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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. In 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){approx}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 {approx}0.4 times the ion skin depth, which agrees with a generalized Harris theory incorporating nonisothermal electron and ion temperatures and finite electric field. The detailed study of additional local features of the reconnection region is also presented. (c) 2000 American Institute of Physics.

Authors:
 [1];  [1];  [1];  [1];  [1];  [1]
  1. Princeton Plasma Physics Laboratory, P. O. Box 451, Princeton, New Jersey 08543 (United States)
Publication Date:
OSTI Identifier:
20216048
Resource Type:
Journal Article
Journal Name:
Physics of Plasmas
Additional Journal Information:
Journal Volume: 7; Journal Issue: 5; Other Information: PBD: May 2000; Journal ID: ISSN 1070-664X
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English
Subject:
70 PLASMA PHYSICS AND FUSION TECHNOLOGY; MAGNETIC RECONNECTION; PLASMA SHEET; SOLAR FLARES; THICKNESS; MAGNETOHYDRODYNAMICS; EXPERIMENTAL DATA; THEORETICAL DATA

Citation Formats

Yamada, Masaaki, Ji, Hantao, Hsu, Scott, Carter, Troy, Kulsrud, Russell, and Trintchouk, Fedor. Experimental investigation of the neutral sheet profile during magnetic reconnection. United States: N. p., 2000. Web. doi:10.1063/1.873999.
Yamada, Masaaki, Ji, Hantao, Hsu, Scott, Carter, Troy, Kulsrud, Russell, & Trintchouk, Fedor. Experimental investigation of the neutral sheet profile during magnetic reconnection. United States. doi:10.1063/1.873999.
Yamada, Masaaki, Ji, Hantao, Hsu, Scott, Carter, Troy, Kulsrud, Russell, and Trintchouk, Fedor. Mon . "Experimental investigation of the neutral sheet profile during magnetic reconnection". United States. doi:10.1063/1.873999.
@article{osti_20216048,
title = {Experimental investigation of the neutral sheet profile during magnetic reconnection},
author = {Yamada, Masaaki and Ji, Hantao and Hsu, Scott and Carter, Troy and Kulsrud, Russell and Trintchouk, Fedor},
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. In 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){approx}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 {approx}0.4 times the ion skin depth, which agrees with a generalized Harris theory incorporating nonisothermal electron and ion temperatures and finite electric field. The detailed study of additional local features of the reconnection region is also presented. (c) 2000 American Institute of Physics.},
doi = {10.1063/1.873999},
journal = {Physics of Plasmas},
issn = {1070-664X},
number = 5,
volume = 7,
place = {United States},
year = {2000},
month = {5}
}