Title: Kinetic simulations of magnetic reconnection in presence of a background O+ population
Authors: Markidis, Stefano ×
Lapenta, Giovanni
Goldman, M.
Newman, D.
Andersson, L #
Issue Date: 28-Jun-2011
Publisher: American Geophysical Union
Series Title: Journal of Geophysical Research issue:116
Article number: A00K16
Abstract: Particle-in-Cell simulations of magnetic reconnection with an H+ current sheet and a mixed background plasma of H+ and O+ ions are completed using physical mass ratios. Four main results are shown. First, the O+ presence slightly decreases the reconnection rate and the magnetic reconnection evolution depends mainly on the lighter H+ ion species in the presented simulations. Second, the Hall magnetic field is characterized by a two-scales structure in presence of O+ ions: it reaches sharp peak values in a small area in proximity of the neutral line, and then decreases slowly over a large region. Third, the two background species separate in the outflow region because H+ and O+ ions are accelerated by different mechanisms occurring on different time scales and with different strengths. Fourth, the effect of a guide field on the O+ dynamics is studied: the O+ presence does not change the reconnected flux and all the characteristic features of guide field magnetic reconnection are still present. Moreover, the guide field introduces an O+ circulation pattern between separatrices that enhances high O+ density areas and depletes low O+ density regions in proximity of the reconnection fronts. The importance and validity of these results are finally discussed.
ISSN: 0148-0227
Publication status: published
KU Leuven publication type: IT
Appears in Collections:Plasma-astrophysics Section
× corresponding author
# (joint) last author

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