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Title: Some improvements in the theory of plasma relaxation

Taylor's relaxation theory is extended to plasmas with mass flow by using the cross helicity as a conserved quantity, similar to the magnetic helicity. Indeed, it is shown that the conservation of the cross helicity in magnetohydrodynamics is the result of the conservation of two magnetic-like helicities in two-fluid plasmas. In addition, the usually ignored toroidal flux is also held to be conserved. We also view plasma relaxation as attaining a maximum entropy state rather than Taylor's minimum energy state, but prove that maximizing the entropy subject to a given amount of energy is equivalent to minimizing the energy subject to a given amount of entropy. The resulting relaxed state is similar to the one discussed by Finn and Antonsen [Phys. Fluids 26, 3540 (1983)], and involves flow parallel to the magnetic field and constant temperature, but non-constant pressure. We show how to construct an asymptotic solution to the relaxed state based on the smallness of the Alfven Mach number of the flow.
Authors:
 [1]
  1. Courant Institute of Mathematical Sciences, New York University, New York, New York 10012 (United States)
Publication Date:
OSTI Identifier:
22253139
Resource Type:
Journal Article
Resource Relation:
Journal Name: Physics of Plasmas; Journal Volume: 21; Journal Issue: 4; Other Information: (c) 2014 AIP Publishing LLC; Country of input: International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA)
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English
Subject:
70 PLASMA PHYSICS AND FUSION TECHNOLOGY; ASYMPTOTIC SOLUTIONS; ENTROPY; MACH NUMBER; MAGNETIC FIELDS; MAGNETOHYDRODYNAMICS; PLASMA; RELAXATION