"Electron Equations of State and Magnetic Reconnection," by Ari Le (UCSD and SciberQuest, Inc.)

Date: 
Thursday, January 9, 2014 - 1:00pm to 2:15pm
Series: 
Plasma Seminars

Plasma Seminar

Thursday, January 9
1-2:15pm
PAB 4-330

Guest Speaker: Ari Le (UCSD and SciberQuest, Inc.)

Talk Title: "Electron Equations of State and Magnetic Reconnection"

Abstract:

Spacecraft data and fully kinetic simulations demonstrate that electron pressure anisotropy develops in collisionless plasmas.  Electron trapping is a main physical process that generates this anisotropy.  I will review a general analytic model for the phase space distribution function of particles that are trapped adiabatically.  Derived from this model, a fluid closure gives equations of state for the pressure components.  Several applications of the general results to magnetic reconnection will be given.  During magnetic reconnection, a majority of the electrons typically become trapped.   As a result, the electron temperature parallel to the local magnetic field often rises to many times the perpendicular temperature.  This alters the structure of the currents that are driven during reconnection and plays an important role in electron energization.