Dissipation in relativistic pair-plasma reconnection

Hesse, Michael; Zenitani, Seiji
November 2007
Physics of Plasmas;Nov2007, Vol. 14 Issue 11, p112102
Academic Journal
An investigation into the relativistic dissipation in magnetic reconnection is presented. The investigated system consists of an electron-positron plasma. A relativistic generalization of Ohm’s law is derived. A set of numerical simulations is analyzed, composed of runs with and without guide magnetic field, and of runs with different species temperatures. The calculations indicate that the thermal inertia-based dissipation process survives in relativistic plasmas. For antiparallel reconnection, it is found that the pressure tensor divergence remains the sole contributor to the reconnection electric field, whereas relativistic guide field reconnection exhibits a similarly important role of the bulk inertia terms.


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