Volume 526, February 2011
|Number of page(s)||4|
|Published online||24 December 2010|
Nonlinear long-wavelength torsional Alfvén waves
Centre for Fusion, Space and Astrophysics, Physics DepartmentUniversity of
CV4 7AL, UK
2 Central Astronomical Observatory of the Russian Academy of Sciences at Pulkovo, 196140 St Petersburg, Russia
3 Centrum voor Plasma-Astrofysica, Mathematics Department, Celestijnenlaan 200B bus 2400, 3001 Leuven, Belgium
Accepted: 23 November 2010
Aims. We investigate the nonlinear phenomena accompanying long-wavelength torsional waves in solar and stellar coronae.
Methods. The second order thin flux-tube approximation is used to determine perturbations of a straight untwisted and non-rotating magnetic flux-tube, nonlinearly induced by long-wavelength axisymmetric magnetohydrodynamic waves of small, but finite amplitude.
Results. Propagating torsional waves induce compressible perturbations oscillating with double the frequency of the torsional waves. In contrast with plane shear Alfvén waves, the amplitude of compressible perturbations is independent of the plasma-β and is proportional to the torsional wave amplitude squared. Standing torsional waves induce compressible perturbations of two kinds, that grow with the characteristic time inversely proportional to the sound speed, and that oscillate at double the frequency of the inducing torsional wave. The growing density perturbation saturates at the level, inversely proportional to the sound speed.
Key words: magnetohydrodynamics (MHD) / waves / Sun: corona / Sun: activity / magnetic fields
© ESO, 2010
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