Topological Constraints on Magnetic Relaxation

A. R. Yeates*, G. Hornig, A. L. Wilmot-Smith

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

59 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

The final state of turbulent magnetic relaxation in a reversed field pinch is well explained by Taylor's hypothesis. However, recent resistive-magnetohydrodynamic simulations of the relaxation of braided solar coronal loops have led to relaxed fields far from the Taylor state, despite the conservation of helicity. We point out the existence of an additional topological invariant in any flux tube with a nonzero field: the topological degree of the field line mapping. We conjecture that this constrains the relaxation, explaining why only one of three example simulations reaches the Taylor state.

Original languageEnglish
Article number085002
Number of pages4
JournalPhysical Review Letters
Volume105
Issue number8
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 16 Aug 2010

Keywords

  • ENERGY PRINCIPLE
  • GLOBAL INVARIANTS
  • FIELDS
  • HELICITY
  • RECONNECTION
  • PLASMAS

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