Magnetic reconnection is an important process in space plasmas, which converts magnetic energy to particle acceleration and heating through topological changes in magnetic fields. It is therefore believed to be responsible for explosive phenomena in space, especially solar flares and geomagnetic storms/substorms.
Turbulence shaped by linear/nonlinear waves and coherent structures on magnetohydrodynamic (MHD) and kinetic scales (frequencies) is a fundamental component of space plasma. It is natural to consider the interaction between these two important aspects of space plasma. Recent studies have shown that magnetic reconnection can produce waves and coherent structures to form turbulence. On the other hand, turbulence can provide and enhance dissipation to allow and accelerate magnetic reconnection. In addition, in plasmas that are already turbulent, magnetic reconnection can play a major role in the dissipation of turbulent energy.
Recently, new observations have opened up new windows into turbulence and reconnection occurring in different heliospheric plasma contexts, from the Earth’s environment (THEMIS, ARTEMIS, MMS) to the solar wind and inner heliosphere (Parker Solar Probe, Solar Orbiter, Bepi Colombo). Thus, it is timely to establish an ISSI-BJ team with a balanced mix of theoretical, simulation, and observational expertise to study the interaction between magnetic reconnection and turbulence.
The team will focus on four important space plasma regimes, the solar corona, the solar wind, Earth’s magnetosheath, and Earth’s magnetosphere. The team aims to answer the following questions: What waves and coherent structures are produced by magnetic reconnection to form turbulence? (2) What are the effects of turbulence on the process of magnetic reconnection? (3) What is the role of magnetic reconnection in dissipation of turbulent energy in turbulent plasmas? To answer these questions, the team will perform MHD, Hall MHD, hybrid, particle-in-cell simulations, which will be guided by and compared with in-situ and optical observations from the Sun to the Earth.