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"Experimental Research of Formation and Evolution of Current Sheets and Magnetic Reconnection Phenomena in 2D and 3D Magnetic Configurations"

A. G. Frank, S. Yu. Bogdanov, N. P. Kyrie, V. S. Markov
(General Physics Institute of the Russian Academy of Sciences)


Experimental results are presented on the current sheet (CS) formation and evolution and magnetic reconnection processes in 2D and 3D magnetic configurations with some topological singularities: null-lines, null points, singular lines.

Evolution of CS in 2D magnetic fields with the null-lines manifests the principal features of flare-type phenomena, including gradual accumulation of magnetic energy, its fast release, plasma heating, mass ejections, acceleration of charged particles. The ways of magnetic energy transformation (mostly into the thermal or kinetic plasma energy) depend significantly on the CS internal magnetic structure.

Considerable recent attention has been concentrated on the study of 3D magnetic configurations. We have revealed that CS formation occurs in various 3D non-uniform fields, both with and without isolated magnetic null-points, specifically in magnetic configurations with X-lines, i.e. in a presence of an intense longitudinal magnetic field component. Parameters of CS are governed by the characteristics of 3D magnetic configuration. CS can form a twisted surface, and then its angular orientation is controlled by a local value of the transverse magnetic field gradient. Plasma density inside the CS goes down in a presence of the longitudinal magnetic field component, displaying a gradual transition to a behavior of the uncompressible plasma.

The experimental data demonstrate that plasma flows in the non-uniform magnetic fields result in the formation of CS and thus produce the basis for the magnetic reconnection phenomena.