Solar Physics

, Volume 113, Issue 1–2, pp 131–136 | Cite as

The structure and stability of coronal magnetic fields

  • A. N. McClymont
  • I. J. D. Craig


The high degree of symmetry often assumed in studies of the structure and stability of coronal magnetic field configurations is restrictive and can yield misleading results. We have therefore developed fully three-dimensional numerical methods for constructing force-free equilibria and for examining their stability properties, which make no assumptions about symmetry. A test of the stability analysis has been performed by applying it to the Gold-Hoyle twisted flux tube, which is known to be kink-unstable if the helical field makes more than about one turn between the line-tying end-plates. Our preliminary result is that the critical number of turns is about 1.1, in good agreement with the previous best estimate. However, we find that the growth rate, which has not been discussed previously, is orders of magnitude smaller than expected, even when the flux tube is twisted far beyond the stability limit.


Growth Rate Magnetic Field Stability Analysis Stability Property Stability Limit 


Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.


  1. Chodura, R., and Schluter, A.: 1981, J. Comp. Phys. 41, 68.ADSCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Craig, I. J. D., and Sneyd, A. D.: 1986, Astrophys. J. 311, 451.ADSCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Hood, A. W., and Priest, E. R.: 1979, Solar Phys. 64, 303.ADSCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. Hood, A. W., and Priest, E. R.: 1981, Geophys. Astrophys. Fluid Dynamics 17, 297.ADSCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. Raadu, M. A.: 1972, Solar Phys. 22, 425.ADSCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. Sakurai, T.: 1979, Publ. Astron. Soc. Japan. 31, 209.ADSGoogle Scholar
  7. Sakurai, T.: 1981, Solar Phys. 69, 343.ADSCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. Wilkinson, J. H.: 1965, The Algebraic Eigenvalue Problem, Clarendon Press, Oxford.zbMATHGoogle Scholar
  9. Yang, W. H., Sturrock, P. A., and Antiochos, S. K.: 1986, Astrophys. J. 309, 383.ADSCrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© D. Reidel Publishing Company 1987

Authors and Affiliations

  • A. N. McClymont
    • 1
  • I. J. D. Craig
    • 1
  1. 1.Institute for Astronomy, University of HawaiiHonoluluUSA

Personalised recommendations