Kinetic helicity, magnetic helicity and fast dynamo action

David W. Hughes, Fausto Cattaneo, Eun Jin Kim

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

32 Citations (Scopus)


The influence of the flow helicity on kinematic fast dynamo action is considered. Three different flows are studied, possessing identical chaotic properties but very different distributions of helicity (maximal helicity, zero net helicity and zero helicity density). All three flows provide strong evidence of fast dynamo action, indicating that helicity is not a crucial feature of fast dynamo flows. Comparisons are made between the magnetic fields generated by the three flows and it is established how certain key quantities scale with the magnetic Reynolds number. In particular, it is shown that the relative magnetic helicity tends to zero as the magnetic Reynolds number tends to infinity.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)167-172
Number of pages6
JournalPhysics Letters, Section A: General, Atomic and Solid State Physics
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 2 Dec 1996
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physics and Astronomy(all)


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