Topology and stochasticity of turbulent magnetic fields Academic Article uri icon

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abstract

  • We present a mathematical formalism for the topology and stochasticity of vector fields based on renormalization group methodology. The concept of a scale-split energy density, ψ_{l,L}=B_{l}·B_{L}/2 for vector field B(x,t) renormalized at scales l and L, is introduced in order to quantify the notion of the field topological deformation, topology change, and stochasticity level. In particular, for magnetic fields, it is shown that the evolution of the field topology is directly related to the field-fluid slippage, which has already been linked to magnetic reconnection in previous work. The magnitude and direction of stochastic magnetic fields, shown to be governed, respectively, by the parallel and vertical components of the renormalized induction equation with respect to the magnetic field, can be studied separately by dividing ψ_{l,L} into two (3+1)-dimensional scalar fields. The velocity field can be approached in a similar way. Magnetic reconnection can then be defined in terms of the extrema of the L_{p} norms of these scalar fields. This formulation in fact clarifies different definitions of magnetic reconnection, which vaguely rely on the magnetic field topology, stochasticity, and energy conversion. Our results support the well-founded yet partly overlooked picture in which magnetic reconnection in turbulent fluids occurs on a wide range of scales as a result of nonlinearities at large scales (turbulence inertial range) and nonidealities at small scales (dissipative range). Lagrangian particle trajectories, as well as magnetic field lines, are stochastic in turbulent magnetized media in the limit of small resistivity and viscosity. The magnetic field tends to reduce its stochasticity induced by the turbulent flow by slipping through the fluid, which may accelerate fluid particles. This suggests that reconnection is a relaxation process by which the magnetic field lowers both its topological entanglements induced by turbulence and its energy level.

publication date

  • July 2019