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Theoretical Aspects of Small-Scale Photospheric Magnetic Fields

  • M. Schüssler (a1)

Abstract

The state of theoretical description of small-scale concentrated magnetic fields in the solar photosphere (excluding oscillations and wave propagation) is reviewed with emphasis on work done since 1982. The processes which probably lead to the formation of strong fields (flux expulsion, convective collapse) are discussed in some detail and the present understanding of the subsequent (quasi-)equilibrium state is summarized. We consider in particular the magnetic and thermal structure of the basic magnetic flux concentrations (magnetic elements) and stress the importance of radiative transfer effects, e.g. the horizontal heat exchange with the surroundings and the effect of radiation from the hot bottom and walls on the upper layers. Velocity fields within and around magnetic flux concentrations are discussed with emphasis on shift and asymmetry of the observed Stokes V-profiles which have recently been understood in terms of a downflow in the immediate vicinity outside magnetic structures. Reconnection and instabilities are considered as possible destruction processes for magnetic elements.

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References

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