Neutral and non-neutral collisionless plasma equilibria for twisted flux tubes: the Gold-Hoyle model in a background field

Oliver Douglas Allanson, Fiona Wilson, Thomas Neukirch

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Abstract

We calculate exact one-dimensional collisionless plasma equilibria for a continuum of flux tube models, for which the total magnetic field is made up of the `force-free' Gold-Hoyle magnetic flux tube embedded in a uniform and anti-parallel background magnetic field. For a sufficiently weak background magnetic field, the axial component of the total magnetic field reverses at some finite radius. The presence of the background magnetic field means that the total system is not exactly force-free, but by reducing its magnitude the departure from force-free can be made as small as desired. The distribution function for each species is a function of the three constants of motion; namely the Hamiltonian and the canonical momenta in the axial and azimuthal directions. Poisson's Equation and Amp ere's Law are solved exactly, and the solution allows either electrically neutral or non-neutral configurations, depending on the values of the bulk ion and electron flows. These equilibria have possible applications in various solar, space and astrophysical contexts, as well as in the laboratory.
Original languageEnglish
Article number092106
Number of pages13
JournalPhysics of Plasmas
Volume23
Issue number9
Early online date15 Sept 2016
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Sept 2016

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