The Center Dynamo Plan

Below we describe the three major goals for the next five years, the tasks to accomplish these goals, and the tasks with key persons and approximate time scales.

Major Goals

1. Understand generic properties of nonlinear MHD dynamos. What determines the nonlinear saturation? What is the structure of dynamo fields at small magnetic Prandtl number? How are large scale fields generated by inverse cascades? Why is the alpha effect strong in the RFP and weak in numerical simulations aimed at astrophysics?

2. Develop a self-consistent computational model for the “solar dynamo”. Build a code that integrates multiple physical processes in spherical and cylindrical geometry. Focus understanding origin of the large-scale magnetic field. Compare with solar observations, and with available liquid metal experiments.

3. Understand the dynamics of dynamo effects beyond MHD, and their relevance to astrophysics and experiments. Under what conditions are different dynamo effect large? What is the relation of reconnection layer physics to dynamos? Which dynamo effects dominates in experiment? Are there important astrophysical situations for which non-MHD dynamo effects are significant?



A National Science Foundation Physics Frontier Center,
established in coordination with the Department of Energy.