This work describes a laboratory plasma experiment and initial results which should give insight into the magnetic dynamics of accretion discs and jets. A high-speed multiple-frame CCD camera reveals images of the formation and helical instability of a collimated plasma, similar to MHD models of disc jets, and also plasma detachment associated with spheromak formation, which may have relevance to disc winds and flares. The plasmas are produced by a planar magnetized coaxial gun. The resulting magnetic topology is dependent on the details of magnetic helicity injection, namely the force-free state eigenvalue αgun imposed by the coaxial gun.
Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society
- Pub Date:
- August 2002
- accretion discs;
- methods: laboratory;
- accepted for publication in MNRAS