Magnetic Reconnection and Drift Wave Turbulence

Monday, 15 December 2014
Lora Price, James Frederick Drake and Marc M Swisdak, University of Maryland College Park, College Park, MD, United States
An important feature in collisionless magnetic reconnection is the development of sharp discontinuities along the separatrices bounding the Alfvenic outflow. The typical scale length of these features is ρs (the Larmor radius based on the sound speed) for guide field reconnection. Temperature gradients in the inflowing plasma (as might be found in the magnetopause) can lead to instabilities at these separatrices, specifically drift wave turbulence (of which the lower hybrid drift instability is a special case). We present standalone 2D and 3D PIC simulations of drift wave turbulence to investigate scaling properties and growth rates. Simulations of the lower hybrid drift instability will also be presented. Further investigations of the relative importance of drift wave turbulence in the development of reconnection will also be considered.