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Title: Fast magnetic reconnection due to anisotropic electron pressure

A new regime of fast magnetic reconnection with an out-of-plane (guide) magnetic field is reported in which the key role is played by an electron pressure anisotropy described by the Chew-Goldberger-Low gyrotropic equations of state in the generalized Ohm's law, which even dominates the Hall term. A description of the physical cause of this behavior is provided and two-dimensional fluid simulations are used to confirm the results. The electron pressure anisotropy causes the out-of-plane magnetic field to develop a quadrupole structure of opposite polarity to the Hall magnetic field and gives rise to dispersive waves. In addition to being important for understanding what causes reconnection to be fast, this mechanism should dominate in plasmas with low plasma beta and a high in-plane plasma beta with electron temperature comparable to or larger than ion temperature, so it could be relevant in the solar wind and some tokamaks.
Authors:
; ; ;  [1] ;  [2] ; ;  [3] ;  [4] ;  [5]
  1. Department of Physics and Astronomy, West Virginia University, Morgantown, West Virginia 26506 (United States)
  2. Department of Physics and Astronomy, University of Delaware, Newark, Delaware 19716 (United States)
  3. Department of Physics and Institute for Research in Electronics and Applied Physics, University of Maryland, College Park, Maryland 20742 (United States)
  4. Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering, University of California at San Diego, La Jolla, California 92093 (United States)
  5. (United States)
Publication Date:
OSTI Identifier:
22408044
Resource Type:
Journal Article
Resource Relation:
Journal Name: Physics of Plasmas; Journal Volume: 22; Journal Issue: 2; Other Information: (c) 2015 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; ANISOTROPY; COMPUTERIZED SIMULATION; ELECTRON TEMPERATURE; ELECTRONS; EQUATIONS OF STATE; FLOW MODELS; HALL EFFECT; MAGNETIC FIELDS; MAGNETIC RECONNECTION; SOLAR WIND; TOKAMAK DEVICES; TWO-DIMENSIONAL CALCULATIONS