On the role of separatrix instabilities in heating the reconnection outflow region

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Title: On the role of separatrix instabilities in heating the reconnection outflow region
Authors: Hesse, M
Norgren, C
Tenfjord, P
Burch, JL
Liu, YH
Chen, LJ
Bessho, N
Wang, S
Nakamura, R
Eastwood, JP
Hoshino, M
Torbert, RB
Ergun, RE
Item Type: Journal Article
Abstract: A study of the role microinstabilities at the reconnection separatrix can play in heating the electrons during the transition from inflow to outflow is being presented. We find that very strong flow shears at the separatrix layer lead to counterstreaming electron distributions in the region around the separatrix, which become unstable to a beam-type instability. Similar to what has been seen in earlier research, the ensuing instability leads to the formation of propagating electrostatic solitons. We show here that this region of strong electrostatic turbulence is the predominant electron heating site when transiting from inflow to outflow. The heating is the result of heating generated by electrostatic turbulence driven by overlapping beams, and its macroscopic effect is a quasi-viscous contribution to the overall electron energy balance. We suggest that instabilities at the separatrix can play a key role in the overall electron energy balance in magnetic reconnection.
Issue Date: 1-Dec-2018
Date of Acceptance: 14-Nov-2018
URI: http://hdl.handle.net/10044/1/65462
DOI: https://dx.doi.org/10.1063/1.5054100
ISSN: 1070-664X
Publisher: AIP Publishing
Journal / Book Title: Physics of Plasmas
Volume: 25
Issue: 12
Copyright Statement: © 2018 The Author(s). All article content, except where otherwise noted, is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution (CC BY) license (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/).
Sponsor/Funder: Science and Technology Facilities Council (STFC)
Funder's Grant Number: ST/N000692/1
Keywords: 0202 Atomic, Molecular, Nuclear, Particle And Plasma Physics
0201 Astronomical And Space Sciences
0203 Classical Physics
Fluids & Plasmas
Publication Status: Published
Article Number: 122902
Online Publication Date: 2018-12-12
Appears in Collections:Space and Atmospheric Physics
Faculty of Natural Sciences

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