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.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Condensed Matter Physics