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Experimental study of ion heating and acceleration during magnetic reconnection

Hsu, S. C. and Carter, T. A. and Fiksel, G. and Ji, H. and Kulsrud, R. M. and Yamada, M. (2001) Experimental study of ion heating and acceleration during magnetic reconnection. Physics of Plasmas, 8 (5). pp. 1916-1928. ISSN 1070-664X. doi:10.1063/1.1356737.

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Ion heating and acceleration has been studied in the well-characterized reconnection layer of the Magnetic Reconnection Experiment [M. Yamada , Phys. Plasmas 4, 1936 (1997)]. Ion temperature in the layer rises substantially during null-helicity reconnection in which reconnecting field lines are anti-parallel. The plasma outflow is sub-Alfvenic due to a downstream back pressure. An ion energy balance calculation based on the data and including classical viscous heating indicates that ions are heated largely via nonclassical mechanisms. The T-i rise is much smaller during co-helicity reconnection in which field lines reconnect obliquely. This is consistent with a slower reconnection rate and a smaller resistivity enhancement over the Spitzer value. These observations show that nonclassical dissipation mechanisms can play an important role both in heating the ions and in facilitating the reconnection process.

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Additional Information:© 2001 American Institute of Physics. Received 23 October 2000; accepted 24 January 2001. This work was taken from the doctoral dissertation of S. Hsu. It is a pleasure to acknowledge D. Cylinder for technical assistance and Dr. F. Trintchouk, Dr. F. Levinton, and Dr. R. Bell for helpful discussions regarding the spectroscopy. MRX is funded jointly by the Dept. of Energy, the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA), and the National Science Foundation. Two of us (S.C.H. and T.A.C.) acknowledge the support of NASA Graduate Student Researchers Program fellowships. S. C. Hsu, invited speaker. Based on the talk, Paper VI1 3, Bull. Am. Phys. Soc. 45, 322 (2000).
Subject Keywords:plasma heating; plasma temperature; plasma confinement; plasma magnetohydrodynamics; plasma flow
Issue or Number:5
Record Number:CaltechAUTHORS:HSUpop01
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Usage Policy:No commercial reproduction, distribution, display or performance rights in this work are provided.
ID Code:2085
Deposited By: Tony Diaz
Deposited On:07 Mar 2006
Last Modified:08 Nov 2021 19:45

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