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The magneto-rotational instability near threshold: spatio-temporal amplitude equation and saturation

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Preprint
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DOI: 10.1051/eas/0938018
Source
arXiv
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Abstract

We show, by means of a perturbative weakly nonlinear analysis, that the axisymmetric magneto-rotational instability (MRI) in a magnetic Taylor-Couette (mTC) flow in a thin-gap gives rise, for very small magnetic Prandtl numbers (P_m), to a real Ginzburg-Landau equation for the disturbance amplitude. The saturation amplitude A_s is found to scale in this regime as P^\delta, with 1/2<\delta<2/3 (depending on the boundary conditions adopted). The asymptotic results are shown to comply with numerical calculations performed by using a spectral code. They suggest that the transport due to the nonlinearly developed MRI may be vanishingly small for P_m << 1.

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