EAS Publications Series
Volume 30, 2008Spanish Relativity Meeting - Encuentros Relativistas Españoles , ERE2007: Relativistic Astrophysics and Cosmology
|Page(s)||389 - 389|
|Published online||30 September 2008|
A. Oscoz, E. Mediavilla and M. Serra-Ricart (eds)
EAS Publications Series, 30 (2008) 389-389
Energy balance in the course of relativistic magnetic reconnection
St.-Petersburg State University, Ulyanovskaya 1,
198504, St.-Petersburg, Russia
Magnetic reconnection plays an important role in space physics, for example, in Earth's magnetosphere, on the Sun, in the magnetospheres of magnetars, pulsars, black holes, etc. Reconnection starts with abrupt drop of plasma conductivity in a small part of a current sheet, so called, diffusion region. As a result electric field is generated and is transferred by relativistic MHD surface wave from the diffusion region to the current sheet which leads to decay of the disturbed part of the current sheet into a system of slow shocks. Plasma is highly accelerated and heated at the shock fronts forming outflow region with relativistic plasma jets and weak magnetic field (Semenov & Bernikov 1991). At some stage the reconnection process has to switch-off, then outflow regions must detach from the site where the electric field was initiated, and propagate along the current sheet as solitary waves (Tolstykh et al. 2005). The energy balance of relativistic reconnection is investigated in details. It is shown that magnetic and thermal energy from the inflow region is spent for acceleration and heating of the plasma in jets. It is interesting that the temperature of the plasma in the wake of the propagating outflow regions drops after each pulse of reconnection. This differ from usual explosion which heats the plasma behind the shock front (Tolstykh et al. 2007).
© EAS, EDP Sciences, 2008
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