Physical Review Letters -- April 24, 2000 -- Volume 84, Issue 17, pp. 3859-3862

Local Measurement of Nonclassical Ion Heating during Magnetic Reconnection

S. C. Hsu, G. Fiksel, T. A. Carter, H. Ji, R. M. Kulsrud, and M. Yamada
Princeton Plasma Physics Laboratory, P.O. Box 451, Princeton, New Jersey 08543

(Received 23 November 1999; revised 1 March 2000)

Local ion temperature and flows are measured directly in the well-characterized reconnection layer of a laboratory plasma. The measurements indicate strongly that ions are heated due to reconnection and that more than half of the reconnected field energy is converted to ion thermal energy. Neither classical viscous damping of the observed sub-Alfvénic ion flows nor classical energy exchange with electrons is sufficient to account for the ion heating, suggesting the importance of nonclassical dissipation mechanisms in the reconnection layer. ©2000 The American Physical Society

PACS: 52.20.-j, 52.30.Jb, 96.60.Rd

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