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Title: Plasmoid statistics in relativistic magnetic reconnection

Abstract

Plasmoids, overdense blobs of plasma containing magnetic fields and high-energy particles, are a self-consistent outcome of the reconnection process in the relativistic regime. Recent two-dimensional particle-in-cell (PIC) simulations have shown that plasmoids can sustain a variety of processes (e.g. mergers, bulk acceleration, growth, and advection) within the reconnection layer. We developed a Monte Carlo code, benchmarked with the recent PIC simulations, to examine the effects of these processes on the steady-state size and momentum distributions of the plasmoid chain. The differential plasmoid size distribution is shown to be a power law, ranging from a few plasma skin depths to ~0.1 of the reconnection layer’s length. The power-law slope is shown to be linearly dependent upon the ratio of the plasmoid acceleration and growth rates, which slightly decreases with increasing plasma magnetization. We perform a detailed comparison of our results with those of recent PIC simulations and briefly discuss the astrophysical implications of our findings through the representative case of flaring events from blazar jets.

Authors:
ORCiD logo [1];  [2];  [3];  [2]
  1. Purdue Univ., West Lafayette, IN (United States); Princeton Univ., NJ (United States)
  2. Purdue Univ., West Lafayette, IN (United States)
  3. Columbia Univ., New York, NY (United States)
Publication Date:
Research Org.:
Lawrence Berkeley National Lab. (LBNL), Berkeley, CA (United States)
Sponsoring Org.:
USDOE Office of Science (SC), Fusion Energy Sciences (FES) (SC-24)
OSTI Identifier:
1523832
Grant/Contract Number:  
SC0016542
Resource Type:
Accepted Manuscript
Journal Name:
Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society
Additional Journal Information:
Journal Volume: 475; Journal Issue: 3; Journal ID: ISSN 0035-8711
Publisher:
Royal Astronomical Society
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English
Subject:
accretion; accretion discs; magnetic reconnection; gamma-ray burst: general; galaxies: jets

Citation Formats

Petropoulou, M., Christie, I. M., Sironi, L., and Giannios, D. Plasmoid statistics in relativistic magnetic reconnection. United States: N. p., 2018. Web. doi:10.1093/mnras/sty033.
Petropoulou, M., Christie, I. M., Sironi, L., & Giannios, D. Plasmoid statistics in relativistic magnetic reconnection. United States. doi:10.1093/mnras/sty033.
Petropoulou, M., Christie, I. M., Sironi, L., and Giannios, D. Tue . "Plasmoid statistics in relativistic magnetic reconnection". United States. doi:10.1093/mnras/sty033. https://www.osti.gov/servlets/purl/1523832.
@article{osti_1523832,
title = {Plasmoid statistics in relativistic magnetic reconnection},
author = {Petropoulou, M. and Christie, I. M. and Sironi, L. and Giannios, D.},
abstractNote = {Plasmoids, overdense blobs of plasma containing magnetic fields and high-energy particles, are a self-consistent outcome of the reconnection process in the relativistic regime. Recent two-dimensional particle-in-cell (PIC) simulations have shown that plasmoids can sustain a variety of processes (e.g. mergers, bulk acceleration, growth, and advection) within the reconnection layer. We developed a Monte Carlo code, benchmarked with the recent PIC simulations, to examine the effects of these processes on the steady-state size and momentum distributions of the plasmoid chain. The differential plasmoid size distribution is shown to be a power law, ranging from a few plasma skin depths to ~0.1 of the reconnection layer’s length. The power-law slope is shown to be linearly dependent upon the ratio of the plasmoid acceleration and growth rates, which slightly decreases with increasing plasma magnetization. We perform a detailed comparison of our results with those of recent PIC simulations and briefly discuss the astrophysical implications of our findings through the representative case of flaring events from blazar jets.},
doi = {10.1093/mnras/sty033},
journal = {Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society},
number = 3,
volume = 475,
place = {United States},
year = {2018},
month = {1}
}

Journal Article:
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