Title: Coalescence of two magnetic flux ropes via collisional magnetic reconnection
Authors: Furno, I ×
Intrator, TP
Hemsing, EW
Hsu, SC
Abbate, S
Ricci, P
Lapenta, Giovanni #
Issue Date: 2005
Publisher: Amer inst physics
Series Title: Physics of plasmas vol:12 issue:5
Article number: 055702
Abstract: Quasi-two-dimensional coalescence of two parallel cylindrical flux ropes and the development of three-dimensional merged structures are observed and studied in the reconnection scaling experiment [Furno , Rev. Sci. Instrum. 74, 2324 (2003)]. These experiments were conducted in a collisional regime with very strong guide magnetic field (B-guide> B-reconnection), which can be adjusted independently of plasma density, current density, and temperature. During initial coalescence, a reconnection current sheet forms between the two flux ropes, and the direction of the current is opposite to the flux rope currents. The measured current sheet thickness is larger than the electron skin depth but smaller than the ion skin depth. Furthermore, the thickness does not vary for three different values of the strong external guide field. It is shown that the geometry of the observed current sheet is consistent with the Sweet-Parker model using a parallel Spitzer resistivity. The flux ropes eventually become kink unstable due to increasing current and fast-gated camera images show the development of three-dimensional merged structures. (c) 2005 American Institute of Physics.
ISSN: 1070-664X
Publication status: published
KU Leuven publication type: IT
Appears in Collections:Plasma-astrophysics Section
× corresponding author
# (joint) last author

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