Stability of an impulsively accelerated density interface in magnetohydrodynamics

V. Wheatley*, D. I. Pullin, R. Samtaney

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

61 Scopus citations


In the framework of ideal incompressible magnetohydrodynamics, we examine the stability of an impulsively accelerated, sinusoidally perturbed density interface in the presence of a magnetic field that is parallel to the acceleration. This is accomplished by analytically solving the linearized initial value problem, which is a model for the Richtmyer-Meshkov instability. We find that the initial growth rate of the interface is unaffected by the presence of a magnetic field, but for a finite magnetic field the interface amplitude asymptotes to a constant value. Thus the instability of the interface is suppressed. The interface behavior from the analytical solution is compared to the results of both linearized and nonlinear compressible numerical simulations.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number125002
JournalPhysical Review Letters
Issue number12
StatePublished - Sep 16 2005
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Physics and Astronomy


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