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Least-Squares Fitting Methods for Estimating the Winding Rate in Twisted Magnetic-Flux Tubes View all abstracts by submitter

Ashley Crouch   Submitted: 2012-10-15 17:54

We investigate least-squares fitting methods for estimating the winding rate of field lines about the axis of twisted magnetic-flux tubes. These methods estimate the winding rate by finding the values for a set of parameters that correspond to the minimum of the discrepancy between magnetic-field measurements and predictions from a twisted flux-tube model. For the flux-tube model used in the fitting, we assume that the magnetic field is static, axisymmetric, and does not vary in the vertical direction. Using error-free, synthetic vector magnetic-field data constructed with models for twisted magnetic-flux tubes, we test the efficacy of fitting methods at recovering the true winding rate. Furthermore, we demonstrate how assumptions built into the flux-tube models used for the fitting influence the accuracy of the winding-rate estimates. We identify the radial variation of the winding rate within the flux tube as one assumption that can have a significant impact on the winding-rate estimates. We show that the errors caused by making a fixed, incorrect assumption about the radial variation of the winding rate can be largely avoided by fitting directly for the radial variation of the winding rate. Other assumptions that we investigate include the lack of variation of the field in the azimuthal and vertical directions in the flux tube model used for the fitting, and the inclination, curvature, and location of the flux-tube axis. When the observed field deviates substantially from the flux-tube model used for the fitting, we find that the winding-rate estimates can be unreliable. We conclude that the magnetic-flux tube models used in this investigation are probably too simple to yield reliable estimates for the winding rate of the field lines in solar magnetic structures in general, unless additional information is available to justify the choice of flux-tube model used for the fitting.

Authors: Ashley D. Crouch
Projects: None

Publication Status: Accepted for publication in Solar Physics
Last Modified: 2012-10-19 09:58
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