Wan, M., Oughton, S., Servidio, S., & Matthaeus, W. H. (2012). von KÃ¡rmÃ¡n self-preservation hypothesis for magnetohydrodynamic turbulence and its consequences for universality. Journal of Fluid Mechanics, 697, 296-315.
Permanent Research Commons link: http://hdl.handle.net/10289/8583
We argue that the hypothesis of preservation of shape of dimensionless second- and third-order correlations during decay of incompressible homogeneous magnetohydrodynamic (MHD) turbulence requires, in general, at least two independent similarity length scales. These are associated with the two Elsässer energies. The existence of similarity solutions for the decay of turbulence with varying cross-helicity implies that these length scales cannot remain in proportion, opening the possibility for a wide variety of decay behaviour, in contrast to the simpler classic hydrodynamics case. Although the evolution equations for the second-order correlations lack explicit dependence on either the mean magnetic field or the magnetic helicity, there is inherent implicit dependence on these (and other) quantities through the third-order correlations. The self-similar inertial range, a subclass of the general similarity case, inherits this complexity so that a single universal energy spectral law cannot be anticipated, even though the same pair of third-order laws holds for arbitrary cross-helicity and magnetic helicity. The straightforward notion of universality associated with Kolmogorov theory in hydrodynamics therefore requires careful generalization and reformulation in MHD.
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