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Title: Spontaneous ion beam formation in the laboratory, space, and simulation

We present experimental evidence for the spontaneous formation of multiple double layers within a single divergent magnetic field structure. Downstream of the divergent magnetic field, multiple accelerated ion populations are observed. The similarity of the accelerated ion populations observed in these laboratory experiments to ion populations observed in the magnetosphere and in numerical simulations suggests that the observation of a complex ion velocity distribution alone is insufficient to distinguish between simple plasma expansion and magnetic reconnection. Further, the effective temperature of the aggregate ion population is significantly larger than the temperatures of the individual ion population components, suggesting that insufficiently resolved measurements could misidentify multiple beam creation as ion heating. Ions accelerated in randomly oriented electric fields that mimic heating would have an ion heating rate dependent on the ion charge and mass that is qualitatively consistent with recent experimental observations of ion heating during magnetic reconnection.
Authors:
; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ;  [1] ;  [2] ; ;  [3] ;  [4]
  1. Department of Physics, West Virginia University, Morgantown, West Virginia 26506 (United States)
  2. University of Tromsø, Tromsø (Norway)
  3. Department of Physics, University of Colorado–Boulder, Boulder, Colorado 80309 (United States)
  4. The Blackett Laboratory, Imperial College London, London SW7 2AZ (United Kingdom)
Publication Date:
OSTI Identifier:
22227937
Resource Type:
Journal Article
Resource Relation:
Journal Name: Physics of Plasmas; Journal Volume: 20; Journal Issue: 7; 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; BEAM-PLASMA SYSTEMS; COMPUTERIZED SIMULATION; ELECTRIC FIELDS; HEATING RATE; ION BEAMS; MAGNETIC FIELDS; MAGNETIC RECONNECTION; NUMERICAL ANALYSIS; PLASMA EXPANSION; PLASMA HEATING; PLASMA SIMULATION