Phase Mixing of Alfvén Waves Near a 2D Magnetic Null Point

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The propagation of linear Alfvén wave pulses in an inhomogeneous plasma near a 2D coronal null point is investigated. When a uniform plasma density is considered, it is seen that an initially planar Alfvén wavefront remains planar, despite the varying equilibrium Alfvén speed, and that all the wave collects at the separatrices. Thus, in the non-ideal case, these Alfvénic disturbances preferentially dissipate their energy at these locations. For a non-uniform equilibrium density, it is found that the Alfvén wavefront is significantly distorted away from the initially planar geometry, inviting the possibility of dissipation due to phase mixing. Despite this however, we conclude that for the Alfvén wave, current density accumulation and preferential heating still primarily occur at the separatrices, even when an extremely non-uniform density profile is considered.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)223-246
JournalJournal of Astrophysics and Astronomy
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 2013


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