Global instabilities in rotating magnetized plasmas



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The Magnetorotational Instability (MRI) is believed to be the primary mechanism for angular momentum transfer in astrophysical accretion disks. This instability, which exists in ionized disks in the presence of weak magnetic fields, can either transfer angular momentum directly, or give rise to anomalous viscosity via non-linear turbulence. While many previous analytical treatments are concerned with the local theory of the MRI, when the length scale of rotation shear is comparable to the length scale of the most unstable modes, a global analysis is necessary. In this dissertation we investigate the global theory of the linear MRI. In particular, we show how rotation shear can localize global modes and how the global growth rates can differ signicantly from the local approximation in certain cases. Changes in the equilibrium density are considered. In addition, the effects of Hall Magnetohydrodynamics on the MRI are studied in both the local and global cases.