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Plasma Physics (Physics/ECE/NE 922) Seminars

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Events on Monday, March 14th, 2016

Magnetic pumping of the solar wind, and new results from the Terrestrial Reconnection Experiment (TREX)
Time: 12:00 pm
Place: 1153 Mechanical Engineering
Speaker: Jan Egedal, UW Madison
Abstract: The transport of matter and radiation in the solar wind and terrestrial magnetosphere is a complicated problem involving competing processes of charged particles interacting with electric and magnetic fields in a turbulent medium. Given the rapid expansion of the solarwind, it would be expected that superthermal electrons originating in the corona would cool rapidly as a function of distance to the Sun. However, this is not observed, and various models have been proposed as plausible candidates for heating the solar wind as it super-sonically streams away from the sun. Here we investigate magnetic pumping as a possible heating source. The mechanism allows energy to be transferred to the particles directly from the largest scales of the solar wind turbulence. Guided by kinetic simulations a theory is derived for magnetic pumping, expressed through a generalization of the Parker Equation to capture the role of the pressure anisotropy during the pumping process. In the talk I will also discuss the latest results from the Terrestrial Reconnection Experiment. These results include the formation of collisionless reconnection layers, strongly modulated by the plasmoid instability.
Host: UW Madison
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