Fast Cross‐Scale Energy Transfer During Turbulent Magnetic Reconnection

Nakamura, T. K. M., Hasegawa, H., Genestreti, K. J., Denton, R. E., Phan, T. D., Stawarz, Julia, Nakamura, R. and Nystrom, W. D. (2021) Fast Cross‐Scale Energy Transfer During Turbulent Magnetic Reconnection. Geophysical Research Letters, 48 (13). e2021GL093524. ISSN 0094-8276

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Magnetic reconnection is a key fundamental process in collisionless plasmas that explosively converts magnetic energy to plasma kinetic and thermal energies through a change of magnetic field topology in a central electron-scale region called the electron diffusion region (EDR). Past simulations and observations demonstrated that this process causes efficient energy conversion through the formation of multiple macro-scale or micro-scale magnetic islands/flux ropes. However, the coupling of these phenomena on different spatiotemporal scales is still poorly understood. Here, based on a new large-scale fully kinetic simulation with a realistic, initially fluctuating magnetic field, we demonstrate that macro-scale evolution of turbulent reconnection involving merging of macro-scale islands induces repeated, quick formation of new electron-scale islands within the EDR which soon grow to larger scales. This process causes an efficient cross-scale energy transfer from electron- to larger-scales, and leads to strong electron energization within the growing islands.

Item Type: Article
Additional Information: Funding information: This work was supported by the Austri-an Research Fund (FWF): P32175-N27. For the simulations employed in this study, the authors acknowledge PRACE for awarding us access to MareNostrum at the Barcelona Supercomputing Center (BSC), Spain. A part of the simu-lation data was analyzed with resources at the Space Research Institute of the Austrian Academy of Sciences. R. E. Denton was supported by NASA grant 80NSSC19K0254. J. E. Stawarz is funded by the Royal Society University Research Fellowship URF\R1\201286.
Uncontrolled Keywords: turbulence, Diffusion region, energy transfer, kinetic simulation, magnetic island, reconnection
Subjects: F300 Physics
Department: Faculties > Engineering and Environment > Mathematics, Physics and Electrical Engineering
Depositing User: Rachel Branson
Date Deposited: 07 Dec 2022 15:17
Last Modified: 07 Dec 2022 15:30

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