Linear and nonlinear MHD mode coupling of the fast magnetoacoustic wave about a 3D magnetic null point

Thurgood, Jonathan and McLaughlin, James (2012) Linear and nonlinear MHD mode coupling of the fast magnetoacoustic wave about a 3D magnetic null point. Astronomy & Astrophysics, 545 (A9). ISSN 0004-6361

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Coronal magnetic null points have been implicated as possible locations for localised heating events in 2D models. We investigate this possibility about fully 3D null points.

We investigate the nature of the fast magnetoacoustic wave about a fully 3D magnetic null point, with a specific interest in its propagation, and we look for evidence of MHD mode coupling and/or conversion to the Alfvén mode.

A special fieldline and flux-based coordinate system was constructed to permit the introduction of a pure fast magnetoacoustic wave in the vicinity of proper and improper 3D null points. We considered the ideal, β = 0, MHD equations, which are solved using the LARE3D numerical code. The constituent modes of the resulting wave were isolated and identified using the special coordinate
system. Numerical results were supported by analytical work derived from perturbation theory and a linear implementation of the WKB method.

An initially pure fast wave is found to be permanently decoupled from the Alfvén mode both linearly and nonlinearly for both proper and improper 3D null points. The pure fast mode also generates and sustains a nonlinear disturbance aligned along the equilibrium magnetic field. The resulting pure fast magnetoacoustic pulse has transient behaviour, which is found to be governed by the (equilibrium) Alfvén-speed profile, and a refraction effect focuses all the wave energy towards the null point.

Thus, the main results from previous 2D work do indeed carry over to the fully 3D magnetic null points and so we conclude that 3D null points are locations for preferential heating in the corona by 3D fast magnetoacoustic waves

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: magnetohydrodynamics (MHD), waves, Sun: corona, Sun: oscillations, Sun: magnetic topology, magnetic fields
Subjects: F300 Physics
F500 Astronomy
G100 Mathematics
Depositing User: Users 5026 not found.
Date Deposited: 29 Aug 2012 13:42
Last Modified: 17 Dec 2023 12:45

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