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Abstract
We introduce a topological flux function to quantify the topology of magnetic braids: nonzero, linetied magnetic fields whose field lines all connect between two boundaries. This scalar function is an ideal invariant defined on a crosssection of the magnetic field, and measures the average poloidal magnetic flux around any given field line, or the average pairwise crossing number between a given field line and all others. Moreover, its integral over the crosssection yields the relative magnetic helicity. Using the fact that the flux function is also an action in the Hamiltonian formulation of the field line equations, we prove that it uniquely characterizes the field line mapping and hence the magnetic topology. (C) 2013 American Institute of Physics. [http://dx.doi.org/10.1063/1.4773903]
Original language  English 

Article number  012102 
Number of pages  5 
Journal  Physics of Plasmas 
Volume  20 
Issue number  1 
DOIs  
Publication status  Published  Jan 2013 
Keywords
 SOLAR CORONA
 DYNAMICS
 RECONNECTION
 RELAXATION
 LINES
 MAPS
 FORM
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 1 Finished

Parallel Computing Resources UK MHD: Parallel computing resources
Science & Technology Facilities Council
1/12/09 → 30/11/12
Project: Standard