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Title: EVIDENCE OF MAGNETIC FIELD SWITCH-OFF IN COLLISIONLESS MAGNETIC RECONNECTION

The long-term evolution of large domain particle-in-cell simulations of collisionless magnetic reconnection is investigated following observations that show two possible outcomes for collisionless reconnection: toward a Petschek-like configuration or toward multiple X points. In the present simulation, a mixed scenario develops. At earlier time, plasmoids are emitted, disrupting the formation of Petschek-like structures. Later, an almost stationary monster plasmoid forms, preventing the emission of other plasmoids. A situation reminiscent of Petschek’s switch-off then ensues. Switch-off is obtained through a slow shock/rotational discontinuity compound structure. Two external slow shocks (SS) located at the separatrices reduce the in-plane tangential component of the magnetic field, but not to zero. Two transitions reminiscent of rotational discontinuities (RD) in the internal part of the exhaust then perform the final switch-off. Both the SS and the RD are characterized through analysis of their Rankine–Hugoniot jump conditions. A moderate guide field is used to suppress the development of the firehose instability in the exhaust.
Authors:
;  [1] ; ;  [2] ;  [3]
  1. Center for mathematical Plasma Astrophysics, Department of Mathematics, K.U. Leuven (University of Leuven), Celestijnenlaan 200B, B-3001 Leuven (Belgium)
  2. Center for Integrated Plasma Studies, University of Colorado Boulder, Gamow Tower, Boulder, CO-80309-0390 (United States)
  3. PDC Center for high Performance Computing, KTH Royal Institute of Technology, Teknikringen 14, SE-10044 Stockholm (Sweden)
Publication Date:
OSTI Identifier:
22518891
Resource Type:
Journal Article
Resource Relation:
Journal Name: Astrophysical Journal Letters; Journal Volume: 810; Journal Issue: 2; Other Information: Country of input: International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA)
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English
Subject:
79 ASTROPHYSICS, COSMOLOGY AND ASTRONOMY; COMPUTERIZED SIMULATION; EMISSION; HOSE INSTABILITY; MAGNETIC FIELDS; MAGNETIC RECONNECTION; PLASMOIDS; RANKINE-HUGONIOT EQUATIONS; SHOCK WAVES; SOLAR WIND