The magnetic reconnection process is studied in a wide range of operating conditions in the well-controlled Magnetic Reconnection Experiment. The reconnection rate is observed to be a function of both global (system size) and local (collisionality) plasma parameters. When only local collisionality is lowered, the current sheet is shortened while effective resistivity is enhanced, both accelerating reconnection rates. At a fixed collisionality, the current sheet length increases with system size, resulting in the reduction of the reconnection rate. These results quantitatively agree with a generalized Sweet-Parker analysis.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Earth and Planetary Sciences(all)