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Numerical and observational approaches of magnetic reconnection at the Earth's MAGNETOPAUSE in light of the magnetospheric multi scale mission

Grant number: 15/20104-0
Support type:Scholarships abroad - Research Internship - Post-doctor
Effective date (Start): March 01, 2016
Effective date (End): June 30, 2016
Field of knowledge:Physical Sciences and Mathematics - Physics - Physics of Fluids, Plasma Physics and Electrical Discharge
Principal researcher:Walter Demetrio Gonzalez Alarcon
Grantee:Vitor Moura Cardoso e Silva Souza
Supervisor abroad: David Gary Sibeck
Home Institution: Instituto Nacional de Pesquisas Espaciais (INPE). Ministério da Ciência, Tecnologia e Inovações (Brasil). São José dos Campos , SP, Brazil
Research place: National Aeronautics and Space Administration, Greenbelt (NASA), United States  


It has been well accepted that the physical process known as magnetic reconnection plays a fundamental role in the so-called solar wind-magnetosphere interaction by allowing the transfer of mass, energy and momentum from the solar wind to the Earth's magnetosphere. Although extensive work on theoretical, observational and numerical perspectives of the magnetic reconnection process has been performed over the years, there are a number of unanswered questions, e.g., how do two oppositely directed magnetic field lines "get cut" and "reconnect"? In particular, reconnection process occurring down to the electron inertial length scale, i.e., the smallest scale in plasma physics, has not been fully understood yet. It is also not known how the electron-scale dynamics for magnetic reconnection can link to a large scale dynamics such as auroral phenomena. This kind of questions are starting to be answered due mostly to two research fronts: 1) electron-scale numerical simulations which are going to be confirmed by 2) in situ observation of reconnection regions in the near-Earth space provided by the recent NASA's Magnetospheric Multi Scale (MMS) mission. It is proposed in this 4 months project to investigate the electron physics of reconnection and its relation with the global (large scale) aspect of the process by using a conjunction of both numerical and observational analyses. The synergy between observations and numerical experiments will definitely shed light on the reconnection physics, and most likely answer still open questions on this research topic.

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Scientific publications
(References retrieved automatically from Web of Science and SciELO through information on FAPESP grants and their corresponding numbers as mentioned in the publications by the authors)
SOUZA, V. M.; LOPEZ, R. E.; JAUER, P. R.; SIBECK, D. G.; PHAM, K.; DA SILVA, L. A.; MARCHEZI, J. P.; ALVES, L. R.; KOGA, D.; MEDEIROS, C.; ROCKENBACH, M.; GONZALEZ, W. D. Acceleration of radiation belt electrons and the role of the average interplanetary magnetic field B-z component in high-speed streams. JOURNAL OF GEOPHYSICAL RESEARCH-SPACE PHYSICS, v. 122, n. 10, p. 10084-10101, OCT 2017. Web of Science Citations: 2.
SOUZA, VITOR M.; KOGA, DAIKI; GONZALEZ, WALTER D.; CARDOSO, FLAVIA R. Observational Aspects of Magnetic Reconnection at the Earth's Magnetosphere. Brazilian Journal of Physics, v. 47, n. 4, p. 447-459, AUG 2017. Web of Science Citations: 2.
SOUZA, V. M.; GONZALEZ, W. D.; SIBECK, D. G.; KOGA, D.; WALSH, B. M.; MENDES, O. Comparative study of three reconnection X line models at the Earth's dayside magnetopause using in situ observations. JOURNAL OF GEOPHYSICAL RESEARCH-SPACE PHYSICS, v. 122, n. 4, p. 4228-4250, APR 2017. Web of Science Citations: 4.

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