Relativistic Magnetic Reconnection in Kerr Spacetime

Felipe A. Asenjo, Luca Comisso

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

11 Scopus citations

Abstract

The magnetic reconnection process is analyzed for relativistic magnetohydrodynamical plasmas around rotating black holes. A simple generalization of the Sweet-Parker model is used as a first approximation to the problem. The reconnection rate, as well as other important properties of the reconnection layer, has been calculated taking into account the effect of spacetime curvature. Azimuthal and radial current sheet configurations in the equatorial plane of the black hole have been studied, and the case of small black hole rotation rate has been analyzed. For the azimuthal configuration, it is found that the black hole rotation decreases the reconnection rate. On the other hand, in the radial configuration, it is the gravitational force created by the black hole mass that decreases the reconnection rate. These results establish a fundamental interaction between gravity and magnetic reconnection in astrophysical contexts.

Original languageEnglish
Article number055101
JournalPhysical Review Letters
Volume118
Issue number5
DOIs
StatePublished - 2 Feb 2017
Externally publishedYes

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