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.
|Journal||Physical Review Letters|
|State||Published - 23 Jul 2014|