Articles | Volume 8, issue 3
Nonlin. Processes Geophys., 8, 127–140, 2001
https://doi.org/10.5194/npg-8-127-2001

Special issue: Theory and simulation of Solar System Plasmas, No. 2

Nonlin. Processes Geophys., 8, 127–140, 2001
https://doi.org/10.5194/npg-8-127-2001

  30 Jun 2001

30 Jun 2001

Evolution of magnetic helicity in the course of kinetic magnetic reconnection

T. Wiegelmann1,2 and J. Büchner1 T. Wiegelmann and J. Büchner
  • 1Max-Planck-Institut für Aeronomie, Max-Planck-Str. 2, 37191 Katlenburg-Lindau, Germany
  • 2School of Mathematics and Statistics, University of St. Andrews, St. Andrews, KY16 9SS, United Kingdom

Abstract. We investigate the evolution of magnetic helicity density in the course of 2D and 3D kinetic magnetic reconnection through thin current sheets. In 2D, the helicity density near a reconnection X-line becomes purely quadrupolar structured, while in 3D, an additional dipolar structure occurs. This dipolar structure is related to kinetic current instabilities and becomes dominant for spontaneous 3D reconnection, in accordance with the dominating current instabilities. The 2D simulations have been carried out with a newly developed Vlasov-code and the 3D simulations with the particle-in-cell code GISMO.