Study of a magnetically driven reconnection platform using ultrafast proton radiography

Abraham Chien, Lan Gao, Hantao Ji, Xiaoxia Yuan, Eric G. Blackman, Hui Chen, Philip C. Efthimion, Gennady Fiksel, Dustin H. Froula, Kenneth W. Hill, Kai Huang, Quanming Lu, John D. Moody, Philip M. Nilson

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17 Scopus citations


A novel magnetically driven reconnection platform was created by a pair of U-shaped Cu coils that connect two parallel Cu plates irradiated at a focused laser intensity of ∼3 × 1016 W/cm2 and characterized using ultrafast proton radiography. The proton data show two prolate voids, each corresponding to the coil current, with an inferred maximum magnitude of 57 ± 4 kA. A center "flasklike" feature was also observed in the proton radiographs. By prescribing electromagnetic fields associated with magnetic reconnection in proton ray tracing simulations, characteristics of this center feature were reproduced. These results demonstrate the robustness of the laser-driven capacitor coils for generating strong magnetic fields and provide promise of using such coils as a viable platform for studying magnetically driven reconnection in the laboratory.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number062113
JournalPhysics of Plasmas
Issue number6
StatePublished - Jun 1 2019

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Condensed Matter Physics


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