The evolution of magnetic tower jets in the laboratory

A. Ciardi*, S. V. Lebedev, A. Frank, E. G. Blackman, J. P. Chittenden, C. J. Jennings, D. J. Ampleford, S. N. Bland, S. C. Bott, J. Rapley, G. N. Hall, F. A. Suzuki-Vidal, A. Marocchino, T. Lery, C. Stehle

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

143 Scopus citations


The evolution of laboratory produced magnetic jets is followed numerically through three-dimensional, nonideal magnetohydrodynamic simulations. The experiments are designed to study the interaction of a purely toroidal field with an extended plasma background medium. The system is observed to evolve into a structure consisting of an approximately cylindrical magnetic cavity with an embedded magnetically confined jet on its axis. The supersonic expansion produces a shell of swept-up shocked plasma that surrounds and partially confines the magnetic tower. Currents initially flow along the walls of the cavity and in the jet but the development of current-driven instabilities leads to the disruption of the jet and a rearrangement of the field and currents. The top of the cavity breaks up, and a well-collimated, radiatively cooled, "clumpy" jet emerges from the system.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number056501
JournalPhysics of Plasmas
Issue number5
StatePublished - 2007
Externally publishedYes

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
The present work was supported in part by the European Community’s Marie Curie Actions—Human Resource and Mobility within the JETSET (Jet Simulations Experiments and Theory) network under Contract No. MRTN-CT-2004 005592. The authors also wish to acknowledge the SFI/HEA Irish Centre for High-End Computing (ICHEC) and the London e-Science Centre (LESC) for the provision of computational facilities and support.

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Condensed Matter Physics


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