The spontaneous formation of plasmoids via the resistive electron tearing of a reconnecting current sheet is observed in the laboratory. These experiments are performed during driven, antiparallel reconnection in the two-fluid regime within the Magnetic Reconnection Experiment. It is found that plasmoids are present even at a very low Lundquist number, and the number of plasmoids scales with both the current sheet aspect ratio and the Lundquist number. The reconnection electric field increases when plasmoids are formed, leading to an enhanced reconnection rate.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Physics and Astronomy(all)