Skip to main content Accessibility help
×
Home

On Fast Magnetic Field Reconnection

  • E. R. Priest (a1) and A. M. Soward (a2)

Abstract

The first model for ‘fast’ magnetic field reconnection at speeds comparable with the Alfvén speed was put forward by Petschek (1964). It involves one shock wave in each quadrant radiating from a central diffusion region and leads to a maximum reconnection rate dependent on the electrical conductivity but typically of order 10-1 or 10-2 of the Alfvén speed. Sonnerup (1970) and Yeh and Axford (1970) then looked for similarity solutions of the magnetohydrodynamic equations, valid at large distances from the diffusion region; by contrast with Petschek's analysis, their models have two waves in each quadrant and produce no sub-Alfvénic limit on the reconnection rate.

Our approach has been, like Yeh and Axford, to look for solutions valid far from the diffusion region, but we allow only one wave in each quadrant, since the second is externally generated and so unphysical for astrophysical applications. The result is a model which qualitatively supports Petschek's picture; in fact it can be regarded as putting Petschek's model on a firm mathematical basis. The differences are that the shock waves are curved rather than straight and the maximum reconnection rate is typically a half of what Petschek gave. The paper is a summary of a much larger one (Soward and Priest, 1976).

    • Send article to Kindle

      To send this article to your Kindle, first ensure no-reply@cambridge.org is added to your Approved Personal Document E-mail List under your Personal Document Settings on the Manage Your Content and Devices page of your Amazon account. Then enter the ‘name’ part of your Kindle email address below. Find out more about sending to your Kindle. Find out more about sending to your Kindle.

      Note you can select to send to either the @free.kindle.com or @kindle.com variations. ‘@free.kindle.com’ emails are free but can only be sent to your device when it is connected to wi-fi. ‘@kindle.com’ emails can be delivered even when you are not connected to wi-fi, but note that service fees apply.

      Find out more about the Kindle Personal Document Service.

      On Fast Magnetic Field Reconnection
      Available formats
      ×

      Send article to Dropbox

      To send this article to your Dropbox account, please select one or more formats and confirm that you agree to abide by our usage policies. If this is the first time you use this feature, you will be asked to authorise Cambridge Core to connect with your <service> account. Find out more about sending content to Dropbox.

      On Fast Magnetic Field Reconnection
      Available formats
      ×

      Send article to Google Drive

      To send this article to your Google Drive account, please select one or more formats and confirm that you agree to abide by our usage policies. If this is the first time you use this feature, you will be asked to authorise Cambridge Core to connect with your <service> account. Find out more about sending content to Google Drive.

      On Fast Magnetic Field Reconnection
      Available formats
      ×

Copyright

References

Hide All
Coppi, B. and Friedland, A. B.: 1971, Astrophys. J. 169, 379.
Cowley, S. W. H.: 1974a, J. Plasma Phys. 12, 319.
Cowley, S. W. H.: 1974b, J. Plasma Phys. 12, 341.
Dungey, J. W.: 1953, Phil. Mag. 44, 725.
Green, R. M. and Sweet, P. A.: 1966, Astrophys. J. 147, 1153.
Parker, E. N.: 1963, Astrophys. J. Suppl. Ser. 77, 8, 177.
Petschek, H. E.: 1964, AAS-NASA Symposium on the Physics of Solar Flares (ed. Hess, W. N.), NASA SP-50, p. 425.
Priest, E. R.: 1972, Monthly Notices Roy. Astron. Soc. 159, 389.
Priest, E. R. and Cowley, S. W. H.: 1975, J. Plasma Phys. 14, 271.
Roberts, B. and Priest, E. R.: 1975, J. Plasma Phys. 14, 417.
Sonnerup, B. U. O.: 1970, J. Plasma Phys. 4, 161.
Soward, A. M. and Priest, E. R.: 1976, submitted for publication.
Sweet, P. A.: 1958, Nuovo Cimento Suppl. 8, Ser. X, 188.
Vasyliunas, V. M.: 1975, Rev. Geophys. Space Phys: 13, 303.
Yeh, T. and Axford, W. I.: 1970, J. Plasma Phys. 4, 207.
Yeh, T. and Dryer, M.: 1973, Astrophys. J. 182, 301.

On Fast Magnetic Field Reconnection

  • E. R. Priest (a1) and A. M. Soward (a2)

Metrics

Full text views

Total number of HTML views: 0
Total number of PDF views: 0 *
Loading metrics...

Abstract views

Total abstract views: 0 *
Loading metrics...

* Views captured on Cambridge Core between <date>. This data will be updated every 24 hours.

Usage data cannot currently be displayed