Classification of breakdown of magnetic connection according to Ref. 16. Various branches of general magnetic reconnection are shown. Reconnection is classified as global when a change in magnetic connectivity occurs for plasma elements that do not themselves pass through the nonideal region.
Sketch illustrating the model for flux-tube disconnection. A flux tube of radius is anchored at its footpoints , which are rotated in opposite directions with speed . The counter-rotation generates a localized twist within the flux tube in the shaded region, i.e., between .
Sketch illustrating the form of the current generated by the counter-rotation of the flux-tube footpoints. The box indicates the boundaries of the nonideal region. A strong current (solid lines) gives rise to the localized nonideal region, with the weak return current (dashed lines) being diffuse.
Path taken to consider a loop integral consisting of the central field line, a field line along the boundary of the nonideal region (shaded), and two connecting radial lines. The integral of the electric field around the loop (solid lines) must vanish due to the stationarity of the process. The central axis is indicated by a dashed line.
Some typical field lines threading the nonideal domain for parameters , , , and .
Vector-field illustration of the localized axisymmetric current (parameters , , , , and ).
Plasma flows (a) above and (b) below the central plane, . The flows are seen to be counter-rotational in nature. The solid line indicates the boundary 2% of the nonideal region in the same planes (parameters , , , , , and ).
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