Coupling of Kelvin-Helmholtz instability and buoyancy instability in a thermally laminar plasma

Ren, Haijun; Cao, Jintao; Dong, Chao; Wu, Zhengwei; Chu, Paul K.
February 2011
Physics of Plasmas;Feb2011, Vol. 18 Issue 2, p022110
Academic Journal
Thermal convective instability is investigated in a thermally stratified plasma in the presence of shear flow, which is known to give rise to the Kelvin-Helmholtz (KH) instability. We examine how the KH instability and magnetothermal instability (MTI) affect each other. Based on the sharp boundary model, the KH instability coupled with the MTI is studied. We present the growth rate and instability criteria. The shear flow is shown to significantly alter the critical condition for the occurrence of thermal convective instability.


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