Finite Larmor radius effects in the nonlinear dynamics of collisionless magnetic reconnection

D. Del Sarto, C. Marchetto, F. Pegoraro, F. Califano

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We provide numerical evidence of the role of finite Larmor radius effects in the nonlinear dynamics of magnetic field line reconnection in high-temperature, strong guide field plasmas in a slab configuration, in the large Δ′ regime. Both ion and electron temperature effects introduce internal energy variations related to mechanical compression terms in the energy balance, thus contributing to regularize the gradients of the ion density with respect to the cold regimes. For values of the Larmor radii that are not asymptotically small, the two temperature effects are no longer interchangeable, in contrast to what is expected from linear theory, and the differences are measurable in the numerical growth rates and in the nonlinear evolution of the density layers. We interpret such differences in terms of the change, due to ion temperature effects, of the Lagrangian advection of the 'plasma invariants' that are encountered in the cold-ion, warm-electron regime. The different roles of the ion and ion-sound Larmor radii in the reconnection dynamics near the X- and O-points are evidenced by means of a local quadratic expansion of the fields. © 2011 IOP Publishing Ltd.
Original languageEnglish
Article number035008
Pages (from-to)-
JournalPlasma Physics and Controlled Fusion
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - Mar 2011
Externally publishedYes


All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Nuclear Energy and Engineering
  • Condensed Matter Physics

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