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The writhe of helical structures in the solar corona View all abstracts by submitter

Tibor Toeroek   Submitted: 2010-04-23 06:11

Helicity is a fundamental property of magnetic fields, conserved in ideal MHD. In flux rope topology, it consists of twist and writhe helicity. Despite the common occurrence of helical structures in the solar atmosphere, little is known about how their shape relates to the writhe, which fraction of helicity is contained in writhe, and how much helicity is exchanged between twist and writhe when they erupt. Here we perform a quantitative investigation of these questions relevant for coronal flux ropes. The decomposition of the writhe of a curve into local and nonlocal components greatly facilitates its computation. We use it to study the relation between writhe and projected S shape of helical curves and to measure writhe and twist in numerical simulations of flux rope instabilities. The results are discussed with regard to filament eruptions and coronal mass ejections (CMEs). We conclude that the writhe is useful in interpreting S shaped coronal structures and in constraining models of eruptions.

Authors: Tibor Toeroek, Mitchell A. Berger, Bernhard Kliem
Projects: None

Publication Status: Accepted by Astronomy and Astrophysics
Last Modified: 2010-04-23 08:59
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