skip to main content
DOE PAGES title logo U.S. Department of Energy
Office of Scientific and Technical Information

Title: Biermann-Battery-Mediated Magnetic Reconnection in 3D Colliding Plasmas

Abstract

Recent experiments have demonstrated magnetic reconnection between colliding plasma plumes, where the reconnecting magnetic fields were self-generated in the plasma by the Biermann-battery effect. Using fully kinetic 3D simulations, we show the full evolution of the magnetic fields and plasma in these experiments, including self-consistent magnetic field generation about the expanding plume. The collision of the two plasmas drives the formation of a current sheet, where reconnection occurs in a strongly time- and space-dependent manner, demonstrating a new 3D reconnection mechanism. Specifically, we observe a fast, vertically localized Biermann-mediated reconnection, an inherently 3D process where the temperature profile in the current sheet coupled with the out-of-plane ablation density profile conspires to break inflowing field lines, reconnecting the field downstream. Fast reconnection is sustained by both the Biermann effect and the traceless electron pressure tensor, where the development of plasmoids appears to modulate the contribution of the latter. In conclusion, we present a simple and general formulation to consider the relevance of Biermann-mediated reconnection in general astrophysical scenarios.

Authors:
 [1];  [2];  [2];  [1];  [3];  [4];  [5];  [6]
  1. Princeton Univ., Princeton, NJ (United States)
  2. Princeton Univ., Princeton, NJ (United States); Princeton Plasma Physics Lab. (PPPL), Princeton, NJ (United States)
  3. Ecole Polytechnique, Paris (France)
  4. Univ. of New Hampshire, Durham, NH (United States)
  5. Univ. of Michigan, Ann Arbor, MI (United States)
  6. Univ. of Rochester, Rochester, NY (United States)
Publication Date:
Research Org.:
Oak Ridge National Lab. (ORNL), Oak Ridge, TN (United States). Oak Ridge Leadership Computing Facility (OLCF); Princeton Plasma Physics Lab. (PPPL), Princeton, NJ (United States)
Sponsoring Org.:
USDOE Office of Science (SC)
OSTI Identifier:
1470943
Alternate Identifier(s):
OSTI ID: 1467146
Grant/Contract Number:  
[AC05-00OR22725; SC0006670; SC0008655; SC0016249]
Resource Type:
Accepted Manuscript
Journal Name:
Physical Review Letters
Additional Journal Information:
[ Journal Volume: 121; Journal Issue: 9]; Journal ID: ISSN 0031-9007
Publisher:
American Physical Society (APS)
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English
Subject:
70 PLASMA PHYSICS AND FUSION TECHNOLOGY

Citation Formats

Matteucci, J., Fox, W., Bhattacharjee, A., Schaeffer, D. B., Moissard, C., Germaschewski, K., Fiksel, G., and Hu, S. X. Biermann-Battery-Mediated Magnetic Reconnection in 3D Colliding Plasmas. United States: N. p., 2018. Web. doi:10.1103/PhysRevLett.121.095001.
Matteucci, J., Fox, W., Bhattacharjee, A., Schaeffer, D. B., Moissard, C., Germaschewski, K., Fiksel, G., & Hu, S. X. Biermann-Battery-Mediated Magnetic Reconnection in 3D Colliding Plasmas. United States. doi:10.1103/PhysRevLett.121.095001.
Matteucci, J., Fox, W., Bhattacharjee, A., Schaeffer, D. B., Moissard, C., Germaschewski, K., Fiksel, G., and Hu, S. X. Tue . "Biermann-Battery-Mediated Magnetic Reconnection in 3D Colliding Plasmas". United States. doi:10.1103/PhysRevLett.121.095001. https://www.osti.gov/servlets/purl/1470943.
@article{osti_1470943,
title = {Biermann-Battery-Mediated Magnetic Reconnection in 3D Colliding Plasmas},
author = {Matteucci, J. and Fox, W. and Bhattacharjee, A. and Schaeffer, D. B. and Moissard, C. and Germaschewski, K. and Fiksel, G. and Hu, S. X.},
abstractNote = {Recent experiments have demonstrated magnetic reconnection between colliding plasma plumes, where the reconnecting magnetic fields were self-generated in the plasma by the Biermann-battery effect. Using fully kinetic 3D simulations, we show the full evolution of the magnetic fields and plasma in these experiments, including self-consistent magnetic field generation about the expanding plume. The collision of the two plasmas drives the formation of a current sheet, where reconnection occurs in a strongly time- and space-dependent manner, demonstrating a new 3D reconnection mechanism. Specifically, we observe a fast, vertically localized Biermann-mediated reconnection, an inherently 3D process where the temperature profile in the current sheet coupled with the out-of-plane ablation density profile conspires to break inflowing field lines, reconnecting the field downstream. Fast reconnection is sustained by both the Biermann effect and the traceless electron pressure tensor, where the development of plasmoids appears to modulate the contribution of the latter. In conclusion, we present a simple and general formulation to consider the relevance of Biermann-mediated reconnection in general astrophysical scenarios.},
doi = {10.1103/PhysRevLett.121.095001},
journal = {Physical Review Letters},
number = [9],
volume = [121],
place = {United States},
year = {2018},
month = {8}
}

Journal Article:
Free Publicly Available Full Text
Publisher's Version of Record

Citation Metrics:
Cited by: 2 works
Citation information provided by
Web of Science

Save / Share:

Works referenced in this record:

Magnetic Field Generation by the Rayleigh-Taylor Instability in Laser-Driven Planar Plastic Targets
journal, September 2012


Magnetic-Field Generation and Amplification in an Expanding Plasma
journal, April 2014


Electron dissipation in collisionless magnetic reconnection
journal, November 1998

  • Hesse, Michael; Winske, Dan
  • Journal of Geophysical Research: Space Physics, Vol. 103, Issue A11
  • DOI: 10.1029/98JA01570

Spontaneously Growing Transverse Waves in a Plasma Due to an Anisotropic Velocity Distribution
journal, February 1959


Proton deflectometry of a magnetic reconnection geometry
journal, April 2010

  • Willingale, L.; Nilson, P. M.; Kaluza, M. C.
  • Physics of Plasmas, Vol. 17, Issue 4
  • DOI: 10.1063/1.3377787

Charged-Particle Probing of X-ray-Driven Inertial-Fusion Implosions
journal, January 2010


Magnetic reconnection in high-energy-density laser-produced plasmas
journal, May 2012

  • Fox, W.; Bhattacharjee, A.; Germaschewski, K.
  • Physics of Plasmas, Vol. 19, Issue 5
  • DOI: 10.1063/1.3694119

Is the Magnetic Field in the Heliosheath Laminar or a Turbulent sea of Bubbles?
journal, May 2011


Modelling loop-top X-ray source and reconnection outflows in solar flares with intense lasers
journal, October 2010

  • Zhong, Jiayong; Li, Yutong; Wang, Xiaogang
  • Nature Physics, Vol. 6, Issue 12
  • DOI: 10.1038/nphys1790

On the value of the reconnection rate
journal, November 2016


Plasmoid Ejection and Secondary Current Sheet Generation from Magnetic Reconnection in Laser-Plasma Interaction
journal, May 2012


First Measurements of Rayleigh-Taylor-Induced Magnetic Fields in Laser-Produced Plasmas
journal, June 2012


Fast Magnetic Reconnection in Laser-Produced Plasma Bubbles
journal, May 2011


Experimental Verification of the Role of Electron Pressure in Fast Magnetic Reconnection with a Guide Field
journal, March 2017


Magnetic Reconnection and Plasma Dynamics in Two-Beam Laser-Solid Interactions
journal, December 2006


Stochastic electron acceleration during spontaneous turbulent reconnection in a strong shock wave
journal, February 2015


The Protogalactic Origin for Cosmic Magnetic Fields
journal, May 1997

  • Kulsrud, Russell M.; Cen, Renyue; Ostriker, Jeremiah P.
  • The Astrophysical Journal, Vol. 480, Issue 2
  • DOI: 10.1086/303987

Non-thermal processes in large solar flares
journal, January 1976


Collisionless reconnection: Effects of Hall current and electron pressure gradient
journal, December 2000

  • Wang, Xiaogang; Bhattacharjee, A.; Ma, Z. W.
  • Journal of Geophysical Research: Space Physics, Vol. 105, Issue A12
  • DOI: 10.1029/1999JA000357

In situ evidence of magnetic reconnection in turbulent plasma
journal, March 2007

  • Retinò, A.; Sundkvist, D.; Vaivads, A.
  • Nature Physics, Vol. 3, Issue 4
  • DOI: 10.1038/nphys574

Magnetic reconnection
journal, March 2010


Nonthermal Electron Energization from Magnetic Reconnection in Laser-Driven Plasmas
journal, March 2016


The Plasma Simulation Code: A modern particle-in-cell code with patch-based load-balancing
journal, August 2016

  • Germaschewski, Kai; Fox, William; Abbott, Stephen
  • Journal of Computational Physics, Vol. 318
  • DOI: 10.1016/j.jcp.2016.05.013

Observation of Megagauss-Field Topology Changes due to Magnetic Reconnection in Laser-Produced Plasmas
journal, August 2007


Three-dimensional fast magnetic reconnection driven by relativistic ultraintense femtosecond lasers
journal, March 2014


Hydrodynamic simulations of long-scale-length two-plasmon–decay experiments at the Omega Laser Facility
journal, March 2013

  • Michel, D. T.; Edgell, D. H.; Froula, D. H.
  • Physics of Plasmas, Vol. 20, Issue 3
  • DOI: 10.1063/1.4794285

Proton Radiography of Inertial Fusion Implosions
journal, February 2008


Magnetic Reconnection in Plasma under Inertial Confinement Fusion Conditions Driven by Heat Flux Effects in Ohm’s Law
journal, March 2014


Magnetic Reconnection between Colliding Magnetized Laser-Produced Plasma Plumes
journal, September 2014