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intrator_rsx_v_v_epr2013_2_13.pdf2013-03-13 10:02:10Tom Intrator

Characterizing simulations of the Reconnection Scaling Experiment

Author: Tom Intrator
Requested Type: Consider for Invited
Submitted: 2012-12-09 22:11:41

Co-authors: W. Daughton, J. Sears, Y. Feng, H. Swan, K. Gao, T. Hutchinson

Contact Info:
Los Alamos National Lab
MS E526
Los Alamos, NM   87545

Abstract Text:
Experimental data for simple, well characterized sheared plasma flows have been produced in the Reconnection Scaling Experiment (RSX), using flux ropes. In a magnetized plasma, magnetohydrodynamics (MHD) can be extended to include ion and electron fluids. The magnetic field is nominally "frozen" to the electron fluid and described by E + v_e X B = 0, where E,B are the electric, magnetic field and v_e is the electron average speed. Sheared electron flows can support growth or destruction of magnetic field. We have benchmarked an analytical screw pinch model that fits the MHD flux rope dynamics. The existence of magnetic reconnection, mingling of flows or fields, shredding of magnetic structure below the ion inertial length scale, or the development of phase space vortices all break MHD. We show experimental data and describe progress towards modeling this experiment with VPIC code. Using VPIC we can simulate not only the MHD like fluid characteristics but also kinetic features in spatial volumes and time intervals where MHD is not valid. Electron fluid velocity is backed out from measurements of ion flow and current density, and cross checked with a force balance. Validated comparisons between simulations initialized by analytical models and detailed, three dimensional, experimental data sets will allow careful error analysis.
*Supported by DOE Office of Fusion Energy Sciences under LANS contract DE-AC52-06NA25369, NASA Geospace NNHIOA044I, Basic

Characterization: 2.0

please consider for oral (invited?) talk.

University of Texas

Workshop on Exploratory Topics in Plasma and Fusion Research (EPR2013)
February 12-15, 2013
Fort Worth, Texas

EPR 2013