Joint HEA/SSP seminar

Self-organized braiding and the structure of Coronal Loops

Mahboubeh Asgari (UCL,UK)

Wednesday 16th September 2009, 12:30pm
Pratt conference room, 60 Garden Street

We examine the effect of reconnection on the structure of a braided magnetic field. A prominent model for both heating of the solar corona and the source of small flares involves reconnection of braided magnetic flux elements. Much of this braiding is thought to occur at as yet unresolved scales, for example braiding of threads within an EUV or x-ray loop. However, some braiding may be still visible at scales accessible to TRACE or the EIS imager on Hinode. We suggest that attempts to estimate the amount of braiding at these scales must take into account the degree of coherence of the braid structure. We demonstrate that simple models of braided magnetic fields which balance input of topological structure with reconnection evolve to a self-organized critical state. An initially random braid can become highly ordered, with coherence lengths obeying power law distributions. The energy released during reconnection also obeys a power law. Our model gives more frequent (but smaller) energy releases nearer to the ends of a coronal loop.


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