"Quantifying the Reconnection Rate in Turbulent Kinetic Layers," by William Daughton (LANL)

Friday, May 2, 2014 - 1:00pm to 2:00pm
Plasma Seminars

Plasma Seminar

Friday, May 2
1:00 PM
Physics and Astronomy Building (PAB) Room 4-330

Guest Speaker: William Daughton (Los Alamos National Laboratory)

Talk Title: "Quantifying the Reconnection Rate in Turbulent Kinetic Layers"


Turbulence and magnetic reconnection are two of the most outstanding problems in theoretical plasma physics with widespread applications and daunting computational challenges.  While historically the overlap between these topics has been rather minimal, recent developments suggest they may be intimately connected.  In particular, recent large-scale 3D kinetic simulations suggest that magnetic reconnection naturally drives turbulence, which is dominated by coherent structures including flux ropes, current sheets and flow vortices.  Defining and computing the reconnection rate in the presence of this complexity has posed a significant challenge.  Here we present a new approach that employs the mixing of electrons across the layer to rapidly identify the magnetic topology and thus track the evolution of magnetic flux.  The initial results suggest that kinetic turbulence may alter the reconnection dynamics in a number of interesting ways.