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Magnetic reconnection

Magnetic reconnection

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Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationThe sun and the heliosphere as an integrated system
EditorsGiannina Poletto, Steven T. Suess
Place of PublicationDordrecht
PublisherKluwer Academic Publishers
Number of pages24
ISBN (Print)140202830X
StatePublished - 2004

Publication series

NameAstrophysics and space science library
PublisherKluwer Academic Publishers


Magnetic reconnection is a fundamental process in a cosmic plasma such as the solar corona, responsible for heating and for many dynamic phenomena. We here review briefly the basic theory of reconnection in two dimensions and then proceed to describe several features of the way it operates in three dimensions. These include a description of 3D null points, of 3D topology, and of spine, fan and separator reconnection. Also an account of new properties of 3D reconnection at an isolated diffusion region is given, including the fact that a unique field line velocity can no longer be defined and that field line connections change continuously while a field line is traversing the non-ideal region. A summary is given of the various ways in which the corona may be heated, including binary, separator and braiding reconnection, as well as heating by coronal tectonics. Finally, a summary is also given of reconnection processes in the Earth’s magnetosphere


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