Electron Surfing Acceleration in Magnetic Reconnection

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Hoshino, Masahiro (2005)

We discuss that energetic electrons are generated near the X-type magnetic reconnection region due to a surfing acceleration mechanism. In a thin plasma sheet, the polarization electric fields pointing towards the neutral sheet are induced around the boundary between the lobe and plasma sheet in association with the Hall electric current. By using a particle-in-cell simulation, we demonstrate that the polarization electric fields are strongly enhanced in an externally driven reconnection system, and some electrons can be trapped by the electrostatic potential well of the polarization field. During the trapping phase, the electrons can gain their energies from the convection/inductive reconnection electric fields. We discuss that relativistic electrons with MeV energies are quickly generated in and around the X-type neutral region by utilizing the surfing acceleration.
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