Local model for angular-momentum transport in accretion disks driven by the magnetorotational instability

Martin E. Pessah, Chi Kwan Chan, Dimitrios Psaltis

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We develop a local model for the exponential growth and saturation of the Reynolds and Maxwell stresses in turbulent flows driven by the magnetorotational instability. We first derive equations that describe the effects of the instability on the growth and pumping of the stresses. We highlight the relevance of a new type of correlations that couples the dynamical evolution of the Reynolds and Maxwell stresses and plays a key role in developing and sustaining the magnetorotational turbulence. We then supplement these equations with a phenomenological description of the triple correlations that lead to a saturated turbulent state. We show that the steady-state limit of the model describes successfully the correlations among stresses found in numerical simulations of shearing boxes.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number221103
JournalPhysical review letters
Issue number22
StatePublished - Dec 8 2006


ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physics and Astronomy(all)

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