The structure and stability of coronal magnetic fields
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The high degree of symmetry often assumed in studies of the structure and stability of coronal magnetic field configurations is restrictive and can yield misleading results. We have therefore developed fully three-dimensional numerical methods for constructing force-free equilibria and for examining their stability properties, which make no assumptions about symmetry. A test of the stability analysis has been performed by applying it to the Gold-Hoyle twisted flux tube, which is known to be kink-unstable if the helical field makes more than about one turn between the line-tying end-plates. Our preliminary result is that the critical number of turns is about 1.1, in good agreement with the previous best estimate. However, we find that the growth rate, which has not been discussed previously, is orders of magnitude smaller than expected, even when the flux tube is twisted far beyond the stability limit.
KeywordsGrowth Rate Magnetic Field Stability Analysis Stability Property Stability Limit
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