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Phys Rev Lett. 2010 Jul 2;105(1):015004. Epub 2010 Jul 2.

Comparison of secondary islands in collisional reconnection to Hall reconnection.

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Department of Physics, West Virginia University, Morgantown, West Virginia, 26506, USA.


Large-scale resistive Hall-magnetohydrodynamic simulations of the transition from Sweet-Parker (collisional) to Hall (collisionless) magnetic reconnection are presented; the first to separate secondary islands from collisionless effects. Three main results are described. There exists a regime with secondary islands but without collisionless effects, and the reconnection rate is faster than Sweet-Parker, but significantly slower than Hall reconnection. This implies that secondary islands do not cause the fastest reconnection rates. The onset of Hall reconnection ejects secondary islands from the vicinity of the X line, implying that energy is released more rapidly during Hall reconnection. Coronal applications are discussed.

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