Alfvén wave

From Glossary of Meteorology

Alfvén wave

(Also magnetohydrodynamic wave, hydromagnetic wave.) A transverse wave propagating along a magnetic field in an electrically conducting fluid (
or plasma).

This kind of wave does not exist in gases or fluids that are not ionized or in a plasma free from a magnetic field. The dynamics of such waves are analogous to those in a vibrating string.

Cowling, T. G. 1976. Magnetohydrodynamics. Ch. 3.

Copyright 2022 American Meteorological Society (AMS). For permission to reuse any portion of this work, please contact Any use of material in this work that is determined to be “fair use” under Section 107 of the U.S. Copyright Act (17 U.S. Code § 107) or that satisfies the conditions specified in Section 108 of the U.S.Copyright Act (17 USC § 108) does not require AMS’s permission. Republication, systematic reproduction, posting in electronic form, such as on a website or in a searchable database, or other uses of this material, except as exempted by the above statement, require written permission or a license from AMS. Additional details are provided in the AMS Copyright Policy statement.