Title

Parker/buoyancy instabilities with anisotropic thermal conduction, cosmic rays, and arbitrary magnetic field strength

Abstract

We report the results of local stability analysis for magnetized, gravitationally stratified plasma-containing cosmic rays. We account for cosmic-ray diffusion and thermal conduction parallel to the magnetic field and allow beta = 8 pi p/B(2) to take any value, where p is the plasma pressure and B is the magnetic field strength. We take the gravitational acceleration to be in the -z-direction and the equilibrium magnetic field to be in the y-direction, and derive the dispersion relation for small-amplitude instabilities and waves in the large-|k(x)| limit. We use the Routh-Hurwitz criterion to show analytically that the necessary and sufficient criterion for stability in this limit is nk(B)dT/dz + dpcr/dz + (1/8 pi) dB(2)/dz > 0, where T is the temperature, n is the number density of thermal particles, and p(cr) is the cosmic-ray pressure. We present approximate analytical solutions for the normal modes in the low- and high-diffusivity limits, show that they are consistent with the derived stability criterion, and compare them to numerical results obtained from the full, unapproximated, dispersion relation. Our results extend earlier analyses of buoyancy instabilities in galaxy-cluster plasmas to the beta less than or similar to 1 regime. Our results also extend earlier analyses of the Parker instability to account for anisotropic thermal conduction, and show that the interstellar medium is more unstable to the Parker instability than was predicted by previous studies in which the thermal plasma was treated as adiabatic.

Department

Physics

Publication Date

1-1-2009

Journal Title

Astrophysical Journal

Publisher

IOP PUBLISHING LTD

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

10.1088/0004-637X/690/1/566

Document Type

Article

Rights

© 2009. The American Astronomical Society. All rights reserved.

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