Driven Magnetic Reconnection During the Formation of a Two-Cell Field-Reversed Configuration

  1. Edward W. Hones Jr.
  1. E. Sevillano and
  2. F. L. Ribe

Published Online: 19 MAR 2013

DOI: 10.1029/GM030p0313

Magnetic Reconnection in Space and Laboratory Plasmas

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

Author Information

  1. University of Washington, Seattle, WA 98195

Publication History

  1. Published Online: 19 MAR 2013
  2. Published Print: 1 JAN 1984

ISBN Information

Print ISBN: 9780875900582

Online ISBN: 9781118664223

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Keywords:

  • Field-reversed configuration (FRC);
  • Magnetic reconnection;
  • Plasma resistivity;
  • Theta-pinch coil segments;
  • Two-cell field-reversed configuration

Summary

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.