Magnetic reconnection in partially ionized plasmas

Lei Ni, Hantao Ji, Nicholas A. Murphy, Jonathan Jara-Almonte

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

27 Scopus citations


Magnetic reconnection has been intensively studied in fully ionized plasmas. However, plasmas are often partially ionized in astrophysical environments. The interactions between the neutral particles and ionized plasmas might strongly affect the reconnection mechanisms. We review magnetic reconnection in partially ionized plasmas in different environments from theoretical, numerical, observational and experimental points of view.We focus on mechanisms which make magnetic reconnection fast enough to compare with observations, especially on the reconnection events in the low solar atmosphere. The heating mechanisms and the related observational evidence of the reconnection process in the partially ionized low solar atmosphere are also discussed. We describe magnetic reconnection in weakly ionized astrophysical environments, including the interstellar medium and protostellar discs. We present recent achievements about fast reconnection in laboratory experiments for partially ionized plasmas.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number20190867
JournalProceedings of the Royal Society A: Mathematical, Physical and Engineering Sciences
Issue number2236
StatePublished - Apr 1 2020

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • General Engineering
  • General Physics and Astronomy
  • General Mathematics


  • Experiment
  • Magnetic reconnection
  • Partially ionized plasmas
  • Simulation
  • Theory


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