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Title: Energy in density gradient

Inhomogeneous plasmas and fluids contain energy stored in inhomogeneity and they naturally tend to relax into lower energy states by developing instabilities or by diffusion. But the actual amount of energy in such inhomogeneities has remained unknown. In the present work, the amount of energy stored in a density gradient is calculated for several specific density profiles in a cylindrical configuration. This is of practical importance for drift wave instability in various plasmas, and, in particular, in its application in models dealing with the heating of solar corona because the instability is accompanied with stochastic heating, so the energy contained in inhomogeneity is effectively transformed into heat. It is shown that even for a rather moderate increase of the density at the axis in magnetic structures in the corona by a factor 1.5 or 3, the amount of excess energy per unit volume stored in such a density gradient becomes several orders of magnitude greater than the amount of total energy losses per unit volume (per second) in quiet regions in the corona. Consequently, within the life-time of a magnetic structure such energy losses can easily be compensated by the stochastic drift wave heating.
Authors:
 [1] ;  [2] ;  [3]
  1. Instituto de Astrofísica de Canarias, 38205 La Laguna, Tenerife (Spain)
  2. (Spain)
  3. Faculty of Policy Studies, Chuo University, Tokyo (Japan)
Publication Date:
OSTI Identifier:
22407983
Resource Type:
Journal Article
Resource Relation:
Journal Name: Physics of Plasmas; Journal Volume: 22; Journal Issue: 1; Other Information: (c) 2015 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; CYLINDRICAL CONFIGURATION; DENSITY; DIFFUSION; ENERGY LOSSES; FLUIDS; HEAT; INHOMOGENEOUS PLASMA; PLASMA INSTABILITY; SOLAR CORONA; STOCHASTIC PROCESSES; WAVE PROPAGATION