Time-resolved turbulent dynamo in a laser plasma

Bott, Archie F.A. and Tzeferacos, Petros and Chen, Laura and Palmer, Charlotte A.J. and Rigby, Alexandra and Bell, Anthony R. and Bingham, Robert and Birkel, Andrew and Graziani, Carlo and Froula, Dustin H. and Katz, Joseph and Koenig, Michel and Kunz, Matthew W. and Li, Chikang and Meinecke, Jena and Miniati, Francesco and Petrasso, Richard and Park, Hye Sook and Remington, Bruce A. and Reville, Brian and Ross, J. Steven and Ryu, Dongsu and Ryutov, Dmitri and Séguin, Fredrick H. and White, Thomas G. and Schekochihin, Alexander A. and Lamb, Donald Q. and Gregori, Gianluca (2021) Time-resolved turbulent dynamo in a laser plasma. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America, 118 (11). e2015729118. ISSN 0027-8424 (https://doi.org/10.1073/pnas.2015729118)

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Significance Our laser-plasma experiment has reproduced the physical process thought to be responsible for generating and sustaining magnetic fields in turbulent plasmas (the “fluctuation dynamo”), and has accessed the viscosity-dominated regime of relevance to most of the plasma in the universe. These measurements are also time resolved, which provides evolutionary information about the fluctuation dynamo (including the field’s growth rate) previously available only from simulations. The efficient amplification of large-scale magnetic fields seen in our experiment could explain the origin of large-scale fields that are observed in turbulent astrophysical plasmas, but are not predicted by current analytical calculations or idealized simulations of the fluctuation dynamo.