Blake Wetherton, University of Wisconsin-Madison

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A valid fluid model for electrons in collisionless space plasmas is desirable for understanding the structure and evolution of magnetic reconnection geometries. Additionally, such a fluid model would be useful for the simulation of systems too large to be tractable in a fully kinetic model. Using MMS spacecraft observations, we provide direct confirmation of the Le 2009 equations of state for the electron pressure tensor during guide field reconnection and demonstrate how the closure can be applied in efficient numerical simulation, yielding new physical insight to the electron heating problem. Furthermore, we use the Le 2009 equations of state to predict a scaling of electron heating in the exhaust comparable to the available observational data.

Abstract Author(s): Blake A. Wetherton, Jan Egedal, Ari Le, William Daughton