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.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Physics and Astronomy(all)