Events at Physics
Reconnection allows the explosive release of magnetic energy stored in plasma currents. In space plasmas, reconnection depends on the smallest electron kinetic scales. Numerical simulations, observations by NASA’s MMS spacecraft, and laboratory experiments have now all delved into these fine details. Here, recent 3D fully kinetic particle-in-cell (PIC) calculations are presented. For systems based on MMS observations of the Earth’s magnetopause, the lower hybrid drift instability (LHDI) drives anomalous particle transport. LHDI, however, does not significantly increase the reconnection rate. For conditions similar to Earth’s magnetotail, long electron current sheets supported by electron pressure anisotropy develop. The electron pressure anisotropy drives an electromagnetic instability that modulates the current density on small scales. The general structure of the extended electron current layer is nevertheless preserved, and it should therefore persist long enough to be observed both in space observations and in laboratory experiments such as TREX at WiPPL.
The ID and passcode are (Zoom):
Meeting ID: 991 5610 7574