Magnetic reconnection: where now and where next?

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An RAS Specialist Discussion Meeting organised by Anthony Yeates (Durham)*, Alexander Russell (Dundee), Jonathan Eastwood (Imperial)*Contact: anthony.yeates AT durham.ac.uk Magnetic reconnection is a critical process in highly-conducting plasmas ranging from the Sun's atmosphere to the Earth's magnetosphere and even laboratory experiments. It is the means by which these plasmas are able to release energy previously bound up in the magnetic connectivity. Yet despite more than a half-century of progress, researchers are still struggling with the complications of real plasmas, for example: What are the influences of kinetic effects on reconnection? How do we define and measure reconnection in three-dimensions? Can we predict where reconnection will take place in a complex magnetic field and how it will proceed? The theme of this meeting is to reflect on the cutting edge techniques and observations that are currently shedding light on reconnection, and to discuss where future efforts should be directed. 1ST SESSION (10:30-11:40) – CHAIR JONATHAN EASTWOOD10:30 Jim Drake (University of Maryland)
TBA. Topics: collisionless reconnection, MMS 11:10 Posters
Eleven presentations will be given in the poster session with posters also on display at lunch to encourage maximum discussion. 2ND SESSION (11:45-13:00) – CHAIR ALEXANDER RUSSELL11:45 Julie Stevenson (University of St Andrews)
Spontaneous reconnection at a separator current layer 12:00 Robert Fear (University of Southampton)
The role of magnetotail reconnection during northward IMF 12.15 David Pontin (University of Dundee)
Magnetic reconnection and tearing in a 3D current sheet about a solar coronal null 12.30 Keith Moffat (University of Cambridge)
Reconnection of skewed magnetic flux tubes  12.45 Chris Arridge (Lancaster University)
Magnetotail and magnetodisc reconnection in a rotating magnetosphere 13:00 Lunch
Please note that we are not able to offer sandwiches for purchase at Burlington House, however, there are many good sandwich shops nearby. 3RD SESSION (14:00 -15:30) – CHAIR ANTHONY YEATES14:00 Gunnar Hornig (University of Dundee)
TBA. Topics:3D reconnection, turbulent reconnection 14:40 Heli Hietala (Imperial College London)
Ion temperature anisotropy across a reconnection exhaust jet 14:55 Jaroslav Dudik (University of Cambridge)
Slipping magnetic reconnection observed by SDO/AIA 15:10 Francesco Pegoraro (University of Pisa)
Relativistic magnetic reconnection:covariance and geometry 15:25 Summary and close 15:30 Tea will be available in the Lower Library of the Geological Society for those attending the Open (Monthly A&G) Meeting of the Royal Astronomical Society http://www.maths.dundee.ac.uk/rasreconnection/index.html