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Title: Multi-Fluid and Kinetic Models of Partially Ionized Magnetic Reconnection
Contributors: Jara-Almonte, J.
Murphy, N.A.
Ji, H.
U. S. Department of Energy contract number DE-AC02-09CH11466
Keywords: Magnetic reconnection
Partially ionized plasmas
Issue Date: 2021
Publisher: Princeton Plasma Physics Laboratory, Princeton University
Abstract: Magnetic reconnection in partially ionized plasmas is a ubiquitous and important phenomena in both laboratory and astrophysical systems. Here, simulations of partially ionized magnetic reconnection with well-matched initial conditions are performed using both multi-fluid and fully-kinetic approaches. Despite similar initial conditions, the time-dependent evolution differs between the two models. In multi-fluid models, the reconnection rate locally obeys either a decoupled Sweet-Parker scaling, where neutrals are unimportant, or a fully coupled Sweet-Parker scaling, where neutrals and ions are strongly coupled, depending on the resistivity. In contrast, kinetic models show a faster reconnection rate that is proportional to the fully-coupled, bulk Alfv\'en speed, $v_A^\star$. These differences are interpreted as the result of operating in different collisional regimes. Multi-fluid simulations are found to maintain $\nu_{ni}L/v_A^\star \gtrsim 1$, where $\nu_{ni}$ is the neutral-ion collision frequency and $L$ is the time-dependent current sheet half-length. This strongly couples neutrals to the reconnection outflow, while kinetic simulations evolve to allow $\nu_{ni}L/v_A^\star < 1$, decoupling neutrals from the reconnection outflow. Differences in the way reconnection is triggered may explain these discrepancies.
Appears in Collections:Plasma Science & Technology

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