The Topological Behaviour of Stable Magnetic Separators

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27 Citations (Scopus)


It is important to understand the complex topology of the magnetic field in the solar corona in order to be able to comprehend the mechanisms which give rise to phenomena such as coronal loop structures and x-ray bright points. A key feature of the magnetic topology is a separator. A magnetic separator is a field line which connects two magnetic null points, places where the magnetic field becomes zero. A stable magnetic separator is important as it is the intersection of two separatrix surfaces. These surfaces divide the magnetic field lines into regions of different connectivity, so a separator usually borders four regions of field-line connectivity. This work examines the topological behaviour of separators that appear in a magnetic field produced by a system of magnetic sources lying in a plane (the photosphere). The questions of how separators arise and are destroyed, the topological conditions for which they exist, how they interact and their relevance to the coronal magnetic field are addressed.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)p.25-33
Number of pages9
JournalSolar Physics
Issue number1/2
Publication statusPublished - Dec 1999


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