THREE-DIMENSIONAL MAGNETIC RECONNECTION UNDER LOW CHROMOSPHERIC CONDITIONS USING A TWO-FLUID WEAKLY IONIZED REACTIVE PLASMA MODEL
Abstract:Magnetic reconnection is a physical process enabling for the conversion of so-called free (non-potential) magnetic energy into kinetic and thermal energy by breaking the flux conservation law that exists for ideal (i.e. perfectly conducting) plasmas. This ubiquitous phenomenon in magnetized plasma plays an important role in the Sun’s chromosphere as likely being responsible for transient plasma phenomena such as solar flares, spicules and chromospheric jets.
In this work, we present a computational model that simulates magnetic reconnection under low chromospheric conditions using a two-fluid (plasma + neutrals) approach introduced by Leake et al. (2012). This model considers non-equilibrium partial ionization effects including ionization, recombination reactions and scattering collisions while simulating the interplay between the charged particles with the electromagnetic field. Previous 2D simulations showed that the dynamics of ions and neutrals are decoupled during the reconnection process. Also, the effect of the chemical non-equilibrium in the reconnection region plays a crucial role, yielding faster reconnection rates.
We extended these simulations to study different 3D configurations in order to analyze the impact of non-equilibrium partial ionization effects on the neutral sheet configuration(s) and the reconnection rate of more realistic geometries. The results are compared with the two-dimensional simulations.