Detailed comparisons are reported between laboratory observations of electron-scale dissipation layers near a reconnecting X-line and direct two-dimensional full-particle simulations. Many experimental features of the electron layers, such as insensitivity to the ion mass, are reproduced by the simulations; the layer thickness, however, is about 3-5 times larger than the predictions. Consequently, the leading candidate 2D mechanism based on collisionless electron nongyrotropic pressure is insufficient to explain the observed reconnection rates. These results suggest that, in addition to the residual collisions, 3D effects play an important role in electron-scale dissipation during fast reconnection.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Earth and Planetary Sciences(all)