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Plasma Compressibility in the Theory of MHD Stability

#G-760


The Study of Geomagnetic Processes and Structure of the Magnetosphere by Applying the Theory of MHD Stability of Compressible Plasmatic Flows

Tech Area / Field

  • PHY-PLS/Plasma Physics/Physics

Status
3 Approved without Funding

Registration date
02.07.2001

Leading Institute
Sukhumi Institute of Physics and Technology, Georgia, Tbilisi

Collaborators

  • Institut d'Aeronomie Spatiale de Belgique, Belgium, Brussels\nArgonne National Laboratory/Computational Physics & Hydrodynamics, USA, IL, Argonne

Project summary

The project aims at investigation of the processes connected with the interaction of solar wind with the Earth’s magnetosphere. Solar wind represents the flow of charged patterns (plasma) emitted by the sun, where the speed varies from 400km/sec. to 1000km/sec., depending on the activity of the Sun. Under the influence of this flow, the power lines of the Earth’s magnetosphere drastically deform and obtain an asymmetrical configuration, flattening on the day side and stretching on the night side, thus forming the magnetosphere tail, which spreads over a distance exceeding the radius of the Earth by several hundred times and which possesses cylindrical shape. Perturbation of the magnetosphere, caused by solar wind, is called Solar-Earth interaction. It results in the oscillation of magnetic power lines, which reach the surface of the Earth as MHD waves. The study of the influence of these waves on living organisms represents one of the most significant tasks in biophysics and medicine. The development of MHD oscillations may lead to the reconnection of magnetic power lines and the appearance of instabilities, responsible for the penetration of charged patterns into near Earth and the formation of the Earth’s radiation belt.
Thus, topicality of the project is determined by the fact that its objectives deal directly, not only with magnetosphere processes, but also with important problems of contemporary science such as magnetic suppression of plasma, the influence of space radiation on living organisms, ecology, etc.
Currently, the results of theoretical research do not allow us to synonymously evaluate the role of compressibility on the development of instability, even in the simplest models of plasma movement in magnetic field, and this creates difficulties in the performance of many scientific projects with a significant application value.
A new and distinctive feature of the proposed project is that it is supposed to elaborate a new approach to the solution of disperse equations describing oscillations of power lines, which will help to clarify many questions of the stability of plasma flows in magnetic fields and to avoid existing contradictions in calculating the factor of compressibility in the development of instability of tangential discontinuity (Kelvin-Helmholtz Instability).
The scientific value of the project is in the fact that the problems will be solved with account of arbitrary compressibility of plasma environments, which is especially important while investigating magnetosphere processes, because to disregard compressibility, which is the wont of many authors, does not help to generate a real physical picture.
The practical value of the project is in the fact that theoretical calculations will be deprived of those defects, which are stipulated by the generally accepted method of determination of the spectrum of MHD wave frequencies, generated in compressible plasma, and moving in the magnetic field of definite configuration. Obtained results can be used to solve many applied problems.
The economical effect of the project is that the new method of solving disperse equations will be widely applied in science and technology, this enabling profit to exceed the cost of the project.
The project corresponds to the aims and tasks of the ISTC as its participants were previously employed by one of the elite USSR institutes for the development of weapons of mass destruction. Financing the project has a great humane significance for its participants, as they are refugees and, consequently, they face considerable social hardship.
The Project collaborator is Dr. Johan De Kayser, staff scientist of the Belgian Institute for Space Aeronomy.


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