Numerical simulations of strong incompressible magnetohydrodynamic turbulence

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Magnetised plasma turbulence pervades the universe and is likely to play an important role in a variety of astrophysical settings. Magnetohydrodynamics (MHD) provides the simplest theoretical framework in which phenomenological models for the turbulent dynamics can be built. Numerical simulations of MHD turbulence are widely used to guide and test the theoretical predictions; however, simulating MHD turbulence and accurately measuring its scaling properties is far from straightforward. Computational power limits the calculations to moderate Reynolds numbers and often simplifying assumptions are made in order that a wider range of scales can be accessed. After describing the theoretical predictions and the numerical approaches that are often employed in studying strong incompressible MHD turbulence, we present the findings of a series of high-resolution direct numerical simulations. We discuss the effects that insufficiencies in the computational approach can have on the solution and its physical interpretation.




Mason, J., Perez, J. C., Boldyrev, S., & Cattaneo, F. (2012). Numerical simulations of strong incompressible magnetohydrodynamic turbulence. Physics of Plasmas, 19(5).

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