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Monday 19 Jan 2015The theory and applications of topological techniques to open magnetic flux ropes

Chris Prior - University of Durham

Harrison 103 15:00-16:00

Magnetic flux ropes are a common structure encountered in the magnetohydrodynamic modelling and observation of the sun's atmosphere (the corona). The internal topology is conjectured to play a vital role in critical phenomena such as coronal heating and solar flares. This topology includes the braiding and twisting of the filed lines composing the rope. A sound framework for characterising and quantifying the topology of closed (periodic) flux ropes has existed form a while, but despite its importance no such framework exists for open flux ropes as found in the coronal region. I shall discuss recent work which I have co-authored which develops such a framework. I will present details of this framework which is sufficiently general to be applied to other fields including fluid flow and elastic modelling. I will also present the results of numerical simulations of coronal flux ropes which are being used to systematically explore the effect of flux rope topology on coronal flux rope behaviour.

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