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地球与行星物理

ISSN  2096-3955

CN  10-1502/P

Citation: Huang, H. T., Yu, Y. Q., Cao, J. B., Dai, L. and Wang, R. S. (2021). On the ion distributions at the separatrices during symmetric magnetic reconnection. Earth Planet. Phys., 5(2), 205–217doi: 10.26464/epp2021019

2021, 5(2): 205-217. doi: 10.26464/epp2021019

SPACE PHYSICS

On the ion distributions at the separatrices during symmetric magnetic reconnection

1. 

School of Space and Environment, Beihang University, Beijing 100191, China

2. 

Key Laboratory of Space Environment Monitoring and Information Processing, Ministry of Industry and Information Technology, Beijing 100191, China

3. 

State Key Laboratory of Space Weather, National Space Science Center, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing 100190, China

4. 

Key Laboratory of Geospace Environment, Department of Geophysics and Planetary Science, University of Science and Technology of China, Hefei 230026, China

Corresponding author: YiQun Yu, yiqunyu17@gmail.com

Received Date: 2020-09-06
Web Publishing Date: 2021-03-01

A particle-in-cell simulation of symmetric reconnection with zero guide field is carried out to understand the dynamics of ions along the separatrices. Through the investigation of ion velocity distributions at different moments and locations along the separatrices, a typical distribution is found: two counter-streaming populations in the perpendicular direction, with another two populations accelerated into distinct energy levels in the parallel direction. Backward tracing of ions reveals that the counter-streaming cores are mostly composed of ions initially located at the same side of the separatrix, while the other two accelerated populations in the parallel direction are composed of ions crossing through the neutral sheet. Through analysis of energy conversion of these populations, it is found that the ion energization along the separatrix is attributable primarily to the Hall electric field, while that in the region between the two separatrices is caused primarily by the induced reconnection electric field. For the counter-streaming population, the low-energy ions that cross the separatrix twice are affected by both Hall and reconnection electric fields, while the high-energy ions that directly enter the separatrix from the unperturbed plasma are energized mainly by the Hall electric field. For the two energized populations in the parallel direction, the ions with lower-energy are accelerated mainly by the in-plane electric field and the Hall electric field on the opposite side of the separatrix, whereas the ions with higher-energy not only experience the same energization process but also are constantly accelerated by the reconnection electric field.

Key words: magnetic reconnection; particle-in-cell simulation; energetic particles

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On the ion distributions at the separatrices during symmetric magnetic reconnection

HongTao Huang, YiQun Yu, JinBin Cao, Lei Dai, RongSheng Wang