Dartmouth Events

Physics & Astronomy Colloquium - Jim Drake, University of Maryland

Title: "Magnetic Reconnection and Particle Acceleration in Space and Astrophysical Systems"

Friday, September 28, 2018
3:00pm – 4:00pm
Wilder 104
Intended Audience(s): Public
Categories: Lectures & Seminars

Abstract:  Magnetic reconnection converts energy into high-speed flows, thermal
and energetic particles in a broad range of systems both in the
heliosphere and the broader universe. The most detailed measurements
are within the heliosphere, which therefore acts as an effective
laboratory for many issues related to reconnection. While the
mechanisms for fast reconnection are now fairly well understood, the
physics basis for the explosive onset of reconnection and the
mechanisms for energy conversion are active topics. Satellite-based
observations are producing important constraints on theoretical
models. In solar flares the energy released is roughly equally
partitioned between the thermal particles and the energetic
components. In the magnetosphere and the laboratory thermal ions carry
the bulk of the released energy. The MMS mission is producing
unprecedented measurements in Earth's space environment that are being
used to benchmark computational models. The observations of impulsive
energy release in flares in the Crab Nebula precipitated a rapid
increase in the interest in reconnection-driven particle acceleration
in astrophysical systems. The basic physics of reconnection will be
presented along with current ideas on the mechanisms for plasma
heating and energetic particle production.

For more information, contact:
Tressena Manning

Events are free and open to the public unless otherwise noted.