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Title: How anomalous resistivity accelerates magnetic reconnection

Abstract

Whether turbulence induced anomalous resistivity (AR) can facilitate a fast magnetic reconnection in collisionless plasma is a subject of active debate for decades. Recent space observations suggest that the reconnection rate can be higher than the Hall-reconnection rate and turbulent dissipation is required. In this paper, using particle-in-cell simulations, we present a case study of how AR produced by Buneman instability accelerates magnetic reconnection. We first show that the AR/drag produced by Buneman instability in a thin electron current layer (1) can dissipate magnetic energy stored in the current layer through dissipation of the kinetic energy of electron beams; (2) the inhomogeneous drag caused by wave couplings spontaneously breaks the magnetic field lines and causes impulsive fast non-Hall magnetic reconnection on electron-scales with a mean rate reaching of 0.6 V A. We then show that a Buneman instability driven by intense electron beams around the x-point in a 3D magnetic reconnection significantly enhances the dissipation of the magnetic energy. Electron-scale magnetic reconnections driven by the inhomogeneous drag around the x-line enhance the reconnection electric field and the in-plane perpendicular magnetic field. About 40% of the released magnetic energy is converted into electron thermal energy by AR while 50% is convertedmore » into kinetic energy of the electron beams through the acceleration by the reconnection electric field. The enhanced magnetic energy dissipation is balanced by a net Poynting flux in-flow. About 10% of the released magnetic energy is brought out by an enhanced Poynting flux out-flow. Furthermore these results suggest that AR with sufficient intensity and electron-scale inhomogeneity can significantly accelerate magnetic reconnection.« less

Authors:
ORCiD logo [1]
  1. Univ. of Maryland, College Park, MD (United States); NASA Goddard Space Flight Center, Greenbelt, MD (United States)
Publication Date:
Research Org.:
Lawrence Berkeley National Lab. (LBNL), Berkeley, CA (United States). National Energy Research Scientific Computing Center
Sponsoring Org.:
USDOE
OSTI Identifier:
1497883
Resource Type:
Accepted Manuscript
Journal Name:
Physics of Plasmas
Additional Journal Information:
Journal Volume: 24; Journal Issue: 8; 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

Che, H. How anomalous resistivity accelerates magnetic reconnection. United States: N. p., 2017. Web. doi:10.1063/1.5000071.
Che, H. How anomalous resistivity accelerates magnetic reconnection. United States. doi:10.1063/1.5000071.
Che, H. Fri . "How anomalous resistivity accelerates magnetic reconnection". United States. doi:10.1063/1.5000071. https://www.osti.gov/servlets/purl/1497883.
@article{osti_1497883,
title = {How anomalous resistivity accelerates magnetic reconnection},
author = {Che, H.},
abstractNote = {Whether turbulence induced anomalous resistivity (AR) can facilitate a fast magnetic reconnection in collisionless plasma is a subject of active debate for decades. Recent space observations suggest that the reconnection rate can be higher than the Hall-reconnection rate and turbulent dissipation is required. In this paper, using particle-in-cell simulations, we present a case study of how AR produced by Buneman instability accelerates magnetic reconnection. We first show that the AR/drag produced by Buneman instability in a thin electron current layer (1) can dissipate magnetic energy stored in the current layer through dissipation of the kinetic energy of electron beams; (2) the inhomogeneous drag caused by wave couplings spontaneously breaks the magnetic field lines and causes impulsive fast non-Hall magnetic reconnection on electron-scales with a mean rate reaching of 0.6 VA. We then show that a Buneman instability driven by intense electron beams around the x-point in a 3D magnetic reconnection significantly enhances the dissipation of the magnetic energy. Electron-scale magnetic reconnections driven by the inhomogeneous drag around the x-line enhance the reconnection electric field and the in-plane perpendicular magnetic field. About 40% of the released magnetic energy is converted into electron thermal energy by AR while 50% is converted into kinetic energy of the electron beams through the acceleration by the reconnection electric field. The enhanced magnetic energy dissipation is balanced by a net Poynting flux in-flow. About 10% of the released magnetic energy is brought out by an enhanced Poynting flux out-flow. Furthermore these results suggest that AR with sufficient intensity and electron-scale inhomogeneity can significantly accelerate magnetic reconnection.},
doi = {10.1063/1.5000071},
journal = {Physics of Plasmas},
number = 8,
volume = 24,
place = {United States},
year = {2017},
month = {8}
}

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