NP6.9

Turbulent magnetic reconnection in Space, Laboratory and Astrophysical Systems
Convener: Giovanni Lapenta 
Oral Programme
 / Fri, 07 May, 15:30–17:15  / Room 18
Poster Programme
 / Attendance Wed, 05 May, 13:30–15:00  / Halls X/Y
Reconnection is a highly non-linear process that involves the coupling of local dissipations with global driving mechanisms. Reconnection is often studied in laminar conditions. The evidence of several theoretical studies is that in unsteady turbulent conditions reconnection displays entirely new properties. Every indication is that naturally occurring plasmas might be prone, perhaps more prone, to turbulent reconnection conditions. We aim at creating a forum of experts to summarise the recent significant advances in this fiels and provide the forum for discussing new directions.

Reconnection is usually assumed to be slow, unless special conditions are satisfied, e.g. magnetized plasma is collisionless. Is it always true? While a lot of the research in the area of reconnection deals with collisionless processes, many important questions are left unaswered. Is Sweet-Parker reconnection stable for large Lundquist numbers? Do we expect collisional gas, which constitutes most of the Sun's interior, Sun's photosphere, interstellar media etc. to exhibit slow reconnection? The latter would mean that the entire crop of simulations of magnetized collisional media are in error.

The goal of the session is to address the question: what actually is required to make reconnection fast. This goal can be addressed by bringing together theorists working modeling the reconnection and studying its consequences, experimentalists investigating the reconnection in the lab, as well as researchers studying reconnection via in situ spacecraft measurements and observations.

To achieve the goal we plan to address the following set of subquestions: Is collisionless reconnection always fast? Do we have evidence of fast reconnection in the collisional media? Can the instabilities of the current layer in the MHD regime substantially increase the rate of reconnection? Can turbulence influence the speed of reconnection? What is the feedback of the reconnection?
Related event: PSD66 – NP6.9
Wed, 05 May, 15:00–15:45  / Room 35