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Could switchbacks originate in the lower solar atmosphere? II. Propagation of switchbacks in the solar corona  

Norbert Magyar   Submitted: 2021-04-21 01:28

The magnetic switchbacks observed recently by the Parker Solar Probe have raised the question about their nature and origin. One of the competing theories of their origin is the interchange reconnection in the solar corona. In this scenario, switchbacks are generated at the reconnection site between open and closed magnetic fields, and are either advected by an upflow or propagate as waves into the solar wind. In this paper we test the wave hypothesis, numerically modelling the propagation of a switchback, modelled as an embedded Alfvén wave packet of constant magnetic field magnitude, through the gravitationally stratified solar corona with different degrees of background magnetic field expansion. While switchbacks propagating in a uniform medium with no gravity are relatively stable, as reported previously, we find that gravitational stratification together with the expansion of the magnetic field act in multiple ways to deform the switchbacks. These include WKB effects, which depend on the degree of magnetic field expansion, and also finite-amplitude effects, such as the symmetry breaking between nonlinear advection and the Lorentz force. In a straight or radially expanding magnetic field the propagating switchbacks unfold into waves that cause minimal magnetic field deflections, while a super-radially expanding magnetic field aids in maintaining strong deflections. Other important effects are the mass uplift the propagating switchbacks induce and the reconnection and drainage of plasmoids contained within the switchbacks. In the Appendix, we examine a series of setups with different switchback configurations and parameters, which broaden the scope of our study.

Authors: Magyar, Norbert; Utz, Dominik; Erdélyi, Robertus; Nakariakov, Valery M.
Projects: None

Publication Status: Accepted in ApJ
Last Modified: 2021-04-21 11:29
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Three-dimensional simulations of the inhomogeneous Low Solar Wind  

Norbert Magyar   Submitted: 2020-12-03 01:40

In the near future, Parker Solar Probe will put theories about the dynamics and nature of the transition between the solar corona and the solar wind to stringent tests. The most popular mechanism aimed to explain the dynamics of the nascent solar wind, including its heating and acceleration is magnetohydrodynamic (MHD) turbulence. Most of the previous models focus on nonlinear cascade induced by interactions of outgoing Alfvén waves and their reflections, ignoring effects that might be related to perpendicular structuring of the solar coronal plasma, despite overwhelming evidence for it. In this paper, for the first time, we analyse through 3D MHD numerical simulations the dynamics of the perpendicularly structured solar corona and solar wind, from the low corona to 15 R_Sun. We find that background structuring has a strong effect on the evolution of MHD turbulence, on much faster time scales than in the perpendicularly homogeneous case. On time scales shorter than nonlinear times, linear effects related to phase mixing result in a 1/f perpendicular energy spectrum. As the turbulent cascade develops, we observe a perpendicular (parallel) energy spectrum with the power law index of -3/2 or -5/3 (-2), a steeper perpendicular magnetic field than velocity spectrum, and a strong build-up of negative residual energy. We conclude that the turbulence is most probably generated by the self-cascade of the driven transverse kink waves, referred to previously as `uniturbulence', which might represent the dominant nonlinear energy cascade channel in the pristine solar wind.

Authors: N. Magyar, V. M. Nakariakov
Projects: None

Publication Status: Accepted
Last Modified: 2020-12-09 13:10
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Standing kink waves in sigmoid solar coronal loops: implications for coronal seismology  

Norbert Magyar   Submitted: 2020-04-30 02:28

Using full three-dimensional magnetohydrodynamic numerical simulations, we study the effects of magnetic field sigmoidity or helicity on the properties of the fundamental kink oscillation of solar coronal loops. Our model consists of a single denser coronal loop, embedded in a plasma with dipolar force-free magnetic field with a constant α parameter. For the loop with no sigmoidity, we find that the numerically determined oscillation period of the fundamental kink mode matches the theoretical period calculated using WKB theory. In contrast, with increasing sigmoidity of the loop, the actual period is increasingly smaller than the one estimated by WKB theory. Translated through coronal seismology, increasing sigmoidity results in magnetic field estimates which are increasingly shifting towards higher values, and even surpassing the average value for the highest α value considered. Nevertheless, the estimated range of the coronal magnetic field value lies within the mimimal/maximal limits, proving the robustness coronal seismology. We propose that the discrepancy in the estimations of the absolute value of the force-free magnetic field could be exploited seismologically to determine the free energy of coronal loops, if averages of the internal magnetic field and density can be reliably estimated by other methods.

Authors: N. Magyar; V. M. Nakariakov
Projects: None

Publication Status: Accepted for publication
Last Modified: 2020-05-03 13:58
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Damping of nonlinear standing kink oscillations: a numerical study  

Norbert Magyar   Submitted: 2016-09-23 01:41

We aim to study the standing fundamental kink mode of coronal loops in the nonlinear regime, investigating the changes in energy evolution in the cross-section and oscillation amplitude of the loop which are related to nonlinear effects, in particular to the development of the Kelvin-Helmholtz instability (KHI). We run idea, high-resolution three-dimensional (3D) magnetohydrodynamics (MHD) simulations, studying the influence of the initial velocity amplitude and the inhomogeneous layer thickness. We model the coronal loop as a straight, homogeneous magnetic flux tube with an outer inhomogeneous layer, embedded in a straight, homogeneous magnetic field. We find that, for low amplitudes which do not allow for the KHI to develop during the simulated time, the damping time agrees with the theory of resonant absorption. However, for higher amplitudes, the presence of KHI around the oscillating loop can alter the loop's evolution, resulting in a significantly faster damping than predicted by the linear theory in some cases. This questions the accuracy of seismological methods applied to observed damping profiles, based on linear theory.

Authors: N. Magyar, T. Van Doorsselaere
Projects: None

Publication Status: Accepted
Last Modified: 2016-09-23 15:45
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The instability and non-existence of multi-stranded loops, when driven by transverse waves  

Norbert Magyar   Submitted: 2016-04-15 02:51

In recent years, omni-present transverse waves have been observed in all layers of the solar atmosphere. Coronal loops are often modeled as a collection of individual strands, in order to explain their thermal behaviour and appearance. We perform 3D ideal MHD simulations to study the effect of a continuous small amplitude transverse footpoint driving on the internal structure of a coronal loop composed of strands. The output is also converted to synthetic images, corresponding to the AIA 171 Å and 193 Å passbands, using FoMo. We show that the multi-stranded loop ceases to exist in the traditional sense of the word, because the plasma is efficiently mixed perpendicularly to the magnetic field, with the Kelvin-Helmholtz instability acting as the main mechanism. The final product of our simulation is mixed loop with density structures on a large range of scales, resembling a power-law. Thus, multi-stranded loops are unstable to driving by transverse waves, and this raises a strong doubt on the usability and applicability of coronal loop models consisting of independent strands.

Authors: N. Magyar, T. Van Doorsselaere
Projects: None

Publication Status: ApJ (in press)
Last Modified: 2016-04-18 21:09
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Abstracts by Author
Could switchbacks originate in the lower solar atmosphere? II. Propagation of switchbacks in the solar corona
Three-dimensional simulations of the inhomogeneous Low Solar Wind
Standing kink waves in sigmoid solar coronal loops: implications for coronal seismology
Damping of nonlinear standing kink oscillations: a numerical study
The instability and non-existence of multi-stranded loops, when driven by transverse waves

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