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Journal Article

Evolution of the Relativistic Plasmoid-Chain in the Poynting-Dominated Plasma


Takamoto,  Makoto
Division Prof. Dr. Werner Hofmann, MPI for Nuclear Physics, Max Planck Society;

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Takamoto, M. (2013). Evolution of the Relativistic Plasmoid-Chain in the Poynting-Dominated Plasma. The Astrophysical Journal, 775(1): 50. doi:10.1088/0004-637X/775/1/50.

Cite as: https://hdl.handle.net/11858/00-001M-0000-0014-6E96-5
In this paper, we investigate the evolution of the plasmoid-chain in a Poynting-dominated plasma. We model the relativistic current sheet with cold background plasma using the relativistic resistive magnetohydrodynamic approximation, and solve its temporal evolution numerically. We perform various calculations using different magnetization parameters of the background plasma and different Lundquist numbers. Numerical results show that the initially induced plasmoid triggers a secondary tearing instability, which gradually fills the current sheet with plasmoids, as has also been observed in the non-relativistic case. We find the plasmoid-chain greatly enhances the reconnection rate, which becomes independent of the Lundquist number, when this exceeds a critical value. In addition, we show the distribution of plasmoid size becomes a power law. Since magnetic reconnection is expected to play an important role in various high energy astrophysical phenomena, our results can be used for explaining the physical mechanism of them.