Quantifying the dynamic evolution of individual arched magnetic flux tubes
Highly dynamic arched 'loops' of plasma were created in the laboratory with a magnetized plasma gun. The magnetic structure of the loops was found to be consistent with that of an expanding flux tube subject to a kink instability. High-speed flows were found to transport plasma along the loop axis, from both footpoints toward the apex of the arched loop. Two complementary MHD models were used to explain the expansion and axial flows, both of which scale in proportion to a 'toroidal Alfven speed'.
© 2012 IOP Publishing Ltd. Received 9 July 2012, in final form 17 September 2012. Published 21 November 2012.