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Experimental studies of the magnetic structure and plasma dynamics in current sheets (a review)

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Abstract

Based on measurements of magnetic fields in current sheets, spatial distributions of the electric current and electrodynamic forces in successive stages of the sheet evolution are determined. Two new effects manifesting themselves mostly in the late stages of the current sheet evolution have been discovered, namely, expansion of the current flow region at the periphery of the sheet and the appearance of a region with inverse currents, which gradually expands from the periphery toward the center of the sheet. Using spectroscopic methods, generation of superthermal plasma flows accelerated along the sheet width from the center toward the periphery has been revealed and investigated. The measured energies of accelerated plasma ions satisfactorily agree with the Ampère forces determined from magnetic measurements. The excitation of inverse currents additionally confirms the motion of high-speed plasma flows from the center of the current sheet toward its side edges.

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Correspondence to A. G. Frank.

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Original Russian Text © A.G. Frank, N.P. Kyrie, 2017, published in Uspekhi Prikladnoi Fiziki, 2015, Vol. 3, No. 5, pp. 454–470.

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Frank, A.G., Kyrie, N.P. Experimental studies of the magnetic structure and plasma dynamics in current sheets (a review). Plasma Phys. Rep. 43, 696–710 (2017). https://doi.org/10.1134/S1063780X1706006X

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