Journal Article

Magnetic field amplification during gravitational collapse – influence of turbulence, rotation and gravitational compression

Sharanya Sur, Christoph Federrath, Dominik R. G. Schleicher, Robi Banerjee and Ralf S. Klessen

in Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society

Published on behalf of The Royal Astronomical Society

Volume 423, issue 4, pages 3148-3162
Published in print July 2012 | ISSN: 0035-8711
Published online July 2012 | e-ISSN: 1365-2966 | DOI:
Magnetic field amplification during gravitational collapse – influence of turbulence, rotation and gravitational compression

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We study the influence of initial conditions on the magnetic field amplification during the collapse of a magnetized gas cloud. We focus on the dependence of the growth and saturation level of the dynamo-generated field on the turbulent properties of the collapsing cloud. In particular, we explore the effect of varying the initial strength and injection scale of turbulence and the initial uniform rotation of the collapsing magnetized cloud. In order to follow the evolution of the magnetic field in both the kinematic and the non-linear regime, we choose an initial field strength of with the magnetic to kinetic energy ratio, Em/Ek∼ 10−4. Both gravitational compression and the small-scale dynamo initially amplify the magnetic field. Further into the evolution, the dynamo-generated magnetic field saturates but the total magnetic field continues to grow because of compression. The saturation of the small-scale dynamo is marked by a change in the slope of B2/3 and by a shift in the peak of the magnetic energy spectrum from small scales to larger scales. For the range of initial Mach numbers explored in this study, the dynamo growth rate increases as the Mach number increases from vrms/cs∼ 0.2 to 0.4 and then starts decreasing from vrms/cs∼ 1.0. We obtain saturation values of Em/Ek= 0.2–0.3 for these runs. Simulations with different initial injection scales of turbulence also show saturation at similar levels. For runs with different initial rotation of the cloud, the magnetic energy saturates at Em/Ek∼ 0.2–0.4 of the equipartition value. The overall saturation level of the magnetic energy, obtained by varying the initial conditions, is in agreement with previous analytical and numerical studies of small-scale dynamo action where turbulence is driven by an external forcing instead of gravitational collapse.

Keywords: magnetic fields; turbulence; methods: numerical; stars: formation

Journal Article.  10069 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Astronomy and Astrophysics

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