Magnetic reconnection between colliding magnetized laser-produced plasma plumes.

Academic Article


  • Observations of magnetic reconnection between colliding plumes of magnetized laser-produced plasma are presented. Two counterpropagating plasma flows are created by irradiating oppositely placed plastic (CH) targets with 1.8-kJ, 2-ns laser beams on the Omega EP Laser System. The interaction region between the plumes is prefilled with a low-density background plasma and magnetized by an externally applied magnetic field, imposed perpendicular to the plasma flow, and initialized with an X-type null point geometry with B=0 at the midplane and B=8  T at the targets. The counterflowing plumes sweep up and compress the background plasma and the magnetic field into a pair of magnetized ribbons, which collide, stagnate, and reconnect at the midplane, allowing the first detailed observations of a stretched current sheet in laser-driven reconnection experiments. The dynamics of current sheet formation are in good agreement with first-principles particle-in-cell simulations that model the experiments.
  • Authors

  • Fiksel, G
  • Fox, W
  • Bhattacharjee, A
  • Barnak, DH
  • Chang, P-Y
  • Germaschewski, Kai
  • Hu, SX
  • Nilson, PM
  • Status

    Publication Date

  • September 5, 2014
  • Has Subject Area

    Published In

    Digital Object Identifier (doi)

    Pubmed Id

  • 25238366
  • Start Page

  • 105003
  • Volume

  • 113
  • Issue

  • 10