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Transverse oscillations of coronal loops

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  • Earth Science


On 14 July 1998 TRACE observed transverse oscillations of a coronal loop generated by an external disturbance most probably caused by a solar flare. These oscillations were interpreted as standing fast kink waves in a magnetic flux tube. Firstly, in this review we embark on the discussion of the theory of waves and oscillations in a homogeneous straight magnetic cylinder with the particular emphasis on fast kink waves. Next, we consider the effects of stratification, loop expansion, loop curvature, non-circular cross-section, loop shape and magnetic twist. An important property of observed transverse coronal loop oscillations is their fast damping. We briefly review the different mechanisms suggested for explaining the rapid damping phenomenon. After that we concentrate on damping due to resonant absorption. We describe the latest analytical results obtained with the use of thin transition layer approximation, and then compare these results with numerical findings obtained for arbitrary density variation inside the flux tube. Very often collective oscillations of an array of coronal magnetic loops are observed. It is natural to start studying this phenomenon from the system of two coronal loops. We describe very recent analytical and numerical results of studying collective oscillations of two parallel homogeneous coronal loops. The implication of the theoretical results for coronal seismology is briefly discussed. We describe the estimates of magnetic field magnitude obtained from the observed fundamental frequency of oscillations, and the estimates of the coronal scale height obtained using the simultaneous observations of the fundamental frequency and the frequency of the first overtone of kink oscillations. In the last part of the review we summarise the most outstanding and acute problems in the theory of the coronal loop transverse oscillations.

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