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Flux quanta, magnetic field lines, merging – some sub-microscale relations of interest in space plasma physics

Treumann, R. A., R. Nakamura, and W. Baumjohann (2011), Flux quanta, magnetic field lines, merging – some sub-microscale relations of interest in space plasma physics, Annales Geophysicae, 29, 1121-1127, doi:10.5194/angeo-29-1121-2011.

Abstract
Abstract. We clarify the notion of magnetic field lines in plasma by referring to sub-microscale (quantum mechanical) particle dynamics. It is demonstrated that magnetic field lines in a field of strength B carry single magnetic flux quanta Φ0=h/e. The radius of a field line in the given magnetic field B is calculated. It is shown that such field lines can merge and annihilate only over the length ℓ∥ of their strictly anti-parallel sections, for which case we estimate the power generated. The length ℓ∥ becomes a function of the inclination angle θ of the two merging magnetic flux tubes (field lines). Merging is possible only in the interval (1/2)π <θ <π. This provides a sub-microscopic basis for “component reconnection” in classical macro-scale reconnection. We also find that the magnetic diffusion coefficient in plasma appears in quanta D0m=eΦ0/me=h/me. This lets us conclude that the bulk perpendicular plasma resistivity is limited and cannot be less than η0⊥=μ0eΦ0/me=μ0h/me~10−9 Ohm m. This resistance is an invariant.

Keywords. Space plasma physics (Magnetic reconnection)
Further information
BibTeX
@article{id1689,
  author = {R. A. Treumann and R. Nakamura and W. Baumjohann},
  journal = {Annales Geophysicae},
  month = {jun},
  pages = {1121-1127},
  title = {{Flux quanta, magnetic field lines, merging {--} some sub-microscale relations of interest in space plasma physics}},
  volume = {29},
  year = {2011},
  url = {www.ann-geophys.net/29/1121/2011/},
  doi = {10.5194/angeo-29-1121-2011},
}
EndNote
%0 Journal Article
%A Treumann, R. A.
%A Nakamura, R.
%A Baumjohann, W.
%D 2011
%V 29
%J Annales Geophysicae
%P 1121-1127
%T Flux quanta, magnetic field lines, merging – some sub-microscale relations of interest in space plasma physics
%U www.ann-geophys.net/29/1121/2011/
%8 jun
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