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Towards Measurement of Pressure Anisotropy during Collisionless Magnetic Reconnection
Date: Wednesday, December 6th
Time: 2:30 pm - 6:00 pm
Place: B343 Sterling or
Speaker: Cameron Kuchta, Physics PhD Graduate Student
Abstract: The Terrestrial Reconnection EXperiment (TREX) at the Wisconsin Plasma Physics Laboratory (WiPPL) studies collisionless magnetic reconnection [1]. We have developed a new Pressure Anisotropy (PA) probe consisting of 24 langmuir probes; 12 outer tips collect plasma isotropically while the remaining 12 inner tips are shielded and receive plasma directionally. This allows us to measure plasma flows and pressure anisotropy during reconnection. With recent upgrades to our experiment, we are now able to enter the collisionless kinetic regime of magnetic reconnection in which we expect electron anisotropy effects to dominate the physics in the ion diffusion region. This regime is relevant to reconnection in the magnetosphere. Embedded jets, seen in laboratory data, are driven into the outflow of reconnection as expected from spacecraft observation, theory, and simulations [2]. We have also observed signatures of pressure anisotropy with the PA probe. Current progress on probe design and analysis will be presented.

[1] Olson et al. PRL (2016) 116, 255001.Experimental Demonstration of the Collisionless Plasmoid Instability below the Ion Kinetic Scale during Magnetic Reconnection [2] Wetherton et al. JGR Space Physics (2021) 125, e2020JA028604.

This material is based upon work supported by the U.S. Department of Energy, Office of Science, Office of Fusion Energy Sciences under Award Number DE-SC0018266 and DE-SC0020989. It is also based upon work supported by NASA under award No. 80NSSC22K0556.
Host: Jan Egedal
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