Honors College Thesis

Corrugation Instabilities Across Shock Fronts in Magnetohydrodynamical Astrophysical Systems

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  • Slow magnetosonic shock fronts are unstable to changes made to their shape, a phenomenon known as corrugation instability. The computational models studied considers a system where plasma travels across a shock front. Using the code Linogen, the corrugation instability of a shock front can be theoretically modeled. The results show how corrugation instability changes with an increase in Alfvenic Mach number and sonic Mach number over a series of angles and transverse wave vector components. This series of angles describe the angle of entry at which the fluid penetrates the shock front from the normal of the shock front. Entry angles ranged from $\beta=15^{\circ}$ to $\beta=45^{\circ}$. It was found that for smaller angles, the shock front became more unstable quicker as the Alfven Mach number increased whereas for larger angles the shock front grew more unstable slower as the Alfven Mach number increased. It was also found that the shock front became more unstable quicker as the sonic Mach number increased for smaller angles. Small Alfven Mach numbers described strong magnetic fields. Small sonic Mach numbers describe slow moving fluid. Corrugation instabilities become of interest when studying astrophysical systems such as T-Tauri stars and neutron stars.
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