Three-dimensional magnetic reconnection regimes: a review

    Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

    88 Citations (Scopus)

    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.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)1508-1522
    Number of pages15
    JournalAdvances in Space Research
    Volume47
    Issue number9
    DOIs
    Publication statusPublished - 3 May 2011

    Keywords

    • Magnetic fields
    • Magnetic reconnection
    • Magnetohydrodynamics
    • Quasi-separatrix layers
    • Parallel electric fields
    • Current sheet formation
    • Null points
    • Solar corona
    • 3 dimensions
    • Kinematic reconnection
    • Flux tubes
    • Kink instability
    • Aligned current

    Cite this