Exeter physicist advances early universe theory

September 23, 2011

Research by a University of Exeter astrophysicist has helped to explain how the first stars and galaxies formed.

Research led by Professor Gilles Chabrier of the University of Exeter suggests that large magnetic fields were generated shortly after the and played a key role in the formation of the first .

The international team of researchers, headed by Professor Chabrier and Dr Christoph Federrath of the Ecole Normale Supérieure de Lyon (France), used three-dimensional computer simulations to make their discovery. Their simulations show that even under extreme physical conditions, magnetic fields are efficiently amplified by turbulent flows. The findings are now published in the journal Physical Review Letters.

Both the gas between the in a galaxy and the medium between galaxies are magnetised. However, little is known so far about how these magnetic fields, which can be seen with telescopes, actually came about. Now, the international research team has proposed an answer.

Professor Gilles Chabrier said: “The question of why there are huge magnetic fields in the intergalactic media has been puzzling us for a long time and this is the first reasonable explanation for how they came about. Magnetic fields are important for everything, including life, so this is an area of major interest to astronomers.

“We now know that turbulence and magnetic fields play a dominant role in star formation, besides gravity. This discovery significantly advances our understanding of how galaxies, stars and planets are formed.”

The research team used three-dimensional computer simulations performed on more than 32,000 processors in parallel. They demonstrated how lines are stretched, twisted and folded by turbulent flows. The energy required for these processes is extracted from the turbulence.

Explore further: Did intense magnetic fields form shortly after the Big Bang?

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not rated yet Sep 24, 2011
...Both the gas between the stars in a galaxy and the medium between galaxies are magnetised.

suggesting the lines of electric flux in quantized spacetime theories strongly magnetize the spacetime medium under severe turbulence. Does seem logical.
not rated yet Sep 25, 2011
I'm having a hard time imagining what controls magnetic field lines. Why do they change (start curving) so far from the source?
not rated yet Sep 25, 2011
Magnetic field lines have no source, until we talking about some monopoles. In aether theory they represent physical flux of vacuum, which is similar to flux of superfluid around vortex ring. If you can imagine this flux, then the magnetic flux geometry shouldn't be so mysterious for you.

not rated yet Sep 25, 2011
Magnetic field lines have no source

Really? How do you explain the demonstrably, and obvious, causative nature of EM sources?
not rated yet Sep 25, 2011
EM source is different concept. In accordance to Gauss's law for magnetism a magnetic field has no sources or sinks, so its field lines have no start or end: they can only form closed loops, or extend to infinity in both directions.
5 / 5 (2) Sep 26, 2011
I'm sorry, but if your view is such that it requires things to exist without cause, and for those things to be infinite in many cases, I'm afraid that doesn't hold any value for me.

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