Solar Physics

, Volume 286, Issue 2, pp 479–492

Dynamics of an Erupting Arched Magnetic Flux Rope in a Laboratory Plasma Experiment


DOI: 10.1007/s11207-013-0257-0

Cite this article as:
Tripathi, S.K.P. & Gekelman, W. Sol Phys (2013) 286: 479. doi:10.1007/s11207-013-0257-0


A laboratory plasma experiment has been built to study the eruption of arched magnetic flux ropes (AMFRs) in the presence of a large magnetized plasma. This experiment simulates the eruption of solar AMFRs in two essential steps: i) it produces an AMFR (n=6.0×1012 cm−3, \(T_{\rm e} = 14~\mathrm{eV}\), B≈1 kilo-gauss, L=0.51 m) with a persistent appearance that lasts several Alfvén transit times using a lanthanum hexaboride (LaB6) plasma source, and ii) it generates controlled plasma flows from the footpoints of the AMFR using laser beams. An additional LaB6 plasma source generates a large magnetized plasma in the background. The laser-generated flows trigger the eruption by injecting dense plasma and magnetic flux into the AMFR. The experiment is highly reproducible and runs continuously with a 0.5 Hz repetition rate; hence, several thousand identical loop eruptions are routinely generated and their spatio-temporal evolution is recorded in three-dimensions using computer-controlled movable probes. Measurements demonstrate striking similarities between the erupting laboratory and solar arched magnetic flux ropes.


Coronal mass ejections, initiation and propagation Flares, dynamics Waves, plasma 

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Physics & AstronomyUniversity of California at Los AngelesLos AngelesUSA

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