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A field theoretical treatment of magnetohydrodynamics Calkin, , Melvin Gilbert


The action principle of field theory, usually applied only to linear theories, such as electrodynamics, is shown to be useful in the nonlinear theory of magnetohydrodynamics The well-known conservation laws are derived by utilization of invariance properties of the appropirate lagrangian In addition, a set of new conservation laws, corresponding to generalizations of the Helmholtz vortex theorem in hydrodynamics, are obtained by exploiting a certain type of gauge invariance of the magnetohydrodynamical action integral A number of formal simplifications are introduced which suggest themselves through the action principle Three problems which illustrate the resulting formulation of magnetohydrodynamics are discussed

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