Watson, P.G. & Craig, I.J. (2005). Analytic solutions of the magnetic annihilation and reconnection problems. I. Planar flow profiles. Physics of Plasmas, 4, 101.
Permanent Research Commons link: http://hdl.handle.net/10289/1272
The phenomena of steady-state magnetic annihilation and reconnection in the vicinity of magnetic nulls are considered. It is shown that reconnective solutions can be derived by superposing the velocity and magnetic fields of simple magnetic annihilation models. These solutions contain most of the previous models for magnetic merging and reconnection, as well as introducing several new solutions. The various magnetic dissipation mechanisms are classified by examining the scaling of the Ohmic diffusion rate with plasma resistivity. Reconnection solutions generally allow more favorable "fast" dissipation scalings than annihilation models. In particular, reconnection models involving the advection of planar field components have the potential to satisfy the severe energy release requirements of the solar flare. The present paper is mainly concerned with magnetic fields embedded in strictly planar flows—a discussion of the more complicated three-dimensional flow patterns is presented in Part II [Phys. Plasmas 4, 110 (1997)].
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