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Title: Instabilities and turbulence in low-$β$ guide field reconnection exhausts with kinetic Riemann simulations

Abstract

The role of turbulence in low-$β$, guide-field reconnection exhausts is explored in 2D reconnection and 2D and 3D Riemann simulations. The structure of the exhaust and associated turbulence is controlled by a pair of rotational discontinuities (RDs) at the exhaust boundary and a pair of slow shocks (SSs) that are generated by counterstreaming ions beams. In 2D, the exhaust develops large-amplitude striations at the ion Larmor radius scale that are produced by electron-beam-driven ion cyclotron waves. The electron beams driving the instability are injected into the exhaust from one of the RDs. However, in 3D Riemann simulations, the additional dimension (in the out-of-plane direction) results in strong Buneman and electron-electron streaming instabilities at the RD which suppress the electron beam formation and therefore the striations in the exhaust. The strength of the streaming instabilities at the RD is controlled by the ratio of the electron thermal speed to Alfvén speed, with the lower thermal speed being more unstable. In the 3D simulations, an ion-ion streaming instability acts to partially thermalize the counterstreaming ion beams at the SSs. This instability is controlled by the ratio of the sound speed to Alfvén speed and is expected to be stable in the low $β$ solar corona. The results suggest that in a guide field reconnection exhaust with 1 $$\gg$$ $β >$ $$m_e/m_i$$, the kinetic-scale turbulence that develops will be too weak to play a significant role in energy conversion and particle acceleration. Therefore, the energy conversion will be mostly controlled by laminar physics or multi-x-line reconnection.

Authors:
ORCiD logo [1]; ORCiD logo [1]; ORCiD logo [1]
  1. Univ. of Maryland, College Park, MD (United States). Inst. for Research in Electronics and Applied Physics
Publication Date:
Research Org.:
Lawrence Berkeley National Lab. (LBNL), Berkeley, CA (United States). National Energy Research Scientific Computing Center (NERSC)
Sponsoring Org.:
USDOE Office of Science (SC)
OSTI Identifier:
1577787
Grant/Contract Number:  
NNN06AA01C
Resource Type:
Accepted Manuscript
Journal Name:
Physics of Plasmas
Additional Journal Information:
Journal Volume: 26; Journal Issue: 10; 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; Physics

Citation Formats

Zhang, Qile, Drake, J. F., and Swisdak, M. Instabilities and turbulence in low-$β$ guide field reconnection exhausts with kinetic Riemann simulations. United States: N. p., 2019. Web. doi:10.1063/1.5121782.
Zhang, Qile, Drake, J. F., & Swisdak, M. Instabilities and turbulence in low-$β$ guide field reconnection exhausts with kinetic Riemann simulations. United States. doi:10.1063/1.5121782.
Zhang, Qile, Drake, J. F., and Swisdak, M. Tue . "Instabilities and turbulence in low-$β$ guide field reconnection exhausts with kinetic Riemann simulations". United States. doi:10.1063/1.5121782. https://www.osti.gov/servlets/purl/1577787.
@article{osti_1577787,
title = {Instabilities and turbulence in low-$β$ guide field reconnection exhausts with kinetic Riemann simulations},
author = {Zhang, Qile and Drake, J. F. and Swisdak, M.},
abstractNote = {The role of turbulence in low-$β$, guide-field reconnection exhausts is explored in 2D reconnection and 2D and 3D Riemann simulations. The structure of the exhaust and associated turbulence is controlled by a pair of rotational discontinuities (RDs) at the exhaust boundary and a pair of slow shocks (SSs) that are generated by counterstreaming ions beams. In 2D, the exhaust develops large-amplitude striations at the ion Larmor radius scale that are produced by electron-beam-driven ion cyclotron waves. The electron beams driving the instability are injected into the exhaust from one of the RDs. However, in 3D Riemann simulations, the additional dimension (in the out-of-plane direction) results in strong Buneman and electron-electron streaming instabilities at the RD which suppress the electron beam formation and therefore the striations in the exhaust. The strength of the streaming instabilities at the RD is controlled by the ratio of the electron thermal speed to Alfvén speed, with the lower thermal speed being more unstable. In the 3D simulations, an ion-ion streaming instability acts to partially thermalize the counterstreaming ion beams at the SSs. This instability is controlled by the ratio of the sound speed to Alfvén speed and is expected to be stable in the low $β$ solar corona. The results suggest that in a guide field reconnection exhaust with 1 $\gg$ $β >$ $m_e/m_i$, the kinetic-scale turbulence that develops will be too weak to play a significant role in energy conversion and particle acceleration. Therefore, the energy conversion will be mostly controlled by laminar physics or multi-x-line reconnection.},
doi = {10.1063/1.5121782},
journal = {Physics of Plasmas},
number = 10,
volume = 26,
place = {United States},
year = {2019},
month = {10}
}

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