Magnetic flux transport by turbulent reconnection in astrophysical flows

Type Journal Article
Names E. M. de Gouveia Dal Pino, M. R. M. Leão, R. Santos-Lima, G. Guerrero, G. Kowal, A. Lazarian
Publication Physica Scripta
Volume 86
Pages 8401
Journal Abbreviation Physica Scripta
Date July 1, 2012
DOI 10.1088/0031-8949/86/01/018401;
ISSN 0031-8949
Library Catalog NASA ADS
Abstract The role of magnetohydrodynamics (MHD) turbulence in astrophysical environments is still highly debated. An important question that permeates this debate is the transport of magnetic flux. This is particularly important, for instance, in the context of star formation. When clouds collapse gravitationally to form stars, there must be some magnetic flux transport. Otherwise, the newborn stars would have magnetic fields several orders of magnitude larger than the observed ones. Also, the magnetic flux that is dragged in the late stages of the formation of a star can remove all the rotational support from the accretion disc that grows around the protostar. The efficiency of the mechanism that is often invoked to allow transport of magnetic fields at different stages of star formation, namely ambipolar diffusion, has recently been put in check. We discuss here an alternative mechanism for magnetic flux transport which is based on turbulent fast magnetic reconnection. We review recent results from three-dimensional MHD numerical simulations that indicate that this mechanism is very efficient in decoupling and transporting magnetic flux from the inner denser regions to the outskirts of collapsing clouds at different stages of star formation. We discuss this mechanism also in the context of dynamo processes and speculate that it can play a role both in solar dynamo and in accretion disc dynamo processes.
UW-Madison Astronomy Home