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Collisionless reconnection using Alfvén wave radiation resistance

Bellan, P. M. (1998) Collisionless reconnection using Alfvén wave radiation resistance. Physics of Plasmas, 5 (9). pp. 3081-3088. ISSN 1070-664X. http://resolver.caltech.edu/CaltechAUTHORS:BELpop98b

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Abstract

Patchy magnetic reconnection involves transient field-aligned current filaments. The spatial localization, transient time-dependence, and orientation of these current filaments means they must radiate torsional Alfvén waves. Radiation of wave energy does not come for free—it must load the current which acts as the radiative source. This loading (radiation resistance) is proposed as the energy sink required for collisionless magnetic reconnection to proceed. Radiation resistance for both inertial and kinetic Alfvén waves is calculated and, for highly collisionless plasmas, is shown to exceed by a substantial factor both Spitzer resistivity and the effective resistance due to the direct acceleration of electrons (inertial loading). The radiation resistivity is shown to provide the magnetic field diffusivity required for magnetic fields to diffuse across the assumed width of the current filament on the time scale of the reconnection. It is also shown that Landau damping of the radiated waves results in the generation of energetic, field-aligned particles: in the beta << me/mi regime the energetic particles are electrons while in the me/mi << beta << 1 regime, the energetic particles are ions.


Item Type:Article
Additional Information:©1998 American Institute of Physics. (Received 24 November 1997; accepted 8 June 1998) Discussions with D. Rutledge regarding return currents in free-space (vacuum) antennas are gratefully acknowledged. This work has been supported by the National Science Foundation.
Subject Keywords:plasma Alfven waves; plasma transport processes
Record Number:CaltechAUTHORS:BELpop98b
Persistent URL:http://resolver.caltech.edu/CaltechAUTHORS:BELpop98b
Alternative URL:http://dx.doi.org/10.1063/1.873034
Usage Policy:No commercial reproduction, distribution, display or performance rights in this work are provided.
ID Code:1889
Collection:CaltechAUTHORS
Deposited By: Archive Administrator
Deposited On:22 Feb 2006
Last Modified:26 Dec 2012 08:46

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