Shear-Driven Reconnection in Kinetic Models

Thursday, 17 December 2015
Poster Hall (Moscone South)
Carrie Black1, Spiro K Antiochos2, Kai Germaschewski3, Judith T Karpen2, C Richard DeVore2 and Naoki Bessho4, (1)Self Employed, Washington, DC, United States, (2)NASA Goddard Space Flight Center, Greenbelt, MD, United States, (3)University of New Hampshire Main Campus, Durham, NH, United States, (4)University of Maryland College Park, College Park, MD, United States
The explosive energy release in solar eruptive phenomena is believed to be due to magnetic reconnection. In the standard model for coronal mass ejections (CME) and/or solar flares, the free energy for the event resides in the strongly sheared magnetic field of a filament channel. The pre-eruption force balance consists of an upward force due to the magnetic pressure of the sheared field countered by a downward tension due to overlying unsheared field. Magnetic reconnection disrupts this force balance; therefore, it is critical for understanding CME/flare initiation, to model the onset of reconnection driven by the build-up of magnetic shear. In MHD simulations, the application of a magnetic-field shear is a trivial matter. However, kinetic effects are dominant in the diffusion region and thus, it is important to examine this process with PIC simulations as well. The implementation of such a driver in PIC methods is challenging, however, and indicates the necessity of a true multiscale model for such processes in the solar environment. The field must be sheared self-consistently and indirectly to prevent the generation of waves that destroy the desired system. Plasma instabilities can arise nonetheless. In the work presented here, we show that we can control this instability and generate a predicted out-of-plane magnetic flux. This material is based upon work supported by the National Science Foundation under Award No. AGS-1331356.