AGU Fall Meeting location:San Francisco, California date:11-15 December 2006
We study the structure of the electrostatic potential and the in-plane electric field in the current normal direction during collisionless magnetic reconnection. Like the quadrupole pattern of the out-of-plane component of the magnetic field, the bipolar structure of the electric field is a signature of the Hall magnetic reconnection. The electrostatic potential is believed to play an essential role in the acceleration of energetic particles. From full kinetic simulations with the implicit particle-in-cell code CELESTE3D, we see a potential wall inside the small region close to the X point and potential wells outside this region, which is consistent with recent satellite observations. In addition to these big structures, we have observed the bifurcation of this potential, namely a small wall inside the well. Simulations with both periodic and open boundary conditions and different mass ratios are performed. The effects of the guide field is studied. The physical origin of these structures is discussed. We will compare our simulation results with recent Cluster spacecraft data, especially in the case of a bifurcated or imbedded current sheet.