The role which resistivity plays in breaking magnetic field lines, heating the plasma, and plasma-field slippage during magnetic reconnection is discussed. Magnetic fluctuations are observed in the MRX (magnetic reconnection experiment) [M. Yamada, H. Ji, S. Hsu, T. Carter, R. Kulsrud, N. Bertz, F. Jobes, Y. Ono, and F. Perkins, Phys. Plasmas 4, 1936 (1997)] that are believed to provide resistive friction or wave resistivity. A localized linear theory has been proposed for their origin as an obliquely propagating lower hybrid drift instability. In this paper, the linear theory of the instability is summarized, and the resulting heating and slippage are calculated from quasilinear theory. Making use of measured amplitudes of the magnetic fluctuations in the MRX, the amount of these effects is estimated. Within the experimental uncertainties they are shown to be quite important for the magnetic reconnection process.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Condensed Matter Physics