2,511 research outputs found

    Instability of toroidal magnetic field in jets and plerions

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    Jets and pulsar-fed supernova remnants (plerions) tend to develop highly organized toroidal magnetic field. Such a field structure could explain the polarization properties of some jets, and contribute to their lateral confinement. A toroidal field geometry is also central to models for the Crab Nebula - the archetypal plerion - and leads to the deduction that the Crab pulsar's wind must have a weak magnetic field. Yet this `Z-pinch' field configuration is well known to be locally unstable, even when the magnetic field is weak and/or boundary conditions slow or suppress global modes. Thus, the magnetic field structures imputed to the interiors of jets and plerions are unlikely to persist. To demonstrate this, I present a local analysis of Z-pinch instabilities for relativistic fluids in the ideal MHD limit. Kink instabilities dominate, destroying the concentric field structure and probably driving the system toward a more chaotic state in which the mean field strength is independent of radius (and in which resistive dissipation of the field may be enhanced). I estimate the timescales over which the field structure is likely to be rearranged and relate these to distances along relativistic jets and radii from the central pulsar in a plerion. I conclude that a concentric toroidal field is unlikely to exist well outside the Crab pulsar's wind termination shock. There is thus no dynamical reason to conclude that the magnetic energy flux carried by the pulsar wind is much weaker than the kinetic energy flux. Abandoning this inference would resolve a long-standing puzzle in pulsar wind theory.Comment: 28 pages, plain TeX. Accepted for publication in Ap

    The first correction to the second adiabatic invariant of charged-particle motion

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    First correction to second adiabatic invariant of charged particle motion in magnetic fiel

    Understanding complex dynamics by means of an associated Riemann surface

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    We provide an example of how the complex dynamics of a recently introduced model can be understood via a detailed analysis of its associated Riemann surface. Thanks to this geometric description an explicit formula for the period of the orbits can be derived, which is shown to depend on the initial data and the continued fraction expansion of a simple ratio of the coupling constants of the problem. For rational values of this ratio and generic values of the initial data, all orbits are periodic and the system is isochronous. For irrational values of the ratio, there exist periodic and quasi-periodic orbits for different initial data. Moreover, the dependence of the period on the initial data shows a rich behavior and initial data can always be found such the period is arbitrarily high.Comment: 25 pages, 14 figures, typed in AMS-LaTe

    A list of all integrable 2D homogeneous polynomial potentials with a polynomial integral of order at most 4 in the momenta

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    We searched integrable 2D homogeneous polynomial potential with a polynomial first integral by using the so-called direct method of searching for first integrals. We proved that there exist no polynomial first integrals which are genuinely cubic or quartic in the momenta if the degree of homogeneous polynomial potentials is greater than 4.Comment: 22 pages, no figures, to appear in J. Phys. A: Math. Ge

    Current driven rotating kink mode in a plasma column with a non-line-tied free end

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    First experimental measurements are presented for the kink instability in a linear plasma column which is insulated from an axial boundary by finite sheath resistivity. Instability threshold below the classical Kruskal-Shafranov threshold, axially asymmetric mode structure and rotation are observed. These are accurately reproduced by a recent kink theory, which includes axial plasma flow and one end of the plasma column that is free to move due to a non-line-tied boundary condition.Comment: 4 pages, 6 figure
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