Articles | Volume 9, issue 2
Nonlin. Processes Geophys., 9, 139–147, 2002
https://doi.org/10.5194/npg-9-139-2002

Special issue: Theory and simulation of Solar System Plasmas, No. 3

Nonlin. Processes Geophys., 9, 139–147, 2002
https://doi.org/10.5194/npg-9-139-2002

  30 Apr 2002

30 Apr 2002

Evolution of magnetic helicity under kinetic magnetic reconnection: Part II B ≠ 0 reconnection

T. Wiegelmann1,2 and J. Büchner2 T. Wiegelmann and J. Büchner
  • 1School of Mathematics and Statistics, University of St. Andrews, St. Andrews, KY16 9SS, United Kingdom
  • 2Max-Planck-Institut für Aeronomie, Max-Planck-Str. 2, 37191 Katlenburg-Lindau, Germany

Abstract. We investigate the evolution of magnetic helicity under kinetic magnetic reconnection in thin current sheets. We use Harris sheet equilibria and superimpose an external magnetic guide field. Consequently, the classical 2D magnetic neutral line becomes a field line here, causing a B ≠ 0 reconnection. While without a guide field, the Hall effect leads to a quadrupolar structure in the perpendicular magnetic field and the helicity density, this effect vanishes in the B ≠ 0 reconnection. The reason is that electrons are magnetized in the guide field and the Hall current does not occur. While a B = 0 reconnection leads just to a bending of the field lines in the reconnection area, thus conserving the helicity, the initial helicity is reduced for a B ≠ 0 reconnection. The helicity reduction is, however, slower than the magnetic field dissipation. The simulations have been carried out by the numerical integration of the Vlasov-equation.