Physical Review Letters -- July 29, 2005 -- Volume 95, pp. 055003

Experimental Verification of the Hall Effect during Magnetic Reconnection in a Laboratory Plasma

Yang Ren, Masaaki Yamada, Stefan Gerhardt, Hantao Ji, Russell Kulsrud, and Aleksey Kuritsyn

Center for Magnetic Self-Organization in Laboratory and Astrophysical Plasmas, Princeton Plasma Physics Laboratory, Princeton University, Princeton, New Jersey 08543, USA

(Received 29 December 2004; published 29 July 2005)

In this Letter we report a clear and unambiguous observation of the out-of-plane quadrupole magnetic field suggested by numerical simulations in the reconnecting current sheet in the magnetic reconnection experiment. Measurements show that the Hall effect is large in the collisionless regime and becomes small as the collisionality increases, indicating that the Hall effect plays an important role in collisionless reconnection.

PACS: 52.35.Vd, 52.72.+v

Full paper: pdf file (176 Kb).