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CAMBRIDGE MONOGRAPHS ON MECHANICS A N D APPLIED MATHEMATICS
GENERAL EDITORS

G. K . B A T C H E L O R , PH.D., F.R.S.
Professor of Applied Mathematics in the Universityof Cambridge

J. W. MILES, PH.D.
Professor of Applied Mathematics, Universityof California,La Jolla

MAGNETIC F I E L D GENERATION IN ELECTRICALLY CONDUCTING FLUIDS

MAGNETIC FIELD GENERATION I N ELECTRICALLY CONDUCTING FLUIDS
H. K. MOFFATT
P R O F E S S O R OF A P P L I E D M A T H E M A T I C S , U N I V E R S I T Y OF BRISTOL

C A M B R I D G E UNIVERSITY PRESS
CAMBRIDGE L O N D O N . NEW Y O R K . M E L B O U R N E

Published by the Syndicsof the Cambridge University Press The Pitt Building, Trumpington Street, Cambridge CB2 I R P BentleyHouse, 200 Euston Road, London NW12DB 32 East 57th Street, New York, NY 10022, USA 296 Beaconsfield Parade, Middle Park, Melbourne 3206, Australia
@ Cambridge University Press 1978

First published 1978 Printed in Great Britain at the University Press, Cambridge

Library of Congress Cataloguing in Publication Data Moffatt, Henry Keith, 1935Magnetic field generation in electrically conducting fluids. (Cambridge monographs on mechanics and applied mathematics) Bibliography: p. 325 1.Dynamo theory (Cosmic physics) I. Title. QC809.M25M63 538 77-4398 ISBN 0 521 21640 0

CONTENTS

Preface

page ix

1
2

Introduction and historical background Magnetokinematic preliminaries Structural properties of the B-field Magnetic field representations Relations between electric current and magnetic field Force-free fields Lagrangian variables and magnetic field evolution Kinematically possible velocity fields Free decay modes

1
13 13 17 23 26 31 35 36 43 43 46 48 49 50 51 53 54 62 64 65 70 76 76 79

2.1 2.2 2.3 2.4 2.5 2.6 2.7
3 3.1 3.2 3.3 3.4 3.5 3.6

Convection, distortion and diffusion of magnetic field AlfvBn’s theorem and related results The analogy with vorticity The analogy with scalar transport Maintenance of a flux rope by uniform rate of strain An example of accelerated ohmic diffusion Equation for vector potential and flux-function under particular symmetries 3.7 Field distortion by differential rotation 3.8 Effect of plane differential rotation on an initially uniform field 3.9 Flux expulsion for general flows with closed streamlines 3.10 Expulsion of poloidal fields by meridional circulation 3.11 Generation of toroidal field by differential rotation 3.12 Topological pumping of magnetic flux
4 The magnetic field of the Earth 4.1 Planetary magnetic fields in general 4.2 Spherical harmonic analysis of the Earth’s field

vi
4.3 4.4 4.5 4.6 4.7

CONTENTS
Variation of the dipole field over long time-scales Parameters and physical state of the lower mantle and core The need for a dynamo theory for the Earth The core-mantle interface Precession of the Earth’s angular velocity vector The solar magnetic field Introduction Observed velocity fields Sunspots and the solar cycle The general poloidal magnetic field of the Sun Magnetic stars
83 85 89 89 91 94 94

5
5.1 5.2 5.3 5.4 5.5

95
96 101 105 108 108 109 111 113 115 117 118 121 122 131 137 142 145 145 149 150 154 156 157 162 165

6

Laminar dynamo theory Formal statement of the kinematic dynamo problem Rate of strain criterion Rate of change of dipole moment The impossibility of axisymmetric dyaamo action Cowling’s neutral point argument Some comments on the situation B.V A B = 0 The impossibility of dynamo action with purely toroidal motion 6.8 The impossibility of dynamo action with plane twodimensional motion 6.9 Rotor dynamos 6.10 Dynamo action associated with a pair of ring vortices 6.1 1 The Bullard-Gellman formalism 6.12 The stasis dynamo of Backus (1958)
6.1 6.2 6.3 6.4 6.5 6.6 6.7

7 The mean electromotive force generated by random motions 7.1 Turbulence and random waves 7.2 The linear relation between 8 and B,, 7.3 The a -eff ect 7.4 Effects associated with the coefficients pijk 7.5 First-order smoothing 7.6 Spectrum tensor of a stationary random vector field 7.7 Determination of aij for a helical wave motion 7.8 Determination of ajjfor a random u-field under first-order smoothing

CONTENTS

vii
169 170 175 179 179 182 185 187 188 190 192 194 197 197 199 202 205 209 212 216 219 221 230 233 234 244 244 248 252 257 262 264

7.9 Determination of pilk under first-order smoothing 7.10 Lagrangian approach to the weak diffusion limit 7.11 Effect of helicity fluctuations on effective turbuleflt diffusivity

8 8.1 8.2
8.3 8.4 8.5 8.6 8.7 8.8
9 9.1 9.2 9.3 9.4 9.5 9.6 9.7 9.8 9.9 9.10 9.11 9.12

Braginskii’s theory for weakly asymmetric systems Introduction Lagrangian transformation of the induction equation when
h=O

Effective variables in a Cartesian geometry Lagrangian transformation including weak diffusion effects Dynamo equations for nearly rectilinear flow Corresponding results for nearly axisymmetric flows A limitation of the pseudo-Lagrangian approach Matching conditions and the external field
Structure and solution of the dynamo equations Dynamo models of a’ and aw-type Free modes of the a’-dynamo Free modes when a,, is anisotropic The a ’-dynamo in a spherical geometry The a ’-dynamo with antisymmetric a Free modes of the a w -dynamo Concentrated generation and shear Symmetric U ( z )and antisymmetric a (2) A model of the galactic dynamo Generation of poloidal fields by the a-effect The am-dynamo with periods of stasis Numerical investigations of aw -dynamos Waves of helical structure influenced by Coriolis, Lorentz and buoyancy forces The momentum equation and some elementary consequences Waves influenced by Coriolis and Lorentz forces Modification of a -effect by Lorentz forces Dynamic equilibration due to reduction of a -effect Helicity generation due to interaction of buoyancy and Coriolis forces Excitation of magnetostrophic waves by unstable stratification

*

10
10.1 10.2 10.3 10.4 10.5 10.6

viii

CONTENTS

10.7 Instability due to magnetic buoyancy 10.8 Helicity generation due to flow over a bumpy surface

270 276 280 280

11 Turbulence with helicity and associated dynamo action 11.1 Effects of helicity on homogeneous turbulence 11.2 Influence of magnetic helicity conservation in energy transfer processes 11.3 Modification of inertial range due to large-scale magnetic field 11.4 Non-hglical turbulent dynamo action
12 12.1 12.2 12.3 12.4 Dynamically consistent dynamos The Taylor constraint and torsional oscillations Dynamo action incorporating mean flow effects Dynamos driven by buoyancy forces Reversals of the Earth’s field, as modelled by coupled disc dynamos

288
294 295 298 298 303 307 318 325 337

References
Index

PREFACE

Understanding of the process of magnetic field generation by self-inductive action in electrically conducting fluids (or ‘dynamo theory’ as the subject is commonly called) has advanced dramatically over the last decade. The subject divides naturally into its kinematic and dynamic aspects, neither of which were at all well understood prior to about 1960. The situation has been transformed by the development of the two-scale approach advocated by M. Steenbeck, F. Krause and K.-H. Radler in 1966, an approach that provides essential insights into the effects of fluid motion having either a random ingredient, or a space-periodic ingredient, over which spatial averages may usefully be defined. Largely as a result of this development, the kinematic aspect of dynamo theory is now broadly understood, and recent inroads have been made on the much more difficult dynamic aspects also. Although a number of specialised reviews have appeared treating dynamo theory in both solar and terrestrial contexts, this monograph provides, I believe, the first self-contained treatment of the subject in book form. I have tried to focus attention on the more fundamental aspects of the subject, and to this end have included in the early chapters a treatment of those basic results of magnetohydrodynamics that underly the theory. I have also however included two brief chapters concerning the magnetic fields of the Earth and the Sun, and the relevant physical properties of these bodies, and I have made frequent reference in later chapters to specific applications of the theory in terrestrial and solar contexts. f Thus, although written from the point o view of a theoretically oriented fluid dynamicist, I hope that the book will be found useful by graduate students and researchers in geophysics and astrophysics, particularly those whose main concern is geomagnetism or solar magnetism. My treatment of the subject is based upon a course of lectures given in various forms over a number of years to graduate students

X

PREFACE

reading Part I11 of the Mathematical Tripos at Cambridge University. I was also privileged to present the course to students of the 3me Cycle in Theoretical Mechanics at the UniversitC Pierre et Marie Curie, Paris, during the academic year 1975-6. The material of all the chapters, except the difficult chapter 8 on the theory of S . I. Braginskii, has been subjected in this way to student criticism, and has greatly benefited in the process. The single idea which recurs throughout and which I hope gives some unity to the treatment is the idea of ‘lack of reflexional symmetry’ of a fluid flow, the simplest measure of which is its ‘helicity’.In a sense, this is a book about helicity; the invariance and topological interpretation of this pseudo-scalar quantity are discussed at an early stage (chapter 2) and the central importance of helicity in the dynamo context is emphasised in chapters 7 and 8. Helicity is also the theme of chapter 10 (on helical wave motions) and of chapter 11, in which its influence in turbulent flows with and without magnetic fields is discussed. A preliminary and much abbreviated account of some of these topics has already appeared in my review article (Moffatt, 1976) in volume 16 of Advances in Applied Mechanics. It is a pleasure to record my gratitude to many colleagues with whom I have enjoyed discussions and correspondence on dynamo theory; in particular to Willi Deinzer, David Gubbins, Uriel Frisch, Robert Kraichnan, Fritz Krause, Willem Malkus, Karl-Heinz Radler, Paul Roberts, Michael Stix and Nigel Weiss; also to Glyn Roberts, Andrew Soward and Michael Proctor whose initial research it was my privilege to supervise, and who have since made striking contributions to the subject; and finally to George Batchelor who as Editor of this series, has given constant encouragement and advice. To those who have criticised the manuscript and helped eliminate errors in it, I offer warm thanks, while retaining full responsibility for any errors, omissions and obscurities that may remain. I completed the writing during the year 1975-6 spent at the UniversitC Pierre et Marie Curie, and am grateful to M. Paul Germain and M. Henri Cabannes and their colleagues of the Laboratoire de MCcanique ThCorique for inviting me to work in such a stimulating and agreeable environment.