Magnetic X-Points, Islands Coalescence and Intense Plasma Heating

  1. S.-I. Akasofu and
  2. J.R. Kan
  1. J. N. Leboeuf1,
  2. T. Tajima2 and
  3. J. M. Dawson1

Published Online: 26 MAR 2013

DOI: 10.1029/GM025p0337

Physics of Auroral Arc Formation

Physics of Auroral Arc Formation

How to Cite

Leboeuf, J. N., Tajima, T. and Dawson, J. M. (1981) Magnetic X-Points, Islands Coalescence and Intense Plasma Heating, in Physics of Auroral Arc Formation (eds S.-I. Akasofu and J.R. Kan), American Geophysical Union, Washington, D. C.. doi: 10.1029/GM025p0337

Author Information

  1. 1

    Department of Physics, University of California, Los Angeles, CA 90024

  2. 2

    Institute for Fusion Studies, University of Texas, Austin, TX 78712

Publication History

  1. Published Online: 26 MAR 2013
  2. Published Print: 1 JAN 1981

ISBN Information

Print ISBN: 9780875900506

Online ISBN: 9781118664360

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Keywords:

  • Auroras—Addresses, essays, lectures

Summary

Release of a large amount of magnetic energy and intense plasma heating take place and an extremely hot ion tail is created, if and when tearing instability induced magnetic islands merge, according to fully self-consistent particle simulations. Although the tearing instability exponentiates the kinetic energy, it does not give rise to intense heating because of the small amount of magnetic energy available by reconnection. The stability and topology of the x-point depend on the crossing angle of the field lines at the x.