Fast magnetic reconnection and the coalescence instability
Craig, I. J. D. & Rickard, G. J. (1993). Fast magnetic reconnection and the coalescence instability. Physics of Plasmas, 5, 956 .
Permanent Research Commons link: http://hdl.handle.net/10289/1274
The magnetic reconnection that occurs during the nonlinear development of the coalescence instability is considered. The structure of the reconnection region at the time of maximum current as a function of the resistivity η is analyzed in detail using a compressible magnetohydrodynamic fluid code. It is shown that the numerical results concur remarkably well with a simple scaling analysis which predicts the dependence of the reconnection region structure on η. It is argued that the flow topology is crucial in maintaining the ``fast'' reconnection rate. The results indicate a flux pileup solution in which the flux annihilation rate is approximately independent of η, whereas the Ohmic dissipation rate scales as η −1/3. The possibility that these scalings break down at lower values of η is discussed.
American Institute of Physics
Copyright 1993 American Institute of Physics. This article may be downloaded for personal use only. Any other use requires prior permission of the author and the American Institute of Physics. The following article appeared in the journal Physics of Plasmas and may be found at http://jmp.aip.org/jmp/top.jsp