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Experimental evidence of Alfvén wave propagation in a Gallium alloy

Abstract : Experiments with a liquid metal alloy, Galinstan, are reported and show clear evidence of Alfvén wave propagation as well as resonance of Alfvén modes. Galinstan is liquid at room temperature and, although its electrical conductivity is not as large as that of liquid sodium or NaK, it has still been possible to study Alfvén waves, thanks to the use of intense magnetic fields up to 13 T. The maximal values of Lundquist number, around 60, are similar to that of the reference experimental study by Jameson [J. Fluid Mech. 19, 513 (1964)]. The generation mechanism for Alfvén waves and their reflection is studied carefully. Numerical simulations have been performed and have been able to reproduce the experimental results, despite the fact that the simulated magnetic Prandtl number was much larger than that of Galinstan. An originality of the present study is that a poloidal disturbance (magnetic and velocity fields) is generated, allowing us to track its propagation from outside the conducting domain, hence without interfering.
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Submitted on : Thursday, March 15, 2012 - 9:51:04 AM
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Thierry Alboussiere, Philippe Cardin, François Debray, Patrick La Rizza, Jean-Paul Masson, et al.. Experimental evidence of Alfvén wave propagation in a Gallium alloy. Physics of Fluids, American Institute of Physics, 2011, 23 (9), pp.096601. ⟨10.1063/1.3633090⟩. ⟨insu-00679198⟩



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