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Unique topological characterization of braided magnetic fields
Physics of Plasmas
We introduce a topological flux function to quantify the topology of magnetic braids: non-zero, line-tied magnetic fields whose field lines all connect between two boundaries. This scalar function is an ideal invariant defined on a cross-section of the magnetic field, and measures the average poloidal magnetic flux around any given field line, or the average pairwise crossing number between a given field line and all others. Moreover, its integral over the cross-section yields the relativedoi:10.1063/1.4773903 fatcat:exeo4heao5h2zb6v6qqtwkg24e