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  Electron acceleration by turbulent plasmoid reconnection

Zhou, X., Büchner, J., Widmer, F., & Muñoz Sepúlveda, P. A. (2018). Electron acceleration by turbulent plasmoid reconnection. Physics of Plasmas, 25: 042904. doi:10.1063/1.5011013.

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 Creators:
Zhou, X.1, Author              
Büchner, Jörg2, Author              
Widmer, Fabien3, Author              
Muñoz Sepúlveda, Patricio A.2, Author              
Affiliations:
1Max Planck Institute for Solar System Research, Max Planck Society, ou_1125546              
2Department Sun and Heliosphere, Max Planck Institute for Solar System Research, Max Planck Society, ou_1832289              
3IMPRS on Physical Processes in the Solar System and Beyond, Max Planck Institute for Solar System Research, Max Planck Society, ou_1832290              

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 MPIS_GROUPS: Theory and Simulation of Solar System Plasmas
 MPIS_PROJECTS: Theory: Sim Sol Sys Plasma
 Abstract: In space and astrophysical plasmas, like in planetary magnetospheres, as that of Mercury, energetic electrons are often found near current sheets, which hint at electron acceleration by magnetic reconnection. Unfortunately, electron acceleration by reconnection is not well understood yet, in particular, acceleration by turbulent plasmoid reconnection. We have investigated electron acceleration by turbulent plasmoid reconnection, described by MHD simulations, via test particle calculations. In order to avoid resolving all relevant turbulence scales down to the dissipation scales, a mean-field turbulence model is used to describe the turbulence of sub-grid scales and their effects via a turbulent electromotive force (EMF). The mean-field model describes the turbulent EMF as a function of the mean values of current density, vorticity, magnetic field as well as of the energy, cross-helicity, and residual helicity of the turbulence. We found that, mainly around X-points of turbulent reconnection, strongly enhanced localized EMFs most efficiently accelerated electrons and caused the formation of power-law spectra. Magnetic-field-aligned EMFs, caused by the turbulence, dominate the electron acceleration process. Scaling the acceleration processes to parameters of the Hermean magnetotail, electron energies up to 60 keV can be reached by turbulent plasmoid reconnection through the thermal plasma.

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Language(s): eng - English
 Dates: 2018-05-152018
 Publication Status: Published online
 Pages: -
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 Table of Contents: -
 Rev. Type: Peer
 Identifiers: DOI: 10.1063/1.5011013
 Degree: -

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Title: Physics of Plasmas
Source Genre: Journal
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Publ. Info: Melville, NY : AIP Publishing
Pages: - Volume / Issue: 25 Sequence Number: 042904 Start / End Page: - Identifier: ISSN: 1070-664X
CoNE: https://pure.mpg.de/cone/journals/resource/1000000000318080