Dynamics of whistler spheromaks in magnetized plasmas

B. Eliasson, P. Shukla

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Recent laboratory experiments [Stenzel et al., Phys. Rev. Lett. 96, 095004 (2006)] have demonstrated interesting phenomena of propagating nonlinear whistler structures (spheromaks) and stationary field-reversed configurations, whose magnetic fields exceed the ambient magnetic field strength. Our objective here is to present simulation studies for these nonlinear whistler structures based on the three-dimensional nonlinear electron magnetohydrodynamic equations. The robustness and longevity of the propagating whistler spheromaks found in the experiments are confirmed numerically. Varying the toroidal field of the spheromak in the initial conditions, we find that the polarity and the amplitude of the toroidal field determine the propagation direction and speed of the spheromak. Our simulation results are in excellent agreement with those observed in the laboratory experiments.
Original languageEnglish
Article number205005
Number of pages4
JournalPhysical Review Letters
Issue number20
Publication statusPublished - 16 Nov 2007


  • magnetized plasma
  • whistler spheromak

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