Publication Abstracts

Smith and Spiegel 1987

Smith, L.A., and E.A. Spiegel, 1987: Strange accumulators. Ann. New York Acad. Sci., 497, 61-65, doi:10.1111/j.1749-6632.1987.tb48711.x.

In astronomy, we see many irregular structures manifested in the form of strong inhomogeneities of physical variables like density, temperature, or magnetic field. The appearance of strong concentrations of these variables, in the presence of what frequently must be highly turbulent conditions, poses an interesting question whose answer probably lies in the nature of turbulence itself. Indeed, G. I. Taylor, seventy years ago, wrote that turbulence is the strong concentration of vorticity. How does this work?

Fluid dynamicists often refer to a mechanism that they call Batchelor-Prandtl expulsion to explain inhomogeneities; the nature of this process has recently been clarified by Rhines and Young. I Solar physicists know of the process as it applies to the development of magnetic inhomogeneities on the solar surface. However, no unanimity seems to exist among solar physicists on the explanation of the fine-scale structures on the sun. There even seems to be disagreement about the proper description of the topology of field lines.

Dynamical systems theory shows us a simple way to look at field lines that may teach us about their structures. Though the approach does not explain how such fields arise in hydromagnetics (MHO), it may nevertheless be valuable in our thinking about the possibilities that confront us when we look at a complicated situation like that of the solar surface.

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BibTeX Citation

  author={Smith, L. A. and Spiegel, E. A.},
  title={Strange accumulators},
  journal={Annals of the New York Academy of Sciences},

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RIS Citation

ID  - sm05100g
AU  - Smith, L. A.
AU  - Spiegel, E. A.
PY  - 1987
TI  - Strange accumulators
JA  - Ann. New York Acad. Sci.
JO  - Annals of the New York Academy of Sciences
VL  - 497
SP  - 61
EP  - 65
DO  - 10.1111/j.1749-6632.1987.tb48711.x
ER  -

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