Turbulence and dynamo induced by the magnetorotational instability (MRI) are analyzed using quasilinear statistical simulation methods. It is found that homogenous turbulence is unstable to a large-scale dynamo instability, which saturates to an inhomogenous equilibrium with a strong dependence on the magnetic Prandtl number (Pm). Despite its enormously reduced nonlinearity, the dependence of the angular momentum transport on Pm in the quasilinear model is qualitatively similar to that of nonlinear MRI turbulence. This demonstrates the importance of the large-scale dynamo and suggests how dramatically simplified models may be used to gain insight into the astrophysically relevant regimes of very low or high Pm.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Physics and Astronomy(all)