Three-dimensional particle simulations of collisionless magnetic reconnection
Article first published online: 10 SEP 2002
Copyright 2002 by the American Geophysical Union.
Journal of Geophysical Research: Space Physics (1978–2012)
Volume 107, Issue A9, pages SMP 6-1–SMP 6-9, September 2002
How to Cite
Three-dimensional particle simulations of collisionless magnetic reconnection, J. Geophys. Res., 107(A9), 1230, doi:10.1029/2001JA000287, 2002., , , , , and ,
- Issue published online: 10 SEP 2002
- Article first published online: 10 SEP 2002
- Manuscript Accepted: 7 DEC 2001
- Manuscript Revised: 4 DEC 2001
- Manuscript Received: 30 AUG 2001
- magnetic reconnection instabilities
 Three-dimensional (3-D) particle simulations are performed in a double current layer configuration to investigate the stability of current sheets and boundary layers which develop during magnetic reconnection of antiparallel fields in collisionless plasma. The strong current layers that develop near the x line remain surprisingly laminar, with no evidence of turbulence and associated anomalous resistivity or viscosity. Neither the electron shear flow instabilities nor kink-like instabilities, which have been observed in these current layers in earlier simulations, are present. The sharp boundary layers which form between the inflow and outflow regions downstream of the x line are unstable to the lower hybrid drift instability. The associated fluctuations, however, do not strongly impact the rate of reconnection. As a consequence, magnetic reconnection in the 3-D system remains nearly two dimensional.