Mei, Z., Shen, C., Wu, N., Lin, J., Murphy, N. A., and Roussev, I. I. 2012. "Numerical experiments on magnetic reconnection in solar flare and coronal mass ejection current sheets." Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society 425:2824-2839. https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1365-2966.2012.21625.x
Magnetic reconnection plays a critical role in energy conversion during solar eruptions. This paper presents a set of magnetohydrodynamic experiments for the magnetic reconnection process in a current sheet (CS) formed in the wake of the rising flux rope. The eruption results from the loss of equilibrium in a magnetic configuration that includes a current-carrying flux rope, representing a pre-existing filament. In order to study the fine structure and micro processes inside the CS, mesh refinement is used to reduce the numerical diffusion. We start with a uniform, explicitly defined resistivity which results in a Lundquist number S = 104 in the vicinity of CS. The use of mesh refinement allows the simulation to capture high-resolution features such as plasmoids from the tearing mode and plasmoid instability regions of turbulence and slow-mode shocks. Inside the CS, magnetic reconnection goes through the Sweet-Parker and the fractal stages, and eventually displays a time-dependent Petschek pattern. Our results support the concept of fractal reconnection suggested by Shibata et al. and Shibata & Tanuma, and also suggest that the CS evolves through Sweet-Parker reconnection prior to the fast reconnection stage. For the first time, the detailed features and/or fine structures inside the coronal mass ejection/flare CS in the eruption were investigated in this work.