Craig, I.J.D. & Litvinenko, Y.E. (2010). Energy losses by anisotropic viscous dissipation in transient magnetic reconnection. The Astrophysical Journal, 725(1), 886-893.
Permanent Research Commons link: http://hdl.handle.net/10289/4827
Global energy losses associated with transient magnetic reconnection in a viscous resistive plasma are examined. The Braginskii stress tensor is used to model the plasma viscosity for conditions typical of the solar corona. Analytic arguments are used to show that the large-scale advective flows associated with magnetic merging are likely to generate significant viscous losses. It is pointed out that the development of a visco-resistive reconnection scale, predicted for the classical shear viscosity, is not expected in the more realistic case of the Braginskii viscosity. Numerical simulations of planar coalescence merging show that viscous losses should easily dominate resistive losses for physically plausible parameters in flaring regions. Our computations imply that flare-like rates exceeding 10²⁹ erg s⁻¹ can be achieved under plausible coronal conditions.
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