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Astron. Astrophys. 327, 854-862

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Dynamical response of magnetic tubes to transverse perturbations

II. Towards thin flux tubes

U. Ziegler and P. Ulmschneider

Institut für Theoretische Astrophysik der Universität Heidelberg, Tiergartenstr. 15, D-69121 Heidelberg, Germany

Received 20 May 1997 / Accepted 10 July 1997


The dynamical response of magnetic flux tubes due to local transverse periodic perturbations is investigated by numerical means. Our aim was to check the applicability of the thin flux tube approximation for vertically oriented flux tubes with moderate magnetic field strength (plasma FORMULA) and diameters 100 km, 50 km and 25 km immersed in an otherwise homogeneous nonmagnetic environment. All tubes has been subject to the same driver. To resolve the flux tube in a FORMULA km3 computational domain, a multiple nested grid version of a 3D MHD code is used.

We find that a description as ideally thin flux tube becomes more and more questionable if the diameter of the tube decreases. For the thinnest tube we found eg. an almost complete split up into a fork-like geometry with two counterrotating legs. This can be explained by a more rigorous interaction of the tube with the ambient medium: Geometrically thinner flux tubes are less inert than corresponding thick tubes and therefore experience stronger backreaction forces because thinner tubes are easier to displace horizontally. As a consequence of this, their cross sections are significantly deformed contradictory to the assumptions made in the thin flux tube approximation. The energy loss from the internal tube motions to the surroundings by acoustic radiation is found to be anticorrelated with the tube radius ie. thinner tubes loose more wave energy than thicker ones.

Key words: MHD - Sun: magnetic fields - magnetic fields

Send offprint requests to: U. Ziegler

© European Southern Observatory (ESO) 1997

Online publication: October 14, 1997
Last change: April 6, 1998