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Exact Vlasov-Maxwell equilibria for asymmetric current sheets

Allanson, O., Wilson, F., Neukirch, T., Liu, Y.-H. and Hodgson, J. D. B. (2017) Exact Vlasov-Maxwell equilibria for asymmetric current sheets. Geophysical Research Letters, 44 (17). pp. 8685-8695. ISSN 0094-8276

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To link to this item DOI: 10.1002/2017GL074168


The NASA Magnetospheric Multiscale mission has made in situ diffusion region and kinetic-scale resolution measurements of asymmetric magnetic reconnection for the first time, in the Earth's magnetopause. The principal theoretical tool currently used to model collisionless asymmetric reconnection is particle-in-cell simulations. Many particle-in-cell simulations of asymmetric collisionless reconnection start from an asymmetric Harris-type magnetic field but with distribution functions that are not exact equilibrium solutions of the Vlasov equation. We present new and exact equilibrium solutions of the Vlasov-Maxwell system that are self-consistent with one-dimensional asymmetric current sheets, with an asymmetric Harris-type magnetic field profile, plus a constant nonzero guide field. The distribution functions can be represented as a combination of four shifted Maxwellian distribution functions. This equilibrium describes a magnetic field configuration with more freedom than the previously known exact solution and has different bulk flow properties.

Item Type:Article
Divisions:Science > School of Mathematical, Physical and Computational Sciences > Department of Meteorology
ID Code:72375
Publisher:American Geophysical Union


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