TITLE

A new fast reconnection model in a collisionless regime

AUTHOR(S)
Tsiklauri, David
PUB. DATE
November 2008
SOURCE
Physics of Plasmas;11/1/2008, Vol. 15 Issue 11, p112903
SOURCE TYPE
Academic Journal
DOC. TYPE
Article
ABSTRACT
Based on the first principles [i.e., (i) by balancing the magnetic field advection with the term containing electron pressure tensor nongyrotropic components in the generalized Ohm’s law; (ii) using the conservation of mass; and (iii) assuming that the weak magnetic field region width, where electron meandering motion supports electron pressure tensor off-diagonal (nongyrotropic) components, is of the order of electron Larmor radius] a simple model of magnetic reconnection in a collisionless regime is formulated. The model is general, resembling its collisional Sweet–Parker analog in that it is not specific to any initial configuration, e.g., Harris-type tearing unstable current sheet, X-point collapse or otherwise. In addition to its importance from the fundamental point of view, the collisionless reconnection model offers a much faster reconnection rate [Mc′less=(c/ωpe)2/(rL,eL)] than Sweet–Parker’s classical one (Msp=S-1/2). The width of the diffusion region (current sheet) in the collisionless regime is found to be δc′less=(c/ωpe)2/rL,e, which is independent of the global reconnection scale L and is only prescribed by microphysics (electron inertial length, c/ωpe, and electron Larmor radius, rL,e). Amongst other issues, the fastness of the reconnection rate alleviates, e.g., the problem of interpretation of solar flares by means of reconnection, as for the typical solar coronal parameters the obtained collisionless reconnection time can be a few minutes, as opposed to Sweet–Parker’s equivalent value of less than a day. The new theoretical reconnection rate is compared to the Magnetic Reconnection Experiment device experimental data by Yamada et al. [Phys. Plasmas 13, 052119 (2006)] and Ji et al. [Geophys. Res. Lett. 35, 13106 (2008)], and a good agreement is obtained.
ACCESSION #
35541210

 

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