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Physics Of Plasmas


Results from a three-dimensional axisymmetric resistive magnetohydrodynamic (MHD) simulation are compared to experimental data from the Swarthmore Spheromak Experiment (SSX) [M. R. Brown, Phys. Plasmas 6, 1717 (1999)]. The MHD simulation is run under conditions and with dimensionless parameters similar to the experiment (Lundquist number S=1000, plasma beta beta =0.1). The simulation is shown to reproduce global equilibrium magnetic field profiles of the spheromaks as well as much of the detailed reconnection dynamics measured when two spheromaks are merged. It is concluded that SSX merger dynamics may be characterized as MHD reconnection, with the likelihood that extensions are needed to account for kinetic effects in the associated current sheet. High spatial and temporal resolution MHD simulation data will be used as input for a particle orbit and energization code. (C) 2001 American Institute of Physics.


This work is freely available courtesy of the American Physical Society Division of Plasma Physics and the American Institute of Physics.

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