Turbulent viscosity and effective magnetic Prandtl number from simulations of isotropically forced turbulence 

Axel Brandenburg Submitted: 20201106 10:20
Context. Turbulent diffusion of largescale flows and magnetic fields plays a major role in many astrophysical systems, such as stellar convection zones and accretion discs. Aims. Our goal is to compute turbulent viscosity and magnetic diffusivity which are relevant for diffusing largescale flows and magnetic fields, respectively. We also aim to compute their ratio, which is the turbulent magnetic Prandtl number, Pmt , for isotropically forced homogeneous turbulence. Methods. We used simulations of forced turbulence in fully periodic cubes composed of isothermal gas with an imposed largescale sinusoidal shear flow. Turbulent viscosity was computed either from the resulting Reynolds stress or from the decay rate of the large scale flow. Turbulent magnetic diffusivity was computed using the testfield method for a microphysical magnetic Prandtl number of unity. The scale dependence of the coefficients was studied by varying the wavenumber of the imposed sinusoidal shear and test fields. Results. We find that turbulent viscosity and magnetic diffusivity are in general of the same order of magnitude. Furthermore, the turbulent viscosity depends on the fluid Reynolds number (Re) and scale separation ratio of turbulence. The scale dependence of the turbulent viscosity is found to be well approximated by a Lorentzian. These results are similar to those obtained earlier for the turbulent magnetic diffusivity. The results for the turbulent transport coefficients appear to converge at sufficiently high values of Re and the scale separation ratio. However, a weak trend is found even at the largest values of Re, suggesting that the turbulence is not in the fully developed regime. The turbulent magnetic Prandtl number converges to a value that is slightly below unity for large Re. For small Re we find values between 0.5 and 0.6 but the data are insufficient to draw conclusions regarding asymptotics. We demonstrate that our results are independent of the correlation time of the forcing function. Conclusions. The turbulent magnetic diffusivity is, in general, consistently higher than the turbulent viscosity, which is in qualitative agreement with analytic theories. However, the actual value of Pmt found from the simulations (0.90.95) at large Re and large scale separation ratio is higher than any of the analytic predictions (0.40.8).
Authors: Petri J. Käpylä, Matthias Rheinhardt, Axel Brandenburg, Maarit J. Käpylä
Projects: None

Publication Status: Astron. Astrophys. 636, A93 (2020)
Last Modified: 20201110 09:13


