The energy spectrum of tearing mode turbulence in a sheared background magnetic field is studied in this work. We consider the scenario where the nonlinear interaction of overlapping large-scale modes excites a broad spectrum of small-scale modes, generating tearing mode turbulence. The spectrum of such turbulence is of interest since it is relevant to the small-scale back-reaction on the large-scale field. The turbulence we discuss here differs from traditional MHD turbulence mainly in two aspects. One is the existence of many linearly stable small-scale modes which cause an effective damping during the energy cascade. The other is the scale-independent anisotropy induced by the large-scale modes tilting the sheared background field, as opposed to the scale-dependent anisotropy frequently encountered in traditional critically balanced turbulence theories. Due to these two differences, the energy spectrum deviates from a simple power law and takes the form of a power law multiplied by an exponential falloff. Numerical simulations are carried out using visco-resistive MHD equations to verify our theoretical predictions, and a reasonable agreement is found between the numerical results and our model.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Condensed Matter Physics