Magnetic-field generation by randomly forced shearing waves Academic Article uri icon


  • A rigorous theory for the generation of a large-scale magnetic field by random nonhelically forced motions of a conducting fluid combined with a linear shear is presented in the analytically tractable limit of Rm≪ Re≪ 1. This is a minimal proof-of-concept calculation aiming to put the shear dynamo, a new effect recently reported in a number of numerical experiments, on a firm physical and analytical footing. Numerically observed scalings of the wavenumber and growth rate of the fastest growing mode, previously not understood, are derived analytically. The simplicity of the model suggests that shear dynamo may be a generic property of shear flows—with ubiquitous relevance to astrophysical systems.

publication date

  • October 14, 2008