AAS Meeting #194 - Chicago, Illinois, May/June 1999
Session 31. Magnetic Reconnection and Prominence Formation
Oral, Monday, May 31, 1999, 2:00-3:30pm, Continental Ballroom A

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[31.05] The Pressure Limitations on Flux Pile-Up Magnetic Reconnection

Y. E. Litvinenko (University of NH)

Flux pile-up magnetic reconnection was thought to be able to provide fast energy dissipation a strongly magnetized plasma, for example, in solar flares. We examine the problem of the plasma pressure limitations on the rapidity of flux pile-up reconnection. It is shown that for a two-dimensional stagnation point flow with nonzero vorticity the magnetic merging rate cannot exceed the Sweet-Parker scaling in a low-beta plasma, which is too slow to explain flares. Moreover, the solution has some undesireable properties such as a diffusion layer at the external boundary and the massively increasing inflow speed. The pressure limitation appears to be somewhat less restrictive for three-dimensional flux pile-up. This work was supported by NSF grant ATM-9813933.

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