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Chaotic behavior of Eulerian magnetohydrodynamic turbulence

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Original languageEnglish
Article number042303
Number of pages11
JournalPhysics of Plasmas
Issue number26
Early online date19 Apr 2019
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 19 Apr 2019


We study the chaotic properties of a turbulent conducting fluid using direct numerical simulation in the Eulerian frame. The maximal Lyapunov exponent is measured for simulations with varying Reynolds number and magnetic Prandtl number. We extend the Ruelle theory of hydrodynamic turbulence to magnetohydrodynamic turbulence as a working hypothesis and find broad agreement with results. In other simulations we introduce magnetic helicity and these simulations show a diminution of chaos, which is expected to be eliminated at maximum helicity. We also find that the difference between two initially close fields grows linearly at late times, which was also recently found in hydrodynamics. This linear growth rate is found to be dependent on the dissipation rate of the relevant field. We discuss the important consequences this linear growth has on predictability. We infer that the chaos in the system is totally dominated by the velocity field and connect this work to real magnetic systems such as solar weather and confined plasmas.

    Research areas

  • physics.flu-dyn, astro-ph.CO, nlin.CD, physics.plasm-ph

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