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Title: The role of three-dimensional transport in driving enhanced electron acceleration during magnetic reconnection

Abstract

Magnetic reconnection is an important driver of energetic particles in many astrophysical phenomena. Using kinetic particle-in-cell simulations, we explore the impact of three-dimensional reconnection dynamics on the efficiency of particle acceleration. In two-dimensional systems, Alfvénic outflows expel energetic electrons into flux ropes where they become trapped and disconnected from acceleration regions. However, in three-dimensional systems these flux ropes develop an axial structure that enables particles to leak out and return to acceleration regions. This requires a finite guide field so that particles may move quickly along the flux rope axis. We show that greatest energetic electron production occurs when the guide field is of the same order as the reconnecting component: large enough to facilitate strong transport, but not so large as to throttle the dominant Fermi mechanism responsible for efficient electron acceleration. This suggests a natural explanation for the envelope of electron acceleration during the impulsive phase of eruptive flares.

Authors:
ORCiD logo [1];  [2];  [2]
  1. Univ. of Maryland, College Park, MD (United States); NASA Goddard Space Flight Center (GSFC), Greenbelt, MD (United States); Univ. Corporation for Atmospheric Research, Boulder, CO (United States)
  2. Univ. of Maryland, College Park, MD (United States)
Publication Date:
Research Org.:
Lawrence Berkeley National Lab. (LBNL), Berkeley, CA (United States)
Sponsoring Org.:
USDOE; National Science Foundation (NSF); National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA)
OSTI Identifier:
1497847
Grant/Contract Number:  
AGS1202330; PHY1102479; NNX11AQ93H; APL-975268; NNX08AV87G; NAS 5-98033
Resource Type:
Accepted Manuscript
Journal Name:
Physics of Plasmas
Additional Journal Information:
Journal Volume: 24; Journal Issue: 9; Journal ID: ISSN 1070-664X
Publisher:
American Institute of Physics (AIP)
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English
Subject:
70 PLASMA PHYSICS AND FUSION TECHNOLOGY

Citation Formats

Dahlin, J. T., Drake, J. F., and Swisdak, M. The role of three-dimensional transport in driving enhanced electron acceleration during magnetic reconnection. United States: N. p., 2017. Web. doi:10.1063/1.4986211.
Dahlin, J. T., Drake, J. F., & Swisdak, M. The role of three-dimensional transport in driving enhanced electron acceleration during magnetic reconnection. United States. doi:10.1063/1.4986211.
Dahlin, J. T., Drake, J. F., and Swisdak, M. Tue . "The role of three-dimensional transport in driving enhanced electron acceleration during magnetic reconnection". United States. doi:10.1063/1.4986211. https://www.osti.gov/servlets/purl/1497847.
@article{osti_1497847,
title = {The role of three-dimensional transport in driving enhanced electron acceleration during magnetic reconnection},
author = {Dahlin, J. T. and Drake, J. F. and Swisdak, M.},
abstractNote = {Magnetic reconnection is an important driver of energetic particles in many astrophysical phenomena. Using kinetic particle-in-cell simulations, we explore the impact of three-dimensional reconnection dynamics on the efficiency of particle acceleration. In two-dimensional systems, Alfvénic outflows expel energetic electrons into flux ropes where they become trapped and disconnected from acceleration regions. However, in three-dimensional systems these flux ropes develop an axial structure that enables particles to leak out and return to acceleration regions. This requires a finite guide field so that particles may move quickly along the flux rope axis. We show that greatest energetic electron production occurs when the guide field is of the same order as the reconnecting component: large enough to facilitate strong transport, but not so large as to throttle the dominant Fermi mechanism responsible for efficient electron acceleration. This suggests a natural explanation for the envelope of electron acceleration during the impulsive phase of eruptive flares.},
doi = {10.1063/1.4986211},
journal = {Physics of Plasmas},
number = 9,
volume = 24,
place = {United States},
year = {2017},
month = {9}
}

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Cited by: 17 works
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