On the ions acceleration via collisionless magnetic reconnection in laboratory plasmas

E. Cazzola, D. Curreli, S. Markidis, G. Lapenta

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


This work presents an analysis of the ion outflow from magnetic reconnection throughout fully kinetic simulations with typical laboratory plasma values. A symmetric initial configuration for the density and magnetic field is considered across the current sheet. After analyzing the behavior of a set of nine simulations with a reduced mass ratio and with a permuted value of three initial electron temperatures and magnetic field intensity, the best ion acceleration scenario is further studied with a realistic mass ratio in terms of the ion dynamics and energy budget. Interestingly, a series of shock wave structures are observed in the outflow, resembling the shock discontinuities found in recent magnetohydrodynamic simulations. An analysis of the ion outflow at several distances from the reconnection point is presented, in light of possible laboratory applications. The analysis suggests that magnetic reconnection could be used as a tool for plasma acceleration, with applications ranging from electric propulsion to production of ion thermal beams.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number112108
JournalPhysics of Plasmas
Issue number11
StatePublished - Nov 1 2016

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Condensed Matter Physics


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