Magnetic helicity, and more broadly magnetic field line topology, imposes constraints on the plasma dynamics. Helically interlocked magnetic rings are harder to bring into a topologically non-trivial state than two rings that are not linked. This particular restriction has the consequence that helical plasmas exhibit increased stability in laboratory devices, in the Sun and in the intergalactic medium. Here we discuss how a magnetic field is stabilizing the plasma and preventing it from disruption by the presence of magnetic helicity. We present observational results, numerical experiments and analytical results that illustrate how helical magnetic fields strongly contribute to the long-term stability of some plasmas. We discuss several cases, such as that of solar corona, tokamaks, the galactic and extragalactic medium, with a special emphasis on extragalactic bubbles.
- Pub Date:
- December 2021
- Physics - Plasma Physics;
- Astrophysics - Astrophysics of Galaxies;
- Astrophysics - Solar and Stellar Astrophysics;
- Physics - Space Physics
- 27 pages, 4 figures, submitted as chapter of the AGU book "Helicities in Geophysics, Astrophysics and Beyond"