We developed an experimental platform for studying magnetic reconnection in an external magnetic field with simultaneous measurements of plasma imaging, flow velocity, and magnetic-field variation. Here, we investigate the stagnation and acceleration in counterstreaming plasmas generated by high-power laser beams. A plasma flow perpendicular to the initial flow directions is measured by laser Thomson scattering. The flow is, interestingly, accelerated toward the high-density region, which is opposite to the direction of the acceleration by pressure gradients. This acceleration is possibly interpreted by the interaction of two magnetic field loops initially generated by the Biermann battery effect, resulting in a magnetic reconnection forming a single field loop and additional acceleration by a magnetic tension force.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Condensed Matter Physics