TITLE

Turbulence driven magnetic reconnection causing long-wavelength magnetic islands

AUTHOR(S)
Ishizawa, A.; Nakajima, N.
PUB. DATE
July 2010
SOURCE
Physics of Plasmas;Jul2010, Vol. 17 Issue 7, p072308
SOURCE TYPE
Academic Journal
DOC. TYPE
Article
ABSTRACT
Magnetic reconnection caused by turbulence in a current sheet is studied by means of numerical simulations of fluid equations. It is found that turbulence produces long-wavelength magnetic islands even if the current sheet is so thick that spontaneous magnetic reconnection does not occur. Thus, turbulence modifies the threshold of magnetic island formation predicted by the conventional theory of spontaneous magnetic reconnection in a current sheet. In spite of the fact that the turbulence is driven by a short-wavelength instability due to a pressure gradient, the length of the magnetic island is the same order as the system size. The width of the island is several times the ion Larmor radius, and stronger turbulence causes wider magnetic islands. This suggests that the turbulence can trigger neoclassical tearing modes, which are the main nonlinear instability that limits the plasma pressure in magnetically confined plasmas. The long-wavelength magnetic island is formed by merging of small-scale magnetic islands.
ACCESSION #
52616051

 

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