The effects of partial ionization (ni/nn1%) on magnetic reconnection in the Hall regime have been studied systematically in the Magnetic Reconnection Experiment. It is shown that, when neutrals are added, the Hall quadrupole field pattern and thus electron flow are unchanged while the ion outflow speed is reduced due to ion-neutral drag. However, in contrast to theoretical predictions, the ion diffusion layer width does not change appreciably. Therefore, the total ion outflow flux and the normalized reconnection rate are reduced.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Physics and Astronomy(all)