Hall magnetohydrodynamic reconnection in the plasmoid unstable regime

S. D. Baalrud, A. Bhattacharjee, Y. M. Huang, K. Germaschewski

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

34 Scopus citations

Abstract

A set of reduced Hall magnetohydrodynamic (MHD) equations are used to evaluate the stability of large aspect ratio current sheets to the formation of plasmoids (secondary islands). Reconnection is driven by resistivity in this analysis, which occurs at the resistive skin depth dη S L-1/2 √LVA/γ, where SL is the Lundquist number, L, the length of the current sheet, A, the Alfvén speed, and , the growth rate. Modifications to a recent resistive MHD analysis N. F. Loureiro, Phys. Plasmas 14, 100703 (2007) arise when collisions are sufficiently weak that dη is shorter than the ion skin depth di ≡ c/ωpi. Secondary islands grow faster in this Hall MHD regime: the maximum growth rate scales as (d i/L)6/13SL7/13 vA/L and the number of plasmoids as (di/L)1/13SL 11/26, compared to SL1/4 vA/L and S3/8, respectively, in resistive MHD.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number092108
JournalPhysics of Plasmas
Volume18
Issue number9
DOIs
StatePublished - Sep 1 2011
Externally publishedYes

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Condensed Matter Physics

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