Document Type


Publication Date


Publication Title

The Astrophysical Journal


Department of Physics and Astronomy


A three-dimensional numerical computation of magnetohydrodynamic dynamo behavior is described. The dynamo is mechanically forced with a driving term of the Taylor-Green type. The magnetic field development is followed from negligibly small levels to saturated values that occur at magnetic energies comparable to the kinetic energies. Although there is locally a nonzero helicity density, there is no overall integrated helicity in the system. Persistent oscillations are observed in the saturated state for not-too-large mechanical Reynolds numbers, oscillations in which the kinetic and magnetic energies vary out of phase but with no reversal of the magnetic field. The flow pattern exhibits considerable geometrical structure in this regime. As the Reynolds number is increased, the oscillations disappear and the energies become more nearly stationary, but retain some unsystematically fluctuating turbulent time dependence. The regular geometrical structure of the fields gives way to a more spatially disordered distribution. The injection and dissipation scales are identified, and the different components of energy transfer in Fourier space are analyzed, particularly in the context of clarifying the role played by different flow scales in the amplification of the magnetic field. We observe that small and large scales interact and contribute to the dynamo process.