skip to main content

Title: Debye scale turbulence within the electron diffusion layer during magnetic reconnection

During collisionless, anti-parallel magnetic reconnection, the electron diffusion layer is the region of both fieldline breaking and plasma mixing. Due to the in-plane electrostatic fields associated with collisionless reconnection, the inflowing plasmas are accelerated towards the X-line and form counter-streaming beams within the unmagnetized diffusion layer. This configuration is inherently unstable to in-plane electrostatic streaming instabilities provided that there is sufficient scale separation between the Debye length λ{sub D} and the electron skin depth c/ω{sub pe}. This scale separation has hitherto not been well resolved in kinetic simulations. Using both 2D fully kinetic simulations and a simple linear model, we demonstrate that these in-plane streaming instabilities generate Debye scale turbulence within the electron diffusion layer at electron temperatures relevant to magnetic reconnection both in the magnetosphere and in laboratory experiments.
Authors:
;  [1] ;  [2]
  1. Center for Magnetic Self-Organization, Max-Planck/Princeton Center for Plasma Physics, Princeton Plasma Physics Laboratory, Princeton, New Jersey 08543 (United States)
  2. Los Alamos National Laboratory, Los Alamos, New Mexico 87545 (United States)
Publication Date:
OSTI Identifier:
22251903
Resource Type:
Journal Article
Resource Relation:
Journal Name: Physics of Plasmas; Journal Volume: 21; Journal Issue: 3; Other Information: (c) 2014 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; BEAMS; DEBYE LENGTH; DEPTH; DIFFUSION; ELECTRON TEMPERATURE; ELECTRONS; INSTABILITY; LAYERS; MAGNETIC RECONNECTION; PLASMA; SIMULATION; TURBULENCE