The essential introduction to magnetic reconnection--written by a leading pioneer of the fieldPlasmas comprise more than 99 percent of the visible universe; and, wherever plasmas are, magnetic reconnection occurs. In this common yet incompletely understood physical process, oppositely directed magnetic fields in a plasma meet, break, and then reconnect, converting the huge amounts of energy stored in magnetic fields into kinetic and thermal energy. In Magnetic Reconnection, Masaaki Yamada offers an illuminating synthesis of modern research and advances on this important topic. Magnetic reconnection produces such phenomena as solar flares and the northern lights, and occurs in nuclear fusion devices. A better understanding of this crucial cosmic activity is essential to comprehending the universe and varied technological applications, such as satellite communications. Most of our knowledge of magnetic reconnection comes from theoretical and computational models and laboratory experiments, but space missions launched in recent years have added up-close observation and measurements to researchers' tools. Describing the fundamental physics of magnetic reconnection, Yamada links the theory with the latest results from laboratory experiments and space-based observations, including the Magnetic Reconnection Experiment (MRX) and the Magnetospheric Multiscale (MMS) Mission. He concludes by considering outstanding problems and laying out a road map for future research. Aimed at advanced graduate students and researchers in plasma astrophysics, solar physics, and space physics, Magnetic Reconnection provides cutting-edge information on a vital area of scientific investigation.