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Volume 53 Supplement 6

Special Issue: Magnetic Reconnection in Space and Laboratory Plasmas

Experimental study of current sheet evolution in magnetic configurations with null-points and X-lines


A review is presented on experimental research of current sheet formation in 3D magnetic configurations containing null-points and/or singular lines of the X-type. Formation of current sheets is revealed to occur in various 3D configurations, both with and without isolated magnetic null-points, specifically in configurations with X-lines. Local characteristics of 3D magnetic configuration define the parameters of the current sheet, which forms usually a twisted surface with an angular orientation determined by a local value of the transverse magnetic field gradient. A degree of plasma compression into the sheet decreases with a rise of longitudinal magnetic field component, displaying a transition to a behavior of uncompressible plasma. It is established that current sheet formation and magnetic reconnection processes can take place within a limited range of initial conditions, while a gradient of transverse magnetic field is the most important parameter.


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Correspondence to Anna G. Frank.

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Frank, A.G., Bogdanov, S.Y. Experimental study of current sheet evolution in magnetic configurations with null-points and X-lines. Earth Planet Sp 53, 531–537 (2001).

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  • Current Sheet
  • Magnetic Reconnection
  • Singular Line
  • Plasma Compression
  • Plasma Image