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International Journal of Mathematics and Mathematical Sciences
Volume 16, Issue 4, Pages 811-816

On the coronal heating mechanism by the resonant absorption of Alfven waves

Department of Mathematics and Computer Science, Adelphi University, Garden City 11530, NY, USA

Received 31 December 1992

Copyright © 1993 Hindawi Publishing Corporation. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


In this paper, we will investigate the heating of the solar corona by the resonant absorption of Alfven waves in a viscous and isothermal atmosphere permeated by a horizontal magnetic field. It is shown that if the viscosity dominates the motion in a high (low)- β plasma, it creates an absorbing and reflecting layer and the heating process is acoustic (magnetoacoustic). When the magnetic field dominates the oscillatory process it creates a non-absorbing reflecting layer. Consequently, the heating process is magnetohydrodynamic. An equation for resonance is derived. It shows that resonances may occur for many values of the frequency and of the magnetic field if the wavelength is matched with the strength of the magnetic field. At the resonance frequencies, magnetic and kinetic energies will increase to very large values which may account for the heating process. When the motion is dominated by the combined effects of the viscosity and the magnetic field, the nature of the reflecting layer and the magnitude of the reflection coefficient depend on the relative strengths of the magnetic field and the viscosity.