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Title: First experiments probing the collision of parallel magnetic fields using laser-produced plasmas

Novel experiments to study the strongly-driven collision of parallel magnetic fields in β~10, laser-produced plasmas have been conducted using monoenergetic proton radiography. These experiments were designed to probe the process of magnetic flux pileup, which has been identified in prior laser-plasma experiments as a key physical mechanism in the reconnection of anti-parallel magnetic fields when the reconnection inflow is dominated by strong plasma flows. In the present experiments using colliding plasmas carrying parallel magnetic fields, the magnetic flux is found to be conserved and slightly compressed in the collision region. Two-dimensional (2D) particle-in-cell (PIC) simulations predict a stronger flux compression and amplification of the magnetic field strength, and this discrepancy is attributed to the three-dimensional (3D) collision geometry. Future experiments may drive a stronger collision and further explore flux pileup in the context of the strongly-driven interaction of magnetic fields.
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  1. Plasma Science and Fusion Center and Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge, MA (United States)
  2. Princeton Plasma Physics Laboratory, Princeton, NJ (United States)
  3. University of Rochester, NY (United States). Laboratory for Laser Energetics
  4. Lawrence Livermore National Lab. (LLNL), Livermore, CA (United States)
Publication Date:
OSTI Identifier:
Grant/Contract Number:
NA0001857; NA0002035
Accepted Manuscript
Journal Name:
Physics of Plasmas
Additional Journal Information:
Journal Volume: 22; Journal Issue: 4; Journal ID: ISSN 1070-664X
American Institute of Physics (AIP)
Research Org:
Plasma Science and Fusion Center and Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge, MA (United States); High Energy Density Physics Division; Plasma Science and Fusion Center, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge, Massachusetts (United States)
Sponsoring Org:
USDOE National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA)
Country of Publication:
United States