Presentation #209.04 in the session Connecting Magnetic Reconnection across Space and Laboratory Plasmas.
Understanding the conditions that lead to the onset of fast magnetic reconnection in the corona is vital to further understanding of how the corona is heated and how magnetic energy is explosively released to drive coronal eruptions. We present results from 3D, non-linear, visco-resistive simulations of dynamically evolving current sheets with parameters relevant to the solar corona. We find that there is a critical thickness at which the tearing instability of laminar sheets disrupts the system and initiates magnetic reconnection, this critical thickness is related to the relative timescales of the dynamic evolution and the tearing instability itself. We contextualize these results for the observed solar corona and make inferences about the onset of magnetic reconnection in the solar atmosphere.