The False Equilibrium of a Force-Free Magnetic Field

  • B. C. Low
Part of the International Astronomical Union / Union Astronomique Internationale book series (IAUS, volume 91)


It has been a customary assumption that any force-free magnetic field represents an equilibrium field in the solar atmosphere under the extreme condition 8πp/B2 ≪ 1. An example of a force-free magnetic field is presented for which this assumption fails in the sense that no equilibrium is possible for the magnetic field if imposed with an arbitrary ambient pressure, however weak the pressure is. A simple mechanism is proposed for the onset of eruption in the course of otherwise quasi-static evolution of magnetic fields in the solar atmosphere.


Solar Atmosphere Order Amount Solar Magnetic Field Magnetostatic Field Helical Field 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.


  1. Gold, T. and Hoyle, J., 1960, M. N. R. A. S. 120, 7.Google Scholar
  2. Low, B. C., 1977a, Astrophys. J., 212, 234.CrossRefADSGoogle Scholar
  3. -, 1977b, Astrophys. J., 217, 988.CrossRefADSGoogle Scholar
  4. -, 1978, Astrophys. J., 224, 668.CrossRefADSGoogle Scholar
  5. -, 1979, Astrophys. J. (submitted).Google Scholar

Copyright information

© IAU 1980

Authors and Affiliations

  • B. C. Low
    • 1
  1. 1.Lau Kuei Huat (S) Pte. Ltd.Singapore 22Republic of Singapore

Personalised recommendations