Linear coupling between fast and slow MHD waves due to line-tying effects
Departament de Física, Universitat de les Illes
2 Centre Plasma Astrophysics and Leuven Mathematical Modeling and Computational Science Centre, Katholieke Universiteit Leuven, Leuven 3001, Belgium
3 Centre for Stellar and Planetary Astrophysics, Monash University, Victoria 3800, Australia
4 Centre for Fusion, Space and Astrophysics, Department of Physics, University of Warwick, Coventry CV4 7AL, UK
Accepted: 17 November 2010
Context. Oscillations in coronal loops are usually interpreted in terms of uncoupled magnetohydrodynamic (MHD) waves. Examples of these waves are standing transverse motions, interpreted as the kink MHD modes, and propagating slow modes, commonly reported at the loop footpoints.
Aims. Here we study a simple system in which fast and slow MHD waves are coupled. The goal is to understand the fingerprints of the coupling when boundary conditions are imposed.
Methods. The reflection problem of a fast and slow MHD wave interacting with a rigid boundary, representing the line-tying effect of the photosphere, is analytically investigated. Both propagating and standing waves are analysed and the time-dependent problem of the excitation of these waves is considered.
Results. An obliquely incident fast MHD wave on the photosphere inevitably generates a slow mode. The frequency of the generated slow mode at the photosphere is exactly the same as the frequency of the incident fast MHD mode, but its wavelength is much smaller, assuming that the sound speed is slower than the Alfvén speed.
Conclusions. The main signatures of the generated slow wave are density fluctuations at the loop footpoints. We have derived a simple formula that relates the velocity amplitude of the transverse standing mode with the density enhancements at the footpoints due to the driven slow modes. Using these results it is shown that there is possible evidence in the observations of the coupling between these two modes.
Key words: magnetohydrodynamics (MHD) / waves / magnetic fields / sun: atmosphere / sun: oscillations
© ESO, 2011