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Formation of a transient front structure near reconnection point in 3-D PIC simulations
KTH, School of Computer Science and Communication (CSC), High Performance Computing and Visualization (HPCViz). KTH, School of Computer Science and Communication (CSC), Centres, Centre for High Performance Computing, PDC.ORCID iD: 0000-0003-0639-0639
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2013 (English)In: Journal of Geophysical Research, ISSN 0148-0227, E-ISSN 2156-2202, Vol. 118, no 4, 1435-1449 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Massively parallel numerical simulations of magnetic reconnection are presented in this study. Electromagnetic full-particle implicit code iPIC3D is used to study the dynamics and 3-D evolution of reconnection outflows. Such features as Hall magnetic field, inflow and outflow, and diffusion region formation are very similar to 2-D particle-in-cell (PIC) simulations. In addition, it is well known that instabilities develop in the current flow direction or oblique directions. These modes could provide for anomalous resistivity and diffusive drag and can serve as additional proxies for magnetic reconnection. In our work, the unstable evolution of reconnection transient front structures is studied. Reconnection configuration in the absence of guide field is considered, and it is initialized with a localized perturbation aligned in the cross-tail direction. Our study suggests that the instabilities lead to the development of finger-like density structures on ion-electron hybrid scales. These structures are characterized by a rapid increase of the magnetic field, normal to the current sheet (Bz). A small decrease in the magnetic field component parallel to the reconnection X line and the component perpendicular to the current sheet is observed in the region ahead of the front. The instabilities form due to fact that the density gradient inside the front region is opposite to the direction of the acceleration Lorentz force. Such density structures may possibly further develop into larger-scale earthward flux transfer events during magnetotail reconnection. In addition, oscillations mainly in the magnetic and electric fields and the electron density are observed shortly before the arrival of the main front structure which is consistent with recent THEMIS observations. Key PointsThree dimensional particle-in-cell simulation of reconnection in the magnetotailEvolution of dipolarization front at reconnection and associated plasma flowDevelopment of instabilities in the plasma population

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2013. Vol. 118, no 4, 1435-1449 p.
Keyword [en]
dipolarization front, implicit PIC, iPIC3D, modeling, plasma instabilities, reconnection
National Category
Physical Sciences
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:kth:diva-134054DOI: 10.1002/jgra.50136ISI: 000319924400007Scopus ID: 2-s2.0-84880753480OAI: oai:DiVA.org:kth-134054DiVA: diva2:664538
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QC 20131115

Available from: 2013-11-15 Created: 2013-11-15 Last updated: 2017-12-06Bibliographically approved

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Markidis, Stefano

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