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Title:The equilibria, stability and nonlinear dynamics of magnetically-sheared atmospheres with applications to the solar environment
Author(s):Manchester, Ward B., IV
Director of Research:Mihalas, Dimitri; Low, Boon Chye
Department / Program:Astronomy
Discipline:Astronomy
Degree Granting Institution:University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Degree:Ph.D. (doctoral)
Genre:Dissertation
Subject(s):Magnetically-sheared atmospheres
Solar environment
Abstract:The subject of this thesis is the equilibria, stability and nonlinear dynamics of magnetically-sheared atmospheres as they relate to magnetic flux emergence and the structure and disruption of magnetic arcades of the sun. To begin this study, two families of analytical solutions describing isothermal magnetostatic atmospheres in uniform gravity are presented that are characterized by magnetic shear. Both families of solutions vary in two Cartesian dimensions,one family is composed of an undulating magnetic layer while the other is composed of a periodic system of magnetic arcades. Two aspects of these magnetostatic atmospheres are addresses. First, linear stability analyses demonstrates that certain members of both families of equilibria are stable. Next, it is shown that planar magnetostatic atmospheres are deformable into a continuous sequence of the shear layer equilibria by prescribed ideal magnetohydrodynamic displacements that combine undulating, interchanging, and shearing of field lines. The shearing of the field lines is performed in such a manner that the Lorentz force in the invariant direction vanishes. Since no other body forces point in this direction, the shearing establishes force balance in the direction of invariance. Two-dimensional time-dependent simulations are then performed with the Zeus2D code to show that shearing motions naturally arise in conjunction with mixed-mode (interchanging and undulating) instabilities of magnetostatic atmospheres. In these simulations, it is found that ascending magnetic loops shear in response to the Lorentz force which drives large amplitude shear Alfven waves. The Alfven waves provide an explanation for impulsive shearing motions at the photosphere in newly emerged bipolar active regions. Simulations of instabilities of sheared magnetic arcades indicate that self-induced shear Alfven waves coupled with magnetic buoyancy provide a powerful feedback mechanism that results in multiple eruptions of the arcades. Such eruptions from a single structure compare favorably with observation of repetitive homologous flares.
Issue Date:2000-04
Publisher:Department of Astronomy. College of Liberal Arts and Sciences. University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.
Genre:Dissertation / Thesis
Type:Text
Language:English
URI:http://hdl.handle.net/2142/79014
Date Available in IDEALS:2015-08-07


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