"Fast Magnetic Reconnection: Bridging Laboratory and Space Plasma Physics", Professor Amitava Bhattacharjee, University New Hampshire - Durham
Recent developments in experimental and theoretical studies of magnetic recon- nection hold promise for providing solutions to outstanding problems in laborato- ry and space plasma physics. Examples include sawtooth crashes in tokamaks, substorms in the Earth’s Magnetosphere, eruptive solar flares, and more recent- ly, fast reconnection in laser-produced high energy density plasmas. In each of these examples, a common and long-standing challenge has been to explain why fast reconnection proceeds rapidly from a relatively quiescent state. In this talk, we demonstrate the advantages of viewing these problems and their solu- tions from a common perspective. We focus on some recent, surprising discover- ies regarding the role of secondary plasmoid instabilities of thin current sheets. Nonlinearly, these instabilities lead to fast reconnection rates that are very weakly dependent on the Lundquist number of the plasma.
The Princeton Plasma Physics Laboratory 2012-2013 Colloquium Committee is comprised of the following people. Please feel free to contact them by e-mail regarding any possible speakers or topics for future colloquia.