The Micro-Macro Coupling of Mass-Loading in Symmetric Magnetic Reconnection With Cold Ions
Journal article, Peer reviewed
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Original versionGeophysical Research Letters. 2021, 48 (13), e2020GL090690. 10.1029/2020GL090690
We investigate how magnetic reconnection is influenced by an inflow of a dense cold ion population. We compare two 2.5D Particle-In-Cell simulations, one containing the cold population and one without. We find that the cold population influences the reconnection process on both global and kinetic scales, and that the dominant contribution can be explained through mass-loading. We provide an analysis of how these multiscale changes are related through kinetic processes in the ion diffusion region, the so-called micro-macro coupling of mass-loading. The inertia of the cold ion population is found to be the significant link that connects the changes on different scales. The cold and warm populations exhibit counter streaming behavior when and after the ion diffusion region reorganizes itself in response to the arrival of the cold population. This signature of the cold population should be observable by spacecraft observatories such as MMS.