Laminar and Turbulent Dynamos in Chiral Magnetohydrodynamics. II. Simulations Academic Article uri icon


  • Using numerical simulations, we study laminar and turbulent dynamos in chiral magnetohydrodynamics with an extended set of equations that accounts for an additional electric current due to the chiral magnetic effect (CME). This quantum relativistic phenomenon originates from an asymmetry between left- and right-handed relativistic fermions in the presence of a magnetic field and gives rise to a chiral dynamo. We show that the chiral dynamics of the magnetic field evolution proceeds in three stages: (1) a small-scale chiral dynamo instability; (2) production of chiral magnetically driven turbulence and excitation of a large-scale dynamo instability due to a new chiral $\alpha_\mu$ effect (which is not related to kinetic helicity and becomes dominant at large fluid and magnetic Reynolds numbers); and (3) saturation of magnetic helicity and magnetic field growth controlled by a conservation law for the total chirality. The growth rate of the large-scale magnetic field and its characteristic scale measured in the numerical simulations agree well with theoretical predictions based on mean-field theory. The previously discussed two-stage chiral magnetic scenario did not include stage (2) during which the characteristic scale of magnetic field variations can increase by many orders of magnitude. Based on the findings from numerical simulations, the relevance of the CME and the revealed new chiral effects in the relativistic plasmas of the early Universe and of proto-neutron stars are discussed.

publication date

  • May 15, 2018