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Spontaneous formation of magnetic flux concentrations in stratified turbulence
Stockholm University, Faculty of Science, Department of Astronomy. Stockholm University, Nordic Institute for Theoretical Physics (Nordita).
Stockholm University, Faculty of Science, Department of Astronomy. Stockholm University, Nordic Institute for Theoretical Physics (Nordita).
Stockholm University, Nordic Institute for Theoretical Physics (Nordita).
Stockholm University, Nordic Institute for Theoretical Physics (Nordita).
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2012 (English)In: Solar Physics, ISSN 0038-0938, E-ISSN 1573-093X, Vol. 280, no 2, 321-333 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

The negative effective magnetic pressure instability discovered recently in direct numerical simulations (DNSs) may play a crucial role in the formation of sunspots and active regions in the Sun and stars. This instability is caused by a negative contribution of turbulence to the effective mean Lorentz force (the sum of turbulent and non-turbulent contributions) and results in the formation of large-scale inhomogeneous magnetic structures from an initially uniform magnetic field. Earlier investigations of this instability in DNSs of stably stratified, externally forced, isothermal hydromagnetic turbulence in the regime of large plasma β are now extended into the regime of larger scale separation ratios where the number of turbulent eddies in the computational domain is about 30. Strong spontaneous formation of large-scale magnetic structures is seen even without performing any spatial averaging. These structures encompass many turbulent eddies. The characteristic time of the instability is comparable to the turbulent diffusion time, L2/ηt, where ηt is the turbulent diffusivity and L is the scale of the domain. DNSs are used to confirm that the effective magnetic pressure does indeed become negative for magnetic field strengths below the equipartition field. The dependence of the effective magnetic pressure on the field strength is characterized by fit parameters that seem to show convergence for larger values of the magnetic Reynolds number

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2012. Vol. 280, no 2, 321-333 p.
Keyword [en]
Magnetohydrodynamics (MHD), Sun: dynamo, Sunspots, Turbulence
National Category
Astronomy, Astrophysics and Cosmology
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:su:diva-80813DOI: 10.1007/s11207-012-9949-0ISI: 000309865800003OAI: oai:DiVA.org:su-80813DiVA: diva2:557727
Available from: 2012-09-28 Created: 2012-09-28 Last updated: 2017-12-07Bibliographically approved
In thesis
1. From mean-field hydromagnetics to solar magnetic flux concentrations
Open this publication in new window or tab >>From mean-field hydromagnetics to solar magnetic flux concentrations
2012 (English)Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

The main idea behind the work presented in this thesis is to investigate if it is possible to find a mechanism that leads to surface magnetic field concentrations and could operate under solar conditions without postulating the presence of magnetic flux tubes rising from the bottom of the convection zone, a commonly used yet physically problematic approach.

In this context we study the ‘negative effective magnetic pressure effect’: it was pointed out in earlier work (Kleeorin et al., 1989) that the presence of a weak magnetic field can lead to a reduction of the mean turbulent pressure on large length scales. This reduction is now indeed clearly observed in simulations.

As magnetic fluctuations experience an unstable feedback through this effect, it leads, in a stratified medium, to the formation of magnetic structures, first observed numerically in the fifth paper of this thesis. While our setup is relatively simple, one wonders if this instability, as a mechanism able to concentrate magnetic fields in the near surface layers, may play a role in the formation of sunspots, starting from a weak dynamo-generated field throughout the convection zone rather than from strong flux tubes stored at the bottom.

A generalization of the studied case is ongoing.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Stockholm: Department of Astronomy, Stockholm University, 2012. 51 p.
Keyword
magneto-hydrodynamics, solar physics, turbulence
National Category
Astronomy, Astrophysics and Cosmology
Research subject
Astronomy
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:su:diva-80817 (URN)978-91-7447-576-0 (ISBN)
Public defence
2012-10-26, sal FB42 , AlbaNova universitetscentrum, Roslagstullsbacken 21, Stockholm, 13:30 (English)
Opponent
Supervisors
Note

At the time of the the doctoral defence the following paper was unpublished and had a status as follows: Paper nr 7: Submitted

Available from: 2012-10-04 Created: 2012-09-28 Last updated: 2012-10-01Bibliographically approved

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