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Japanese researchers find new classes of electron orbits

Phenomena like solar flares and auroras are consequences of magnetic reconnection in the near-Earth space. These "magnetic reconnection" events are akin to magnetic explosions that accelerate particles as they rapidly change the topology of the magnetic field lines. Researchers in Japan have used a new Particle-In-Cell (PIC) simulator to understand how magnetic reconnection works for the tenuous plasma surrounding our Earth and have identified new classes of electron orbits that help scientists understand the characteristics of the fast jets of electrons that stream from the reconnection region.
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