Institution(s): 1. University of Maryland
Magnetic reconnection is the driver of explosive energy release in laboratory, space and astrophysical plasma systems. It plays a central
role in such diverse phenomena as solar and stellar flares, flares in pulsar nebulae, gamma ray bursts and possibly even in the production
of energetic particles in supernova shocks. The close interaction of scientists doing laboratory experiments, in situ satellite measurements and theory and modeling has led to remarkable progress on key issues such as the mechanisms for fast energy release and heating and particle acceleration. There are, however, many open issues. The talk will address the emerging understanding of reconnection as well as areas where significant uncertainty remains. The role of new laboratory experiments such as FLARE at PPPL and the recently launched four-spacecraft MMS mission in resolving open issues will be discussed.