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Thursday, June 02, 2011
2:00 PM - 2:45 PM
CNLS Conference Room (TA-3, Bldg 1690)

Postdoc Seminar

Universality of the Small-Scale Dynamo Mechanism

Jonathan Graham
T-3 and CNLS

We quantify possible differences between turbulent dynamo action in the Sun and the dynamo action studied in idealized simulation. For this purpose we compare Fourier-space shell-to-shell energy transfer rates of three incrementally more complex dynamo simulations: an incompressible, periodic simulation driven by random flow, a simulation of Boussinesq convection, and a simulation of fully compressible convection that includes physics relevant to the near-surface layers of the Sun. For each of the simulations studied, we find that energy is transferred from the turbulent flow to the magnetic field from wavenumbers in the inertial range of the energy spectrum. The addition of physical effects relevant to the solar near-surface layers, including stratification, compressibility, partial ionization, and radiative energy transport, does not appear to affect the nature of the dynamo mechanism. The role of inertial-range shear stresses in magnetic field amplification is independent from outer-scale circumstances, including forcing and stratification. The shell-to-shell energy transfer functions also have similar properties to those seen in mean-flow driven dynamos in each simulation studied in the saturated states of the dynamos.

Host: Peter Loxley, loxley@lanl.gov