Haines, Malcolm G. Department of Physics, Imperial College of Science and Technology, London, United Kingdom.
Last reviewed:January 2020
- Ideal magnetohydrodynamics
- Resistive magnetohydrodynamics
- Electrically conducting fluids
- Fluid equations for a plasma
- Related Primary Literature
- Additional Reading
The interaction of electrically conducting fluids with magnetic fields. The fluids can be ionized gases (commonly called plasmas) or liquid metals. Magnetohydrodynamic (MHD) phenomena occur naturally in the Earth's interior, constituting the dynamo that produces the Earth's magnetic field; in the magnetosphere that surrounds the Earth; and in the Sun and throughout astrophysics. In the laboratory, magnetohydrodynamics is important in the magnetic confinement of plasmas in experiments on controlled thermonuclear fusion. Magnetohydrodynamic principles are also used in plasma accelerators for ion thrusters for spacecraft propulsion, for light–ion-beam powered inertial confinement, and for magnetohydrodynamic power generation. Magnetic fields can also be spontaneously generated in inertial confinement experiments, making magnetohydrodynamics relevant in this area. See also: Cosmic rays; Geomagnetism; Ion propulsion; Magnetohydrodynamic power generator; Magnetosphere; Nuclear fusion; Plasma (physics); Solar wind; Sun
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