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Title: The effect of reconnection electric field on crescent and U-shaped distribution functions in asymmetric reconnection with no guide field

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Journal Article: Publisher's Accepted Manuscript
Journal Name:
Physics of Plasmas
Additional Journal Information:
Journal Volume: 24; Journal Issue: 7; Related Information: CHORUS Timestamp: 2018-02-15 00:31:21; Journal ID: ISSN 1070-664X
American Institute of Physics (AIP)
Country of Publication:
United States

Citation Formats

Bessho, N., Chen, L. -J., Hesse, M., and Wang, S.. The effect of reconnection electric field on crescent and U-shaped distribution functions in asymmetric reconnection with no guide field. United States: N. p., 2017. Web. doi:10.1063/1.4989737.
Bessho, N., Chen, L. -J., Hesse, M., & Wang, S.. The effect of reconnection electric field on crescent and U-shaped distribution functions in asymmetric reconnection with no guide field. United States. doi:10.1063/1.4989737.
Bessho, N., Chen, L. -J., Hesse, M., and Wang, S.. 2017. "The effect of reconnection electric field on crescent and U-shaped distribution functions in asymmetric reconnection with no guide field". United States. doi:10.1063/1.4989737.
title = {The effect of reconnection electric field on crescent and U-shaped distribution functions in asymmetric reconnection with no guide field},
author = {Bessho, N. and Chen, L. -J. and Hesse, M. and Wang, S.},
abstractNote = {},
doi = {10.1063/1.4989737},
journal = {Physics of Plasmas},
number = 7,
volume = 24,
place = {United States},
year = 2017,
month = 7

Journal Article:
Free Publicly Available Full Text
This content will become publicly available on July 5, 2018
Publisher's Accepted Manuscript

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  • We perform the first study of the properties of the Larmor electric field (LEF) in collisionless asymmetric magnetic reconnection in the presence of an out-of-plane (guide) magnetic field for different sets of representative upstream parameters at Earth’s dayside magnetopause with an ion temperature greater than the electron temperature (the ion-to-electron temperature ratio fixed at 2) using two-dimensional particle-in-cell simulations. We show that the LEF does persist in the presence of a guide field. We study how the LEF thickness and strength change as a function of guide field and the magnetospheric temperature and reconnecting magnetic field strength. We find thatmore » the thickness of the LEF structure decreases, while its magnitude increases when a guide field is added to the reconnecting magnetic field. The added guide field makes the Larmor radius smaller, so the scaling with the magnetospheric ion Larmor radius is similar to that reported for the case without a guide field. Note, however, that the physics causing the LEF is not well understood, so future work in other parameter regimes is needed to fully predict the LEF for arbitrary conditions. We also find that a previously reported upstream electron temperature anisotropy arises in the vicinity of the LEF region both with and without a guide field. We argue that the generation of the anisotropy is linked to the existence of the LEF. The LEF can be used in combination with the electron temperature anisotropy as a signature to effectively identify dayside reconnection sites in observations.« less
  • 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 fullymore » 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.« less
  • In situ measurements of magnetic reconnection in the Earth's magnetotail are presented showing that even a moderate guide field (20% of the reconnecting field) considerably distorts ion diffusion region structure. The Hall magnetic and electric fields are asymmetric and shunted away from the current sheet; an appropriately scaled particle-in-cell simulation is found to be in excellent agreement with the data. The results show the importance of correctly accounting for the effects of the magnetic shear when attempting to identify and study magnetic reconnection diffusion regions in nature.
  • Works of Tsiklauri and Haruki [Phys. Plasmas 15, 102902 (2008); 14, 112905 (2007)] are extended by inclusion of the out-of-plane magnetic (guide) field. In particular, magnetic reconnection during collisionless, stressed X-point collapse for varying out-of-plane guide-fields is studied using a kinetic, 2.5D, fully electromagnetic, relativistic particle-in-cell numerical code. For zero guide-field, cases for both open and closed boundary conditions are investigated, where magnetic flux and particles are lost and conserved, respectively. It is found that reconnection rates, out-of-plane currents and density in the X-point increase more rapidly and peak sooner in the closed boundary case, but higher values are reachedmore » in the open boundary case. The normalized reconnection rate is fast: 0.10-0.25. In the open boundary case it is shown that an increase of guide-field yields later onsets in the reconnection peak rates, while in the closed boundary case initial peak rates occur sooner but are suppressed. The reconnection current changes similarly with increasing guide-field; however for low guide-fields the reconnection current increases, giving an optimal value for the guide-field between 0.1 and 0.2 times the in-plane field in both cases. Also, in the open boundary case, it is found that for guide-fields of the order of the in-plane magnetic field, the generation of electron vortices occurs. Possible causes of the vortex generation, based on the flow of decoupled particles in the diffusion region and localized plasma heating, are discussed. Before peak reconnection onset, oscillations in the out-of-plane electric field at the X-point are found, ranging in frequency from approximately 1 to 2 ω{sub pe} and coinciding with oscillatory reconnection. These oscillations are found to be part of a larger wave pattern in the simulation domain. Mapping the out-of-plane electric field along the central lines of the domain over time and applying a 2D Fourier transform reveal that the waves predominantly correspond to the ordinary and the extraordinary mode and hence may correspond to observable radio waves such as solar radio burst fine structure spikes.« less