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Annales Geophysicae An interactive open-access journal of the European Geosciences Union
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Volume 28, issue 10
Ann. Geophys., 28, 1935–1943, 2010
https://doi.org/10.5194/angeo-28-1935-2010
© Author(s) 2010. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 License.
Ann. Geophys., 28, 1935–1943, 2010
https://doi.org/10.5194/angeo-28-1935-2010
© Author(s) 2010. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 License.

  26 Oct 2010

26 Oct 2010

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

R. A. Treumann1,2,*, R. Nakamura3, and W. Baumjohann3 R. A. Treumann et al.
  • 1Department of Geophysics and Environmental Sciences, Munich University, Munich, Germany
  • 2Department of Physics and Astronomy, Dartmouth College, Hanover NH 03755, USA
  • 3Space Research Institute, Austrian Academy of Sciences, Graz, Austria
  • *currently at: International Space Science Institute, Bern, Switzerland

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.

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