Variational formulation of relaxed and multi-region relaxed magnetohydrodynamics

R. L. Dewar, Z. Yoshida, A. Bhattacharjee, S. R. Hudson

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22 Scopus citations


Ideal magnetohydrodynamics (IMHD) is strongly constrained by an infinite number of microscopic constraints expressing mass, entropy and magnetic flux conservation in each infinitesimal fluid element, the latter preventing magnetic reconnection. By contrast, in the Taylor relaxation model for formation of macroscopically self-organized plasma equilibrium states, all these constraints are relaxed save for the global magnetic fluxes and helicity. A Lagrangian variational principle is presented that leads to a new, fully dynamical, relaxed magnetohydrodynamics (RxMHD), such that all static solutions are Taylor states but also allows state with flow. By postulating that some long-lived macroscopic current sheets can act as barriers to relaxation, separating the plasma into multiple relaxation regions, a further generalization, multi-region relaxed magnetohydrodynamics (MRxMHD) is developed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number515810604
JournalJournal of Plasma Physics
Issue number6
StatePublished - Dec 1 2015

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Condensed Matter Physics


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