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Graduate Student Seminar - 10/28/2011

"Nonlinear Stability of the Ideal Magnetohydrodynamic Interchange Mode at Marginal Conditions in a Transverse Magnetic Field"

by Jupiter Bagaipo

Friday, October 28, 2011 -- 12:00 p.m.
Large Conference Room, 1207 Energy Research Facility

Advisor:  Professor Adil Hassam

The stability of the ideal magnetohydrodynamic (MHD) interchange mode at marginal conditions is studied. A sufficiently strong constant magnetic field component transverse to the direction of mode symmetry provides the marginality conditions. A systematic perturbation analysis in the smallness parameter |b2/Bc|1/2 is carried out, where Bc is the critical transverse magnetic field for the zero-frequency ideal mode and b2 is the deviation from Bc. The calculation is carried out to third order including nonlinear terms. It is shown that the system is nonlinearly unstable in the short wavelength limit, i.e., a large enough perturbation results in instability even if b2/Bc > 0 (linearly stable). The normalized amplitude for instabilty is shown to scale as |b2/Bc|1/2. A nonlinear, compressible MHD simulation is done to check the analytic result. Good agreement is found, including the critical amplitude scaling.

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