Subion-Scale Turbulence Driven by Magnetic Reconnection

    The interplay between plasma turbulence and magnetic reconnection remains an unsettled question in astrophysical and laboratory plasmas. Here, we report the first observational evidence that magnetic reconnection drives subion-scale turbulence in magnetospheric plasmas by transferring energy to small scales. We employ a spatial “coarse-grained” model of Hall magnetohydrodynamics, enabling us to measure the nonlinear energy transfer rate across scale at position x. Its application to Magnetospheric Multiscale mission data shows that magnetic reconnection drives intense energy transfer to subion-scales. This observational evidence is remarkably supported by the results from Hybrid Vlasov-Maxwell simulations of turbulence to which the coarse-grained model is also applied. These results can potentially answer some open questions on plasma turbulence in planetary environments.

    • Received 23 July 2022
    • Revised 11 February 2023
    • Accepted 7 April 2023

    DOI:https://doi.org/10.1103/PhysRevLett.130.205201

    © 2023 American Physical Society

    Plasma PhysicsNonlinear Dynamics

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