Instability of magnetic equilibria in barotropic stars
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In stably stratified stars, numerical magnetohydrodynamics simulations have shown that arbitrary initial magnetic fields evolve into stable equilibrium configurations, usually containing nearly axisymmetric, linked poloidal and toroidal fields that stabilize each other. In this work, we test the hypothesis that stable stratification is a requirement for the existence of such stable equilibria. For this purpose, we follow numerically the evolution of magnetic fields in barotropic (and thus neutrally stable) stars, starting from two different types of initial conditions, namely random disordered magnetic fields, as well as linked poloidal–toroidal configurations resembling the previously found equilibria. With many trials, we always find a decay of the magnetic field over a few Alfv´en times, never a stable equilibrium. This strongly suggests that there are no stable equilibria in barotropic stars, thus clearly invalidating the assumption of barotropic equations of state often imposed on the search of magnetic equilibria. It also supports the hypothesis that, as dissipative processes erode the stable stratification, they might destabilize previously stable magnetic field configurations, leading to their decay.
Artículo de publicación ISI
Cita del ítemMNRAS 447, 1213–1223 (2015)
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