Magnetized decaying turbulence in the weakly compressible Taylor-Green vortex

In Physical Reviews E

Magnetohydrodynamic (MHD) turbulence affects both terrestrial and astrophysical plasmas. The properties of magnetized turbulence must be better understood to more accurately characterize these systems. This work presents ideal MHD simulations of the compressible Taylor-Green vortex under a range of initial subsonic Mach numbers and magnetic field strengths. We find that regardless of the initial field strength, the magnetic energy becomes dominant over the kinetic energy on all scales after at most several dynamical times. The spectral indices of the kinetic and magnetic energy spectra become shallower than $k^{−5/3}$ over time and generally fluctuate. Using a shell-to-shell energy transfer analysis framework, we find that the magnetic fields facilitate a significant amount of the energy flux and that the kinetic energy cascade is suppressed. Moreover, we observe nonlocal energy transfer from the large-scale kinetic energy to intermediate and small-scale magnetic energy via magnetic tension. We conclude that even in intermittently or singularly driven weakly magnetized systems, the dynamical effects of magnetic fields cannot be neglected.

Forrest Glines
Forrest Glines
Metropolis Postdoctoral Fellow in Exascale Computational Astrophysics

Developing exascale-capable performance-portable astrophysics simulations