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The role of boundaries in the magnetorotational instability

Author(s): Gissinger, Christophe; Goodman, Jeremy J.; Ji, Hantao

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Abstract: In this paper, we investigate numerically the flow of an electrically conducting fluid in a cylindrical Taylor-Couette flow when an axial magnetic field is applied. To minimize Ekman recirculation due to vertical no-slip boundaries, two independently rotating rings are used at the vertical endcaps. This configuration reproduces setup used in laboratory experiments aiming to observe the magnetorotational instability (MRI). Our 3D global simulations show that the nature of the bifurcation, the non-linear saturation, and the structure of axisymmetric MRI modes are significantly affected by the presence of boundaries. In addition, large scale non-axisymmetric modes are obtained when the applied field is sufficiently strong. We show that these modes are related to Kelvin-Helmholtz destabilization of a free Shercliff shear layer created by the combined action of the applied field and the rotating rings at the endcaps. Finally, we compare our numerical simulations to recent experimental results obtained in the Princeton MRI experiment. (C) 2012 American Institute of Physics. []
Publication Date: Jul-2012
Citation: Gissinger, Christophe, Goodman, Jeremy, Ji, Hantao. (2012). The role of boundaries in the magnetorotational instability. PHYSICS OF FLUIDS, 24 (10.1063/1.4737657
DOI: doi:10.1063/1.4737657
ISSN: 1070-6631
Type of Material: Journal Article
Journal/Proceeding Title: PHYSICS OF FLUIDS
Version: Author's manuscript

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