Nongyrotropic electrons in guide field reconnection.

Thursday, 17 December 2015
Poster Hall (Moscone South)
Deirdre E Wendel1, Michael Hesse1, Mark L Adrian1, Naoki Bessho2 and Maria M Kuznetsova1, (1)NASA Goddard Space Flight Center, Greenbelt, MD, United States, (2)University of Maryland College Park, College Park, MD, United States
We apply a scalar measure of nongyrotropy to the electron pressure tensor in a 2D PIC simulation of guide field reconnection and assess the corresponding electron distributions and the forces that account for the nongyrotropy. The scalar measure reveals that the nongyrotropy lies in bands that straddle the electron diffusion region and the separatrices, in the same regions where there are parallel electric fields. Analysis of electron distributions and fields shows that the nongyrotropy along the inflow and outflow separatrices emerges as a result of multiple populations of electrons influenced differently by large and small-scale parallel electric fields and by gradients in the electric field. Some of the electron populations are also demagnetized along the separatrices as a result of their interactions with the nonideal electric field. The relevant parallel electric fields include large-scale potential ramps emanating from the x-line and sub-ion inertial scale bipolar electron holes. Particle tracing of electrons from nongyrotropic populations along the inflows and outflows shows that the striated structure of nongyrotropy corresponds to electrons arriving from different source regions. We also show that the relevant parallel electric fields receive important contributions not only from the nongyrotropic portion of the electron pressure tensor, but from electron spatial and temporal inertial terms as well.