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February 28, 2012 – “Magnetic Reconnection Throughout the Heliosphere”


Speaker:Mark Swisdak (University of Maryland)
Date:February 28, 2012
Time:4:00 PM
Location:LASP Space Science Building, room N248 upstairs. Map

Seminar Abstract:

Throughout the heliosphere magnetic reconnection facilitates the conversion of the energy stored in stressed magnetic fields into thermal energy, high-speed flows, and energetic particles. After first discussing the basic theory of reconnection and the role numerical simulations play in our current understanding of it, I will consider the effects of different plasma environments, including such variables as ion mass, plasma beta, and field shear angle. Such variations can be found in the heliosphere and I will discuss examples including the terrestrial magnetopause, Saturn, and the heliosheath.