Instability of current sheets and formation of plasmoid chains

N. F. Loureiro, A. A. Schekochihin, King's College, S. C. Cowley

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

350 Scopus citations

Abstract

Current sheets formed in magnetic reconnection events are found to be unstable to high-wavenumber perturbations. The instability is very fast: its maximum growth rate scales as S1/4vA/LCS, where LCS is the length of the sheet, vA the Alfvén speed, and S the Lundquist number. As a result, a chain of plasmoids (secondary islands) is formed, whose number scales as S3/8.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number100703
JournalPhysics of Plasmas
Volume14
Issue number10
DOIs
StatePublished - 2007

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Condensed Matter Physics

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