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Heating of Braided Coronal Loops

Wilmot-Smith, A.L.; Pontin, D.I.; Yeates, A.R.; Hornig, G.

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A.L. Wilmot-Smith

D.I. Pontin

G. Hornig


Aims. We investigate the relaxation of braided magnetic loops in order to find out how the type of braiding via footpoint motions affects resultant heating of the loop. Methods. Two magnetic loops, braided in different ways, are used as initial conditions in resistive MHD simulations and their subsequent evolution is studied. Results. The fields both undergo a resistive relaxation in which current sheets form and fragment and the system evolves towards a state of lower energy. In one case this relaxation is very efficient with current sheets filling the volume and homogeneous heating of the loop occurring. In the other case fewer current sheets develop, less magnetic energy is released in the process and a patchy heating of the loop results. The two cases, although very similar in their setup, can be distinguished by the mixing properties of the photospheric driver. The mixing can be measured by the topological entropy of the plasma flow, an observable quantity.


Wilmot-Smith, A., Pontin, D., Yeates, A., & Hornig, G. (2011). Heating of Braided Coronal Loops. Astronomy & Astrophysics, 536,

Journal Article Type Article
Acceptance Date Oct 28, 2011
Publication Date Dec 8, 2011
Deposit Date Mar 15, 2012
Publicly Available Date Apr 29, 2015
Journal Astronomy and astrophysics.
Print ISSN 0004-6361
Electronic ISSN 1432-0746
Publisher EDP Sciences
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 536
Keywords Magnetic fields, Magnetic reconnection, Magnetohydrodynamics (MHD), Plasmas, Sun: corona, Sun: magnetic topology.


Published Journal Article (3.4 Mb)

Copyright Statement
Reproduced with permission from Astronomy & Astrophysics, © ESO, 2011.

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