The temporal behaviour of MHD waves in a partially ionized prominence-like plasma: Effect of heating and cooling
1 Departament de FísicaUniversitat de les Illes Balears, 07122 Palma de Mallorca, Spain
2 Institute of Applied Computing & Community Code (IAC 3, Universitat de les Illes Balears, 07122 Palma de Mallorca, Spain
3 Departament de Ciències Matemàtiques i Informàtica, Universitat de les Illes Balears, 07122 Palma de Mallorca, Spain
Received: 14 July 2017
Accepted: 22 October 2017
Context. During heating or cooling processes in prominences, the plasma microscopic parameters are modified due to the change of temperature and ionization degree. Furthermore, if waves are excited on this non-stationary plasma, the changing physical conditions of the plasma also affect wave dynamics.
Aims. Our aim is to study how temporal variation of temperature and microscopic plasma parameters modify the behaviour of magnetohydrodynamic (MHD) waves excited in a prominence-like hydrogen plasma.
Methods. Assuming optically thin radiation, a constant external heating, the full expression of specific internal energy, and a suitable energy equation, we have derived the profiles for the temporal variation of the background temperature. We have computed the variation of the ionization degree using a Saha equation, and have linearized the single-fluid MHD equations to study the temporal behaviour of MHD waves.
Results. For all the MHD waves considered, the period and damping time become time dependent. In the case of Alfvén waves, the cut-off wavenumbers also become time dependent and the attenuation rate is completely different in a cooling or heating process. In the case of slow waves, while it is difficult to distinguish the slow wave properties in a cooling partially ionized plasma from those in an almost fully ionized plasma, the period and damping time of these waves in both plasmas are completely different when the plasma is heated. The temporal behaviour of the Alfvén and fast wave is very similar in the cooling case, but in the heating case, an important difference appears that is related with the time damping.
Conclusions. Our results point out important differences in the behaviour of MHD waves when the plasma is heated or cooled, and show that a correct interpretation of the observed prominence oscillations is very important in order to put accurate constraints on the physical situation of the prominence plasma under study, that is, to perform prominence seismology.
Key words: magnetohydrodynamics (MHD) / Sun: filaments, prominences / Sun: oscillations
© ESO, 2017