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Title: Experimental verification of the role of electron pressure in fast magnetic reconnection with a guide field

We report detailed laboratory observations of the structure of a reconnection current sheet in a two-fluid plasma regime with a guide magnetic field. We observe and quantitatively analyze the quadrupolar electron pressure variation in the ion-diffusion region, as originally predicted by extended magnetohydrodynamics simulations. The projection of the electron pressure gradient parallel to the magnetic field contributes significantly to balancing the parallel electric field, and the resulting cross-field electron jets in the reconnection layer are diamagnetic in origin. Furthermore, these results demonstrate how parallel and perpendicular force balance are coupled in guide field reconnection and confirm basic theoretical models of the importance of electron pressure gradients for obtaining fast magnetic reconnection.
Authors:
 [1] ;  [2] ;  [3] ;  [1] ;  [1] ;  [1] ;  [1]
  1. Princeton Plasma Physics Lab. (PPPL), Princeton, NJ (United States)
  2. Imperial College, London (United Kingdom); Massachusetts Inst. of Technology (MIT), Cambridge, MA (United States)
  3. Max-Planck-Institut fur Plasmaphysik, Greifswald (Germany)
Publication Date:
Report Number(s):
PPPL-5370
Journal ID: ISSN 0031-9007; PRLTAO; TRN: US1702765
Grant/Contract Number:
AC02-04CH11466; NNH15AB29I; NNH14AX631; 633053; AC0204CH11466
Type:
Accepted Manuscript
Journal Name:
Physical Review Letters
Additional Journal Information:
Journal Volume: 118; Journal Issue: 12; Journal ID: ISSN 0031-9007
Publisher:
American Physical Society (APS)
Research Org:
Princeton Plasma Physics Lab. (PPPL), Princeton, NJ (United States)
Sponsoring Org:
USDOE
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English
Subject:
70 PLASMA PHYSICS AND FUSION TECHNOLOGY
OSTI Identifier:
1371564
Alternate Identifier(s):
OSTI ID: 1347821