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Electron Acceleration by Multi-Island Coalescence

Electron Acceleration by Multi-Island Coalescence,10.1088/0004-637X/714/1/915,Astrophysical Journal,M. Oka,T.-D. Phan,S. Krucker,M. Fujimoto,I. Shinoh

Electron Acceleration by Multi-Island Coalescence   (Citations: 4)
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Energetic electrons of up to tens of MeV are created during explosive phenomena in the solar corona. While many theoretical models consider magnetic reconnection as a possible way of generating energetic electrons, the precise roles of magnetic reconnection during acceleration and heating of electrons still remain unclear. Here we show from 2D particle-in-cell simulations that coalescence of magnetic islands that naturally form as a consequence of tearing mode instability and associated magnetic reconnection leads to efficient energization of electrons. The key process is the secondary magnetic reconnection at the merging points, or the `anti-reconnection', which is, in a sense, driven by the converging outflows from the initial magnetic reconnection regions. By following the trajectories of the most energetic electrons, we found a variety of different acceleration mechanisms but the energization at the anti-reconnection is found to be the most important process. We discuss possible applications to the energetic electrons observed in the solar flares. We anticipate our results to be a starting point for more sophisticated models of particle acceleration during the explosive energy release phenomena.
Journal: Astrophysical Journal - ASTROPHYS J , vol. 714, no. 1, pp. 915-926, 2010
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