Explosive instability and erupting flux tubes in a magnetized plasma

S. C. Cowley, B. Cowley, S. A. Henneberg, H. R. Wilson

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

13 Scopus citations


The eruption of multiple flux tubes in a magnetized plasma is proposed as a mechanism for explosive release of energy in plasmas. A significant fraction of the linearly stable isolated flux tubes are shown to be metastable in a box model magnetized atmosphere in which ends of the field lines are embedded in conducting walls. The energy released by destabilizing such field lines can be a large proportion of the gravitational energy stored in the system. This energy can be released in a fast dynamical time.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number20140913
JournalProceedings of the Royal Society A: Mathematical, Physical and Engineering Sciences
Issue number2180
StatePublished - Aug 8 2015
Externally publishedYes

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • General Engineering
  • General Physics and Astronomy
  • General Mathematics


  • Energy release
  • Metastable flux tubes
  • Plasmas


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