Magnetic field relaxation and current sheets in an ideal plasma

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11 Citations (Scopus)


We investigate the existence of magnetohydrostatic equilibria for topologically complex magnetic fields. The approach employed is to perform ideal numerical relaxation experiments. We use a newly developed Lagrangian relaxation scheme that exactly preserves the magnetic field topology during the relaxation. Our configurations include both twisted and sheared fields, of which some fall into the category for which Parker predicted no force-free equilibrium. The first class of field considered contains no magnetic null points, and field lines connect between two perfectly conducting plates. In these cases, we observe only resolved current layers of finite thickness. In further numerical experiments, we confirm that magnetic null points are loci of singular currents.

Original languageEnglish
Article number134
Number of pages8
JournalAstrophysical Journal
Issue number2
Early online date28 Jun 2015
Publication statusPublished - 1 Aug 2015


  • Sun: corona
  • Sun: magnetic fields

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Nuclear and High Energy Physics


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