The generation of strong magnetic fields during the formation of the first stars

Sharanya Sur, Robi Banerjee, Ralf S. Klessen, Dominik R.G. Schleicher, Christoph Federrath

Research output: Contribution to journalConference articlepeer-review


The ubiquity of turbulence in the primordial minihalos has been shown from cosmological hydro-dynamical simulations of primordial star formation. This has strong implications on the subsequent evolution, in particular on the generation of magnetic fields via small-scale dynamo action. Using high-resolution numerical simulations, we show that in the presence of turbulence, initial weak seed magnetic fields are exponentially amplified by the small-scale dynamo during the formation of the first stars. The field amplification due to the dynamo is shown to provide additional amplification over what is expected from pure gravitational compression of the field lines. We find that the presence of the small-scale dynamo can only be identified in numerical simulations where the turbulent motions in the central collapsing core are resolved by at least 32 grid cells. We conclude that strong magnetic fields are generated during the birth of the first stars in the universe and discuss implications for cosmic evolution.

Original languageEnglish
JournalProceedings of Science
Publication statusPublished - 2010
Externally publishedYes
EventWorkshop on Cosmic Radiation Fields: Sources in the Early Universe, CRF 2010 - Hamburg, Germany
Duration: 9 Nov 201012 Nov 2010


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