EGU General Assembly 2021
© Author(s) 2021. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.

Plasma turbulence generated during particle acceleration in magnetic islands

Valentina Zharkova and Qian Xia
Valentina Zharkova and Qian Xia
  • University of Northumbria, Faculty of Engineering and Environment, Department of Mathematics and Information Sciences, Newcastle upon Tyne, United Kingdom of Great Britain – England, Scotland, Wales (

We investigate plasma turbulence generated during particle acceleration in magnetic islands within 3D Harris-type reconnecting current sheets (RCSs),using the particle-in-cell approach.  RCSs with a strong guiding magnetic field  ar shown to lead to separation of electrons and ions into the opposite sides from the current sheet mid-plane that significantly reduces kink instability along the guiding field direction. Particles with the same charge also have asymmetric trajectories forming two distinct populations of beams: ‘transit’ particles, which pass through RCS from one edge to another, become strongly energised and form nearly unidirectional beams; and ‘bounced’ particles, which are reflected from the diffusion region and move back to the same side they entered the current sheet, gaining much less energy and forming more dispersive spatial distributions. Thes transit and bounced particles form the ‘bump-on-tail’ velocity distributions that naturally generate plasma turbulence. Using the wavelet analysis of electric and magnetic field fluctuations in the frequency domain, we identified some characteristic waves produced by particle beams. In particular, we found thre are Langmuir waves near X-nullpoints produced by two electron beam instabilities, while the presence of anisotropic temperature variations inside magnetic islands lead to whistler waves. The lower-hybrid waves are generated inside the magnetic islands, owing to the two-stream instabilities of the ions. While the high-frequency fluctuations, upper hybrid waves, or electron Bernstein waves, pile up near X-nullpoints. The results can be beneficial for understanding in-situ observations with modern space missions of energetic particles in the heliosphere.

How to cite: Zharkova, V. and Xia, Q.: Plasma turbulence generated during particle acceleration in magnetic islands, EGU General Assembly 2021, online, 19–30 Apr 2021, EGU21-10297,, 2021.

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