Laboratory Studies of the Physics of Two-Fluids MHD for Magnetic Reconnection

Masaki Yamada
Princeton University

Magnetic reconnection is one of the most important self-organization processes in plasmas. The recent advances in laboratory plasma physics, along with the surge of space physics data from satellites, have made cross-cutting research very useful for obtaining new physics understanding of its key processes. Also the recent rapid advance of numerical simulation has played an important role to bridge laboratory data with space-astrophysical observations [1]. Reconnection plays a central role in the interaction between the solar wind and the earth’s dipole field. Recently the two-fluids MHD physics issues for reconnection dynamics have been intensively investigated in both 2-D and 3-D geometries. The results from dedicated laboratory experiments on magnetic reconnection [2] depict many striking commonalities with the observations in the dayside and tail-side magnetosphere sheaths [3,4]. This paper provides a brief review of the most recent results from MRX [Magnetic Reconnection Experiment] [5,6] which address two-fluid physics issues for magnetic reconnection as well as comparison of the MRX data with the recent space observations.

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