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Dynamo Theory

Participation in INI programmes is by invitation only. Anyone wishing to apply to participate in the associated workshop(s) should use the relevant workshop application form.

1st July 1992 to 31st December 1992

Organisers: U Frisch (Nice), HK Moffatt (Cambridge), AM Soward (University of Newcastle-upon-Tyne)

Programme Theme

Dynamo theory is the theory of spontaneous generation of magnetic fields in conducting fluids, with application to planetary, stellar and galactic systems. The theory has relevance also to the dynamics of fusion plasma. The programme will focus on two branches of dynamo theory: (1) the nature of the geodynamo operating in the liquid core of the Earth, in which buoyancy, Coriolis and Lorentz forces are of dominant importance; here the essential questions concern the division of energy between small-scale and large-scale structures, the role of (weak) viscosity and inertia, and the essential nature of the dynamo (alpha square,alpha omega , or other); (2) `fast' dynamo theory, i.e. the nature of dynamo action in the limit of very high conductivity in the sun, stars and galaxy; in these contexts turbulence plays a critical and ill-understood role; but model problems ( e.g. space periodic systems) can provide valuable insights into the stretch-twist-fold process and related mechanisms that are known to be conducive to fast dynamo action. The systems studied generally exhibit chaotic dynamics, and analogies with vortex dynamics provide a useful route for the study of fundamental mechanisms of instability and turbulence.


The following have accepted invitations to participate in the programme for the periods indicated:

Anufriev AP, 20 Sep-19 Dec; Galloway,DJ, 1 Oct-19 Dec; Arnold VI, 1 Sep-20 Dec; Hughes DW, 1 Sep-2 Oct; Bayly B, 15 Jul-2 Oct; Kambe T, 20 Sep-19 Dec; Braginskii SI, 15 Jul-30 Nov; Khesin B, 20 Sep-19 Dec; Brandenburg A, 1 Aug-30 Nov; Kimura Y, 20 Jul-19 Oct; Busse FH, 1 Oct-15 Oct; Knobloch E, 1 Jul-20 Dec; Childress S, 20 Sep-2 Oct; Krause F, 26 Oct-25 Nov; Collett P, 1 Sep-30 Oct; Loper D, 15 Jul-19 Aug; Cupal I, 1 Oct-19 Dec; Malkus WVR, 2 Jul-15 Jul; Eltayeb Ib, 15 Jul-30 Aug, 21 Sep-2 Oct; Fearn D, 15 Jul- 2 Oct; Moffatt HK, 15 Jul-19 Dec; Friedlander S, 15 Jul-30 Aug; Pegoraro F, 15 Jul-9 Sep; Frisch O, 1 Sep-30 Oct; Priest ER, 15 Jul-15 Aug; Gailitis A, 1 Oct-19 Dec; Proctor MRE, 15 Jul-20 Dec; Radler K-H, 1 Oct-19 Dec; Roberts PH, 12 Sep-26 Sep; Sokoloff S, 20 Sep-19 Dec; Soward AM, 15 Jul-19 Dec; Spiegel EA, 1 Sep-31 Oct; Vainshtein SI, 15 Jul-30 Sep; Vergassola M, 1 Sep-30 Oct; Vishik MM, 15 Jul-27 Aug; Weiss NO, 15 Jul-20 Dec; Zhang K, 15 Jul-2 Oct; Zheligovsky O, 15 Jul-19 Dec; Zheligovsky V, 15 Jul-19 Dec.


There will be a regular seminar programme throughout the period together with more concentrated series of lectures and workshops:

  • 31 July: one-day workshop: The Geodynamo
  • 4 September: one-day workshop: The Fast Dynamo
  • 20 September--1 October: NATO Advanced Study Institute: Theory of Solar and Planetary Dynamos

Organiser: MRE Proctor, DAMTP, University of Cambridge, Silver Street, Cambridge CB3 9EW, UK. Tel: (uk) 1223 337913 Fax: (uk) 1223 337918

  • 11--13 November: 3-day workshop: Solar and Stellar Dynamos
  • 27 November: one-day workshop: Topology of Magnetic Fields
  • 9--11 December: short course under the Cambridge Programme for Industry Flow instability, chaos and turbulence

Principal Lecturers: PA Glendinning, HK Moffatt, MRE Proctor.

University of Cambridge Research Councils UK
    Clay Mathematics Institute London Mathematical Society NM Rothschild and Sons