skip to main content
OSTI.GOV title logo U.S. Department of Energy
Office of Scientific and Technical Information

Title: A laboratory study of asymmetric magnetic reconnection in strongly-driven plasmas

Abstract

Magnetic reconnection, the annihilation and rearrangement of magnetic fields in a plasma, is a universal phenomenon that frequently occurs when plasmas carrying oppositely-directed field lines collide. In most natural circumstances the collision is asymmetric (the two plasmas having different properties), but laboratory research to date has been limited to symmetric configurations. Additionally, the regime of strongly-driven magnetic reconnection, where the ram pressure of the plasma dominates the magnetic pressure, as in several astrophysical environments, has also received little experimental attention. Thus, we have designed experiments to probe reconnection in asymmetric, strongly-driven, laser-generated plasmas. Here we show that, in this strongly-driven system, the rate of magnetic flux annihilation is dictated by the relative flow velocities of the opposing plasmas and is insensitive to initial asymmetries. Additionally, out-of-plane magnetic fields that arise from asymmetries in the three-dimensional plasma geometry have minimal impact on the reconnection rate, due to the strong flows.

Authors:
 [1];  [1];  [2];  [3];  [1];  [4];  [1];  [3];  [3];  [1]
  1. Massachusetts Inst. of Technology (MIT), Cambridge, MA (United States). Plasma Science and Fusion Center
  2. Princeton Plasma Physics Lab. (PPPL), Princeton, NJ (United States)
  3. Univ. of Rochester, NY (United States). Lab. for Laser Energetics
  4. Lawrence Livermore National Lab. (LLNL), Livermore, CA (United States)
Publication Date:
Research Org.:
Massachusetts Inst. of Technology (MIT), Cambridge, MA (United States). Plasma Science and Fusion Center
Sponsoring Org.:
USDOE National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA)
OSTI Identifier:
1172522
Grant/Contract Number:  
NA0002035; NA0001857
Resource Type:
Journal Article: Accepted Manuscript
Journal Name:
Nature Communications
Additional Journal Information:
Journal Volume: 6; Journal ID: ISSN 2041-1723
Publisher:
Nature Publishing Group
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English
Subject:
70 PLASMA PHYSICS AND FUSION TECHNOLOGY

Citation Formats

Rosenberg, M. J., Li, C. K., Fox, W., Igumenshchev, I., Seguin, F. H., Town, R.P. J., Frenje, J. A., Stoeckl, C., Glebov, V., and Petrasso, R. D.. A laboratory study of asymmetric magnetic reconnection in strongly-driven plasmas. United States: N. p., 2015. Web. doi:10.1038/ncomms7190.
Rosenberg, M. J., Li, C. K., Fox, W., Igumenshchev, I., Seguin, F. H., Town, R.P. J., Frenje, J. A., Stoeckl, C., Glebov, V., & Petrasso, R. D.. A laboratory study of asymmetric magnetic reconnection in strongly-driven plasmas. United States. doi:10.1038/ncomms7190.
Rosenberg, M. J., Li, C. K., Fox, W., Igumenshchev, I., Seguin, F. H., Town, R.P. J., Frenje, J. A., Stoeckl, C., Glebov, V., and Petrasso, R. D.. Wed . "A laboratory study of asymmetric magnetic reconnection in strongly-driven plasmas". United States. doi:10.1038/ncomms7190. https://www.osti.gov/servlets/purl/1172522.
@article{osti_1172522,
title = {A laboratory study of asymmetric magnetic reconnection in strongly-driven plasmas},
author = {Rosenberg, M. J. and Li, C. K. and Fox, W. and Igumenshchev, I. and Seguin, F. H. and Town, R.P. J. and Frenje, J. A. and Stoeckl, C. and Glebov, V. and Petrasso, R. D.},
abstractNote = {Magnetic reconnection, the annihilation and rearrangement of magnetic fields in a plasma, is a universal phenomenon that frequently occurs when plasmas carrying oppositely-directed field lines collide. In most natural circumstances the collision is asymmetric (the two plasmas having different properties), but laboratory research to date has been limited to symmetric configurations. Additionally, the regime of strongly-driven magnetic reconnection, where the ram pressure of the plasma dominates the magnetic pressure, as in several astrophysical environments, has also received little experimental attention. Thus, we have designed experiments to probe reconnection in asymmetric, strongly-driven, laser-generated plasmas. Here we show that, in this strongly-driven system, the rate of magnetic flux annihilation is dictated by the relative flow velocities of the opposing plasmas and is insensitive to initial asymmetries. Additionally, out-of-plane magnetic fields that arise from asymmetries in the three-dimensional plasma geometry have minimal impact on the reconnection rate, due to the strong flows.},
doi = {10.1038/ncomms7190},
journal = {Nature Communications},
number = ,
volume = 6,
place = {United States},
year = {Wed Feb 04 00:00:00 EST 2015},
month = {Wed Feb 04 00:00:00 EST 2015}
}

Journal Article:
Free Publicly Available Full Text
Publisher's Version of Record

Citation Metrics:
Cited by: 18 works
Citation information provided by
Web of Science

Save / Share: