Skip to Main Content
Your organization might have access to this article on the publisher's site. To check, click on this link:http://dx.doi.org/+10.1063/1.1787169
We present the experimental setup and analysis of visible light images from a fast double-gated intensified charge coupled device (CCD) camera currently being used on the reconnection scaling experiment (RSX) at the Los Alamos National Laboratory. In RSX, externally driven free-boundary flux ropes are generated for magnetic reconnection studies in collisional plasma. Time-resolved images of flux rope interaction on submicrosecond time scales are achieved through the use of a microchannel plate intensified CCD camera and are shown to be consistent with probe measurements of plasma pressure and magnetic structure. High experimental repeatability allows plasma evolution to be displayed and measured from images taken over hundreds of RSX discharges to elucidate flux rope interaction dynamics. Peak-intensity fit algorithms extrapolate rope separation and two-dimensional rope velocities from images in agreement with probe data. First glimpses of two flux ropes that twist and merge are presented.