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Quantifying three dimensional reconnection in fragmented current layers.

Wyper, P. and Hesse, M. (2015) 'Quantifying three dimensional reconnection in fragmented current layers.', Physics of plasmas., 22 (4). 042117.


There is growing evidence that when magnetic reconnection occurs in high Lundquist number plasmas such as in the Solar Corona or the Earth's Magnetosphere it does so within a fragmented, rather than a smooth current layer. Within the extent of these fragmented current regions, the associated magnetic flux transfer and energy release occur simultaneously in many different places. This investigation focusses on how best to quantify the rate at which reconnection occurs in such layers. An analytical theory is developed which describes the manner in which new connections form within fragmented current layers in the absence of magnetic nulls. It is shown that the collective rate at which new connections form can be characterized by two measures; a total rate which measures the true rate at which new connections are formed and a net rate which measures the net change of connection associated with the largest value of the integral of E || E|| through all of the non-ideal regions. Two simple analytical models are presented which demonstrate how each should be applied and what they quantify.

Item Type:Article
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Publisher statement:© 2015 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 Wyper, P. & Hesse, M. (2015). Quantifying three dimensional reconnection in fragmented current layers. Physics of Plasmas 22(4): 042117 and may be found at
Date accepted:03 April 2015
Date deposited:29 March 2017
Date of first online publication:29 April 2015
Date first made open access:No date available

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