The evolution of laboratory produced magnetic jets is followed numerically through three-dimensional, nonideal magnetohydrodynamic simulations. The experiments are designed to study the interaction of a purely toroidal field with an extended plasma background medium. The system is observed to evolve into a structure consisting of an approximately cylindrical magnetic cavity with an embedded magnetically confined jet on its axis. The supersonic expansion produces a shell of swept-up shocked plasma that surrounds and partially confines the magnetic tower. Currents initially flow along the walls of the cavity and in the jet but the development of current-driven instabilities leads to the disruption of the jet and a rearrangement of the field and currents. The top of the cavity breaks up, and a well-collimated, radiatively cooled, "clumpy" jet emerges from the system.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Condensed Matter Physics