Abstract:
A recent study on axisymmetric ideal magnetohydrodynamic equilibria with incompressible flows [H. Tasso and G. N. Throumoulopoulos, Phys. Plasmas {\bf 5}, 2378 (1998)] is extended to the generic case of helically symmetric equilibria with incompressible flows. It is shown that the equilibrium states of the system under consideration are governed by an elliptic partial differential equation for the helical magnetic flux function $\psi$ containing five surface quantities along with a relation for the pressure. The above mentioned equation can be transformed to one possessing differential part identical in form to the corresponding static equilibrium equation, which is amenable to several classes of analytic solutions. In particular, equilibria with electric fields perpendicular to the magnetic surfaces and non-constant-Mach-number flows are constructed. Unlike the case in axisymmetric equilibria with isothermal magnetic surfaces, helically symmetric $T=T(\psi)$ equilibria are over-determined, i.e., in this case the equilibrium equations reduce to a set of eight ordinary differential equations with seven surface quantities. In addition, it is proved the non-existence of incompressible helically symmetric equilibria with (a) purely helical flows (b) non-parallel flows with isothermal magnetic surfaces and the magnetic field modulus being a surface quantity (omnigenous equilibria).

Abstract:
It is proved that (a) the solutions of the ideal magnetohydrodynamic equation, which describe the equlibrium states of a cylindrical plasma with purely poloidal flow and arbitrary cross sectional shape [G. N. Throumoulopoulos and G. Pantis, Plasma Phys. and Contr. Fusion 38, 1817 (1996)] are also valid for incompressible equlibrium flows with the axial velocity component being a free surface quantity and (b) for the case of isothermal incompressible equilibria the magnetic surfaces have necessarily circular cross section.

Abstract:
The present study is a continuation of a previous one on "hyperelliptic" axisymmetric equilibria started in [Tasso and Throumoulopoulos, Phys. Plasmas 5, 2378 (1998)]. Specifically, some equilibria with incompressible flow nonaligned with the magnetic field and restricted by appropriate side conditions like "isothermal" magnetic surfaces, "isodynamicity" or P + B^2/2 constant on magnetic surfaces are found to be reducible to elliptic integrals. The third class recovers recent equilibria found in [Schief, Phys. Plasmas 10, 2677 (2003)]. In contrast to field aligned flows, all solutions found here have nonzero toroidal magnetic field on and elliptic surfaces near the magnetic axis.

Abstract:
Magnetohydrodynamic configurations with strong localized current concentrations and vortices play an important role in the dissipation of energy in space and astrophysical plasma. Within this work we investigate the relation between current sheets and vortex sheets in incompressible, stationary equilibria. For this approach it is helpful that the similar mathematical structure of magnetohydrostatics and stationary incompressible hydrodynamics allows us to transform static equilibria into stationary ones. The main control function for such a transformation is the profile of the Alfvén-Mach number MA, which is always constant along magnetic field lines, but can change from one field line to another. In the case of a global constant MA, vortices and electric current concentrations are parallel. More interesting is the nonlinear case, where MA varies perpendicular to the field lines. This is a typical situation at boundary layers like the magnetopause, heliopause, the solar wind flowing around helmet streamers and at the boundary of solar coronal holes. The corresponding current and vortex sheets show in some cases also an alignment, but not in every case. For special density distributions in 2-D, it is possible to have current but no vortex sheets. In 2-D, vortex sheets of field aligned-flows can also exist without strong current sheets, taking the limit of small Alfvén Mach numbers into account. The current sheet can vanish if the Alfvén Mach number is (almost) constant and the density gradient is large across some boundary layer. It should be emphasized that the used theory is not only valid for small Alfvén Mach numbers MA << 1, but also for MA 1. Connection to other theoretical approaches and observations and physical effects in space plasmas are presented. Differences in the various aspects of theoretical investigations of current sheets and vortex sheets are given.

Abstract:
Magnetohydrodynamic configurations with strong localized current concentrations and vortices play an important role for the dissipation of energy in space and astrophysical plasma. Within this work we investigate the relation between current sheets and vortex sheets in incompressible, stationary equilibria. For this approach it is helpful that the similar mathematical structure of magnetohydrostatics and stationary incompressible hydrodynamics allows us to transform static equilibria into stationary ones. The main control function for such a transformation is the profile of the Alfven-Mach number M_A, which is always constant along magnetic field lines, but can change from one field line to another. In the case of a global constant M_A, vortices and electric current concentrations are parallel. More interesting is the nonlinear case, where M_A varies perpendicular to the field lines. This is a typical situation at boundary layers like the magnetopause, heliopause, the solar wind flowing around helmet streamers and at the boundary of solar coronal holes. The corresponding current and vortex sheets show in some cases also an alignment, but not in every case. For special density distributions in 2D it is possible to have current but no vortex sheets. In 2D vortex sheets of field aligned-flows can also exist without strong current sheets, taking the limit of small Alfven Mach numbers into account. The current sheet can vanish if the Alfven Mach number is (almost) constant and the density gradient is large across some boundary layer. It should be emphasized that the used theory is not only valid for small Alfven Mach numbers M_A<<1, but also for M_A~1. Connection to other theoretical approaches and observations and physical effects in space plasmas are presented. Differences in the various aspects of theoretical investigations of current sheets and vortex sheets are given.

Abstract:
We identify and discuss a family of azimuthally symmetric, incompressible, magnetohydrodynamic plasma equilibria with poloidal and toroidal flows in terms of solutions of the Generalized Grad Shafranov (GGS) equation. These solutions are derived by exploiting the incompressibility assumption, in order to rewrite the GGS equation in terms of a different dependent variable, and the continuous Lie symmetry properties of the resulting equation and in particular a special type of "weak" symmetries.

Abstract:
Axisymmetric equilibria with incompressible flows of arbitrary direction are studied in the framework of magnetohydrodynamics under a variety of physically relevant side conditions. To this end a set of pertinent non-linear ODEs are transformed to quasilinear ones and the respective initial value problem is solved numerically with appropriately determined initial values near the magnetic axis. Several equilibria are then constructed surface by surface. The non field aligned flow results in novel configurations with a single magnetic axis, toroidal shell configurations in which the plasma is confined within a couple of magnetic surfaces and double shell-like configurations. In addition, the flow affects the elongation and triangularity of the magnetic surfaces.

Abstract:
It is shown that the magnetohydrodynamic equilibrium states of an axisymmetric toroidal plasma with finite resistivity and flows parallel to the magnetic field are governed by a second-order partial differential equation for the poloidal magnetic flux function $\psi$ coupled with a Bernoulli type equation for the plasma density (which are identical in form to the corresponding ideal MHD equilibrium equations) along with the relation $\Delta^\star \psi=V_c \sigma$. (Here, $\Delta^\star$ is the Grad-Schl\"{u}ter-Shafranov operator, $\sigma$ is the conductivity and $V_c$ is the constant toroidal-loop voltage divided by $2 \pi $). In particular, for incompressible flows the above mentioned partial differential equation becomes elliptic and decouples from the Bernoulli equation [H. Tasso and G. N. Throumoulopoulos, Phys. Plasmas {\bf 5}, 2378 (1998)]. For a conductivity of the form $\sigma=\sigma(R, \psi)$ ($R$ is the distance from the axis of symmetry) several classes of analytic equilibria with incompressible flows can be constructed having qualitatively plausible $\sigma$ profiles, i.e. profiles with $\sigma$ taking a maximum value close to the magnetic axis and a minimum value on the plasma surface. For $\sigma=\sigma(\psi)$ consideration of the relation $\Delta^\star\psi = V_c \sigma(\psi)$ in the vicinity of the magnetic axis leads therein to a proof of the non-existence of either compressible or incompressible equilibria. This result can be extended to the more general case of non-parallel flows lying within the magnetic surfaces.

Abstract:
It is found that the ideal magnetohydrodynamic equilibrium of an axisymmetric gravitating magnetically confined plasma with incompressible flows is governed by a second-order elliptic differential equation for the poloidal magnetic flux function containing five flux functions coupled with a Poisson equation for the gravitation potential, and an algebraic relation for the pressure. This set of equations is amenable to analytic solutions. As an application, the magnetic-dipole static axisymmetric equilibria with vanishing poloidal plasma currents derived recently by Krasheninnikov, Catto, and Hazeltine [Phys. Rev. Lett. {\bf 82}, 2689 (1999)] are extended to plasmas with finite poloidal currents, subject to gravitating forces from a massive body (a star or black hole) and inertial forces due to incompressible sheared flows. Explicit solutions are obtained in two regimes: (a) in the low-energy regime $\beta_0\approx \gamma_0\approx \delta_0 \approx\epsilon_0\ll 1$, where $\beta_0$, $\gamma_0$, $\delta_0$, and $\epsilon_0$ are related to the thermal, poloidal-current, flow and gravitating energies normalized to the poloidal-magnetic-field energy, respectively, and (b) in the high-energy regime $\beta_0\approx \gamma_0\approx \delta_0 \approx\epsilon_0\gg 1$. It turns out that in the high-energy regime all four forces, pressure-gradient, toroidal-magnetic-field, inertial, and gravitating contribute equally to the formation of magnetic surfaces very extended and localized about the symmetry plane such that the resulting equilibria resemble the accretion disks in astrophysics.

Abstract:
A novel model of incompressible magnetohydrodynamic turbulence in the presence of a strong external magnetic field is proposed for explanation of recent numerical results. According to the proposed model, in the presence of the strong external magnetic field, incompressible magnetohydrodynamic turbulence becomes nonlocal in the sense that low frequency modes cause decorrelation of interacting high frequency modes from the inertial interval. It is shown that the obtained nonlocal spectrum of the inertial range of incompressible magnetohydrodynamic turbulence represents an anisotropic analogue of Kraichnan's nonlocal spectrum of hydrodynamic turbulence. Based on the analysis performed in the framework of the weak coupling approximation, which represents one of the equivalent formulations of the direct interaction approximation, it is shown that incompressible magnetohydrodynamic turbulence could be both local and nonlocal and therefore anisotropic analogues of both the Kolmogorov and Kraichnan spectra are realizable in incompressible magnetohydrodynamic turbulence.