Helsingin yliopisto


Helsingin yliopiston verkkojulkaisut

University of Helsinki, Helsinki 2006

Local numerical modelling of magnetoconvection and turbulence - implications for mean-field theories

Petri Käpylä

Doctoral dissertation, October 2006.
University of Helsinki, Faculty of Science, Department of Astronomy and University of Oulu, Faculty of Science and Kiepenheuer-Institut für Sonnenphysik, Freiburg, Germany.

During the last decades mean-field models, in which large-scale magnetic fields and differential rotation arise due to the interaction of rotation and small-scale turbulence, have been enormously successful in reproducing many of the observed features of the Sun. In the meantime, new observational techniques, most prominently helioseismology, have yielded invaluable information about the interior of the Sun. This new information, however, imposes strict conditions on mean-field models. Moreover, most of the present mean-field models depend on knowledge of the small-scale turbulent effects that give rise to the large-scale phenomena. In many mean-field models these effects are prescribed in ad hoc fashion due to the lack of this knowledge.

With large enough computers it would be possible to solve the MHD equations numerically under stellar conditions. However, the problem is too large by several orders of magnitude for the present day and any foreseeable computers. In our view, a combination of mean-field modelling and local 3D calculations is a more fruitful approach. The large-scale structures are well described by global mean-field models, provided that the small-scale turbulent effects are adequately parameterized. The latter can be achieved by performing local calculations which allow a much higher spatial resolution than what can be achieved in direct global calculations.

In the present dissertation three aspects of mean-field theories and models of stars are studied. Firstly, the basic assumptions of different mean-field theories are tested with calculations of isotropic turbulence and hydrodynamic, as well as magnetohydrodynamic, convection. Secondly, even if the mean-field theory is unable to give the required transport coefficients from first principles, it is in some cases possible to compute these coefficients from 3D numerical models in a parameter range that can be considered to describe the main physical effects in an adequately realistic manner. In the present study, the Reynolds stresses and turbulent heat transport, responsible for the generation of differential rotation, were determined along the mixing length relations describing convection in stellar structure models. Furthermore, the alpha-effect and magnetic pumping due to turbulent convection in the rapid rotation regime were studied. The third area of the present study is to apply the local results in mean-field models, which task we start to undertake by applying the results concerning the alpha-effect and turbulent pumping in mean-field models describing the solar dynamo.

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Last updated 21.09.2006

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