Shock formation and structure in magnetic reconnection with a streaming flow.
ABSTRACT: The features of magnetic reconnection with a streaming flow have been investigated on the basis of compressible resistive magnetohydrodynamic (MHD) model. The super-Alfvenic streaming flow largely enhances magnetic reconnection. The maximum reconnection rate is almost four times larger with super-Alfvenic streaming flow than sub-Alfvénic streaming flow. In the nonlinear stage, it is found that there is a pair of shocks observed in the inflow region, which are manifested to be slow shocks for sub-Alfvénic streaming flow, and fast shocks for super-Alfvénic streaming flow. The quasi-period oscillation of reconnection rates in the decaying phase for super-Alfvénic streaming flow is resulted from the different drifting velocities of the shock and the X point.
Project description:Magnetic reconnection is believed to be the main driver to transport solar wind into the Earth's magnetosphere when the magnetopause features a large magnetic shear. However, even when the magnetic shear is too small for spontaneous reconnection, the Kelvin-Helmholtz instability driven by a super-Alfvénic velocity shear is expected to facilitate the transport. Although previous kinetic simulations have demonstrated that the non-linear vortex flows from the Kelvin-Helmholtz instability gives rise to vortex-induced reconnection and resulting plasma transport, the system sizes of these simulations were too small to allow the reconnection to evolve much beyond the electron scale as recently observed by the Magnetospheric Multiscale (MMS) spacecraft. Here, based on a large-scale kinetic simulation and its comparison with MMS observations, we show for the first time that ion-scale jets from vortex-induced reconnection rapidly decay through self-generated turbulence, leading to a mass transfer rate nearly one order higher than previous expectations for the Kelvin-Helmholtz instability.
Project description:Magnetic reconnection is a fundamental plasma process, by which magnetic energy is explosively released in the current sheet to energize charged particles and to create bi-directional Alfvénic plasma jets. Numerical simulations predicted that evolution of the reconnecting current sheet is dominated by formation and interaction of magnetic flux ropes, which finally leads to turbulence. Accordingly, most volume of the reconnecting current sheet is occupied by the ropes, and energy dissipation occurs via multiple relevant mechanisms, e.g., the parallel electric field, the rope coalescence and the rope contraction. As an essential element of the reconnecting current sheet, however, how these ropes evolve has been elusive. Here, we present direct evidence of secondary reconnection in the filamentary currents within the ropes. The observations indicate that secondary reconnection can make a significant contribution to energy conversion in the kinetic scale during turbulent reconnection.
Project description:Magnetic reconnections play essential roles in space, astrophysical, and laboratory plasmas, where the anti-parallel magnetic field components re-connect and the magnetic energy is converted to the plasma energy as Alfvénic out flows. Although the electron dynamics is considered to be essential, it is highly challenging to observe electron scale reconnections. Here we show the experimental results on an electron scale reconnection driven by the electron dynamics in laser-produced plasmas. We apply a weak-external magnetic field in the direction perpendicular to the plasma propagation, where the magnetic field is directly coupled with only the electrons but not for the ions. Since the kinetic pressure of plasma is much larger than the magnetic pressure, the magnetic field is distorted and locally anti-parallel. We observe plasma collimations, cusp and plasmoid like features with optical diagnostics. The plasmoid propagates at the electron Alfvén velocity, indicating a reconnection driven by the electron dynamics.
Project description:Magnetic reconnection is a fundamental process of topology change and energy release, taking place in plasmas on the Sun, in space, in astrophysical objects and in the laboratory. However, observational evidence has been relatively rare and typically only partial. Here we present evidence of fast reconnection in a solar filament eruption using high-resolution H-alpha images from the New Vacuum Solar Telescope, supplemented by extreme ultraviolet observations. The reconnection is seen to occur between a set of ambient chromospheric fibrils and the filament itself. This allows for the relaxation of magnetic tension in the filament by an untwisting motion, demonstrating a flux rope structure. The topology change and untwisting are also found through nonlinear force-free field modelling of the active region in combination with magnetohydrodynamic simulation. These results demonstrate a new role for reconnection in solar eruptions: the release of magnetic twist.
Project description:On 5 May 2017, MMS observed a crater-type flux rope on the dawnside tailward magnetopause with fluctuations. The boundary-normal analysis shows that the fluctuations can be attributed to nonlinear Kelvin-Helmholtz (KH) waves. Reconnection signatures such as flow reversals and Joule dissipation were identified at the leading and trailing edges of the flux rope. In particular, strong northward electron jets observed at the trailing edge indicated midlatitude reconnection associated with the 3-D structure of the KH vortex. The scale size of the flux rope, together with reconnection signatures, strongly supports the interpretation that the flux rope was generated locally by KH vortex-induced reconnection. The center of the flux rope also displayed signatures of guide-field reconnection (out-of-plane electron jets, parallel electron heating, and Joule dissipation). These signatures indicate that an interface between two interlinked flux tubes was undergoing interaction, causing a local magnetic depression, resulting in an M-shaped crater flux rope, as supported by reconstruction.
Project description:Solar energetic particles are an integral part of the physical processes related with space weather. We present a review for the acceleration mechanisms related to the explosive phenomena (flares and/or coronal mass ejections, CMEs) inside the solar corona. For more than 40 years, the main two-dimensional cartoon representing our understanding of the explosive phenomena inside the solar corona remained almost unchanged. The acceleration mechanisms related to solar flares and CMEs also remained unchanged and were part of the same cartoon. In this review, we revise the standard cartoon and present evidence from recent global magnetohydrodynamic simulations that support the argument that explosive phenomena will lead to the spontaneous formation of current sheets in different parts of the erupting magnetic structure. The evolution of the large-scale current sheets and their fragmentation will lead to strong turbulence and turbulent reconnection during solar flares and turbulent shocks. In other words, the acceleration mechanism in flares and CME-driven shocks may be the same, and their difference will be the overall magnetic topology, the ambient plasma parameters, and the duration of the unstable driver. This article is part of the theme issue 'Solar eruptions and their space weather impact'.
Project description:Many cells exhibit large-scale active circulation of their entire fluid contents, a process termed cytoplasmic streaming. This phenomenon is particularly prevalent in plant cells, often presenting strikingly regimented flow patterns. The driving mechanism in such cells is known: myosin-coated organelles entrain cytoplasm as they process along actin filament bundles fixed at the periphery. Still unknown, however, is the developmental process that constructs the well-ordered actin configurations required for coherent cell-scale flow. Previous experimental works on streaming regeneration in cells of Characean algae, whose longitudinal flow is perhaps the most regimented of all, hint at an autonomous process of microfilament self-organization driving the formation of streaming patterns during morphogenesis. Working from first principles, we propose a robust model of streaming emergence that combines motor dynamics with both microscopic and macroscopic hydrodynamics to explain how several independent processes, each ineffectual on its own, can reinforce to ultimately develop the patterns of streaming observed in the Characeae and other streaming species.
Project description:A green ciliate Paramecium bursaria, bearing several hundreds of endosymbiotic algae, demonstrates rotational microtubule-based cytoplasmic streaming, in which cytoplasmic granules and endosymbiotic algae flow in a constant direction. However, its physiological significance is still unknown. We investigated physiological roles of cytoplasmic streaming in P. bursaria through host cell cycle using video-microscopy. Here, we found that cytoplasmic streaming was arrested in dividing green paramecia and the endosymbiotic algae proliferated only during the arrest of cytoplasmic streaming. Interestingly, arrest of cytoplasmic streaming with pressure or a microtubule drug also induced proliferation of endosymbiotic algae independently of host cell cycle. Thus, cytoplasmic streaming may control the algal proliferation in P. bursaria. Furthermore, confocal microscopic observation revealed that a division septum was formed in the constricted area of a dividing paramecium, producing arrest of cytoplasmic streaming. This is a first report to suggest that cytoplasmic streaming controls proliferation of eukaryotic cells.
Project description:Oscillating sharp edges have been employed to achieve rapid and homogeneous mixing in microchannels using acoustic streaming. Here, we used a perturbation approach to study the flow around oscillating sharp edges in a microchannel. This work extends prior experimental studies to numerically characterize the effect of various parameters on the acoustically induced flow. Our numerical results match well with the experimental results. We investigated multiple device parameters such as the tip angle, oscillation amplitude, and channel dimensions. Our results indicate that, due to the inherent nonlinearity of acoustic streaming, the channel dimensions could significantly impact the flow patterns and device performance.
Project description:Transforming a laser beam into a mass flow has been a challenge both scientifically and technologically. We report the discovery of a new optofluidic principle and demonstrate the generation of a steady-state water flow by a pulsed laser beam through a glass window. To generate a flow or stream in the same path as the refracted laser beam in pure water from an arbitrary spot on the window, we first fill a glass cuvette with an aqueous solution of Au nanoparticles. A flow will emerge from the focused laser spot on the window after the laser is turned on for a few to tens of minutes; the flow remains after the colloidal solution is completely replaced by pure water. Microscopically, this transformation is made possible by an underlying plasmonic nanoparticle-decorated cavity, which is self-fabricated on the glass by nanoparticle-assisted laser etching and exhibits size and shape uniquely tailored to the incident beam profile. Hydrophone signals indicate that the flow is driven via acoustic streaming by a long-lasting ultrasound wave that is resonantly generated by the laser and the cavity through the photoacoustic effect. The principle of this light-driven flow via ultrasound, that is, photoacoustic streaming by coupling photoacoustics to acoustic streaming, is general and can be applied to any liquid, opening up new research and applications in optofluidics as well as traditional photoacoustics and acoustic streaming.