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An Isaac Newton Institute Workshop

Reconnection in the Sun and Magnetosphere (Hewlett-Packard and Spitalfields Days)

Collisionless Magnetic Reconnection in 3D: Effects of a Guide Field and External Driving

9th August 2004

Author: P. L. Pritchett (UCLA)


Particle-in-cell simulations in 3D are used to explore the physics of collisionless magnetic reconnection. The presence of a moderate guide field does not alter significantly the reconnection rate but does drastically change the detailed dynamics of the reconnection region. Away from the neutral line an electron beam feature (produced by a finite parallel electric field) produces turbulence in the ion plasma frequency range; the region near the X line, however, remains quiet with respect to wave turbulence. Futher issues affecting reconnection such as the roles of external driving and the normal magnetic field component will be considered.