Electric Reconnection and Chaos in Dusty and Dirty Plasmas

  • Hiroshi Kikuchi


A new concept of electric field line merging-reconnection is introduced and is described on the basis of electrohydrodynamics (EHD) and electromagneto-hydrodynamics (EMHD) in close relation to another accompanying paper entitled “EHD and EMHD Transport Processes in Dusty and Dirty Plasmas” in this volume. This concept is analogous to magnetic field line merging-reconnection in magnetohydrodynamics (MHD) familiar to plasma physicists as well as geo-astro-physicists, and is also to vortex field line merging-reconnection in hydrodynamics (HD). While it is well-known that the conversion from magnetic to flow energy causes solar or auroral flares by magnetic reconnection in the MHD regime, it is newly shown that the conversion from electric to kinetic or flow energy causes significant atmospheric phenomena such as triggered lightening by electric field line merging-reconnection in the EHD or EMHD regime. Its theory is presented on the basis of the equation of electric field transport in conjunction with the equations of fluid vorticity and magnetic field transport in relation to the Kelvin-Helmholtz theorem, and at the same time, physically on the basis of a new but more basic “space-charge related frozen-in field concept” besides the conventional source-free frozen-in concept. The electric field transport is originated by the spatio-temporal structure of space-charges that may produce local field singularities such as electric field reversal in an electric cusp (neutral point, line or sheet) region, causing a local decrease in the electric Reynolds number. This produces chaotic nature of space-charge related electric merging-reconnection that is most common for the EHD or EMHD regime, and that is essentially different from source-free magnetic reconnection for the MHD regime. Thus, the source-origin of electric merging-reconnection is an electric cusp that becomes a bifurcation point for equi-potential plots and at the same time a saddle point for field line plots, necessarily being capable for a source-origin of chaos. In addition, for electric merging-reconnection to occur, non-zero space charge and a low electric Reynolds number are required to cause the breakdown of the frozen-in field concepts, thus leading to merging or reconnection. It is emphasized through a couple of examples that electric merging-reconnection in the EHD or EMHD regime may play an important role in dusty and dirty plasmas.


Dust Particle Field Line Critical Velocity Magnetic Reconnection Neutral Point 
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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 1994

Authors and Affiliations

  • Hiroshi Kikuchi
    • 1
  1. 1.College of Science and TechnologyNihon UniversityChiyoda-ku, TokyoJapan

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