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Title: Particle description of the electron diffusion region in collisionless magnetic reconnection

Abstract

The present study clarifies the dissipation mechanism of collisionless magnetic reconnection in two-dimensional system based on particle dynamics. The electrons are accelerated without thermalization in the electron diffusion region, carry out the meandering oscillation, and are ejected away from the X-line. This electron behavior not only generates the electron inertia resistivity based on the particle description, but also it can be the origin of the electron viscosity resulting in the off-diagonal pressure tensor term in the generalized Ohm's law near the X-line. We derive an analytical profile for the electron pressure tensor term and confirm that the profile is consistent with the particle-in-cell simulation. The present results demonstrate that the magnetic dissipation due to the electron viscosity in the fluid picture is equivalent to that due to the inertia resistivity in the particle description. It is also suggested that the width of the electron current sheet is on the order of the electron inertia length in the case without electron scattering and thermalization, while it is expected that the width is broadened if the electron scattering occurs in the current sheet.

Authors:
 [1];  [2]
  1. Computational Astrophysics Laboratory, RIKEN, 2-1 Hirosawa, Wako, Saitama 351-0198 (Japan)
  2. Department of Physics, University of Alberta, Edmonton, Alberta T6G 2G7 (Canada)
Publication Date:
OSTI Identifier:
21274251
Resource Type:
Journal Article
Journal Name:
Physics of Plasmas
Additional Journal Information:
Journal Volume: 16; Journal Issue: 11; Other Information: DOI: 10.1063/1.3263694; (c) 2009 American Institute of Physics; Country of input: International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA); Journal ID: ISSN 1070-664X
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English
Subject:
70 PLASMA PHYSICS AND FUSION TECHNOLOGY; DIFFUSION; ELECTRONS; MAGNETIC RECONNECTION; PLASMA GUNS; PLASMA SIMULATION; TWO-DIMENSIONAL CALCULATIONS; VISCOSITY

Citation Formats

Fujimoto, Keizo, and Sydora, Richard D. Particle description of the electron diffusion region in collisionless magnetic reconnection. United States: N. p., 2009. Web. doi:10.1063/1.3263694.
Fujimoto, Keizo, & Sydora, Richard D. Particle description of the electron diffusion region in collisionless magnetic reconnection. United States. doi:10.1063/1.3263694.
Fujimoto, Keizo, and Sydora, Richard D. Sun . "Particle description of the electron diffusion region in collisionless magnetic reconnection". United States. doi:10.1063/1.3263694.
@article{osti_21274251,
title = {Particle description of the electron diffusion region in collisionless magnetic reconnection},
author = {Fujimoto, Keizo and Sydora, Richard D},
abstractNote = {The present study clarifies the dissipation mechanism of collisionless magnetic reconnection in two-dimensional system based on particle dynamics. The electrons are accelerated without thermalization in the electron diffusion region, carry out the meandering oscillation, and are ejected away from the X-line. This electron behavior not only generates the electron inertia resistivity based on the particle description, but also it can be the origin of the electron viscosity resulting in the off-diagonal pressure tensor term in the generalized Ohm's law near the X-line. We derive an analytical profile for the electron pressure tensor term and confirm that the profile is consistent with the particle-in-cell simulation. The present results demonstrate that the magnetic dissipation due to the electron viscosity in the fluid picture is equivalent to that due to the inertia resistivity in the particle description. It is also suggested that the width of the electron current sheet is on the order of the electron inertia length in the case without electron scattering and thermalization, while it is expected that the width is broadened if the electron scattering occurs in the current sheet.},
doi = {10.1063/1.3263694},
journal = {Physics of Plasmas},
issn = {1070-664X},
number = 11,
volume = 16,
place = {United States},
year = {2009},
month = {11}
}