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Surface Alfvén waves of negative energy

  • M. S. Ruderman (a1) and M. Goossens (a1)

The stability of an MHD tangential discontinuity is studied in an incompressible plasma where viscosity is taken into account at one side of the discontinuity. When the shear velocity is smaller than the threshold value for the onset of the Kelvin-Helmholtz (KH) instability, two surface waves can propagate along the discontinuity. There is a critical value for the shear velocity, which is smaller than the threshold value for the onset of the KH instability. When the shear velocity is smaller than the critical value, the two surface waves propagate in Opposite directions. When the shear velocity is larger than the critical velocity, the two waves propagate in the same direction, and the wave with smaller phase velocity is a negative-energy wave. Viscosity causes this negative-energy wave to be unstable, and the instability increment is proportional to the viscosity coefficient.

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V. H. Hollweg , G. Yang , V. M. Cadez & B. Gakovic 1990 Surface waves in an incompressible fluid: resonant instability due to velocity shear. Astrophys. J. 349, 335344.

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Journal of Plasma Physics
  • ISSN: 0022-3778
  • EISSN: 1469-7807
  • URL: /core/journals/journal-of-plasma-physics
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