Transition form collisional to kinetic reconnection in large-scale plasmas

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Using first-principles fully kinetic simulations with a Fokker-Planck collision operator, it is demonstrated that Sweet-Parker reconnection layers are unstable to a chain of plasmoids (secondary islands) for Lundquist numbers beyond S >{approx} 1000. The instability is increasingly violent at higher Lundquist number, both in terms of the number of plasmoids produced and the super-Alfvenic growth rate. A dramatic enhancement in the reconnection rate is observed when the half-thickness of the current sheet between two plasmoids approaches the ion inertial length. During this transition, the reconnection electric field rapidly exceeds the runaway limit, resulting in the formation of electron-scale current layers ... continued below

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065004

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Daughton, William S; Roytershteyn, Vadim S; Albright, Brian J; Yin, Lin; Bowers, Kevin J & Karimabadi, Homa January 1, 2009.

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Using first-principles fully kinetic simulations with a Fokker-Planck collision operator, it is demonstrated that Sweet-Parker reconnection layers are unstable to a chain of plasmoids (secondary islands) for Lundquist numbers beyond S >{approx} 1000. The instability is increasingly violent at higher Lundquist number, both in terms of the number of plasmoids produced and the super-Alfvenic growth rate. A dramatic enhancement in the reconnection rate is observed when the half-thickness of the current sheet between two plasmoids approaches the ion inertial length. During this transition, the reconnection electric field rapidly exceeds the runaway limit, resulting in the formation of electron-scale current layers that are unstable to the continual formation of new plasmoids.

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065004

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  • Journal Name: Physical Review Letters; Journal Volume: 103; Journal Issue: 6

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  • Report No.: LA-UR-09-00707
  • Report No.: LA-UR-09-707
  • Grant Number: AC52-06NA25396
  • DOI: 10.1103/PhysRevLett.103.065004 | External Link
  • Office of Scientific & Technical Information Report Number: 956382
  • Archival Resource Key: ark:/67531/metadc933963

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  • January 1, 2009

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  • Nov. 13, 2016, 7:26 p.m.

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  • Dec. 12, 2016, 5:10 p.m.

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Daughton, William S; Roytershteyn, Vadim S; Albright, Brian J; Yin, Lin; Bowers, Kevin J & Karimabadi, Homa. Transition form collisional to kinetic reconnection in large-scale plasmas, article, January 1, 2009; [New Mexico]. (digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc933963/: accessed October 18, 2018), University of North Texas Libraries, Digital Library, digital.library.unt.edu; crediting UNT Libraries Government Documents Department.