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Electron Energization and Structure of the Diffusion Region During Asymmetric ReconnectionResults from particle-in-cell simulations of reconnection with asymmetric upstream conditions are reported to elucidate electron energization and structure of the electron diffusion region (EDR). Acceleration of unmagnetized electrons results in discrete structures in the distribution functions and supports the intense current and perpendicular heating in the EDR. The accelerated electrons are cyclotron turned by the reconnected magnetic field to produce the outflow jets, and as such, the acceleration by the reconnection electric field is limited, leading to resistivity without particle-particle or particle-wave collisions. A map of electron distributions is constructed, and its spatial evolution is compared with quantities previously proposed to be EDR identifiers to enable effective identifications of the EDR in terrestrial magnetopause reconnection.
Document ID
Document Type
Reprint (Version printed in journal)
External Source(s)
Chen, Li-Jen
(Maryland Univ. College Park, MD, United States)
Hesse, Michael
(NASA Goddard Space Flight Center Greenbelt, MD United States)
Wang, Shan
(Maryland Univ. College Park, MD, United States)
Bessho, Naoki
(Maryland Univ. College Park, MD, United States)
Daughton, William
(Los Alamos National Lab. NM, United States)
Date Acquired
May 4, 2016
Publication Date
March 25, 2016
Publication Information
Publication: Geophysical Research Letters
Volume: 43
Issue: 6
ISSN: 0094-8276
Subject Category
Solar Physics
Report/Patent Number
Funding Number(s)
Distribution Limits
magnetic reconnection
electron acceleration
electron diffusion region

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