Particle acceleration due to coronal non-null magnetic reconnection

James William Threlfall, Thomas Neukirch, Clare Elizabeth Parnell

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6 Citations (Scopus)
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Various topological features, for example magnetic null-points and separators, have been inferred as likely sites of magnetic reconnection and particle acceleration in the solar atmosphere. In fact, magnetic reconnection is not constrained to solely take place at or near such topological features and may also take place in the absence of such features. Studies of particle acceleration using non-topological reconnection experiments embedded in the solar atmosphere are uncommon. We aim to investigate and characterise particle behaviour in a model of magnetic reconnection which causes an arcade of solar coronal magnetic field to twist and form an erupting flux rope, crucially in the absence of any common topological features where reconnection is often thought to occur. We use a numerical scheme which evolves the gyro-averaged orbit equations of single electrons and protons in time and space, and simulate the gyromotion of particles in a fully analytical global field model. We observe and discuss how the magnetic and electric fields of the model and the initial conditions of each orbit may lead to acceleration of protons and electrons up to 2 MeV in energy (depending on model parameters). We describe the morphology of time-dependent acceleration and impact sites for each particle species and compare our findings to those recovered by topologically based studies of three-dimensional (3D) reconnection and particle acceleration. We also broadly compare aspects of our findings to general observational features typically seen during two-ribbon flare events.
Original languageEnglish
Article number45
Number of pages19
JournalSolar Physics
Early online date14 Mar 2017
Publication statusPublished - Mar 2017


  • Energetic particles, acceleration
  • Magnetic reconnection, observational signatures
  • Magnetic reconnection, theory
  • Magnetic fields, corona
  • Flares, relation to magnetic field


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