skip to main content

SciTech ConnectSciTech Connect

Title: Quantifying three dimensional reconnection in fragmented current layers

There is growing evidence that when magnetic reconnection occurs in high Lundquist number plasmas such as in the Solar Corona or the Earth's Magnetosphere it does so within a fragmented, rather than a smooth current layer. Within the extent of these fragmented current regions, the associated magnetic flux transfer and energy release occur simultaneously in many different places. This investigation focusses on how best to quantify the rate at which reconnection occurs in such layers. An analytical theory is developed which describes the manner in which new connections form within fragmented current layers in the absence of magnetic nulls. It is shown that the collective rate at which new connections form can be characterized by two measures; a total rate which measures the true rate at which new connections are formed and a net rate which measures the net change of connection associated with the largest value of the integral of E{sub ||} through all of the non-ideal regions. Two simple analytical models are presented which demonstrate how each should be applied and what they quantify.
Authors:
;  [1]
  1. Goddard Space Flight Center, 8800 Greenbelt Rd, Greenbelt, Maryland 20771 (United States)
Publication Date:
OSTI Identifier:
22408301
Resource Type:
Journal Article
Resource Relation:
Journal Name: Physics of Plasmas; Journal Volume: 22; Journal Issue: 4; 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; ANALYTIC FUNCTIONS; CURRENTS; EARTH MAGNETOSPHERE; LAYERS; MAGNETIC FLUX; MAGNETIC RECONNECTION; PLASMA; SOLAR CORONA; THREE-DIMENSIONAL CALCULATIONS