In this paper, we analyze one reconnection event observed by the Magnetospheric Multiscale (MMS) mission at the earth’s magnetopause. In this event, the spacecraft crossed the reconnection current sheet from the magnetospheric side to the magnetosheath side, and whistler waves were observed on both the magnetospheric and magnetosheath sides. On the magnetospheric side, the whistler waves propagated quasi-parallel to the magnetic field and toward the X-line, while on the magnetosheath side they propagated almost anti-parallel to the magnetic field and away from the X-line. Associated with the enhancement of the whistler waves, we find that the fluxes of energetic electrons are concentrated around the pitch angle 90° when their energies are higher than the minimum energy that is necessary for the resonant interactions between the energetic electrons and whistler waves. This observation provides in situ observational evidence of resonant interactions between energetic electrons and whistler waves in the magnetic reconnection.
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.