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Title: Propagation speed of rotation signals for field lines undergoing magnetic reconnection

Reconnection is associated with two bending of the magnetic field lines. Considering the usual plane of a 2D reconnection simulation, the first bending is in-plane and produces the needed topological changes by bringing oppositely directed filed lines in proximity. The second is typical of fast reconnection and is out of plane, leading to the formation of the Hall magnetic field. This second rotation has recently been observed to proceed at superAlfvénic speeds and to carry substantial energy fluxes (Shay et al., Phys. Rev. Lett. 107, 065001 (2011)). We revisit these rotations with a new diagnostics based on dispersing a multitude of virtual probes into a kinetic simulation, akin the approach of multi spacecraft missions. The results of the new diagnostics are compared with the theory of characteristics applied to the two fluid model. The comparison of virtual probes and the method of characteristics confirm the findings relative to the out of plane rotation and uncover the existence of two families of characteristics. Both are observed in the simulation. The early stage of reconnection develops on the slower compressional branch and the later faster phase develops on the faster torsional branch. The superAlfvénic signal is only relevant in the second phase.
Authors:
 [1] ; ;  [2] ;  [3]
  1. Center for mathematical Plasma Astrophysics, Departement Wiskunde, KU Leuven, Universiteit Leuven, Belgium, European Union (Belgium)
  2. Department of Physics, University of Colorado, Boulder, Colorado (United States)
  3. KTH Royal Institute of Technology, Stockholm, Sweden, European Union (Sweden)
Publication Date:
OSTI Identifier:
22218505
Resource Type:
Journal Article
Resource Relation:
Journal Name: Physics of Plasmas; Journal Volume: 20; Journal Issue: 10; 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; ALFVEN WAVES; COMPARATIVE EVALUATIONS; LIGHT TRANSMISSION; MAGNETIC FIELDS; MAGNETIC RECONNECTION; MAGNETOHYDRODYNAMICS; PLASMA; PLASMA SIMULATION; PROBES