MAGNETOHYDRODYNAMICS USING PATH or STREAM FUNCTIONS

Yossi Naor, Uri Keshet

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Scopus citations

Abstract

Magnetization in highly conductive plasmas is ubiquitous to astronomical systems. Flows in such media can be described by three path functions La, or, for a steady flow, by two stream functions lk and an additional field such as mass density ?, velocity v, or travel time Dt. While typical analyses of a frozen magnetic field B are problemspecific and involve nonlocal gradients of the fluid element position x (t), we derive the general, local (in λ or Λ space) solution B = (∂x ∂Λα)tB∼αp/p∼, where Lagrangian constants denoted by a tilde are directly fixed at a boundary hypersurface H∼ on which B is known. For a steady flow, p∼B/p = (∂x/∂lk )DtB∼k + vB∼3 v∼; here the electric field E ∼ (B∼2∇λ1 - B∼1∇λ2 ) p∼ depends only on lk and the boundary conditions. Illustrative special cases include compressible axisymmetric flows and incompressible flows around a sphere, showing that viscosity and compressibility enhance the magnetization and lead to thicker boundary layers. Our method is especially useful for directly computing electric fields, and for addressing upstream magnetic fields that vary in spacetime. We thus estimate the electric fields above heliospheres and magnetospheres, compute the draping of magnetic substructure around a planetary body, and demonstrate the resulting inverse polarity reversal layer. Our analysis can be immediately incorporated into existing hydrodynamic codes that are based on stream or path functions, to passively evolve the electromagnetic fields in a simulated flow. Furthermore, in such a prescription the electromagnetic fields are frozen onto the grid, so it may be developed into a fully magnetohydrodynamic, efficient simulation.

Original languageEnglish
Article number152
JournalAstrophysical Journal
Volume810
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - 10 Sep 2015

Keywords

  • ISM: magnetic fields
  • galaxies: magnetic fields
  • magnetic fields
  • magnetohydrodynamics (MHD)
  • planets and satellites: magnetic fields

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