Advertisement

Solar Physics

, Volume 53, Issue 2, pp 305–345 | Cite as

An unstable arch model of a solar flare

  • Daniel S. Spicer
Article

Abstract

The theoretical consequences of assuming that a current flows along flaring arches consistent with a twist in the field lines of these arches are examined. It is found that a sequence of magneto-hydrodynamic (MHD) and resistive MHD instabilities driven by the assumed current (which we refer to as the toroidal current) can naturally explain most manifestations of a solar flare.

The principal flare instability in the proposed model is the resistive kink (or tearing mode in arch geometry) which plays the role of thermalizing some of the field energy in the arch and generating X-configured neutral points needed for particle acceleration. The difference between thermal and nonthermal flares is elucidated and explained, in part, by amplitude-dependent instabilities, generally referred to as overlapping resonances. We show that the criteria for the generation of flare shocks strongly depend on the magnitude and gradient steepness of the toroidal current, which also are found to determine the volume and rate of energy release. The resulting model is in excellent agreement with present observations and has successfully predicted several flare phenomena.

Keywords

Flare Energy Release Field Line Current Flow Solar Flare 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

Preview

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

References

  1. Alfvén, H. and Carlquist, P.: 1967, Solar Phys. 1, 220.Google Scholar
  2. Brown, J.: 1974, in G. Newkirk Jr. (ed.), ‘Coronal Disturbances’, IAU Symp. 57, 395.Google Scholar
  3. Brueckner, G.: 1976, Phil. Trans. Royal. Soc. (London) A281, 1304.Google Scholar
  4. Brueckner, G. E., Patterson, N. P., and Scherrer, V. E.: 1976, Solar Phys. 47, 127.Google Scholar
  5. Canfield, R. C., Priest, E. R., and Rust, D. M.: 1974, in Flare Related Magnetic Field Dynamics, HAO, Boulder, Colo.Google Scholar
  6. Cheng, C. C. and Widing, K.: 1975, Astrophys. J. 201, 735.Google Scholar
  7. Finn, J. M.: 1975, AEC Res. Dev. Rep. Matt-1137, Princeton Univ.Google Scholar
  8. Finn, J. M. and Kaw, P. K.: 1976, AEC Res. Dev. Rep. Matt-1220, Princeton Univ.Google Scholar
  9. Foukal, P.: 1975, Solar Phys. 43, 327.Google Scholar
  10. Furth, H. P., Rutherford, P. H., and Selberg, H.: 1973, Phys. Fluids 16, 1054.Google Scholar
  11. Furth, H. P., Killeen, J., and Rosenbluth, M. N.: 1963, Phys. Fluids 6, 459.Google Scholar
  12. Gibson, E. G.: 1977, Solar Phys. 53, 123.Google Scholar
  13. Glasstone, S. and Lovberg, R. H.: 1960, Controlled Thermonuclear Reactions, Van Nostrand, Princeton, N.J.Google Scholar
  14. Guzdar, P. N., Sen, A., and Kaw, P. K.: 1975, Nucl. Fusion 15, 1007.Google Scholar
  15. Jackson, J. D.: 1962, Classical Electrodynamics, Wiley, New York.Google Scholar
  16. Janssens, T. J., White, K. P., III, and Broussard, R. M.: 1973, Solar Phys. 31, 207.Google Scholar
  17. Kadomtsev, B. B.: 1976, ERDA Translation, Matt-Trans-119.Google Scholar
  18. Kadomtsev, B. B.: 1965, Plasma Turbulence, Academic Press, New York.Google Scholar
  19. Kadomtsev, B. B. and Pogutse, O. P.: 1970 in M. A. Leontovich (ed.), Reviews of Plasma Physics 5, Consultants Bureau, New York.Google Scholar
  20. Kadomtsev, B. B.: 1966, in M. A. Leontovich (ed.), Reviews of Plasma Physics 2, p. 153, Consultants Bureau, New York.Google Scholar
  21. Kahler, S. W., Krieger, A. S., and Vaiana, G. S.: 1975, Astrophys. J. Letters 199, L57.Google Scholar
  22. Kaw, P. K.: 1976, ERDA Res. Dev. Rep. Matt-1264, Princeton Univ.Google Scholar
  23. Krall, N. A. and Trivelpiece, A. W.: 1973, Principles of Plasma Physics, McGraw-Hill, New York.Google Scholar
  24. Liu, C. S.: 1971, Phys. Rev. Letters 27, 1637.Google Scholar
  25. Liu, C. S., Rosenbluth, M. N., and Horton, C. W.: 1972, Phys. Rev. Letters 29, 1489.Google Scholar
  26. McBride, J. B., Klein, H. H., Byrne, R. N., and Krall, N. A.: 1975, Nucl. Fusion 15, 393.Google Scholar
  27. McWhirter, R. W. P., Thoneman, P. C., and Wilson, R.: 1975, Astron. Astrophys. 40, 63.Google Scholar
  28. Moreton, G. and Severny, A.: 1968, Solar Phys. 3, 282.Google Scholar
  29. Mullen, D. J.: 1973, Astrophys. J. 185, 353.Google Scholar
  30. Papadopoulos, K. and Coffey, T.: 1974a, J. Geophys. Res. 79, 674.Google Scholar
  31. Papadopoulos, K. and Coffey, T.: 1974b, J. Geophys. Res. 79, 1558.Google Scholar
  32. Papadopoulos, K.: 1975, private communication.Google Scholar
  33. Parker, E. N.: 1955, Astrophys. J. 122, 293.Google Scholar
  34. Parker, E. N.: 1973, Astrophys. J. 180, 247.Google Scholar
  35. Petrasso, R. D., Kahler, S. W., Kreiger, A. S., Silk, J. K., and Vaiana, G. S.: 1975, Astrophys. J. Letters 199, L127.Google Scholar
  36. Purcell, J. D. and Widing, K.: 1971, Astrophys. Letters 179, 239.Google Scholar
  37. Rust, D. M. and Roy, J. R.: 1974, AFCRL No. 474.Google Scholar
  38. Rust, D. M., Nakagawa, Y., and Neupert, W.: 1975, Solar Phys. 41, 397.Google Scholar
  39. Sverny, A.: 1965, Astron. Zh. 42, 217.Google Scholar
  40. Sheeley, N.: 1976, Solar Phys. 47, 173.Google Scholar
  41. Smith, D. F. and Priest, E. R.: 1972, Astrophys. J. 176, 487.Google Scholar
  42. Solovev, L. S.: 1971, Soviet Atomic Energy 30, 14.Google Scholar
  43. Spicer, D. S., Cheng, C. C., Widing, K., and Tousey, R.: 1974, paper presented at the 2nd European Conference on Cosmic Plasma Physics, Culham, England.Google Scholar
  44. Spicer, D. S.: 1975, Bull. Am. Astron. Soc. 7, 352.Google Scholar
  45. Spicer, D. S.: 1976a, NRL Formal Report 8036.Google Scholar
  46. Spicer, D. S.: 1976b, NRL Memo 3465.Google Scholar
  47. Spicer, D. S.: 1977a, Solar Phys. 51, 431.Google Scholar
  48. Spicer, D. S.: 1977b, Solar Phys. 53, 249.Google Scholar
  49. Spitzer, L.: 1967, Physics of Fully Ionized Gases, Interscience, New York.Google Scholar
  50. Sturrock, P. A.: 1966, Nature 211, 695.Google Scholar
  51. Sturrock, P. A.: 1968, in K. O. Kiepenheuer (ed.), ‘Structure and Development of Solar Active Regions’, IAU Symp. 35, 471.Google Scholar
  52. Sturrock, P. A.: 1972, Solar Phys. 23, 438.Google Scholar
  53. Sturrock, P. A.: 1973, in R. Ramaty and R. G. Stone (eds.), Proc. Symposium on High Energy Phenomena on the Sun, NASA Goddard Space Flight Center, p.3.Google Scholar
  54. Syrovatskii, S. I.: 1966, Soviet Astron. 10, 270.Google Scholar
  55. Tanaka, K.: 1972, Big Bear Solar Observatory preprint, unpublished.Google Scholar
  56. Tidman, D. A. and Krall, N. A.: 1971, Shock Waves in Collisionless Plasmas, Wiley-Interscience, New York.Google Scholar
  57. Tidman, D. A. and Stamper, J. A.: 1973, Appl. Phys. Letters 22, 498.Google Scholar
  58. Title, A. M. and Andelin, J. P.: 1971, in R. Howard (ed.), ‘Solar Magnetic Fields’, IAU Symp. 43, 298.Google Scholar
  59. Von Goeler, S., Stodiek, W., and Sauthoff, N.: 1975, Matt-1058, Princeton, N.J.Google Scholar
  60. Vorpahl, J. A., Gibson, E. G., Landecker, P. B., McKenzie, D. L., and Underwood, J. H.: 1975, Solar Phys. 45, 199.Google Scholar
  61. Wentzel, D. G.: 1974, Solar Phys. 39, 129.Google Scholar
  62. Widing, K.: 1974a, in S. R. Kane (ed.), ‘Solar Gamma-, X-, and EUV Radiation’, IAU Symp. 68, 153.Google Scholar
  63. Widing, K.: 1974b, Astrophys. J. Letters 197, L33.Google Scholar
  64. Widing, K. and Cheng, C. C.: 1975, Astrophys. J. Letters 194, L155.Google Scholar
  65. Widing, K. and Dere, K.: 1977, to appear in Solar Phys. Google Scholar
  66. Zirin, H.: 1974, Vistas Astron. 16, 1.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© D. Reidel Publishing Company 1977

Authors and Affiliations

  • Daniel S. Spicer
    • 1
    • 2
  1. 1.E. O. Hulburt Center for Space Research, U.S. Naval Research LaboratoryWashington, D.C.U.S.A.
  2. 2.Institute for Fluid Dynamics and Applied Mathematics, University of MarylandCollege ParkU.S.A.

Personalised recommendations