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Title: Why does Steady-State Magnetic Reconnection have a Maximum Local Rate of Order 0.1?

Abstract

Simulations suggest collisionless steady-state magnetic reconnection of Harris-type current sheets proceeds with a rate of order 0.1, independent of dissipation mechanism. We argue this long-standing puzzle is a result of constraints at the magnetohydrodynamic (MHD) scale. We predict the reconnection rate as a function of the opening angle made by the upstream magnetic fields, finding a maximum reconnection rate close to 0.2. The predictions compare favorably to particle-in-cell simulations of relativistic electron-positron and nonrelativistic electron-proton reconnection. The fact that simulated reconnection rates are close to the predicted maximum suggests reconnection proceeds near the most efficient state allowed at the MHD scale. Finally, the rate near the maximum is relatively insensitive to the opening angle, potentially explaining why reconnection has a similar fast rate in differing models.

Authors:
 [1];  [1];  [2];  [2];  [2];  [3];  [4]
  1. NASA-Goddard Space Flight Center, Greenbelt, MD (United States)
  2. Los Alamos National Lab. (LANL), Los Alamos, NM (United States)
  3. West Virginia Univ., Morgantown, WV (United States)
  4. Univ. of Deleware, Neward, DE (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)
OSTI Identifier:
1544404
Alternate Identifier(s):
OSTI ID: 1344437
Resource Type:
Accepted Manuscript
Journal Name:
Physical Review Letters
Additional Journal Information:
Journal Volume: 118; Journal Issue: 8; 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

Liu, Yi-Hsin, Hesse, M., Guo, F., Daughton, W., Li, H., Cassak, P. A., and Shay, M. A. Why does Steady-State Magnetic Reconnection have a Maximum Local Rate of Order 0.1?. United States: N. p., 2017. Web. doi:10.1103/PhysRevLett.118.085101.
Liu, Yi-Hsin, Hesse, M., Guo, F., Daughton, W., Li, H., Cassak, P. A., & Shay, M. A. Why does Steady-State Magnetic Reconnection have a Maximum Local Rate of Order 0.1?. United States. doi:10.1103/PhysRevLett.118.085101.
Liu, Yi-Hsin, Hesse, M., Guo, F., Daughton, W., Li, H., Cassak, P. A., and Shay, M. A. Tue . "Why does Steady-State Magnetic Reconnection have a Maximum Local Rate of Order 0.1?". United States. doi:10.1103/PhysRevLett.118.085101. https://www.osti.gov/servlets/purl/1544404.
@article{osti_1544404,
title = {Why does Steady-State Magnetic Reconnection have a Maximum Local Rate of Order 0.1?},
author = {Liu, Yi-Hsin and Hesse, M. and Guo, F. and Daughton, W. and Li, H. and Cassak, P. A. and Shay, M. A.},
abstractNote = {Simulations suggest collisionless steady-state magnetic reconnection of Harris-type current sheets proceeds with a rate of order 0.1, independent of dissipation mechanism. We argue this long-standing puzzle is a result of constraints at the magnetohydrodynamic (MHD) scale. We predict the reconnection rate as a function of the opening angle made by the upstream magnetic fields, finding a maximum reconnection rate close to 0.2. The predictions compare favorably to particle-in-cell simulations of relativistic electron-positron and nonrelativistic electron-proton reconnection. The fact that simulated reconnection rates are close to the predicted maximum suggests reconnection proceeds near the most efficient state allowed at the MHD scale. Finally, the rate near the maximum is relatively insensitive to the opening angle, potentially explaining why reconnection has a similar fast rate in differing models.},
doi = {10.1103/PhysRevLett.118.085101},
journal = {Physical Review Letters},
number = 8,
volume = 118,
place = {United States},
year = {2017},
month = {2}
}

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