An overview of flux braiding experiments

A. L. Wilmot-Smith*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

35 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

In a number of papers dating back to the 1970s, Parker has hypothesized that, in a perfectly ideal environment, complex photospheric motions acting on a continuous magnetic field will result in the formation of tangential discontinuities corresponding to singular currents. I review direct numerical simulations of the problem and find that the evidence points to a tendency for thin but finite-thickness current layers to form, with thickness exponentially decreasing in time. Given a finite resistivity, these layers will eventually become important and cause the dynamical process of energy release. Accordingly, a body of work focuses on evolution under continual boundary driving. The coronal volume evolves into a highly dynamic but statistically steady state where quantities have a temporally and spatially intermittent nature and where the Poynting flux and dissipation are decoupled on short time scales. Although magnetic braiding is found to be a promising coronal heating mechanism, much work remains to determine its true viability. Some suggestions for future study are offered.

Original languageEnglish
Article number20140265
Number of pages15
JournalPhilosophical Transactions of the Royal Society. A, Mathematical, Physical and Engineering Sciences
Volume373
Issue number2042
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 28 May 2015

Keywords

  • the Sun
  • corona
  • magnetic fields
  • magnetic reconnection
  • SPINNING FOOTPOINT MOTIONS
  • TUBE TECTONICS MODEL
  • AB-INITIO APPROACH
  • SOLAR CORONA
  • MAGNETIC-FIELDS
  • CURRENT SHEETS
  • LAGRANGIAN-RELAXATION
  • 3D RECONNECTION
  • LOOPS
  • TURBULENCE

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