Study of magnetic reconnection in a laboratory experiment

Masaaki Yamada, Hantao Ji, Russell Kulsrud, Aleksey Kuritsyn, Yang Ren, Stefan Gerhardt, Joshua Breslau

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution


This paper reviews the most recent findings of the laboratory experiment which address the local physics of magnetic reconnection, and related physics issues. In particular, physics analysis of the experimental data from Magnetic Reconnection Experiment (MRX) based on the one-fluid MHD and the two-fluid MHD formulations are comparatively highlighted. Major results are: (1) Reduced magnetic reconnection rate measured with externally applied guide field, (2) Experimental verification of Hall MHD effects in the Harris-type neutral sheet, with the width comparable to the ion skin depth, during magnetic reconnection, (3) Recognition of correlation between magnetic turbulence and reconnection rate, and (4) Discussions with regard to scalings for magnetic reconnection observed in MRX, particularly on the transition from the collisional to the collisionless regime. This paper also briefly discusses the basic goals and approaches of the new initiatives to study magnetic reconnection as a part of magnetic self-organization phenomena, a common frontier of both laboratory and space astrophysics research.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationMAGNETIC FIELDS IN THE UNIVERSE
Subtitle of host publicationFrom Laboratory and Stars to Primordial Structures
Number of pages15
StatePublished - Sep 28 2005
EventMAGNETIC FIELDS IN THE UNIVERSE: From Laboratory and Stars to Primordial Structures - Angra dos Reis, Brazil
Duration: Nov 28 2004Dec 3 2004

Publication series

NameAIP Conference Proceedings
ISSN (Print)0094-243X
ISSN (Electronic)1551-7616


OtherMAGNETIC FIELDS IN THE UNIVERSE: From Laboratory and Stars to Primordial Structures
CityAngra dos Reis

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • General Physics and Astronomy


  • Current sheet
  • Electro-magnetic fluctuations
  • Hall effect
  • Magnetic reconnection
  • Plasma
  • Sweet-Parker model
  • Two-fluid MHD


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