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Magnetohydrodynamics (MHD)


Magnetohydrodynamics is the study of fluid motion in the presence of electromagnetic fields. The MHD / Plasma Dynamics Team at HyPerComp are experts in this field. Their work can be divided into incompressible flow applications and compressible flow applications.


Incompressible MHD Research & Development

HyPerComp is developing a three dimensional unstructured incompressible flow solver that can simulate the free surface flow of liquid metals in the presence electromagnetic fields. The code under development is called HIMAG (HyPerComp Incompressible MHD solver for Arbitrary Geometries.)

Some of the novel features of this work are:

  • High order algorithms for level set methods on unstructured meshes for free surface capture
  • Three phase (Solid-liquid-gas) study of electromagnetics -- currents can enter finite solid walls
  • Boundary Element Method (BEM) applied to semi-infinite and closed sub-domains

This work is being done with the assistance of, (and to support the research at) Fusion Engineering Center at UCLA,, in the development of liquid walls for heat extraction in nuclear fusion reactors. This technology may be applied also to container-less processing of molten steel and Aluminum.


Funded by the Department of Energy


2-phase flow past a cylindrical obstacle

Ha = 1000 flow in a 3-D channel

Liquid metal jet emerging from a nozzle into a magnetic field


Magnetogasdynamics / Plasma Dynamics Research & Development

The suite of MGD codes being developed at HyPerComp attempt to model flow physics in as comprehensive a manner as possible.

  • Thermochemical nonequilibrium of ionizing air
  • Equilibrium air (with multiphase seed material)
  • Low magnetic Reynolds number - Inductionless
  • High magnetic Reynolds number - coupled NS-Maxwell
  • Higher order Discontinuous Galerkin schemes



  • Detailed vibrational nonequilibrium models
  • Electron beam induced ionization of air
  • Combustion of jet fuels in air, plasma enhancement


Funded by the AFOSR and AFRL



MHD power generation

MHD enhanced hypersonic inlets

Higher order schemes using Discontinuous Galerkin techniques in MHD


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