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The VKS experiment: turbulent dynamical dynamos

Abstract : The VKS experiment studies dynamo action in the flow generated inside a cylinder filled with liquid sodium by the rotation of coaxial impellers (the von Karman geometry). We report observations related to the self-generation of a stationary dynamo when the flow forcing is symmetric, i.e. when the impellers rotate in opposite directions at equal angular velocities. The bifurcation is found to be supercritical, with a neutral mode whose geometry is predominantly axisymmetric. We then report the different dynamical dynamo regimes observed when the flow forcing is asymmetric, including magnetic field reversals. We finally show that these dynamics display characteristic features of low dimensional dynamical systems despite the high degree of turbulence in the flow.
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Submitted on : Wednesday, June 16, 2010 - 1:28:24 PM
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Sébastien Aumaître, Michaël Berhanu, Mickaël Bourgoin, Arnaud Chiffaudel, François Daviaud, et al.. The VKS experiment: turbulent dynamical dynamos. Comptes Rendus. Physique, Académie des sciences (Paris), 2008, 9 (7), pp.689-701. ⟨10.1016/j.crhy.2008.07.002⟩. ⟨hal-00492303⟩

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