Local conservative regularizations of compressible magnetohydrodynamic and neutral flows

Research paper by Govind S. Krishnaswami, Sonakshi Sachdev, Anantanarayanan Thyagaraja

Indexed on: 03 Mar '16Published on: 03 Mar '16Published in: Physics - Plasma Physics


Ideal systems like MHD and Euler flow may develop singularities in vorticity (w = curl v). Viscosity and resistivity provide dissipative regularizations of the singularities. In this paper we propose a minimal, local, conservative, nonlinear, dispersive regularization of compressible flow and ideal MHD, in analogy with the KdV regularization of the 1D kinematic wave equation. This work extends and significantly generalizes earlier work on incompressible Euler and ideal MHD. It involves a micro-scale cutoff length lambda which is a function of density, unlike in the incompressible case. In MHD, it can be taken to be of order the electron collisionless skin depth c/omega_pe. Our regularization preserves the symmetries of the original systems, and with appropriate boundary conditions, leads to associated conservation laws. Energy and enstrophy are subject to a priori bounds determined by initial data in contrast to the unregularized systems. A Hamiltonian and Poisson bracket formulation is developed and applied to generalize the constitutive relation to bound higher moments of vorticity. A `swirl' velocity field is identified, and shown to transport w/rho and B/rho, generalizing the Kelvin-Helmholtz and Alfven theorems. The steady regularized equations are used to model a rotating vortex, MHD pinch and a plane vortex sheet. The proposed regularization could facilitate numerical simulations of fluid/MHD equations and provide a consistent statistical mechanics of vortices/current filaments in 3D, without blowup of enstrophy. Implications for detailed analyses of fluid and plasma dynamic systems arising from our work are briefly discussed.