• Particle Acceleration Asymmetry in a Reconnecting Nonneutral Current Sheet.

      Zharkova, Valentina V.; Gordovskyy, Mykola (2009-10-26)
      The acceleration of electrons and protons caused by a super-Dreicer electric field directed along the longitudinal component By of the magnetic field is investigated. The three-component magnetic field in a nonneutral current sheet occurring at the top of the reconnecting flaring loops on the charged particle trajectories and energies is considered. Particle trajectories in the reconnecting current sheet (RCS) and their energy spectra at the point of ejection from the RCS are simulated from the motion equation for different sheet thicknesses. A super-Dreicer electric field of the current sheet is found to accelerate particles to coherent energy spectra in a range of 10-100 keV for electrons and 100-400 keV for protons with energy slightly increasing with the sheet thickness. A longitudinal By component was found to define the gyration directions of particles with opposite charges toward the RCS midplane, i.e., the trajectory symmetry. For the ratio By/Bz < 10-6 the trajectories are fully symmetric, which results in particle ejection from an RCS as neutral beams. For the ratio By/Bz > 10-2 the trajectories completely lose their symmetry toward the RCS midplane, leading to the separation of particles with opposite charges into the opposite halves from an RCS midplane and the following ejection into different legs of the reconnecting loops. For the intermediate values of By/Bz the trajectories are partially symmetric toward the midplane, leading to electrons prevailing in one leg and protons in the other.