Magnetic reconnection, a process where magnetic fields are rapidly reorganised due to opposing magnetic fields being driven together, is a crucial process in plasma physics. The reconnection can for instance accelerate ions in the Sun's outer atmosphere, however, despite its importance not much is known about reconnection in the field.
Recently a Nature Communications paper revealed novel insights about magnetic fields and how they act in space during interstellar explosions and collisions. Researchers from a collaboration led by the University of York carried out an experiment on the Orion Laser at AWE.
The targets for the experiment were provided by the Target Fabrication (TF) group at the Central Laser Facility, which allowed the scientists to replicate an extreme plasma environment.
Read the AWE article here.