Contributed Talk - Splinter Solar

Friday, 15 September 2023, 15:00   (H 3005)

Electron inertia effects in 3D hybrid-kinetic collisionless plasma turbulence

Patricio A. Muñoz (1,2), Neeraj Jain (2), Meisam Farzalipour Tabriz (3), Markus Rampp (3), Jörg Büchner (1,2)
(1) Max Planck Institute for Solar System Research, (2) Center for Astronomy and Astrophysics at Technical University Berlin, (3) Max Planck Computing and Data Facility

One of the fundamental open questions in space and astrophysical plasmas is the nature of turbulence and dissipation at the smallest, kinetic electron scales. This problem is closely related to the presence of current sheets, that were shown to be formed out of this turbulence and thin down all the way up to electron scales. Magnetic reconnection through those small-scale currents sheets is expected to change the properties of turbulence and associated processes, such as large-scale magnetic reconnection in planetary magnetospheres or solar flares. This has been recently observed in-situ in the Earth's magnetosphere and solar wind, but it is also expected to play an important role in other collisionless astrophysical plasmas such as in solar and stellar coronae or the interstellar medium. Here we analyze the electron inertia effects on the current sheets that are formed out of kinetic plasma turbulence. We investigate this problem by carrying out 3D hybrid-kinetic Particle-in-Cell (PIC) simulations of decaying kinetic turbulence with our CHIEF code. The main distinguishing feature of this code is an implementation of the electron inertia without approximations. One of our most important simulation results is that the electron inertia plays an important role in limiting the current density associated to most of the current sheets not only at electron scales, but also above them. The electron inertia is thus of fundamental importance to accurately describe the nature of plasma turbulence and current sheet properties near electron scales.