Solar Physics

, 261:87

On the Relationship between Equilibrium Bifurcations and Ideal MHD Instabilities for Line-Tied Coronal Loops

Article

Abstract

For axisymmetric models for coronal loops the relationship between the bifurcation points of magnetohydrodynamic (MHD) equilibrium sequences and the points of linear ideal MHD instability is investigated, imposing line-tied boundary conditions. Using a well-studied example based on the Gold – Hoyle equilibrium, it is demonstrated that if the equilibrium sequence is calculated using the Grad – Shafranov equation, the instability corresponds to the second bifurcation point and not the first bifurcation point, because the equilibrium boundary conditions allow for modes which are excluded from the linear ideal stability analysis. This is shown by calculating the bifurcating equilibrium branches and comparing the spatial structure of the solutions close to the bifurcation point with the spatial structure of the unstable mode. If the equilibrium sequence is calculated using Euler potentials, the first bifurcation point of the Grad – Shafranov case is not found, and the first bifurcation point of the Euler potential description coincides with the ideal instability threshold. An explanation of this results in terms of linear bifurcation theory is given and the implications for the use of MHD equilibrium bifurcations to explain eruptive phenomena is briefly discussed.

Corona, structures Flares, relation to magnetic field Instabilities Magnetohydrodynamics 

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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2009

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.School of Mathematics and StatisticsUniversity of St. AndrewsSt. AndrewsUK
  2. 2.Department of MetrologyMinistry of DevelopmentAthensGreece

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