The effect of guide field on magnetic reconnection is quantitatively studied by systematically varying an applied guide field in the Magnetic Reconnection Experiment (MRX). The quadrupole field, a signature of two-fluid reconnection at zero guide field, is altered by a finite guide field. It is shown that the reconnection rate is significantly reduced with increasing guide field, and this dependence is explained by a combination of local and global physics: locally, the in-plane Hall currents are reduced, while globally guide field compression produces an increased pressure both within and downstream of the reconnection region.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Physics and Astronomy(all)