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Title: Acceleration during magnetic reconnection

The presentation begins with colorful depictions of solar x-ray flares and references to pulsar phenomena. Plasma reconnection is complex, could be x-point dominated or turbulent, field lines could break due to either resistivity or non-ideal effects, such as electron pressure anisotropy. Electron acceleration is sometimes observed, and sometimes not. One way to study this complex problem is to have many examples of the process (reconnection) and compare them; the other way is to simplify and come to something robust. Ideal MHD (E=0) turbulence driven by magnetic energy is assumed, and the first-order acceleration is sought. It is found that dissipation in big (length >100 ion skin depths) current sheets is universal and independent on microscopic resistivity and the mean imposed field; particles are regularly accelerated while experiencing curvature drift in flows driven by magnetic tension. One example of such flow is spontaneous reconnection. This explains hot electrons with a power-law tail in solar flares, as well as ultrashort time variability in some astrophysical sources.
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  1. Los Alamos National Laboratory
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Conference: Plasma Energization: Exchanges Between Fluid and Kinetic Scales ; 2015-05-04 - 2015-05-06 ; Los Alamos, New Mexico, United States
Research Org:
Los Alamos National Lab. (LANL), Los Alamos, NM (United States)
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United States
79 ASTRONOMY AND ASTROPHYSICS; Astronomy and Astrophysics