Electron Acceleration during Macroscale Non-Relativistic Magnetic Reconnection

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In this thesis we developed the new model {\it kglobal} for the purpose of studying nonthermal electron acceleration in macroscale magnetic reconnection. Unlike PIC codes we can simulate macroscale domains, and unlike MHD codes we can simulate particles that feedback onto the fluids so that the total energy of the system is conserved. This has never been done before. We have benchmarked the model by simulating Alfv'en waves with electron pressure anisotropy, the growth of the firehose instability, and the growth of electron acoustic waves. We then studied the results of magnetic reconnection and found clear power-law tails that can extend for more than two decades in energy with a power-law index that decreases with the strength of the guide field. Reconnection in systems with guide fields approaching unity produce practically no nonthermal electrons. For weak guide fields the model is extremely efficient in producing nonthermal electrons. The nonthermals contain up to $\sim80%$ of the electron energy in our lowest guide field simulation. These results are generally consistent with flare observations and specifically the measurements of the September 10, 2017, flare.