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Title:
The formation of sharp structures by ambipolar diffusion
Authors:
Brandenburg, Axel; Zweibel, Ellen G.
Affiliation:
AA(National Center for Atmospheric Research, Boulder, CO, US), AB(National Center for Atmospheric Research, Boulder, CO, US)
Publication:
Astrophysical Journal, Part 2 - Letters (ISSN 0004-637X), vol. 427, no. 2, p. L91-L94 (ApJL Homepage)
Publication Date:
06/1994
Category:
Astrophysics
Origin:
STI
NASA/STI Keywords:
Ambipolar Diffusion, Galactic Rotation, Interstellar Magnetic Fields, Magnetic Field Configurations, Magnetic Field Reconnection, Magnetic Flux, Magnetohydrodynamics, Galactic Structure, Ionized Gases, Mathematical Models, Spiral Galaxies
DOI:
10.1086/187372
Bibliographic Code:
1994ApJ...427L..91B

Abstract

The effect of ambipolar diffusion is investigated using simple numerical models. Examples are shown where sharp structures develop around magnetic nulls. In contrast to the case of ordinary diffusion, the magnetic field topology is conserved by ambipolar diffusion. This is demonstrated in an example where differential rotation winds up an initially uniform magnetic field and brings oppositely oriented field lines close together. It is argued that ambipolar diffusion produces structures of scales small enough for reconnection to occur.

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