Monday, January 14, 2013

1301.2337 (Jerome Guilet et al.)

Type I planet migration in weakly magnetised laminar discs    [PDF]

Jerome Guilet, Clement Baruteau, John C. B. Papaloizou
[Abridged] The migration of low mass planets has been studied in hydrodynamical disc models for more than three decades, but the impact of a magnetic field in the protoplanetary disc is less known. When the disc's magnetic field is strong enough to prevent horseshoe motion, the corotation torque is replaced by a torque arising from magnetic resonances. For weak enough magnetic fields, horseshoe motion and a corotation torque exist, and recent turbulent MHD simulations have reported the existence of a new component of the corotation torque in the presence of a mean toroidal field. The aim of this paper is to investigate the physical origin and the properties of this new corotation torque. We performed MHD simulations of a low mass planet embedded in a 2D laminar disc threaded by a weak toroidal magnetic field, with the effects of turbulence modelled by a viscosity and a resistivity. We confirm that the interaction between the magnetic field and the horseshoe motion results in an additional corotation torque on the planet, which we dub the MHD torque excess. It is caused by the accumulation of the magnetic field along the downstream separatrices of the planet's horseshoe region, which gives rise to an azimuthally asymmetric underdense region at that location. The properties of the MHD torque excess are characterised by varying the slope of the density, temperature and magnetic field profiles, as well as the diffusion coefficients and the strength of the magnetic field. The sign of the MHD torque excess depends on the density and temperature gradients only, and is positive for profiles expected in protoplanetary discs. Its magnitude is in turn mainly determined by the strength of the magnetic field and the turbulent resistivity. The MHD torque excess can be strong enough to reverse migration, even when the magnetic pressure is less than one percent of the thermal pressure.
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