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Dynamical behavior of the magnetic field generated by dynamo effect

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If you have a question about this talk, please contact Laurène Jouve.

The dynamo instability has been observed experimentally in a turbulent swirling flow of liquid sodium, driven by the counter rotation of two disks. In certain regimes, the magnetic field displays complex dynamics such as random or periodic reversals. I will first review the experimental results and then present a mechanism that explains all the observed dynamical regimes.

This mechanism relies on the competition between two modes of the magnetic field and also provides a simple explanation of the reversals of Earth’s magnetic field, despite strong differences between both systems. I finally show that hemispherical dynamos are also simply understood in this framework.

This talk is part of the DAMTP Astrophysics Seminars series.

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