Multi-Fluid Problems in Magnetohydrodynamics with Applications to Astrophysical Processes
AuthorGreenfield, Eric John
AdvisorJokipii, Jack R.
MetadataShow full item record
PublisherThe University of Arizona.
RightsCopyright © is held by the author. Digital access to this material is made possible by the University Libraries, University of Arizona. Further transmission, reproduction or presentation (such as public display or performance) of protected items is prohibited except with permission of the author.
AbstractI begin this study by presenting an overview of the theory of magnetohydrodynamics and the necessary conditions to justify the fluid treatment of a plasma. Upon establishing the fluid description of a plasma we move on to a discussion of magnetohydrodynamics in both the ideal and Hall regimes. This framework is then extended to include multiple plasmas in order to consider two problems of interest in the field of theoretical space physics. The first is a study on the evolution of a partially ionized plasma, a topic with many applications in space physics. A multi-fluid approach is necessary in this case to account for the motions of an ion fluid, electron fluid and neutral atom fluid; all of which are coupled to one another by collisions and/or electromagnetic forces. The results of this study have direct application towards an open question concerning the cascade of Kolmogorov-like turbulence in the interstellar plasma which we will discuss below. The second application of multi-fluid magnetohydrodynamics that we consider in this thesis concerns the amplification of magnetic field upstream of a collisionless, parallel shock. The relevant fluids here are the ions and electrons comprising the interstellar plasma and the galactic cosmic ray ions. Previous works predict that the streaming of cosmic rays lead to an instability resulting in significant amplification of the interstellar magnetic field at supernova blastwaves. This prediction is routinely invoked to explain the acceleration of galactic cosmic rays up to energies of 10¹⁵ eV. I will examine this phenomenon in detail using the multi-fluid framework outlined below. The purpose of this work is to first confirm the existence of an instability using a purely fluid approach with no additional approximations. If confirmed, I will determine the necessary conditions for it to operate.
Degree ProgramGraduate College