Critical balance in magnetohydrodynamic, rotating and stratified turbulence: towards a universal scaling conjecture
Nazarenko, S. V.
Schekochihin, A. A.
- Publisher: Cambridge University Press
QA | Astrophysics - Solar and Stellar Astrophysics | Physics - Space Physics | Nonlinear Sciences - Chaotic Dynamics | Physics - Atmospheric and Oceanic Physics | Physics - Fluid Dynamics | Astrophysics - Astrophysics of Galaxies
arxiv: Physics::Fluid Dynamics | Physics::Space Physics
It is proposed that critical balance - a scale-by-scale balance between the linear propagation and nonlinear interaction time scales - can be used as a universal scaling conjecture for determining the spectra of strong turbulence in anisotropic wave systems. Magnetohydrodynamic (MHD), rotating and stratified turbulence are considered under this assumption and, in particular, a novel and experimentally testable energy cascade scenario and a set of scalings of the spectra are proposed for low-Rossby-number rotating turbulence. It is argued that in neutral fluids the critically balanced anisotropic cascade provides a natural path from strong anisotropy at large scales to isotropic Kolmogorov turbulence at very small scales. It is also argued that the k(perpendicular to)(-2) spectra seen in recent numerical simulations of low-Rossby-number rotating turbulence may be analogous to the k(perpendicular to)(-3/2) spectra of the numerical MHD turbulence in the sense that they could be explained by assuming that fluctuations are polarised (aligned) approximately as inertial waves (Alfven waves for MHD).