Articles | Volume 28, issue 10
26 Oct 2010
 | 26 Oct 2010

Collisionless reconnection: mechanism of self-ignition in thin plane homogeneous current sheets

R. A. Treumann, R. Nakamura, and W. Baumjohann

Abstract. The spontaneous onset of magnetic reconnection in thin plane collisionless current sheets is shown to result from a thermal-anisotropy driven non-relativistic magnetic electron Weibel-mode, generating seed-magnetic field X-points in the centre of the current layer. The proposed mechanism is of larger generality. It also works in the presence of magnetic guide fields.