Fast magnetic reconnection in three-dimensional magnetohydrodynamics simulations Academic Article uri icon

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abstract

  • We present a constructive numerical example of fast magnetic reconnection in a three dimensional periodic box. Reconnection is initiated by a strong, localized perturbation to the field lines. The solution is intrinsically three dimensional, and its gross properties do not depend on the details of the simulations. $\sim 50%$ of the magnetic energy is released in an event which lasts about one Alfven time, but only after a delay during which the field lines evolve into a critical configuration. We present a physical picture of the process. The reconnection regions are dynamical and mutually interacting. In the comoving frame of these regions, reconnection occurs through an X-like point, analogous to Petschek reconnection. The dynamics appear to be driven by global flows, not local processes.

publication date

  • October 2010