Three-dimensional magnetohydrodynamical simulation of expanding magnetic flux ropes

Arnold, L.; Dreher, J.; Grauer, R.; Soltwisch, H.; Stein, H.
April 2008
Physics of Plasmas;Apr2008, Vol. 15 Issue 4, p042106
Academic Journal
Three-dimensional, time-dependent numerical simulations of the dynamics of magnetic flux ropes are presented. The simulations are targeted towards an experiment previously conducted at California Institute of Technology [P. M. Bellan and J. F. Hansen, Phys. Plasmas 5, 1991 (1998)] which aimed at simulating solar prominence eruptions in the laboratory. The plasma dynamics is described by ideal magnetohydrodynamics using different models for the evolution of the mass density. The initial current distribution represents the situation at the plasma creation phase, while it is not increased during the simulation. Key features of the reported experimental observations like pinching of the current loop, its expansion and distortion into helical shape are reproduced in the numerical simulations. Details of the final structure depend on the choice of a specific model for the mass density.


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