We consider the one-dimensional equilibrium problem of a shear-flow boundary layer within an ‘extended-fluid model’ of a plasma that includes the Hall and the electron pressure terms in Ohm’s law, as well as dynamic equations for anisotropic pressure for each species and first-order finite-Larmor-radius (FLR) corrections to the ion dynamics. We provide a generalized version of the analytic expressions for the equilibrium configuration given in Cerri et al., (Phys. Plasmas, vol. 20 (11), 2013, 112112), highlighting their intrinsic asymmetry due to the relative orientation of the magnetic field , , and the fluid vorticity (‘ asymmetry’). Finally, we show that FLR effects can modify the Chapman–Ferraro current layer at the flank magnetopause in a way that is consistent with the observed structure reported by Haaland et al., (J. Geophys. Res. (Space Phys.), vol. 119, 2014, pp. 9019–9037). In particular, we are able to qualitatively reproduce the following key features: (i) the dusk–dawn asymmetry of the current layer, (ii) a double-peak feature in the current profiles and (iii) adjacent current sheets having thicknesses of several ion Larmor radii and with different current directions.

]]>There has been a growing interest, over the past few years, on understanding the effect on radio frequency waves due to turbulence in the scrape-off layer of tokamak plasmas. While the far scrape-off layer density width is of the order of centimetres in contemporary tokamaks, in ITER (International Thermonuclear Experimental Reactor), and in future fusion reactors, the corresponding width will be of the order of tens of centimetres. As such, this could impact the spectral properties of the waves and, consequently, the transport of wave energy and momentum to the core plasma. The turbulence in the scrape-off layer spans a broad range of spatial scales and includes blobs and filaments that are elongated along the magnetic field lines. The propagation of radio frequency waves through this tenuous plasma is given by Maxwell’s equations. The characteristic properties of the plasma appear as a permittivity tensor in the expression for the current in Ampere’s equation. This paper develops a formalism for expressing the permittivity of a turbulent plasma using the homogenization technique. This technique has been extensively used to express the dielectric properties of composite materials that are spatially inhomogeneous, for example, due to the presence of micro-structures. In a similar vein, the turbulent plasma in the scrape-off layer is spatially inhomogeneous and can be considered as a composite material in which the micro-structures are filaments and blobs. The classical homogenization technique is not appropriate for the magnetized plasma in the scrape-off layer, as the radio frequency waves span a broad range of wavelengths and frequencies – from tens of megahertz to hundreds of gigahertz. The formalism in this paper makes use of the Fourier space components of the electric and magnetic fields of the radio frequency waves for the scattered fields and fields inside the filaments and blobs. These are the eigenvectors of the dispersion matrix which, using the Green’s function approach, lead to a homogenized dielectric tensor.

]]>Fully compressible magnetohydrodynamic (MHD) turbulence is investigated in the framework of the multiple-scale direct-interaction approximation. With the aid of the propagators (correlation and Green’s functions), fluctuating fields are solved, and turbulent correlations are estimated in highly compressible turbulence. We focus on the expression of the turbulent electromotive force (EMF). Obliqueness between the mean magnetic field and the mean-density gradient, the mean internal density gradient and the non-equilibrium mean velocity contributes to the EMF in the presence of the density variance, which is ubiquitous in turbulence in strongly variable density flows such as the shock-front region. This density-variance effect is expected to locally enhance the turbulence intensity across the shock front, leading to a fast reconnection.

]]>We want to study the connections between the magnetic field generated inside the Sun and the solar wind impacting Earth, especially the influence of north–south asymmetry on the magnetic and velocity fields. We study a solar-like 11-year cycle in a quasi-static way: an asymmetric dynamo field is generated through a 2.5-dimensional (2.5-D) flux-transport model with the Babcock–Leighton mechanism, and then is used as bottom boundary condition for compressible 2.5-D simulations of the solar wind. We recover solar values for the mass loss rate, the spin-down time scale and the Alfvén radius, and are able to reproduce the observed delay in latitudinal variations of the wind and the general wind structure observed for the Sun. We show that the phase lag between the energy of the dipole component and the total surface magnetic energy has a strong influence on the amplitude of the variations of global quantities. We show in particular that the magnetic torque variations can be linked to topological variations during a magnetic cycle, while variations in the mass loss rate appear to be driven by variations of the magnetic energy.

]]>We investigate the onset of the classical magnetohydrodynamic (MHD) tearing instability (TI) and focus on non-modal (transient) growth rather than the tearing mode. With the help of pseudospectral theory, the operators of the linear equations are shown to be highly non-normal, resulting in the possibility of significant transient growth at the onset of the TI. This possibility increases as the Lundquist number increases. In particular, we find evidence, numerically, that the maximum possible transient growth, measured in the -norm, for the classical set-up of current sheets unstable to the TI, scales as on time scales of for . This behaviour is much faster than the time scale when the solution behaviour is dominated by the tearing mode. The size of transient growth obtained is dependent on the form of the initial perturbation. Optimal initial conditions for the maximum possible transient growth are determined, which take the form of wave packets and can be thought of as noise concentrated at the current sheet. We also examine how the structure of the eigenvalue spectrum relates to physical quantities.

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