Video_1_Discovery of an Electron Gyroradius Scale Current Layer: Its Relevance to Magnetic Fusion Energy, Earth's Magnetosphere, and Sunspots.MP4 (12.46 MB)

Video_1_Discovery of an Electron Gyroradius Scale Current Layer: Its Relevance to Magnetic Fusion Energy, Earth's Magnetosphere, and Sunspots.MP4

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posted on 13.12.2019, 07:39 by Jaeyoung Park, Giovanni Lapenta, Diego Gonzalez-Herrero, Nicholas A. Krall

In the Earth's magnetosphere, sunspots and magnetic cusp fusion devices, the boundary between the plasma and the magnetic field is marked by a diamagnetic current layer with a rapid change in plasma pressure and magnetic field strength. First principles numerical simulations were conducted to investigate this boundary layer with a spatial resolution beyond electron gyroradius while incorporating a global equilibrium structure. The boundary layer thickness is discovered to be on the order of electron gyroradius scale due to a self-consistent electric field suppressing ion gyromotion at the boundary. Formed at the scale of the electron gyroradius, the electric field plays a critical role in determining equilibrium structure and plasma transport. The discovery highlights the necessity to incorporate electron gyroradius scale physics in studies aimed at advancing our understanding of fusion devices, the magnetosphere and sunspots.

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