Electron-inertia effects on driven magnetic field reconnection
Abbreviated Journal Title
PLASMA; BOUNDARIES; INSTABILITIES; PERTURBATIONS; DYNAMICS; Physics, Fluids & Plasmas
Electron-inertia effects on the magnetic field reconnection induced by perturbing the boundaries of a slab of plasma with a magnetic neutral surface inside are considered. Energetics of the tearing mode dynamics with electron inertia which controls the linearized collisionless magnetohydrodynamics (MHD) are considered with a view to clarify the role of the plasma pressure in this process. Cases with the boundaries perturbed at rates slow or fast compared with the hydromagnetic evolution rate are considered separately. When the boundaries are perturbed at a rate slow compared with the hydromagnetic evolution rate and fast compared with the resistive diffusion rate, the plasma response for early times is according to ideal MHD. A current sheet formation takes place at the magnetic neutral surface for large times in the ideal MHD stage and plasma becomes motionless. The subsequent evolution of the current sheet is found to be divided into two distinct stages: (i) the electron-inertia stage for small times (when the current sheet is very narrow); (ii) the resistive-diffusion stage for large times. The current sheet mainly undergoes exponential damping in the electron-inertia regime while the bulk of the diffusion happens in the resistivity regime. For large times of the resistive-diffusion stage when plasma flow is present, the current sheet completely disappears and the magnetic field reconnection takes place. When the boundaries are perturbed at a rate fast compared even with the hydromagnetic evolution rate, there is no time for the development of a current sheet and the magnetic field reconnection has been found not to take place. (C) 2003 American Institute of Physics.
Physics of Plasmas
"Electron-inertia effects on driven magnetic field reconnection" (2003). Faculty Bibliography 2000s. 3590.