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Alpha effect and diffusivity in helical turbulence with shear

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DOI: 10.1051/0004-6361:200810359
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We study the dependence of turbulent transport coefficients, such as the components of the $\alpha$ tensor ($\alpha_{ij}$) and the turbulent magnetic diffusivity tensor ($\eta_{ij}$), on shear and magnetic Reynolds number in the presence of helical forcing. We use three-dimensional direct numerical simulations with periodic boundary conditions and measure the turbulent transport coefficients using the kinematic test field method. In all cases the magnetic Prandtl number is taken as unity. We find that with increasing shear the diagonal components of $\alpha_{ij}$ quench, whereas those of $\eta_{ij}$ increase. The antisymmetric parts of both tensors increase with increasing shear. We also propose a simple expression for the turbulent pumping velocity (or $\gamma$ effect). This pumping velocity is proportional to the kinetic helicity of the turbulence and the vorticity of the mean flow. For negative helicity, i.e. for a positive trace of $\alpha_{ij}$, it points in the direction of the mean vorticity, i.e. perpendicular to the plane of the shear flow. Our simulations support this expression for low shear and magnetic Reynolds number. The transport coefficients depend on the wavenumber of the mean flow in a Lorentzian fashion, just as for non-shearing turbulence.

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