Stochastic acceleration by multi-island contraction during turbulent magnetic reconnection

Bian, N.H. and Kontar, E.P. (2013) Stochastic acceleration by multi-island contraction during turbulent magnetic reconnection. Physical Review Letters, 110(15), 151101. (doi:10.1103/PhysRevLett.110.151101) (PMID:25167241)

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The acceleration of charged particles in magnetized plasmas is considered during turbulent multi-island magnetic reconnection. The particle acceleration model is constructed for an ensemble of islands which produce adiabatic compression of the particles. The model takes into account the statistical fluctuations in the compression rate experienced by the particles during their transport in the acceleration region. The evolution of the particle distribution function is described as a simultaneous first- and second-order Fermi acceleration process. While the efficiency of the first-order process is controlled by the average rate of compression, the second-order process involves the variance in the compression rate. Moreover, the acceleration efficiency associated with the second-order process involves both the Eulerian properties of the compression field and the Lagrangian properties of the particles. The stochastic contribution to the acceleration is nonresonant and can dominate the systematic part in the case of a large variance in the compression rate. The model addresses the role of the second-order process, how the latter can be related to the large-scale turbulent transport of particles, and explains some features of the numerical simulations of particle acceleration by multi-island contraction during magnetic reconnection.

Item Type:Articles
Glasgow Author(s) Enlighten ID:Kontar, Professor Eduard and Bian, Dr Nicolas Horace
Authors: Bian, N.H., and Kontar, E.P.
College/School:College of Science and Engineering > School of Physics and Astronomy
Journal Name:Physical Review Letters
Publisher:American Physical Society
ISSN (Online):1079-7114
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Project CodeAward NoProject NamePrincipal InvestigatorFunder's NameFunder RefLead Dept
542081Rolling Programme in Solar and Plasma AstrophysicsLyndsay FletcherScience & Technologies Facilities Council (STFC)ST/I001808/1P&A - PHYSICS & ASTRONOMY