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Session 15 - Structure and Collapse of Molecular Clouds: Theory.
Display session, Monday, January 13
Metropolitan Ballroom,

[15.01] Magnetic Reconnection in One-Dimensional Nonhomogeneous, Self-Gravitating Clouds

M. Fatuzzo (Wesleyan College), F. C. Adams (U. of Michigan)

We study magnetic field line reconnection in nonhomogeneous, self-gravitating, magnetic fluids representative of molecular cloud environments and focus on the issues of cloud dynamics and topology. Since the general treatment of this topic is burdened by a complex mathematical formalism, we consider here a simplifying geometry which allows an analytical treatment of the problem. In particular, we study magnetic reconnection for a one-dimensional slab threaded by a magnetic field with both a sheared and nonsheared component. We find a class of steady-state solutions in the ideal MHD limit and perform a perturbation analysis to determine the characteristics of tearing mode instabilities. We also determine the effects of field line slipping on the magnetic reconnection rate. We consider the implication of our results to molecular cloud dynamics and topology.

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