Inertial-Range Reconnection in Magnetohydrodynamic Turbulence and in the Solar Wind

Cristian C. Lalescu, Yi Kang Shi, Gregory L. Eyink, Theodore D. Drivas, Ethan T. Vishniac, Alexander Lazarian

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

20 Scopus citations


In situ spacecraft data on the solar wind show events identified as magnetic reconnection with wide outflows and extended "X lines," 103-104 times ion scales. To understand the role of turbulence at these scales, we make a case study of an inertial-range reconnection event in a magnetohydrodynamic simulation. We observe stochastic wandering of field lines in space, breakdown of standard magnetic flux freezing due to Richardson dispersion, and a broadened reconnection zone containing many current sheets. The coarse-grain magnetic geometry is like large-scale reconnection in the solar wind, however, with a hyperbolic flux tube or apparent X line extending over integral length scales.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number025001
JournalPhysical review letters
Issue number2
StatePublished - Jul 7 2015

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • General Physics and Astronomy


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