Study of the dissipation scale in collisionless plasma turbulence

Francesco Califano
Dipartimento di Fisica "E. Fermi", Università di Pisa, Pisa, Italy

F. Califano, G. Arrò Dipartimento di Fisica "E. Fermi", Università di Pisa, Pisa, Italy S.S. Cerri Department of Astrophysical Sciences, Princeton University, Princeton, 08544 USA

It has been observed experimentally the occurrence of a new process, namely electron-only reconnection, where the reconnection dynamics is driven only by electrons (e-rec-only) [1]. Recently, a theoretical study in the context of plasma magnetized turbulence has given evidence about the possibility to drive e-rec-only by fluctuations at scales of the order of the ion scale length [2] (see Faganello abstract, this Conference). By considering two Vlasov simulations of magnetized plasma turbulence where “standard” reconnection or e-rec-only separately occur, we make a compared study of the turbulence statistical properties, in particular of the structure functions in order to separate the contribution of the ions at the so-called dissipative scale. We found, in agreement with experimental [3] and theoretical [4] studies a non-Gaussian statistics in both the fluid and sub-ion range with a transition from an intermittent to a self-similar behavior. Our main finding here is that the transition is observed at a scale length of the order of several de instead that around di independently from the ion dynamics. The transition seems to be driven mainly by the small scale electron dynamics around the reconnection structures where the electron inertial terms become non-negligible.

[1] T.D. Phan et al., Electron magnetic reconnection without ion coupling in Earth’s turbulent magnetosheath, Nature, 2018

[2] F. Califano, S.S. Cerri, M. Faganello, D. Laveder, M. W. Kunz, Electron-only magnetic reconnection in plasma turbulence, Astrophys. Journal, submitted

[3] Kiyani et al., Global Scale-Invariant Dissipation in Collisionless Plasma Turbulence, Phys. Rev. Lett., 2009

[4] E. Leonardis et al., Multifractal scaling and intermittency in hybrid Vlasov-Maxwell simulations of plasma turbulence, Physics of Plasmas, 2016

  • This contribution has received funding from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under grant agreement No 776262 (AIDA,