Mechanism of non-steady Petschek-type reconnection with uniform resistivity

Takuya Shibayama, Kanya Kusano, Takahiro Miyoshi, Amitava Bhattacharjee

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

The Sweet-Parker and Petschek models are well-established magnetohydrodynamics (MHD) models of steady magnetic reconnection. Recent findings on magnetic reconnection in high-Lundquist-number plasmas indicate that Sweet-Parker-type reconnection in marginally stable thin current sheets connecting plasmoids can produce fast reconnection. By contrast, it has proven difficult to achieve Petschek-type reconnection in plasmas with uniform resistivity because sustaining it requires localization of the diffusion region. However, Shibayama et al. [Phys. Plasmas 22, 100706 (2015)] recently noted that Petschek-type reconnection can be achieved spontaneously in a dynamical manner even under uniform resistivity through what they called dynamical Petschek reconnection. In this new type of reconnection, Petschek-type diffusion regions can be formed in connection with plasmoids. In this paper, we report the results of two-dimensional resistive MHD simulation with uniform resistivity, undertaken to determine the diffusion region localization mechanism under dynamical Petschek reconnection. Through this modeling, we found that the separation of the X-point from the flow stagnation point (S-point) plays a crucial role in the localization of the diffusion region because the motion of the X-point is restricted by the strong flow emanating from the flow stagnation point. This mechanism suggests that dynamical Petschek reconnection is possible even in large systems such as the solar corona.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number032903
JournalPhysics of Plasmas
Volume26
Issue number3
DOIs
StatePublished - Mar 1 2019

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Condensed Matter Physics

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