The stability of poloidal magnetic fields in rotating stars
Max-Planck-Institut für Astrophysik, Karl-Schwarzschild-Straße 1, Postfach 1317, 85741 Garching, Germany e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
Accepted: 29 March 2007
The stability of large-scale magnetic fields in rotating stars is explored, using 3D numerical hydrodynamics to follow the evolution of an initial poloidal field. It is found that the field is subject to an instability, located initially on the magnetic equator, whereby the gas is displaced in a direction parallel to the magnetic axis. If the magnetic axis is parallel to the rotation axis, the rotation does not affect the initial linear growth of the instability, but does restrict the growth of the instability outside of the equatorial zone. The magnetic energy decays on a timescale which is a function of the Alfvén crossing time and the rotation speed, but short compared to any evolutionary timescale. No evidence is found for a possible stable end state to evolve from an initial axisymmetric poloidal field. The field of an oblique rotator is similarly unstable, in both cases regardless of the rotation speed.
Key words: magnetohydrodynamics (MHD) / stars: magnetic fields / instabilities
© ESO, 2007