Transonic Flows in Two-Fluid Plasmas
Author: Goedbloed, Hans
Source: Space Science Reviews, Volume 122, Numbers 1-4, February 2006 , pp. 239-246(8)
Abstract:Transonically rotating toroidal plasmas occur at all scales in the plasma universe and, recently, also in laboratory tokamak plasmas. This offers great opportunities for new insights of the effects of transonic transitions on the background equilibrium flows, and on the waves and instabilities excited.
Transfer of knowledge and computational methods on MHD and two-fluid waves and instabilities in magnetically confined laboratory fusion plasmas to space and astrophysical plasmas is seriously hampered though by two related difficulties:
in contrast to laboratory plasmas, astrophysical plasmas always have sizeable plasma flows so that they can never be described as a static equilibrium;
these flows are usually ‘transonic’, i.e., surpass one of the critical speeds related to the different flow regimes with quite different physical characteristics.
Based on previously obtained MHD results on the stationary states and instabilities of transonically rotating accretion disks about compact objects, the extension to two-fluid plasmas is initiated: A variational principle for the computation of two-fluid stationary states is constructed which involves seven fields determining the different physical variables, and six arbitrary stream functions that should be determined by spatially resolved astrophysical observations. It exhibits all the intricacies due to the electron and ion flow excursions from the magnetic flux surfaces. New hyperbolic flow regimes are found with quite different properties than the MHD ones.
Document Type: Research Article
Affiliations: Email: email@example.com
Publication date: February 1, 2006