Electron scale structures in collisionless magnetic reconnection

Jain, Neeraj; Sharma, A. Surjalal
May 2009
Physics of Plasmas;May2009, Vol. 16 Issue 5, p050704
Academic Journal
The early time-dependent phase of collisionless reconnection, which is dominated by electron dynamics, is investigated using electron-magnetohydrodynamic simulations. Simulations initialized with multi-wavelength perturbations lead to reconnection at multiple sites and the interaction of electron flows generated at the neighboring sites leads to secondary instabilities. These electron-scale processes limit the size of the current sheet and lead to an out-of-plane magnetic field with nested quadrupoles. These structures have important implications for multi-spacecraft missions exploring Earth’s magnetotail.


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