3D MHD Simulations of Laboratory Plasma Jets
Jets and outflows are thought to be an integral part of accretion phenomena and are associated with a large variety of objects. In these systems, the interaction of magnetic fields with an accretion disk and/or a magnetized central object is thought to be responsible for the acceleration and collimation of plasma into jets and wider angle flows. In this paper we present three-dimensional MHD simulations of magnetically driven, radiatively cooled laboratory jets that are produced on the MAGPIE experimental facility. The general outflow structure comprises an expanding magnetic cavity which is collimated by the pressure of an extended plasma background medium, and a magnetically confined jet which develops within the magnetic cavity. Although this structure is intrinsically transient and instabilities in the jet and disruption of the magnetic cavity ultimately lead to its break-up, a well collimated, “knotty” jet still emerges from the system; such clumpy morphology is reminiscent of that observed in many astrophysical jets. The possible introduction in the experiments of angular momentum and axial magnetic field will also be discussed.
KeywordsMHD plasmas Accretion Accretion discs Laboratory astrophysics Winds Jets and outflows
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