Stretch, Twist, Fold: The Fast Dynamo

Stretch, Twist, Fold: The Fast Dynamo

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The study of the magnetic fields of the Earth and Sun, as well as those of other planets, stars, and galaxies, has a long history and a rich and varied literature, including in recent years a number of review articles and books dedicated to the dynamo theories of these fields. Against this background of work, some explanation of the scope and purpose of the present monograph, and of the presentation and organization of the material, is therefore needed. Dynamo theory offers an explanation of natural magnetism as a phenomenon of magnetohydrodynamics (MHD), the dynamics governing the evolution and interaction of motions of an electrically conducting fluid and electromagnetic fields. A natural starting point for a dynamo theory assumes the fluid motion to be a given vector field, without regard for the origin of the forces which drive it. The resulting kinematic dynamo theory is, in the non-relativistic case, a linear advection-diffusion problem for the magnetic field. This kinematic theory, while far simpler than its magnetohydrodynamic counterpart, remains a formidable analytical problem since the interesting solutions lack the easiest symmetries. Much ofthe research has focused on the simplest acceptable flows and especially on cases where the smoothing effect of diffusion can be exploited. A close analog is the advection and diffusion of a scalar field by laminar flows, the diffusion being measured by an appropriate Peclet number. This work has succeeded in establishing dynamo action as an attractive candidate for astrophysical magnetism.This work has succeeded in establishing dynamo action as an attractive candidate for astrophysical magnetism.

Title:Stretch, Twist, Fold: The Fast Dynamo
Author:Stephen Childress, Andrew D. Gilbert
Publisher:Springer Science & Business Media - 2008-09-11


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