The formation of current singularities at line-tied two- and three-dimensional (2D and 3D, respectively) magnetic null points in a nonresistive magnetohydrodynamic environment is explored. It is shown that, despite the different separatrix structures of 2D and 3D null points, current singularities may be initiated in a formally equivalent manner. This is true no matter whether the collapse is triggered by flux imbalance within closed, line-tied null points or driven by externally imposed velocity fields in open, incompressible geometries. A Lagrangian numerical code is used to investigate the finite amplitude perturbations that lead to singular current sheets in collapsing 2D and 3D null points. The form of the singular current distribution is analyzed as a function of the spatial anisotropy of the null point, and the effects of finite gas pressure are quantified. It is pointed out that the pressure force, while never stopping the formation of the singularity, significantly alters the morphology of the current distribution as well as dramatically weakening its strength. The impact of these findings on 2D and 3D magnetic reconnection models is discussed.
- Plasma transport processes
- Plasma magnetohydrodynamics