Mean Field Electrodynamics and Large-Scale Cosmic Magnetic Fields: Present Problems and Future Trends

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A Specialist Discussion Meeting organised by: David Hughes (Leeds) dwh<at>maths.leeds.ac.uk and Michael Proctor (Cambridge) m.r.e.proctor<at>damtp.cam.ac.uk

Summary: One of the most important theoretical problems in astrophysical fluid dynamics is to explain the generation of global scale magnetic fields, as observed in stars, accretion discs and galaxies. The vast majority of the modelling of cosmic magnetic fields has been performed within the framework of mean field electrodynamics. On one level, mean field theory has proved to be extremely successful, in reproducing certain characteristics of observed magnetic fields. However, notwithstanding this success, some serious problems remain. This has led to a resurgence of interest in the large-scale dynamo problem. This meeting will bring together researchers from all areas of dynamo theory – from those trying to understand the basics of the theory to those seeking to explain specific examples of observed astrophysical large-scale fields – in order to discuss the current difficulties and the possible ways forward.

 

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