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Stochastic fluctuations of the solar dynamo

Choudhuri, AR (1992) Stochastic fluctuations of the solar dynamo. In: Astronomy & Astrophysics, 253 (1). pp. 277-285.

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Attempts in the past to model the irregularities of the solar cycle (such as the Maunder minimum) were based on studies of the nonlinear feedback of magnetic fields on the dynamo source terms. Since the alpha-coefficient is obtained by averaging over the turbulence, it is expected to have stochastic fluctuations, and we show that these fluctuations can explain the irregularities of the solar cycle in a more satisfactory way. We solve the dynamo equations in a slab with a single mode, taking the alpha-coefficient to be constant in space but fluctuating stochastically in time with some given amplitude and given correlation time. The same level of percentile fluctuations (about 10 %) produces no effect on an alpha-omega dynamo, but makes an alpha-2 dynamo completely chaotic. The level of irregularities in an alpha-2-omega dynamo qualitatively agrees with the solar behavior, reinforcing the conclusion of Choudhuri (1990a) that the solar dynamo is of the alpha-2-omega-type. The irregularities are found to increase on increasing either the amplitude or the correlation time of the stochastic fluctuations. The alpha-quenching mechanism tends to make the system stable against the irregularities and hence it is inferred that the alpha-quenching should not be too strong so that the irregularities are not completely suppressed. We also present a simple-minded analysis to understand why the stochastic fluctuations in the alpha-omega, alpha-2-omega and alpha-2 regimes have such different outcomes.

Item Type: Journal Article
Publication: Astronomy & Astrophysics
Publisher: EDP Sciences
Additional Information: Copyright of this article belongs to EDP Sciences.
Keywords: Non-Linear Dynamos;Convection Zone;Nonlinear Dynamos; Thin-Layer;Flux Tubes;Stability;Model.
Department/Centre: Division of Physical & Mathematical Sciences > Physics
Date Deposited: 02 Aug 2011 09:08
Last Modified: 02 Aug 2011 09:08
URI: http://eprints.iisc.ac.in/id/eprint/37653

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