Statistical Theory of Magnetohydrodynamic Turbulence: Recent Results

Mahendra K. Verma

Submitted on 26 April 2004


In this review article we will describe recent developments in statistical theory of magnetohydrodynamic (MHD) turbulence. Kraichnan and Iroshnikov first proposed a phenomenology of MHD turbulence where Alfven time-scale dominates the dynamics, and the energy spectrum E(k) is proportional to k^{-3/2}. In the last decade, many numerical simulations show that spectral index is closer to 5/3, which is Kolmogorov's index for fluid turbulence. We review recent theoretical results based on anisotropy and Renormalization Groups which support Kolmogorov's scaling for MHD turbulence. Energy transfer among Fourier modes, energy flux, and shell-to-shell energy transfers are important quantities in MHD turbulence. We report recent numerical and field-theoretic results in this area. Role of these quantities in magnetic field amplification (dynamo) are also discussed. There are new insights into the role of magnetic helicity in turbulence evolution. Recent interesting results in intermittency, large-eddy simulations, and shell models of magnetohydrodynamics are also covered.


Comment: 116 pages, Submitted to Phys. Rep., Due to size restrictions, the figures are not of high quality. Download from

Subjects: Nonlinear Sciences - Chaotic Dynamics; Astrophysics; Condensed Matter - Statistical Mechanics; Physics - Plasma Physics