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Title: The role of electron heat flux in guide-field magnetic reconnection

Abstract

A combination of analytical theory and particle-in-cell simulations are employed in order to investigate the electron dynamics near and at the site of guide field magnetic reconnection. A detailed analysis of the contributions to the reconnection electric field shows that both bulk inertia and pressure-based quasiviscous processes are important for the electrons. Analytic scaling demonstrates that conventional approximations for the electron pressure tensor behavior in the dissipation region fail, and that heat flux contributions need to be accounted for. Based on the evolution equation of the heat flux three tensor, which is derived in this paper, an approximate form of the relevant heat flux contributions to the pressure tensor is developed, which reproduces the numerical modeling result reasonably well. Based on this approximation, it is possible to develop a scaling of the electron current layer in the central dissipation region. It is shown that the pressure tensor contributions become important at the scale length defined by the electron Larmor radius in the guide magnetic field.

Authors:
; ;  [1];  [2]
  1. NASA Goddard Space Flight Center, Greenbelt, Maryland 20771 (United States)
  2. (United States)
Publication Date:
OSTI Identifier:
20643911
Resource Type:
Journal Article
Resource Relation:
Journal Name: Physics of Plasmas; Journal Volume: 11; Journal Issue: 12; Other Information: DOI: 10.1063/1.1795991; (c) 2004 American Institute of Physics; Country of input: International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA)
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English
Subject:
70 PLASMA PHYSICS AND FUSION TECHNOLOGY; ELECTRONS; HEAT FLUX; MAGNETOHYDRODYNAMICS; PLASMA; PLASMA PRESSURE; PLASMA SIMULATION; TENSORS

Citation Formats

Hesse, Michael, Kuznetsova, Masha, Birn, Joachim, and Los Alamos National Laboratory, Los Alamos, New Mexico 87545. The role of electron heat flux in guide-field magnetic reconnection. United States: N. p., 2004. Web. doi:10.1063/1.1795991.
Hesse, Michael, Kuznetsova, Masha, Birn, Joachim, & Los Alamos National Laboratory, Los Alamos, New Mexico 87545. The role of electron heat flux in guide-field magnetic reconnection. United States. doi:10.1063/1.1795991.
Hesse, Michael, Kuznetsova, Masha, Birn, Joachim, and Los Alamos National Laboratory, Los Alamos, New Mexico 87545. Wed . "The role of electron heat flux in guide-field magnetic reconnection". United States. doi:10.1063/1.1795991.
@article{osti_20643911,
title = {The role of electron heat flux in guide-field magnetic reconnection},
author = {Hesse, Michael and Kuznetsova, Masha and Birn, Joachim and Los Alamos National Laboratory, Los Alamos, New Mexico 87545},
abstractNote = {A combination of analytical theory and particle-in-cell simulations are employed in order to investigate the electron dynamics near and at the site of guide field magnetic reconnection. A detailed analysis of the contributions to the reconnection electric field shows that both bulk inertia and pressure-based quasiviscous processes are important for the electrons. Analytic scaling demonstrates that conventional approximations for the electron pressure tensor behavior in the dissipation region fail, and that heat flux contributions need to be accounted for. Based on the evolution equation of the heat flux three tensor, which is derived in this paper, an approximate form of the relevant heat flux contributions to the pressure tensor is developed, which reproduces the numerical modeling result reasonably well. Based on this approximation, it is possible to develop a scaling of the electron current layer in the central dissipation region. It is shown that the pressure tensor contributions become important at the scale length defined by the electron Larmor radius in the guide magnetic field.},
doi = {10.1063/1.1795991},
journal = {Physics of Plasmas},
number = 12,
volume = 11,
place = {United States},
year = {Wed Dec 01 00:00:00 EST 2004},
month = {Wed Dec 01 00:00:00 EST 2004}
}