Recent Advances in Understanding of Magnetic Reconnection

H. Karimabadi1, W. Daughton2, L. Yin2, V. Roytershteyn2

1 University of California at San Diego, USA
2Los Alamos National Laboratory, USA


Magnetic reconnection is a fundamental process which occurs in a variety of environments ranging from laboratory fusion machines, planetary magnetospheres, solar flares, to astrophysical settings. Reconnection apparently is operative in diverse range of plasma parameters and conditions, from collisionless to semi-collisional, and from laminar to turbulent medium. One of the key issues is the physics and conditions that enable fast reconnection. There are also related questions such as whether reconnection is steady or time-dependent or whether the details of reconnection are controlled by global boundary conditions. The role of 3D effects has also been poorly understood. In this talk we will review the latest advances in the physics of magnetic reconnection. In particular, we will examine the cause of fast reconnection, 2D vs 3D, the transition to the semi-collisional regime, and effects of turbulence.