Magnetic field generation by coherent turbulence structures

Kivotides, D and Mee, A J and Barenghi, C F (2007) Magnetic field generation by coherent turbulence structures. New Journal of Physics, 9. 291. ISSN 1367-2630 (

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It is thought that the small-scale magnetic fields observed in accretion discs, galaxies and galactic clusters are generated by a dynamo process in which the turbulent plasma amplifies small initial magnetic fluctuations. Numerical simulations of turbulence have revealed that turbulence consists of filamentlike vortex structures superimposed on an incoherent background, which carry a considerable amount of the energy. The natural questions to ask are whether these coherent structures can generate a magnetic field and, if so, if the generated magnetic field is also filament-like. After setting up a turbulence model which consists only of vortex filaments, we show in an unambiguous way that the coherent structure can sustain kinematic dynamo action and that the magnetic field thus generated consists of relatively thick ribbons (flattened tubes) located in between vortices.