Nordita Astrophysics seminars

Large-scale dynamo action due to α fluctuations in a linear shear flow

by Dr Nishant Singh (Nordita)

122:026 ()


We present a model of large-scale dynamo action in a shear flow that has stochastic, zero-mean fluctuations of the α parameter. This is based on a minimal extension of the Kraichnan-Moffatt model, to include a background linear shear and Galilean-invariant α-statistics. Using the first order smoothing approximation we derive a linear integro-differential equation for the large-scale magnetic field, which is non perturbative in the shearing rate S, and the α-correlation time τα. The white-noise case, τα=0, is solved exactly, and it is concluded that the necessary condition for dynamo action is identical to the Kraichnan-Moffatt model without shear; this is because white-noise does not allow for memory effects, whereas shear needs time to act. To explore memory effects we reduce the integro-differential equation to a partial differential equation, valid for slowly varying fields when τα is small but non zero. Seeking exponential modal solutions, we solve the modal dispersion relation and obtain an explicit expression for the growth rate as a function of the six independent parameters of the problem. A non zero τα gives rise to new physical scales, and dynamo action is completely different from the white-noise case; e.g. even weak α fluctuations can give rise to a dynamo. We argue that, at any wavenumber, both Moffatt drift and Shear always contribute to increasing the growth rate. Two examples are presented: (a) a Moffatt drift dynamo in the absence of shear; (b) a Shear dynamo in the absence of Moffatt drift.