Particle acceleration in 3D single current sheets formed in the solar corona and heliosphere: PIC approach

Valentina Zharkova, Taras Siversky

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Citations (Scopus)
14 Downloads (Pure)


Acceleration of protons and electrons in a reconnecting current sheet (RCS) is investigated with the test particle and particle-in-cell (PIG) approaches in a 3D magnetic topology. PIG simulations confirm a spatial separation of electrons and protons with respect to the midplane depending on the guiding field. Simulation reveals that the separation occurs in magnetic topologies with strong guiding fields and lasts as long as the particles are kept dragged into a current sheet. This separation produces a polarisation electric field induced by the plasma feedback to a presence of accelerated particles, which shape can change from symmetric towards the midplane (for weak guiding field) to fully asymmetric (for strong guiding field). Particles are found accelerated at a midplane of any current sheets present in the heliosphere to the energies up to hundred keV for electrons and hundred MeV for protons. The maximum energy gained by particles during their motion inside the current sheet is defined by its magnetic field topology (the ratio of magnetic field components), the side and location from the X-nullpoint, where the particles enter a current sheet. In strong magnetic fields of the solar corona with weaker guiding fields, electrons are found circulating about the midplane to large distances where proton are getting accelerated, creating about the current sheet midplane clouds of high energy electrons, which can be the source of hard X-ray emission in the coronal sources of flares. These electrons are ejected into the same footpoint as protons after the latter reach the energy sufficicent to break from a current sheet. In a weaker magnetic field of the heliosphere the bounced electrons with lower energies cannot reach the midplane turning instead at some distance D before the current sheet midplane by 180 degrees from their initial motion. Also the beams of accelerated transit and bounced particles are found to generate turbulent electric fields in a form of Langmuir waves (electrons) or ion-acoustic waves (protons).
Original languageEnglish
JournalJournal of Physics Conference Series
Publication statusPublished - Sept 2015
Event14th Annual International Astrophysics Conference - Tampa, Florida, USA
Duration: 1 Sept 2015 → …


Dive into the research topics of 'Particle acceleration in 3D single current sheets formed in the solar corona and heliosphere: PIC approach'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this