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The value of the Prandtl number P exerts a strong influence on convection-driven dynamos in rotating spherical shells filled with electrically conducting fluids. Low Prandtl numbers promote dynamo action through the shear provided by differential rotation, while the generation of magnetic fields is more difficult to sustain in high-Prandtl-number fluids where higher values of the magnetic Prandtl number P<sub>m</sub> are required. The magnetostrophic approximation often used in dynamo theory appears to be valid only for relatively high values of P and P<sub>m</sub>. Dynamos with a minimum value of P<sub>m</sub> seem to be most readily realizable in the presence of convection columns at moderately low values of P. The structure of the magnetic field varies strongly with P in that dynamos with a strong axial dipole field are found for high values of P while the energy of this component is exceeded by that of the axisymmetric toroidal field and by that of the non-axisymmetric components at low values of P. Some conclusions are discussed in relation to the problem of the generation of planetary magnetic fields by motions in their electrically conducting liquid cores

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QC

Publisher: Cambridge University Press

Year: 2005

OAI identifier:
oai:eprints.gla.ac.uk:13305

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