On the role of a nonscalar electron pressure in the collisionless magnetic reconnection

Hosseinpour, M.; Vekstein, G.
November 2009
Physics of Plasmas;Nov2009, Vol. 16 Issue 11, p114505
Academic Journal
Collisionless tearing instability in a sheared force-free magnetic field is considered in the framework of electron magnetohydrodynamics. A rigorous analytical analysis demonstrates that the bulk inertia of electrons is the dominant reconnection mechanism in a sufficiently low-β plasma, when the reconnection current sheet width exceeds the electron gyroradius. Otherwise a fluidlike approach fails, and fully kinetic treatment of the problem is required. A recently raised issue of the role of the electron gyroviscous cancellation in collisionless reconnection is also addressed.


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