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This paper investigates the applicability of a fluid model description to magnetic reconnection in collisionless regimes. The solution of a simple model is characterised by the development of a nonlinear microscale. For fluid displacements a few times the inertial skin depth, this microscale becomes comparable with the Debye length or with the electron Larmor radius. The simple model has important limitations although the occurrence of a fast nonlinear stage, where the system evolves more rapidly than the model, seems to be a fairly general phenomenon in weakly collisional systems characterised by macroscopic converging flows. Inclusion of the electron inertial term in Ohm's law may aid understanding of the rapidity of relaxation processes observed in low collisionality plasmas.

Additional information

Authors: OTTAVIANI M, JET Joint Undertaking, Abingdon, Oxon. (GB);PORCELLI F, JET Joint Undertaking, Abingdon, Oxon. (GB)
Bibliographic Reference: Report: JET-P(94)50 EN (1994) 7 pp.
Availability: Available from the Publications Officer, JET Joint Undertaking, Abingdon, Oxon. OX14 3EA (GB)
Record Number: 199510075 / Last updated on: 1995-01-10
Original language: en
Available languages: en
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