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3D Numerical Simulation of Kink-driven Rayleigh–Taylor Instability Leading to Fast Magnetic Reconnection

Wongwaitayakornkul, Pakorn and Li, Hui and Bellan, Paul M. (2020) 3D Numerical Simulation of Kink-driven Rayleigh–Taylor Instability Leading to Fast Magnetic Reconnection. Astrophysical Journal Letters, 895 (1). Art. No. L7. ISSN 2041-8213. https://resolver.caltech.edu/CaltechAUTHORS:20200518-091931959

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Abstract

Fast magnetic reconnection involving non-MHD microscale physics is believed to underlie both solar eruptions and laboratory plasma current disruptions. While there is extensive research on both the MHD macroscale physics and the non-MHD microscale physics, the process by which large-scale MHD couples to the microscale physics is not well understood. An MHD instability cascade from a kink to a secondary Rayleigh–Taylor instability in the Caltech astrophysical jet laboratory experiment provides new insights into this coupling and motivates a 3D numerical simulation of this transition from large to small scale. A critical finding from the simulation is that the axial magnetic field inside the current-carrying dense plasma must exceed the field outside. In addition, the simulation verifies a theoretical prediction and experimental observation that, depending on the strength of the effective gravity produced by the primary kink instability, the secondary instability can be Rayleigh–Taylor or mini-kink. Finally, it is shown that the kink-driven Rayleigh–Taylor instability generates a localized electric field sufficiently strong to accelerate electrons to very high energy.


Item Type:Article
Related URLs:
URLURL TypeDescription
https://doi.org/10.3847/2041-8213/ab8e35DOIArticle
ORCID:
AuthorORCID
Wongwaitayakornkul, Pakorn0000-0001-7455-8582
Li, Hui0000-0003-3556-6568
Bellan, Paul M.0000-0002-0886-8782
Additional Information:© 2020 The American Astronomical Society. Received 2020 February 20; revised 2020 April 27; accepted 2020 April 28; published 2020 May 18. This work was supported by NSF/DOE Partnership in Plasma Science and Engineering under award DE-FG02-04ER54755 and AFOSR under award FA9550-11-1-0184. H.L. acknowledges support from the DOE/OFES and LANL/LDRD programs.
Funders:
Funding AgencyGrant Number
Department of Energy (DOE)DE-FG02-04ER54755
Air Force Office of Scientific Research (AFOSR)FA9550-11-1-0184
Los Alamos National LaboratoryUNSPECIFIED
Subject Keywords:Magnetohydrodynamical simulations ; Magnetohydrodynamics ; Laboratory astrophysics ; Experimental models ; Plasma astrophysics
Issue or Number:1
Classification Code:Unified Astronomy Thesaurus concepts: Magnetohydrodynamical simulations (1966); Magnetohydrodynamics (1964); Laboratory astrophysics (2004); Experimental models (2098); Plasma astrophysics (1261)
Record Number:CaltechAUTHORS:20200518-091931959
Persistent URL:https://resolver.caltech.edu/CaltechAUTHORS:20200518-091931959
Official Citation:Pakorn Wongwaitayakornkul et al 2020 ApJL 895 L7
Usage Policy:No commercial reproduction, distribution, display or performance rights in this work are provided.
ID Code:103266
Collection:CaltechAUTHORS
Deposited By: Tony Diaz
Deposited On:18 May 2020 16:42
Last Modified:03 Jun 2020 22:01

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