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Explosive Turbulent Magnetic Reconnection  [PDF]
Katsuaki Higashimori,Nobumitsu Yokoi,Masahiro Hoshino
Physics , 2013, DOI: 10.1103/PhysRevLett.110.255001
Abstract: We report simulation results for turbulent magnetic reconnection obtained using a newly developed Reynolds-averaged magnetohydrodynamics model. We find that the initial Harris current sheet develops in three ways, depending on the strength of turbulence: laminar reconnection, turbulent reconnection, and turbulent diffusion. The turbulent reconnection explosively converts the magnetic field energy into both kinetic and thermal energy of plasmas, and generates open fast reconnection jets. This fast turbulent reconnection is achieved by the localization of turbulent diffusion. Additionally, localized structure forms through the interaction of the mean field and turbulence.
Reconnection in turbulent astrophysical fluids  [PDF]
A. Lazarian,G. Eyink,E. Vishniac,G. Kowal
Physics , 2014,
Abstract: Magnetic reconnection is a fundamental process of magnetic field topology change. We analyze the connection of this process with turbulence which is ubiquitous in astrophysical environments. We show how Lazarian & Vishniac (1999) model of turbulent reconnection is connected to the experimentally proven concept of Richardson diffusion and discuss how turbulence violates the generally accepted notion of magnetic flux freezing. We note that in environments that are laminar initially turbulence can develop as a result of magnetic reconnection and this can result in flares of magnetic reconnection in magnetically dominated media. In particular, magnetic reconnection can initially develop through tearing, but the transition to the turbulent state is expected for astrophysical systems. We show that turbulent reconnection predictions corresponds to the Solar and solar wind data.
Turbulent General Magnetic Reconnection  [PDF]
Gregory L. Eyink
Physics , 2014, DOI: 10.1088/0004-637X/807/2/137
Abstract: Plasma flows with an MHD-like turbulent inertial range, such as the solar wind, require a generalization of General Magnetic Reconnection (GMR) theory. We introduce the slip-velocity source vector, which gives the rate of development of slip velocity per unit arc length of field line. The slip source vector is the ratio of the curl of the non ideal electric field in the Generalized Ohm's Law and the magnetic field strength. It diverges at magnetic nulls, unifying GMR with magnetic null-point reconnection. Only under restrictive assumptions is the slip velocity related to the gradient of the quasi potential (integral of parallel electric field along field lines). In a turbulent inertial range the curl becomes extremely large while the parallel component is tiny, so that line slippage occurs even while ideal MHD becomes accurate. The resolution of this paradox is that ideal MHD is valid for a turbulent inertial-range only in a weak sense which does not imply magnetic line freezing. The notion of weak solution is explained in terms of spatial coarse-graining and renormalization group (RG) theory. We give an argument for the weak validity of the ideal Ohm's law in the inertial range, via rigorous estimates of the terms in the Generalized Ohm's Law for an electron-ion plasma. All of the nonideal terms (from collisional resistivity, Hall field, electron pressure anisotropy, and electron inertia) are shown to be irrelevant in the RG sense and large-scale reconnection is thus governed solely by ideal dynamics. We briefly discuss some implications for heliospheric reconnection, in particular for deviations from the Parker spiral model of interplanetary magnetic field. Solar wind observations show that reconnection in a turbulence broadened heliospheric current sheet, consistent with the Lazarian-Vishniac theory, leads to slip velocities that cause field lines to lag relative to the spiral model.
Turbulent Magnetic Reconnection in Two Dimensions  [PDF]
N. F. Loureiro,D. A. Uzdensky,A. A. Schekochihin,S. C. Cowley,T. A. Yousef
Physics , 2009, DOI: 10.1111/j.1745-3933.2009.00742.x
Abstract: Two-dimensional numerical simulations of the effect of background turbulence on 2D resistive magnetic reconnection are presented. For sufficiently small values of the resistivity ($\eta$) and moderate values of the turbulent power ($\epsilon$), the reconnection rate is found to have a much weaker dependence on $\eta$ than the Sweet-Parker scaling of $\eta^{1/2}$ and is even consistent with an $\eta-$independent value. For a given value of $\eta$, the dependence of the reconnection rate on the turbulent power exhibits a critical threshold in $\epsilon$ above which the reconnection rate is significantly enhanced.
Achieving fast reconnection in resistive MHD models via turbulent means
G. Lapenta,A. Lazarian
Nonlinear Processes in Geophysics (NPG) , 2012,
Abstract: Astrophysical fluids are generally turbulent and this preexisting turbulence must be taken into account for models of magnetic reconnection in astrophysical, solar or heliospheric environments. In addition, reconnection itself induces turbulence which provides an important feedback on the reconnection process. In this paper we discuss both the theoretical model and numerical evidence that magnetic reconnection becomes fast in the approximation of resistive MHD. We consider the relation between the Lazarian and Vishniac turbulent reconnection theory and Lapenta's numerical experiments testifying of the spontaneous onset of turbulent reconnection in systems which are initially laminar.
Collapse of Turbulent Cores and Reconnection Diffusion  [PDF]
M. R. M. Le?o,E. M. de Gouveia Dal Pino,R. Santos-Lima,A. Lazarian
Physics , 2012, DOI: 10.1088/0004-637X/777/1/46
Abstract: For a molecular cloud clump to form stars some transport of magnetic flux is required from the denser, inner regions to the outer regions of the cloud, otherwise this can prevent the collapse. Fast magnetic reconnection which takes place in the presence of turbulence can induce a process of reconnection diffusion (RD). Extending earlier numerical studies of reconnection diffusion in cylindrical clouds, we consider more realistic clouds with spherical gravitational potentials and also account for the effects of the gas self-gravity. We demonstrate that within our setup RD is efficient. We have also identified the conditions under which RD becomes strong enough to make an initially subcritical cloud clump supercritical and induce its collapse. Our results indicate that the formation of a supercritical core is regulated by a complex interplay between gravity, self-gravity, the magnetic field strength and nearly transonic and trans-Alfv\'enic turbulence, confirming that RD is able to remove magnetic flux from collapsing clumps, but only a few of them become nearly critical or supercritical, sub-Alfv\'enic cores, which is consistent with the observations. Besides, we have found that the supercritical cores built up in our simulations develop a predominantly helical magnetic field geometry which is also consistent with observations. Finally, we have evaluated the effective values of the turbulent reconnection diffusion coefficient and found that they are much larger than the numerical diffusion, especially for initially trans-Alfv\'enic clouds, ensuring that the detected magnetic flux removal is due to to the action of the RD rather than to numerical diffusivity.
Interchange reconnection in a turbulent Corona  [PDF]
A. F. Rappazzo,W. H. Matthaeus,D. Ruffolo,S. Servidio,M. Velli
Physics , 2012, DOI: 10.1088/2041-8205/758/1/L14
Abstract: Magnetic reconnection at the interface between coronal holes and loops, so-called interchange reconnection, can release the hotter, denser plasma from magnetically confined regions into the heliosphere, contributing to the formation of the highly variable slow solar wind. The interchange process is often thought to develop at the apex of streamers or pseudo-streamers, near Y and X-type neutral points, but slow streams with loop composition have been recently observed along fanlike open field lines adjacent to closed regions, far from the apex. However, coronal heating models, with magnetic field lines shuffled by convective motions, show that reconnection can occur continuously in unipolar magnetic field regions with no neutral points: photospheric motions induce a magnetohydrodynamic turbulent cascade in the coronal field that creates the necessary small scales, where a sheared magnetic field component orthogonal to the strong axial field is created locally and can reconnect. We propose that a similar mechanism operates near and around boundaries between open and closed regions inducing a continual stochastic rearrangement of connectivity. We examine a reduced magnetohydrodynamic model of a simplified interface region between open and closed corona threaded by a strong unipolar magnetic field. This boundary is not stationary, becomes fractal, and field lines change connectivity continuously, becoming alternatively open and closed. This model suggests that slow wind may originate everywhere along loop-coronal hole boundary regions, and can account naturally and simply for outflows at and adjacent to such boundaries and for the observed diffusion of slow wind around the heliospheric current sheet.
Achieving Fast Reconnection in Resistive MHD Models via Turbulent Means  [PDF]
Giovanni Lapenta,Alexander Lazarian
Physics , 2011, DOI: 10.5194/npg-19-251-2012
Abstract: Astrophysical fluids are generally turbulent and this preexisting turbulence must be taken into account for the models of magnetic reconnection which are attepmted to be applied to astrophysical, solar or heliospheric environments. In addition, reconnection itself induces turbulence which provides an important feedback on the reconnection process. In this paper we discuss both theoretical model and numerical evidence that magnetic reconnection gets fast in the approximation of resistive MHD. We consider the relation between the Lazarian & Vishniac turbulent reconnection theory and Lapenta's numerical experiments testifying of the spontaneous onset of turbulent reconnection in systems which are initially laminar.
Turbulent Magnetohydrodynamic Reconnection Mediated by the Plasmoid Instability  [PDF]
Yi-Min Huang,A. Bhattacharjee
Physics , 2015,
Abstract: It has been established that the Sweet-Parker current layer in high Lundquist number reconnection is unstable to the super-Alfv\'enic plasmoid instability. Past two-dimensional magnetohydrodynamic simulations have demonstrated that the plasmoid instability leads to a new regime where the Sweet-Parker current layer changes into a chain of plasmoids connected by secondary current sheets, and the averaged reconnection rate becomes nearly independent of the Lundquist number. In this work, three-dimensional simulation with a guide field shows that the additional degree of freedom allows plasmoid instabilities to grow at oblique angles, which interact and lead to self-generated turbulent reconnection. The averaged reconnection rate in the self-generated turbulent state is of the order of a hundredth of the characteristic Alfv\'en speed, which is similar to the two-dimensional result but is an order of magnitude lower than the fastest reconnection rate reported in recent studies of externally driven three-dimensional turbulent reconnection. Kinematic and magnetic energy fluctuations both form elongated eddies along the direction of local magnetic field, which is a signature of anisotropic magnetohydrodynamic turbulence. Both energy fluctuations satisfy power-law spectra in the inertial range, where the magnetic energy spectral index is in the range from $-2.3$ to $-2.1$, while the kinetic energy spectral index is slightly steeper, in the range from $-2.5$ to $-2.3$. The anisotropy of turbulence eddies is found to be nearly scale-independent, in contrast with the prediction of the Goldreich-Sridhar theory for anisotropic turbulence in a homogeneous plasma permeated by a uniform magnetic field.
Reconnection current sheet structure in a turbulent medium  [PDF]
E. T. Vishniac,S. Pillsworth,G. Eyink,G. Kowal
Nonlinear Processes in Geophysics (NPG) , 2012, DOI: 10.5194/npg-19-605-2012
Abstract: In the presence of turbulence, magnetic field lines lose their dynamical identity and particles entrained on field lines diffuse through space at a rate determined by the amplitude of the turbulence. In previous work (Lazarian and Vishniac, 1999; Kowal et al., 2009; Eyink et al., 2011) we showed that this leads to reconnection speeds which are independent of resistivity. In particular, in Kowal et al. (2009) we showed that numerical simulations were consistent with the predictions of this model. Here we examine the structure of the current sheet in simulations of turbulent reconnection. Laminar flows consistent with the Sweet-Parker reconnection model produce very thin and well ordered currents sheets. On the other hand, the simulations of Kowal et al. (2009) show a strongly disordered state even for relatively low levels of turbulence. Comparing data cubes with and without reconnection, we find that large scale field reversals are the cumulative effect of many individual eddies, each of which has magnetic properties which are not very different from turbulent eddies in a homogeneous background. This implies that the properties of stationary and homogeneous MHD turbulence are a reasonable guide to understanding turbulence during large scale magnetic reconnection events. In addition, dissipation and high energy particle acceleration during reconnection events take place over a macroscopic volume, rather than being confined to a narrow zone whose properties depend on microscopic transport coefficients.
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