TY - JOUR

T1 - Behaviour of Magnetoacoustic Waves in the Neighbourhood of a Two-Dimensional Null Point: Initially Cylindrically Symmetric Perturbations

AU - McLaughlin, James

PY - 2016/3

Y1 - 2016/3

N2 - The propagation of magnetoacoustic waves in the neighbourhood of a 2D null point is investigated for both β=0 and β ≠ 0 plasmas. Previous work has shown that the Alfvén speed, here v A ∝r, plays a vital role in such systems and so a natural choice is to switch to polar coordinates. For β=0 plasma, we derive an analytical solution for the behaviour of the fast magnetoacoustic wave in terms of the Klein–Gordon equation. We also solve the system with a semi-analytical WKB approximation which shows that the β=0 wave focuses on the null and contracts around it but, due to exponential decay, never reaches the null in a finite time. For the β ≠ 0 plasma, we solve the system numerically and find the behaviour to be similar to that of the β=0 system at large radii, but completely different close to the null. We show that for an initially cylindrically-symmetric fast magnetoacoustic wave perturbation, there is a decrease in wave speed along the separatrices and so the perturbation starts to take on a quasi-diamond shape; with the corners located along the separatrices. This is due to the growth in pressure gradients that reach a maximum along the separatrices, which in turn reduces the acceleration of the fast wave along the separatrices leading to a deformation of the wave morphology.

AB - The propagation of magnetoacoustic waves in the neighbourhood of a 2D null point is investigated for both β=0 and β ≠ 0 plasmas. Previous work has shown that the Alfvén speed, here v A ∝r, plays a vital role in such systems and so a natural choice is to switch to polar coordinates. For β=0 plasma, we derive an analytical solution for the behaviour of the fast magnetoacoustic wave in terms of the Klein–Gordon equation. We also solve the system with a semi-analytical WKB approximation which shows that the β=0 wave focuses on the null and contracts around it but, due to exponential decay, never reaches the null in a finite time. For the β ≠ 0 plasma, we solve the system numerically and find the behaviour to be similar to that of the β=0 system at large radii, but completely different close to the null. We show that for an initially cylindrically-symmetric fast magnetoacoustic wave perturbation, there is a decrease in wave speed along the separatrices and so the perturbation starts to take on a quasi-diamond shape; with the corners located along the separatrices. This is due to the growth in pressure gradients that reach a maximum along the separatrices, which in turn reduces the acceleration of the fast wave along the separatrices leading to a deformation of the wave morphology.

KW - Magnetohydrodynamics (MHD)

KW - waves

KW - magnetic fields

KW - Sun: atmosphere—corona

U2 - 10.1007/s12036-016-9376-y

DO - 10.1007/s12036-016-9376-y

M3 - Article

VL - 37

JO - Journal of Astrophysics and Astronomy

JF - Journal of Astrophysics and Astronomy

SN - 0250-6335

IS - 1

ER -