Exploring the statistics of magnetic reconnection x-points in kinetic particle-in-cell turbulence (2017)

by | Jun 15, 2017 | magnetic reconnection, turbulence

C. C. Haggerty, T. N. Parashar, W. H. Matthaeus, M. A. Shay, Y. Yang, M. Wan, P. Wu, and S. Servidio

Abstract: Magnetic reconnection is a ubiquitous phenomenon in turbulent plasmas. It is an important part of the turbulent dynamics and heating of space and astrophysical plasmas. We examine the statistics of magnetic reconnection using a quantitative local analysis of the magnetic vector potential, previously used in magnetohydrodynamics simulations, and now employed to fully kinetic particle-in-cell (PIC) simulations. Different ways of reducing the particle noise for analysis purposes, including multiple smoothing techniques, are explored. We find that a Fourier filter applied at the Debye scale is an optimal choice for analyzing PIC data. Finally, we find a broader distribution of normalized reconnection rates compared to the MHD limit with rates as large as 0.5 but with an average of approximately 0.1.

Read the full text on Arxiv: https://arxiv.org/abs/1706.04905