Index of content:
Volume 20, Issue 11, November 2013
In ideal magnetohydrodynamics characterized by an infinite electrical conductivity, the magnetic flux across an arbitrary fluid surface is conserved in time. The magnetofluid then can be partitioned into contiguous subvolumes of fluid, each of which entraps its own subsystem of magnetic flux. During dynamical evolution of the magnetofluid, these subvolumes press into each other; and in the process, two such subvolumes may come into direct contact while ejecting a third interstitial subvolume. Depending on the orientations of magnetic fields of the two interacting subvolumes, the magnetic field at the common surface of interaction may become discontinuous and a current sheet is formed there. This process of current sheet formation and their subsequent decay is believed to be a plausible mechanism for coronal heating and may also be responsible for various eruptive phenomena at the solar corona. In this work, we explore this theoretical concept through numerical simulations of a viscous, incompressible magnetofluid characterized by infinite electrical conductivity. In particular, we show that if the initial magnetic field is prescribed by superposition of two linear force-free fields with different torsion coefficients, then formation of current sheets are numerically realizable in the neighborhood of magnetic nulls.