Ejection of current sheet with plasma mass causes impulsive and intermittent magnetic reconnection in the TS-3 spherical tokamak (ST) merging experiment. Under high guide toroidal field, the sheet resistivity is almost classical due to the sheet thickness much longer than the ion gyroradius. Large inflow flux and low current-sheet resistivity result in flux and plasma pileup followed by rapid growth of the current sheet. When the pileup exceeds a critical limit, the sheet is ejected mechanically from the squeezed X-point area. The reconnection (outflow) speed is slow during the flux/plasma pileup and is fast during the ejection, suggesting that intermittent reconnection similar to the solar flare increases the averaged reconnection speed. These transient effects enable the merging tokamaks to have the fast reconnection as well as the high-power reconnection heating, even when their current-sheet resistivity is low under high guide field.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Condensed Matter Physics