Collisionless current sheet equilibria
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Current sheets are important for the structure and dynamics of many plasma systems. In space and astrophysical plasmas they play a crucial role in activity processes, for example by facilitating the release of magnetic energy via processes such as magnetic reconnection. In this contribution we will focus on collisionless plasma systems. A sensible first step in any investigation of physical processes involving current sheets is to find appropriate equilibrium solutions. The theory of collisionless plasma equilibria is well established, but over the past few years there has been a renewed interest in finding equilibrium distribution functions for collisionless current sheets with particular properties, for example for cases where the current density is parallel to the magnetic field (force-free current sheets). This interest is due to a combination of scientific curiosity and potential applications to space and astrophysical plasmas. In this paper we will give an overview of some of the recent developments, discuss their potential applications and address a number of open questions.
Neukirch , T , Wilson , F & Allanson , O D 2018 , ' Collisionless current sheet equilibria ' Plasma Physics and Controlled Fusion , vol 60 , no. 1 , 014008 . DOI: 10.1088/1361-6587/aa8485
Plasma Physics and Controlled Fusion
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The authors acknowledge financial support by the UK Science and Technology Facilities Council Consolidated Grants ST/K000950/1 and and ST/N000609/1, as well as Doctoral Training Grant ST/K502327/1. OA also acknowledges support by the UK Natural Environment Research Council Grant NE/P017274/1.
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