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

Title: Localized and Intense Energy Conversion in the Diffusion Region of Asymmetric Magnetic Reconnection

Abstract

We assess a high-resolution simulation of magnetopause reconnection observed by the Magnetospheric Multiscale mission and explain the occurrence of strongly localized dissipation with an amplitude more than an order of magnitude larger than expected. Unlike symmetric reconnection, wherein reconnection of the ambient reversed magnetic field drives the dissipation, we discover that the annihilation of the self-generated, out-of-plane (Hall) magnetic field plays the dominant role. Electrons flow along the magnetosheath separatrices, converge in the diffusion region, and jet past the X-point into the magnetosphere. The resulting accumulation of negative charge generates intense parallel electric fields that eject electrons along the magnetospheric separatrices and produce field-aligned beams. Many of these features match Magnetospheric Multiscale observations.

Authors:
ORCiD logo [1]; ORCiD logo [1]; ORCiD logo [1]; ORCiD logo [2]; ORCiD logo [3]; ORCiD logo [4]
  1. Univ. of Maryland, College Park, MD (United States)
  2. Southwest Research Inst. (SwRI), San Antonio, TX (United States)
  3. West Virginia Univ., Morgantown, WV (United States)
  4. Univ. of California, Berkeley, CA (United States)
Publication Date:
Research Org.:
Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (LBNL), Berkeley, CA (United States). National Energy Research Scientific Computing Center (NERSC)
Sponsoring Org.:
USDOE Office of Science (SC); National Aeronautic and Space Administration (NASA)
OSTI Identifier:
1544268
Grant/Contract Number:  
NNX14AC78G; NNX16AG76G; NNX16AF75
Resource Type:
Accepted Manuscript
Journal Name:
Geophysical Research Letters
Additional Journal Information:
Journal Volume: 45; Journal Issue: 11; Journal ID: ISSN 0094-8276
Publisher:
American Geophysical Union
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English
Subject:
30 DIRECT ENERGY CONVERSION; magnetic reconnection; magnetopause; PIC simulations

Citation Formats

Swisdak, M., Drake, J. F., Price, L., Burch, J. L., Cassak, P. A., and Phan, T. -D. Localized and Intense Energy Conversion in the Diffusion Region of Asymmetric Magnetic Reconnection. United States: N. p., 2018. Web. doi:10.1029/2017GL076862.
Swisdak, M., Drake, J. F., Price, L., Burch, J. L., Cassak, P. A., & Phan, T. -D. Localized and Intense Energy Conversion in the Diffusion Region of Asymmetric Magnetic Reconnection. United States. doi:10.1029/2017GL076862.
Swisdak, M., Drake, J. F., Price, L., Burch, J. L., Cassak, P. A., and Phan, T. -D. Wed . "Localized and Intense Energy Conversion in the Diffusion Region of Asymmetric Magnetic Reconnection". United States. doi:10.1029/2017GL076862. https://www.osti.gov/servlets/purl/1544268.
@article{osti_1544268,
title = {Localized and Intense Energy Conversion in the Diffusion Region of Asymmetric Magnetic Reconnection},
author = {Swisdak, M. and Drake, J. F. and Price, L. and Burch, J. L. and Cassak, P. A. and Phan, T. -D.},
abstractNote = {We assess a high-resolution simulation of magnetopause reconnection observed by the Magnetospheric Multiscale mission and explain the occurrence of strongly localized dissipation with an amplitude more than an order of magnitude larger than expected. Unlike symmetric reconnection, wherein reconnection of the ambient reversed magnetic field drives the dissipation, we discover that the annihilation of the self-generated, out-of-plane (Hall) magnetic field plays the dominant role. Electrons flow along the magnetosheath separatrices, converge in the diffusion region, and jet past the X-point into the magnetosphere. The resulting accumulation of negative charge generates intense parallel electric fields that eject electrons along the magnetospheric separatrices and produce field-aligned beams. Many of these features match Magnetospheric Multiscale observations.},
doi = {10.1029/2017GL076862},
journal = {Geophysical Research Letters},
number = 11,
volume = 45,
place = {United States},
year = {2018},
month = {5}
}

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

Citation Metrics:
Cited by: 6 works
Citation information provided by
Web of Science

Save / Share:

Works referenced in this record:

Localized Oscillatory Energy Conversion in Magnetopause Reconnection
journal, February 2018

  • Burch, J. L.; Ergun, R. E.; Cassak, P. A.
  • Geophysical Research Letters, Vol. 45, Issue 3
  • DOI: 10.1002/2017GL076809

The role of electron dissipation on the rate of collisionless magnetic reconnection
journal, October 1998

  • Shay, M. A.; Drake, J. F.
  • Geophysical Research Letters, Vol. 25, Issue 20
  • DOI: 10.1029/1998GL900036

The effects of turbulence on three-dimensional magnetic reconnection at the magnetopause: TURBULENCE DURING 3D RECONNECTION
journal, June 2016

  • Price, L.; Swisdak, M.; Drake, J. F.
  • Geophysical Research Letters, Vol. 43, Issue 12
  • DOI: 10.1002/2016GL069578

Electron energization and structure of the diffusion region during asymmetric reconnection
journal, March 2016

  • Chen, Li‐Jen; Hesse, Michael; Wang, Shan
  • Geophysical Research Letters, Vol. 43, Issue 6
  • DOI: 10.1002/2016GL068243

Kinetic signatures of the region surrounding the X line in asymmetric (magnetopause) reconnection : Signatures of Asymmetric Reconnection
journal, May 2016

  • Shay, M. A.; Phan, T. D.; Haggerty, C. C.
  • Geophysical Research Letters, Vol. 43, Issue 9
  • DOI: 10.1002/2016GL069034

Regions associated with electron physics in asymmetric magnetic field reconnection: ASYMMETRIC RECONNECTION ELECTRON PHYSICS
journal, April 2009

  • Mozer, F. S.; Pritchett, P. L.
  • Geophysical Research Letters, Vol. 36, Issue 7
  • DOI: 10.1029/2009GL037463

Two-Scale Structure of the Electron Dissipation Region during Collisionless Magnetic Reconnection
journal, October 2007


Enhanced electron mixing and heating in 3‐D asymmetric reconnection at the Earth's magnetopause
journal, March 2017

  • Le, A.; Daughton, W.; Chen, L. ‐J.
  • Geophysical Research Letters, Vol. 44, Issue 5
  • DOI: 10.1002/2017GL072522

Three-dimensional particle simulations of collisionless magnetic reconnection
journal, January 2002


On the electron diffusion region in planar, asymmetric, systems: diffusion region in asymmetric systems
journal, December 2014

  • Hesse, Michael; Aunai, Nicolas; Sibeck, David
  • Geophysical Research Letters, Vol. 41, Issue 24
  • DOI: 10.1002/2014GL061586

Magnetic structure of the reconnection layer and core field generation in plasmoids
journal, June 1999

  • Karimabadi, H.; Krauss-Varban, D.; Omidi, N.
  • Journal of Geophysical Research: Space Physics, Vol. 104, Issue A6
  • DOI: 10.1029/1999JA900089

Collisionless magnetic reconnection in an asymmetric current sheet: ASYMMETRIC MAGNETIC RECONNECTION
journal, June 2008

  • Pritchett, P. L.
  • Journal of Geophysical Research: Space Physics, Vol. 113, Issue A6
  • DOI: 10.1029/2007JA012930

Electron-scale measurements of magnetic reconnection in space
journal, May 2016


Evidence for magnetic field reconnection at the Earth's magnetopause
journal, January 1981

  • Sonnerup, B. U. Ö.; Paschmann, G.; Papamastorakis, I.
  • Journal of Geophysical Research, Vol. 86, Issue A12
  • DOI: 10.1029/JA086iA12p10049

New Measure of the Dissipation Region in Collisionless Magnetic Reconnection
journal, May 2011


Effects on magnetic reconnection of a density asymmetry across the current sheet
journal, January 2008


Electron distribution functions in the diffusion region of asymmetric magnetic reconnection: DISTRIBUTION IN ASYMMETRIC RECONNECTION
journal, March 2016

  • Bessho, N.; Chen, L. -J.; Hesse, M.
  • Geophysical Research Letters, Vol. 43, Issue 5
  • DOI: 10.1002/2016GL067886

Spacecraft Observations and Analytic Theory of Crescent-Shaped Electron Distributions in Asymmetric Magnetic Reconnection
journal, October 2016


The magnetic field reconnection site and dissipation region
journal, August 2009

  • Pritchett, P. L.; Mozer, F. S.
  • Physics of Plasmas, Vol. 16, Issue 8
  • DOI: 10.1063/1.3206947

Scaling of asymmetric magnetic reconnection: General theory and collisional simulations
journal, October 2007

  • Cassak, P. A.; Shay, M. A.
  • Physics of Plasmas, Vol. 14, Issue 10
  • DOI: 10.1063/1.2795630

Diamagnetic suppression of component magnetic reconnection at the magnetopause: DIAMAGNETIC SUPPRESSION OF RECONNECTION
journal, May 2003

  • Swisdak, M.; Rogers, B. N.; Drake, J. F.
  • Journal of Geophysical Research: Space Physics, Vol. 108, Issue A5
  • DOI: 10.1029/2002JA009726

The Vector Direction of the Interstellar Magnetic Field Outside the Heliosphere
journal, February 2010


Magnetospheric Multiscale Observations of the Electron Diffusion Region of Large Guide Field Magnetic Reconnection
journal, July 2016


Magnetospheric Multiscale Satellites Observations of Parallel Electric Fields Associated with Magnetic Reconnection
journal, June 2016


    Works referencing / citing this record:

    Energy Conversion and Electron Acceleration in the Magnetopause Reconnection Diffusion Region
    journal, September 2019

    • Pritchard, K. R.; Burch, J. L.; Fuselier, S. A.
    • Geophysical Research Letters, Vol. 46, Issue 17-18
    • DOI: 10.1029/2019gl084636