EDP Sciences
Free access
Volume 426, Number 1, October IV 2004
Page(s) 333 - 341
Section The Sun
DOI http://dx.doi.org/10.1051/0004-6361:20041018

A&A 426, 333-341 (2004)
DOI: 10.1051/0004-6361:20041018

Proton acceleration during coalescence of two parallel current loops in solar flares

J. I. Sakai and K. Shimada

Laboratory for Plasma Astrophysics, Faculty of Engineering, Toyama University, 3190, Gofuku, Toyama, 930-8555, Japan

(Received 4 April 2004 / Accepted 21 June 2004)

We investigate the plasma dynamics during coalescence of two parallel current loops in solar flares by using a resistive three-dimensional MHD simulation code, paying particular attention finding the most effective electromagnetic fields for the production of high-energy protons. Next we investigate the orbit of many protons in the electromagnetic fields obtained from the MHD simulations. We investigate two cases of the coalescence process: (1) co-helicity reconnection where only the poloidal magnetic field produced from the axial currents dissipates and (2) counter-helicity reconnection where both poloidal and axial magnetic fields dissipate. We found a bump-on-tail distribution in the same direction as the original loop current for both the cases of co-helicity and counter-helicity. It is shown that the maximum proton energy exceeds the energy (2.223 MeV) of the observed prompt nuclear de-excitation lines of gamma-ray, and that proton energy spectrum is neither a pure power-law type nor a pure exponential type. We may conclude that anisotropic proton acceleration along the loop can be realized both for co-helicity and counter-helicity reconnection during the coalescence of two parallel loops.

Key words: acceleration of particles -- magnetohydrodynamics (MHD) -- Sun: flares

© ESO 2004