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Title: Spacecraft Observations and Analytic Theory of Crescent-Shaped Electron Distributions in Asymmetric Magnetic Reconnection

Supported by a kinetic simulation, we derive in this paper an exclusion energy parameter $${\mathcal{E}}_{X}$$ providing a lower kinetic energy bound for an electron to cross from one inflow region to the other during magnetic reconnection. As by a Maxwell demon, only high-energy electrons are permitted to cross the inner reconnection region, setting the electron distribution function observed along the low-density side separatrix during asymmetric reconnection. Finally, the analytic model accounts for the two distinct flavors of crescent-shaped electron distributions observed by spacecraft in a thin boundary layer along the low-density separatrix.
Authors:
 [1] ;  [2] ;  [2] ;  [1] ;  [3] ;  [4] ;  [5] ;  [6] ;  [4] ;  [4] ;  [4]
  1. Univ. of Wisconsin, Madison, WI (United States). Dept. of Physics
  2. Los Alamos National Lab. (LANL), Los Alamos, NM (United States)
  3. West Virginia Univ., Morgantown, WV (United States). Dept. of Physics and Astronomy
  4. NASA Goddard Space Flight Center (GSFC), Greenbelt, MD (United States). Heliophysics Science Division
  5. Univ. of Toulouse (France). Inst. of Research in Astrophysics and Planetology (IRAP); National Centre for Scientific Research (CNRS), Toulouse (France)
  6. Univ. of New Hampshire, Durham, NH (United States)
Publication Date:
Report Number(s):
LA-UR-17-27741
Journal ID: ISSN 0031-9007
Grant/Contract Number:
AC52-06NA25396; 1405166; NNX16AF75G; NNX16AG76G; NNX14AL38G
Type:
Accepted Manuscript
Journal Name:
Physical Review Letters
Additional Journal Information:
Journal Volume: 117; Journal Issue: 18; Journal ID: ISSN 0031-9007
Publisher:
American Physical Society (APS)
Research Org:
Los Alamos National Lab. (LANL), Los Alamos, NM (United States); Univ. of Wisconsin, Madison, WI (United States); West Virginia Univ., Morgantown, WV (United States); NASA Goddard Space Flight Center (GSFC), Greenbelt, MD (United States); Univ. of Toulouse (France)
Sponsoring Org:
USDOE; National Science Foundation (NSF); National Aeronautic and Space Administration (NASA); National Centre for Scientific Research (CNRS) (France); National Centre for Space Studies (CNES) (France)
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English
Subject:
70 PLASMA PHYSICS AND FUSION TECHNOLOGY; 79 ASTRONOMY AND ASTROPHYSICS; magnetic reconnection; space & astrophysical plasma; space science
OSTI Identifier:
1441307

Egedal, J., Le, A., Daughton, W., Wetherton, B., Cassak, P. A., Chen, L. -J, Lavraud, B., Torbert, R. B., Dorelli, J., Gershman, D. J., and Avanov, L. A.. Spacecraft Observations and Analytic Theory of Crescent-Shaped Electron Distributions in Asymmetric Magnetic Reconnection. United States: N. p., Web. doi:10.1103/PhysRevLett.117.185101.
Egedal, J., Le, A., Daughton, W., Wetherton, B., Cassak, P. A., Chen, L. -J, Lavraud, B., Torbert, R. B., Dorelli, J., Gershman, D. J., & Avanov, L. A.. Spacecraft Observations and Analytic Theory of Crescent-Shaped Electron Distributions in Asymmetric Magnetic Reconnection. United States. doi:10.1103/PhysRevLett.117.185101.
Egedal, J., Le, A., Daughton, W., Wetherton, B., Cassak, P. A., Chen, L. -J, Lavraud, B., Torbert, R. B., Dorelli, J., Gershman, D. J., and Avanov, L. A.. 2016. "Spacecraft Observations and Analytic Theory of Crescent-Shaped Electron Distributions in Asymmetric Magnetic Reconnection". United States. doi:10.1103/PhysRevLett.117.185101. https://www.osti.gov/servlets/purl/1441307.
@article{osti_1441307,
title = {Spacecraft Observations and Analytic Theory of Crescent-Shaped Electron Distributions in Asymmetric Magnetic Reconnection},
author = {Egedal, J. and Le, A. and Daughton, W. and Wetherton, B. and Cassak, P. A. and Chen, L. -J and Lavraud, B. and Torbert, R. B. and Dorelli, J. and Gershman, D. J. and Avanov, L. A.},
abstractNote = {Supported by a kinetic simulation, we derive in this paper an exclusion energy parameter ${\mathcal{E}}_{X}$ providing a lower kinetic energy bound for an electron to cross from one inflow region to the other during magnetic reconnection. As by a Maxwell demon, only high-energy electrons are permitted to cross the inner reconnection region, setting the electron distribution function observed along the low-density side separatrix during asymmetric reconnection. Finally, the analytic model accounts for the two distinct flavors of crescent-shaped electron distributions observed by spacecraft in a thin boundary layer along the low-density separatrix.},
doi = {10.1103/PhysRevLett.117.185101},
journal = {Physical Review Letters},
number = 18,
volume = 117,
place = {United States},
year = {2016},
month = {10}
}