Solar Physics

, Volume 279, Issue 1, pp 91-113

Acceleration of Electrons and Protons in Reconnecting Current Sheets Including Single or Multiple X-points

  • Y. LiAffiliated withYunnan Astronomical Observatory, Chinese Academy of SciencesGraduate University of Chinese Academy of Sciences Email author 
  • , J. LinAffiliated withYunnan Astronomical Observatory, Chinese Academy of SciencesHarvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics

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Kinematic characteristics of electrons and protons in the magnetic reconnecting current sheet in the presence of a guide field are investigated. Particle trajectories are calculated for different values of the guide field by a test-particle calculation. The relationship between the final energy and the initial position has also been studied. We found that the addition of a guide field not only allows particles to get more energy and not only results in the separation of electrons and protons, but also causes the reconnecting electric field to selectively accelerate electrons and protons for different initial positions. The energy spectrum eventually obtained is the common power-law spectrum, and as the guide field increases, the index for the spectrum of electrons decreases rapidly. However, for a weak background magnetic field, proton spectra are not very sensitive to the guide field; but for a strong background field, the dependence of the spectrum index is similar to the electron spectrum. Meanwhile, kinematic characteristics of the accelerated particles in the current sheet including multiple X-points and O-points were also investigated. The result indicates that the existence of the multiple X- and O-points helps particles trapped in the accelerating region to gain more energy, and yields the double or multiple power-law feature.


Solar flares Magnetic reconnection Current sheet Energetic particles