Propagation of magnetohydrodynamic shocks in a thermally-conducting medium

Philip Rosenau*, Shimshon Frankenthal

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

27 Scopus citations


A theory of magnetohydrodynamic piston-driven disturbances in a thermally-conducting medium is presented, based on a phenomenological model which admits self-similar solutions. The motion consists of a thermal precursor followed by an isothermal shock. The magnetic field plays a fundamental role; even a very modest transverse magnetic field keeps the peak densities down, blocks the heat flow, and widens the perturbed domain. This, together with a decrease (increase) of post shock density (temperature) compares favorably with some measurements in the solar wind.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)559-566
Number of pages8
JournalPhysics of Fluids
Issue number4
StatePublished - 1978


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