Effect of background magnetic field on turbulence driven by magnetorotational instability in accretion disks

Kazuhito Sai, Yuto Katoh, Naoki Terada, Takayuki Ono

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

We investigate the background magnetic field dependence of the saturated state of a magnetorotational instability (MRI) in an accretion disk by performing three-dimensional magnetohydrodynamic simulations. We assume an unstratified disk by employing the local shearing box approximation. Three different uniform background magnetic field configurations are treated for a wide range of field intensities. These simulations indicate that the time variations of the turbulent stress and the magnetic energy are altered by the presence of a poloidal component of the background field. We find that the saturation amplitude of the turbulent stress and the magnetic energy are determined by both the poloidal and azimuthal components of the field. In particular, when the poloidal component has the same intensity, the obtained turbulent stress for βy0 200 becomes smaller than those for a purely poloidal field case. Despite the fact that the background field affects the MRI turbulence, the correlation between the obtained turbulent stress and the magnetic energy in the nonlinear stage is independent of the field topology. Our results indicate that the saturated turbulent stress has a stronger correlation with the power of the perturbed component of the magnetic field than with the power of the total magnetic field. These results suggest that both the intensity and the direction of the background magnetic field significantly affect the turbulent motion of the MRI in accretion disks.

Original languageEnglish
Article number165
JournalAstrophysical Journal
Volume767
Issue number2
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2013 Apr 20

Keywords

  • accretion
  • accretion disks
  • instabilities
  • magnetohydrodynamics (MHD)
  • turbulence

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Astronomy and Astrophysics
  • Space and Planetary Science

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