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Preliminary Exam
Exploration of problems in space physics using the Magnetospheric Multiscale Mission
Date: Thursday, December 1st
Time: 10:00 am
Place: B343 Sterling or
Speaker: Jack Schroeder, Physics Graduate Student
Abstract: The main topic of discussion will be on recent work on magnetic reconnection in the Earth’s magnetotail. Models for collisionless magnetic reconnection in near-Earth space are distinctly characterized as 2D or 3D. In 2D kinetic models, the frozen-in law for the electron fluid is usually broken by laminar dynamics involving structures set by the electron orbit size, while in 3D models the width of the electron diffusion region is broadened by turbulent effects. We present an analysis of in situ spacecraft observations from the Earth's magnetotail of a fortuitous encounter with an active reconnection region, mapping the observations onto a 2D spatial domain. While the event likely was perturbed by low-frequency 3D dynamics, the structure of the electron diffusion region remains consistent with results from a 2D kinetic simulation. As such, the event represents a unique validation of 2D kinetic, and laminar reconnection models.

Additionally, future work regarding magnetic pumping at Earth’s bow shock will be discussed.
Host: Jan Egedal
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