Magnetohydrodynamics

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Magnetohydrodynamics (MHD) (magnetofluiddynamics or hydromagnetics) is the academic discipline which studies the dynamics of electrically conducting fluids. Examples of such fluids include plasmas, liquid metals, and salt water. The word magnetohydrodynamics (MHD) is derived from magneto- meaning magnetic field, and hydro- meaning liquid, and -dynamics meaning movement. The field of MHD was initiated by Hannes Alfvén[1], for which he received the Nobel Prize in Physics in 1970.

The idea of MHD is that magnetic fields can induce currents in a moving conductive fluid, which create forces on the fluid, and also change the magnetic field itself. The set of equations which describe MHD are a combination of the Navier-Stokes equations of fluid dynamics and Maxwell's equations of electromagnetism. These differential equations have to be solved simultaneously, either analytically or numerically. MHD is a continuum theory and as such it cannot treat kinetic phenomena, i.e. those in which the existence of discrete particles or of a non-thermal velocities distribution are important.[citation needed]

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