Experimental Test of the Sweet-Parker Model of Magnetic Reconnection

We report a quantitative experimental test of the Sweet-Parker model of magnetic reconnection in a controlled laboratory plasma. It is found that the observed reconnection rate can be explained by a generalized Sweet-Parker model which incorporates compressibility, downstream pressure, and the effective resistivity. The latter is significantly enhanced over its classical values in the collisionless limit.

A Modified Sweet-Parker Model Including Compressibility and Downstream Pressure