Variational formulation for weakly nonlinear perturbations of ideal magnetohydrodynamics

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

6 Citations (Scopus)


A new equation of motion that governs weakly nonlinear phenomena in ideal magnetohydrodynamics (MHDs) is derived as a natural extension of the well-known linearized equation of motion for the displacement field. This derivation is made possible by expanding the MHD Lagrangian explicitly up to third order with respect to the displacement of plasma, which necessitates an efficient use of the Lie series expansion. The resultant equation of motion (i.e. the Euler-Lagrange equation) includes a new quadratic force term which is responsible for various mode-mode coupling due to the MHD nonlinearity. The third-order potential energy serves to quantify the coupling coefficient among resonant three modes and its cubic symmetry proves the Manley-Rowe relations. In contrast to earlier works, the coupling coefficient is expressed only by the displacement vector field, which is already familiar in the linear MHD theory, and both the fixed and free boundary cases are treated systematically.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)589-615
Number of pages27
JournalJournal of Plasma Physics
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - 2011 Oct
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Condensed Matter Physics


Dive into the research topics of 'Variational formulation for weakly nonlinear perturbations of ideal magnetohydrodynamics'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this