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Regular version of the site

Article

Universal Scaling of Thin Current Sheets

Geophysical Research Letters. 2020. Vol. 47. P. 1-10.
Zelenyi L. M., Malova H. V., Grigorenko E. E., Popov V., Dubinin E. M.

Thin current sheets (TCSs) with thicknesses about ion Larmor radii are widespread in space. It
is important to describe their equilibrium structure allowing them to store and then explosively release the
accumulated free energy. When ions are moving along quasi‐adiabatic trajectories while magnetized
electrons follow guiding center drift orbits, TCSs can be described within the framework of a hybrid
approach. The thickness of the embedded electron sheet remains uncertain because of the scale‐free
character of electron motion. In this work, we propose a novel analytical model of the multilayer TCS that
provides a universal expression describing the inner (embedded) electron sheet in dependence of TCS
characteristics. An unusual property of the embedded electron layer revealed in this analysis is the nonlinear
profile of the magnetic field in the inner layer: B(z) ~ z1/3, which conforms excellently with MAVEN
observations of 43 TCSs in the Martian magnetotail.