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Multiscale Magnetic Reconnection and the FLARE Project

Presentation #209.07 in the session Connecting Magnetic Reconnection across Space and Laboratory Plasmas.

Published onOct 20, 2022
Multiscale Magnetic Reconnection and the FLARE Project

Magnetic reconnection is widely recognized as a fundamental plasma process underlying many explosive and energetic phenomena observed throughout heliophysics. These plasmas are characterized by their high Lundquist numbers, S, and large normalized system sizes, λ. Different multiscale coupling mechanisms occur during reconnection and can be organized in phase diagrams [H. Ji & W. Daughton, Phys. Plasmas 18, 111207 (2011); H. Ji, W. Daughton, J. Jara-Almonte, A. Le, A. Stanier & J. Yoo, Nat. Rev. Phys. 4, 263 (2022)]. Statistical properties of reconnecting current sheets in these multiscale phases are of crucial importance in determining the energetic consequences of magnetic reconnection, such as the non-thermal acceleration of electrons. This presentation summarizes recent progress in quantifying statistical properties by analyzing magnetotail reconnection data [K. Bergstedt, H. Ji, J. Jara-Almonte, J. Yoo, R. Ergun & L.-J. Chen, Geophys. Res. Lett. 47, e2020GL088540 (2020)], and theoretically predicting the effect of a guide field on plasmoid size distributions [S. Majeski, H. Ji, J. Jara-Almonte & J. Yoo, Phys. Plasmas 28, 042108 (2021)]. The upcoming multiscale experiment FLARE (Facility for LAboratory Reconnection Experiments) will be a DoE collaborative user facility and will provide the first experimental access to these multiscale phases. The status and plan for FLARE will be reported.

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