Julia Stawarz (Imperial): The Interplay Between Turbulence and Magnetic Reconnection: Insights from NASA’s Magnetospheric Multiscale Mission
Turbulence and magnetic reconnection are both fundamental phenomena, occurring across a wide variety of plasma systems from the laboratory to space and astrophysical plasmas, that have a complex and multifaceted relationship. Turbulent plasmas are well known to generate a multitude of thin current structures that, in principle, can be sites where magnetic reconnection can occur. These “turbulence-driven” magnetic reconnection events have long been speculated to play a role in both the nonlinear dynamics and energy dissipation in turbulent plasmas; however, the complex magnetic topologies and small-scale nature of such reconnection events have traditionally made it challenging to study turbulence-driven reconnection from either a numerical or observational perspective. On the other hand, large system-scale reconnection events, such as those that occur at Earth’s magnetopause or in the magnetotail, are also able to act as a driver for turbulence within the system as the fast reconnection outflow destabilize and interact with the surrounding environment. In this talk, we will discuss this complex interplay between turbulence and magnetic reconnection in light of the cutting-edge observations made by NASA’s four-spacecraft Magnetospheric Mutliscale (MMS) mission in both Earth’s magnetosheath and Earth’s magnetotail.
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