Alfvén instability of steady state flux tubes. Isothermal flow

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An application of a recently discovered MHD instability to an open magnetic flux tube is investigated. The flux tube is gravitationally stratified and permeated by a smooth subsonic and sub-Alfvenic isothermal flow. The stability of such a tube with respect to small amplitude torsional perturbations generated at the footpoint by random convective motions is analysed. The perturbations are exponentially amplified in time if a narrow region exists where the flux tube rapidly expands. The obtained results may account for the nonthermal broadenings associated with upflows in magnetic regions of the lower solar atmosphere.
Original languageEnglish
Article numberA68
Number of pages9
JournalAstronomy and Astrophysics
Publication statusPublished - 29 Aug 2011


  • instabilities
  • magnetohydrodynamics (MHD)
  • Sun: atmosphere


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