Simulations of Magnetohydrodynamic Turbulence in a Strongly Magnetized Medium Academic Article uri icon

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abstract

  • We analyze 3D numerical simulations of driven incompressible magnetohydrodynamic (MHD) turbulence in a periodic box threaded by a moderately strong external magnetic field. We sum over nonlinear interactions within Fourier wavebands and find that the time scale for the energy cascade is consistent with the Goldreich-Sridhar model of strong MHD turbulence. Using higher order longitudinal structure functions we show that the turbulent motions in the plane perpendicular to the local mean magnetic field are similar to ordinary hydrodynamic turbulence while motions parallel to the field are consistent with a scaling correction which arises from the eddy anisotropy. We present the structure tensor describing velocity statistics of Alfvenic and pseudo-Alfvenic turbulence. Finally, we confirm that an imbalance of energy moving up and down magnetic field lines leads to a slow decay of turbulent motions and speculate that this imbalance is common in the interstellar medium where injection of energy is intermittent both in time and space.

publication date

  • January 2002