Laboratory evidence of dynamo amplification of magnetic fields in a turbulent plasma

P. Tzeferacos, A. Rigby, A. F. A. Bott, A. R. Bell, R. Bingham, A. Casner, F. Cattaneo, E. M. Churazov, J. Emig, F. Fiuza, C. B. Forest, J. Foster, C. Graziani, J. Katz, M. Koenig, C.-K. Li, J. Meinecke, R. Petrasso, H.-S. Park, B. A. RemingtonJ. S. Ross, D. Ryu, D. Ryutov, T. G. White, B. Reville, F. Miniati, A. A. Schekochihin, D. Q. Lamb, D. H. Froula, G. Gregori

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Abstract

Magnetic fields are ubiquitous in the Universe. The energy density of these fields is typically comparable to the energy density of the fluid motions of the plasma in which they are embedded, making magnetic fields essential players in the dynamics of the luminous matter. The standard theoretical model for the origin of these strong magnetic fields is through the amplification of tiny seed fields via turbulent dynamo to the level consistent with current observations. However, experimental demonstration of the turbulent dynamo mechanism has remained elusive, since it requires plasma conditions that are extremely hard to re-create in terrestrial laboratories. Here we demonstrate, using laser-produced colliding plasma flows, that turbulence is indeed capable of rapidly amplifying seed fields to near equipartition with the turbulent fluid motions. These results support the notion that turbulent dynamo is a viable mechanism responsible for the observed present-day magnetization.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)591
JournalNature Communications
Volume9
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 09 Feb 2018
Externally publishedYes

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