Plasma Physics Seminar ( Phys 769)

Dr. Marc Swisdak
IREAP, University of Maryland

Magnetic Reconnection: An Overview and Current Problems

Abstract:  Magnetic reconnection is a ubiquitous natural process that
converts magnetic energy into heat and fluid motions and is known or
suspected to occur in tokamaks, the magnetosphere, the solar corona, and
accretion disks.  The problem of getting the reconnection rate to be fast
enough to agree with observations is a suprisingly tough one that has only
been solved in the past decade.  After describing a currently accepted
solution I will discuss several current problems in reconnection research,
including the self-consistent generation and importance of turbulence and
the 3D growth of reconnection in the magnetotail.