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Ideal Magnetohydrodynamics (MHD) Nick Murphy Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics Astronomy 253: Plasma Astrophysics February 1, 2016 These lecture notes are largely based on Lectures in Magnetohydrodynamics by the late Dalton Schnack, Ideal Magnetohydrodynamics by Jeffrey Freidberg, Plasma Physics for Astrophysics by Russell Kulsrud, Magnetic Reconnection by Eric Priest and Terry Forbes, course notes from similar classes taught by Ellen Zweibel and Chris Hegna, and a picture of flying wombats that I found on the internet

Ideal Magnetohydrodynamics (MHD) -  · 2016-06-03 · Ideal Magnetohydrodynamics (MHD) Nick Murphy Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics Astronomy 253: Plasma Astrophysics February

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Page 1: Ideal Magnetohydrodynamics (MHD) -  · 2016-06-03 · Ideal Magnetohydrodynamics (MHD) Nick Murphy Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics Astronomy 253: Plasma Astrophysics February

Ideal Magnetohydrodynamics (MHD)

Nick Murphy

Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics

Astronomy 253: Plasma Astrophysics

February 1, 2016

These lecture notes are largely based on Lectures in Magnetohydrodynamics bythe late Dalton Schnack, Ideal Magnetohydrodynamics by Jeffrey Freidberg,

Plasma Physics for Astrophysics by Russell Kulsrud, Magnetic Reconnection byEric Priest and Terry Forbes, course notes from similar classes taught by EllenZweibel and Chris Hegna, and a picture of flying wombats that I found on the

internet

Page 2: Ideal Magnetohydrodynamics (MHD) -  · 2016-06-03 · Ideal Magnetohydrodynamics (MHD) Nick Murphy Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics Astronomy 253: Plasma Astrophysics February

Outline

Introducing ourselves (since we forgot to on the first day!)

Discuss location of course Overview of MHD

Approximation Usefulness Applications

The equations of MHD and their physical meaning Continuity equation Momentum equation Energy equation Faraday’s law Ohm’s law

Page 3: Ideal Magnetohydrodynamics (MHD) -  · 2016-06-03 · Ideal Magnetohydrodynamics (MHD) Nick Murphy Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics Astronomy 253: Plasma Astrophysics February

What is MHD?

MHD couples Maxwell’s equations with hydrodynamics todescribe the macroscopic behavior of highly conducting fluidssuch as plasmas

Page 4: Ideal Magnetohydrodynamics (MHD) -  · 2016-06-03 · Ideal Magnetohydrodynamics (MHD) Nick Murphy Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics Astronomy 253: Plasma Astrophysics February

Ideal MHD at a glance (cgs units)

Continuity Equation ∂ρ∂t +∇ · (ρV) = 0

Momentum Equation ρ(

∂∂t + V · ∇

)V = J×B

c −∇p

Ampere’s law J = c4π∇× B

Faraday’s law ∂B∂t = −c∇× E

Ideal Ohm’s law E+ V×Bc = 0

Divergence constraint ∇ · B = 0

Adiabatic Energy Equation ddt

(pργ

)= 0

Definitions: B, magnetic field; V, plasma velocity; J, current density; E, electric field;

ρ, mass density; p, plasma pressure; γ, ratio of specific heats (usually 5/3); t, time.

Page 5: Ideal Magnetohydrodynamics (MHD) -  · 2016-06-03 · Ideal Magnetohydrodynamics (MHD) Nick Murphy Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics Astronomy 253: Plasma Astrophysics February

MHD is a low-frequency, long-wavelength approximation

MHD is valid on time scales longer than the inverses ofthe plasma frequencies and cyclotron frequencies for bothions and electrons:

τ ≫ ω−1pe , ω

−1pi ,Ω

−1ce ,Ω

−1ci (1)

MHD is valid on length scales longer than the Debyelength and electon/ion gyroradii:

L ≫ λD , rLe , rLi (2)

MHD assumes quasineutrality (since L ≫ λD)

Page 6: Ideal Magnetohydrodynamics (MHD) -  · 2016-06-03 · Ideal Magnetohydrodynamics (MHD) Nick Murphy Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics Astronomy 253: Plasma Astrophysics February

MHD is a low-frequency, long-wavelength approximation

MHD assumes that collisions are frequent enough for theparticle distribution function to be Maxwellian withTi = Te

Ideal MHD assumes an adiabatic equation of state No additional heating, cooling, or dissipation

MHD assumes that the plasma is fully ionized MHD ignores the most important advances in physicssince ∼1860

Ignore relativity (assume V 2 ≪ c2) Ignore quantum mechanics Ignore displacement current in Ampere’s law (assume

V 2 ≪ c2)

Page 7: Ideal Magnetohydrodynamics (MHD) -  · 2016-06-03 · Ideal Magnetohydrodynamics (MHD) Nick Murphy Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics Astronomy 253: Plasma Astrophysics February

When is MHD useful?

MHD traditionally describes macroscopic force balance,equilibria, and dynamics

MHD is a good predictor of stability The most catastrophic instabilities are unstable in ideal MHD Important in laboratory plasmas, solar atmosphere, etc.

Systems that are often described using MHD include: Solar wind, heliosphere, and Earth’s magnetosphere1

Inertial range of plasma turbulence Neutron star magnetospheres

MHD is a reasonably good approximation in manyastrophysical plasmas

However, extensions are often needed

1On large scales!

Page 8: Ideal Magnetohydrodynamics (MHD) -  · 2016-06-03 · Ideal Magnetohydrodynamics (MHD) Nick Murphy Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics Astronomy 253: Plasma Astrophysics February

When is MHD not useful?

MHD has limited applicability when: Non-fluid or kinetic effects are important

Dissipation in the turbulent solar wind Magnetic reconnection Small-scale dynamics in Earth’s magnetosphere

Particle distribution functions are non-Maxwellian Cosmic rays

The plasma is weakly ionized Solar photosphere/chromosphere, molecular clouds,

protoplanetary disks, Earth’s ionosphere, some laboratoryplasmas

MHD is mediocre at describing the dynamics of laboratoryplasmas but remains a good predictor of stability

Page 9: Ideal Magnetohydrodynamics (MHD) -  · 2016-06-03 · Ideal Magnetohydrodynamics (MHD) Nick Murphy Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics Astronomy 253: Plasma Astrophysics February

Deriving the continuity equation

Pick a closed volume V bounded by a fixed surface Scontaining plasma with mass density ρ

The total mass contained in the volume is

M =

∫Vρ dV (3)

The time derivative of the mass in V is

dM

dt=

∫V

∂ρ

∂tdV (4)

Page 10: Ideal Magnetohydrodynamics (MHD) -  · 2016-06-03 · Ideal Magnetohydrodynamics (MHD) Nick Murphy Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics Astronomy 253: Plasma Astrophysics February

The continuity equation describes conservation of mass

The mass flowing through a surface element dS = ndS isρV · dS, where the unit vector n is pointing outward

The integral of ρV · dS must equal −dM/dt:∫V

∂ρ

∂tdV = −

∮SρV · dS (5)

This says that the change in mass inside V equalsthe mass entering or leaving the surface.

Using Gauss’ theorem we arrive at∫V

[∂ρ

∂t+∇ · (ρV)

]dV = 0 (6)

This must be true for all possible volumes so the integrandmust equal zero

Page 11: Ideal Magnetohydrodynamics (MHD) -  · 2016-06-03 · Ideal Magnetohydrodynamics (MHD) Nick Murphy Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics Astronomy 253: Plasma Astrophysics February

The continuity equation in conservative form

The continuity equation in conservative form is

∂ρ

∂t+∇ · (ρV) = 0 (7)

Conservative form is usually given by

∂t(stuff) +∇ · (flux of stuff) = 0 (8)

Source and sink terms go on the RHS Example: In a partially ionized plasma, there are continuity

equations for both the ions and neutrals. Ionization acts as asource term in the ion continuity equation and a sink term inthe neutral continuity equation.

The mass flux is given by ρV

Page 12: Ideal Magnetohydrodynamics (MHD) -  · 2016-06-03 · Ideal Magnetohydrodynamics (MHD) Nick Murphy Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics Astronomy 253: Plasma Astrophysics February

The second golden rule of astrophysics

The density of wombats

times the velocity of wombats

gives the flux of wombats.

Page 13: Ideal Magnetohydrodynamics (MHD) -  · 2016-06-03 · Ideal Magnetohydrodynamics (MHD) Nick Murphy Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics Astronomy 253: Plasma Astrophysics February

The continuity equation

Using vector identities we may write the continuity equation as

∂ρ

∂t+ V · ∇ρ︸ ︷︷ ︸

advection

= −ρ∇ · V︸ ︷︷ ︸compression

(9)

The advective derivative V · ∇ρ is a directional derivative thatmeasures the change of ρ in the direction of V

The compression term ∇ · V < 0 ⇐⇒ converging flow ⇐⇒ compression ∇ · V > 0 ⇐⇒ diverging flow ⇐⇒ dilation ∇ · V ≡ 0 ⇐⇒ the plasma is incompressible

Page 14: Ideal Magnetohydrodynamics (MHD) -  · 2016-06-03 · Ideal Magnetohydrodynamics (MHD) Nick Murphy Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics Astronomy 253: Plasma Astrophysics February

The advective derivative V · ∇ is used to describe thespatial variation of a field in the direction of the flow

For a scalar quantity φ, the advective derivative is given by

V · ∇φ = Vx∂φ

∂x+ Vy

∂φ

∂y+ Vz

∂φ

∂z, (10)

which is also a scalar.

Page 15: Ideal Magnetohydrodynamics (MHD) -  · 2016-06-03 · Ideal Magnetohydrodynamics (MHD) Nick Murphy Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics Astronomy 253: Plasma Astrophysics February

Advective derivatives in vector fields

For a vector field F, the advective derivative may be treatedas either (V · ∇)F or as the tensor derivative V · (∇F). Bothforms are equivalent, but (V · ∇)F is easier to work with.

(V · ∇)F =

Vx

Vy

Vz

·

∂x∂y∂z

F

= (Vx∂x + Vy∂y + Vz∂z)

FxFyFz

=

Vx∂xFx + Vy∂yFx + Vz∂zFxVx∂xFy + Vy∂yFy + Vz∂zFyVx∂xFz + Vy∂yFz + Vz∂zFz

(11)

The order of operations does not matter so we write V · ∇F

See the NRL Plasma Formulary for curvilinear coordinates

Page 16: Ideal Magnetohydrodynamics (MHD) -  · 2016-06-03 · Ideal Magnetohydrodynamics (MHD) Nick Murphy Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics Astronomy 253: Plasma Astrophysics February

The Eulerian and Lagrangian forms of the continuityequation are equivalent

The Eulerian form follows the density at a fixed location inspace:

∂ρ

∂t+ V · ∇ρ = −ρ∇ · V (12)

The Lagrangian form allows us to follow a volume elementthat is co-moving with the fluid:

dt+ ρ∇ · V = 0 (13)

where the total derivative is given by

d

dt≡ ∂

∂t+ V · ∇ (14)

and measures the change of a quantity as we move with thefluid. The advective derivative links the Eulerian andLagrangian forms.

Page 17: Ideal Magnetohydrodynamics (MHD) -  · 2016-06-03 · Ideal Magnetohydrodynamics (MHD) Nick Murphy Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics Astronomy 253: Plasma Astrophysics February

The momentum equation is derived from Newton’s 2nd law

Newton’s second law of motion for a fluid element is

ρdV

dt= F (15)

where F is the force per unit volume Example forces include

Lorentz force: FL = J×Bc

Pressure gradient force: Fp = −∇p Gravity: Fg = −ρg or Fg = −∇ϕ for gravitational potental ϕ Viscosity: FV = ∇ ·Π, where Π is the viscous stress tensor

The ideal MHD momentum equation in Eulerian form is

ρ

(∂

∂t+ V · ∇

)V =

J× B

c−∇p (16)

where we neglect gravity and ignore viscous forces

Page 18: Ideal Magnetohydrodynamics (MHD) -  · 2016-06-03 · Ideal Magnetohydrodynamics (MHD) Nick Murphy Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics Astronomy 253: Plasma Astrophysics February

The pressure gradient force −∇p pushes plasma fromregions of high plasma pressure to low plasma pressure

The pressure gradient force is orthogonal to isobars

This is the Restoring force for sound waves

Resulting motions are not necessarily in the direction of thepressure gradient force (e.g., when other forces are acting onthe fluid)

Page 19: Ideal Magnetohydrodynamics (MHD) -  · 2016-06-03 · Ideal Magnetohydrodynamics (MHD) Nick Murphy Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics Astronomy 253: Plasma Astrophysics February

Where does the Lorentz force come from?

The Lorentz force acting on a single particle is

F = q

(E+

V × B

c

)(17)

The current density is given by

J =∑α

nαqαVα (18)

where α includes all species of ions and electrons. For aquasineutral plasma with electrons and singly charged ions,this becomes

J = en (Vi − Ve) (19)

where n = ne = ni , Vi is the ion velocity, and Ve is theelectron velocity.

Page 20: Ideal Magnetohydrodynamics (MHD) -  · 2016-06-03 · Ideal Magnetohydrodynamics (MHD) Nick Murphy Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics Astronomy 253: Plasma Astrophysics February

The Lorentz force includes a magnetic tension force and amagnetic pressure force

Use Ampere’s law and vector identities to decompose theLorentz force term into two components

J× B

c︸ ︷︷ ︸Lorentz force

=(∇× B)× B

=B · ∇B

4π︸ ︷︷ ︸∼magnetic tension

− ∇(B2

)︸ ︷︷ ︸

∼magnetic pressure

(20)

While the Lorentz force must be orthogonal to be B, both ofthese terms may have components along B. The parallelcomponent of the above tension term cancels out the parallelpart of the magnetic pressure term (Kulsrud §4.2).

Page 21: Ideal Magnetohydrodynamics (MHD) -  · 2016-06-03 · Ideal Magnetohydrodynamics (MHD) Nick Murphy Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics Astronomy 253: Plasma Astrophysics February

The curvature vector κ gives the rate at which the tangentvector turns

Define b as a unit vector in the direction of B: b ≡ B/ |B| The curvature vector κ points toward the center of curvature

and is given by

κ ≡ b · ∇b = − R

R2(21)

where R is a vector from the center of curvature to the pointwe are considering. Note that |κ| = R−1 and κ · b = 0.

Page 22: Ideal Magnetohydrodynamics (MHD) -  · 2016-06-03 · Ideal Magnetohydrodynamics (MHD) Nick Murphy Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics Astronomy 253: Plasma Astrophysics February

The Lorentz force can be decomposed into two terms withforces orthogonal to B using field line curvature

Next use the product rule to obtain

B · ∇B = Bb · ∇(Bb) =b(b · ∇)B2

2+ B2b · ∇b (22)

We can then write the Lorentz force as

J× B

c= κ

B2

4π︸ ︷︷︸magnetic tension

− ∇⊥

(B2

)︸ ︷︷ ︸

magnetic pressure

(23)

where all terms are orthogonal to B.2

The operator ∇⊥ keeps only the derivatives orthogonal to B:

∇⊥ ≡ ∇− b(b · ∇) (24)

2Note: the terms in this formulation for magnetic tension and pressure differfrom the corresponding terms in Eq. 20.

Page 23: Ideal Magnetohydrodynamics (MHD) -  · 2016-06-03 · Ideal Magnetohydrodynamics (MHD) Nick Murphy Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics Astronomy 253: Plasma Astrophysics February

The magnetic tension force wants to straighten magneticfield lines

The magnetic tension force is directed radially inward withrespect to magnetic field line curvature

Page 24: Ideal Magnetohydrodynamics (MHD) -  · 2016-06-03 · Ideal Magnetohydrodynamics (MHD) Nick Murphy Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics Astronomy 253: Plasma Astrophysics February

Regions of high magnetic pressure exert a force towardsregions of low magnetic pressure

The magnetic pressure is given by pB ≡ B2

Page 25: Ideal Magnetohydrodynamics (MHD) -  · 2016-06-03 · Ideal Magnetohydrodynamics (MHD) Nick Murphy Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics Astronomy 253: Plasma Astrophysics February

The ratio of the plasma pressure to the magnetic pressureis an important dimensionless number

Define plasma β as

β ≡ plasma pressure

magnetic pressure≡ p

B2/8π

If β ≪ 1 then the magnetic field dominates Solar corona Poynting flux driven jets Tokamaks (β ≲ 0.1)

If β ≫ 1 then plasma pressure forces dominate Stellar interiors

If β ∼ 1 then pressure/magnetic forces are both important Solar chromosphere Parts of the solar wind and interstellar medium Some laboratory plasma experiments

Page 26: Ideal Magnetohydrodynamics (MHD) -  · 2016-06-03 · Ideal Magnetohydrodynamics (MHD) Nick Murphy Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics Astronomy 253: Plasma Astrophysics February

The adiabatic energy equation provides the closure forideal MHD

The Lagrangian form of the adiabatic energy equation is

d

dt

(p

ργ

)= 0 (25)

The Eulerian form of the adiabatic energy equation is(∂

∂t+ V · ∇

)p = −γρ∇ · V (26)

where the term on the RHS represents heating/cooling due toadiabatic compression/expansion.

The entropy of any fluid element is constant Ignores thermal conduction, non-adiabatic heating/cooling

This is generally a mediocre approximation, but is useful forsome situations (e.g., MHD waves)

Page 27: Ideal Magnetohydrodynamics (MHD) -  · 2016-06-03 · Ideal Magnetohydrodynamics (MHD) Nick Murphy Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics Astronomy 253: Plasma Astrophysics February

Faraday’s law tells us how the magnetic field varies withtime

Faraday’s law is unchanged from Maxwell’s equations:

∂B

∂t= −c∇× E (27)

But how do we get the electric field?

Page 28: Ideal Magnetohydrodynamics (MHD) -  · 2016-06-03 · Ideal Magnetohydrodynamics (MHD) Nick Murphy Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics Astronomy 253: Plasma Astrophysics February

We get the electric field from Ohm’s law

The electric field E′ seen by a conductor moving with velocityV is given by

E′ =E+ V×B

c√1− V 2

c2

(28)

This is Lorentz invariant, but the fluid equations are onlyGalilean invariant! Let’s expand the denominator.

E′ =

(E+

V × B

c

)(1− 1

2

V 2

c2+ . . .

)= E+

V × B

c+O

(V 2

c2

)(29)

By setting E′ = 0, we arrive at the ideal Ohm’s law

E+V × B

c= 0 (30)

which ignores O(V 2

c2

)terms and is Galilean invariant.

Page 29: Ideal Magnetohydrodynamics (MHD) -  · 2016-06-03 · Ideal Magnetohydrodynamics (MHD) Nick Murphy Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics Astronomy 253: Plasma Astrophysics February

Ohm’s law can be combined with Faraday’s law for theinduction equation

Using E+ V×Bc = 0 and ∂B

∂t = −c∇× E, we arrive at

∂B

∂t= ∇× (V × B)︸ ︷︷ ︸

advection

(31)

The ideal Ohm’s law neglects contributions to E fromresistivity, the Hall effect, electron inertia, and (in partiallyionized plasmas) ambipolar diffusion

As we will soon see, the ideal Ohm’s law leads to themagnetic field and plasma being frozen into each other sothat magnetic topology is preserved

Ideal MHD plasmas are perfectly conducting

Page 30: Ideal Magnetohydrodynamics (MHD) -  · 2016-06-03 · Ideal Magnetohydrodynamics (MHD) Nick Murphy Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics Astronomy 253: Plasma Astrophysics February

The low-frequency Ampere’s law

Ampere’s law without displacement current is

J =c

4π∇× B (32)

There is no time-dependence, so we can replace J in otherequations using this expression

This formulation implies that

∇ · J = 0 (33)

which is a necessary condition for quasineutrality

MHD treats the plasma as a single fluid, but recall that J alsorepresents the relative drift between ions and electrons

J ≡∑α

nαqαVα (34)

Page 31: Ideal Magnetohydrodynamics (MHD) -  · 2016-06-03 · Ideal Magnetohydrodynamics (MHD) Nick Murphy Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics Astronomy 253: Plasma Astrophysics February

And of course, the most boringest of Maxwell’s equationsmust remain satisfied

The divergence constraint , also known as Gauss’ law formagnetism. Huzzah! . . .

∇ · B = 0 (35)

Magnetic monopoles do not exist The magnetic charge density equals zero B is a solenoidal (divergence-free) field

We might as well put it in integral form while we’re here. . .∫V(∇ · B)dV = 0∮

SB · dS = 0 (36)

The magnetic field going into a closed volume equals themagnetic field going out of it.

Page 32: Ideal Magnetohydrodynamics (MHD) -  · 2016-06-03 · Ideal Magnetohydrodynamics (MHD) Nick Murphy Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics Astronomy 253: Plasma Astrophysics February

If the magnetic field is initially divergence free, then it willremain divergence free because of Faraday’s law

Take the divergence of Faraday’s law:

∂B

∂t= −c∇× E

∇ ·(∂B

∂t

)= ∇ · (−c∇× E)

∂t(∇ · B) = 0

since the divergence of a curl is identically zero. Well, I guessthat’s kind of cool.

Page 33: Ideal Magnetohydrodynamics (MHD) -  · 2016-06-03 · Ideal Magnetohydrodynamics (MHD) Nick Murphy Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics Astronomy 253: Plasma Astrophysics February

Writing B in terms of a vector potential A automaticallysatisfies the divergence constraint

The magnetic field can be written as

B = ∇× A (37)

Take the divergence:

∇ · B = ∇ · ∇ × A = 0 (38)

The vector potential formulation allows gauge freedom since∇×∇ϕ = 0 for a scalar function ϕ. Let A′ = A+∇ϕ:

B = ∇× A′

= ∇× A+∇×∇ϕ

= ∇× A

Page 34: Ideal Magnetohydrodynamics (MHD) -  · 2016-06-03 · Ideal Magnetohydrodynamics (MHD) Nick Murphy Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics Astronomy 253: Plasma Astrophysics February

Summary of Ideal MHD

MHD couples Maxwell’s equations with hydrodynamics todescribe macroscopic behavior in highly conducting plasmas

MHD uses the low-frequency, long wavelength approximation

Each term in the ideal MHD equations has an importantphysical meaning

Extensions to MHD are often needed to describe plasmadynamics

Next up: Conservation laws Virial theorem Extensions to MHD Waves, shocks, & instabilities More space wombats

Page 35: Ideal Magnetohydrodynamics (MHD) -  · 2016-06-03 · Ideal Magnetohydrodynamics (MHD) Nick Murphy Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics Astronomy 253: Plasma Astrophysics February

Useful References on MHD

The Physics of Plasmas by Boyd & Sanderson (Ch. 3)

Magnetohydrodynamics of the Sun by Priest (Ch. 2) Lectures in Magnetohydrodynamics by Schnack

Lecture 2 reviews the math of plasma physics Lectures 3–9 discuss the equations of MHD

Plasma Physics for Astrophysics by Kulsrud (Ch. 3)