One Dimensional Merging of Magnetic Fields with Cooling

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Session 92 -- Solar Active Regions and Solar Wind
Oral presentation, Wednesday, 11, 1995, 10:00am - 11:30am

[92.05D] One Dimensional Merging of Magnetic Fields with Cooling

V.Dorman, R.M.Kulsrud (Princeton University)

The correct understanding of the process of magnetic reconnection is very important for the proper understanding of many astrophysical situation in which magnetic field is involved.The main element in magnetic reconnection is the existence of a very thin layer over which the magnetic field reverses. In order to understand how such a layer forms spontaneously, we consider an initial one dimensional equilibrium with magnetic field going linearly through zero. Then we assume that plasma starts to cool, at a rate proportional to pressure. This throws the situation out of equilibrium, and adiabatic compression commences in order to keep the situation in equilibrium. This leads quickly to a narrow layer across which the magnetic field reverses, and in which the resistivity destroys the magnetic field. We are able to analyze the resistive evolution analytically by a boundary layer analysis. It turns out that the magnetic field is completely destroyed in a few cooling times.

Wednesday program listing