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Title: Experimental Investigation of the Neutral sheet Profile During Magnetic Reconnection

Abstract

During magnetic reconnection, a ''neutral sheet'' current is induced, heating the plasma. The resultant plasma thermal pressure forms a stationary equilibrium with the opposing magnetic fields. The reconnection layer profile holds significant clues about the physical mechanisms which control reconnection. On the Magnetic Reconnection Experiment [M. Yamada et al., Phys. Plasmas 4, 1936 (1997)], a quasi steady-state and axisymmetric neutral sheet profile has been measured precisely using a magnetic probe array with spatial resolution equal to one quarter of the ion gyro-radius. It was found that the reconnecting field profile fits well with a Harris-type profile [E. G. Harris, Il Nuovo Cimento 23, 115 (1962)], B(x) approximately tanh(x/delta). This agreement is remarkable since the Harris theory does not take into account reconnection and associated electric fields and dissipation. An explanation for this agreement is presented. The sheet thickness delta is found to be approximately 0.4 times the ion skin depth, which agrees with a generalized Harris theory incorporating non-isothermal electron and ion temperatures and finite electric field. The detailed study of additional local features of the reconnection region is also presented.

Authors:
; ; ; ; ;
Publication Date:
Research Org.:
Princeton Plasma Physics Lab., NJ (US)
Sponsoring Org.:
USDOE Office of Energy Research (ER) (US)
OSTI Identifier:
14919
Report Number(s):
PPPL-3394
TRN: US0106852
DOE Contract Number:
AC02-76CH03073
Resource Type:
Technical Report
Resource Relation:
Other Information: PBD: 1 Nov 1999
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English
Subject:
70 PLASMA PHYSICS AND FUSION TECHNOLOGY; ELECTRIC FIELDS; ELECTRON TEMPERATURE; HEATING; ION TEMPERATURE; MAGNETIC FIELDS; MAGNETIC PROBES; MAGNETIC RECONNECTION; PLASMA; SPATIAL RESOLUTION

Citation Formats

F. Trintchouk, H. Ji, M. Yamada, R. Kulsrud, S. Hsu, and T. Carter. Experimental Investigation of the Neutral sheet Profile During Magnetic Reconnection. United States: N. p., 1999. Web. doi:10.2172/14919.
F. Trintchouk, H. Ji, M. Yamada, R. Kulsrud, S. Hsu, & T. Carter. Experimental Investigation of the Neutral sheet Profile During Magnetic Reconnection. United States. doi:10.2172/14919.
F. Trintchouk, H. Ji, M. Yamada, R. Kulsrud, S. Hsu, and T. Carter. Mon . "Experimental Investigation of the Neutral sheet Profile During Magnetic Reconnection". United States. doi:10.2172/14919. https://www.osti.gov/servlets/purl/14919.
@article{osti_14919,
title = {Experimental Investigation of the Neutral sheet Profile During Magnetic Reconnection},
author = {F. Trintchouk and H. Ji and M. Yamada and R. Kulsrud and S. Hsu and T. Carter},
abstractNote = {During magnetic reconnection, a ''neutral sheet'' current is induced, heating the plasma. The resultant plasma thermal pressure forms a stationary equilibrium with the opposing magnetic fields. The reconnection layer profile holds significant clues about the physical mechanisms which control reconnection. On the Magnetic Reconnection Experiment [M. Yamada et al., Phys. Plasmas 4, 1936 (1997)], a quasi steady-state and axisymmetric neutral sheet profile has been measured precisely using a magnetic probe array with spatial resolution equal to one quarter of the ion gyro-radius. It was found that the reconnecting field profile fits well with a Harris-type profile [E. G. Harris, Il Nuovo Cimento 23, 115 (1962)], B(x) approximately tanh(x/delta). This agreement is remarkable since the Harris theory does not take into account reconnection and associated electric fields and dissipation. An explanation for this agreement is presented. The sheet thickness delta is found to be approximately 0.4 times the ion skin depth, which agrees with a generalized Harris theory incorporating non-isothermal electron and ion temperatures and finite electric field. The detailed study of additional local features of the reconnection region is also presented.},
doi = {10.2172/14919},
journal = {},
number = ,
volume = ,
place = {United States},
year = {Mon Nov 01 00:00:00 EST 1999},
month = {Mon Nov 01 00:00:00 EST 1999}
}

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