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Title: Interacting tilt and kink instabilities in repelling current channels

We present a numerical study in resistive magnetohydrodynamics (MHD) where the initial equilibrium configuration contains adjacent, oppositely directed, parallel current channels. Since oppositely directed current channels repel, the equilibrium is liable to an ideal magnetohydrodynamic tilt instability. This tilt evolution, previously studied in planar settings, involves two magnetic islands or flux ropes, which on Alfvénic timescales undergo a combined rotation and separation. This in turn leads to the creation of (near) singular current layers, posing severe challenges to numerical approaches. Using our open-source grid-adaptive MPI-AMRVAC software, we revisit the planar evolution case in compressible MHD, as well as its extension to two-and-a-half-dimensional (2.5D) and full three-dimensional (3D) scenarios. As long as the third dimension can be ignored, pure tilt evolutions result that are hardly affected by out of plane magnetic field components. In all 2.5D runs, our simulations do show secondary tearing type disruptions throughout the near singular current sheets in the far nonlinear saturation regime. In full 3D runs, both current channels can be liable to additional ideal kink deformations. We discuss the effects of having both tilt and kink instabilities acting simultaneously in the violent, reconnection-dominated evolution. In 3D, both the tilt and the kink instabilities can bemore » stabilized by tension forces. As a concrete space plasma application, we argue that interacting tilt-kink instabilities in repelling current channels provide a novel route to initiate solar coronal mass ejections, distinctly different from the currently favored pure kink or torus instability routes.« less
Authors:
; ;  [1]
  1. Centre for mathematical Plasma-Astrophysics, Department of Mathematics, KU Leuven, B-3001 Leuven (Belgium)
Publication Date:
OSTI Identifier:
22370264
Resource Type:
Journal Article
Resource Relation:
Journal Name: Astrophysical Journal; Journal Volume: 795; Journal Issue: 1; Other Information: Country of input: International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA)
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English
Subject:
79 ASTROPHYSICS, COSMOLOGY AND ASTRONOMY; ALFVEN WAVES; COMPUTERIZED SIMULATION; CONFIGURATION; EQUILIBRIUM; KINK INSTABILITY; LAYERS; MAGNETIC FIELDS; MAGNETIC ISLANDS; MAGNETOHYDRODYNAMICS; MASS; NONLINEAR PROBLEMS; NUMERICAL ANALYSIS; PLASMA; ROTATION; SATURATION; SPACE; STAR EVOLUTION; SUN; THREE-DIMENSIONAL CALCULATIONS; TILTING INSTABILITY