Journal Article

A self-consistent reduced model for dusty magnetorotationally unstable discs

Emmanuel Jacquet and Steven Balbus

in Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society

Published on behalf of The Royal Astronomical Society

Volume 423, issue 1, pages 437-443
Published in print June 2012 | ISSN: 0035-8711
Published online May 2012 | e-ISSN: 1365-2966 | DOI:
A self-consistent reduced model for dusty magnetorotationally unstable discs

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The interaction between settling of dust grains and magnetorotational instability (MRI) turbulence in protoplanetary discs is analysed. We use a reduced system of coupled ordinary differential equations to represent the interaction between the diffusion of grains and the inhibition of the MRI. The coupled equations are styled on a Landau equation for the turbulence and a Fokker–Planck equation for the diffusion. The turbulence–grain interaction is probably most relevant near the outer edge of the disc’s quiescent, or ‘dead’ zone. Settling is most pronounced near the mid-plane, where a high dust concentration can self-consistently suppress the MRI. Under certain conditions, however, grains can reach high altitudes, a result of some observational interest. Finally, we show that the equilibrium solutions are linearly stable.

Keywords: diffusion; instabilities; MHD; turbulence; protoplanetary discs

Journal Article.  4484 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Astronomy and Astrophysics

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