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Title: Fast penetration of megagauss fields into metallic conductors

Megagauss magnetic-field penetration into a conducting material is studied via a simplified but representative model, wherein the magnetic-diffusion equation is coupled with a thermal-energy balance. The specific scenario considered is that of a prescribed magnetic field rising (in proportion to an arbitrary power r of time) at the surface of a conducting half-space whose electric conductivity is assumed proportional to an arbitrary inverse power γ of temperature. We employ a systematic asymptotic scheme in which the case of a strong surface field corresponds to a singular asymptotic limit. In this limit, the highly magnetized and hot “skin” terminates at a distinct propagating wave-front. Employing the method of matched asymptotic expansions, we find self-similar solutions of the magnetized region which match a narrow boundary-layer region about the advancing wave front. The rapidly decaying magnetic-field profile in the latter region is also self similar; when scaled by the instantaneous propagation speed, its shape is time-invariant, depending only on the parameter γ. The analysis furnishes a simple asymptotic formula for the skin-depth (i.e., the wave-front position), which substantially generalizes existing approximations. It scales with the power γr + 1∕2 of time and the power γ of field strength, and is much larger thanmore » the field-independent skin depth predicted by an athermal model. The formula further involves a dimensionless O(1) pre-factor which depends on r and γ. It is determined by solving a nonlinear eigenvalue problem governing the magnetized region. Another main result of the analysis, apparently unprecedented, is an asymptotic formula for the magnitude of the current-density peak characterizing the wave-front region. Complementary to these systematic results, we provide a closed-form but ad hoc generalization of the theory approximately applicable to arbitrary monotonically rising surface fields. Our results are in excellent agreement with numerical simulations of the model, and compare favourably with detailed magnetohydrodynamic simulations reported in the literature.« less
Authors:
 [1]
  1. Department of Mathematics, Technion — Israel Institute of Technology, Haifa 32000 (Israel)
Publication Date:
OSTI Identifier:
22303769
Resource Type:
Journal Article
Resource Relation:
Journal Name: Physics of Plasmas; Journal Volume: 21; Journal Issue: 8; 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; APPROXIMATIONS; ASYMPTOTIC SOLUTIONS; BOUNDARY LAYERS; COMPARATIVE EVALUATIONS; COMPUTERIZED SIMULATION; CURRENT DENSITY; DIFFUSION EQUATIONS; ELECTRIC CONDUCTIVITY; ENERGY BALANCE; MAGNETIC FIELDS; NONLINEAR PROBLEMS