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Hall current effects in dynamic magnetic reconnection solutions

The impact of Hall current contributions on flow driven planar magnetic merging solutions is discussed. The Hall current is important if the dimensionless Hall parameter (or normalized ion skin depth) satisfies cH>η where η is the inverse Lundquist number for the plasma. A dynamic analysis of the problem shows, however, that the Hall current initially manifests itself, not by modifying the planar reconnection field, but by inducing a non-reconnecting perpendicular "separator" component in the magnetic field. Only if the stronger condition c2/H > η is satisfied can Hall currents be expected to affect the planar merging. These analytic predictions are then tested by performing a series of numerical experiments in periodic geometry, using the full system of planar magnetohydrodynamic (MHD) equations. The numerical results confirm that the nature of the merging changes dramatically when the Hall coupling satisfies c2/H > η. In line with the analytic treatment of sheared reconnection, the coupling provided by the Hall term leads to the emergence of multiple current layers that can enhance the global Ohmic dissipation at the expense of the reconnection rate. However, the details of the dissipation depend critically on the symmetries of the simulation, and when the merging is "head-on" (i.e., comprises fourfold symmetry) the reconnection rate can be enhanced.
Journal Article
Type of thesis
Oughton, S., Dmitruk, P. & Matthaeus, W. H. (2003). Hall current effects in dynamic magnetic reconnection solutions. Physics of Plasmas, 10, 3120 .
American Institute of Physics
Copyright 2003 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