Role of Z-pinches in magnetic reconnection in space plasmas
2015 (English)In: Journal of Plasma Physics, ISSN 0022-3778, E-ISSN 1469-7807, Vol. 81, 325810105Article in journal (Refereed) Published
A widely accepted scenario of magnetic reconnection in collisionless space plasmas is the breakage of magnetic field lines in X-points. In laboratory, reconnection is commonly studied in pinches, current channels embedded into twisted magnetic fields. No model of magnetic reconnection in space plasmas considers both nullpoints and pinches as peers. We have performed a particle-in-cell simulation of magnetic reconnection in a three-dimensional configuration where null-points are present initially, and Z-pinches are formed during the simulation along the lines of spiral null-points. The non-spiral null-points are more stable than spiral ones, and no substantial energy dissipation is associated with them. On the contrary, turbulent magnetic reconnection in the pinches causes the magnetic energy to decay at a rate of similar to 1.5% per ion gyro period. Dissipation in similar structures is a likely scenario in space plasmas with large fraction of spiral null-points.
Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2015. Vol. 81, 325810105
IdentifiersURN: urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-252741DOI: 10.1017/S0022377814000725ISI: 000352193400013OAI: oai:DiVA.org:uu-252741DiVA: diva2:811193