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An Isaac Newton Institute Workshop

MAGNETOHYDRODYNAMICS OF STELLAR INTERIORS <br> Supported by the European Commission, Sixth Framework Programme - <br> Marie Curie Conferences and Training Courses - MSCF-CT-2003-503674

What is a magnetic flux tube?

Authors: Nicholas Brummell (University of Colorado, USA), Kelly Cline (University of Colorado, USA), Fausto Cattaneo (University of Chicago, USA)


Using 3D nonlinear MHD simulations, we examine the interaction of localised velocity shear and magnetic fields. We find that buoyant magnetic structures resembling flux tubes are generated by the interaction of induced magnetic buoyancy and the shear. Depending on the parameters, the generation process can result in steady (equilibrated) structures, or cyclic and chaotic emerging structures. By integrating along magnetic field lines and constructing return maps, we examine the relationship of these spontaneously-produced structures to the preconceived concept of a flux tube. We discuss how these results impact our simple ideas of a flux tube as an object with an inside and an outside whose dynamics are constrained by this assertion.