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Title: General theory of the plasmoid instability

In a general theory of the onset and development of the plasmoid instability is formulated by means of a principle of least time. We derive and show the scaling relations for the final aspect ratio, transition time to rapid onset, growth rate, and number of plasmoids that depend on the initial perturbation amplitude ($$\hat{w}$$0), the characteristic rate of current sheet evolution (1/τ), and the Lundquist number (S). They are not simple power laws, and are proportional to Sατβ[ln f(S,τ,$$\hat{w}$$0)]σ. Finally, the detailed dynamics of the instability is also elucidated, and shown to comprise of a period of quiescence followed by sudden growth over a short time scale.
Authors:
ORCiD logo [1] ; ORCiD logo [1] ; ORCiD logo [1] ; ORCiD logo [1]
  1. Princeton Univ., NJ (United States). Dept. of Astrophysical Sciences, Princeton Plasma Physics Lab. and Center for Heliophysics
Publication Date:
OSTI Identifier:
1335153
Grant/Contract Number:
AGS-1338944; AGS-1460169; AC02-09CH11466
Type:
Accepted Manuscript
Journal Name:
Physics of Plasmas
Additional Journal Information:
Journal Volume: 23; Journal Issue: 10; Journal ID: ISSN 1070-664X
Publisher:
American Institute of Physics (AIP)
Research Org:
Princeton Plasma Physics Lab. (PPPL), Princeton, NJ (United States)
Sponsoring Org:
USDOE
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English
Subject:
70 PLASMA PHYSICS AND FUSION TECHNOLOGY