Nonmodal growth of the magnetorotational instability

J. Squire, A. Bhattacharjee

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

31 Scopus citations


We analyze the linear growth of the magnetorotational instability (MRI) in the short-time limit using nonmodal methods. Our findings are quite different from standard results, illustrating that shearing wave energy can grow at the maximum MRI rate -dΩ/dlnr for any choice of azimuthal and vertical wavelengths. In addition, by comparing the growth of shearing waves with static structures, we show that over short time scales shearing waves will always be dynamically more important than static structures in the ideal limit. By demonstrating that fast linear growth is possible at all wavelengths, these results suggest that nonmodal linear physics could play a fundamental role in MRI turbulence.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number025006
JournalPhysical review letters
Issue number2
StatePublished - Jul 10 2014

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • General Physics and Astronomy


Dive into the research topics of 'Nonmodal growth of the magnetorotational instability'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this