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Astron. Astrophys. 357, 1143-1150 (2000)

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Ambipolar filamentation of turbulent magnetic fields: a numerical simulation

M. Franqueira 1,2, M. Tagger 1 and A.I. Gómez de Castro 2

1 Service d'Astrophysique (CNRS URA 2052), CEA/DSM/DAPNIA, CE Saclay, 91191 Gif sur Yvette, France
2 Instituto de Astronoma y Geodesia, CSIC-UCM, Madrid, Spain

Received 17 November 1999 / Accepted 14 March 2000


We present the results of a 2-D, two fluid (ions and neutrals) simulation of the ambipolar filamentation process, in which a magnetized, weakly ionized plasma is stirred by turbulence in the ambipolar frequency range. The higher turbulent velocity of the neutrals in the most ionized regions gives rise to a non-linear force driving them out of these regions, so that the initial ionization inhomogeneities are strongly amplified. This effect, the ambipolar filamentation, causes the ions and the magnetic flux to condense and separate from the neutrals, resulting in a filamentary structure.

Key words: Magnetohydrodynamics (MHD) – turbulence – methods: numerical – Sun: magnetic fields – ISM: magnetic fields

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© European Southern Observatory (ESO) 2000

Online publication: June 5, 2000