Kinematic reconnection at a magnetic null point: fan-aligned current

D. I. Pontin, G. Hornig, E. R. Priest

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    77 Citations (Scopus)


    Magnetic reconnection at a three-dimensional null point is a natural extension of the familiar two-dimensional X-point reconnection. A model is set up here for reconnection at a null point with current directed parallel to the fan plane, by solving the kinematic, steady, resistive magnetohydrodynamic equations in its vicinity. The magnetic field is assumed to be steady, and a localised diffusion region surrounding the null point is also assumed, outside which the plasma is ideal. Particular attention is focussed on the way that the magnetic flux changes its connections as a result of the reconnection. The resultant plasma flow is found to cross the spine and fan of the null, and thus transfer magnetic flux between topologically distinct regions. Solutions are also found in which the flow crosses either the spine or fan only.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)77-93
    Number of pages17
    JournalGeophysical & Astrophysical Fluid Dynamics
    Issue number1
    Publication statusPublished - Feb 2005


    • Magnetic reconnection
    • Magnetohydrodynamics (MHD)
    • Magnetic flux
    • Magnetic null points
    • MHD


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