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Title: A laboratory model for the Parker spiral and magnetized stellar winds

Abstract

Many rotating stars have magnetic fields that interact with the winds they produce. The Sun is no exception. The interaction between the Sun’s magnetic field and the solar wind gives rise to the heliospheric magnetic field – a spiraling magnetic structure, known as the Parker Spiral, which pervades the solar system. This magnetic field is significant for governing plasma processes that source the solar wind. In this work, we report the creation of a laboratory model of the Parker spiral system based on a rapidly-rotating plasma magnetosphere and the measurement of its global structure and dynamic behaviour. This laboratory system exhibits regions where the plasma flows evolve similarly to many magnetized stellar winds. We observe the advection of magnetic field into an Archimedean spiral and the ejection of quasi-periodic plasma blobs into the stellar outflow, which mimics the observed plasmoids that fuel the slow solar wind. This process involves magnetic reconnection and can be modelled numerically by the inclusion of two-fluid effects in the simulation. The Parker spiral system mirrored in the laboratory can be used for studying solar wind dynamics in complementary fashion to conventional space missions such as NASA’s Parker Solar Probe mission.

Authors:
ORCiD logo [1]; ORCiD logo [1];  [2]; ORCiD logo [1];  [1];  [1]; ORCiD logo [1];  [1]; ORCiD logo [1]; ORCiD logo [1]; ORCiD logo [1]; ORCiD logo [1];  [1];  [1]
  1. Univ. of Wisconsin, Madison, WI (United States)
  2. Oak Ridge National Lab. (ORNL), Oak Ridge, TN (United States); Univ. of Wisconsin, Madison, WI (United States)
Publication Date:
Research Org.:
Univ. of Wisconsin, Madison, WI (United States)
Sponsoring Org.:
USDOE Office of Science (SC), Fusion Energy Sciences (FES) (SC-24); National Science Foundation (NSF)
OSTI Identifier:
1579658
Grant/Contract Number:  
[SC0018266]
Resource Type:
Accepted Manuscript
Journal Name:
Nature Physics
Additional Journal Information:
[ Journal Volume: 15; Journal Issue: 10]; Journal ID: ISSN 1745-2473
Publisher:
Nature Publishing Group (NPG)
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English
Subject:
70 PLASMA PHYSICS AND FUSION TECHNOLOGY

Citation Formats

Peterson, Ethan E., Endrizzi, Douglass A., Beidler, Matthew, Bunkers, Kyle J., Clark, Michael, Egedal, Jan, Flanagan, Ken, McCollam, Karsten J., Milhone, Jason, Olson, Joseph, Sovinec, Carl R., Waleffe, Roger, Wallace, John, and Forest, Cary B. A laboratory model for the Parker spiral and magnetized stellar winds. United States: N. p., 2019. Web. doi:10.1038/s41567-019-0592-7.
Peterson, Ethan E., Endrizzi, Douglass A., Beidler, Matthew, Bunkers, Kyle J., Clark, Michael, Egedal, Jan, Flanagan, Ken, McCollam, Karsten J., Milhone, Jason, Olson, Joseph, Sovinec, Carl R., Waleffe, Roger, Wallace, John, & Forest, Cary B. A laboratory model for the Parker spiral and magnetized stellar winds. United States. doi:10.1038/s41567-019-0592-7.
Peterson, Ethan E., Endrizzi, Douglass A., Beidler, Matthew, Bunkers, Kyle J., Clark, Michael, Egedal, Jan, Flanagan, Ken, McCollam, Karsten J., Milhone, Jason, Olson, Joseph, Sovinec, Carl R., Waleffe, Roger, Wallace, John, and Forest, Cary B. Mon . "A laboratory model for the Parker spiral and magnetized stellar winds". United States. doi:10.1038/s41567-019-0592-7.
@article{osti_1579658,
title = {A laboratory model for the Parker spiral and magnetized stellar winds},
author = {Peterson, Ethan E. and Endrizzi, Douglass A. and Beidler, Matthew and Bunkers, Kyle J. and Clark, Michael and Egedal, Jan and Flanagan, Ken and McCollam, Karsten J. and Milhone, Jason and Olson, Joseph and Sovinec, Carl R. and Waleffe, Roger and Wallace, John and Forest, Cary B.},
abstractNote = {Many rotating stars have magnetic fields that interact with the winds they produce. The Sun is no exception. The interaction between the Sun’s magnetic field and the solar wind gives rise to the heliospheric magnetic field – a spiraling magnetic structure, known as the Parker Spiral, which pervades the solar system. This magnetic field is significant for governing plasma processes that source the solar wind. In this work, we report the creation of a laboratory model of the Parker spiral system based on a rapidly-rotating plasma magnetosphere and the measurement of its global structure and dynamic behaviour. This laboratory system exhibits regions where the plasma flows evolve similarly to many magnetized stellar winds. We observe the advection of magnetic field into an Archimedean spiral and the ejection of quasi-periodic plasma blobs into the stellar outflow, which mimics the observed plasmoids that fuel the slow solar wind. This process involves magnetic reconnection and can be modelled numerically by the inclusion of two-fluid effects in the simulation. The Parker spiral system mirrored in the laboratory can be used for studying solar wind dynamics in complementary fashion to conventional space missions such as NASA’s Parker Solar Probe mission.},
doi = {10.1038/s41567-019-0592-7},
journal = {Nature Physics},
number = [10],
volume = [15],
place = {United States},
year = {2019},
month = {7}
}

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