The gapsize influence on the excitation of magnetorotational instability in cylindricTaylorCouette flows
Abstract
The excitation conditions of the magnetorotational instability (MRI) are studied for axially unbounded TaylorCouette (TC) flows of various gap widths between the cylinders. The cylinders are considered as made from both perfectconducting or insulating material and the conducting fluid with a finite but small magnetic Prandtl number rotates with a quasiKeplerian velocity profile. The solutions are optimized with respect to the wavenumber and the Reynolds number of the rotation of the inner cylinder. For the axisymmetric modes, we find the critical Lundquist number of the applied axial magnetic field: the lower, the wider the gap between the cylinders. A similar result is obtained for the induced cell structure: the wider the gap, the more spherical the cells are. The marginal rotation rate of the inner cylinder  for a fixed size of the outer cylinder  always possesses a minimum for not too wide and not too narrow gap widths. For perfectconducting walls the minimum lies at $r_{in}∼eq 0.4$, where $r_{in}$ is the ratio of the radii of the two rotating cylinders. The lowest magnetic field amplitudes to excite the instability are required for TC flows between perfectconducting cylinders with gaps corresponding to $r_{in}∼eq ~0.2$. For even wider and also for very thin gaps the needed magnetic fields and rotation frequencies are shown to become rather huge. Also the nonaxisymmetric modes with $m=1$ have been considered. Their excitation generally requires stronger magnetic fields and higher magnetic Reynolds numbers in comparison with those for the axisymmetric modes. If TC experiments with too slow rotation for the applied magnetic fields yield unstable modes of any azimuthal symmetry, such as the currently reported Princeton experiment (Wang et al., Phys. Rev. Lett., vol. 129, 115001), then also other players, including axial boundary effects, than the MRItypical linear combination of currentfree fields and differential rotation should be in the game.
 Publication:

Journal of Plasma Physics
 Pub Date:
 January 2024
 DOI:
 10.1017/S0022377823001356
 arXiv:
 arXiv:2303.14547
 Bibcode:
 2024JPlPh..90a9005R
 Keywords:

 astrophysical plasmas;
 plasma instabilities;
 plasma flows;
 Physics  Fluid Dynamics
 EPrint:
 12 pages, 6 figures