Monday 30 Sep 2013The Internal Topology of Magnetic Flux Tubes (Taylor and Francis sponsored)

Anthony Yeates - University of Durham

Harrison 101 15:00-16:00

Many plasmas - ranging from stellar atmospheres to controlled fusion devices - have such high electrical conductivity that the topology (connectivity and linking) of their magnetic field lines is closely preserved during dynamical evolution. As such, magnetic reconnection events that locally break these topological constraints play a controlling role in the overall behaviour. In this talk, I will introduce a "topological flux function" to quantify the topological structure of a single magnetic flux tube. I will discuss how this function relates to magnetic helicity, to winding numbers, and to measures of reconnection. Flux tubes are the building blocks of astrophysical plasmas, yet their behaviour already depends on their internal structure in ways that are not yet fully understood.

(joint work with Gunnar Hornig, Dundee and Chris Prior, Durham)

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