Driven Magnetic Reconnection During the Formation of a Two-Cell Field-Reversed Configuration
- Edward W. Hones Jr.
Published Online: 19 MAR 2013
Copyright 1984 by the American Geophysical Union.
Magnetic Reconnection in Space and Laboratory Plasmas
How to Cite
Sevillano, E. and Ribe, F. L. (1984) Driven Magnetic Reconnection During the Formation of a Two-Cell Field-Reversed Configuration, in Magnetic Reconnection in Space and Laboratory Plasmas (ed E. W. Hones), American Geophysical Union, Washington, D. C.. doi: 10.1029/GM030p0313
- Published Online: 19 MAR 2013
- Published Print: 1 JAN 1984
Print ISBN: 9780875900582
Online ISBN: 9781118664223
- Field-reversed configuration (FRC);
- Magnetic reconnection;
- Plasma resistivity;
- Theta-pinch coil segments;
- Two-cell field-reversed configuration
The formation of a two-cell Field-Reversed Configuration has been accomplished with the addition of three independently-driven coils at the ends and near the central plane around the axis of a theta pinch. The reconnection process in the region between the cells has been studied with internal magnetic field probes. It is found that the reconnection in this region (x-circle) consists of two distinct phases. During the initial phase flux is dissipated slowly. This phase is followed by a rapid reconnection process which eventually leads to the formation of two independent cells. The resistivity at the x-circle is a few times classical in the initial phase and an order of magnitude greater during the rapid reconnection process. Recent theory and magnetohydrodynamic particle simulations by Brunel, et al. predict a sudden increase in magnetic reconnection similar to that observed here as the reconnected field lines near the diffusive layer assume a transverse, radial component and are convected axially with the fluid. In an alternative qualitative model radial convection of low density plasma to the diffusive layer near the x circle causes depletion of current carriers and consequent onset of anomalously high resistivity, leading to an increased reconnection rate.