Fast magnetic reconnection in three-dimensional magnetohydrodynamics simulations

Pang, Bijia; Pen, Ue-Li; Vishniac, Ethan T.
October 2010
Physics of Plasmas;Oct2010, Vol. 17 Issue 10, p102302
Academic Journal
A constructive numerical example of fast magnetic reconnection in a three-dimensional periodic box is presented. Reconnection is initiated by a strong, localized perturbation to the field lines. The solution is intrinsically three-dimensional and its gross properties do not depend on the details of the simulations. ∼30% of the magnetic energy is released in an event which lasts about one Alfven time, but only after a delay during which the field lines evolve into a critical configuration. The physical picture of the process is presented. The reconnection regions are dynamical and mutually interacting. In the comoving frame of these regions, reconnection occurs through a x-like point, analogous to Petschek reconnection. The dynamics appear to be driven by global flows, not local processes.


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