistivity in the Sweet{endash}Parker model is discussed. The bearing of a laboratory experiment and a boundary layer analysis of the problem are described. {copyright} {ital 1998 American Institute of Physics.}

  3. Magnetic reconnection in a magnetohydrodynamic plasma

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kulsrud, Russell M.

    1998-05-01

    Magnetic reconnection is important because of its connection with the topology of field lines. In general, a change in topology means a change of equilibrium, and a release of energy, such as occurs in solar flares. In the context of the solar flare two models for magnetic reconnection, the Sweet-Parker and the Petschek mechanism are presented. The pros and cons of these two models are presented. The role of anomalous resistivity in the Sweet-Parker model is discussed. The bearing of a laboratory experiment and a boundary layer analysis of the problem are described.

  4. 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.

  5. Drift Wave Turbulence and Magnetic Reconnection

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2015-12-01

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

  6. 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

  7. 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)).

  8. 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.

  9. VINETA II: a linear magnetic reconnection experiment.

    PubMed

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

    2014-02-01

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

  10. 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.

  11. 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.

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

    SciTech Connect

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

    2005-08-15

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

  13. 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.

  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 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.

  16. Aspects of three-dimensional magnetic reconnection

    SciTech Connect

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

    2005-03-01

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

  17. Fast magnetic reconnection with large guide fields

    SciTech Connect

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

    2015-01-09

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

  18. Fast magnetic reconnection with large guide fields

    DOE PAGESBeta

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

    2015-01-09

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

  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. Model of magnetic reconnection in space and astrophysical plasmas

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Boozer, Allen H.

    2013-03-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2013-08-01

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

  3. Magnetic Reconnection Driven by the Nernst Effect

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Liu, Chang; Fox, W.; Bhattacharjee, A.; Joglekar, A.; Thomas, A.

    2013-10-01

    Magnetic reconnection in high-energy-density plasmas has been the subject of recent observations and PIC simulations. In laser-plasma experiments, laser-driven hot spots on a target can give rise to strong magnetic fields due to the Biermann battery effect. The hot spots can also produce strong heat flux perpendicular to the magnetic field, bringing into play the Nernst effect. Recently, using the Vlasov-Fokker-Planck code IMPACTA, which relies on a perturbative expansion of the electron distribution function holding ions fixed, Joglekar and Thomas (JT) have shown that the Nernst effect can play a significant role in magnetic reconnection. Since the domain of applicability of the expansion constrains the realm of validity of JT's results, we have undertaken a 2D PIC study of the Nernst effect, including complete kinetic dynamics of electrons as well as ions. We analyze the results using a broad range of dimensionless parameters, including plasma beta, the mass ratio of electrons and ions, and the Lundquist and Nernst numbers. We have found that the Nernst term contributes dominantly to support the the out-of-plane electric field upstream of the reconnection layer, consistent with JT's results. Variations on these results as a function of plasma parameters will be discussed.

  4. Collisionless magnetic reconnection under anisotropic MHD approximation

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hirabayashi, Kota; Hoshino, Masahiro

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

  5. 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.

  6. 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} .

  7. 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.

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

    DOE PAGESBeta

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

    2015-06-17

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2007-05-01

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

  10. A magnetic reconnection model for shock-turbulence interaction

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Yokoi, Nobumitsu

    2014-05-01

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

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

    SciTech Connect

    Materassi, Massimo; Consolini, Giuseppe

    2007-10-26

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

  12. Magnetic reconnection at the dayside magnetopause: Advances with MMS

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Burch, J. L.; Phan, T. D.

    2016-08-01

    Magnetic reconnection is known to be an important process for coupling solar wind mass and momentum into the Earth's magnetosphere. Reconnection is initiated in an electron-scale dissipation/diffusion region around an X line, but its consequences are large scale. While past experimental efforts have advanced our understanding of ion-scale physics and the consequences of magnetic reconnection, much higher spatial and temporal resolutions are needed to understand the electron-scale processes that cause reconnection. The Magnetospheric Multiscale (MMS) mission was implemented to probe the electron scale of reconnection. This article reports on results from the first scan of the dayside magnetopause with MMS. Specifically, we introduce a new event involving the radial traversal of guide-field reconnection to illustrate features of reconnection physics on the electron scale.

  13. 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

  14. 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.

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

    PubMed

    Mendoza, M; Muñoz, J D

    2008-02-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2011-10-01

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

  17. Electron Force Balance in Steady Collisionless-Driven Reconnection

    SciTech Connect

    Li Bin; Horiuchi, Ritoku

    2008-11-21

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

  18. 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.

  19. Preliminary Results of Laboratory Simulation of Magnetic Reconnection

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2011-10-01

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

  20. 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.

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-01-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2016-06-01

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

  3. 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

  4. Extended magnetic reconnection across the dayside magnetopause.

    PubMed

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

    2011-07-01

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

  5. Extended Magnetic Reconnection Across the Dayside Magnetopause

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

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

    2011-01-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2015-05-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2014-12-01

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

  8. 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.

  9. Boosting magnetic reconnection by viscosity and thermal conduction

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Minoshima, Takashi; Miyoshi, Takahiro; Imada, Shinsuke

    2016-07-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-06-01

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

  11. 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.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Rosenberg, Michael

    2013-10-01

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

  13. Preliminary Experimental Result of Magnetic Reconnection in Laboratory Plasma

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2011-05-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2003-10-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2009-05-01

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

  16. 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.

  17. Cross-Scale Observational Signatures of Magnetic Reconnection

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Savage, Sabrina; Malaspina, David

    2014-01-01

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

  18. 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

  19. 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.

  20. 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.

  1. Properties of GRB light curves from magnetic reconnection

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Beniamini, Paz; Granot, Jonathan

    2016-07-01

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

  2. Asymmetric Magnetic Reconnection in Weakly Ionized Chromospheric Plasmas

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    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.

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

    DOE PAGESBeta

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

    2014-09-10

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

  4. 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.

  5. 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.

  6. 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.

  7. A new magnetic reconnection paradigm: Stochastic plasmoid chains

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Loureiro, Nuno

    2015-11-01

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

  8. 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.

  9. 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.

  10. 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.

  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. 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.

  13. 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.

  14. 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.

  15. 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.

  16. Critical Differences of Asymmetric Magnetic Reconnection from Standard Models

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2016-09-01

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

  17. 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.

  18. 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

  19. 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.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2015-11-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2016-08-01

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

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

    SciTech Connect

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

    2013-12-15

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

  3. 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)].

  4. 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.

  5. 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.

  6. 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.

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

    DOE PAGESBeta

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

    2016-05-11

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

  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. 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.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2007-05-01

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

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

    DOE PAGESBeta

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

    2015-05-20

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

  12. 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.

  13. 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.

  14. Study of Multiple Scale Physics of Magnetic Reconnection on the FLARE (Facility for Laboratory Reconnection Experiments)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2015-12-01

    The FLARE device (flare.pppl.gov) is a new intermediate-scale plasma experiment under construction at Princeton to study magnetic reconnection in regimes directly relevant to space, solar and astrophysical plasmas. The existing small-scale experiments have been focusing on the single X-line reconnection process either with small effective sizes or at low Lundquist numbers, but both of which are typically very large in natural plasmas. The configuration of the FLARE device is designed to provide experimental access to the new regimes involving multiple X-lines, as guided by a reconnection "phase diagram" [Ji & Daughton, PoP (2011)]. Most of major components of the FLARE device have been designed and are under construction. The device will be assembled and installed in 2016, followed by commissioning and operation in 2017. The planned research on FLARE as a user facility will be discussed on topics including the multiple scale nature of magnetic reconnection from global fluid scales to ion and electron kinetic scales. Results from scoping simulations based on particle and fluid codes and possible comparative research with space measurements will be presented.

  15. 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.

  16. 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.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2015-10-01

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

  18. 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.

  19. Understanding the Global Characteristics of Magnetic Reconnection

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2016-07-01

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

  20. 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.

  1. 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.

  2. A Fermi model for electron acceleration during magnetic reconnection

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2006-12-01

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

  3. 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.

  4. OBSERVATIONS OF THE MAGNETIC RECONNECTION SIGNATURE OF AN M2 FLARE ON 2000 MARCH 23

    SciTech Connect

    Li Leping; Zhang Jun E-mail: zjun@ourstar.bao.ac.c

    2009-09-20

    Multiwavelength observations of an M 2.0 flare event on 2000 March 23 in the NOAA active region 8910 provide us a good chance to study the detailed structure and dynamics of the magnetic reconnection region. In the process of the flare, extreme-ultraviolet (EUV) loops displayed two types of sideward motions upon a loop-top hard X-ray source with average velocities of 75 and 25.6 km s{sup -1}, respectively. Meanwhile, a part of the loops disappeared and new post-flare loops formed. We consider these two motions to be the observational evidence of reconnection inflow, and find an X-shaped structure upon the post-flare loops during the period of the second motion. Two separations of the flare ribbons are associated with these two sideward motions, with average velocities of 3.3 and 1.3 km s{sup -1}, respectively. The sideward motions of the EUV loops and the separations of the flare ribbons are temporally consistent with two peaks of the X-ray flux. This indicates that there are two types of magnetic reconnection in the process of the flare. Using the observation of photospheric magnetic field, the velocities of the sideward motions, and the separations, we deduce the corresponding coronal magnetic field strength to be about 13.2-15.2 G, and estimate the reconnection rates to be 0.05 and 0.02 for these two magnetic reconnection processes, respectively. Besides the sideward motions of EUV loops and the separations of flare ribbons, we also observe motions of bright points upward and downward along the EUV loops with velocities ranging from 45.4 to 556.7 km s{sup -1}, which are thought to be the plasmoids accelerated in the current sheet and ejected upward and downward when magnetic reconnection occurs and energy releases. A cloud of bright material flowing outward from the loop-top hard X-ray source with an average velocity of 51 km s{sup -1} in the process of the flare may be accelerated by the tension force of the newly reconnected magnetic field lines. All the

  5. 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

  6. 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.

  7. Asymmetric Magnetic Reconnection in Coronal Mass Ejection Current Sheets

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Pope, Crystal; Miralles, M. P.; Murphy, N. A.

    2012-01-01

    Flux rope models of coronal mass ejections (CMEs) predict the formation ofan elongated current sheet in the wake behind the rising plasmoid. These current sheets have been seen to drift or tilt over time by instruments including SOHO/LASCO and Hinode/XRT. We measure this in multiple observations including the 2008 April 9 "Cartwheel CME" and find an average drift that is far more than can be accounted for via the effects of solar rotation. The observed drift could be due to different parts of the current sheet actively reconnecting at different times (e.g., Savage et al. 2010), macroscopic effects from the rising flux rope pulling the plasma sheet along with it, or asymmetry in the magnetic reconnection process itself. These drift rates are compared with resistive magnetohydrodynamic (MHD) simulations of line-tied reconnection between magnetic fields of different strengths. The observed drift rates are comparable to predictions made by the simulations.

  8. 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.

  9. 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.

  10. 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.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Gomez, Daniel; Dmitruk, Pablo; Andrés, Nahuel

    2016-07-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2012-10-01

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

  13. Stochastic particle acceleration in multiple magnetic islands during reconnection.

    PubMed

    Hoshino, Masahiro

    2012-03-30

    A nonthermal particle acceleration mechanism involving the interaction of a charged particle with multiple magnetic islands is proposed. The original Fermi acceleration model, which assumes randomly distributed magnetic clouds moving at random velocity V(c) in the interstellar medium, is known to be of second-order acceleration of O(V(c)/c)(2) owing to the combination of head-on and head-tail collisions. In this Letter, we reconsider the original Fermi model by introducing multiple magnetic islands during reconnection instead of magnetic clouds. We discuss that the energetic particles have a tendency to be distributed outside the magnetic islands, and they mainly interact with reconnection outflow jets. As a result, the acceleration efficiency becomes first order of O(V(A)/c), where V(A) and c are the Alfvén velocity and the speed of light, respectively.

  14. 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.

  15. 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.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Fujimoto, Keizo; Takamoto, Makoto

    2016-07-01

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

  17. A New Electric Field in Asymmetric Magnetic Reconnection

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2013-12-01

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

  18. Fast Magnetic Reconnection in the Plasmoid-Dominated Regime

    SciTech Connect

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

    2010-12-03

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

  19. Solar flares as cascades of reconnecting magnetic loops.

    PubMed

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

    2003-04-01

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

  20. Solar flares as cascades of reconnecting magnetic loops.

    PubMed

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

    2003-04-01

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

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

    SciTech Connect

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

    2005-06-16

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

  2. Rapid Change of Field Line Connectivity and Reconnection in Stochastic Magnetic Fields

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Huang, Y. M.; Bhattacharjee, A.; Boozer, A. H.

    2014-12-01

    Magnetic fields depending on three spatial coordinates generally have the feature that neighboring field lines exponentiate away from each other and become stochastic. Such a generic condition usually occurs in space and astrophysical plasmas, such as coronal magnetic field entangled by photospheric footpoint shuffling, as well as in fusion plasmas in the presence of multiple tearing modes. Under the condition of large exponentiation, the ideal constraint of preserving magnetic field line connectivity becomes exponentially sensitive to small deviations from ideal Ohm's law, which may potentially lead to rapid magnetic reconnection. This idea of breaking field line connectivity by stochasticity 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 identified in the process of resistive relaxation. During the quasi-static phase, it is found that regions of high field line exponentiation (akin to quasi-separatrix-layers) are associated with rapid change of field line connectivity and strong induced flow. However, although the field line connectivity of individual field lines can change rapidly, the overall pattern of footpoint mapping appears to deform gradually. From this perspective, field line exponentiation appears to cause enhanced diffusion rather than reconnection. In some cases, it is found that resistive quasi-static evolution can cause the ideally stable initial equilibrium to cross a stability threshold. Onset of the instability leads to formation of intense current filaments, followed by rapid change of field line mapping into a qualitatively different pattern. It is in this onset phase that the change of field line connectivity may be more appropriately designated as magnetic reconnection. Our results reveal and

  3. 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.

  4. Localized electron heating during magnetic reconnection in MAST

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2016-10-01

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

  5. 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.

  6. Observational Signatures of Magnetic Reconnection in the Extended Corona

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2016-05-01

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

  7. 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.

  8. Fast magnetic reconnection due to anisotropic electron pressure

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2015-11-01

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

  9. Fast magnetic reconnection due to anisotropic electron pressure

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2015-02-01

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

  10. THREE-DIMENSIONAL RECONNECTION INVOLVING MAGNETIC FLUX ROPES

    SciTech Connect

    Gekelman, W.; Van Compernolle, B.; Lawrence, E.

    2012-07-10

    Two and three magnetic flux ropes are created and studied in a well-diagnosed laboratory experiment. The twisted helical bundles of field lines rotate and collide with each other over time. In the two rope case, reverse current layers indicative of reconnection are observed. Using a high spatial and temporal resolution three-dimensional volume data set in both cases, quasi-separatrix layers (QSLs) are identified in the magnetic field. Originally developed in the context of solar magnetic reconnection, QSLs are thought to be preferred sites for reconnection. This is verified in these studies. In the case of three flux ropes there are multiple QSLs, which come and go in time. The divergence of the field lines within the QSLs and the field line motion is presented. In all cases, it is observed that the reconnection is patchy in space and bursty in time. Although it occurs at localized positions it is the result of the nonlocal behavior of the flux ropes.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2006-10-01

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

  12. 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.

  13. Dynamic magnetic reconnection at an X-type neutral point

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Craig, I. J. D.; Mcclymont, A. N.

    1991-01-01

    The relaxation of a two-dimensional 'X-type' neutral point magnetic field disturbed from equilibrium is considered. Perturbations are shown to possess well-defined azimuthal modes which allow an exact determination of the magnetic annihilation rate. Free magnetic energy is dissipated by oscillatory reconnection which couples resistive diffusion at the neutral point to global advection of the outer field. The decay of azimuthally symmetric (m = 0) modes - the only modes associated with topological reconnection - is limited by the dissipation time scale of the 'fundamental' (n = 0) mode with no radial nodes. This mode decays over typically 100 Alfven times. An analytic treatment shows that the oscillation and decay time scales couple according to a given law.

  14. Whistler emission in the separatrix regions of asymmetric magnetic reconnection

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Graham, D. B.; Vaivads, A.; Khotyaintsev, Yu. V.; André, M.

    2016-03-01

    At Earth's dayside magnetopause asymmetric magnetic reconnection occurs between the cold dense magnetosheath plasma and the hot tenuous magnetospheric plasma, which differs significantly from symmetric reconnection. During magnetic reconnection the separatrix regions are potentially unstable to a variety of instabilities. In this paper observations of the separatrix regions of asymmetric reconnection are reported as Cluster crossed the magnetopause near the subsolar point. The small relative motion between the spacecraft and plasma allows spatial changes of electron distributions within the separatrix regions to be resolved over multiple spacecraft spins. The electron distributions are shown to be unstable to the electromagnetic whistler mode and the electrostatic beam mode. Large-amplitude whistler waves are observed in the magnetospheric and magnetosheath separatrix regions, and outflow region. In the magnetospheric separatrix regions the observed whistler waves propagate toward the X line, which are shown to be driven by the loss in magnetospheric electrons propagating away from the X line and are enhanced by the presence of magnetosheath electrons. The beam mode waves are predicted to be produced by beams of magnetosheath electrons propagating away from the X line and potentially account for some of the electrostatic fluctuations observed in the magnetospheric separatrix regions.

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

    SciTech Connect

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

    2014-09-15

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

  16. 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.

  17. 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.

  18. PIC Simulations of the Omega-EP Magnetic Reconnection Experiment

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Liu, Wenda; Blackman, Eric; Yan, Rui; Ren, Chuang

    2014-10-01

    In an Omega EP experiment on magnetic reconnection, two laser beams with peak intensity of 7 × 1018 W/cm2 are focused on a Cu-target. Here we report 2D PIC simulation results with parameters derived from the experiment including a realistic ion-electron mass ratio. We find that 1) toroidal and mega-gauss-scale magnetic fields are generated and a bubble of high-energy-density plasma is produced from single beam-target interactions and 2) the magnetic topology changes as two such bubbles expand and interact with each other indicating the occurrence of magnetic reconnection. The reconnection can occur even when the bubble expansion velocity is subsonic. Flux pileup is observed when the expansion velocity is supersonic. Energetic Cu-ions with energy up to 12 MeV are also observed in the outflow. This work was supported by NNSA under Corporate Agreement No. DE-FC52-08NA28302 and Grant No. DE-NA0002205; by DOE under Grant No. DE-FC02-04ER54789; and by NSF under Grant No. PHY-1314734.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Baty, Hubert; Nishikawa, Hiroaki

    2016-06-01

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

  20. 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.

  1. 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.

  2. 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.

  3. 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

  4. Some remarks on the diffusion regions in magnetic reconnection

    SciTech Connect

    Zenitani, Seiji; Umeda, Takayuki

    2014-03-15

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

  5. 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.

  6. Suppression of collisionless magnetic reconnection in asymmetric current sheets

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Liu, Yi-Hsin; Hesse, Michael

    2016-06-01

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

  7. 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.

  8. Extreme Particle Acceleration via Magnetic Reconnection in the Crab Nebula

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Cerutti, Benoit; Uzdensky, D. A.; Begelman, M. C.

    2012-01-01

    The discovery by Agile and Fermi of intense day-long synchrotron gamma-ray flares above 100 MeV in the Crab Nebula challenges classical models of pulsar wind nebulae and particle acceleration. We argue that the flares are powered by magnetic reconnection in the nebula. Using relativistic test-particle simulations, we show that particles are naturally focused into a thin fan beam, deep inside the reconnection layer where the magnetic field is small. The particles then suffer less from synchrotron losses and pile up at the maximum energy given by the electric potential drop in the layer. Applying this model to the Crab Nebula, we find that the emerging synchrotron emission spectrum above 100 MeV is consistent with the September 2010 flare observations. No detectable emission is expected at other wavelengths. This scenario provides a viable explanation for the Crab Nebula gamma-ray flares.

  9. On the Role of Repetitive Magnetic Reconnections in Evolution of Magnetic Flux Ropes in Solar Corona

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kumar, Sanjay; Bhattacharyya, R.; Joshi, Bhuwan; Smolarkiewicz, P. K.

    2016-10-01

    Parker's magnetostatic theorem, extended to astrophysical magnetofluids with large magnetic Reynolds number, supports ceaseless regeneration of current sheets and, hence, spontaneous magnetic reconnections recurring in time. Consequently, a scenario is possible where the repeated reconnections provide an autonomous mechanism governing emergence of coherent structures in astrophysical magnetofluids. In this work, such a scenario is explored by performing numerical computations commensurate with the magnetostatic theorem. In particular, the computations explore the evolution of a flux rope governed by repeated reconnections in a magnetic geometry resembling bipolar loops of solar corona. The revealed morphology of the evolution process—including onset and ascent of the rope, reconnection locations, and the associated topology of the magnetic field lines—agrees with observations, and thus substantiates physical realizability of the advocated mechanism.

  10. Nonthermal Particle Acceleration and Radiation in Relativistic Magnetic Reconnection

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Werner, Gregory

    2015-11-01

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

  11. 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.

  12. Magnetic Reconnection in the Spheromak: Physics and Consequences

    SciTech Connect

    Hooper, E B; Cohen, B I; Hill, D N; LoDestro, L L; McLean, H S; Romero-Talamas, C A; Wood, R D; Sovinec, C R

    2006-02-28

    Magnetic reconnection in the spheromak changes magnetic topology by conversion of injected toroidal flux into poloidal flux and by magnetic surface closure (or opening) in a slowly decaying spheromak. Results from the Sustained Spheromak Physics Experiment, SSPX, are compared with resistive MHD simulations using the NIMROD code. Voltage spikes on the SSPX gun during spheromak formation are interpreted as reconnection across a negative-current layer close to the mean-field x-point. Field lines are chaotic during these events, resulting in rapid electron energy loss to the walls and the low T{sub e} < 50 eV seen in experiment and simulation during strong helicity injection. Closure of flux surfaces (and high T{sub e}) can occur between voltage spikes if they are sufficiently far apart in time; these topology changes are not reflected in the impedance of the axisymmetric gun. Possible future experimental scenarios in SSPX are examined in the presence of the constraints imposed by reconnection physics.

  13. 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.

  14. 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.

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

    PubMed

    Zhang, Y C

    2016-01-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2016-06-01

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

  18. OBSERVATION OF MAGNETIC RECONNECTION DRIVEN BY GRANULAR SCALE ADVECTION

    SciTech Connect

    Zeng Zhicheng; Cao Wenda; Ji Haisheng

    2013-06-01

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

  19. 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.

  20. 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.

  1. 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.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Narita, Yasuhito

    2015-04-01

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

  3. 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

  4. 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.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2016-06-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2013-12-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2013-10-01

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

  8. 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.

  9. 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.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2009-05-01

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

  11. 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.

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

    SciTech Connect

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

    2010-04-10

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

  13. 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.

  14. 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.

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

    DOE PAGESBeta

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

    2016-03-16

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

  16. 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.

  17. Magnetic reconnection in high-energy-density plasmas in the presence of an external magnetic field

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Fox, W.; Bhattacharjee, A.; Fiksel, G.; Nilson, P.; Hu, S.; Chang, P.-Y.; Barnak, D.; Betti, R.

    2012-10-01

    Magnetic reconnection has recently been observed and studied in high-energy-density, laser-produced plasmas. These experiments are interesting both for obtaining fundamental data on reconnection, and may also be relevant for inertial fusion, as this magnetic reconnection geometry, with multiple, colliding, magnetized plasma bubbles, occurs naturally inside ICF hohlraums. We present initial results of experiments conducted on the OMEGA EP facility on magnetic reconnection between colliding, magnetized blowoff plasmas. While in previous experiments the magnetic fields were self-generated in the plasma by the Biermann battery effect, in these experiments the seed magnetic field is generated by pulsing current through a pair of external foils using the MIFEDS current generator (Magneto-Inertial Fusion Electrical Discharge System) developed at LLE. Time-resolved images of the magnetic fields and plasma dynamics are obtained from proton radiography and x-ray self-emission, respectively. We present initial results of the experiments, including comparison to ``null'' experiments with zero MIFEDS magnetic field, and associated modeling using the radiation-hydro code DRACO and the particle-in-cell code PSC.

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

    SciTech Connect

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

    2010-11-05

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

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

    SciTech Connect

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

    2012-12-01

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

  20. Reconnection at three dimensional magnetic null points: Effect of current sheet asymmetry

    SciTech Connect

    Wyper, P. F.; Jain, Rekha

    2013-05-15

    Asymmetric current sheets are likely to be prevalent in both astrophysical and laboratory plasmas with complex three dimensional (3D) magnetic topologies. This work presents kinematic analytical models for spine and fan reconnection at a radially symmetric 3D null (i.e., a null where the eigenvalues associated with the fan plane are equal) with asymmetric current sheets. Asymmetric fan reconnection is characterized by an asymmetric reconnection of flux past each spine line and a bulk flow of plasma across the null point. In contrast, asymmetric spine reconnection is characterized by the reconnection of an equal quantity of flux across the fan plane in both directions. The higher modes of spine reconnection also include localized wedges of vortical flux transport in each half of the fan. In this situation, two definitions for reconnection rate become appropriate: a local reconnection rate quantifying how much flux is genuinely reconnected across the fan plane and a global rate associated with the net flux driven across each semi-plane. Through a scaling analysis, it is shown that when the ohmic dissipation in the layer is assumed to be constant, the increase in the local rate bleeds from the global rate as the sheet deformation is increased. Both models suggest that asymmetry in the current sheet dimensions will have a profound effect on the reconnection rate and manner of flux transport in reconnection involving 3D nulls.

  1. Magnetic Field Reconnection and Diffusion in Turbulent Media

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2015-08-01

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

  2. 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

  3. Comparative analysis of dayside magnetic reconnection models in global magnetosphere simulations

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2015-01-01

    We test and compare a number of existing models predicting the location of magnetic reconnection at Earth's dayside magnetopause for various solar wind conditions. We employ robust image processing techniques to determine the locations where each model predicts reconnection to occur. The predictions are then compared to the magnetic separators, the magnetic field lines separating different magnetic topologies. The predictions are tested in distinct high-resolution simulations with interplanetary magnetic field (IMF) clock angles ranging from 30 to 165° in global magnetohydrodynamic simulations using the three-dimensional Block Adaptive Tree Solarwind Roe-type Upwind Scheme code with a uniform resistivity, although the described techniques can be generally applied to any self-consistent magnetosphere code. Additional simulations are carried out to test location model dependence on IMF strength and dipole tilt. We find that most of the models match large portions of the magnetic separators when the IMF has a southward component, with the models saying reconnection occurs where the local reconnection rate and reconnection outflow speed are maximized performing best. When the IMF has a northward component, none of the models tested faithfully map the entire magnetic separator, but the maximum magnetic shear model is the best at mapping the separator in the cusp region where reconnection has been observed. Predictions for some models with northward IMF orientations improve after accounting for plasma flow shear parallel to the reconnecting components of the magnetic fields. Implications for observations are discussed.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wei, F.; Hu, Q.; Feng, X.

    Some observational examples for the possible occurrence of the turbulent magnetic reconnection in the solar wind are found by analyzing Helios spacecraft's high resolution data. The phenomena of turbulent magnetic reconnections in small scale solar wind are simulated by introducing a third order accuracy upwind compact difference scheme to the compressible two-dimensional MHD flow. Numerical results verify that the turbulent magnetic reconnection process could occur in small scale solar wind, which is a basic feature characterizing the magnetic reconnection in high-magnetic Reynolds number (RM=2 000--10 000) solar wind. The configurations of the magnetic reconnection could evolve fro m a single X-line to a multiple X-line reconnection, exhibiting a complex picture of the formation, merging and evolution of magnetic islands, and finally the magnetic reconnection would evolve into a low-energy state. Its life-span of evolution is about hour-order of magnitude. Various magnetic and flow signatures are recorded in the numerical test for different evolution stages and along different crossing paths, which could in principle explain and confirm the observational samples from the Helios spacecraft. These results are helpful for revealing the basic physical processes in the solar wind turbulence.

  5. 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.

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

    DOE PAGESBeta

    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 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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Qiu, Jiong

    2007-05-01

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

  8. 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.

  9. 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.

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

    SciTech Connect

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

    2015-10-15

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

  11. 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.

  12. 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.

  13. 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

  14. Secondary instability in three-dimensional magnetic reconnection

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Dahlburg, R. B.; Antiochos, S. K.; Zang, T. A.

    1992-01-01

    We consider the transition to turbulence in three-dimensional reconnection of a magnetic neutral sheet. We find that the transition can occur via a three-step process. First, the sheet undergoes the usual tearing instability. Second, the tearing mode saturates to form a two-dimensional quasi-steady state. Third, this secondary equilibrium is itself unstable when it is perturbed by three-dimensional disturbances. Most of this paper is devoted to the analysis and simulation of the three-dimensional linear stability properties of the two-dimensional saturated tearing layer. The numerical simulations are performed with a semi-implicit, pseudospectral-Fourier collocation algorithm. We identify a three-dimensional secondary linear stability which grows on the ideal timescale. An examination of the modal energetics reveals that the largest energy transfer is from the mean field to the three-dimensional field, with the two-dimensional field acting as a catalyst.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2015-11-01

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

  16. 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.

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

    SciTech Connect

    Fan Quanlin; Feng Xueshang; Xiang Changqing

    2005-05-15

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

  18. 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.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2014-10-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Retinò, Alessandro

    2016-04-01

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

  1. 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.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2014-12-01

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

  3. Critical Issues on Magnetic Reconnection in Space Plasmas

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lui, A. T. Y.; Jacquey, C.; Lakhina, G. S.; Lundin, R.; Nagai, T.; Phan, T.-D.; Pu, Z. Y.; Roth, M.; Song, Y.; Treumann, R. A.; Yamauchi, M.; Zelenyi, L. M.

    2005-02-01

    The idea of expedient energy transformation by magnetic reconnection (MR) has generated much enthusiasm in the space plasma community. The early concept of MR, which was envisioned for the solar flare phenomenon in a simple two-dimensional (2D) steady-state situation, is in dire need for extension to encompass three-dimensional (3D) non-steady-state phenomena prevalent in space plasmas in nature like in the magnetosphere. A workshop was organized to address this and related critical issues on MR. The essential outcome of this workshop is summarized in this review. After a brief evaluation on the pros and cons of existing definitions of MR, we propose essentially a working definition that can be used to identify MR in transient and spatially localized phenomena. The word “essentially” reflects a slight diversity in the opinion on how transient and localized 3D MR process might be defined. MR is defined here as a process with the following characteristics: (1) there is a plasma bulk flow across a boundary separating regions with topologically different magnetic field lines if projected on the plane of MR, thereby converting magnetic energy into kinetic particle energy, (2) there can be an out-of-the-plane magnetic field component (the so-called guide field) present such that the reconnected magnetic flux tubes are twisted to form flux ropes, and (3) the region exhibiting non-ideal MHD conditions should be localized to a scale comparable to the ion inertial length in the direction of the plasma inflow velocity. This definition captures the most important 3D aspects and preserves many essential characteristics of the 2D case. It may be considered as the first step in the generalization of the traditional 2D concept. As a demonstration on the utility of this definition, we apply it to identify MR associated with plasma phenomena in the dayside magnetopause and nightside magnetotail of the Earth’s magnetosphere. How MR may be distinguished from other competing

  4. 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.

  5. 3-D simulations of magnetic reconnection in high-energy-density laser-produced plasmas

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2012-10-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2015-04-01

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

  7. 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.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2012-12-01

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

  10. 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.

  11. New Study of the Properties of the Two-scale Diffusion (Reconnection) Layer in Magnetic Reconnection Experiment

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Yamada, M.; Yoo, J.; Tharp, T.; Ji, H.

    2011-12-01

    This talk reports results from recent experimental campaigns carried out on MRX (Magnetic Reconnection Experiment [1]) to measure the profiles and the dynamics of the reconnection layer by sweeping (jogging) the layer through controlled external coil currents. In those plasma jogging experiments, the reconnection layer is swept through the probe system with controlled speeds of 0.01-0.1 of the Alfven velocity. This situation is very similar to space measurements in which the current sheet moves with respect to satellites as expected in the Magnetosphere Multi-scale Satellite (MMS) mission [2]. A radial space potential well (~10-15V~2Te with respect to the inflow direction) is measured and is observed to deepen and broaden further downstream in the plasma outflow direction. The ion outflow of up to 40 km/s, about the half of the Alfven velocity, is measured [3]. The space potential profiles and the flow vectors of ions and electrons in the reconnection layers have been obtained. An extensive comparison of the experimental results with numerical simulations as well as the recent space measurements [3] is presented. [1] M. Yamada et al, Physics of Plasmas 4 (5), pp. 1936-1944, (1997) [2] J. Burch, et al, AGU Fall Meeting (2005) [3] J. Wygant et al, JGR, v.110, A09206 (2005)

  12. Nonthermal ion acceleration in magnetic reconnection: Results from magnetospheric observations and particle simulations

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hirai, Mariko; Hoshino, Masahiro

    Nonthermal ion acceleration in magnetic reconnection is investigated by using spacecraft ob-servations in the Earth's magnetotail and particle-in-cell (PIC) simulations. Magnetic recon-nection is believed to be an efficient particle accelerator in various environments in space, such as the pulsar magnetosphere, the solar corona and the Earth's magnetosphere. The Earth's magnetosphere particularly gives crucial clues to understand particle acceleration in magnetic reconnection since precise information on both fields and particles is available from spacecraft observations. Several nonthermal electron acceleration mechanisms, including the acceleration around the X-point and the magnetic pile-up region in the downstream, have been proposed and tested by recent PIC simulations as well as spacecraft observations. However nonthermal ion acceleration in magnetic reconnection still remains to be poorly understood in both ob-servational and simulation studies. We report on the first ever direct observational evidence of nonthermal ion acceleration in magnetic reconnection in the Earth's magnetotail based on the Geotail observations. Nonthermal protons accelerated up to several hundreds keV exhibit a power-law energy spectrum with a typical spectrum index 3-5. By conducting a statistical study on reconnection events in the Earth's magnetotail, we found efficient ion acceleration when the reconnection electric field is strong. On the other hand, the statistical study indicates that the efficiency of electron acceleration is rather controlled by the thickness of the reconnec-tion current sheet. We also performed PIC simulations of driven reconnection to investigate in detail acceleration mechanisms of both ions and electrons. Acceleration mechanisms as well as conditions necessary for the efficient particle acceleration are discussed based on these results.

  13. Magnetic force microscopy

    PubMed Central

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

    2014-01-01

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

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

    SciTech Connect

    G.S. Choe; C.Z. Cheng

    2001-12-12

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Shay, Michael

    2015-04-01

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

  16. Magnetic reconnection in high-energy-density laser-produced plasmasa)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2012-05-01

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

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

    SciTech Connect

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

    2012-05-15

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2016-07-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2016-04-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2015-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-01-01

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

  2. OBSERVATIONAL PREDICTION OF HIGH MAGNETIC REYNOLDS NUMBER PRE-FLARE RECONNECTION EVENTS: AN APPLICATION OF NITTA'S SELF-SIMILAR RECONNECTION MODEL

    SciTech Connect

    Nitta, Shin-ya

    2010-08-20

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

  3. Tunneling magnetic force microscopy

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

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

    1993-01-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2013-10-01

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

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

    SciTech Connect

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

    2013-12-15

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

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

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

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

    2008-01-01

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

  7. Modelling Magnetic Reconnection and Nano-flare Heating in the Solar Corona

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Biggs, George; Asgari-Targhi, Mahboubeh

    2015-01-01

    Current models describing magnetic reconnection in the solar corona assume single reconnection events occurring at random crossings between magnetic flux tubes. However, in the avalanche model of magnetic reconnection, multiple reconnections are expected to occur. The purpose of this research is to first, calculate the point of the greatest stress between magnetic flux tubes and then to allow for dynamic evolution utilising the avalanche model. This represents a significant increase in sophistication over previous models. This undertaking is not purely theoretical since we compare the results of our modelling with HI-C data. Using key inputs from the HIC and AIA observations such as loop length and magnetic field strength, we predict the number of reconnection events likely to take place. As a single reconnection event cannot currently be directly observed, the distribution of flare events are recorded instead. The power law fit yielded as a result of our simulations is within the expected range given the observational evidence of flare distributions and temperature values in the corona. This provides further evidence to support the role of Nano-flares in the heating of the corona.

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

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Aunai, icolas; Belmont, Gerard; Smets, Roch

    2012-01-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Jara-Almonte, Jonathan; Ji, Hantao; Yamada, Masaaki; Yoo, Jongsoo; Fox, Will; Na, Byungkeun

    2015-11-01

    2D magnetic reconnection has been studied for many decades and considerable progress has been made, yet in real plasmas reconnection is fundamentally 3D in nature. Only recently has it become possible to simulate 3D reconnection, and some results have suggested that 3D does not strongly affect the basic properties of reconnection. In contrast, previous experiments have implied that 3D effects could be important even in a quasi-2D system. Here both the (1) macro- and (2) microphysics of 3D reconnection are experimentally studied in order to test the importance of 3D effects. 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 a nearly 2D upstream. Results from new experiments with 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 dispersion relation will be discussed.

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

    SciTech Connect

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

    2014-06-10

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Tsiklauri, D.; Haruki, T.

    2008-09-01

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

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

    SciTech Connect

    Karimabadi, H.; Lazarian, A.

    2013-11-15

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Karimabadi, H.; Lazarian, A.

    2013-11-01

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

  14. Solar flare mechanism based on magnetic arcade reconnection and island merging

    SciTech Connect

    C.Z. Chen; G.S. Choe

    2000-06-15

    The authors propose a model describing physical processes of solar flares based on resistive reconnection of magnetic field subject to continuous increase of magnetic shear in the arcade. The individual flaring process consists of magnetic reconnection of arcade field lines, generation of magnetic islands in the magnetic arcade, and coalescence of magnetic islands. When a magnetic arcade is sheared (either by foot point motion or by flux emergence), a current sheet is formed and magnetic reconnection can take place to form a magnetic island. A continuing increase of magnetic shear can trigger a new reconnection process and create a new island in the under lying arcade below the magnetic island. The new born island rises faster than the preceding island and merges with it to form one island. Before completing the island merging process, the new born island exhibits two phases of rising motion: a first phase with a slower rising speed and a second phase with a faster rising speed. The flare plasma heating occurs mainly due to magnetic reconnection in the current sheet under the new born island. The new born island represents the X-ray plasma ejecta which shows two phases of rising motion observed by Yohkoh [Ohyama and Shibata (1997)]. The first phase with slower new born island rising speed corresponds to the early phase of reconnection of line-tied field in the underlying current sheet and is considered as the preflare phase. In the second phase, the island coalescence takes place, and the underlying current sheet is elongated so that the line-tied arcade field reconnection rate is enhanced. This phase is interpreted as the impulsive phase or the flash phase of flares. The obtained reconnection electric field is large enough to accelerate electrons to an energy level higher than 10 keV, which is necessary for observed hard X-ray emissions. After merging of the islands is completed, magnetic reconnection continues in the current sheet under the integrated island for

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2015-10-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-06-10

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

  17. Concentration of electrostatic solitary waves around magnetic nulls within magnetic reconnection diffusion region: single-event-based statistics

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Li, Shiyou; Zhang, Shifeng; Cai, Hong; Yu, Sufang

    2014-12-01

    It is important to study the `concentrated' electrostatic solitary waves/structures (ESWs) associated with the magnetic reconnection. In the literature published as regards this topic, very few studies have reported the observation of such a large number of ESWs in a single magnetic reconnection event. In this work, we report our observation of a large number of ESWs around the magnetic null-pairs within the magnetic reconnection ion diffusion region of Earth's magnetosphere on 10 September 2001. With more than 9,600 cases of ESWs observed around magnetic null-pairs and more than 97,600 cases observed during the ion diffusion region crossing time span, the observation of such a large number of ESWs in the diffusion region has not been reported often in published works. We further perform single-event-based statistical analysis of the characteristics of the ESWs around magnetic null-pairs. Based on the statistical result, we speculate that the two-stream instability originating from the magnetic null and traveling outward along the plasma sheet boundary layer (PSBL) is the candidate mechanism of the large number of observed ESWs. Our observation and analysis in this work suggests that even with the presence of a complex magnetic structure around a magnetic null-pair in the three-dimensional regime, concentrated ESWs can be observed. This single-reconnection-event-based statistical result of ESWs around the magnetic null-pairs can aid in understanding the microdynamics associated with three-dimensional (3D) magnetic reconnection.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2015-12-01

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

  19. Magnetic reconnection at the magnetopause: Low-energy ions and modification of the Hall physics

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    André, Mats; Li, Wenya; Toledo-Redondo, Sergio; Vaivads, Andris; Khotyaintsev, Yuri; Graham, Daniel; Norgren, Cecilia; Burch, James; Lindqvist, Per-Arne; Ergun, Robert; Torbert, Roy; Magnes, Werner; Russell, Christopher; Giles, Barbara; Pollock, Craig

    2016-04-01

    We use statistics from the Cluster spacecraft and show that low-energy ions with energies less than tens of eV originating from the ionosphere are common just inside the magnetopause. During magnetopause magnetic reconnection events, these low-energy ions remain magnetized down to smaller length-scales than the hot (keV) magnetospheric ions, introducing a new scale. When magnetized low-energy ions are present, the Hall currents carried by electrons can be partially cancelled by these ions. The electrons and the magnetized low-energy ions ExB drift together. We investigate magnetic reconnection separatrices at various magnetopause locations, using MMS and Cluster spacecraft observations. We verify that when a mixture of ions of very different temperatures is present in reconnecting plasmas, the microphysics related to the Hall effect is significantly modified.

  20. Scaling the energy conversion rate from magnetic field reconnection to different bodies

    SciTech Connect

    Mozer, F. S.; Hull, A.

    2010-10-15

    Magnetic field reconnection is often invoked to explain electromagnetic energy conversion in planetary magnetospheres, stellar coronae, and other astrophysical objects. Because of the huge dynamic range of magnetic fields in these bodies, it is important to understand energy conversion as a function of magnetic field strength and related parameters. It is conjectured theoretically and shown experimentally that the energy conversion rate per unit area in reconnection scales as the cube of an appropriately weighted magnetic field strength divided by the square root of an appropriately weighted density. With this functional dependence, the energy release in flares on the Sun, the large and rapid variation of the magnetic flux in the tail of Mercury, and the apparent absence of reconnection on Jupiter and Saturn, may be understood. Electric fields at the perihelion of the Solar Probe Plus mission may be tens of V/m.

  1. SIMULATIONS OF PARTICLE ACCELERATION BEYOND THE CLASSICAL SYNCHROTRON BURNOFF LIMIT IN MAGNETIC RECONNECTION: AN EXPLANATION OF THE CRAB FLARES

    SciTech Connect

    Cerutti, B.; Werner, G. R.; Uzdensky, D. A.; Begelman, M. C. E-mail: greg.werner@colorado.edu E-mail: mitch@jila.colorado.edu

    2013-06-20

    It is generally accepted that astrophysical sources cannot emit synchrotron radiation above 160 MeV in their rest frame. This limit is given by the balance between the accelerating electric force and the radiation reaction force acting on the electrons. The discovery of synchrotron gamma-ray flares in the Crab Nebula, well above this limit, challenges this classical picture of particle acceleration. To overcome this limit, particles must accelerate in a region of high electric field and low magnetic field. This is possible only with a non-ideal magnetohydrodynamic process, like magnetic reconnection. We present the first numerical evidence of particle acceleration beyond the synchrotron burnoff limit, using a set of two-dimensional particle-in-cell simulations of ultra-relativistic pair plasma reconnection. We use a new code, Zeltron, that includes self-consistently the radiation reaction force in the equation of motion of the particles. We demonstrate that the most energetic particles move back and forth across the reconnection layer, following relativistic Speiser orbits. These particles then radiate >160 MeV synchrotron radiation rapidly, within a fraction of a full gyration, after they exit the layer. Our analysis shows that the high-energy synchrotron flux is highly variable in time because of the strong anisotropy and inhomogeneity of the energetic particles. We discover a robust positive correlation between the flux and the cut-off energy of the emitted radiation, mimicking the effect of relativistic Doppler amplification. A strong guide field quenches the emission of >160 MeV synchrotron radiation. Our results are consistent with the observed properties of the Crab flares, supporting the reconnection scenario.

  2. Simulations of Particle Acceleration beyond the Classical Synchrotron Burnoff Limit in Magnetic Reconnection: An Explanation of the Crab Flares

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2013-06-01

    It is generally accepted that astrophysical sources cannot emit synchrotron radiation above 160 MeV in their rest frame. This limit is given by the balance between the accelerating electric force and the radiation reaction force acting on the electrons. The discovery of synchrotron gamma-ray flares in the Crab Nebula, well above this limit, challenges this classical picture of particle acceleration. To overcome this limit, particles must accelerate in a region of high electric field and low magnetic field. This is possible only with a non-ideal magnetohydrodynamic process, like magnetic reconnection. We present the first numerical evidence of particle acceleration beyond the synchrotron burnoff limit, using a set of two-dimensional particle-in-cell simulations of ultra-relativistic pair plasma reconnection. We use a new code, Zeltron, that includes self-consistently the radiation reaction force in the equation of motion of the particles. We demonstrate that the most energetic particles move back and forth across the reconnection layer, following relativistic Speiser orbits. These particles then radiate >160 MeV synchrotron radiation rapidly, within a fraction of a full gyration, after they exit the layer. Our analysis shows that the high-energy synchrotron flux is highly variable in time because of the strong anisotropy and inhomogeneity of the energetic particles. We discover a robust positive correlation between the flux and the cut-off energy of the emitted radiation, mimicking the effect of relativistic Doppler amplification. A strong guide field quenches the emission of >160 MeV synchrotron radiation. Our results are consistent with the observed properties of the Crab flares, supporting the reconnection scenario.

  3. Geo-effectiveness and radial dependence of magnetic cloud erosion by magnetic reconnection

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lavraud, Benoit; Ruffenach, Alexis; Rouillard, Alexis P.; Kajdic, Primoz; Manchester, Ward B.; Lugaz, Noé

    2014-01-01

    flux erosion by magnetic reconnection occurs at the front of at least some magnetic clouds (MCs). We first investigate how erosion influences the geo-effectiveness of MCs in a general sense and using a south-north magnetic polarity MC observed on 18-20 October 1995. Although the magnetic shear at its front may not be known during propagation, measurements at 1 AU show signatures of local reconnection. Using a standard MC model, an empirical model of the geomagnetic response (Dst), and an observational estimate of the magnetic flux erosion, we find that the strength of the observed ensuing storm was ~30% lower than if no erosion had occurred. We then discuss the interplay between adiabatic compression and magnetic erosion at the front of MCs. We conclude that the most geo-effective configuration for a south-north polarity MC is to be preceded by a solar wind with southward IMF. This stems not only from the formation of a geo-effective sheath ahead of it but also from the adiabatic compression and reduced (or lack thereof) magnetic erosion which constructively conspire for the structure to be more geo-effective. Finally, assuming simple semiempirical and theoretical Alfvén speed profiles expected from expansion to 1 AU, we provide first-order estimates of the erosion process radial evolution. We find that the expected reconnection rates during propagation allow for significant erosion, on the order of those reported. Calculations also suggest that most of the erosion should occur in the inner heliosphere, and up to ~50% may yet occur beyond Mercury's orbit.

  4. CAN THE SOLAR WIND BE DRIVEN BY MAGNETIC RECONNECTION IN THE SUN'S MAGNETIC CARPET?

    SciTech Connect

    Cranmer, Steven R.; Van Ballegooijen, Adriaan A. E-mail: avanballegooijen@cfa.harvard.ed

    2010-09-01

    The physical processes that heat the solar corona and accelerate the solar wind remain unknown after many years of study. Some have suggested that the wind is driven by waves and turbulence in open magnetic flux tubes, and others have suggested that plasma is injected into the open tubes by magnetic reconnection with closed loops. In order to test the latter idea, we developed Monte Carlo simulations of the photospheric 'magnetic carpet' and extrapolated the time-varying coronal field. These models were constructed for a range of different magnetic flux imbalance ratios. Completely balanced models represent quiet regions on the Sun and source regions of slow solar wind streams. Highly imbalanced models represent coronal holes and source regions of fast wind streams. The models agree with observed emergence rates, surface flux densities, and number distributions of magnetic elements. Despite having no imposed supergranular motions in the models, a realistic network of magnetic 'funnels' appeared spontaneously. We computed the rate at which closed field lines open up (i.e., recycling times for open flux), and we estimated the energy flux released in reconnection events involving the opening up of closed flux tubes. For quiet regions and mixed-polarity coronal holes, these energy fluxes were found to be much lower than that which is required to accelerate the solar wind. For the most imbalanced coronal holes, the energy fluxes may be large enough to power the solar wind, but the recycling times are far longer than the time it takes the solar wind to accelerate into the low corona. Thus, it is unlikely that either the slow or fast solar wind is driven by reconnection and loop-opening processes in the magnetic carpet.

  5. MMS observations of large guide field symmetric reconnection between colliding reconnection jets at the center of a magnetic flux rope at the magnetopause

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Øieroset, M.; Phan, T. D.; Haggerty, C.; Shay, M. A.; Eastwood, J. P.; Gershman, D. J.; Drake, J. F.; Fujimoto, M.; Ergun, R. E.; Mozer, F. S.; Oka, M.; Torbert, R. B.; Burch, J. L.; Wang, S.; Chen, L. J.; Swisdak, M.; Pollock, C.; Dorelli, J. C.; Fuselier, S. A.; Lavraud, B.; Giles, B. L.; Moore, T. E.; Saito, Y.; Avanov, L. A.; Paterson, W.; Strangeway, R. J.; Russell, C. T.; Khotyaintsev, Y.; Lindqvist, P. A.; Malakit, K.

    2016-06-01

    We report evidence for reconnection between colliding reconnection jets in a compressed current sheet at the center of a magnetic flux rope at Earth's magnetopause. The reconnection involved nearly symmetric inflow boundary conditions with a strong guide field of two. The thin (2.5 ion-skin depth (di) width) current sheet (at ~12 di downstream of the X line) was well resolved by MMS, which revealed large asymmetries in plasma and field structures in the exhaust. Ion perpendicular heating, electron parallel heating, and density compression occurred on one side of the exhaust, while ion parallel heating and density depression were shifted to the other side. The normal electric field and double out-of-plane (bifurcated) currents spanned almost the entire exhaust. These observations are in good agreement with a kinetic simulation for similar boundary conditions, demonstrating in new detail that the structure of large guide field symmetric reconnection is distinctly different from antiparallel reconnection.

  6. A LABORATORY EXPERIMENT OF MAGNETIC RECONNECTION: OUTFLOWS, HEATING, AND WAVES IN CHROMOSPHERIC JETS

    SciTech Connect

    Nishizuka, N.; Shimizu, T.; Hayashi, Y.; Tanabe, H.; Kuwahata, A.; Kaminou, Y.; Ono, Y.; Inomoto, M.

    2012-09-10

    Hinode observations have revealed intermittent recurrent plasma ejections/jets in the chromosphere. These are interpreted as a result of non-perfectly anti-parallel magnetic reconnection, i.e., component reconnection, between a twisted magnetic flux tube and the pre-existing coronal/chromospheric magnetic field, though the fundamental physics of component reconnection is not revealed. In this paper, we experimentally reproduced the magnetic configuration and investigated the dynamics of plasma ejections, heating, and wave generation triggered by component reconnection in the chromosphere. We set plasma parameters as in the chromosphere (density 10{sup 14} cm{sup -3}, temperature 5-10 eV, i.e., (5-10) Multiplication-Sign 10{sup 4} K, and reconnection magnetic field 200 G) using argon plasma. Our experiment shows bi-directional outflows with the speed of 5 km s{sup -1} at maximum, ion heating in the downstream area over 30 eV, and magnetic fluctuations mainly at 5-10 {mu}s period. We succeeded in qualitatively reproducing chromospheric jets, but quantitatively, we still have some differences between observations and experiments such as in jet velocity, total energy, and wave frequency. Some of them can be explained by the scale gap between solar and laboratory plasma, while the others are probably due to the difference in microscopy and macroscopy, collisionality, and the degree of ionization, which have not been achieved in our experiment.

  7. Impact of Magnetic Draping, Convection, and Field Line Tying on Magnetopause Reconnection Under Northward IMF

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Wendel, Deirdre E.; Reiff, Patricia H.; Goldstein, Melvyn L.

    2010-01-01

    We simulate a northward IMF cusp reconnection event at the magnetopause using the OpenGGCM resistive MHD code. The ACE input data, solar wind parameters, and dipole tilt belong to a 2002 reconnection event observed by IMAGE and Cluster. Based on a fully three-dimensional skeleton separators, nulls, and parallel electric fields, we show magnetic draping, convection, ionospheric field line tying play a role in producing a series of locally reconnecting nulls with flux ropes. The flux ropes in the cusp along the global separator line of symmetry. In 2D projection, the flux ropes the appearance of a tearing mode with a series of 'x's' and 'o's' but bearing a kind of 'guide field' that exists only within the magnetopause. The reconnecting field lines in the string of ropes involve IMF and both open and closed Earth magnetic field lines. The observed magnetic geometry reproduces the findings of a superposed epoch impact parameter study derived from the Cluster magnetometer data for the same event. The observed geometry has repercussions for spacecraft observations of cusp reconnection and for the imposed boundary conditions reconnection simulations.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2015-12-01

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

  9. Study of energy conversion and partitioning in the magnetic reconnection layer of a laboratory plasma

    DOE PAGESBeta

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

    2015-05-15

    The most important feature of magnetic reconnection is that it energizes plasma particles by converting magnetic energy to particle energy, the exact mechanisms by which this happens are yet to be determined despite a long history of reconnection research. Recently, we have reported our results on the energy conversion and partitioning in a laboratory reconnection layer in a short communication [Yamada et al., Nat. Commun. 5, 4474 (2014)]. The present paper is a detailed elaboration of this report together with an additional dataset with different boundary sizes. Our experimental study of the reconnection layer is carried out in the two-fluidmore » physics regime where ions and electrons move quite differently. We have observed that the conversion of magnetic energy occurs across a region significantly larger than the narrow electron diffusion region. A saddle shaped electrostatic potential profile exists in the reconnection plane, and ions are accelerated by the resulting electric field at the separatrices. These accelerated ions are then thermalized by re-magnetization in the downstream region. A quantitative inventory of the converted energy is presented in a reconnection layer with a well-defined, variable boundary. We also carried out a systematic study of the effects of boundary conditions on the energy inventory. This study concludes that about 50% of the inflowing magnetic energy is converted to particle energy, 2/3 of which is ultimately transferred to ions and 1/3 to electrons. When assisted by another set of magnetic reconnection experiment data and numerical simulations with different sizes of monitoring box, it is also observed that the observed features of energy conversion and partitioning do not depend on the size of monitoring boundary across the range of sizes tested from 1.5 to 4 ion skin depths.« less

  10. Study of energy conversion and partitioning in the magnetic reconnection layer of a laboratory plasma

    SciTech Connect

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

    2015-05-15

    The most important feature of magnetic reconnection is that it energizes plasma particles by converting magnetic energy to particle energy, the exact mechanisms by which this happens are yet to be determined despite a long history of reconnection research. Recently, we have reported our results on the energy conversion and partitioning in a laboratory reconnection layer in a short communication [Yamada et al., Nat. Commun. 5, 4474 (2014)]. The present paper is a detailed elaboration of this report together with an additional dataset with different boundary sizes. Our experimental study of the reconnection layer is carried out in the two-fluid physics regime where ions and electrons move quite differently. We have observed that the conversion of magnetic energy occurs across a region significantly larger than the narrow electron diffusion region. A saddle shaped electrostatic potential profile exists in the reconnection plane, and ions are accelerated by the resulting electric field at the separatrices. These accelerated ions are then thermalized by re-magnetization in the downstream region. A quantitative inventory of the converted energy is presented in a reconnection layer with a well-defined, variable boundary. We also carried out a systematic study of the effects of boundary conditions on the energy inventory. This study concludes that about 50% of the inflowing magnetic energy is converted to particle energy, 2/3 of which is ultimately transferred to ions and 1/3 to electrons. When assisted by another set of magnetic reconnection experiment data and numerical simulations with different sizes of monitoring box, it is also observed that the observed features of energy conversion and partitioning do not depend on the size of monitoring boundary across the range of sizes tested from 1.5 to 4 ion skin depths.

  11. Forced Reconnection in the Near Magnetotail: Onset and Energy Conversion in PIC and MHD Simulations

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Birn, J.; Hesse, Michael

    2014-01-01

    Using two-dimensional particle-in-cell (PIC) together with magnetohydrodynamic (MHD) Q1 simulations of magnetotail dynamics, we investigate the evolution toward onset of reconnection and the subsequent energy transfer and conversion. In either case, reconnection onset is preceded by a driven phase, during which magnetic flux is added to the tail at the high-latitude boundaries, followed by a relaxation phase, during which the configuration continues to respond to the driving. The boundary deformation leads to the formation of thin embedded current sheets, which are bifurcated in the near tail, converging to a single sheet farther out in the MHD simulations. The thin current sheets in the PIC simulation are carried by electrons and are associated with a strong perpendicular electrostatic field, which may provide a connection to parallel potentials and auroral arcs and an ionospheric signal even prior to the onset of reconnection. The PIC simulation very well satisfies integral entropy conservation (intrinsic to ideal MHD) during this phase, supporting ideal ballooning stability. Eventually, the current intensification leads to the onset of reconnection, the formation and ejection of a plasmoid, and a collapse of the inner tail. The earthward flow shows the characteristics of a dipolarization front: enhancement of Bz, associated with a thin vertical electron current sheet in the PIC simulation. Both MHD and PIC simulations show a dominance of energy conversion from incoming Poynting flux to outgoing enthalpy flux, resulting in heating of the inner tail. Localized Joule dissipation plays only a minor role.

  12. Frozen flux violation, electron demagnetization and magnetic reconnection

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2015-10-01

    We argue that the analogue in collisionless plasma of the collisional diffusion region of magnetic reconnection is properly defined in terms of the demagnetization of the plasma electrons that enable "frozen flux" slippage to occur. This condition differs from the violation of the "frozen-in" condition, which only implies that two fluid effects are involved, rather than the necessary slippage of magnetic flux as viewed in the electron frame. Using 2D Particle In Cell (PIC) simulations, this approach properly finds the saddle point region of the flux function. Our demagnetization conditions are the dimensionless guiding center approximation expansion parameters for electrons which we show are observable and determined locally by the ratio of non-ideal electric to magnetic field strengths. Proxies for frozen flux slippage are developed that (a) are measurable on a single spacecraft, (b) are dimensionless with theoretically justified threshold values of significance, and (c) are shown in 2D simulations to recover distinctions theoretically possible with the (unmeasurable) flux function. A new potentially observable dimensionless frozen flux rate, ΛΦ, differentiates significant from anecdotal frozen flux slippage. A single spacecraft observable, ϒ, is shown with PIC simulations to be essentially proportional to the unobservable local Maxwell frozen flux rate. This relationship theoretically establishes electron demagnetization in 3D as the general cause of frozen flux slippage. In simple 2D cases with an isolated central diffusion region surrounded by separatrices, these diagnostics uniquely identify the traditional diffusion region (without confusing it with the two fluid "ion-diffusion" region) and clarify the role of the separatrices where frozen flux violations do occur but are not substantial. In the more complicated guide and asymmetric 2D cases, substantial flux slippage regions extend out along, but inside of, the preferred separatrices, demonstrating that

  13. Frozen flux violation, electron demagnetization and magnetic reconnection

    SciTech Connect

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

    2015-10-15

    We argue that the analogue in collisionless plasma of the collisional diffusion region of magnetic reconnection is properly defined in terms of the demagnetization of the plasma electrons that enable “frozen flux” slippage to occur. This condition differs from the violation of the “frozen-in” condition, which only implies that two fluid effects are involved, rather than the necessary slippage of magnetic flux as viewed in the electron frame. Using 2D Particle In Cell (PIC) simulations, this approach properly finds the saddle point region of the flux function. Our demagnetization conditions are the dimensionless guiding center approximation expansion parameters for electrons which we show are observable and determined locally by the ratio of non-ideal electric to magnetic field strengths. Proxies for frozen flux slippage are developed that (a) are measurable on a single spacecraft, (b) are dimensionless with theoretically justified threshold values of significance, and (c) are shown in 2D simulations to recover distinctions theoretically possible with the (unmeasurable) flux function. A new potentially observable dimensionless frozen flux rate, Λ{sub Φ}, differentiates significant from anecdotal frozen flux slippage. A single spacecraft observable, ϒ, is shown with PIC simulations to be essentially proportional to the unobservable local Maxwell frozen flux rate. This relationship theoretically establishes electron demagnetization in 3D as the general cause of frozen flux slippage. In simple 2D cases with an isolated central diffusion region surrounded by separatrices, these diagnostics uniquely identify the traditional diffusion region (without confusing it with the two fluid “ion-diffusion” region) and clarify the role of the separatrices where frozen flux violations do occur but are not substantial. In the more complicated guide and asymmetric 2D cases, substantial flux slippage regions extend out along, but inside of, the preferred separatrices

  14. First Observation of the High Field Side Sawtooth Crash and Heat Transfer during Driven Reconnection Processes in Magnetically Confined Plasmas

    SciTech Connect

    Park, HK; Luhmann, NC; Donne, AJH; Classen, IGJ; Domier, CW; Mazzucato, E; Munsat, T; van de Pol, MJ; Xia, Z

    2005-12-01

    High resolution (temporal and spatial), two-dimensional images of electron temperature fluctuations during sawtooth oscillations were employed to study driven reconnection processes in magnetically confined toroidal plasmas. The combination of kink and local pressure driven instabilities leads to an "X-point" reconnection process that is localized in the toroidal and poloidal planes. The reconnection is not always confined to the magnetic surfaces with minimum energy. The heat transport process from the core is demonstrated to be highly collective rather than stochastic.

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

    SciTech Connect

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

    2009-01-01

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

  16. Fast magnetic reconnection in low-density electron-positron plasmas

    SciTech Connect

    Bessho, Naoki; Bhattacharjee, A.

    2010-10-15

    Two-dimensional particle-in-cell simulations have been performed to study magnetic reconnection in low-density electron-positron plasmas without a guide magnetic field. Impulsive reconnection rates become of the order of unity when the background density is much smaller than 10% of the density in the initial current layer. It is demonstrated that the outflow speed is less than the upstream Alfven speed, and that the time derivative of the density must be taken into account in the definition of the reconnection rate. The reconnection electric fields in the low-density regime become much larger than the ones in the high-density regime, and it is possible to accelerate the particles to high energies more efficiently. The inertial term in the generalized Ohm's law is the most dominant term that supports a large reconnection electric field. An effective collisionless resistivity is produced and tracks the extension of the diffusion region in the late stage of the reconnection dynamics, and significant broadening of the diffusion region is observed. Because of the broadening of the diffusion region, no secondary islands, which have been considered to play a role to limit the diffusion region, are generated during the extension of the diffusion region in the outflow direction.

  17. Anomalous Viscosity and the Breaking of Magnetic Field Lines in Reconnection

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2011-12-01

    During magnetic reconnection, the field lines must break and reconnect to release the energy that drives solar flares and other explosions in nature. How this happens has been unclear since classical collisions needed to break field lines are typically weak. Anomalous resistivity and thermal momentum transport (the off-diagonal pressure tensor) are two mechanisms that have been widely invoked. Measurements of enhanced turbulence near reconnection sites in space and in the lab lend support to the anomalous resistivity idea but there has been no demonstration from measurements that this turbulence produces the necessary enhanced drag. Our 3D simulations show that neither of the two previously favored mechanisms controls how magnetic field lines reconnect in low beta plasmas. Rather, we find that the intense current layers form during reconnection disintegrate and spread into a complex web of filaments. The impact on the current layer can be characterized as an anomalous viscosity. The onset of filamentation causes the rate of reconnection to increase abruptly.

  18. Plasma and Energetic Particle Behaviors During Asymmetric Magnetic Reconnection at the Magnetopause

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Lee, S. H.; Zhang, H.; Zong, Q.-G.; Otto, A.; Sibeck, D. G.; Wang, Y.; Glassmeier, K.-H.; Daly, P.W.; Reme, H.

    2014-01-01

    The factors controlling asymmetric reconnection and the role of the cold plasma population in the reconnection process are two outstanding questions. We present a case study of multipoint Cluster observations demonstrating that the separatrix and flow boundary angles are greater on the magnetosheath than on the magnetospheric side of the magnetopause, probably due to the stronger density than magnetic field asymmetry at this boundary. The motion of cold plasmaspheric ions entering the reconnection region differs from that of warmer magnetosheath and magnetospheric ions. In contrast to the warmer ions, which are probably accelerated by reconnection in the diffusion region near the subsolar magnetopause, the colder ions are simply entrained by ??×?? drifts at high latitudes on the recently reconnected magnetic field lines. This indicates that plasmaspheric ions can sometimes play only a very limited role in asymmetric reconnection, in contrast to previous simulation studies. Three cold ion populations (probably H+, He+, and O+) appear in the energy spectrum, consistent with ion acceleration to a common velocity.

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

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

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

    2004-01-01

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

  20. Magnetic reconnection and stochastic plasmoid chains in high-Lundquist-number plasmas

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2012-04-01

    A numerical study of magnetic reconnection in the large-Lundquist-number (S), plasmoid-dominated regime is carried out for S up to 107. The theoretical model of Uzdensky et al. [Phys. Rev. Lett. 105, 235002 (2010)] is confirmed and partially amended. The normalized reconnection rate is E~eff~0.02 independently of S for S>>104. The plasmoid flux (Ψ) and half-width (wx) distribution functions scale as f(Ψ)~Ψ-2 and f(wx)~wx-2. The joint distribution of Ψ and wx shows that plasmoids populate a triangular region wx>~Ψ/B0, where B0 is the reconnecting field. It is argued that this feature is due to plasmoid coalescence. Macroscopic ``monster'' plasmoids with wx~10% of the system size are shown to emerge in just a few Alfvén times, independently of S, suggesting that large disruptive events are an inevitable feature of large-S reconnection.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2009-11-01

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

  2. Nonthermally dominated electron acceleration during magnetic reconnection in a low-β plasma

    SciTech Connect

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

    2015-09-24

    By means of fully kinetic simulations, we investigate electron acceleration during magnetic reconnection in a nonrelativistic proton–electron plasma with conditions similar to solar corona and flares. We demonstrate that reconnection leads to a nonthermally dominated electron acceleration with a power-law energy distribution in the nonrelativistic low-β regime but not in the high-β regime, where β is the ratio of the plasma thermal pressure and the magnetic pressure. The accelerated electrons contain most of the dissipated magnetic energy in the low-β regime. A guiding-center current description is used to reveal the role of electron drift motions during the bulk nonthermal energization. We find that the main acceleration mechanism is a Fermi-type acceleration accomplished by the particle curvature drift motion along the electric field induced by the reconnection outflows. Although the acceleration mechanism is similar for different plasma β, low-β reconnection drives fast acceleration on Alfvénic timescales and develops power laws out of thermal distribution. Thus, the nonthermally dominated acceleration resulting from magnetic reconnection in low-β plasma may have strong implications for the highly efficient electron acceleration in solar flares and other astrophysical systems.

  3. Nonthermally dominated electron acceleration during magnetic reconnection in a low-β plasma

    DOE PAGESBeta

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

    2015-09-24

    By means of fully kinetic simulations, we investigate electron acceleration during magnetic reconnection in a nonrelativistic proton–electron plasma with conditions similar to solar corona and flares. We demonstrate that reconnection leads to a nonthermally dominated electron acceleration with a power-law energy distribution in the nonrelativistic low-β regime but not in the high-β regime, where β is the ratio of the plasma thermal pressure and the magnetic pressure. The accelerated electrons contain most of the dissipated magnetic energy in the low-β regime. A guiding-center current description is used to reveal the role of electron drift motions during the bulk nonthermal energization.more » We find that the main acceleration mechanism is a Fermi-type acceleration accomplished by the particle curvature drift motion along the electric field induced by the reconnection outflows. Although the acceleration mechanism is similar for different plasma β, low-β reconnection drives fast acceleration on Alfvénic timescales and develops power laws out of thermal distribution. Thus, the nonthermally dominated acceleration resulting from magnetic reconnection in low-β plasma may have strong implications for the highly efficient electron acceleration in solar flares and other astrophysical systems.« less

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

    SciTech Connect

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

    2015-10-01

    By means of fully kinetic simulations, we investigate electron acceleration during magnetic reconnection in a nonrelativistic proton–electron plasma with conditions similar to solar corona and flares. We demonstrate that reconnection leads to a nonthermally dominated electron acceleration with a power-law energy distribution in the nonrelativistic low-β regime but not in the high-β regime, where β is the ratio of the plasma thermal pressure and the magnetic pressure. The accelerated electrons contain most of the dissipated magnetic energy in the low-β regime. A guiding-center current description is used to reveal the role of electron drift motions during the bulk nonthermal energization. We find that the main acceleration mechanism is a Fermi-type acceleration accomplished by the particle curvature drift motion along the electric field induced by the reconnection outflows. Although the acceleration mechanism is similar for different plasma β, low-β reconnection drives fast acceleration on Alfvénic timescales and develops power laws out of thermal distribution. The nonthermally dominated acceleration resulting from magnetic reconnection in low-β plasma may have strong implications for the  highly efficient electron acceleration in solar flares and other astrophysical systems.

  5. Wave associated anomalous drag during magnetic field reconnection

    SciTech Connect

    Mozer, F. S.; Wilber, M.; Drake, J. F.

    2011-10-15

    The anomalous drag, D, due to large amplitude plasma waves is used for the first time, in place of {eta}*j, to estimate dissipation at the sub-solar magnetopause and to determine the extent to which this drag accounts for the reconnection electric field. This anomalous drag is determined by measuring correlations of the fluctuations in the electric field and plasma density. Large amplitude electric fields occurred more than 60% of the time in the more than 100 sub-solar, low latitude magnetopause crossings of the THEMIS satellite. They occurred mainly near the magnetospheric separatrix in the form of electrostatic lower hybrid and whistler waves. The anomalous drag at the separatrix was generally <10% of the average reconnection electric field, and it was <1% of the field in the current sheet. Thus, anomalous drag due to waves is not a significant driver of reconnection or of the required dissipation at the sub-solar magnetopause.

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

    SciTech Connect

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

    1990-06-29

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

  7. Laboratory Study Of Magnetic Reconnection With A Density Asymmetry Across The Current Sheet

    SciTech Connect

    Yoo, Joseph; Yamada, Massaaki; Ji, Hantao; Meyers,, Clayton E.; Jara-Almonte,; Chen, Li-Jen

    2014-04-18

    The effects of an upstream density asymmetry on magnetic reconnection are studied systematically in a laboratory plasma. Despite a significant upstream density asymmetry of up to 10, the reconnecting magnetic field pro file is not signifi cantly changed. On the other hand, the out-of-plane magnetic field profile is considerably modified; it is almost bipolar in structure with the density asymmetry, as compared to the quadrupolar structure in the symmetric configuration. The in-plane ion flow pattern and the electrostatic potential pro file are also affected by the density asymmetry. Strong bulk electron heating is observed near the low-density-side separatrix together with electromagnetic fluctuations in the lower hybrid frequency range. The dependence of the ion outflow and reconnection electric field on the density asymmetry is measured and compared with theoretical expectations.

  8. Inside the Black Box: Magnetic Reconnection and the Magnetospheric Multiscale Mission

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Cassak, P. A.

    2016-03-01

    The motivation for the recently launched Magnetospheric Multiscale mission is learning about the process of magnetic reconnection, especially the physics of what is called the diffusion region. The diffusion region is often treated as a black box but is the home of very important physics, which is of great significance to understanding space weather. This article is a brief review of what is known—and not known—about the diffusion region in magnetic reconnection, written for the broad space weather community and its stakeholders (with an appendix for readers interested in more technical matters). The focus is on the physics of magnetic reconnection and the diffusion region, why it has been challenging to study, how MMS will contribute, and how the community will benefit from its measurements.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Zelenyi, Lev M.; Artemyev, Anton V.

    2016-02-01

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

  10. James Clerk Maxwell Prize for Plasma Physics: The Physics of Magnetic Reconnection and Associated Particle Acceleration

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Drake, James

    2010-11-01

    Solar and stellar flares, substorms in the Earth's magnetosphere, and disruptions in laboratory fusion experiments are driven by the explosive release of magnetic energy through the process of magnetic reconnection. During reconnection oppositely directed magnetic fields break and cross-connect. The resulting magnetic slingshots convert magnetic energy into high velocity flows, thermal energy and energetic particles. A major scientific challenge has been the multi-scale nature of the problem: a narrow boundary layer, ``the dissipation region,'' breaks field lines and controls the release of energy in a macroscale system. Significant progress has been made on fundamental questions such as how magnetic energy is released so quickly and why the release occurs as an explosion. At the small spatial scales of the dissipation region the motion of electrons and ions decouples, the MHD description breaks down and whistler and kinetic Alfven dynamics drives reconnection. The dispersive property of these waves leads to fast reconnection, insensitive to system size and weakly dependent on dissipation, consistent with observations. The evidence for these waves during reconnection in the magnetosphere and the laboratory is compelling. The role of turbulence within the dissipation region in the form of ``secondary islands'' or as a source of anomalous resistivity continues to be explored. A large fraction of the magnetic energy released during reconnection appears in the form of energetic electrons and protons -- up to 50% or more during solar flares. The mechanism for energetic particle production during magnetic reconnection has remained a mystery. Models based on reconnection at a single large x-line are incapable of producing the large numbers of energetic electrons seen in observations. Scenarios based on particle acceleration in a multi-x-line environment are more promising. In such models a link between the energy gain of electrons and the magnetic energy released, a

  11. Partially Ionized Plasma Three-Fluid Modeling of Magnetic Reconnection in the Sun Chromosphere

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Alvarez Laguna, A.; Lani, A.; Mansour, N. N.; Kosovichev, A. G.; Poedts, D. S.

    2015-12-01

    Magnetic reconnection is present in most of the unsteady and eruptive phenomena in the Sun atmosphere, including Coronal Mass Ejections (CMEs) and solar flares. Also, it occurs in the chromosphere, bringing about chromospheric jets and spicules and being considered a likely mechanism to play an important role in heating up the corona. In this work, we present a computational model that simulates magnetic reconnection in the Sun chromosphere using a three-fluid model (electrons + ions + neutrals). The model treats separately ions, electrons and neutrals, considering mass, momentum and energy conservation for each fluid. The fluids interact among each other by means of collisions and chemical reactions. The charged particles heat fluxes are anisotropic with the magnetic field, following Braginskii's description. This model also considers non-equilibrium partial ionization effects including electron impact ionization, radiative recombination reactions and charge exchange. The electromagnetic field evolution is represented by the full Maxwell's equations, allowing for high frequency waves disregarded by the MHD approximation. Previous two-fluid simulations showed that the dynamics of ions and neutrals are decoupled during the reconnection process when the width of the current sheet becomes comparable to the ion scales. Also, the effect of the chemical non-equilibrium in the reconnection region plays a crucial role, yielding faster reconnection rates. We extended these simulations with a three-fluid model that considers separately the dynamics of electrons. This new model provides a better description of the complex dynamics taking place during the reconnection, both in Sweet-Parker reconnections and during the tearing instability. The results are compared with the two-fluid simulations.

  12. On the electron dynamics during island coalescence in asymmetric magnetic reconnection

    SciTech Connect

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

    2015-09-15

    We present an analysis of the electron dynamics during rapid island merging in asymmetric magnetic reconnection. We consider a doubly periodic system with two asymmetric transitions. The upper layer is an asymmetric Harris sheet of finite width perturbed initially to promote a single reconnection site. The lower layer is a tangential discontinuity that promotes the formation of many X-points, separated by rapidly merging islands. Across both layers, the magnetic field and the density have a strong jump, but the pressure is held constant. Our analysis focuses on the consequences of electron energization during island coalescence. We focus first on the parallel and perpendicular components of the electron temperature to establish the presence of possible anisotropies and non-gyrotropies. Thanks to the direct comparison between the two different layers simulated, we can distinguish three main types of behavior characteristic of three different regions of interest. The first type represents the regions where traditional asymmetric reconnections take place without involving island merging. The second type of regions instead shows reconnection events between two merging islands. Finally, the third regions identify the regions between two diverging island and where typical signature of reconnection is not observed. Electrons in these latter regions additionally show a flat-top distribution resulting from the saturation of a two-stream instability generated by the two interacting electron beams from the two nearest reconnection points. Finally, the analysis of agyrotropy shows the presence of a distinct double structure laying all over the lower side facing the higher magnetic field region. This structure becomes quadrupolar in the proximity of the regions of the third type. The distinguishing features found for the three types of regions investigated provide clear indicators to the recently launched Magnetospheric Multiscale NASA mission for investigating magnetopause

  13. Photoinduced magnetic force between nanostructures

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Guclu, Caner; Tamma, Venkata Ananth; Wickramasinghe, Hemantha Kumar; Capolino, Filippo

    2015-12-01

    Photoinduced magnetic force between nanostructures, at optical frequencies, is investigated theoretically. Till now optical magnetic effects were not used in scanning probe microscopy because of the vanishing natural magnetism with increasing frequency. On the other hand, artificial magnetism in engineered nanostructures led to the development of measurable optical magnetism. Here two examples of nanoprobes that are able to generate strong magnetic dipolar fields at optical frequency are investigated: first, an ideal magnetically polarizable nanosphere and then a circular cluster of silver nanospheres that has a looplike collective plasmonic resonance equivalent to a magnetic dipole. Magnetic forces are evaluated based on nanostructure polarizabilities, i.e., induced magnetic dipoles, and magnetic-near field evaluations. As an initial assessment on the possibility of a magnetic nanoprobe to detect magnetic forces, we consider two identical magnetically polarizable nanoprobes and observe magnetic forces on the order of piconewtons, thereby bringing it within detection limits of conventional atomic force microscopes at ambient pressure and temperature. The detection of magnetic force is a promising method in studying optical magnetic transitions that can be the basis of innovative spectroscopy applications.

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

    SciTech Connect

    Chai, Kil-Byoung; Bellan, Paul M.

    2013-12-15

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

  15. Ion acceleration and direct ion heating in three-component magnetic reconnection

    SciTech Connect

    Ono, Y.; Yamada, M.; Akao, T.

    1996-03-01

    Ion acceleration and direct ion heating in magnetic reconnection are experimentally observed during counterhelicity merging of two plasma toroids. Plasma ions are accelerated up to order of the Alfen speed through contraction of the reconnected field-lines with three-components. The large increase in ion thermal energy (from 10 eV up to 200 eV) is attributed to the direct conversion of the magnetic energy into the unmagnetized ion population. This observation is consistent with the magnetohydrodynamic and macro-particle simulations.

  16. The effect of electron thermal conduction on plasma pressure gradient during reconnection of magnetic field lines

    SciTech Connect

    Chu, T.K.

    1987-12-01

    The interplay of electron cross-field thermal conduction and the reconnection of magnetic field lines around an m = 1 magnetic island prior to a sawtooth crash can generate a large pressure gradient in a boundary layer adjacent to the reconnecting surface, leading to an enhanced gradient of poloidal beta to satisfy the threshold condition for ideal MHD modes. This narrow boundary layer and the short onset time of a sawtooth crash can be supported by fine-grained turbulent processes in a tokamak plasma. 11 refs.

  17. High Power Heating of Magnetic Reconnection in UTokyo Spherical Tokamak Merging Experiment: TS-U

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ono, Y.; Kawanami, M.; Kimura, K.; Nakai, R.; Nishida, K.; Ishida, R.; Yamanaka, H.; Kuwahata, A.; Tanabe, H.; Inomoto, M.; Cheng, C. Z.; TS; UTST Team

    2015-11-01

    Significant ion heating of magnetic reconnection up to 0.2keV and 1.2keV were documented in two tokamak merging experiments: TS-3 and MAST, leading us to a new high-field merging experiment: TS-U in University of Tokyo. 1D and 2D contours of ion and electron temperatures measured in TS-3 already revealed clear energy-conversion of magnetic reconnection: huge outflow heating of ions in the downstream and electron heating localized at the X-point. It is noted that the ion heating energy is proportional to square of the reconnecting (poloidal) magnetic field Brec. It is because the reconnection outflow accelerates ions up to the poloidal Alfven speed. The accelerated ions are thermalized by shock-like density pileups in the downstreams. These results agree qualitatively with recent solar satellite observations and PIC simulation results. Based on those results, our poster will show the design of upscaled high-field tokamak merging experiment: TS-U. The high-power heating of tokamak merging is useful not only for laboratory study of reconnection heating mechanisms but also for economical startup and heating of tokamak plasmas. The tokamak merging with Brec>0.3T will enables us to heat the tokamak plasma to the burning regime: Ti>5keV without using any additional heating facility.

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

    SciTech Connect

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

    2013-02-15

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

  19. Identification of Y-shaped and O-shaped diffusion regions during magnetic reconnection in a laboratory plasma

    SciTech Connect

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

    1997-04-01

    Two strikingly different shapes of diffusion regions are identified during magnetic reconnection in a magnetohydrodynamic laboratory plasma. The shapes depend on the third vector component of the reconnecting magnetic fields. Without the third component (anti-parallel or null-helicity reconnection), a thin double-Y shaped diffusion region is identified. In this case, the neutral sheet current profile is accurately measured to be as narrow as the order of the ion gyro-radius. In the presence of an appreciable third component (co-helicity reconnection), an O-shaped diffusion region appears and grows into a spheromak configuration.

  20. A laboratory study of asymmetric magnetic reconnection in strongly-driven plasmas

    DOE PAGESBeta

    Rosenberg, M. J.; Li, C. K.; Fox, W.; Igumenshchev, I.; Seguin, F. H.; Town, R.P. J.; Frenje, J. A.; Stoeckl, C.; Glebov, V.; Petrasso, R. D.

    2015-02-04

    Magnetic reconnection, the annihilation and rearrangement of magnetic fields in a plasma, is a universal phenomenon that frequently occurs when plasmas carrying oppositely-directed field lines collide. In most natural circumstances the collision is asymmetric (the two plasmas having different properties), but laboratory research to date has been limited to symmetric configurations. Additionally, the regime of strongly-driven magnetic reconnection, where the ram pressure of the plasma dominates the magnetic pressure, as in several astrophysical environments, has also received little experimental attention. Thus, we have designed experiments to probe reconnection in asymmetric, strongly-driven, laser-generated plasmas. Here we show that, in this strongly-drivenmore » system, the rate of magnetic flux annihilation is dictated by the relative flow velocities of the opposing plasmas and is insensitive to initial asymmetries. Additionally, out-of-plane magnetic fields that arise from asymmetries in the three-dimensional plasma geometry have minimal impact on the reconnection rate, due to the strong flows.« less

  1. A laboratory study of asymmetric magnetic reconnection in strongly-driven plasmas

    SciTech Connect

    Rosenberg, M. J.; Li, C. K.; Fox, W.; Igumenshchev, I.; Seguin, F. H.; Town, R.P. J.; Frenje, J. A.; Stoeckl, C.; Glebov, V.; Petrasso, R. D.

    2015-02-04

    Magnetic reconnection, the annihilation and rearrangement of magnetic fields in a plasma, is a universal phenomenon that frequently occurs when plasmas carrying oppositely-directed field lines collide. In most natural circumstances the collision is asymmetric (the two plasmas having different properties), but laboratory research to date has been limited to symmetric configurations. Additionally, the regime of strongly-driven magnetic reconnection, where the ram pressure of the plasma dominates the magnetic pressure, as in several astrophysical environments, has also received little experimental attention. Thus, we have designed experiments to probe reconnection in asymmetric, strongly-driven, laser-generated plasmas. Here we show that, in this strongly-driven system, the rate of magnetic flux annihilation is dictated by the relative flow velocities of the opposing plasmas and is insensitive to initial asymmetries. Additionally, out-of-plane magnetic fields that arise from asymmetries in the three-dimensional plasma geometry have minimal impact on the reconnection rate, due to the strong flows.

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

    SciTech Connect

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

    2013-04-15

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

  3. ASYMMETRIC MAGNETIC RECONNECTION IN SOLAR FLARE AND CORONAL MASS EJECTION CURRENT SHEETS

    SciTech Connect

    Murphy, N. A.; Miralles, M. P.; Pope, C. L.; Raymond, J. C.; Winter, H. D.; Reeves, K. K.; Van Ballegooijen, A. A.; Lin, J.; Seaton, D. B.

    2012-05-20

    We present two-dimensional resistive magnetohydrodynamic simulations of line-tied asymmetric magnetic reconnection in the context of solar flare and coronal mass ejection current sheets. The reconnection process is made asymmetric along the inflow direction by allowing the initial upstream magnetic field strengths and densities to differ, and along the outflow direction by placing the initial perturbation near a conducting wall boundary that represents the photosphere. When the upstream magnetic fields are asymmetric, the post-flare loop structure is distorted into a characteristic skewed candle flame shape. The simulations can thus be used to provide constraints on the reconnection asymmetry in post-flare loops. More hard X-ray emission is expected to occur at the footpoint on the weak magnetic field side because energetic particles are more likely to escape the magnetic mirror there than at the strong magnetic field footpoint. The footpoint on the weak magnetic field side is predicted to move more quickly because of the requirement in two dimensions that equal amounts of flux must be reconnected from each upstream region. The X-line drifts away from the conducting wall in all simulations with asymmetric outflow and into the strong magnetic field region during most of the simulations with asymmetric inflow. There is net plasma flow across the X-line for both the inflow and outflow directions. The reconnection exhaust directed away from the obstructing wall is significantly faster than the exhaust directed toward it. The asymmetric inflow condition allows net vorticity in the rising outflow plasmoid which would appear as rolling motions about the flux rope axis.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Choe, Gwangson; Lee, Junggi

    2016-04-01

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

  5. Magnetic Reconnection and Associated Transient Phenomena Within the Magnetospheres of Jupiter and Saturn

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Louarn, Philippe; Andre, Nicolas; Jackman, Caitriona M.; Kasahara, Satoshi; Kronberg, Elena A.; Vogt, Marissa F.

    2015-04-01

    We review in situ observations made in Jupiter and Saturn's magnetosphere that illustrate the possible roles of magnetic reconnection in rapidly-rotating magnetospheres. In the Earth's solar wind-driven magnetosphere, the magnetospheric convection is classically described as a cycle of dayside opening and tail closing reconnection (the Dungey cycle). For the rapidly-rotating Jovian and Kronian magnetospheres, heavily populated by internal plasma sources, the classical concept (the Vasyliunas cycle) is that the magnetic reconnection plays a key role in the final stage of the radial plasma transport across the disk. By cutting and closing flux tubes that have been elongated by the rotational stress, the reconnection process would lead to the formation of plasmoids that propagate down the tail, contributing to the final evacuation of the internally produced plasma and allowing the return of the magnetic flux toward the planet. This process has been studied by inspecting possible `local' signatures of the reconnection, as magnetic field reversals, plasma flow anisotropies, energetic particle bursts, and more global consequences on the magnetospheric activity. The investigations made at Jupiter support the concept of an `average' X-line, extended in the dawn/dusk direction and located at 90-120 Jovian radius (RJ) on the night side. The existence of a similar average X-line has not yet been established at Saturn, perhaps by lack of statistics. Both at Jupiter and Saturn, the reconfiguration signatures are consistent with magnetospheric dipolarizations and formation of plasmoids and flux ropes. In several cases, the reconfigurations also appear to be closely associated with large scale activations of the magnetosphere, seen from the radio and auroral emissions. Nevertheless, the statistical study also suggests that the reconnection events and the associated plasmoids are not frequent enough to explain a plasma evacuation that matches the mass input rate from the

  6. Finite gyroradius effects in the electron outflow of asymmetric magnetic reconnection

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Norgren, C.; Graham, D. B.; Khotyaintsev, Yu. V.; André, M.; Vaivads, A.; Chen, L.-J.; Lindqvist, P.-A.; Marklund, G. T.; Ergun, R. E.; Magnes, W.; Strangeway, R. J.; Russell, C. T.; Torbert, R. B.; Paterson, W. R.; Gershman, D. J.; Dorelli, J. C.; Avanov, L. A.; Lavraud, B.; Saito, Y.; Giles, B. L.; Pollock, C. J.; Burch, J. L.

    2016-07-01

    We present observations of asymmetric magnetic reconnection showing evidence of electron demagnetization in the electron outflow. The observations were made at the magnetopause by the four Magnetospheric Multiscale (MMS) spacecraft, separated by ˜15 km. The reconnecting current sheet has negligible guide field, and all four spacecraft likely pass close to the electron diffusion region just south of the X line. In the electron outflow near the X line, all four spacecraft observe highly structured electron distributions in a region comparable to a few electron gyroradii. The distributions consist of a core with T∥>T⊥ and a nongyrotropic crescent perpendicular to the magnetic field. The crescents are associated with finite gyroradius effects of partly demagnetized electrons. These observations clearly demonstrate the manifestation of finite gyroradius effects in an electron-scale reconnection current sheet.

  7. Formation of hard power laws in the energetic particle spectra resulting from relativistic magnetic reconnection.

    PubMed

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

    2014-10-10

    Using fully kinetic simulations, we demonstrate that magnetic reconnection in relativistic plasmas is highly efficient at accelerating particles through a first-order Fermi process resulting from the curvature drift of particles in the direction of the electric field induced by the relativistic flows. This mechanism gives rise to the formation of hard power-law spectra in parameter regimes where the energy density in the reconnecting field exceeds the rest mass energy density σ ≡ B(2)/(4πnm(e)c(2))>1 and when the system size is sufficiently large. In the limit σ ≫ 1, the spectral index approaches p = 1 and most of the available energy is converted into nonthermal particles. A simple analytic model is proposed which explains these key features and predicts a general condition under which hard power-law spectra will be generated from magnetic reconnection. PMID:25375716

  8. Orientation of X Lines in Asymmetric Magnetic Reconnection-Mass Ratio Dependency

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Liu, Yi-Hsin; Hesse, M.; Kuznetsova, M.

    2015-01-01

    Using fully kinetic simulations, we study the X line orientation of magnetic reconnection in an asymmetric configuration. A spatially localized perturbation is employed to induce a single X line, which has sufficient freedom to choose its orientation in three-dimensional systems. The effect of ion to electron mass ratio is investigated, and the X line appears to bisect the magnetic shear angle across the current sheet in the large mass ratio limit. The orientation can generally be deduced by scanning through the corresponding 2-D simulations to find the reconnection plane that maximizes the peak reconnection electric field. The deviation from the bisection angle in the lower mass ratio limit is consistent with the orientation shift of the most unstable linear tearing mode in an electron-scale current sheet.

  9. Debye scale turbulence within the electron diffusion layer during magnetic reconnection

    SciTech Connect

    Jara-Almonte, J.; Ji, H.

    2014-03-15

    During collisionless, anti-parallel magnetic reconnection, the electron diffusion layer is the region of both fieldline breaking and plasma mixing. Due to the in-plane electrostatic fields associated with collisionless reconnection, the inflowing plasmas are accelerated towards the X-line and form counter-streaming beams within the unmagnetized diffusion layer. This configuration is inherently unstable to in-plane electrostatic streaming instabilities provided that there is sufficient scale separation between the Debye length λ{sub D} and the electron skin depth c/ω{sub pe}. This scale separation has hitherto not been well resolved in kinetic simulations. Using both 2D fully kinetic simulations and a simple linear model, we demonstrate that these in-plane streaming instabilities generate Debye scale turbulence within the electron diffusion layer at electron temperatures relevant to magnetic reconnection both in the magnetosphere and in laboratory experiments.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2009-11-01

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

  11. Existence of two MHD reconnection modes in a solar 3D magnetic null point topology

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Pariat, Etienne; Antiochos, Spiro; DeVore, C. Richard; Dalmasse, Kévin

    2012-07-01

    Magnetic topologies with a 3D magnetic null point are common in the solar atmosphere and occur at different spatial scales: such structures can be associated with some solar eruptions, with the so-called pseudo-streamers, and with numerous coronal jets. We have recently developed a series of numerical experiments that model magnetic reconnection in such configurations in order to study and explain the properties of jet-like features. Our model uses our state-of-the-art adaptive-mesh MHD solver ARMS. Energy is injected in the system by line-tied motion of the magnetic field lines in a corona-like configuration. We observe that, in the MHD framework, two reconnection modes eventually appear in the course of the evolution of the system. A very impulsive one, associated with a highly dynamic and fully 3D current sheet, is associated with the energetic generation of a jet. Before and after the generation of the jet, a quasi-steady reconnection mode, more similar to the standard 2D Sweet-Parker model, presents a lower global reconnection rate. We show that the geometry of the magnetic configuration influences the trigger of one or the other mode. We argue that this result carries important implications for the observed link between observational features such as solar jets, solar plumes, and the emission of coronal bright points.

  12. Separator reconnection at Earth's dayside magnetopause under generic northward interplanetary magnetic field conditions

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Dorelli, John C.; Bhattacharjee, Amitava; Raeder, Joachim

    2007-02-01

    We investigate the global properties of magnetic reconnection at the dayside terrestrial magnetopause under generic northward interplanetary magnetic field (IMF) conditions. In particular, we consider a zero dipole tilt case where the y and z components of the IMF (in GSM coordinates) are equal in magnitude, using three-dimensional resistive magnetohydrodynamics (MHD) simulations to address the following questions: (1) What is the geometry of the dayside X line? (2) How is current density distributed over the magnetopause surface? Using a technique described by Geene (1992) to track the magnetic nulls in the system, we identify the dayside X line as a magnetic separator line, a segment of a magnetic field line which extends across the dayside magnetopause, terminating in the cusps. We demonstrate that the separator line is the intersection of two separatrix surfaces which define volumes containing topologically distinct field lines. Parallel current density, proportional to the parallel electric field in our resistive MHD simulations, is distributed in a broad, thin sheet which extends across the separator line and terminates in the cusps. Thus separator reconnection at the dayside magnetopause displays features of both antiparallel (near the cusp nulls) and component (near the subsolar separator line) reconnection. We discuss some implications of our results for spacecraft observations of reconnection signatures.

  13. Scaling laws for magnetic reconnection, set by regulation of the electron pressure anisotropy to the firehose threshold

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ohia, O.; Egedal, J.; Lukin, V. S.; Daughton, W.; Le, A.

    2015-12-01

    Magnetic reconnection in a weakly collisional plasma, such as in the Earth's magnetosphere, is known to be accompanied by electron pressure anisotropy. For reconnection scenarios including moderate guide magnetic field, electrons are magnetized throughout the reconnection region, and the anisotropy drives extended electron current layers. Along these layers, the anisotropy nears the firehose threshold. We describe how the anisotropy stagnates at this threshold by a mechanism that does not involve pitch-angle mixing. Using previously established anisotropic equations of state and by imposing the marginal firehose condition, scaling laws are obtained for quantities along the current layers as functions of plasma parameters upstream of the reconnection region. The predicted reconnection region quantities include the magnetic field strength, plasma density, and the parallel and perpendicular electron pressures, allowing for a characterization of electron energization solely as a function of the upstream plasma conditions. This characterization is in agreement with simulations and spacecraft observations.

  14. Plasma Resonance Surfaces in the Magnetic Field Reconnection and Radio Fine Structures

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Karlický, Marian

    2003-02-01

    Using a 2-D MHD model, the magnetic field reconnection in the current sheet and corresponding plasma resonance lines (surfaces in 3-D), where the upper-hybrid frequency equals one of harmonics of the electron gyrofrequency, ωUH=(ωpe2+ωBe2)1/2=sωBe (ωUH, ωpe, and ωBe are the upper hybrid, electron plasma, and cyclotron frequencies, respectively, and s is the integer harmonic number) are computed. Then at selected times and positions in the magnetic reconnection the spatial and time spectra of upper hybrid frequencies along the resonance lines are calculated. These spectra are discussed from the point of view of radio fine structures as narrowband dm-spikes, zebras, and lace bursts. It is shown that not only turbulent plasma outflows, suggested in the paper by Bárta and Karlický (2001), but also perturbed zones near the reconnection slow-mode shocks can be locations of the narrowband dm-spikes (and/or continua). Sources of the lace bursts (i.e. bursts with irregular lines) can be located in the reconnection space, too. On the other hand, the zebras (bursts with regular separations of zebra lines) need to be generated out of strongly perturbed reconnection areas.

  15. Magnetic Reconnection Instabilities in Soft-Gamma Repeaters

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Heyl, Jeremy S.; Gill, Ramandeep

    2015-01-01

    We examine an external trigger mechanism that gives rise to the intense soft gamma-ray repeater (SGR) giant flares. Out of the three giant flares, two showcased the existence of a precursor, which we show to have had initiated the main flare. We develop a reconnection model based on the hypothesis that shearing motion of the footpoints causes the materialization of a Sweet-Parker current layer in the magnetosphere. The thinning of this oscopic layer due to the development of an embedded super-hot turbulent current layer switches on the impulsive Hall reconnection, which powers the giant flare. We show that the thinning time is on the order of the pre-flare quiescent time.

  16. Magnetic reconnection due to Kelvin-Helmholtz waves at the magnetopause during northward interplanetary magnetic field

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Li, Wenya; André, Mats; Khotyaintsey, Yuri; Vaivads, Andris; Graham, Daniel; Wang, Chi; Tang, Binbin; Burch, James; Lindqvist, Per-Arne; Ergun, Robert; Torbert, Roy; Magnes, Werner; Russell, Christopher; Giles, Barbara; Pollock, Craig

    2016-04-01

    The Kelvin-Helmholtz (K-H) instability is predominantly excited during northward interplanetary magnetic field (IMF), and reconnection due to K-H waves has been suggested to break the frozen-in condition and transport solar wind plasma into the magnetosphere. We investigated the magnetopause boundaries of a K-H wave case observed by the new Magnetospheric Multiscale (MMS) mission, and found ion jets in the trailing edges of the K-H waves along both the positive and negative directions relative to the magnetosheath ion flow. The ion jets satisfy the Walen test. The high-energy magnetospheric electrons are observed on the magnetosheath side of the jets, and the pitch angle distributions are consistent with the magnetic field configuration of both positive and negative jets. The magnetosheath ions mix with magnetosphere ions on the magnetospheric side of the jets, and there are flat-top electron distributions near the jets. We concluded that these observations are unambiguous pieces of evidence for reconnection due to K-H waves during northward IMF.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2015-09-01

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

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

    SciTech Connect

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

    2015-09-10

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2010-02-01

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

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

    SciTech Connect

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

    2010-02-01

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

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

    SciTech Connect

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

    2015-01-30

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Tarkowski, David; Fasoli, Ambrogio; Egedal, Jan

    2000-10-01

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

  3. Slipping Magnetic Reconnections with Multiple Flare Ribbons during an X-class Solar Flare

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Zheng, Ruisheng; Chen, Yao; Wang, Bing

    2016-06-01

    With the observations of the Solar Dynamics Observatory, we present the slipping magnetic reconnections with multiple flare ribbons (FRs) during an X1.2 eruptive flare on 2014 January 7. A center negative polarity was surrounded by several positive ones, and three FRs appeared. The three FRs showed apparent slipping motions, and hook structures formed at their ends. Due to the moving footpoints of the erupting structures, one tight semi-circular hook disappeared after the slippage along its inner and outer edges, and coronal dimmings formed within the hook. The east hook also faded as a result of the magnetic reconnection between the arcades of a remote filament and a hot loop that was impulsively heated by the under flare loops. Our results are accordant with the slipping magnetic reconnection regime in three-dimensional standard model for eruptive flares. We suggest that the complex structures of the flare are likely a consequence of the more complex flux distribution in the photosphere, and the eruption involves at least two magnetic reconnections.

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

    PubMed

    Deng, X H; Matsumoto, H

    2001-03-29

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

  5. Magnetic cloud erosion by magnetic reconnection: occurrence statistics, radial evolution and geo-effectiveness

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lavraud, B.; Ruffenach, A.; Farrugia, C. J.; Demoulin, P.; Dasso, S.; Sauvaud, J.; Rouillard, A.; Foullon, C.; Owens, M. J.; Savani, N.; Kajdic, P.; Manchester, W.; Lugaz, N.; Luhmann, J. G.

    2013-12-01

    We present results regarding the occurrence statistics of magnetic flux erosion due to magnetic reconnection at the front of all magnetic clouds (MC) observed near Earth during solar cycle 23. We show that the process commonly occurs. It often occurs in large amounts, and at both the front and back boundaries of MCs. The statistics of reconnection jets at these boundaries confirms the significance of the process even up to 1 AU. Indeed, we also estimate the radial evolution of this process based on simple models. We conclude that most of the erosion occurs within Mercury's orbit, but up to 50% of the erosion seen at 1 AU may occur beyond Mercury's orbit. Using a standard MC model and an empirical model of the Dst index we also study the impact of this process on MC geo-effectiveness. We conclude that the most geo-effective configuration for a south-north polarity MC is to be preceded by a slow solar wind with southward IMF. This stems not only from the formation of a geo-effective sheath region with southward IMF ahead of it, but also from the fact that adiabatic compression and reduced (or lack thereof) magnetic erosion constructively conspire for the structure to be more geo-effective. Future missions such as Bepi-Colombo, Solar Orbiter and Solar Probe Plus will be able to further quantify this process and determine its radial dependence. Multi-spacecraft observations would be particularly useful for understanding the large-scale 3D topology changes associated with this process.

  6. The Mechanisms of Electron Acceleration During Multiple X Line Magnetic Reconnection with a Guide Field

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2016-04-01

    The interactions between magnetic islands are considered to play an important role in electron acceleration during magnetic reconnection. In this paper, two-dimensional particle-in-cell simulations are performed to study electron acceleration during multiple X line reconnection with a guide field. Because the electrons remain almost magnetized, we can analyze the contributions of the parallel electric field, Fermi, and betatron mechanisms to electron acceleration during the evolution of magnetic reconnection through comparison with a guide-center theory. The results show that with the magnetic reconnection proceeding, two magnetic islands are formed in the simulation domain. Next, the electrons are accelerated by both the parallel electric field in the vicinity of the X lines and the Fermi mechanism due to the contraction of the two magnetic islands. Then, the two magnetic islands begin to merge into one, and, in such a process, the electrons can be accelerated by both the parallel electric field and betatron mechanisms. During the betatron acceleration, the electrons are locally accelerated in the regions where the magnetic field is piled up by the high-speed flow from the X line. At last, when the coalescence of the two islands into one big island finishes, the electrons can be further accelerated by the Fermi mechanism because of the contraction of the big island. With the increase of the guide field, the contributions of the Fermi and betatron mechanisms to electron acceleration become less and less important. When the guide field is sufficiently large, the contributions of the Fermi and betatron mechanisms are almost negligible.

  7. High-latitude magnetic reconnection in sub-Alfvénic flow: Interball tail observations on May 29, 1996

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Avanov, L. A.; Fuselier, S. A.; Vaisberg, O. L.

    2001-12-01

    The Interball Tail spacecraft crossed the high-latitude magnetopause near the cusp region under northward interplanetary magnetic field (IMF) conditions on May 29, 1996, with magnetic local time and magnetic latitude of ~7.3 hours and ~65.4°, respectively. Under these IMF conditions the Interball Tail spacecraft observed quasi-steady reconnection in progress and evidence for a relatively stable reconnection site at high latitudes. Sunward plasma flow observed by Interball Tail and a determination of the tangential stress balance indicated that reconnection was occurring poleward of the Earth's magnetic cusp, above the space-craft's location. At these high latitudes the gasdynamic model of the solar wind/magnetosphere interaction indicates that the magnetosheath flow should be super-Alfvénic, and therefore that the reconnection site should have propagated tailward. However, the spacecraft observed sub-Alfvénic flow in the magnetosheath region adjacent to the magnetopause current layer near the reconnection site indicating that the reconnection site may have moved in the sunward direction. These observations suggest that the region of sub-Alfvénic flow and stable, quasi-steady reconnection extend to very high latitudes under northward IMF conditions. It is shown that the thickness of the magnetopause current layer for this event (estimated as ~1600 km) is consistent with that found for reconnection at the dayside magnetopause.

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

    SciTech Connect

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

    2009-09-15

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

  9. Cold ion demagnetization near the X-line of magnetic reconnection

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Toledo-Redondo, Sergio; André, Mats; Khotyaintsev, Yuri V.; Vaivads, Andris; Walsh, Andrew; Li, Wenya; Graham, Daniel B.; Lavraud, Benoit; Masson, Arnaud; Aunai, Nicolas; Divin, Andrey; Dargent, Jeremy; Fuselier, Stephen; Gershman, Daniel J.; Dorelli, John; Giles, Barbara; Avanov, Levon; Pollock, Craig; Saito, Yoshifumi; Moore, Thomas E.; Coffey, Victoria; Chandler, Michael O.; Lindqvist, Per-Arne; Torbert, Roy; Russell, Christopher T.

    2016-07-01

    Although the effects of magnetic reconnection in magnetospheres can be observed at planetary scales, reconnection is initiated at electron scales in a plasma. Surrounding the electron diffusion region, there is an Ion-Decoupling Region (IDR) of the size of the ion length scales (inertial length and gyroradius). Reconnection at the Earth's magnetopause often includes cold magnetospheric (few tens of eV), hot magnetospheric (10 keV), and magnetosheath (1 keV) ions, with different gyroradius length scales. We report observations of a subregion inside the IDR of the size of the cold ion population gyroradius (˜15 km) where the cold ions are demagnetized and accelerated parallel to the Hall electric field. Outside the subregion, cold ions follow the E × B motion together with electrons, while hot ions are demagnetized. We observe a sharp cold ion density gradient separating the two regions, which we identify as the cold and hot IDRs.

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

    SciTech Connect

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

    2014-12-20

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

  11. Charge-to-mass-ratio-dependent ion heating during magnetic reconnection in the MST RFP

    SciTech Connect

    Kumar, S. T. A.; Almagri, A. F.; Den Hartog, D. J.; Nornberg, M. D.; Sarff, J. S.; Terry, P. W.; Craig, D.

    2013-05-15

    Temperature evolution during magnetic reconnection has been spectroscopically measured for various ion species in a toroidal magnetized plasma. Measurements are made predominantly in the direction parallel to the equilibrium magnetic field. It is found that the increase in parallel ion temperature during magnetic reconnection events increases with the charge-to-mass ratio of the ion species. This trend can be understood if the heating mechanism is anisotropic, favoring heating in the perpendicular degree of freedom, with collisional relaxation of multiple ion species. The charge-to-mass ratio trend for the parallel temperature derives from collisional isotropization. This result emphasizes that collisional isotropization and energy transfer must be carefully modeled when analyzing ion heating measurements and comparing to theoretical predictions.

  12. OBSERVATION OF SUPRATHERMAL ELECTRONS DURING MAGNETIC RECONNECTION AT THE SAWTOOTH INSTABILITY IN DIII-D TOKAMAK

    SciTech Connect

    SAVRUKHIN,RV; STRAIT,EJ

    2002-11-01

    OAK A271 OBSERVATION OF SUPRATHERMAL ELECTRONS DURING MAGNETIC RECONNECTION AT THE SAWTOOTH INSTABILITY IN DIII-D TOKAMAK. Intense bursts of x-ray and electron cyclotron emission are observed during sawtooth instabilities in high-temperature plasmas in the DIII-D tokamak. The bursts are initiated around the X-point of the m = 1, n = 1 magnetic island at the beginning of the sawtooth crash and are displaced to larger radii later during the temperature collapse. Reconstruction of the magnetic configuration using motional Stark effect (MSE) data and numerical simulations indicates that the bursts can be connected with suprathermal electrons (E{sub r} {approx} 30-40 keV) generated during reconnection of the magnetic field around the q = 1 surface.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2016-05-01

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

  14. The Onset of Magnetic Reconnection: Tearing Instability in Current Sheets with a Guide Field

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Daldorff, Lars K. S.; Klimchuk, James A.

    2016-05-01

    Magnetic reconnection is fundamental to many solar phenomena, ranging from coronal heating, to jets, to flares and CMEs. A poorly understood yet crucial aspect of reconnection is that it does not occur until magnetic stresses have built to sufficiently high levels for significant energy release. If reconnection were to happen too soon, coronal heating would be weak and flares would be small. As part of our program to study the onset conditions for magnetic reconnection, we have investigated the instability of current sheets to tearing. Surprisingly little work has been done on this problem for sheets that include a guide field, i.e., for which the field rotates by less than 180 degrees. This is the most common situation on the Sun. We present numerical 3D resistive MHD simulations of several sheets and show how the behaviour depends on the shear angle (rotation). We compare our results to the predictions of linear theory and discuss the nonlinear evolution in terms of plasmoid formation and the interaction of different oblique tearing modes. The relevance to the Sun is explained.

  15. Measurement of ion velocity profiles in a magnetic reconnection layer via current sheet jogging

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2011-10-01

    In many laboratory plasmas, constructing stationary Langmuir and Mach probe arrays with resolution on the order of electron skin depth is technically difficult, and can introduce significant plasma perturbations. However, complete two- dimensional profiles of plasma density, electron temperature, and ion flow are important for studying the transfer of energy from magnetic fields to particles during magnetic reconnection. Through the use of extra ``Shaping Field'' coils in the Magnetic Reconnection Experiment (MRX) at the Princeton Plasma Physics Laboratory, the inward motion of the current sheet in the reconnection layer can be accelerated, or ``jogged,'' allowing the measurement of different points across the sheet with stationary probes. By acquiring data from Langmuir probes and Mach probes at different locations in the MRX with respect to the current sheet center, profiles of electron density and temperature and a vector plot of two-dimensional ion velocity in the plane of reconnection are created. Results from probe measurements will be presented and compared to profiles generated from computer simulation.

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

    SciTech Connect

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

    2011-01-04

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Shimizu, Tohru; Torii, Hiroyuki; Kondoh, Koji

    2016-05-01

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

  18. Gamma-Ray Bursts from Magnetic Reconnection: Variability and Robustness of Light Curves

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Granot, Jonathan

    2016-01-01

    The dissipation mechanism that powers gamma-ray bursts (GRBs) remains uncertain almost half a century after their discovery. The two main competing mechanisms are the extensively studied internal shocks and the less studied magnetic reconnection. Here we consider GRB emission from magnetic reconnection accounting for the relativistic bulk motions that it produces in the jet's bulk rest frame. Far from the source the magnetic field is almost exactly normal to the radial direction, suggesting locally quasi-spherical thin reconnection layers between regions of oppositely directed magnetic field. We show that if the relativistic motions in the jet's frame are confined to such a quasi-spherical uniform layer, then the resulting GRB light curves are independent of their direction distribution within this layer. This renders previous results for a delta-function velocity-direction distribution applicable to a much more general class of reconnection models, which are suggested by numerical simulations. Such models that vary in their velocity-direction distribution differ mainly in the size of the bright region that contributes most of the observed flux at a given emission radius or observed time. The more sharply peaked this distribution, the smaller this bright region, and the stronger the light curve variability that may be induced by deviations from a uniform emission over the thin reconnection layer, which may be expected in a realistic GRB outflow. This is reflected both in the observed image at a given observed time and in the observer-frame emissivity map at a given emission radius, which are calculated here for three simple velocity-direction distributions.

  19. Numerical simulation of the 12 May 1997 CME Event: The role of magnetic reconnection

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Cohen, O.; Attrill, G. D. R.; Schwadron, N. A.; Crooker, N. U.; Owens, M. J.; Downs, C.; Gombosi, T. I.

    2010-10-01

    We perform a numerical study of the evolution of a Coronal Mass Ejection (CME) and its interaction with the coronal magnetic field based on the 12 May 1997, CME event using a global MagnetoHydroDynamic (MHD) model for the solar corona. The ambient solar wind steady-state solution is driven by photospheric magnetic field data, while the solar eruption is obtained by superimposing an unstable flux rope onto the steady-state solution. During the initial stage of CME expansion, the core flux rope reconnects with the neighboring field, which facilitates lateral expansion of the CME footprint in the low corona. The flux rope field also reconnects with the oppositely orientated overlying magnetic field in the manner of the breakout model. During this stage of the eruption, the simulated CME rotates counter-clockwise to achieve an orientation that is in agreement with the interplanetary flux rope observed at 1 AU. A significant component of the CME that expands into interplanetary space comprises one of the side lobes created mainly as a result of reconnection with the overlying field. Within 3 hours, reconnection effectively modifies the CME connectivity from the initial condition where both footpoints are rooted in the active region to a situation where one footpoint is displaced into the quiet Sun, at a significant distance (≈1R$\\odot$) from the original source region. The expansion and rotation due to interaction with the overlying magnetic field stops when the CME reaches the outer edge of the helmet streamer belt, where the field is organized on a global scale. The simulation thus offers a new view of the role reconnection plays in rotating a CME flux rope and transporting its footpoints while preserving its core structure.

  20. Parallel Electric Fields and Wave Phenomena Associated with Magnetic Reconnection: The Merged Magnetic Field Product from MMS

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Argall, M. R.; Torbert, R. B.; Le Contel, O.; Russell, C. T.; Magnes, W.; Strangeway, R. J.; Bromund, K. R.; Lindqvist, P. A.; Marklund, G. T.; Ergun, R. E.; Khotyaintsev, Y. V.

    2015-12-01

    Kinetic processes associated with magnetic reconnection current structures are able to be resolved for the first time by the instrument suites and small inter-spacecraft separation of MMS. Measurements of the parallel electric fields responsible for electron acceleration, and wave activity associated with reconnection onset and electron scattering require precise knowledge of the magnetic field amplitude and phase. The fluxgate and searchcoil magnetometers on MMS are sensitive to low- and high-frequency field fluctuations, respectively. In the middle frequency range, we optimize sensitivity by merging the two datasets to create a single magnetic field data product. We analyze frequency-dependent amplitude and phase relationships between the two instruments to determine how they should be joined. The result is a product with the time resolution and Nyquist frequency of the searchcoil, but with the fluxgate's ability to measure the DC magnetic field. This dataset provides improved phase information suitable for determining parallel electric fields during magnetic reconnection events. Its enhanced sensitivity also makes it ideal for resolving thin current layers and uncovering low-amplitude wave activity, such as EMIC waves related to substorm injections and Alfven or lower hybrid waves related to reconnection.

  1. Helicity, Reconnection, and Dynamo Effects

    SciTech Connect

    Ji, Hantao

    1998-11-01

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

  2. Electron and ion heating characteristics during magnetic reconnection in MAST

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Tanabe, Hiroshi; Yamada, Takuma; Watanabe, Takenori; Gi, Keii; Kadowaki, Kazutake; Inomoto, Michiaki; Imazawa, Ryota; Gryaznevich, Mikhail; Michael, Clive; Conway, Neil; Scannell, Rory; Crowley, Brendan; McClements, Ken; Ono, Yasushi; MAST Team

    2015-11-01

    Localized electron heating at X point and global ion heating in the downstream during merging/reconnection startup of ST in MAST have been studied in detail using 130 channel YAG- and 300 channel Ruby-Thomson scattering measurement and a new 32 chord ion Doppler tomography diagnostics. In addition to the previously achieved record heating of ~1keV, 2D profile of electron temperature revealed highly localized heating structure at X point with the characteristic scale length of 0.02-0.05m < c /ωpi , while the ion temperature increases in the downstream of outflow jet with the width of c /ωpi ~ 0 . 1 m where reconnected field forms thick layer of closed flux surface. The effect of Ti -Te energy relaxation also affects both heating profiles in MAST, finally the formation of triple peak structure for both profiles was observed with the delay of τeiE. The toroidal guide field mostly contributes to the formation of a localized electron heating structure at the X point but not to bulk ion heating downstream. This work is supported by JSPS KAKENHI Grant Number 15H05750 and 15K20921.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Coppi, B.

    2007-11-01

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

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

    SciTech Connect

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

    2014-10-01

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

  5. THE ROLE OF TURBULENT MAGNETIC RECONNECTION IN THE FORMATION OF ROTATIONALLY SUPPORTED PROTOSTELLAR DISKS

    SciTech Connect

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

    2012-03-01

    The formation of protostellar disks out of molecular cloud cores is still not fully understood. Under ideal MHD conditions, the removal of angular momentum from the disk progenitor by the typically embedded magnetic field may prevent the formation of a rotationally supported disk during the main protostellar accretion phase of low-mass stars. This has been known as the magnetic braking problem and the most investigated mechanism to alleviate this problem and help remove the excess of magnetic flux during the star formation process, the so-called ambipolar diffusion (AD), has been shown to be not sufficient to weaken the magnetic braking at least at this stage of the disk formation. In this work, motivated by recent progress in the understanding of magnetic reconnection in turbulent environments, we appeal to the diffusion of magnetic field mediated by magnetic reconnection as an alternative mechanism for removing magnetic flux. We investigate numerically this mechanism during the later phases of the protostellar disk formation and show its high efficiency. By means of fully three-dimensional MHD simulations, we show that the diffusivity arising from turbulent magnetic reconnection is able to transport magnetic flux to the outskirts of the disk progenitor at timescales compatible with the collapse, allowing the formation of a rotationally supported disk around the protostar of dimensions {approx}100 AU, with a nearly Keplerian profile in the early accretion phase. Since MHD turbulence is expected to be present in protostellar disks, this is a natural mechanism for removing magnetic flux excess and allowing the formation of these disks. This mechanism dismisses the necessity of postulating a hypothetical increase of the ohmic resistivity as discussed in the literature. Together with our earlier work which showed that magnetic flux removal from molecular cloud cores is very efficient, this work calls for reconsidering the relative role of AD in the processes of star

  6. The Effect of Dissipation Mechanism and Guide Field Strength on X-line Spreading in 3D Magnetic Reconnection

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Shepherd, Lucas; Cassak, P.; Drake, J.; Gosling, J.; Phan, T.; Shay, M. A.

    2013-07-01

    In two-ribbon flares, the fact that the ribbons separate in time is considered evidence of magnetic reconnection. However, in addition to the ribbons separating, they can also elongate (as seen in animations of, for example, the Bastille Day flare). The elongation is undoubtedly related to the reconnection spreading in the out-of-plane direction. Indeed, naturally occurring magnetic reconnection generally begins in a spatially localized region and spreads in the direction perpendicular to the reconnection plane as time progresses. For example, it was suggested that X-line spreading is necessary to explain the observation of X-lines extending more than 390 Earth radii (Phan et al., Nature, 404, 848, 2006), and has been seen in reconnection experiments. A sizeable out-of-plane (guide) magnetic field is present at flare sites and in the solar wind. Here, we study the effect of dissipation mechanism and the strength of the guide field has on X-line spreading. We present results from three-dimensional numerical simulations of magnetic reconnection, comparing spreading with the Hall term to spreading with anomalous resistivity. Applications to solar flares and magnetic reconnection in the solar wind will be discussed.

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

    SciTech Connect

    Li, Xiaocan

    2015-07-21

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

  8. Braiding, Turbulent 3D Reconnection and Impulsive Heating of the Magnetically Closed Corona

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Russell, A. J. B.; Hornig, G.; Yeates, A.

    2015-12-01

    Magnetic braiding is one of the leading theories for heating the magnetically closed corona, however, understanding of the central processes has changed dramatically in recent years. In particular, it is now recognized that braided fields allow impulsive heating via the formation of large numbers of turbulently forming and evolving reconnection regions, which are volume filling and inherently 3D, and it is no longer necessary to invoke topological discontinuities to dissipate stored energy. It has also become clear that turbulent reconnection produces structures that are inconsistent with a Taylor relaxation model, raising questions about how much stored energy is available for heating and particle acceleration. Here, we look at recent progress that has been made in dealing with this complex heating mechanism and present a new advance that greatly improves estimates of the magnetic energy available for heating and particle acceleration.

  9. Nonlinear response of a neoclassical four-field magnetic reconnection model to localized current drive

    SciTech Connect

    Lazzaro, E.; Comisso, L.; Valdettaro, L.

    2010-05-15

    In tokamaks magnetic islands arise from an unstable process of tearing and reconnecting of helical field lines across rational surfaces. After a linear stage the magnetic instability develops through three characteristic nonlinear stages where increasingly complex topological alterations occur in the form of the magnetic islands. The problem of response of reconnection process to the injection of an external current suitably localized is addressed using a four-field model in a plane slab plasma, with a novel extension to account consistently of the relevant neoclassical effects, such as bootstrap current and pressure anisotropy. The results found have implications on the interpretation of the possible mechanism of present day experimental results on neoclassical tearing modes as well as on the concepts for their control or avoidance.

  10. Torsional magnetic reconnection at three dimensional null points: A phenomenological study

    SciTech Connect

    Wyper, Peter; Jain, Rekha

    2010-09-15

    Magnetic reconnection around three dimensional (3D) magnetic null points is the natural progression from X-point reconnection in two dimensions. In 3D the separator field lines of the X-point are replaced with the spine line and fan plane (the field lines which asymptotically approach or recede from the null). In this work analytical models are developed for the newly classified torsional spine and torsional fan reconnection regimes by solving the steady state, kinematic, resistive magnetohydrodynamic equations. Reconnection is localized to around the null through the use of a localized field perturbation leading to a localized current while a constant resistivity is assumed. For the torsional spine case current is found to localize around the spine leading to a spiraling slippage of the field around the spine and out along the fan. For the torsional fan case current is found to be localized to the fan plane leading again to a spiraling slippage of the field. In each case no flux is transported across either the spine or the fan. An intermediate twist is then introduced and a link is established between the two regimes. We find that for a general twist plasma flows associated with both torsional spine and fan appear in distinct regions. As such we suggest that the ''pure'' flows of each are extreme cases.

  11. Propagation speed of rotation signals for field lines undergoing magnetic reconnection

    SciTech Connect

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

    2013-10-15

    Reconnection is associated with two bending of the magnetic field lines. Considering the usual plane of a 2D reconnection simulation, the first bending is in-plane and produces the needed topological changes by bringing oppositely directed filed lines in proximity. The second is typical of fast reconnection and is out of plane, leading to the formation of the Hall magnetic field. This second rotation has recently been observed to proceed at superAlfvénic speeds and to carry substantial energy fluxes (Shay et al., Phys. Rev. Lett. 107, 065001 (2011)). We revisit these rotations with a new diagnostics based on dispersing a multitude of virtual probes into a kinetic simulation, akin the approach of multi spacecraft missions. The results of the new diagnostics are compared with the theory of characteristics applied to the two fluid model. The comparison of virtual probes and the method of characteristics confirm the findings relative to the out of plane rotation and uncover the existence of two families of characteristics. Both are observed in the simulation. The early stage of reconnection develops on the slower compressional branch and the later faster phase develops on the faster torsional branch. The superAlfvénic signal is only relevant in the second phase.

  12. Connecting Global Measures of 3D Magnetic Reconnection to Local Kinetic Physics

    SciTech Connect

    Daughton, William Scott

    2015-07-16

    After giving the motivation for the work, slides present the topic under the following headings: Description of LAPD experiment; Actual simulation setup; Simple kinetic theory of ined-tied tearing; Diagnostics to characterizing 3D reconnection; Example #1 - short-tied system; and Example #2 - long line-tied system. Colorful simulations are shown for quasipotential vs field line exponentiation, field line integrated Ohms Law, and correlation with agyrotopy & energy conversion for example #1; and evolution of current density for largest case, field exponentiation vs quasi-potential, and time evolution of magnetic field lines for example #2. To satisfy line-tied boundary conditions, there is need for superposition of oblique modes--the simple two-mode approximation works surprisingly well. For force-free layers with bg >1, the fastest growing periodic modes are oblique with kxλ ~0.5. This implies a minimum length of Ly > 2πλbg. There are strong correlations between σ → Ξ → A0e (observable with spacecraft). Electron pressure tensor is the dominant non-ideal term.

  13. Slip versus Field-Line Mapping in Describing 3D Reconnection of Coronal Magnetic Fields

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Titov, V. S.; Mikic, Z.; Torok, T.; Downs, C.; Lionello, R.; Linker, J.

    2015-12-01

    We demonstrate two techniques for describing the structure of the coronal magnetic field and its evolution due to reconnection in numerical 3D simulations of the solar corona and CMEs. These techniques employ two types of mapping of the boundary of the computational domain on itself. One of them is defined at a given time moment via connections of the magnetic field lines to their opposite endpoints. The other mapping, called slip mapping, relates field line endpoints at two different time moments and allows one to identify the slippage of plasma elements due to resistivity across field lines for a given time interval (Titov et al. 2009). The distortion of each of these mappings can be measured by using the so-called squashing factor Q (Titov 2007). The high-Q layers computed for the first and second mappings define, respectively, (quasi-)separatrix surfaces and reconnection fronts in evolving magnetic configurations. Analyzing these structural features, we are able to reveal topologically different domains and reconnected flux systems in the configurations, in particular, open, closed and disconnected magnetic flux tubes, as well as quantify the related magnetic flux transfer. Comparison with observations makes it possible also to relate these features to observed morphological elements such as flare loops and ribbons, and EUV dimmings. We illustrate these general techniques by applying them to particular data-driven MHD simulations. *Research supported by NASA's HSR and LWS Programs, and NSF/SHINE and NSF/FESD.

  14. Ellerman Bombs—Evidence for Magnetic Reconnection in the Lower Solar Atmosphere

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Nelson, C. J.; Shelyag, S.; Mathioudakis, M.; Doyle, J. G.; Madjarska, M. S.; Uitenbroek, H.; Erdélyi, R.

    2013-12-01

    The presence of photospheric magnetic reconnection has long been thought to give rise to short and impulsive events, such as Ellerman bombs (EBs) and Type II spicules. In this article, we combine high-resolution, high-cadence observations from the Interferometric BIdimensional Spectrometer and Rapid Oscillations in the Solar Atmosphere instruments at the Dunn Solar Telescope, National Solar Observatory, New Mexico, with co-aligned Solar Dynamics Observatory Atmospheric Imaging Assembly and Hinode Solar Optical Telescope (SOT) data to observe small-scale events situated within an active region. These data are then compared with state-of-the-art numerical simulations of the lower atmosphere made using the MURaM code. It is found that brightenings, in both the observations and the simulations, of the wings of the Hα line profile, interpreted as EBs, are often spatially correlated with increases in the intensity of the Fe I λ6302.5 line core. Bipolar regions inferred from Hinode/SOT magnetic field data show evidence of flux cancellation associated, co-spatially, with these EBs, suggesting that magnetic reconnection could be a driver of these high-energy events. Through the analysis of similar events in the simulated lower atmosphere, we are able to infer that line profiles analogous to the observations occur co-spatially with regions of strong opposite-polarity magnetic flux. These observed events and their simulated counterparts are interpreted as evidence of photospheric magnetic reconnection at scales observable using current observational instrumentation.

  15. Ellerman bombs—evidence for magnetic reconnection in the lower solar atmosphere

    SciTech Connect

    Nelson, C. J.; Doyle, J. G.; Madjarska, M. S.; Shelyag, S.; Mathioudakis, M.; Uitenbroek, H.; Erdélyi, R.

    2013-12-20

    The presence of photospheric magnetic reconnection has long been thought to give rise to short and impulsive events, such as Ellerman bombs (EBs) and Type II spicules. In this article, we combine high-resolution, high-cadence observations from the Interferometric BIdimensional Spectrometer and Rapid Oscillations in the Solar Atmosphere instruments at the Dunn Solar Telescope, National Solar Observatory, New Mexico, with co-aligned Solar Dynamics Observatory Atmospheric Imaging Assembly and Hinode Solar Optical Telescope (SOT) data to observe small-scale events situated within an active region. These data are then compared with state-of-the-art numerical simulations of the lower atmosphere made using the MURaM code. It is found that brightenings, in both the observations and the simulations, of the wings of the Hα line profile, interpreted as EBs, are often spatially correlated with increases in the intensity of the Fe I λ6302.5 line core. Bipolar regions inferred from Hinode/SOT magnetic field data show evidence of flux cancellation associated, co-spatially, with these EBs, suggesting that magnetic reconnection could be a driver of these high-energy events. Through the analysis of similar events in the simulated lower atmosphere, we are able to infer that line profiles analogous to the observations occur co-spatially with regions of strong opposite-polarity magnetic flux. These observed events and their simulated counterparts are interpreted as evidence of photospheric magnetic reconnection at scales observable using current observational instrumentation.

  16. Hunting for millimeter flares from magnetic reconnection in pre-main sequence spectroscopic binaries

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kóspál, Á.; Salter, D. M.; Hogerheijde, M. R.; Moór, A.; Blake, G. A.

    2011-03-01

    Context. Recent observations of the low-mass pre-main sequence (PMS), eccentric spectroscopic binaries DQ Tau and V773 Tau A reveal that their millimeter spectrum is occasionally dominated by flares from non-thermal emission processes. The transient activity is believed to be synchrotron in nature, resulting from powerful magnetic reconnection events when the separate magnetic structures of the binary components are briefly capable of interacting and forced to reorganize, typically near periastron. Aims: We conducted the first systematic study of the millimeter variability toward a sample of 12 PMS spectroscopic binaries with the aim to characterize the proliferation of flares amongst sources likely to experience similar interbinary reconnection events. The source sample consists entirely of short-period, close-separation binaries that possess either a high orbital eccentricity (e > 0.1) or a circular orbit (e ≈ 0). Methods: Using the MAMBO2 array on the IRAM 30 m telescope, we carried out continuous monitoring at 1.25 mm (240 GHz) over a 4-night period during which all of the high-eccentricity binaries approached periastron. We also obtained simultaneous optical VRI measurements, since a strong link is often observed between stellar reconnection events (traced via X-rays) and optical brightenings. Results: UZ Tau E is the only source to be detected at millimeter wavelengths, and it exhibited significant variation (F1.25mm = 87-179 mJy); it is also the only source to undergo strong simultaneous optical variability (ΔR ≈ 0.9 mag). The binary possesses the largest orbital eccentricity in the current sample, a predicted factor in star-star magnetic interaction events. With orbital parameters and variable accretion activity similar to DQ Tau, the millimeter behavior of UZ Tau E draws many parallels to the DQ Tau model for colliding magnetospheres. However, on the basis of our observations alone, we cannot determine whether the variability is repetitive, or if it

  17. MULTIWAVELENGTH OBSERVATIONS OF SMALL-SCALE RECONNECTION EVENTS TRIGGERED BY MAGNETIC FLUX EMERGENCE IN THE SOLAR ATMOSPHERE

    SciTech Connect

    Guglielmino, S. L.; Zuccarello, F.; Bellot Rubio, L. R.; Aulanier, G.; Vargas DomInguez, S.; Kamio, S.

    2010-12-01

    The interaction between emerging magnetic flux and the pre-existing ambient field has become a 'hot' topic for both numerical simulations and high-resolution observations of the solar atmosphere. The appearance of brightenings and surges during episodes of flux emergence is believed to be a signature of magnetic reconnection processes. We present an analysis of a small-scale flux emergence event in NOAA 10971, observed simultaneously with the Swedish 1 m Solar Telescope on La Palma and the Hinode satellite during a joint campaign in 2007 September. Extremely high-resolution G-band, H{alpha}, and Ca II H filtergrams, Fe I and Na I magnetograms, EUV raster scans, and X-ray images show that the emerging region was associated with chromospheric, transition region and coronal brightenings, as well as with chromospheric surges. We suggest that these features were caused by magnetic reconnection at low altitude in the atmosphere. To support this idea, we perform potential and linear force-free field extrapolations using the FROMAGE service. The extrapolations show that the emergence site is cospatial with a three-dimensional null point, from which a spine originates. This magnetic configuration and the overall orientation of the field lines above the emerging flux region are compatible with the structures observed in the different atmospheric layers and remain stable against variations of the force-free field parameter. Our analysis supports the predictions of recent three-dimensional numerical simulations that energetic phenomena may result from the interaction between emerging flux and the pre-existing chromospheric and coronal field.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2016-04-01

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

  19. Ulysses Observations of Tripolar Guide-Magnetic Field Perturbations Across Solar Wind Reconnection Exhausts

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Eriksson, S.; Peng, B.; Markidis, S.; Gosling, J. T.; McComas, D. J.; Lapenta, G.; Newman, D. L.

    2014-12-01

    We report observations from 15 solar wind reconnection exhausts encountered along the Ulysses orbit beyond 4 AU in 1996-1999 and 2002-2005. The events, which lasted between 17 and 45 min, were found at heliospheric latitudes between -36o and 21o with one event detected as high as 58o. All events shared a common characteristic of a tripolar guide-magnetic field perturbation being detected across the observed exhausts. The signature consists of an enhanced guide field magnitude within the exhaust center and two regions of significantly depressed guide-fields adjacent to the center region. The events displayed magnetic field shear angles as low as 37o with a mean of 89o. This corresponds to a strong external guide field relative to the anti-parallel reconnecting component of the magnetic field with a mean ratio of 1.3 and a maximum ratio of 3.1. A 2-D kinetic reconnection simulation for realistic solar wind conditions reveals that tripolar guide fields form at current sheets in the presence of multiple X-lines as two magnetic islands interact with one another for such strong guide fields. The Ulysses observations are also compared with the results of a 3-D kinetic simulation of multiple flux ropes in a strong guide field.

  20. Comparisons of electron acceleration efficiency among different structures during magnetic reconnection: a Cluster multicase study

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Zhou, M.; Li, T.; Deng, X.; Huang, S.; Li, H.

    2015-12-01

    Magnetic reconnection has long been believed to be an efficient engine for energetic electrons production. Four different structures have been proposed for electrons being energized: flux pileup region, density cavity located around the separatrix, magnetic island and thin current sheet. In this paper, we compare the electron acceleration efficiency among these structures based on 12 magnetotail reconnection events observed by the Cluster spacecraft in 2001-2006. We used the flux ratio between the energetic electrons (> 50 keV) and lower energy electrons (< 26 keV) to quantify the electron acceleration efficiency. We do not find any specific sequence in which electrons are accelerated within these structures, though the flux pileup region, magnetic island and thin current sheet have higher probabilities to reach the maximum efficiency among the four structures than the density cavity. However, the most efficient electron energization usually occurs outside these structures. We suggest that other structures may also play important roles in energizing electrons. Our results could provide important constraints for the further modeling of electron acceleration during magnetic reconnection.

  1. The Role of Magnetic Reconnection in the 2004 August 18 Solar Eruption

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lee, J.; Cho, K.; Bong, S.; Joshi, B.; Moon, Y.; Choe, G.

    2008-05-01

    We present a morphological study of the 2004 August 18 solar flare in which an erupting prominence is clearly visible as a bright helical structure on (E)UV images of the Transition Region and Coronal Explorer (TRACE) and H-alpha filtergrams of the Big Bear Solar Observatory (BBSO). The associated coronal mass ejection (CME) is traced with white light images of the Mouna Loa Solar Observatory (MLSO) that covers the low corona (down to 1.08 solar radii) in order to determine its causal relationship with the flare. Used as a signature of magnetic reconnection is the flare radiation at hard X-rays (HXR) and microwaves, measured by the Ramaty High Energy Solar Spectroscopic Imager (RHESSI) and the Owens Valley Solar Array (OVSA), respectively. The HXR- microwave emissions appear in multiple bursts located mostly near the surface in a complicated pattern that varies from a peak to another. It is, however, obvious that the first HXR-microwave burst precedes the magnetic flux rising and that the prominence fully erupts only after the HXR-microwave bursts. Therefore, the role of the first magnetic reconnection would be tether-cutting that allows the magnetic flux rope to rise through the overlying field. We further argue that the subsequent reconnections play a role in adding poloidal flux to the flux rope and thus rendering it unstable to eruption, based on comparison of the observed morphological evolution of the prominence with that of the kink instability model by Torok and Kleim (2005).

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2015-11-01

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

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

    SciTech Connect

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

    2015-11-10

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

  4. Reconnecting Flux Ropes

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Gekelman, Walter; van Compernolle, Bart

    2012-10-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Li, Shiyou; Chen, Xiaoqian; Guo, Jianming

    2016-07-01

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

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

    SciTech Connect

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

    2015-07-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2011-12-01

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

  8. Magnetospheric Multiscale Observations of the Electron Diffusion Region of Large Guide Field Magnetic Reconnection.

    PubMed

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

    2016-07-01

    We report observations from the Magnetospheric Multiscale (MMS) satellites of a large guide field magnetic reconnection event. The observations suggest that two of the four MMS spacecraft sampled the electron diffusion region, whereas the other two spacecraft detected the exhaust jet from the event. The guide magnetic field amplitude is approximately 4 times that of the reconnecting field. The event is accompanied by a significant parallel electric field (E_{∥}) that is larger than predicted by simulations. The high-speed (∼300  km/s) crossing of the electron diffusion region limited the data set to one complete electron distribution inside of the electron diffusion region, which shows significant parallel heating. The data suggest that E_{∥} is balanced by a combination of electron inertia and a parallel gradient of the gyrotropic electron pressure. PMID:27419573

  9. Magnetospheric Multiscale Observations of the Electron Diffusion Region of Large Guide Field Magnetic Reconnection

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2016-07-01

    We report observations from the Magnetospheric Multiscale (MMS) satellites of a large guide field magnetic reconnection event. The observations suggest that two of the four MMS spacecraft sampled the electron diffusion region, whereas the other two spacecraft detected the exhaust jet from the event. The guide magnetic field amplitude is approximately 4 times that of the reconnecting field. The event is accompanied by a significant parallel electric field (E∥ ) that is larger than predicted by simulations. The high-speed (˜300 km /s ) crossing of the electron diffusion region limited the data set to one complete electron distribution inside of the electron diffusion region, which shows significant parallel heating. The data suggest that E∥ is balanced by a combination of electron inertia and a parallel gradient of the gyrotropic electron pressure.

  10. The effects of turbulence on three-dimensional magnetic reconnection at the magnetopause

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Price, L.; Swisdak, M.; Drake, J. F.; Cassak, P. A.; Dahlin, J. T.; Ergun, R. E.

    2016-06-01

    Two- and three-dimensional particle-in-cell simulations of a recent encounter of the Magnetospheric Multiscale Mission (MMS) with an electron diffusion region at the magnetopause are presented. While the two-dimensional simulation is laminar, turbulence develops at both the X line and along the magnetic separatrices in the three-dimensional simulation. The turbulence is strong enough to make the magnetic field around the reconnection island chaotic and produces both anomalous resistivity and anomalous viscosity. Each contribute significantly to breaking the frozen-in condition in the electron diffusion region. A surprise is that the crescent-shaped features in velocity space seen both in MMS observations and in two-dimensional simulations survive, even in the turbulent environment of the three-dimensional system. This suggests that MMS's measurements of crescent distributions do not exclude the possibility that turbulence plays an important role in magnetopause reconnection.

  11. Magnetic reconnection and modification of the Hall physics due to cold ions at the magnetopause

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    André, M.; Li, W.; Toledo-Redondo, S.; Khotyaintsev, Yu. V.; Vaivads, A.; Graham, D. B.; Norgren, C.; Burch, J.; Lindqvist, P.-A.; Marklund, G.; Ergun, R.; Torbert, R.; Magnes, W.; Russell, C. T.; Giles, B.; Moore, T. E.; Chandler, M. O.; Pollock, C.; Young, D. T.; Avanov, L. A.; Dorelli, J. C.; Gershman, D. J.; Paterson, W. R.; Lavraud, B.; Saito, Y.

    2016-07-01

    Observations by the four Magnetospheric Multiscale spacecraft are used to investigate the Hall physics of a magnetopause magnetic reconnection separatrix layer. Inside this layer of currents and strong normal electric fields, cold (eV) ions of ionospheric origin can remain frozen-in together with the electrons. The cold ions reduce the Hall current. Using a generalized Ohm's law, the electric field is balanced by the sum of the terms corresponding to the Hall current, the v × B drifting cold ions, and the divergence of the electron pressure tensor. A mixture of hot and cold ions is common at the subsolar magnetopause. A mixture of length scales caused by a mixture of ion temperatures has significant effects on the Hall physics of magnetic reconnection.

  12. Explosive magnetic reconnection - puzzle to be solved as the energy supply process for magnetospheric substorms

    SciTech Connect

    Akasofu, S.I.

    1985-01-01

    It is pointed out that magnetospheric substorms are perhaps the most basic type of disturbances which occur throughout the magnetosphere. There is little doubt that the energy for magnetospheric substorms is delivered from the sun to the magnetosphere by the solar wind, and theoretical and observational studies have been conducted to uncover the processes associated with the energy transfer from the solar wind to the magnetosphere, and the subsequent processes leading to various magnetospheric substorm phenomena. It has been widely accepted that explosive magnetic reconnection supplies the energy for magnetospheric substorm processes. It is indicated that the auroral phenomena must be various manifestations of a large-scale electrical discharge process which is powered by the solar wind-magnetosphere dynamo. Certain problems regarding explosive magnetic reconnection are discussed. 23 references.

  13. Explosive magnetic reconnection - Puzzle to be solved as the energy supply process for magnetospheric substorms?

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Akasofu, S.-I.

    1985-01-01

    It is pointed out that magnetospheric substorms are perhaps the most basic type of disturbances which occur throughout the magnetosphere. There is little doubt that the energy for magnetospheric substorms is delivered from the sun to the magnetosphere by the solar wind, and theoretical and observational studies have been conducted to uncover the processes associated with the energy transfer from the solar wind to the magnetosphere, and the subsequent processes leading to various magnetospheric substorm phenomena. It has been widely accepted that explosive magnetic reconnection supplies the energy for magnetospheric substorm processes. It is indicated that the auroral phenomena must be various manifestations of a large-scale electrical discharge process which is powered by the solar wind-magnetosphere dynamo. Certain problems regarding explosive magnetic reconnection are discussed.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2016-05-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Zhou, M.; Deng, X.; Ashour-Abdalla, M.; Pang, Y.; Lapenta, G.; Fu, H.; Walker, R. J.; Huang, S.; Tang, R.

    2015-12-01

    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. An ion diffusion region with a weak guide field (~10% of the lobe field) was encountered during the flow reversal. Transient energetic electron beams, which directed away from the X-line, were detected repeatedly around the current sheet boundary layer with periods of about 60s during the tailward flow burst. On the earthward side of X-line, multiple earthward-propagating dipolarization fronts were observed quasi-periodically with time period of 60s-90s. Surprisingly the cross-tail sizes of some observed dipolarization fronts are only 1-2 ion inertial lengths. The X-line expanded across the tail in the electron flow direction with a speed about 0.03VA, here VA is the Alfven speed. Two spacecraft, which were separated in the cross-tail direction by 1 RE, observed distinct structures and different tones of reconnection, which implies that reconnection proceeds drastically different in different segments of X-line.

  16. Structure of exhaust jets produced by magnetic reconnection localized in the out-of-plane direction

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Pritchett, P. L.

    2015-01-01

    Three-dimensional electromagnetic particle-in-cell simulations are used to investigate the structure of exhaust jets produced by magnetic reconnection localized in the out-of-plane direction. The localized reconnection is produced by periodically blocking the cross-tail current density, a procedure that has effects analogous to those produced by the assumption of a region of anomalous resistivity in fluid treatments of reconnection. The width of the blocking region is varied between 4 and 24di, where di is the ion inertial length. After an initial displacement in the electron-drift direction, the jet front undergoes a marked expansion in the ion-drift direction, reaching a total cross-tail width of 15-20di regardless of the initial width. The jet front breaks up into small-scale finger structures of the order of 1-2di in width, which appears to be due to the action of the ballooning/interchange instability. Ahead of the front, the ion pressure Pixx is increased due to reflection of ions from the moving front and the penetration of high-speed ions in the jet through the front. The ion temperature Tixx exhibits a minimum within the front, while the electron temperature is enhanced in the front. The properties of the reconnection-generated fronts are compared and contrasted with those of interchange heads produced by a decreasing entropy profile.

  17. Stable and unstable invariant manifolds in a partially chaotic magnetic configuration generated by nonlinear reconnection

    SciTech Connect

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

    2008-10-15

    A numerical contour dynamics code has been employed to calculate the stable and unstable manifolds related to two interacting magnetic island chains. The magnetic configuration is generated by a nonlinear reconnection process described in D. Borgogno et al. [Phys. Plasmas. 12, 032309 (2005)]. The appearance of the first homoclinic and heteroclinic intersections of the dominant manifolds are shown and one of the associated uniformly hyperbolic orbits is given. The stickiness of the field lines around the island and the eventual development of global stochasticity are discussed. The basic geometry of the magnetic configuration is periodic so that the structure of the manifolds may be compared with the one obtained with Poincare plots.

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

    SciTech Connect

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

    2015-10-15

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

  19. Magnetic Reconnection Triggering Magnetohydrodynamic Instabilities during a Sawtooth Crash in a Tokamak Plasma

    SciTech Connect

    Chapman, I. T.; Scannell, R.; Hastie, R. J.; Naylor, G.; Zocco, A.

    2010-12-17

    Thomson scattering measurements with subcentimeter spatial resolution have been made during a sawtooth crash in a Mega Ampere Spherical Tokamak fusion plasma. The unparalleled resolution of the temperature profile has shed new light on the mechanisms that underlie the sawtooth. As magnetic reconnection occurs, the temperature gradient at the island boundary increases. The increased local temperature gradient is sufficient to make the helical core unstable to ideal magnetohydrodynamic instabilities, thought to be responsible for the rapidity of the collapse.

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

    SciTech Connect

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

    2012-12-10

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

  1. Magnetic reconnection triggering magnetohydrodynamic instabilities during a sawtooth crash in a Tokamak plasma.

    PubMed

    Chapman, I T; Scannell, R; Cooper, W A; Graves, J P; Hastie, R J; Naylor, G; Zocco, A

    2010-12-17

    Thomson scattering measurements with subcentimeter spatial resolution have been made during a sawtooth crash in a Mega Ampere Spherical Tokamak fusion plasma. The unparalleled resolution of the temperature profile has shed new light on the mechanisms that underlie the sawtooth. As magnetic reconnection occurs, the temperature gradient at the island boundary increases. The increased local temperature gradient is sufficient to make the helical core unstable to ideal magnetohydrodynamic instabilities, thought to be responsible for the rapidity of the collapse.

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

    SciTech Connect

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

    2015-01-20

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

  3. EXCITATION OF KINK WAVES DUE TO SMALL-SCALE MAGNETIC RECONNECTION IN THE CHROMOSPHERE?

    SciTech Connect

    He Jiansen; Marsch, Eckart; Tian Hui; Tu Chuanyi

    2009-11-10

    The kink wave, which has often been observed in coronal loops, is considered as a possibly important energy source contributing to coronal heating. However, its generation has not yet been observed. Here, we report the first observation of kink-wave excitation caused by magnetic reconnection as inferred from Solar Optical Telescope measurements made in the Ca II line. We observed transverse-displacement oscillations on a spicule which propagated upwardly along the spicule trace and originated from the cusp of an inverted Y-shaped structure, where apparently magnetic reconnection occurred. Such transverse oscillation of an individual spicule is interpreted by us to be the signature of a kink wave that was excited by magnetic reconnection. We present the height variations of the velocity amplitude, deltav, and the phase speed, C {sub k}, of the kink wave, starting from its source region. The kink wave is found to steepen with height and to evolve into a nonlinear state with a large relative disturbance, yielding a (deltav/C {sub k}) of 0.21 at 5.5 Mm. This nonlinear kink wave seems to be damped in velocity amplitude beyond 5.5 Mm, which may result from the conversion of transverse-fluctuation energy to longitudinal-motion energy required to sustain the spicule. We also estimate the energy flux density carried by the kink wave, and in spite of its attenuation in the transition region conclude it to be sufficient for heating the quiet corona. Our findings shed new light on future modeling of coronal heating and solar wind acceleration involving magnetic reconnection in the chromosphere.

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

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

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

    2014-01-01

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

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

    SciTech Connect

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

    2014-06-15

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

  6. Kinetic evidence of magnetic reconnection due to Kelvin-Helmholtz waves

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Li, W.; André, M.; Khotyaintsev, Yu. V.; Vaivads, A.; Graham, D. B.; Toledo-Redondo, S.; Norgren, C.; Henri, P.; Wang, C.; Tang, B. B.; Lavraud, B.; Vernisse, Y.; Turner, D. L.; Burch, J.; Torbert, R.; Magnes, W.; Russell, C. T.; Blake, J. B.; Mauk, B.; Giles, B.; Pollock, C.; Fennell, J.; Jaynes, A.; Avanov, L. A.; Dorelli, J. C.; Gershman, D. J.; Paterson, W. R.; Saito, Y.; Strangeway, R. J.

    2016-06-01

    The Kelvin-Helmholtz (KH) instability at the Earth's magnetopause is predominantly excited during northward interplanetary magnetic field (IMF). Magnetic reconnection due to KH waves has been suggested as one of the mechanisms to transfer solar wind plasma into the magnetosphere. We investigate KH waves observed at the magnetopause by the Magnetospheric Multiscale (MMS) mission; in particular, we study the trailing edges of KH waves with Alfvénic ion jets. We observe gradual mixing of magnetospheric and magnetosheath ions at the boundary layer. The magnetospheric electrons with energy up to 80 keV are observed on the magnetosheath side of the jets, which indicates that they escape into the magnetosheath through reconnected magnetic field lines. At the same time, the low-energy (below 100 eV) magnetosheath electrons enter the magnetosphere and are heated in the field-aligned direction at the high-density edge of the jets. Our observations provide unambiguous kinetic evidence for ongoing reconnection due to KH waves.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Jovanović, D.; Shukla, P. K.

    2005-05-01

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

  8. Particle-in-cell simulations of magnetic reconnection in laser-plasma experiments on Shenguang-II facility

    SciTech Connect

    Lu, San; Lu, Quanming; Huang, Can; Wang, Shui; Dong, Quanli; Zhu, Jianqiang; Sheng, Zhengming; Zhang, Jie

    2013-11-15

    Recently, magnetic reconnection has been realized in high-energy-density laser-produced plasmas. Plasma bubbles with self-generated magnetic fields are created by focusing laser beams to small-scale spots on a foil. The bubbles expand into each other, which may then drive magnetic reconnection. The reconnection experiment in laser-produced plasmas has also been conducted at Shenguang-II (SG-II) laser facility, and the existence of a plasmoid was identified in the experiment [Dong et al., Phys. Rev. Lett. 108, 215001 (2012)]. In this paper, by performing two-dimensional (2-D) particle-in-cell simulations, we investigate such a process of magnetic reconnection based on the experiment on SG-II facility, and a possible explanation for the formation of the plasmoid is proposed. The results show that before magnetic reconnection occurs, the bubbles squeeze strongly each other and a very thin current sheet is formed. The current sheet is unstable to the tearing mode instability, and we can then observe the formation of plasmoid(s) in such a multiple X-lines reconnection.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2015-11-01

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

  10. Magnetic reconnection in the presence of sheared flow and density asymmetry: Applications to the Earth's magnetopause

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    La Belle-Hamer, A. L.; Otto, A.; Lee, L. C.

    1995-01-01

    Classical models of magnetic reconnection consist of a small diffusion region bounded by two symmetric slow shocks, across which the plasma is accelerated. Asymmetries often present in space plasmas are sheared plasma flow and dissimilar plasma densities on the two sides of current sheets. In this paper, we investigate magnetic reconnection in the presence of a shear flow and an asymmetric density across the current sheet using two-dimensional magnetohydrodynamic (MHD) simulations. The results demonstrate that magnetic reconnection can occur only for a plasma flow velocity (in the frame of the X line) which is below the Alfven speed in each inflow region. This limits the velocity of the X line to a certain range for a given flow shear and provides an upper limit to the total velocity shear at which reconnection ceases to operate. Depending on the direction of the flow in the adjacent inflow region, the effects from the sheared flow and from the density asymmetry will compete with or enhance each other in respect to the magnitude and location of the currents which bound the outflow regions. The results are applied to the dayside and flank regions of the magnetosphere. For the dayside region where the magnetosheath flow is slow, the magnetic field transition region is thin and the accelerated flow is earthward of the sharp current layer (magnetopause). At the flanks tailward of the X line, shear flow and density asymmetry effects compete making the magnetic field transition layer broad with the high-speed flow contained within the transition region which explains corresponding observations. At the flanks sunward of the X line, shear flow and density asymmetry effects enhance each other and lead to a strong current sheet on the magnetosheath side of the accelerated flow. The total volume affected by magnetic reconnection is much larger than the steady state region. A large bulge region precedes the steady state region. Qualitatively, the bulge and the steady state

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

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Sterling, Alphonse C.; Moore, Ronald L.

    2004-01-01

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

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

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Sterling, Alphonse C.; Moore, Ronald L.

    2004-01-01

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

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

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Sterling, Alphonse C.; Moore, Ronald L.

    2004-01-01

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

  14. Plans for a 3D reconnection experiment

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bellan, Paul

    2010-11-01

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

  15. IS MAGNETIC RECONNECTION THE CAUSE OF SUPERSONIC UPFLOWS IN GRANULAR CELLS?

    SciTech Connect

    Borrero, J. M.; Schmidt, W.; Martinez Pillet, V.; Quintero Noda, C.; Bonet, J. A.

    2013-05-01

    In a previous work, we reported on the discovery of supersonic magnetic upflows on granular cells in data from the SUNRISE/IMaX instrument. In the present work, we investigate the physical origin of these events employing data from the same instrument but with higher spectral sampling. By means of the inversion of Stokes profiles we are able to recover the physical parameters (temperature, magnetic field, line-of-sight velocity, etc.) present in the solar photosphere at the time of these events. The inversion is performed in a Monte-Carlo-like fashion, that is, repeating it many times with different initializations and retaining only the best result. We find that many of the events are characterized by a reversal in the polarity of the magnetic field along the vertical direction in the photosphere, accompanied by an enhancement in the temperature and by supersonic line-of-sight velocities. In about half of the studied events, large blueshifted and redshifted line-of-sight velocities coexist above/below each other. These features can be explained in terms of magnetic reconnection, where the energy stored in the magnetic field is released in the form of kinetic and thermal energy when magnetic field lines of opposite polarities coalesce. However, the agreement with magnetic reconnection is not perfect and, therefore, other possible physical mechanisms might also play a role.

  16. Magnetic Reconnection of Solar Flare Detected by Solar Radio Burst Type III

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hamidi, Z. S.; Shariff, N. N. M.; Ibrahim, Z. A.; Monstein, C.; Zulkifli, W. N. A. Wan; Ibrahim, M. B.; Arifin, N. S.; Amran, N. A.

    2014-10-01

    The Sun is an ideal object of a blackbody with a large and complex magnetic field. In solar activity specifically solar flare phenomenon, the magnetic reconnection is one of the most significant factors of the Sun that can simplify a better understanding of our nearest star. This factor is due to the motion of the plasma and other particles through the convection mechanism inside the Sun. In our work, we will highlight one of the solar burst events that associated with solar flares. This event occurred on 13th November 2012 from 2:00:03 UT till 2:00:06 UT. It peaked with M2.0 solar flare at 2.04 UT. Within short time intervals of about l02 ~ 103s, large quantities of energy of 1022 ~ 1026J are emancipated. The changing magnetic field converts magnetic potential energy into kinetic energy by accelerating plasmas in the solar corona. It is believed that the plasma is channelled by the magnetic field up and away from the Sun. It is also accelerated back down along the magnetic field into the chromosphere. In conclusion, we showed that the structure of the solar radio burst type III is an indicator of a starting point of magnetic reconnection.

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

    SciTech Connect

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

    2015-12-20

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2011-11-01

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

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

    SciTech Connect

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

    2011-11-15

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

  20. Use of Data Mining and Computer Vision Algorithms in Studies of Magnetic Reconnection

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Sipes, T.; Karimabadi, H.; Gosling, J. T.; Phan, T.; Yilmaz, A.

    2011-12-01

    Knowledge discovery from large data sets collected from spacecraft measurements as well as petascale simulations remains a major obstacle to scientific progress. For example, our recent 3D kinetic simulation of reconnection included over 3 trillion particles and generated well over 200 TB of data. Similarly identification of interesting features in spacecraft data can be quite time consuming and by definition focuses on simpler features as human eye has limited capability in deciphering complex patterns and dependencies. Machine learning algorithms offer a solution to this problem. Here we present our latest results on use of machine learning algorithms in analysis of (i) 2D and 3D kinetic simulations of reconnection and (ii) reconnection events in the solar wind using Wind data. The results are quite promising and point to the power of these techniques to find hidden relationships. For example, identification of flux ropes in the solar wind remains quite controversial since unlike the magnetopause where one can search for bipolar signatures of the magnetic field component in the boundary normal coordinates, there are no generally agreed upon method of identifying them. As a preparation for this, we show results of our technique applied to time series generated from simulations of flux ropes. We find that the algorithms were not only able to detect flux ropes in the simulation data very accurately, but they were also able to distinguish crossings across a flux rope versus those along the axis of a flux rope. In case of spacecraft data, our models were able to detect crossings of the reconnection exhausts and distinguish them from non-exhausts. Finally, we use machine learning algorithms to compare the crossings of reconnection exhausts from simulations and spacecraft observations in the solar wind.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Tassi, E.

    2014-11-01

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

  2. Fully Kinetic Simulations of Asymmetric Magnetic Reconnection at the Magnetopause with Different Configurations

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Cazzola, Emanuele; Lapenta, Giovanni

    2015-04-01

    This work aim at presenting fully kinetic simulations of magnetic reconnection with the current sheet acrossed by asymmetric profiles in density and magnetic. Unlike traditional single layer o double mirrored layers, we here wanted to study the different behavior between a typical current sheet with continous profiles and a layer with a steep gradient profile. The former clearly represents those conditions standing at the nose of the magnetopause, where shocked solar wind encounters the magnetospheric plasma, which is currently widely studied given the imminent launch of the NASA MMS satellite's cluster completely devoted to the reconnection occurring in this area. The second layer, however, resembles the typical Riemann's problem conventionally used for studying formation and propagation of waves in aforementioned magnetospheric region. Additionally, steep gradient may also recall those conditions during the inflowing northward IMF, when a pure tangential discontinuity is present. We here mainly focus on this second configuration, where interesting features are observed from simulation. In fact, a very steep profile gradient seems to give origin to explosive multiple reconnection events all over the layer, which in turn lead to a rapid island merging and relevant energy release. Manifold analysis turns out to be addressed. First step concerns to better study the glaring and quick island merging, where presence of anti-reconnections may lead to the generation of vertical outflow jets and further particles heating. This latter point is intimately linked to the energetics of the process. Either ions and electrons normally increase energy thanks to the stored magnetic energy released by the reconnection event. However, it soon appears that separatrixes seem to play a more fundamental and spatially extensive role in increasing either ions or electrons thermal and bulk energy with respect to the reconnection region, which is the ultimate scale where magnetic

  3. The Internal-collision-induced Magnetic Reconnection and Turbulence (ICMART) Model of Gamma-ray Bursts

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Zhang, Bing; Yan, Huirong

    2011-01-01

    The recent Fermi observation of GRB 080916C shows that the bright photosphere emission associated with a putative fireball is missing, which suggests that the central engine likely launches a Poynting-flux-dominated (PFD) outflow. We propose a model of gamma-ray burst (GRB) prompt emission in the PFD regime, namely, the Internal-Collision-induced MAgnetic Reconnection and Turbulence (ICMART) model. It is envisaged that the GRB central engine launches an intermittent, magnetically dominated wind, and that in the GRB emission region, the ejecta is still moderately magnetized (e.g., 1 <~ σ <~ 100). Similar to the internal shock (IS) model, the mini-shells interact internally at the radius R IS ~ Γ2 cΔt. Most of these early collisions, however, have little energy dissipation, but serve to distort the ordered magnetic field lines entrained in the ejecta. At a certain point, the distortion of magnetic field configuration reaches the critical condition to allow fast reconnection seeds to occur, which induce relativistic MHD turbulence in the interaction regions. The turbulence further distorts field lines easing additional magnetic reconnections, resulting in a runway release of the stored magnetic field energy (an ICMART event). Particles are accelerated either directly in the reconnection zone, or stochastically in the turbulent regions, which radiate synchrotron photons that power the observed gamma rays. Each ICMART event corresponds to a broad pulse in the GRB light curve, and a GRB is composed of multiple ICMART events. This model retains the merits of IS and other models, but may overcome several difficulties/issues faced by the IS model (e.g., low efficiency, fast cooling, electron number excess, Amati/Yonetoku relation inconsistency, and missing bright photosphere). Within this model, the observed GRB variability timescales could have two components, one slow component associated with the central engine time history, and another fast component associated with

  4. Observation of Magnetic Reconnection at a 3D Null Point Associated with a Solar Eruption

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Sun, J. Q.; Zhang, J.; Yang, K.; Cheng, X.; Ding, M. D.

    2016-10-01

    Magnetic null has long been recognized as a special structure serving as a preferential site for magnetic reconnection (MR). However, the direct observational study of MR at null-points is largely lacking. Here, we show the observations of MR around a magnetic null associated with an eruption that resulted in an M1.7 flare and a coronal mass ejection. The Geostationary Operational Environmental Satellites X-ray profile of the flare exhibited two peaks at ∼02:23 UT and ∼02:40 UT on 2012 November 8, respectively. Based on the imaging observations, we find that the first and also primary X-ray peak was originated from MR in the current sheet (CS) underneath the erupting magnetic flux rope (MFR). On the other hand, the second and also weaker X-ray peak was caused by MR around a null point located above the pre-eruption MFR. The interaction of the null point and the erupting MFR can be described as a two-step process. During the first step, the erupting and fast expanding MFR passed through the null point, resulting in a significant displacement of the magnetic field surrounding the null. During the second step, the displaced magnetic field started to move back, resulting in a converging inflow and subsequently the MR around the null. The null-point reconnection is a different process from the current sheet reconnection in this flare; the latter is the cause of the main peak of the flare, while the former is the cause of the secondary peak of the flare and the conspicuous high-lying cusp structure.

  5. Nonthermal Electron Energization from Magnetic Reconnection in Laser-Driven Plasmas.

    PubMed

    Totorica, Samuel R; Abel, Tom; Fiuza, Frederico

    2016-03-01

    The possibility of studying nonthermal electron energization in laser-driven plasma experiments of magnetic reconnection is studied using two- and three-dimensional particle-in-cell simulations. It is demonstrated that nonthermal electrons with energies more than an order of magnitude larger than the initial thermal energy can be produced in plasma conditions currently accessible in the laboratory. Electrons are accelerated by the reconnection electric field, being injected at varied distances from the X points, and in some cases trapped in plasmoids, before escaping the finite-sized system. Trapped electrons can be further energized by the electric field arising from the motion of the plasmoid. This acceleration gives rise to a nonthermal electron component that resembles a power-law spectrum, containing up to ∼8% of the initial energy of the interacting electrons and ∼24% of the initial magnetic energy. Estimates of the maximum electron energy and of the plasma conditions required to observe suprathermal electron acceleration are provided, paving the way for a new platform for the experimental study of particle acceleration induced by reconnection. PMID:26991182

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

    SciTech Connect

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

    2015-12-30

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

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

    DOE PAGESBeta

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

    2015-12-30

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2016-01-01

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

  9. Magnetic Reconnection Onset via Disruption of a Forming Current Sheet by the Plasmoid Instability

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Loureiro, Nuno; Uzdensky, Dmitri

    The recent realization that Sweet-Parker reconnection current sheets are violently unstable to the secondary tearing (plasmoid) instability implies that such current sheets are unlikely to be realized in real systems. This suggests that, in order to understand the onset of magnetic reconnection, one needs to consider the growth of the tearing instability in a current layer as it is just being formed. We present such an analysis in the context of nonlinear resistive MHD for a generic time-dependent equilibrium representing a gradually forming current sheet. It is shown that, under most conditions, the longest-wavelength mode dominates, resulting in just one or two big plasmoids produced in the immediate aftermath of current sheet formation. Specific examples pertaining to solar flares and to parasitic modes of the magnetorotational instability are provided.

  10. Multi-Scale Physics in the Magnetosphere: The Role of Magnetic Reconnection

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Hesse, Michael; Zenitiani, Seiji; Kuznetsova, Maria M.; Birn, Joachim

    2010-01-01

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

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

    SciTech Connect

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

    2014-06-15

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

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

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Hesse, Michael

    2010-01-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2015-11-01

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

  14. Magnetic Reconnection Onset via Disruption of a Forming Current Sheet by the Tearing Instability

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2016-03-01

    The recent realization that Sweet-Parker current sheets are violently unstable to the secondary tearing (plasmoid) instability implies that such current sheets cannot occur in real systems. This suggests that, in order to understand the onset of magnetic reconnection, one needs to consider the growth of the tearing instability in a current layer as it is being formed. Such an analysis is performed here in the context of nonlinear resistive magnetohydrodynamics for a generic time-dependent equilibrium representing a gradually forming current sheet. It is shown that two onset regimes, single-island and multi-island, are possible, depending on the rate of current sheet formation. A simple model is used to compute the criterion for transition between these two regimes, as well as the reconnection onset time and the current sheet parameters at that moment. For typical solar corona parameters, this model yields results consistent with observations.

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

    SciTech Connect

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

    2013-08-20

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

  16. Kinetic Alfvén waves in three-dimensional magnetic reconnection

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Liang, Ji; Lin, Yu; Johnson, Jay R.; Wang, Xueyi; Wang, Zheng-Xiong

    2016-07-01

    Alfvénic waves are believed to be fundamentally important in magnetic reconnection. Kinetic dynamics of particles can break the Alfvén speed limit in the evolution and propagation of perturbations during reconnection. In this paper, the generation and signatures of kinetic Alfvén waves (KAWs) associated with magnetic reconnection in a current sheet is investigated using a three-dimensional (3-D) hybrid code under a zero or finite guide field. In order to understand the wave structures in the general cases of multiple X line reconnection, cases with a single X line of various lengths are examined. The KAWs are identified using the wave dispersion relation, electromagnetic polarization relations, as well as spectral analysis. In the cases in which the X line is so long to extend through the entire simulation domain in the current direction, quasi 2-D configurations of reconnection are developed behind a leading flux/plasma bulge. KAWs with perpendicular wave number k⊥ρi˜1 (with ρi being the ion Larmor radius) are found throughout the transient plasma bulge region and propagate outward along magnetic field lines with a slightly super-Alfvénic velocity. These KAWs are generated from the X line and coexist with the whistler structure of the ion diffusion region under a small guide field. In the cases in which the X line has a finite length 2ξ ˜ 10di, with ξ being the half length of the X line and di the ion inertial length, the KAWs originated from the X line are of 3-D nature. Under a finite guide field, KAWs propagate along the oblique magnetic field lines into the unperturbed regions in the current direction, carrying parallel electric field and Poynting fluxes. The critical X line length for the generation of 3-D-like structures is found to be 2ξc≤30di. The structure, propagation, energy, spectrum, and damping of the KAWs are examined. Dependence of the structure of KAWs on the guide field is also investigated.

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

    SciTech Connect

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

    2014-10-15

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

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

    SciTech Connect

    Jan Egedal-Pedersen

    2010-01-29

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

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

    SciTech Connect

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

    2012-02-20

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

  20. Extreme Particle Acceleration in Magnetic Reconnection Layers: Application to the Gamma-Ray Flares in the Crab Nebula

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Cerutti, Benoît; Uzdensky, Dmitri A.; Begelman, Mitchell C.

    2012-02-01

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

  1. Magnetic Resonance Force Microscope Development

    SciTech Connect

    Hammel, P.C.; Zhang, Z.; Suh, B.J.; Roukes, M.L.; Midzor, M.; Wigen, P.E.; Childress, J.R.

    1999-06-03

    Our objectives were to develop the Magnetic Resonance Force Microscope (MRFM) into an instrument capable of scientific studies of buried structures in technologically and scientifically important electronic materials such as magnetic multilayer materials. This work resulted in the successful demonstration of MRFM-detected ferromagnetic resonance (FMR) as a microscopic characterization tool for thin magnetic films. Strong FMR spectra obtained from microscopic Co thin films (500 and 1000 angstroms thick and 40 x 200 microns in lateral extent) allowed us to observe variations in sample inhomogeneity and magnetic anisotropy field. We demonstrated lateral imaging in microscopic FMR for the first time using a novel approach employing a spatially selective local field generated by a small magnetically polarized spherical crystallite of yttrium iron garnet. These successful applications of the MRFM in materials studies provided the basis for our successful proposal to DOE/BES to employ the MRF M in studies of buried interfaces in magnetic materials.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Mullan, D. J.

    2010-10-01

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

  3. Propagation and Damping of Kinetic Alfven Waves Generated During Magnetic Reconnection

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Sharma, P.; Shay, M. A.; Haggerty, C. C.; Parashar, T.

    2015-12-01

    Magnetospheric waves have the potential to convert to Kinetic Alfven Waves (KAW) at scales close to the ion larmor radius and the electron inertial length. At this length scale, it is observed that KAW generated at reconnection propagates super-Alfvenically and the wave is responsible for the parallel propagation of the Hall magnetic field near the separatrice from the magnetotial region. The pointing flux associated with this Hall magnetic field is also consistent with observed Cluster data observations [1]. An important question is whether this KAW energy will be able to propagate all the way to the Earth, creating aurora associated with a substorm. If this KAW propagation can be well understood, then this will provide valuable insight as to the relative timing of substorm onset versus reconnection onset in the magnetotail. The difficulty currently is that the nonlinear damping of KAW is not well understood even in a homogenous system, let alone more realistic magnetotail geometries including changes to density, magnetic field strength, and magnetic orientation. We study the propagation, dispersion, and damping of these KAWs using P3D, a kinetic particle-in-cell (PIC) simulation code. Travelling waves are initialized based on a fluid model and allowed to propagate for substantial time periods. Damping of the waves are compared with Landau damping predictions. The waves are simulated in both homogenous and varying equilibrium meant to determine the effect on propagation. Implications for energetic electron production and Poynting flux input into the ionosphere are discussed. [1] Shay, M. A., J. F. Drake, J. P. Eastwood, and T. D. Phan, Super-Alfvenic propagation of substorm reconnection signatures and Poynting flux,, Physics Review Letters, Vol. 107, 065001, 2011.

  4. Nonlinear wave propagation and reconnection at magnetic X-points in the Hall MHD regime

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Threlfall, J.; Parnell, C. E.; De Moortel, I.; McClements, K. G.; Arber, T. D.

    2012-08-01

    Context. The highly dynamical, complex nature of the solar atmosphere naturally implies the presence of waves in a topologically varied magnetic environment. Here, the interaction of waves with topological features such as null points is inevitable and potentially important for energetics. The low resistivity of the solar coronal plasma implies that non-magnetohydrodynamic (MHD) effects should be considered in studies of magnetic energy release in this environment. Aims: This paper investigates the role of the Hall term in the propagation and dissipation of waves, their interaction with 2D magnetic X-points and the nature of the resulting reconnection. Methods: A Lagrangian remap shock-capturing code (Lare2d) was used to study the evolution of an initial fast magnetoacoustic wave annulus for a range of values of the ion skin depth (δi) in resistive Hall MHD. A magnetic null-point finding algorithm was also used to locate and track the evolution of the multiple null-points that are formed in the system. Results: Depending on the ratio of ion skin depth to system size, our model demonstrates that Hall effects can play a key role in the wave-null interaction. In particular, the initial fast-wave pulse now consists of whistler and ion-cyclotron components; the dispersive nature of the whistler wave leads to (i) earlier interaction with the null; (ii) the creation of multiple additional, transient nulls and, hence, an increased number of energy release sites. In the Hall regime, the relevant timescales (such as the onset of reconnection and the period of the oscillatory relaxation) of the system are reduced significantly, and the reconnection rate is enhanced.

  5. The influence of intense electric fields on three-dimensional asymmetric magnetic reconnection

    SciTech Connect

    Pritchett, P. L.

    2013-06-15

    A three-dimensional particle-in-cell simulation of magnetic reconnection in an asymmetric configuration without a guide field and with temperature ratio T{sub i}/T{sub e}>1 demonstrates that intense perpendicular electric fields are produced on the low-density side of the current layer where there is a strong gradient in the plasma density. The simulation shows that the 3-D reconnection rate is unaffected by these intense electric fields, that the electron current layer near the X line remains coherent and does not break up, but that localized regions of strong energy dissipation exist along the low-density separatrices. Near the X line the dominant term in the generalized Ohm's law for the reconnection electric field remains the off-diagonal electron pressure gradient ∂P{sub exy}/∂x. On the low-beta separatrix, however, the anomalous drag −<δnδE{sub y}>/ makes an equally important contribution to that of the pressure gradient to the average E{sub y} field.

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

    SciTech Connect

    Jain, Neeraj; Büchner, Jörg

    2014-06-15

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

  7. Characterizing plasmoid reconnection by turbulence dynamics

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2016-09-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hoshino, Masahiro

    2016-07-01

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

  9. CLUSTERS OF SMALL ERUPTIVE FLARES PRODUCED BY MAGNETIC RECONNECTION IN THE SUN

    SciTech Connect

    Archontis, V.; Hansteen, V.

    2014-06-10

    We report on the formation of small solar flares produced by patchy magnetic reconnection between interacting magnetic loops. A three-dimensional (3D) magnetohydrodynamic (MHD) numerical experiment was performed, where a uniform magnetic flux sheet was injected into a fully developed convective layer. The gradual emergence of the field into the solar atmosphere results in a network of magnetic loops, which interact dynamically forming current layers at their interfaces. The formation and ejection of plasmoids out of the current layers leads to patchy reconnection and the spontaneous formation of several small (size ≈1-2 Mm) flares. We find that these flares are short-lived (30 s–3 minutes) bursts of energy in the range O(10{sup 25}-10{sup 27}) erg, which is basically the nanoflare-microflare range. Their persistent formation and co-operative action and evolution leads to recurrent emission of fast EUV/X-ray jets and considerable plasma heating in the active corona.

  10. ON MULTIPLE RECONNECTION X-LINES AND TRIPOLAR PERTURBATIONS OF STRONG GUIDE MAGNETIC FIELDS

    SciTech Connect

    Eriksson, S.; Gosling, J. T.; Lapenta, G.; Newman, D. L.; Goldman, M. V.; Phan, T. D.; Lavraud, B.; Khotyaintsev, Yu. V.; Carr, C. M.; Markidis, S.

    2015-05-20

    We report new multi-spacecraft Cluster observations of tripolar guide magnetic field perturbations at a solar wind reconnection exhaust in the presence of a guide field B{sub M} {sub  }which is almost four times as strong as the reversing field B{sub L}. The novel tripolar field consists of two narrow regions of depressed B{sub M}, with an observed 7%–14% ΔB{sub M} magnitude relative to the external field, which are found adjacent to a wide region of enhanced B{sub M} within the exhaust. A stronger reversing field is associated with each B{sub M} depression. A kinetic reconnection simulation for realistic solar wind conditions and the observed strong guide field reveals that tripolar magnetic fields preferentially form across current sheets in the presence of multiple X-lines as magnetic islands approach one another and merge into fewer and larger islands. The simulated ΔB{sub M}/ΔX{sub N} over the normal width ΔX{sub N} between a B{sub M} minimum and the edge of the external region agree with the normalized values observed by Cluster. We propose that a tripolar guide field perturbation may be used to identify candidate regions containing multiple X-lines and interacting magnetic islands at individual solar wind current sheets with a strong guide field.

  11. An Investigation of Perpendicular Gradients of Parallel Electric Field Associated with Magnetic Reconnection

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Sturner, A. P.; Ergun, R.; Newman, D. L.; Lapenta, G.

    2014-12-01

    Many observations of particle heating and acceleration throughout the universe have been associated with magnetic reconnection. Generalized Ohm's Law describes how particles move under ideal and non-ideal conditions; however, it is insufficient for describing how the magnetic field itself changes. Initial studies have shown that a curl of a parallel electric field is necessary for reconnection to occur. These analytic studies have demonstrated that perpendicular gradients in the parallel electric field drive a counter-twisting of the magnetic field on either side of the localized parallel electric field. This results in the slippage of magnetic flux tubes and a break down of the 'frozen-in' condition. In this presentation, we analyze results from self-consistent implicit kinetic particle-in-cell simulations. The strongest gradients of parallel electric fields in the simulations are along the separator and not at the X-point. We will present where in the simulation domain the 'frozen-in' condition breaks down and compare it with the location of these gradients, and discuss the implications.

  12. On the Electron Diffusion Region in Asymmetric Reconnection with a Guide Magnetic Field

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

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

    2016-01-01

    Particle-in-cell simulations in a 2.5-D geometry and analytical theory are employed to study the electron diffusion region in asymmetric reconnection with a guide magnetic field. The analysis presented here demonstrates that similar to the case without guide field, in-plane flow stagnation and null of the in-plane magnetic field are well separated. In addition, it is shown that the electric field at the local magnetic X point is again dominated by inertial effects, whereas it remains dominated by nongyrotropic pressure effects at the in-plane flow stagnation point. A comparison between local electron Larmor radii and the magnetic gradient scale lengths predicts that distribution should become nongyrotropic in a region enveloping both field reversal and flow stagnation points. This prediction is verified by an analysis of modeled electron distributions, which show clear evidence of mixing in the critical region.

  13. Characterization of magnetic reconnection in the high-energy-density regime

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Xu, Z.; Qiao, B.; Chang, H. X.; Yao, W. P.; Wu, S. Z.; Yan, X. Q.; Zhou, C. T.; Wang, X. G.; He, X. T.

    2016-03-01

    The dynamics of magnetic reconnection (MR) in the high-energy-density (HED) regime, where the plasma inflow is strongly driven and the thermal pressure is larger than the magnetic pressure (β >1 ), is reexamined theoretically and by particle-in-cell simulations. Interactions of two colliding laser-produced plasma bubbles with self-generated poloidal magnetic fields of, respectively, antiparallel and parallel field lines are considered. Through comparison, it is found that the quadrupole magnetic field, bipolar poloidal electric field, plasma heating, and even the out-of-plane electric field can appear in both cases due to the mere plasma bubble collision, which may not be individually recognized as evidences of MR in the HED regime separately. The Lorentz-invariant scalar quantity De≃γej .(E +ve×B ) {γe=[1-(ve/c) 2]-1/2 }in the electron dissipation region is proposed as the key sign of MR occurrence in this regime.

  14. Slipping magnetic reconnection during an X-class solar flare observed by SDO/AIA

    SciTech Connect

    Dudík, J.; Del Zanna, G.; Mason, H. E.; Janvier, M.; Aulanier, G.; Schmieder, B.; Karlický, M. E-mail: mjanvier@maths.dundee.ac.uk

    2014-04-01

    We present SDO/AIA observations of an eruptive X-class flare of 2012 July 12, and compare its evolution with the predictions of a three-dimensional (3D) numerical simulation. We focus on the dynamics of flare loops that are seen to undergo slipping reconnection during the flare. In the Atmospheric Imaging Assembly (AIA) 131 Å observations, lower parts of 10 MK flare loops exhibit an apparent motion with velocities of several tens of km s{sup –1} along the developing flare ribbons. In the early stages of the flare, flare ribbons consist of compact, localized bright transition-region emission from the footpoints of the flare loops. A differential emission measure analysis shows that the flare loops have temperatures up to the formation of Fe XXIV. A series of very long, S-shaped loops erupt, leading to a coronal mass ejection observed by STEREO. The observed dynamics are compared with the evolution of magnetic structures in the 'standard solar flare model in 3D.' This model matches the observations well, reproducing the apparently slipping flare loops, S-shaped erupting loops, and the evolution of flare ribbons. All of these processes are explained via 3D reconnection mechanisms resulting from the expansion of a torus-unstable flux rope. The AIA observations and the numerical model are complemented by radio observations showing a noise storm in the metric range. Dm-drifting pulsation structures occurring during the eruption indicate plasmoid ejection and enhancement of the reconnection rate. The bursty nature of radio emission shows that the slipping reconnection is still intermittent, although it is observed to persist for more than an hour.