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An Isaac Newton Institute Workshop

Supported by the European Commission, Sixth Framework Programme - Marie Curie Conferences and Training Courses - MSCF-CT-2003-503674 <br><br> Large-Scale Computation in Astrophysics

The Magnetorotational Instability

Author: John F. Hawley (University of Virginia)

Abstract

Recent years have witnessed dramatic progress in our understanding of how turbulence arises and transports angular momentum in differentially rotating systems. The key conceptual point is that the combination of a subthermal magnetic field and outwardly decreasing differential rotation rapidly generates magnetohydrodynamical (MHD) turbulence via the magnetorotational instability. With the aid of supercomputers, it is now possible to study accretion disk turbulence at a level comparable to that of stellar convection. This talk will present a review of this instability and the MHD turbulence it generates, and some recent results from fully three-dimensional global disk simulations.