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Deviations from rotational symmetry of arc columns exposed to transverse magnetic fields cause convection and a momentum transport between the column and its surrounding gas. As a consequence, the arc moves and changes its geometry until it reaches a stable configuration. Based on the momentum transport equation, the arc behavior is discussed under various operating conditions, and stable arc configurations are determined. In particular, the stability-criteria of a balanced arc column in a transverse gas flow and magnetic field is derived. It turns out that the arc becomes unstable with respect to kinks parallel to the applied magnetic field when Ã = pÂ¿/(B2/8Â¿)Â¿1. (pÂ¿ = ambient pressure, Bo = applied magnetic field).