[PAST EVENT] Physics Colloquium

April 1, 2011
Abstract: Magnetic reconnection is the phenomenon where magnetic field lines slip through a plasma in a localized region and "reconnect", changing the field line topology. This occurs in systems as disparate as magnetic fusion experiments and astrophysical jets. In this talk, I will review the physics of magnetic reconnection and discuss two diagnostics used for identifying and measuring reconnection. I then apply these diagnostics to a simplified model of a line-tied plasma experiment, and report simulation results which show that the reconnection in this model depends on the length of the system.