Electron Heating by Debye-Scale Turbulence in Guide-Field Reconnection

Yu. V. Khotyaintsev, D. B. Graham, K. Steinvall, L. Alm, A. Vaivads, A. Johlander, C. Norgren, W. Li, A. Divin, H. S. Fu, K.-J. Hwang, N. Ahmadi, O. Le Contel, D. J. Gershman, C. T. Russell, Roy B. Torbert, J. L. Burch

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We report electrostatic Debye-scale turbulence developing within the diffusion region of asymmetric magnetopause reconnection with moderate guide field using observations by the Magnetospheric Multiscale (MMS) mission. We show that Buneman waves and beam modes cause efficient and fast thermalization of the reconnection electron jet by irreversible phase mixing, during which the jet kinetic energy is transferred into thermal energy. Our results show that the reconnection diffusion region in the presence of a moderate guide field is highly turbulent, and that electrostatic turbulence plays an important role in electron heating.
Original languageEnglish
Article number145101
JournalPhysical Review Letters
Publication statusPublished - 1 Feb 2020

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