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The Role of Magnetic Islands in Collisionless Driven Reconnection: A Kinetic Approach to Multi-Scale Phenomena

National Institute for Fusion Science, 322-6 Oroshi, Toki 509-5292, Japan
Plasma 2018, 1(1), 68-77; https://doi.org/10.3390/plasma1010007
Received: 13 February 2018 / Revised: 29 March 2018 / Accepted: 17 April 2018 / Published: 21 April 2018
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Multiscale Methods in Plasma Physics)
The role of magnetic islands in collisionless driven reconnection has been investigated from the standpoint of a kinetic approach to multi-scale phenomena by means of two-dimensional particle-in-cell (PIC) simulation. There are two different types of the solutions in the evolution of the reconnection system. One is a steady solution in which the system relaxes into a steady state, and no island is generated (the no-island case). The other is an intermittent solution in which the system does not reach a steady state, and magnetic islands are frequently generated in the current sheet (the multi-island case). It is found that the electromagnetic energy is more effectively transferred to the particle energy in the multi-island case compared with the no-island case. The transferred energy is stored inside the magnetic island in the form of the thermal energy through compressional heating, and is carried away together with the magnetic island from the reconnection region. These results suggest that the formation of a magnetic island chain may have a potential to bridge the energy gap between macroscopic and microscopic physics by widening the dissipation region and strengthening the energy dissipation rate. View Full-Text
Keywords: magnetic reconnection; magnetic island; multi-scale physics; open system; energy transfer magnetic reconnection; magnetic island; multi-scale physics; open system; energy transfer
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MDPI and ACS Style

Horiuchi, R. The Role of Magnetic Islands in Collisionless Driven Reconnection: A Kinetic Approach to Multi-Scale Phenomena. Plasma 2018, 1, 68-77.

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