Volume 537, January 2012
|Number of page(s)||9|
|Published online||13 January 2012|
Resonant Alfvén waves in partially ionized plasmas of the solar atmosphere
Centre for Plasma Astrophysics, Department of MathematicsKatholieke
Accepted: 16 November 2011
Context. Magnetohydrodynamic (MHD) waves are ubiquitous in the solar atmosphere. In magnetic waveguides resonant absorption due to plasma inhomogeneity naturally transfers wave energy from large-scale motions to small-scale motions. In the cooler parts of the solar atmosphere as, e.g., the chromosphere, effects due to partial ionization may be relevant for wave dynamics and heating.
Aims. We study resonant Alfvén waves in partially ionized plasmas.
Methods. We use the multifluid equations in the cold plasma approximation. We investigate propagating resonant MHD waves in partially ionized flux tubes. We use approximate analytical theory based on normal modes in the thin tube and thin boundary approximations along with numerical eigenvalue computations.
Results. We find that the jumps of the wave perturbations across the resonant layer are the same as in fully ionized plasmas. The damping length due to resonant absorption is inversely proportional to the frequency, while that due to ion-neutral collisions is inversely proportional to the square of the frequency. For observed frequencies in the solar atmosphere, the amplitude of MHD kink waves is more efficiently damped by resonant absorption than by ion-neutral collisions.
Conclusions. Most of the energy carried by chromospheric kink waves is converted into localized azimuthal Alfvén waves that can deposit energy in the coronal medium. The dissipation of wave energy in the chromosphere due to ion-neutral collisions is only effective for high-frequency waves. The chromosphere acts as a filter for kink waves with periods shorter than 10 s.
Key words: Sun: oscillations / magnetohydrodynamics (MHD) / Sun: atmosphere / waves
© ESO, 2012
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