Some improvements in the theory of plasma relaxation

Eliezer Hameiri

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Taylor's relaxation theory is extended to plasmas with mass flow by using the cross helicity as a conserved quantity, similar to the magnetic helicity. Indeed, it is shown that the conservation of the cross helicity in magnetohydrodynamics is the result of the conservation of two magnetic-like helicities in two-fluid plasmas. In addition, the usually ignored toroidal flux is also held to be conserved. We also view plasma relaxation as attaining a maximum entropy state rather than Taylor's minimum energy state, but prove that maximizing the entropy subject to a given amount of energy is equivalent to minimizing the energy subject to a given amount of entropy. The resulting relaxed state is similar to the one discussed by Finn and Antonsen [Phys. Fluids 26, 3540 (1983)], and involves flow parallel to the magnetic field and constant temperature, but non-constant pressure. We show how to construct an asymptotic solution to the relaxed state based on the smallness of the Alfven Mach number of the flow.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number044503
JournalPhysics of Plasmas
Issue number4
StatePublished - Apr 2014

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Condensed Matter Physics


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