Numerical study of δ -function current sheets arising from resonant magnetic perturbations

Yi Min Huang, Stuart R. Hudson, Joaquim Loizu, Yao Zhou, Amitava Bhattacharjee

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4 Scopus citations


General three-dimensional toroidal ideal magnetohydrodynamic equilibria with a continuum of nested flux surfaces are susceptible to forming singular current sheets when resonant perturbations are applied. The presence of singular current sheets indicates that, in the presence of non-zero resistivity, magnetic reconnection will ensue, leading to the formation of magnetic islands and potentially regions of stochastic field lines when islands overlap. Numerically resolving singular current sheets in the ideal magnetohydrodynamics (MHD) limit has been a significant challenge. This work presents numerical solutions of the Hahm-Kulsrud-Taylor (HKT) problem, which is a prototype for resonant singular current sheet formation. The HKT problem is solved by two codes: a Grad-Shafranov (GS) solver and the Stepped Pressure Equilibrium Code (SPEC) code. The GS solver has built-in nested flux surfaces with prescribed magnetic fluxes. The SPEC code implements multi-region relaxed magnetohydrodynamics (MRxMHD), whereby the solution relaxes to a Taylor state in each region while maintaining force balance across the interfaces between regions. As the number of regions increases, the MRxMHD solution appears to approach the ideal MHD solution assuming a continuum of nested flux surfaces. We demonstrate agreement between the numerical solutions obtained from the two codes through a convergence study.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number032513
JournalPhysics of Plasmas
Issue number3
StatePublished - Mar 1 2022

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Condensed Matter Physics


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