Signatures of Secondary Collisionless Magnetic Reconnection Driven by Kink Instability of a Flux Rope

Abstract : The kinetic features of secondary magnetic reconnection in a single flux rope undergoing internal kink instability are studied by means of three-dimensional Particle-in-Cell simulations. Several signatures of secondary magnetic reconnection are identified in the plane perpendicular to the flux rope: a quadrupolar electron and ion density structure and a bipolar Hall magnetic field develop in proximity of the reconnection region. The most intense electric fields form perpendicularly to the local magnetic field, and a reconnection electric field is identified in the plane perpendicular to the flux rope. An electron current develops along the reconnection line in the opposite direction of the electron current supporting the flux rope magnetic field structure. Along the reconnection line, several bipolar structures of the electric field parallel to the magnetic field occur making the magnetic reconnection region turbulent. The reported signatures of secondary magnetic reconnection can help to localize magnetic reconnection events in space, astrophysical and fusion plasmas.
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S. Markidis, G. Lapenta, G. L. Delzanno, Pierre Henri, M. V. Goldman, et al.. Signatures of Secondary Collisionless Magnetic Reconnection Driven by Kink Instability of a Flux Rope. Plasma Physics and Controlled Fusion, IOP Publishing, 2014, 56 (6), pp.064010. ⟨10.1088/0741-3335/56/6/064010⟩. ⟨insu-01257772⟩

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