Particle-in-Cell Simulations of Collisionless Magnetic Reconnection with a Non-Uniform Guide Field
Structure and Dynamics of Magnetic Fields in the Sun, Solar System and Beyond
Fiona Wilson
University of St Andrews
Thomas Neukirch (University of St Andrews), Michael Hesse (NASA Goddard Space Flight Center), M. G. Harrison (University of St Andrews), C. R. Stark (Abertay University)
Results are presented of a first study of collisionless magnetic reconnection starting from a recently found exact nonlinear force-free Vlasov-Maxwell equilibrium. The initial state has a Harris sheet magnetic field profile in one direction and a non-uniform guide field in a second direction, resulting in a spatially constant magnetic field strength as well as a constant initial plasma density and plasma pressure. It is found that the reconnection process initially resembles guide field reconnection, but that a gradual transition to anti-parallel reconnection happens as the system evolves. The time evolution of a number of plasma parameters is investigated, and the results are compared with simulations starting from a Harris sheet equilibrium and a Harris sheet plus constant guide field equilibrium.


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