On Global Dynamics of Three Dimensional Magnetohydrodynamics: Nonlinear Stability of Alfvén Waves
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Abstract

We obtain asymptotics for global solutions of the ideal system (i.e.,viscosity \(\mu =0\)) along characteristics; in particular, we have a scattering theory for the system.

We construct the global solutions (for small viscosity \(\mu \)) and we show that as \(\mu \rightarrow 0\), the viscous solutions converge in the classical sense to the zeroviscosity solution. Furthermore, we have estimates on the rate of the convergence in terms of \(\mu \).

We explain a lineardriving decay mechanism for viscous Alfvén waves with arbitrarily small diffusion. More precisely, for a given solution, we exhibit a time \(T_{n_0}\) (depending on the profile of the datum rather than its energy norm) so that at time \(T_{n_0}\) the \(H^2\)norm of the solution is small compared to \(\mu \) (therefore the standard perturbation approach can be applied to obtain the convergence to the steady state afterwards).

We do not assume any symmetry condition on initial data. The size of initial data (and the a priori estimates) does not depend on viscosity \(\mu \). The entire proof is built upon the basic energy identity.

The Alfvén waves do not decay in time: the stable mechanism is the separation (geometrically in space) of left and righttraveling Alfvén waves. The analysis of the nonlinear terms are analogous to the null conditions for nonlinear wave equations.

We use the (hyperbolic) energy method. In particular, in addition to the use of usual energies, the proof relies heavily on the energy flux through characteristic hypersurfaces.

The viscous terms are the most difficult terms since they are not compatible with the hyperbolic approach. We obtain a new class of spacetime weighted energy estimates for (weighted) viscous terms. The design of weights is one of the main innovations and it unifies the hyperbolic energy method and the parabolic estimates.

The approach is ‘quasilinear’ in nature rather than a linear perturbation approach: the choices of the coordinate systems, characteristic hypersurfaces, weights and multiplier vector fields depend on the solution itself. Our approach is inspired by Christodoulou–Klainerman’s proof of the nonlinear stability of Minkowski spacetime in general relativity.
Keywords
Alfvén waves MHD Nonlinear stabilityReferences
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