Fast sawtooth reconnection at realistic Lundquist numbers

S. Günter, Q. Yu, K. Lackner, A. Bhattacharjee, Y. M. Huang

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43 Scopus citations


Magnetic reconnection, a ubiquitous phenomenon in astrophysics, space science and magnetic confinement research, frequently proceeds much faster than predicted by simple resistive MHD theory. Acceleration can result from the break-up of the thin Sweet-Parker current sheet into plasmoids, or from two-fluid effects decoupling mass and magnetic flux transport over the ion inertial length νAci or the drift scale √Te/mi/ωci , depending on the absence or presence of a strong magnetic guide field. We describe new results on the modelling of sawtooth reconnection in a simple tokamak geometry (circular cylindrical equilibrium) pushed to realistic Lundquist numbers for present day tokamaks. For the resistive MHD case, the onset criteria and the influence of plasmoids on the reconnection process agree well with earlier results found in the case of vanishing magnetic guide fields. While plasmoids are also observed in two-fluid calculations, they do not dominate the reconnection process for the range of plasma parameters considered in this study. In the two-fluid case they form as a transient phenomenon only. The reconnection times become weakly dependent on the S-value and for the most complete model - including two-fluid effects and equilibrium temperature and density gradients - agree well with those experimentally found on ASDEX Upgrade (≤ 100 μs).

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number014017
JournalPlasma Physics and Controlled Fusion
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 1 2015

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Nuclear Energy and Engineering
  • Condensed Matter Physics


  • Magnetic reconnection
  • Plasmoids
  • Sawteeth
  • Two-fluid effects


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