Variational integration for ideal magnetohydrodynamics with built-in advection equations

Yao Zhou, Hong Qin, J. W. Burby, A. Bhattacharjee

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

37 Scopus citations


Newcomb's Lagrangian for ideal magnetohydrodynamics (MHD) in Lagrangian labeling is discretized using discrete exterior calculus. Variational integrators for ideal MHD are derived thereafter. Besides being symplectic and momentum-preserving, the schemes inherit built-in advection equations from Newcomb's formulation, and therefore avoid solving them and the accompanying error and dissipation. We implement the method in 2D and show that numerical reconnection does not take place when singular current sheets are present. We then apply it to studying the dynamics of the ideal coalescence instability with multiple islands. The relaxed equilibrium state with embedded current sheets is obtained numerically.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number102109
JournalPhysics of Plasmas
Issue number10
StatePublished - Oct 1 2014

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Condensed Matter Physics


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