Mean magnetic field generation in sheared rotators

Research paper by Eric G. Blackman

Indexed on: 31 Aug '99Published on: 31 Aug '99Published in: Astrophysics


A generalized mean magnetic field induction equation for differential rotators is derived, including a compressibility, and the anisotropy induced on the turbulent quantities from the mean magnetic field itself and a mean velocity shear. Derivations of the mean field equations often do not emphasize that there must be anisotropy and inhomogeneity in the turbulence for mean field growth. The anisotropy from shear is the source of a term involving the product of the mean velocity gradient and the cross-helicity correlation of the isotropic parts of the fluctuating velocity and magnetic field, $\lb{\bfv}\cdot{\bfb}\rb^{(0)}$. The full mean field equations are derived to linear order in mean fields, but it is also shown that the cross-helicity term survives to all orders in the velocity shear. This cross-helicity term can obviate the need for a pre-existing seed mean magnetic field for mean field growth: though a fluctuating seed field is necessary for a non-vanishing cross-helicity, the term can produce linear (in time) mean field growth of the toroidal field from zero mean field. After one vertical diffusion time, the cross-helicity term becomes sub-dominant and dynamo exponential amplification/sustenance of the mean field can subsequently ensue. The cross-helicity term should produce odd symmetry in the mean magnetic field, in contrast to the usually favored even modes of the dynamo amplification in sheared discs. This may be important for the observed mean field geometries of spiral galaxies. The strength of the mean seed field provided by the cross- helicity depends linearly on the magnitude of the cross-helicity.