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Measurement of Lower-hybrid Drift Turbulence in a Reconnecting Current Sheet

Description: We present a detailed study of fluctuations in a laboratory current sheet undergoing magnetic reconnection. The measurements reveal the presence of lower-hybrid-frequency range fluctuations on the edge of current sheets produced in the Magnetic Reconnection Experiment (MRX). The measured fluctuation characteristics are consistent with theoretical predictions for the lower-hybrid drift instability (LHDI). Our observations suggest that the LHDI does not provide any significant turbulent resistivity in MRX current sheets.
Date: June 20, 2001
Creator: Carter, T.A.; Ji, H.; Trintchouk, F.; Yamada, M. & Kulsrud, R.M.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Experimental Investigation of the Neutral sheet Profile During Magnetic Reconnection

Description: During magnetic reconnection, a ''neutral sheet'' current is induced, heating the plasma. The resultant plasma thermal pressure forms a stationary equilibrium with the opposing magnetic fields. The reconnection layer profile holds significant clues about the physical mechanisms which control reconnection. On the Magnetic Reconnection Experiment [M. Yamada et al., Phys. Plasmas 4, 1936 (1997)], a quasi steady-state and axisymmetric neutral sheet profile has been measured precisely using a magnetic probe array with spatial resolution equal to one quarter of the ion gyro-radius. It was found that the reconnecting field profile fits well with a Harris-type profile [E. G. Harris, Il Nuovo Cimento 23, 115 (1962)], B(x) approximately tanh(x/delta). This agreement is remarkable since the Harris theory does not take into account reconnection and associated electric fields and dissipation. An explanation for this agreement is presented. The sheet thickness delta is found to be approximately 0.4 times the ion skin depth, which agrees with a generalized Harris theory incorporating non-isothermal electron and ion temperatures and finite electric field. The detailed study of additional local features of the reconnection region is also presented.
Date: November 1, 1999
Creator: Trintchouk, F.; Ji, H.; Yamada, M.; Kulsrud, R.; Hsu, S. & Carter, T.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Measurement of the Transverse Spitzer Resistivity during Collisional Magnetic Reconnection

Description: Measurement of the transverse resistivity was carried out in a reconnecting current sheet where the mean free path for the Coulomb collision is smaller than the thickness of the sheet. In a collisional neutral sheet without a guide field, the transverse resistivity is directly related to the reconnection rate. A remarkable agreement is found between the measured resistivity and the classical value derived by L. Spitzer. In his calculation the transverse resistivity for the electrons is higher than the parallel resistivity by a factor of 1.96. The measured values have verified this theory to within 30% errors.
Date: September 18, 2000
Creator: Trintchouk, F.; Yamada, M.; Ji, H.; Kulsrud, R.M. & Carter, T.A.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department