Journal Article

On non-axisymmetric magnetic equilibria in stars

Jonathan Braithwaite

in Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society

Published on behalf of The Royal Astronomical Society

Volume 386, issue 4, pages 1947-1958
Published in print June 2008 | ISSN: 0035-8711
Published online April 2008 | e-ISSN: 1365-2966 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/j.1365-2966.2008.13218.x
On non-axisymmetric magnetic equilibria in stars

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In previous work, stable approximately axisymmetric equilibrium configurations for magnetic stars were found by numerical simulation. Here, I investigate the conditions under which more complex, non-axisymmetric configurations can form. I present numerical simulations of the formation of stable equilibria from turbulent initial conditions and demonstrate the existence of non-axisymmetric equilibria consisting of twisted flux tubes lying horizontally below the surface of the star, meandering around the star in random patterns. Whether such a non-axisymmetric equilibrium or a simple axisymmetric equilibrium forms depends on the radial profile of the strength of the initial magnetic field. The results could explain observations of non-dipolar fields on stars such as the B0.2 main-sequence star τ Sco or the pulsar 1E 1207.4-5209. The secular evolution of these equilibria due to Ohmic and buoyancy processes is also examined.

Keywords: MHD; stars: chemically peculiar; stars: magnetic fields; stars: neutron; white dwarfs

Journal Article.  10061 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Astronomy and Astrophysics

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