Resonances for activity waves in spherical mean field dynamos
School of Mathematics, University of Manchester,
2 Department of Physics, Moscow State University, 119999 Moscow, Russia
Received: 12 January 2013
Accepted: 19 March 2013
Context. It has been suggested that resonant phenomena may play a role in determining the properties of mean-field dynamos, such as operate in the Sun and other stars.
Aims. We tried to identify resonances which are expected to occur when a mean-field dynamo excites waves of quasi-stationary magnetic field in two distinct spherical layers.
Methods. We used a model with two physically separated dynamo active layers to study activity waves of the kind that determine cyclic magnetic activity of various stars, including the Sun, as a more general physical rather than a purely astronomical problem.
Results. We isolated some features that can be associated with resonances in the profiles of energy or frequency plotted versus a dynamo governing parameter. Rather unexpectedly however the resonances in spherical dynamos take a much less spectacular form than resonances in many more familiar branches of physics. In particular, we found that the magnitudes of resonant phenomena are much smaller than seem detectable by astronomical observations, and that plausibly any related effects in laboratory dynamo experiments (which of course are not in gravitating spheres!) can also be inferred to be likely to be small.
Conclusions. We discuss specific features relevant to resonant phenomena in spherical dynamos, and find parametric resonance to be the most pronounced type of resonance phenomena. Resonance conditions for these dynamo wave resonances are rather different from those found in more conventional branches of physics. We suggest that the relative insignificance of the phenomenon in this situation is because the phenomena of excitation and propagation of the activity waves are not well-separated from each other and this, together with the nonlinear nature of more-or-less realistic dynamos, suppresses the resonances and makes them much less pronounced than the resonant effects found, for example, in optics.
Key words: stars: activity / stars: magnetic field / dynamo
© ESO, 2013