Broken ergodicity in two-dimensional homogeneous magnetohydrodynamic turbulence

Shebalin, John V.
September 2010
Physics of Plasmas;Sep2010, Vol. 17 Issue 9, p092303
Academic Journal
Two-dimensional (2D) homogeneous magnetohydrodynamic (MHD) turbulence has many of the same qualitative features as three-dimensional (3D) homogeneous MHD turbulence. These features include several ideal (i.e., nondissipative) invariants along with the phenomenon of broken ergodicity (defined as nonergodic behavior over a very long time). Broken ergodicity appears when certain modes act like random variables with mean values that are large compared to their standard deviations, indicating a coherent structure or dynamo. Recently, the origin of broken ergodicity in 3D MHD turbulence that is manifest in the lowest wavenumbers was found. Here, we study the origin of broken ergodicity in 2D MHD turbulence. It will be seen that broken ergodicity in ideal 2D MHD turbulence can be manifest in the lowest wavenumbers of a finite numerical model for certain initial conditions or in the highest wavenumbers for another set of initial conditions. The origins of broken ergodicity in an ideal 2D homogeneous MHD turbulence are found through an eigenanalysis of the covariance matrices of the probability density function and by an examination of the associated entropy functional. When the values of ideal invariants are kept fixed and grid size increases, it will be shown that the energy in a few large modes remains constant, while the energy in any other mode is inversely proportional to grid size. Also, as grid size increases, we find that broken ergodicity becomes manifest at more and more wavenumbers.


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