A detailed study of magnetic reconnection at an X point driven by the coalescence instability is presented. In particular, the effects of plasma compressibility and the magnitude of the toroidal field on the rate of reconnection are explored. For large toroidal fields, the plasma is almost incompressible and the destruction of magnetic flux proceeds linearly with time. However, when the attractive force between two neighboring islands is strong, and when the poloidal and the toroidal fields are comparable in magnitude, the reconnection rate is found to be faster. Implications for the steady-state models of magnetic reconnection are discussed.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Computational Mechanics
- Condensed Matter Physics
- Mechanics of Materials
- Mechanical Engineering
- Fluid Flow and Transfer Processes