An integral equation-based numerical solver for Taylor states in toroidal geometries

Michael O'Neil, Antoine J. Cerfon

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


We present an algorithm for the numerical calculation of Taylor states in toroidal and toroidal-shell geometries using an analytical framework developed for the solution to the time-harmonic Maxwell equations. Taylor states are a special case of what are known as Beltrami fields, or linear force-free fields. The scheme of this work relies on the generalized Debye source representation of Maxwell fields and an integral representation of Beltrami fields which immediately yields a well-conditioned second-kind integral equation. This integral equation has a unique solution whenever the Beltrami parameter λ is not a member of a discrete, countable set of resonances which physically correspond to spontaneous symmetry breaking. Several numerical examples relevant to magnetohydrodynamic equilibria calculations are provided. Lastly, our approach easily generalizes to arbitrary geometries, both bounded and unbounded, and of varying genus.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)263-282
Number of pages20
JournalJournal of Computational Physics
StatePublished - Apr 15 2018


  • Beltrami field
  • Force-free fields
  • Generalized Debye sources
  • Magnetohydrodynamics
  • Plasma physics
  • Taylor states

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Numerical Analysis
  • Modeling and Simulation
  • Physics and Astronomy (miscellaneous)
  • General Physics and Astronomy
  • Computer Science Applications
  • Computational Mathematics
  • Applied Mathematics


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