AAS 197, January 2001
Session 42. Dust and Theory of ISM
Display, Tuesday, January 9, 2001, 9:30am-7:00pm, Exhibit Hall

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[42.09] Turbulent Reconnection in Partially Ionized Gas

A. Lazarian (UW-Madison), E. Vishniac (John Hopkins)

We examine the role of ambipolar diffusion and tearing modes on the reconnection rates in partially ionized gas in the presence of MHD turbulence. We show that if the percentage of neutrals exceeds a certain fraction of the order of 10 percent the reconnection gets dependent on fluid resistivity. For lower neutral content our earlier results (Lazarian & Vishniac 1999) are applicable and the reconnection rate is limited only by the extend of magnetic field wondering in the presence of turbulence. Tearing modes increase substantially the reconnection rate for gas of lower ionization, while the direct effect of ambipolar diffusion on the reconnection rates is shown to be limited unless the reconnected magnetic field lines are nearly oppositely directed. We calculate expected reconnection rates in different phases of ISM and conclude that turbulent reconnection can be an important for star formation as a means of magnetic flux removal.

The author(s) of this abstract have provided an email address for comments about the abstract: lazarian@astro.wisc.edu

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