Francesco Califano
Francesco Califano

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,
Daniel Gómez
Daniel Gómez

Two-fluid plasmas: turbulence, reconnection and shocks

Daniel Gómez
Instituto de Astronomía y Física del Espacio, UBA-CONICET, Buenos Aires, Argentina

In space plasmas, turbulence, magnetic reconnection and shock propagation are ubiquitous physical processes that have been traditionally studied using a one-fluid resistive MHD description.

Within the theoretical framework of two-fluid MHD, we retain the effects of the Hall current and electron inertia. Also, this description brings two new spatial scales into play, such as the ion and electron inertial lengths. We perform numerical simulations of the two-fluid equations and study the physical processes arising at sub-ion and even electron scales both three important phenomena in space plasmas: turbulence, magnetic reconnection and perpendicular shocks.

When a stationary turbulent regime is established, our simulations show changes in the slope of the energy power spectrum at the ion and electron inertial lengths, in agreement with the slopes obtained using dimensional analysis. Using non-dissipative two-fluid simulations, we confirm that magnetic reconnection arises only when the effects of electron inertia are retained. In a stationary regime, we obtain that the reconnection rate is proportional to the ion inertial length, as it also emerges from a scaling law derived from dimensional arguments. Finally, using 1D two-fluid simulations, we show the generation of fast-mode perpendicular shocks with a thickness of a few electron inertial lengths.