skip to main content

Title: Numerical study on Rayleigh-Taylor instabilities in the lightning return stroke

The Rayleigh-Taylor (R-T) instabilities are important hydrodynamics and magnetohydrodynamics (MHD) phenomena that are found in systems in high energy density physics and normal fluids. The formation and evolution of the R-T instability at channel boundary during back-flow of the lightning return stroke are analyzed using the linear perturbation theory and normal mode analysis methods, and the linear growth rate of the R-T instability in typical condition for lightning return stroke channel is obtained. Then, the R-T instability phenomena of lightning return stroke are simulated using a two-dimensional Eulerian finite volumes resistive radiation MHD code. The numerical results show that the evolution characteristics of the R-T instability in the early stage of back-flow are consistent with theoretical predictions obtained by linear analysis. The simulation also yields more evolution characteristics for the R-T instability beyond the linear theory. The results of this work apply to some observed features of the return stroke channel and further advance previous theoretical and experimental work.
Authors:
 [1] ;  [2] ; ; ;  [1] ;  [3]
  1. National Key Laboratory of Electromagnetic Environment and Electro-optical Engineering, PLA University of Science and Technology, Nanjing 210007 (China)
  2. (China)
  3. Department of Electro-optical Engineering, Electronic Engineering Institute of PLA, Hefei 230037 (China)
Publication Date:
OSTI Identifier:
22493750
Resource Type:
Journal Article
Resource Relation:
Journal Name: Physics of Plasmas; Journal Volume: 22; Journal Issue: 9; 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; ENERGY DENSITY; LIGHTNING; MAGNETOHYDRODYNAMICS; NORMAL-MODE ANALYSIS; NUMERICAL ANALYSIS; PERTURBATION THEORY; PLASMA SIMULATION; RAYLEIGH-TAYLOR INSTABILITY; TWO-DIMENSIONAL CALCULATIONS