Magnetic Prandtl number

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The Magnetic Prandtl number (Prm) is a dimensionless quantity occurring in magnetohydrodynamics which approximates the ratio of momentum diffusivity (viscosity) and magnetic diffusivity. It is defined as:

\mathrm{Pr}_\mathrm{m} = \frac{\mathrm{Re_m}}{\mathrm{Re}} = \frac{\nu}{\eta} = \frac{\mbox{viscous diffusion rate}}{\mbox{magnetic diffusion rate}}


At the base of the Sun's convection zone the Magnetic Prandtl number is approximately 10−2, and in the interiors of planets and in liquid-metal laboratory dynamos is approximately 10−5.

As another example, a magnetic Prandtl number of order unity is a widely accepted value for the thin accretion discs. Nevertheless this complicates the problem of launching jets: strong concentrations of magnetic field are required at the inner regions of the disc in order to launch jets, but a magnetic Prandtl number of order unity causes the field to diffuse away faster than it accretes inward.[1]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Lovelace, R. V. E.; Romanova, M. M.; Newman, W. I. "Implosive accretion and outbursts of active galactic nuclei". Astrophysical Journal 437: 136. Bibcode:1994ApJ...437..136L. doi:10.1086/174981.