Journal Article

The α effect in rotating convection with sinusoidal shear

P. J. Käpylä, M. J. Korpi and A. Brandenburg

in Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society

Published on behalf of The Royal Astronomical Society

Volume 402, issue 3, pages 1458-1466
Published in print March 2010 | ISSN: 0035-8711
Published online February 2010 | e-ISSN: 1365-2966 | DOI:
The α effect in rotating convection with sinusoidal shear

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Using three-dimensional convection simulations, it is shown that a sinusoidal variation of horizontal shear leads to a kinematic α effect with a similar sinusoidal variation. The effect exists even for weak stratification and arises owing to the inhomogeneity of turbulence and the presence of impenetrable vertical boundaries. This system produces large-scale magnetic fields that also show a sinusoidal variation in the cross-stream direction. It is argued that earlier investigations overlooked these phenomena partly because of the use of horizontal averaging and also because measurements of α using an imposed field combined with long time averages give erroneous results. It is demonstrated that in such cases the actual horizontally averaged mean field becomes non-uniform. The turbulent magnetic diffusion term resulting from such non-uniform fields can then no longer be neglected and begins to balance the α effect.

Keywords: convection; hydrodynamics; magnetic fields; MHD; turbulence

Journal Article.  6005 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Astronomy and Astrophysics

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