Evolution of current sheets following the onset of enhanced resistivity

T. G. Forbes, E. R. Priest, A. W. Hood

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

11 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

The sudden enhancement of the effective electrical resistivity in the preflare current sheet arising from the onset of a plasma micro-instability is considered an important aspect of these sheets in the solar atmosphere. Numerical and analytical solutions to the isothermal MHD equations are presented describing the evolution of a current sheet subsequent to such an enhancement in the resistivity. The solutions show that, if the initial width of the current sheet is less than the acoustic-diffusion length obtained by dividing the resistivity by the sound speed, isomagnetic shocks are formed. The shocks propagate outward from the center of the current sheet and are transformed into fast-mode magneto-acoustic waves when they reach the edges of the current sheet.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)157-176
JournalJournal of Plasma Physics
Volume27
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Feb 1982

Keywords

  • Current Sheets
  • Electrical Resistivity
  • Hydrodynamic Equations
  • Ohmic Dissipation
  • Plasma Currents
  • Solar Corona
  • Beta Factor
  • Isothermal Processes
  • Magnetoacoustic Waves
  • Magnetohydrodynamic Flow
  • Magnetohydrodynamic Stability
  • Magnetohydrodynamic Waves
  • Shock Waves
  • Solar Flares
  • Solar Flux
  • Solar Physics

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