We present a numerical and analytical study of incompressible homogeneous conducting fluids using a Fourier-helical representation. We analytically study both small- and large-scale dynamo properties, as well as the inverse cascade of magnetic helicity, in the most general minimal subset of interacting velocity and magnetic fields on a closed Fourier triad. We mainly focus on the dependency of magnetic field growth as a function of the distribution of kinetic and magnetic helicities among the three interacting wavenumbers. By combining direct numerical simulations of the full magnetohydrodynamics (MHD) equations with the Fourier-helical decomposition we numerically confirm that in the kinematic dynamo regime the system develops a large-scale magnetic helicity with opposite sign compared to the small-scale kinetic helicity, a sort of triad-by-triad $\alpha$-effect in Fourier space. Concerning the small-scale perturbations, we predict theoretically and confirm numerically that the largest instability is achived for the magnetic component with the same helicity of the flow, in agreement with the Stretch-Twist-Fold mechanism. Viceversa, in presence of a Lorentz feedback on the velocity, we find that the inverse cascade of magnetic helicity is mostly local if magnetic and kinetic helicities have opposite sign, while it is more non-local and more intense if they have the same sign, as predicted by the analytical approach. Our analytical and numerical results further demonstrate the potential of the helical-Fourier decomposition to elucidate the entangled dynamics of magnetic and kinetic helicities both in fully developed turbulence and in laminar flows.
M. Linkmann, G. Sahoo, M. McKay, et. al.
Thu, 8 Sep 16