Dr. Prayash Sharma Pyakurel, PhD
Space Science Laboratory, University of California Berkeley
Recent MMS observations in the downstream of the quasi-parallel shock have shed some light into small scale “electron-only” magnetic reconnection embedded inside turbulence. In such magnetic reconnection events, large guide field and beta >= 1, the parallel electric field close to the x-line is measured to be about ~8mV/m, much larger than measured in previously observed magnetic reconnection events. In 2.5D simulations, it has been shown that the reconnection rate for fully ion-coupled and steady-state magnetic reconnection is of the order 0.1 CA,up, far below recent spacecraft observations of the electron-only reconnection. We perform force-free particle-in-cell simulations of high beta plasma in 3D and 2.5D and find that the parallel electric field measured at the x-line is about two times greater in 3D versus 2.5D configuration. The enhancement of parallel electric field is an inherent feature of three-dimensional magnetic reconnection.
Dr. Pyakurel finished his doctorate program in 2019, at the University of Delaware, and since then has been working at the Space Science Laboratory using in-situ spacecraft data from Magnetospheric Multiscale (MMS) and Parker Solar Probe (PSP). His work has primarily investigated magnetic reconnection using particle-in-cell simulations to understand reconnection events at the magnetotail and the magnetosheath.
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