Dynamics of braided coronal loops
I. Onset of magnetic reconnection
A. L. Wilmot-Smith, D. I. Pontin and G. Hornig
Division of Mathematics, University of Dundee, Dundee, DD1 4HN, UK e-mail: email@example.com
Accepted: 2 April 2010
Aims. The response of the solar coronal magnetic field to small-scale photospheric boundary motions including the possible formation of current sheets via the Parker scenario is one of open questions of solar physics. Here we address the problem via a numerical simulation.
Methods. The three-dimensional evolution of a braided magnetic field which is initially close to a force-free state is followed using a resistive MHD code.
Results. A long-wavelength instability takes place and leads to the formation of two thin current layers. Magnetic reconnection occurs across the current sheets with three-dimensional features shown, including an elliptic magnetic field structure about the reconnection site, and results in an untwisting of the global field structure.
Key words: magnetohydrodynamics (MHD) / plasmas / Sun: corona / magnetic fields
© ESO, 2010