Equilibrium selection via current sheet relaxation and guide field amplification
- Equilibrium selection via current sheet relaxation and guide field amplification
- Yoon, Young Dae; Wendel, Deirdre E.; Yun, Gunsu S.
- Date Issued
- Nature Research
- © 2023, The Author(s).Although there is a continuous spectrum of current sheet equilibria, how a particular equilibrium is selected by a given system remains a mystery. Yet, only a limited number of equilibrium solutions are used for analyses of magnetized plasma phenomena. Here we present the exact process of equilibrium selection, by analyzing the relaxation process of a disequilibrated current sheet under a finite guide field. It is shown via phase-space analyses and particle-in-cell simulations that the current sheet relaxes in such a way that the guide field is locally amplified, yielding a mixed equilibrium from the spectrum. Comparisons to spacecraft observations and solar wind current sheet statistics demonstrate that such mixed equilibria are ubiquitous and exist as underlying local structures in various physical environments.
- Article Type
- Nature Communications, vol. 14, no. 1, 2023-12
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