Magnetic loop generation by collisionless gravitationally bound plasmas in axisymmetric tori

C. Cremaschini, Z. Stuchlík

PHYSICAL REVIEW E, (2013), vol. 87, 4, p. 15


Current-carrying string loops are adopted in astrophysics to model the dynamics of isolated flux tubes of magnetized plasma expected to arise in the gravitational field of compact objects, such as black holes. Recent studies suggest that they could provide a framework for the acceleration and collimation of jets of plasma observed in these systems. However, the problem remains of the search of physical mechanisms which can consistently explain the occurrence of such plasma toroidal structures characterized by nonvanishing charge currents and are able to self-generate magnetic loops. In this paper, the problem is addressed in the context of Vlasov-Maxwell theory for nonrelativistic collisionless plasmas subject to both gravitational and electromagnetic fields. A kinetic treatment of quasistationary axisymmetric configurations of charged particles exhibiting epicyclic motion is obtained. Explicit solutions for the species equilibrium phase-space distribution function are provided. These are shown to have generally a non-Maxwellian character and to be characterized by nonuniform fluid fields and temperature anisotropy. Calculation of the relevant fluid fields and analysis of the Ampere equation then show the existence of nonvanishing current densities. As a consequence, the occurrence of a kinetic dynamo is proved, which can explain the self-generation of both azimuthal and poloidal magnetic fields by the plasma itself. This mechanism can operate in the absence of instabilities, turbulence, or accretion phenomena and is intrinsically kinetic in character. In particular, several kinetic effects contribute to it, identified here with finite Larmor radius, diamagnetic and energy-correction effects together with temperature anisotropy, and non-Maxwellian features of the equilibrium distribution function.