Fast Spontaneous Reconnection by the Resistively Coupled Radiative Instability

  1. Edward W. Hones Jr.
  1. R. S. Steinolfson and
  2. G. Van Hoven

Published Online: 19 MAR 2013

DOI: 10.1029/GM030p0020

Magnetic Reconnection in Space and Laboratory Plasmas

Magnetic Reconnection in Space and Laboratory Plasmas

How to Cite

Steinolfson, R. S. and Van Hoven, G. (1984) Fast Spontaneous Reconnection by the Resistively Coupled Radiative Instability, in Magnetic Reconnection in Space and Laboratory Plasmas (ed E. W. Hones), American Geophysical Union, Washington, D. C.. doi: 10.1029/GM030p0020

Author Information

  1. Department of Physics, University Of California, Irvine, California 92717

Publication History

  1. Published Online: 19 MAR 2013
  2. Published Print: 1 JAN 1984

ISBN Information

Print ISBN: 9780875900582

Online ISBN: 9781118664223

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Keywords:

  • Growth rates;
  • Radiation;
  • Spontaneous reconnection;
  • Tearing instability;
  • Thermal instability

Summary

The thermal and tearing instabilities give rise to the development of filaments and flares in sheared magnetic fields. We are investigating the coexistence of these physical mechanisms in the case when Coulomb resistivity ηc(T) couples the energy evolution to the plasma dynamics. We find that the analogue of the thermal mode, which still develops on the radiative time scale, involves significant magnetic field reconnection. When compared on the basis of equal magnitudes of nonlinear terms, the fast radiative mode provides some 30% of the reconnected magnetic flux associated with the much slower (<10−2 in growth rate for solar coronal conditions) tearing mode. This finding opens the possibility for a more rapid initiation of magnetic reconnection, with resulting energy release, than had previously been thought feasible.