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Published July 16, 2019 | Published + Supplemental Material
Journal Article Open

Laboratory measurement of large‐amplitude whistler pulses generated by fast magnetic reconnection


We present observations of large‐amplitude (δB/B∼ 0.01) oblique whistler wave pulses generated by a spontaneous, 3‐D localized magnetic reconnection event in the Caltech jet experiment. The wave pulses are measured more than 50 ion skin depths from the reconnection location by a tetrahedron array of three‐axis B‐dot probes that mimic the pyramid flight formations of the Cluster and Magnetospheric Multiscale Mission spacecraft. Measurements of background parameters, wave polarization, and wave dispersion confirm that the pulses are whistler modes. These results demonstrate that localized impulsive reconnection events can generate large‐amplitude, oblique whistler wave pulses that propagate far outside the reconnection region. This provides a new pathway for the generation of magnetospheric whistler pulses and may help explain relativistic particle acceleration in phenomena such as solar flares that incorporate 3‐D localized impulsive magnetic reconnection.

Additional Information

© 2019 American Geophysical Union. Received 1 MAR 2019; Accepted 10 JUN 2019; Accepted article online 18 JUN 2019; Published online 1 JUL 2019. This material is based upon work supported by the NSF/DOE Partnership in Plasma Science and Engineering via U.S. Department of Energy Office of Science, Office of Fusion Energy Sciences award DE‐FG02‐04ER54755, by the Air Force Office of Scientific Research Space Science Program via award FA9550‐11‐1‐0184, and by the NSF SHINE program via award 1348393. The associated data files and analysis scripts for this paper are available here: github.com/magnus‐haw/whistler‐pulses.

Attached Files

Published - Haw_et_al-2019-Geophysical_Research_Letters.pdf

Supplemental Material - grl59198-sup-0001-2019gl082621-s01.pdf

Supplemental Material - grl59198-sup-0002-2019gl082621-s02.tex


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