Thumbnail Image

Direct comparisons of compressible magnetohydrodynamics and reduced magnetohydrodynamics turbulence

Direct numerical simulations of low Mach number compressible three-dimensional magnetohydrodynamic (CMHD3D) turbulence in the presence of a strong mean magnetic field are compared with simulations of reduced magnetohydrodynamics (RMHD). Periodic boundary conditions in the three spatial coordinates are considered. Different sets of initial conditions are chosen to explore the applicability of RMHD and to study how close the solution remains to the full compressible MHD solution as both freely evolve in time. In a first set, the initial state is prepared to satisfy the conditions assumed in the derivation of RMHD, namely, a strong mean magnetic field and plane-polarized fluctuations, varying weakly along the mean magnetic field. In those circumstances, simulations show that RMHD and CMHD3D evolve almost indistinguishably from one another. When some of the conditions are relaxed the agreement worsens but RMHD remains fairly close to CMHD3D, especially when the mean magnetic field is large enough. Moreover, the well-known spectral anisotropy effect promotes the dynamical attainment of the conditions for RMHD applicability. Global quantities (mean energies, mean-square current, and vorticity) and energy spectra from the two solutions are compared and point-to-point separation estimations are computed. The specific results shown here give support to the use of RMHD as a valid approximation of compressible MHD with a mean magnetic field under certain but quite practical conditions.
Journal Article
Type of thesis
Oughton, S., Dmitruk, P. & Matthaeus, W. H. (2005). Direct comparisons of compressible magnetohydrodynamics and reduced magnetohydrodynamics turbulence . Physics of Plasmas, 12, 112304 .
American Institute of Physics
Copyright 2005 American Institute of Physics. This article may be downloaded for personal use only. Any other use requires prior permission of the author and the American Institute of Physics. The following article appeared in the journal Physics of Plasmas and may be found at http://jmp.aip.org/jmp/top.jsp