The Weibel Instability inside the Electron-Positron Harris Sheet

Date
Authors
Liu, Yi-Hsin
Swisdak, Marc
Drake, James F.
Journal Title
Journal ISSN
Volume Title
Publisher
Abstract
Description
Recent full-particle simulations of electron-positron reconnection have revealed that the Weibel instability plays an active role in controlling the dynamics of the current layer and maintaining fast reconnection. A four-beam model is developed to explore the development of the instability within a narrow current layer characteristic of reconnection. The problem is reduced to two coupled second-order differential equations, whose growing eigenmodes are obtained via both asymptotic approximations and finite difference methods. Full particle simulations confirm the linear theory and help probe the nonlinear development of the instability. The current layer broadening in the reconnection outflow jet is linked to the scattering of high-velocity streaming particles in the Weibel-generated, out-of-plane magnetic field.
Keywords
Physics - Space Physics, Physics - Plasma Physics
Citation
Collections