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The Vertical Current Approximation Nonlinear Force-Free Field Code - Description, Performance Tests, and Measurements of Magnetic Energies Dissipated in Solar Flares View all abstracts by submitter

Markus J. Aschwanden   Submitted: 2016-02-01 11:19

In this work we provide an updated description of the Vertical Current Approximation Nonlinear Force-Free Field (VCA-NLFFF) code, which is designed to measure the evolution of the potential, nonpotential, free energies, and the dissipated magnetic energies during solar flares. This code provides a complementary and alternative method to existing traditional NLFFF codes. The chief advantages of the VCA-NLFFF code over traditional NLFFF codes are the circumvention of the unrealistic assumption of a force-free photosphere in the magnetic field extrapolation method, the capability to minimize the misalignment angles between observed coronal loops (or chromospheric fibril structures) and theoretical model field lines, as well as computational speed. In performance tests of the VCA-NLFFF code, by comparing with the NLFFF code of Wiegelmann (2004), we find agreement in the potential, nonpotential, and free energy within a factor of about 1.3, but the Wiegelmann code yields in the average a factor of 2 lower flare energies. The VCA-NLFFF code is found to detect decreases in flare energies in most X, M, and C-class flares. The successful detection of energy decreases during a variety of flares with the VCA-NLFFF code indicates that current-driven twisting and untwisting of the magnetic field is an adequate model to quantify the storage of magnetic energies in active regions and their dissipation during flares. - The VCA-NLFFF code is also publicly available in the Solar SoftWare (SSW).

Authors: Markus J. Aschwanden
Projects: SDO-AIA

Publication Status: ApJ Suppl.Ser., subm. 2016 Feb 1
Last Modified: 2016-02-03 09:17
Go to main E-Print page  Tracing the Chromospheric and Coronal Magnetic Field with AIA, IRIS, IBIS, and ROSA Data  High--cadence observations of spicular-type events on the Sun  Edit Entry  Download Preprint  Submitter's Homepage Delete Entry 

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