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Onset of Fast Magnetic Reconnection in Partially Ionized Gases

By Leonid M. Malyshkin and Ellen G. Zweibel

Abstract

We consider quasi-stationary two-dimensional magnetic reconnection in a partially ionized incompressible plasma. We find that when the plasma is weakly ionized and the collisions between the ions and the neutral particles are significant, the transition to fast collisionless reconnection due to the Hall effect in the generalized Ohm's law is expected to occur at much lower values of the Lundquist number, as compared to a fully ionized plasma case. We estimate that these conditions for fast reconnection are satisfied in molecular clouds and in protostellar disks.Comment: 19 pages, 1 figure, 1 tabl

Topics: Astrophysics - Solar and Stellar Astrophysics
Year: 2011
DOI identifier: 10.1088/0004-637X/739/2/72
OAI identifier: oai:arXiv.org:1105.1559
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