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In a number of papers dating back to the 1970s, Parker has hypothesized that, in a perfectly ideal environment, complex photospheric motions acting on a continuous magnetic field will result in the formation of tangential discontinuities corresponding to singular currents. I review direct numerical simulations of the problem and find that the evidence points to a tendency for thin but finite-thickness current layers to form, with thickness exponentially decreasing in time. Given a finite resistivity, these layers will eventually become important and cause the dynamical process of energy release. Accordingly, a body of work focuses on evolution under continual boundary driving. The coronal volume evolves into a highly dynamic but statistically steady state where quantities have a temporally and spatially intermittent nature and where the Poynting flux and dissipation are decoupled on short time scales. Although magnetic braiding is found to be a promising coronal heating mechanism, much work remains to determine its true viability. Some suggestions for future study are offered.
|Number of pages||15|
|Journal||Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society A: Mathematical, Physical and Engineering Sciences|
|Publication status||Published - 28 May 2015|
- Magnetic fields
- Magnetic reconnection
- The sun