Thermal-inertial effects on magnetic reconnection in relativistic pair plasmas

Luca Comisso, Felipe A. Asenjo

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

38 Scopus citations


The magnetic reconnection process is studied in relativistic pair plasmas when the thermal and inertial properties of the magnetohydrodynamical fluid are included. We find that in both Sweet-Parker and Petschek relativistic scenarios there is an increase of the reconnection rate owing to the thermal-inertial effects, both satisfying causality. To characterize the new effects we define a thermal-inertial number which is independent of the relativistic Lundquist number, implying that reconnection can be achieved even for vanishing resistivity as a result of only thermal-inertial effects. The current model has fundamental importance for relativistic collisionless reconnection, as it constitutes the simplest way to get reconnection rates faster than those accessible with the sole resistivity.

Original languageEnglish
Article number045001
JournalPhysical Review Letters
Issue number4
StatePublished - 23 Jul 2014
Externally publishedYes


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