Skip to main content

Advertisement

We’d like to understand how you use our websites in order to improve them. Register your interest.

Strong electron heating and non-Maxwellian behavior in magnetic reconnection

Abstract

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.

References

  1. 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.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  2. Davidson, R. C., N. A. Krall, K. Papadopoulos, and R. Shanny, Phys. Rev. Lett., 24, 579–582, 1970.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  3. 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.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  4. 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.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  5. Harris, E. G., On a plasma sheath separating regions of oppositely directed magnetic field, Nuovo Cimento, 23, 115, 1962.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  6. Hesse, M., K. Schindler, J. Birn, and M. Kuzunetsova, The diffusion region in collisionless magnetic reconnection, Phys. Plasmas, 6, 1781–1795, 1999.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  7. 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.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  8. 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.

  9. 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.

    Google Scholar 

  10. Hoshino, M., T. Mukai, T. Terasawa, and I. Shinohara, Suprathermal electron acceleration in magnetic reconnection, J. Geophys. Res., 2001 (in press).

    Google Scholar 

  11. 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.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  12. Lottermoser, R.-F. and M. Scholer, Magnetic reconnection in two-dimensional magnetohydrodynamic and Hall-magnetohydrodynamic, J. Geophys. Res., 102, 4875–4892, 1997.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  13. 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.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  14. 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).

  15. Nishida, A., The Earth’s dynamical magnetotail, Space Sci. Rev., 3-4, 507–577, 2000.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  16. 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.

  17. Petschek, H. E., Magnetic field annihilation, NASA-SP, 50, 425–439, 1964.

    Google Scholar 

  18. 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.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  19. 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.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  20. 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.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  21. Shimada, N. and M. Hoshino, Strong electron acceleration at high Mach number shockwaves: Simulation study of electron dynamics, Astrophys. J., 543, 67–71, 2000.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  22. Shinohara, I. and M. Hoshino, Electron heating process of the lower hybrid drift instability, Adv. Space Res., 24, 43–46, 1999.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  23. 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.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  24. 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.

    Google Scholar 

  25. Speiser, T. W., Particle trajectories in model current sheet 1, Analytical solution, J. Geophys. Res., 70, 4219, 1965.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  26. Terasawa, T., Hall current effect on tearing mode instability, Geophys. Res. Lett., 10, 475–478, 1983.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  27. 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.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  28. Yamada, M., Review of the recent controlled experiments for study of local reconnection physics, Earth Planets Space, 53, this issue, 509–519, 2001.

    Article  Google Scholar 

Download references

Author information

Affiliations

Authors

Corresponding author

Correspondence to M. Hoshino.

Rights and permissions

Reprints and Permissions

About this article

Verify currency and authenticity via CrossMark

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

Download citation

Keywords

  • Magnetic Reconnection
  • Plasma Sheet
  • Electron Distribution Function
  • Phase Space Density
  • Slow Shock