Speaker: Michael Hesse, University of Bergen, Norway
Abstract: Magnetic reconnection is the engine behind the often-explosive conversion of magnetic energy to the energy of particles. Due to this conversion as well as its plasma transport properties, it powers solar eruptions, magnetospheric substorms and storms and the aurora. Further away, in astrophysical systems, it is believed to be tied to gamma ray bursts, accretion disks, and other energy release processes, while it can cause violent disruptions in fusion machines. Due to the extremely small scale size of its central diffusion region, the basic mechanisms behind reconnection have been elusive for many decades. Courtesy of NASA’s Magnetospheric Multiscale mission this has changed in the last three years. This presentation will start with a summary of our present knowledge and present an outlook to open science questions and applications of the new knowledge.