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Published October 20, 2023 | Published
Journal Article Open

Phase-space Analysis of Ordered and Disordered Nonthermal Ion Energization during Magnetic Reconnection

  • 1. ROR icon California Institute of Technology


Anomalous ion heating is frequently observed to accompany magnetic reconnection, yet there is little consensus on its origin. Instead of the usual velocity-space analysis, we use phase-space analysis to exhaustively explain how ions are nonthermally energized during collisionless, antiparallel magnetic reconnection. There are both ordered and disordered aspects in the process; the former is explained in terms of conservative quantities, and the latter is explained by demonstrating chaos through a direct calculation of Lyapunov exponents. The former induces "multibeam-like heating" in all three directions, whereas the latter induces stochastic bulk heating. Profiles of the ion temperature tensor components during reconnection can be easily understood by the phase-space distributions of ions in different motional stages.

Copyright and License

© 2023. The Author(s). Published by the American Astronomical Society. Original content from this work may be used under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 licence. Any further distribution of this work must maintain attribution to the author(s) and the title of the work, journal citation and DOI.


This work was supported by an appointment to the JRG Program at the APCTP through the Science and Technology Promotion Fund and Lottery Fund of the Korean Government, and also by Korean local governments—Gyeongsangbuk-do province and Pohang city. Y.D.Y. was also supported by the POSCO Science Fellowship of POSCO TJ Park Foundation. P.M.B. was supported by the National Science Foundation Award No. 2105492 and the Air Force Office of Scientific Research Award No. FA9550-21-1-0379. G.S.Y. was supported by the National Research Foundation of Korea, grant No. RS-2023-00281272.


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Additional details

November 9, 2023
November 9, 2023