skip to main content

SciTech ConnectSciTech Connect

Title: First demonstration of an asymmetric kinetic equilibrium for a thin current sheet

The modeling of steady state collisionless asymmetric tangential current layers is a challenging and poorly understood problem. For decades now, this difficulty has been limiting numerical models to approximate equilibria built with locally Maxwellian current layers and theoretical analyses to the very restricted Harris equilibrium. We show how the use of any distribution functions depending only on local macroscopic quantities results in a strong alteration of the current layer internal structure, which converges toward an unpredictable quasi-steady state with emission of ion scale perturbations. This transient can be explained in terms of ion kinetic and electron fluid physics. We demonstrate, for the first time, the validity of an asymmetric kinetic equilibrium model as well as its usability as an initial condition of hybrid kinetic simulations. This offers broad perspectives for the current sheet modeling, for which the early phase of instabilities can be studied within the kinetic formalism.
Authors:
 [1] ; ;  [2]
  1. IRAP, Universite Toulouse III Paul Sabatier, Toulouse (France)
  2. Laboratoire de Physique des Plasmas, Ecole Polytechnique/CNRS/UPMC/Universite Paris sud 11, Route de Saclay, 91128 Palaiseau Cedex (France)
Publication Date:
OSTI Identifier:
22218400
Resource Type:
Journal Article
Resource Relation:
Journal Name: Physics of Plasmas; Journal Volume: 20; Journal Issue: 11; Other Information: (c) 2013 AIP Publishing LLC; Country of input: International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA)
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English
Subject:
70 PLASMA PHYSICS AND FUSION TECHNOLOGY; APPROXIMATIONS; ASYMMETRY; BOUNDARY LAYERS; DISTRIBUTION FUNCTIONS; DISTURBANCES; ELECTRIC CURRENTS; ELECTRONS; EQUILIBRIUM; PLASMA; PLASMA INSTABILITY; PLASMA SHEET; PLASMA SIMULATION; STEADY-STATE CONDITIONS; TRANSIENTS