Evolution of magnetic flux in an isolated reconnection process

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A realistic notion of magnetic reconnection is essential to understand the dynamics of magnetic fields in plasmas. Therefore a three-dimensional reconnection process is modeled in a region of nonvanishing magnetic field and is analyzed with respect to the way in which the connection of magnetic flux is changed. The process is localized in space in the sense that the diffusion region is limited to a region of finite radius in an otherwise ideal plasma. A kinematic, stationary model is presented, which allows for analytical solutions. Aside from the well-known flipping of magnetic flux in the reconnection process, the localization requires additional features which were not present in previous two- and 2.5-dimensional models. In particular, rotational plasma flows above and below the diffusion region are found, which substantially modify the process. (C) 2003 American Institute of Physics.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2712-2721
Number of pages10
JournalPhysics of Plasmas
Issue number7
Publication statusPublished - Jul 2003




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