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Title: Inverse polarity prominence equilibria
Author: Scho¨nfelder, Apollonia Maria Oktavia
Awarding Body: University of St Andrews
Current Institution: University of St Andrews
Date of Award: 1995
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It has been supposed since the middle of this century that it is the global magnetic field surrounding a quiescent prominence that provides the force to prevent its collapse due to the sun's gravitational field. Many theoretical models, assuming that the prominence plasma is supported in a dip in the magnetic field lines associated by the magnetic tension force, have since been put forward. The aim of this thesis is to propose further models of quiescent prominences to widen our understanding and knowledge of these remarkable features. A short overview over the magnetohydrodynamic equations used to describe solar prominences, or most of the solar phenomena for that matter, are discussed in chapter 2, and a short summary of prominence observations and attempts to model them is given in chapter 3. A brief description of the numerical code used in chapters 5 and 7 is given in chapter 4. Observations of Kim (1990) and Leroy (1985) have found that most large quiescent prominences are of inverse polarity type for which the magnetic field passes through the prominence in the opposite direction to that expected from the photospheric magnetic field. Many theoretical models have been proposed, but failed. Hence, in chapter 5 we investigate first – without the inclusion of a prominence sheet – when an inverse polarity magnetic field must have the correct topology for an inverse polarity configuration before the formation of the prominence itself. Only very recently, the first basic successful model of an I-type polarity prominence was proposed by Low (1993). In chapter 6 we examine this model and investigate current sheets more complicated and realistic than the one used by Low. These analytical models deal with the force-free solution, which is matched onto an external, unsheared, potential coronal magnetic field. These solutions are mathematically interesting and allow an investigation of different profiles of the current intensity of the magnetic field vector and of the mass density in the sheet. The prominence properties predicted by these models have been examined and have been found to match the observational values. The mathematics of current sheets in general is also briefly discussed. Chapter 7 deals with numerical solutions of inverse polarity prominences embedded in a force-free magnetic flux tube, matched onto an unsheared potential coronal field. Unfortunately the solutions gained are quite sensitive to the boundary conditions imposed on them through the numerical box, showing a loss of convergence and a tendency for the solution to blow up. Finally, a short summary as well as possible future work is given in chapter 8.
Supervisor: Hood, Alan W. Sponsor: Commission of European Communities ; Overseas Research Students Awards Scheme (ORSAS) ; Federal Economic Chamber, Austria ; University of St Andrews
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: QA927.S3 ; Wave-motion, Theory of