Magnetogenesis by Wave-driven Momentum Exchange

Ian E. Ochs, Nathaniel J. Fisch

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

6 Scopus citations


When multiple species interact with an electrostatic ion acoustic wave, they can exchange momentum, despite the lack of momentum in the field itself. The resulting force on the electrons can have a curl, and thus give rise to compensating electric fields with curl on magnetohydrodynamic timescales. As a result, a magnetic field can be generated. Surprisingly, in some astrophysical settings, this mechanism can seed magnetic fields with growth rates even larger than through the traditional Biermann battery.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number13
JournalAstrophysical Journal
Issue number1
StatePublished - Dec 10 2020

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Astronomy and Astrophysics
  • Space and Planetary Science


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