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Nonlinear states of the screw dynamo

Lookup NU author(s): Dr Wolfgang Dobler, Professor Anvar ShukurovORCiD, Professor Axel Brandenburg


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The self-excitation of magnetic field by a spiral Couette flow between two coaxial cylinders is considered. We solve numerically the fully nonlinear, three-dimensional magnetohydrodynamic (MHD) equations for magnetic Prandtl numbers Pm (ratio of kinematic viscosity to magnetic diffusivity) between 0.14 and 10 and kinematic and magnetic Reynolds numbers up to about 2000. In the initial stage of exponential field growth (kinematic dynamo regime), we find that the dynamo switches from one distinct regime to another as the radial width δrB of the magnetic field distribution becomes smaller than the separation of the field maximum from the flow boundary. The saturation of magnetic field growth is due to a reduction in the velocity shear resulting mainly from the azimuthally and axially averaged part of the Lorentz force, which agrees with an asymptotic result for the limit of P m≪1. In the parameter regime considered, the magnetic energy decreases with kinematic Reynolds number as Re0.84, which is approximately as predicted by the nonlinear asymptotic theory (∼Re -1). However, when the velocity field is maintained by a volume force (rather than by viscous stress) the dependence of magnetic energy on the kinematic Reynolds number is much weaker. © 2002 The American Physical Society.

Publication metadata

Author(s): Dobler W, Shukurov A, Brandenburg A

Publication type: Article

Publication status: Published

Journal: Physical Review E - Statistical, Nonlinear, and Soft Matter Physics

Year: 2002

Volume: 65

Issue: 3

Pages: 036311/1-036311/13

Print publication date: 01/03/2002

ISSN (print): 1539-3755

ISSN (electronic): 1550-2376

Publisher: American Physical Society


DOI: 10.1103/PhysRevE.65.036311


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