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Three-dimensional magnetic reconnection regimes

Three-dimensional magnetic reconnection regimes : a review

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Original languageEnglish
Pages1508-1522
Number of pages15
JournalAdvances in Space Research
Journal publication date3 May 2011
Journal number9
Volume47
DOIs
StatePublished

Abstract

The magnetic field in many astrophysical plasmas - such as the solar corona and Earth's magnetosphere - has been shown to have a highly complex, three-dimensional structure. Recent advances in theory and computational simulations have shown that reconnection in these fields also has a three-dimensional nature, in contrast to the widely used two-dimensional (or 2.5-dimensional) models. Here we discuss the underlying theory of three-dimensional magnetic reconnection. We also review a selection of new models that illustrate the current state of the art, as well as highlighting the complexity of energy release processes mediated by reconnection in complicated three-dimensional magnetic fields. (C) 2011 COSPAR. Published by Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

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