Methodology for estimating the magnetic Prandtl number and application to solar surface small-scale dynamo simulations
Context. A crucial step in the numerical investigation of small-scale dynamos in the solar atmosphere consists of an accurate determination of the magnetic Prandtl number, Prm, stemming from radiative magneto-hydrodynamic (MHD) simulations.
Aims: The aims are to provide a reliable methodology for estimating the effective Reynolds and magnetic Reynolds numbers, Re and Rem, and their ratio Prm = Rem/Re (the magnetic Prandlt number), that characterise MHD simulations and to categorise small-scale dynamo simulations in terms of these dimensionless parameters.
Methods: The methodology proposed for computing Re and Rem is based on the method of projection on proper elements and it relies on a post-processing step carried out using higher order accurate numerical operators than the ones in the simulation code. A number of radiative MHD simulations with different effective viscosities and plasma resistivities were carried out with the CO5BOLD code, and the resulting growth rate of the magnetic energy and saturated magnetic field strengths were characterised in terms of Re and Rem.
Results: Overall, the proposed methodology provides a solid estimate of the dissipation coefficients affecting the momentum and induction equations of MHD simulation codes, and consequently also a reliable evaluation of the magnetic Prandtl number characterising the numerical results. Additionally, it is found that small-scale dynamos are active and can amplify a small seed magnetic field up to significant values in CO5BOLD simulations with a grid spacing smaller than h = 12 km, even at Prm ≃ 0.65. However, it is also evident that it is difficult to categorise dynamo simulations in terms of Prm alone, because it is not only important to estimate the amplitude of the dissipation coefficients, but also at which scales energy dissipation takes place.
Astronomy and Astrophysics
- Pub Date:
- April 2022
- Sun: magnetic fields;
- magnetohydrodynamics (MHD);
- Sun: photosphere;
- methods: numerical;
- Astrophysics - Solar and Stellar Astrophysics
- 12 pages, 6 figures, ready for the production stage in A&