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Phys Rev E Stat Nonlin Soft Matter Phys. 2011 Jul;84(1 Pt 2):016410. Epub 2011 Jul 28.

Alfvén waves and ideal two-dimensional Galerkin truncated magnetohydrodynamics.

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Laboratoire de Physique Statistique de l'École Normale Supérieure, associé au CNRS et aux Universités Paris VI et VII, Paris, France.


We investigate numerically the dynamics of two-dimensional Euler and ideal magnetohydrodynamics (MHD) flows in systems with a finite number of modes, up to 4096(2), for which several quadratic invariants are preserved by the truncation and the statistical equilibria are known. Initial conditions are the Orszag-Tang vortex with a neutral X point centered on a stagnation point of the velocity field in the large scales. In MHD, we observe that the total energy spectra at intermediate times and intermediate scales correspond to the interactions of eddies and waves, E(T)(k)~k(-3/2). Moreover, no pseudodissipative range is visible for either Euler or ideal MHD in two dimensions. In the former case, this may be linked to the existence of a vanishing turbulent viscosity whereas in MHD, the numerical resolution employed may be insufficient. When imposing a uniform magnetic field to the flow, we observe a lack of saturation of the formation of small scales together with a significant slowing down of their equilibration, with however a cutoff independent partial thermalization being reached at intermediate scales.


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