Three-dimensional relativistic magnetohydrodynamic simulations of current-driven instability. I. Instability of a static column

Yosuke Mizuno, Yuri Lyubarsky, Ken Ichi Nishikawa, Philip E. Hardee

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

71 Scopus citations

Abstract

We have investigated the development of current-driven (CD) kink instability through three-dimensional relativistic magnetohydrodynamic simulations. A static force-free equilibrium helical magnetic configuration is considered in order to study the influence of the initial configuration on the linear and nonlinear evolution of the instability. We found that the initial configuration is strongly distorted but not disrupted by the kink instability. The instability develops as predicted by linear theory. In the nonlinear regime, the kink amplitude continues to increase up to the terminal simulation time, albeit at different rates, for all but one simulation. The growth rate and nonlinear evolution of the CD kink instability depend moderately on the density profile and strongly on the magnetic pitch profile. The growth rate of the kink mode is reduced in the linear regime by an increase in the magnetic pitch with radius and reaches the nonlinear regime at a later time than the case with constant helical pitch. On the other hand, the growth rate of the kink mode is increased in the linear regime by a decrease in the magnetic pitch with radius and reaches the nonlinear regime sooner than the case with constant magnetic pitch. Kink amplitude growth in the nonlinear regime for decreasing magnetic pitch leads to a slender helically twisted column wrapped by magnetic field. On the other hand, kink amplitude growth in the nonlinear regime nearly ceases for increasing magnetic pitch.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)684-693
Number of pages10
JournalAstrophysical Journal
Volume700
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - 20 Jul 2009

Keywords

  • Galaxies
  • Instabilities
  • Jets
  • MHD
  • Methods
  • Numerical

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