Three-Dimensional Oscillatory Magnetic Reconnection

Thurgood, Jonathan, Pontin, David and McLaughlin, James (2017) Three-Dimensional Oscillatory Magnetic Reconnection. The Astrophysical Journal, 844 (2). ISSN 0004-637X

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Here we detail the dynamic evolution of localised reconnection regions about three-dimensional (3D) magnetic null points by using numerical simulation. We demonstrate for the first time that reconnection triggered by the localised collapse of a 3D null point due to an external MHD wave involves a self-generated oscillation, whereby the current sheet and outflow jets undergo a reconnection reversal process during which back-pressure formation at the jet heads acts to prise open the collapsed field before overshooting the equilibrium into an opposite-polarity configuration. The discovery that reconnection at fully 3D nulls can proceed naturally in a time-dependent and periodic fashion is suggestive that oscillatory reconnection mechanisms may play a role in explaining periodicity in astrophysical phenomena associated with magnetic reconnection, such as the observed quasi-periodicity of solar and stellar are emission. Furthermore, we find a consequence of oscillatory reconnection is the generation of a plethora of freely-propagating MHD waves which escape the vicinity of the reconnection region.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: magnetic reconnection, plasmas, waves, Sun: oscillations, Sun: flares, magnetohydrodynamics (MHD)
Subjects: F500 Astronomy
Department: Faculties > Engineering and Environment > Mathematics, Physics and Electrical Engineering
Depositing User: Becky Skoyles
Date Deposited: 19 Jul 2017 16:02
Last Modified: 14 Mar 2018 12:43

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