Ion and electron heating characteristics of magnetic reconnection in tokamak plasma merging experiments

Y. Ono, H. Tanabe, T. Yamada, M. Inomoto, T. Ii, S. Inoue, K. Gi, T. Watanabe, M. Gryaznevich, R. Scannell, C. Michael, C. Z. Cheng

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Recently, the TS-3 and TS-4 tokamak merging experiments revealed significant plasma heating during magnetic reconnection. A key question is how and where ions and electrons are heated during magnetic reconnection. Two-dimensional measurements of ion and electron temperatures and plasma flow made clear that electrons are heated inside the current sheet mainly by the Ohmic heating and ions are heated in the downstream areas mainly by the reconnection outflows. The outflow kinetic energy is thermalized by the fast shock formation and viscous damping. The magnetic reconnection converts the reconnecting magnetic field energy mostly to the ion thermal energy in the outflow region whose size is much larger than the current sheet size for electron heating. The ion heating energy is proportional to the square of the reconnection magnetic field component B2p.This scaling of reconnection heatingindicates the significant ion heating effect of magnetic reconnection, which leads to a new high-field reconnection heating experiment for fusion plasmas.

Original languageEnglish
Article number124039
JournalPlasma Physics and Controlled Fusion
Issue number12
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2012
Externally publishedYes

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Nuclear Energy and Engineering
  • Condensed Matter Physics


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