Particle-in-cell simulations of collisionless magnetic reconnection with a non-uniform guide field

F. Wilson, T. Neukirch, M. Hesse, M. G. Harrison, Craig R. Stark

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Abstract

Results are presented of a first study of collisionless magnetic reconnection starting from a recently found exact nonlinear force-free Vlasov–Maxwell equilibrium. The initial state has a Harris sheet magnetic field profile in one direction and a non-uniform guide field in a second direction, resulting in a spatially constant magnetic field strength as well as a constant initial plasma density and plasma pressure. It is found that the reconnection process initially resembles guide field reconnection, but that a gradual transition to anti-parallel reconnection happens as the system evolves. The time evolution of a number of plasma parameters is investigated, and the results are compared with simulations starting from a Harris sheet equilibrium and a Harris sheet plus constant guide field equilibrium.
Original languageEnglish
Article number032302
Number of pages11
JournalPhysics of Plasma
Volume23
Issue number3
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2 Mar 2016

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cells
plasma pressure
simulation
magnetic fields
plasma density
field strength
profiles

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abstract = "Results are presented of a first study of collisionless magnetic reconnection starting from a recently found exact nonlinear force-free Vlasov–Maxwell equilibrium. The initial state has a Harris sheet magnetic field profile in one direction and a non-uniform guide field in a second direction, resulting in a spatially constant magnetic field strength as well as a constant initial plasma density and plasma pressure. It is found that the reconnection process initially resembles guide field reconnection, but that a gradual transition to anti-parallel reconnection happens as the system evolves. The time evolution of a number of plasma parameters is investigated, and the results are compared with simulations starting from a Harris sheet equilibrium and a Harris sheet plus constant guide field equilibrium.",
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Particle-in-cell simulations of collisionless magnetic reconnection with a non-uniform guide field. / Wilson, F.; Neukirch, T.; Hesse, M.; Harrison, M. G.; Stark, Craig R.

In: Physics of Plasma, Vol. 23, No. 3, 032302, 02.03.2016.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

TY - JOUR

T1 - Particle-in-cell simulations of collisionless magnetic reconnection with a non-uniform guide field

AU - Wilson, F.

AU - Neukirch, T.

AU - Hesse, M.

AU - Harrison, M. G.

AU - Stark, Craig R.

PY - 2016/3/2

Y1 - 2016/3/2

N2 - Results are presented of a first study of collisionless magnetic reconnection starting from a recently found exact nonlinear force-free Vlasov–Maxwell equilibrium. The initial state has a Harris sheet magnetic field profile in one direction and a non-uniform guide field in a second direction, resulting in a spatially constant magnetic field strength as well as a constant initial plasma density and plasma pressure. It is found that the reconnection process initially resembles guide field reconnection, but that a gradual transition to anti-parallel reconnection happens as the system evolves. The time evolution of a number of plasma parameters is investigated, and the results are compared with simulations starting from a Harris sheet equilibrium and a Harris sheet plus constant guide field equilibrium.

AB - Results are presented of a first study of collisionless magnetic reconnection starting from a recently found exact nonlinear force-free Vlasov–Maxwell equilibrium. The initial state has a Harris sheet magnetic field profile in one direction and a non-uniform guide field in a second direction, resulting in a spatially constant magnetic field strength as well as a constant initial plasma density and plasma pressure. It is found that the reconnection process initially resembles guide field reconnection, but that a gradual transition to anti-parallel reconnection happens as the system evolves. The time evolution of a number of plasma parameters is investigated, and the results are compared with simulations starting from a Harris sheet equilibrium and a Harris sheet plus constant guide field equilibrium.

U2 - 10.1063/1.4942939

DO - 10.1063/1.4942939

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JO - Physics of Plasmas

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