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Magnetic Fluxtube TunnelingWe present numerical simulations of the collision and subsequent interaction of two initially orthogonal, twisted, force free field magnetic fluxtubes. The simulations were carried out using a new three dimensional explicit parallelized Fourier collocation algorithm for solving the viscoresistive equations of compressible magnetohydrodynamics. It is found that, under a wide range of conditions, the fluxtubes can 'tunnel' through each other. Two key conditions must be satisfied for tunneling to occur: the magnetic field must be highly twisted with a field line pitch much greater than 1, and the magnetic Lundquist number must be somewhat large, greater than or equal to 2880. This tunneling behavior has not been seen previously in studies of either vortex tube or magnetic fluxtube interactions. An examination of magnetic field lines shows that tunneling is due to a double reconnection mechanism. Initially orthogonal field lines reconnect at two specific locations, exchange interacting sections and 'pass' through each other. The implications of these results for solar and space plasmas are discussed.
Document ID
Document Type
Dahlburg, Russell B. (Naval Research Lab. Washington, DC United States)
Antiochos,, Spiro K. (Naval Research Lab. Washington, DC United States)
Norton, D. (Science Applications International Corp. Monterey, CA United States)
Date Acquired
September 6, 2013
Publication Date
April 3, 1996
Subject Category
Plasma Physics
Report/Patent Number
Distribution Limits
Work of the US Gov. Public Use Permitted.
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