Special Issue: Magnetic Reconnection in Space and Laboratory Plasmas
- Open Access
Strong electron heating and non-Maxwellian behavior in magnetic reconnection
Earth, Planets and Space volume 53, pages 627–634 (2001)
We discuss the electron heating in the course of magnetic reconnection by using both the Geotail observation and the particle-in-cell simulation. Geotail observes several unique non-Maxwellian velocity distribution functions during the plasma sheet crossing in association with a fast plasma flow. We find that the observed distributions can be classified into four different types depending on the position in the plasma sheet. In the boundary between the lobe and the plasma sheet, the distribution consists of the cold plasma flowing toward the X-type region and the hot plasma escaping from the X-type region along the magnetic field. In the plasma sheet side of the boundary, the distribution becomes bi-Maxwellian distribution with T∥ > T⊥. Inside the plasma sheet, the distribution is deformed into a hot and isotropic distribution. We discuss the physical mechanism responsible for those electron heating in a thin plasma sheet by using the kinetic reconnection simulation. We find that the dawn-dusk reconnection electric field as well as the turbulent waves excited by the strong Hall electric currents play an important role on the strong electron heating and acceleration.
Baker, D. N. and E. C. Stone, Observations of energetic electrons (E ≥ 200 keV) in the Earth’s magnetotail: plasma sheet and fireball observations, J. Geophys. Res., 82, 1532–1546, 1977.
Davidson, R. C., N. A. Krall, K. Papadopoulos, and R. Shanny, Phys. Rev. Lett., 24, 579–582, 1970.
Feldman, W. C., R. L. Tokar, J. Birm, E. W. Hones, Jr., S. J. Bame, and C. T. Russell, Structure of a slow mode shock observed in the plasma sheet boundary layer, J. Geophys. Res., 92, 83–94, 1987.
Fujimoto, M., M. S. Nakamura, I. Shinohara, T. Nagai, T. Mukai, Y. Saito, T. Yamamoto, and S. Kokubun, Observations of Earthward streaming electrons at the trailing boundary of a plasmoid, Geophys. Res. Lett., 24, 2893–2896, 1997.
Harris, E. G., On a plasma sheath separating regions of oppositely directed magnetic field, Nuovo Cimento, 23, 115, 1962.
Hesse, M., K. Schindler, J. Birn, and M. Kuzunetsova, The diffusion region in collisionless magnetic reconnection, Phys. Plasmas, 6, 1781–1795, 1999.
Hoshino, M., Forced magnetic reconnection in a plasma sheet with localized resistivity profile excited by lower hybrid drift type instability, J. Geophys. Res., 96, 11555–11567, 1991.
Hoshino, M., Kinetic Ion Behavior in Magnetic Reconnection Region, AGU monogr., 105, edited by A. Nishida, D. N. Baker, and S. W. H. Cowley, pp. 153–166, 1998.
Hoshino, M., T. Mukai, A. Nishida, T. Yamamoto, and S. Kokubun, Ion dynamics in magnetic reconnection: Comparisons between numerical simulations and Geotail observations, J. Geophys. Res., 4509–4530, 1998.
Hoshino, M., T. Mukai, T. Terasawa, and I. Shinohara, Suprathermal electron acceleration in magnetic reconnection, J. Geophys. Res., 2001 (in press).
Huba, J. D., N. T. Gladd, and K. Papadopoulos, Lower-hybrid-drift wave turbulence in the distant magnetotail, J. Geophys. Res., 83, 5217–5226, 1978.
Lottermoser, R.-F. and M. Scholer, Magnetic reconnection in two-dimensional magnetohydrodynamic and Hall-magnetohydrodynamic, J. Geophys. Res., 102, 4875–4892, 1997.
Mukai, T., S. Machida, Y. Saito, M. Hirahara, T. Terasawa, N. Kaya, T. Obara, M. Ejiri, and A. Nishida, The low energy particle (LEP) experiment onboard the GEOTAIL satellite, J. Geomag. Geoelectr., 46, 669–692, 1994.
Nagai, T., I. Shinohara, M. Fujimoto, Y. Saito, M. Hoshino, S. Machida, and T. Mukai, Geotail observations of the Hall current system: Evidence of magnetic reconnection at the kinetic level, J. Geophys. Res., 2001 (in press).
Nishida, A., The Earth’s dynamical magnetotail, Space Sci. Rev., 3-4, 507–577, 2000.
Omura, Y., H. Kojima, and H. Matsumoto, Computer simulation of electrostatic solitary waves—a nonlinear model of broad-band electrostatic noise, Geophys. Res. Lett., 2923–2936, 1994.
Petschek, H. E., Magnetic field annihilation, NASA-SP, 50, 425–439, 1964.
Richardson, I. G., S. W. H. Cowley, E. W. Hones, and S. J. Bame, Jr., Plasmoid associated energetic ion bursts in the deep geomagnetic tail: properties of plasmoids and the post-plasmoid plasma sheet, J. Geophys. Res., 92, 9997–10013, 1987.
Saito, Y., T. Mukai, T. Terasawa, A. Nishida, S. Machida, S. Kokubun, and T. Yamamoto, Foreshock structure of the slow-mode shocks in the Earth’s magnetotail, J. Geophys. Res., 101, 13267–13274, 1996.
Shay, M. A., J. F. Drake, and B. N. Rogers, The scaling of collisionless, magnetic reconnection for large systems, Geophys. Res. Lett., 26, 2164–2166, 1999.
Shimada, N. and M. Hoshino, Strong electron acceleration at high Mach number shockwaves: Simulation study of electron dynamics, Astrophys. J., 543, 67–71, 2000.
Shinohara, I. and M. Hoshino, Electron heating process of the lower hybrid drift instability, Adv. Space Res., 24, 43–46, 1999.
Shinohara, I., T. Nagai, M. Fujimoto, T. Terasawa, T. Mukai, K. Tsuruda, and T. Yamamoto, Low-frequency electromagnetic turbulence observed near the substorm onset site, J. Geophys. Res., 103, 20365–20388, 1998.
Sonnerup, B. U. O., Magnetic field reconnection, in Solar System Plasma Physics, vol. III, edited by L. T. Lanzerotti, C. F. Kennel, and E. N. Parker, pp. 45–108, North-Holland, New York, 1979.
Speiser, T. W., Particle trajectories in model current sheet 1, Analytical solution, J. Geophys. Res., 70, 4219, 1965.
Terasawa, T., Hall current effect on tearing mode instability, Geophys. Res. Lett., 10, 475–478, 1983.
Terasawa, T. and A. Nishida, Simultaneous observations of relativistic electron bursts and neutral-line signatures in the magnetotail, Planet. Space Sci., 24, 855–866, 1976.
Yamada, M., Review of the recent controlled experiments for study of local reconnection physics, Earth Planets Space, 53, this issue, 509–519, 2001.
About this article
Cite this article
Hoshino, M., Hiraide, K. & Mukai, T. Strong electron heating and non-Maxwellian behavior in magnetic reconnection. Earth Planet Sp 53, 627–634 (2001). https://doi.org/10.1186/BF03353282
- Magnetic Reconnection
- Plasma Sheet
- Electron Distribution Function
- Phase Space Density
- Slow Shock