## 52.35.Vd Magnetic reconnection (see also 94.30.cp in physics of the magnetosphere)

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#### Keywords

- Plasmaphysik (2)
- Fusion (1)
- Laboratory experiment (1)
- Laborexperiment (1)
- Magnetfeld (1)
- Magnetfelddiagnostik (1)
- Magnetic field diagnostics (1)
- Magnetic fields (1)
- Magnetic reconnection (1)
- Magnetische Rekonnektion (1)

The collisionless tearing mode is investigated by means of the delta-f PIC code EUTERPE solving the gyrokinetic equation. In this thesis the first simulations of electromagnetic non-ideal MHD modes in a slab geometry with EUTERPE are presented. Linear simulations are carried out in the cases of vanishing and finite temperature gradients. Both cases are benchmarked using a shooting method showing that EUTERPE simulates the linearly unstable tearing mode to a very high accuracy. In the case of finite diamagnetic effects and values of the linear stability parameter Delta of order unity analytic predictions of the linear dispersion relation are compared with simulation results. The comparison validates the analytic results in this parameter range. Nonlinear single-mode simulations are performed in the small- to medium-Delta range measuring the dependency of the saturated island half width on the equilibrium current width. The results are compared with an analytic prediction obtained with a kinetic electromagnetic model. In this thesis the first simulation results in the regime of fast nonlinear reconnection~(medium- to high-Delta range) are presented using the standard gyrokinetic equation. In this regime a nonlinear critical threshold has been found dividing the saturated mode from the super-exponential phase for medium-Delta values. This critical threshold has been proven to occur in two slab equilibria frequently used for reconnection scenarios. Either changing the width of the equilibrium current or the wave number of the most unstable mode makes the threshold apparent. Extensive parameter studies including the variation of the domain extensions as well as the equilibrium current width are dedicated to a comprehensive overview of the critical threshold in a wide range of parameters. Additionally, a second critical threshold for high-Delta equilibria has been observed. A detailed comparison between a compressible gyrofluid code and EUTERPE is carried out. The two models are compared with each other in the linear regime by measuring growth rates over wave numbers of the most unstable mode for two setups of parameters. Analytical scaling predictions of the dispersion relation relevant to the low-Delta regime are discussed. Employing nonlinear simulations of both codes the saturated island half width and oscillation frequency of the magnetic islands are compared in the small-Delta range. Both models agree very well in the limit of marginal instability and differ slightly with decreasing wave vector. Recently, the full polarisation response in the quasi-neutrality equation was implemented in EUTERPE using the PadÃ© approximation of the full gyrokinetic polarisation term. Linear simulation results including finite ratios of ion to electron temperature are benchmarked with the dispersion relation obtained from a hybrid model. Finite temperature effects influence the saturated island width slightly with increasing ion to electron temperature ratio which has been verified by both models.

Magnetic reconnection is a fundamental plasma process where a change in field line connectivity occurs in a current sheet at the boundary between regions of opposing magnetic fields. In this process, energy stored in the magnetic field is converted into kinetic and thermal energy, which provides a source of plasma heating and energetic particles. Magnetic reconnection plays a key role in many space and laboratory plasma phenomena, e.g. solar flares, Earthâ€™s magnetopause dynamics and instabilities in tokamaks. A new linear device (VINETAII) has been designed for the study of the fundamental physical processes involved in magnetic reconnection. The plasma parameters are such that magnetic reconnection occurs in a collision-dominated regime. A plasma gun creates a localized current sheet, and magnetic reconnection is driven by modulating the plasma current and the magnetic field structure. The plasma current is shown to flow in response to a combination of an externally induced electric field and electrostatic fields in the plasma, and is highly affected by axial sheath boundary conditions. Further, the current is changed by an additional axial magnetic field (guide field), and the current sheet geometry was demonstrated to be set by a combination of magnetic mapping and cross-field plasma diffusion. With increasing distance from the plasma gun, magnetic mapping results in an increase of the current sheet length and a decrease of the width. The control parameter is the ratio of the guide field to the reconnection magnetic field strength. Cross-field plasma diffusion leads to a radial expansion of the current sheet at low guide fields. Plasma currents are also observed in the azimuthal plane and were found to originate from a combination of the field-aligned current component and the diamagnetic current generated by steep in-plane pressure gradients in combination with the guide field. The reconnection rate, defined via the inductive electric field, is shown to be directly linked to the time-derivative of the plasma current. The reconnection rate decreases with increasing ratio of the guide field to the reconnection magnetic field strength, which is attributed to the plasma current dependency on axial boundary conditions and the plasma gun discharge. The above outlined results offer insights into the complex interaction between magnetic fields, electric fields, and the localized current flows during reconnection.