Particle-in-cell simulations of asymmetric reconnection driven by laser-powered capacitor coils

Kai Huang, Quanming Lu, Abraham Chien, Lan Gao, Hantao Ji, Xueyi Wang, Shui Wang

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

During magnetic reconnection, such as in the magnetopause of magnetized planets, the upstream plasma conditions between the two inflow regions are usually different. In this paper, we demonstrate that such a kind of asymmetric reconnection can be studied in the laboratory using the recently proposed experimental scheme where reconnection is driven by laser-powered capacitor coils. Two-dimensional particle-in-cell simulations on the (z, r) plane in a cylindrical coordinate are conducted to study magnetic reconnection with the inflow along the r direction. Magnetic reconnection is found to be asymmetric with a stronger magnetic field in the inner (small r) inflow region and a weaker magnetic field in the outer (large r) inflow region due to the cylindrical symmetric geometry. Electron crescent velocity distributions are observed near the flow stagnation point while ion crescent velocity distributions are observed in the region with Larmor electric field. The out-of-plane Hall magnetic field is asymmetric between the two inflow regions with a larger spatial scale in the outer inflow region. This asymmetric Hall magnetic field configuration is different from that in previous studies. The typical reconnection rate increases with a stronger driver and the highest rate is around 0.2VAB0, where B0 is the typical value of the magnetic field and VA is the Alfven speed. This study provides a new method to experimentally study asymmetric reconnection in the laboratory and has potential applications regarding magnetic reconnection in the magnetopause of magnetized planets.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numberabc600
JournalPlasma Physics and Controlled Fusion
Volume63
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - Nov 10 2020

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Nuclear Energy and Engineering
  • Condensed Matter Physics

Keywords

  • Asymmetric reconnection
  • Crescent distribution
  • Hall magnetic field
  • Laser-powered capacitor coil
  • Magnetic reconnection
  • Particle-in-cell simulation

Fingerprint

Dive into the research topics of 'Particle-in-cell simulations of asymmetric reconnection driven by laser-powered capacitor coils'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this