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Title: Driven magnetic reconnection near the Dreicer limit

Abstract

The influence of Coulomb collisions on the dynamics of driven magnetic reconnection in geometry mimicking the Magnetic Reconnection eXperiment (MRX) [M. Yamada et al., Phys. Plasmas 4, 1936 (1997)] is investigated using two-dimensional (2D) fully kinetic simulations with a Monte Carlo treatment of the collision operator. For values of collisionality typical of MRX, the reconnection mechanism is shown to be a combination of collisionless effects, represented by off-diagonal terms in the electron stress tensor, and collisional momentum exchange between electrons and ions. The ratio of the reconnection electric field E{sub R} to the critical runaway field E{sub crit} provides a convenient measure of the relative importance of these two mechanisms. The structure of electron-scale reconnection layers in the presence of collisions is investigated in light of the previously reported [S. Dorfman et al., Phys. Plasmas 15, 102107 (2008)] discrepancy in the width of the electron reconnection layers between collisionless simulations and experimental observations. It is demonstrated that the width of the layer increases in the presence of collisions, but does not substantially deviate from its collisionless values, given by the electron crossing orbit width, unless E{sub R}<<E{sub crit}. Comparison with MRX observations demonstrates that the layer width in 2D simulationsmore » with Coulomb collisions is substantially smaller than the value observed in the low-density experiments with E{sub R} < or approx. E{sub crit}, indicating that physical mechanisms beyond those included in the simulations control the structure of the electron layers in these experiments.« less

Authors:
; ; ; ;  [1]; ; ; ;  [2];  [3]
  1. Los Alamos National Laboratory, Los Alamos, New Mexico 87545 (United States)
  2. Center for Magnetic Self-organization in Laboratory and Astrophysical Plasmas, Princeton Plasma Physics Laboratory, Princeton, New Jersey 08543 (United States)
  3. University of California, San Diego, La Jolla, California 92093 (United States)
Publication Date:
OSTI Identifier:
21371181
Resource Type:
Journal Article
Journal Name:
Physics of Plasmas
Additional Journal Information:
Journal Volume: 17; Journal Issue: 5; Other Information: DOI: 10.1063/1.3399787; (c) 2010 American Institute of Physics; Journal ID: ISSN 1070-664X
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English
Subject:
70 PLASMA PHYSICS AND FUSION TECHNOLOGY; COLLISIONS; ELECTRONS; LAYERS; MAGNETIC RECONNECTION; MONTE CARLO METHOD; PLASMA SIMULATION; TWO-DIMENSIONAL CALCULATIONS; WIDTH; CALCULATION METHODS; DIMENSIONS; ELEMENTARY PARTICLES; FERMIONS; LEPTONS; SIMULATION

Citation Formats

Roytershteyn, V, Daughton, W, Yin, L, Albright, B J, Bowers, K J, Dorfman, S, Ren, Y, Ji, H, Yamada, M, and Karimabadi, H. Driven magnetic reconnection near the Dreicer limit. United States: N. p., 2010. Web. doi:10.1063/1.3399787.
Roytershteyn, V, Daughton, W, Yin, L, Albright, B J, Bowers, K J, Dorfman, S, Ren, Y, Ji, H, Yamada, M, & Karimabadi, H. Driven magnetic reconnection near the Dreicer limit. United States. https://doi.org/10.1063/1.3399787
Roytershteyn, V, Daughton, W, Yin, L, Albright, B J, Bowers, K J, Dorfman, S, Ren, Y, Ji, H, Yamada, M, and Karimabadi, H. Sat . "Driven magnetic reconnection near the Dreicer limit". United States. https://doi.org/10.1063/1.3399787.
@article{osti_21371181,
title = {Driven magnetic reconnection near the Dreicer limit},
author = {Roytershteyn, V and Daughton, W and Yin, L and Albright, B J and Bowers, K J and Dorfman, S and Ren, Y and Ji, H and Yamada, M and Karimabadi, H},
abstractNote = {The influence of Coulomb collisions on the dynamics of driven magnetic reconnection in geometry mimicking the Magnetic Reconnection eXperiment (MRX) [M. Yamada et al., Phys. Plasmas 4, 1936 (1997)] is investigated using two-dimensional (2D) fully kinetic simulations with a Monte Carlo treatment of the collision operator. For values of collisionality typical of MRX, the reconnection mechanism is shown to be a combination of collisionless effects, represented by off-diagonal terms in the electron stress tensor, and collisional momentum exchange between electrons and ions. The ratio of the reconnection electric field E{sub R} to the critical runaway field E{sub crit} provides a convenient measure of the relative importance of these two mechanisms. The structure of electron-scale reconnection layers in the presence of collisions is investigated in light of the previously reported [S. Dorfman et al., Phys. Plasmas 15, 102107 (2008)] discrepancy in the width of the electron reconnection layers between collisionless simulations and experimental observations. It is demonstrated that the width of the layer increases in the presence of collisions, but does not substantially deviate from its collisionless values, given by the electron crossing orbit width, unless E{sub R}<<E{sub crit}. Comparison with MRX observations demonstrates that the layer width in 2D simulations with Coulomb collisions is substantially smaller than the value observed in the low-density experiments with E{sub R} < or approx. E{sub crit}, indicating that physical mechanisms beyond those included in the simulations control the structure of the electron layers in these experiments.},
doi = {10.1063/1.3399787},
url = {https://www.osti.gov/biblio/21371181}, journal = {Physics of Plasmas},
issn = {1070-664X},
number = 5,
volume = 17,
place = {United States},
year = {2010},
month = {5}
}