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Graduate Student Seminar - 02/19/2010

"Modeling Magnetic Islands Statistically and in Hall MHD Simulations"

by Raymond Fermo

Friday, February 19, 2010 -- 12:00 p.m.
Large Conference Room, 1207 Energy Research Facility

Advisor:  Professor Daniel Lathrop

This presentation describes a statistical model of the dynamics of magnetic islands in very large current layers that develop in space plasma. Two parameters characterize the island distribution: the flux contained in the island and the area it encloses. The integro-differential evolution equation for this distribution function is based on rules that govern the small-scale generation of secondary islands, the rates of island growth, and island merging. The numerical solutions of this equation produce island distributions relevant to the magnetosphere and solar corona. The solution of a differential equation for large islands explicitly shows the role merging plays in island growth. Hall MHD simulations of long current layers and flux transfer events in the magnetopause show good agreement with the predictions of this model.

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