Laboratory experiments and numerical simulations on magnetic instabilities.

Laboratory experiments and numerical simulations on magnetic instabilities.

Stefani, F.; Gellert, M.; Kasprzyk, C.; Paredes, A.; Rüdiger, G.; Seilmayer, M.


Magnetic fields of planets, stars, and galaxies are generated by self-excitation in moving electrically conducting fluids. Once produced, magnetic fields can play an active role in cosmic structure formation by destabilizing rotational flows that would be otherwise hydrodynamically stable. For a long time, both hydromagnetic dynamo action and magnetically triggered flow instabilities had been the subject of purely theoretical research. Meanwhile, however, the dynamo effect has been observed in large-scale liquid sodium experiments in Riga, Karlsruhe, and Cadarache. In this chapter, we summarize the results of some smaller liquid metal experiments devoted to various magnetic instabilities, such as the helical and the azimuthal magnetorotational instability, the Tayler instability, and the different instabilities that appear in a magnetized spherical Couette flow. We conclude with an outlook on a large scale Tayler-Couette experiment using liquid sodium, and on the prospects to observe magnetically triggered instabilities of flows with positive shear.

Keywords: Dynamo; Magnetorotational instability

  • Book chapter
    Lühr H., Wicht J., Gilder S., Holschneider M.: Magnetic fields in the solar system. Astrophysics and Space Science Library, vol. 448, Cham: Springer, 2018, 978-3-319-64291-8, 125-152
    DOI: 10.1007/978-3-319-64292-5_5