EGU21-10464, updated on 04 Mar 2021
EGU General Assembly 2021
© Author(s) 2021. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.

Structure of current sheets formed in collisionless plasma turbulence

Neeraj Jain1, Joerg Buechner1, Patricio Munoz1, and Lev M. Zelenyi2
Neeraj Jain et al.
  • 1Center for Astronomy and Astrophysics, Technical University Berlin, Hardenbergstr. 36, 10623 Berlin, Germany(
  • 2Space Research Institute of the Russian Academy of Sciences (IKI), 84/32 Profsoyuznaya Str, Moscow, Russia, 117997.

Plasma turbulence is ubiquitous in space and astrophysical environments and believed to play important role in a variety of space and astrophysical phenomena ranging from the entry of  energetic particles in Earth's magnetic environment and non-adiabatic heating of the solar wind plasma to star formation in inter stellar medium. Space and astrophysical plasmas are usually magnetized and collisionless. An unsolved problem in turbulent collisionless plasmas, e.g., the solar wind, is the mechanism of dissipation of macroscopic energy into heat without collisional dissipation. A number of observational and simulation studies show that kinetic sale current sheets formed self-consistently in collisionless plasma turbulence are the sites of the dissipation. Mechanisms of dissipation in current sheets are, however,  not well understood. Free energy sources in and equilibrium structure of current sheets are important factors in the determination of the dissipation mechanism. Recent PIC hybrid simulations (with mass-less electrons) of collisionless plasma turbulence show that current sheets thin down to below ion inertial length with current carried mainly by electrons. This can lead  to embedded current sheet structure which was recently studied analytically.  We carry out 2-D PIC-hybrid simulations (with finite-mass electrons) using a recently developed code CHIEF to study the free energy sources and structure of current sheets formed in turbulence. In this paper, we focus on  the spatial gradient driven free energy sources and embedded structure of current sheets.  The results are compared to the results obtained from hybrid simulations with mass-less electrons. 

How to cite: Jain, N., Buechner, J., Munoz, P., and Zelenyi, L. M.: Structure of current sheets formed in collisionless plasma turbulence, EGU General Assembly 2021, online, 19–30 Apr 2021, EGU21-10464,, 2021.