Formation of current sheets in a highly conducting fluid
Author(s):
Dinesh Kumar
Keywords:
Current sheet, Magnetic topology, Magnetic discontinuity, Magnetic reconnection, Solar corona
Abstract
Magnetic field embedded in a highly conducting fluid has an important property that magnetic field lines are frozen to the fluid elements. As any two fluid elements approach towards each other under the influence of some unbalanced forces then the magnetic field lines also move along with the fluid elements and whenever the two fluid elements come into direct contact with each other then at the surface of contact the magnetic field lines become discontinuous as the field lines associated with respective fluid elements do not mix with each other. This discontinuity in magnetic field led to a very high value of electric current density at the surface of contact of the two fluid elements. As the electric current density is confined to a two-dimensional plane so it is termed as current sheets. In the presence of electrical resistivity, current sheets decay through ohmic dissipation resulting in heat and kinetic energy along with change in magnetic field topology. This process of energy conversion is called magnetic reconnection. The formation of current sheets and their eventual decay in a highly conducting fluid reveals the mysteries of various phenomena like heating of solar corona at its million-degree Kelvin temperature, solar flares and coronal mass ejections. The theory of the formation of current sheets is also applicable to laboratory plasmas, interplanetary medium and astrophysical plasmas.
Article Details
Unique Paper ID: 162259

Publication Volume & Issue: Volume 10, Issue 8

Page(s): 517 - 519
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