Volume 657, January 2022
|Number of page(s)||12|
|Section||The Sun and the Heliosphere|
|Published online||21 December 2021|
Particle heating and acceleration by reconnecting and nonreconnecting current sheets
Department of Physics, Aristotle University of Thessaloniki, 52124 Thessaloniki, Greece
2 Earth, Planetary, and Space Sciences, University of California, Los Angeles, CA 90095, USA
Accepted: 16 July 2021
In this article, we study the physics of charged particle energization inside a strongly turbulent plasma, where current sheets naturally appear in evolving large-scale magnetic topologies, but they are split into two populations of fractally distributed reconnecting and nonreconnecting current sheets (CS). In particular, we implemented a Monte Carlo simulation to analyze the effects of the fractality and we study how the synergy of energization at reconnecting CSs and at nonreconnecting CSs affects the heating, the power-law high energy tail, the escape time, and the acceleration time of electrons and ions. The reconnecting current sheets systematically accelerate particles and play a key role in the formation of the power-law tail in energy distributions. On the other hand, the stochastic energization of particles through their interaction with nonreconnecting CSs can account for the heating of the solar corona and the impulsive heating during solar flares. The combination of the two acceleration mechanisms (stochastic and systematic), commonly present in many explosive events of various sizes, influences the steady-state energy distribution, as well as the transport properties of the particles in position- and energy-space. Our results also suggest that the heating and acceleration characteristics of ions and electrons are similar, the only difference being the time scales required to reach a steady state.
Key words: acceleration of particles / turbulence / magnetic reconnection / Sun: corona / Sun: flares
© ESO 2021
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