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K.-H. Rädler1 - A. Cēbers2

1 Astrophysical Institute Potsdam Potsdam, Germany
2 Institute of Physics, University of Latvia Salaspils, Latvia

During the last years exciting developments have taken place in the field of MHD dynamos, not only in the theory and the numerical simulations of geophysical and astrophysical dynamos but also in the experimental realization of homogeneous dynamos. It is now generally believed that dynamo action, that is, the generation and maintenance of magnetic fields by the motion of electrically conducting fluids, is the cause of the magnetic fields of the Earth, the Sun and many other cosmic bodies. Moreover the dynamo is considered as one of the basic phenomena in the universe. Within many years of hard work experimental devices for the demonstration and investigation of dynamos in that sense have been set up by the teams in Riga (Latvia) and in Karlsruhe (Germany). At the end of 1999 they have been run for the first time successfully. Other experiments of that kind are now under preparation at several other places in the world. Over several decades pioneering work on dynamos has been done by Riga scientists, and quite a few papers on this subject were published on the pages of the journal ``Magnetohydrodynamics". This work is inseparably connected with the names of Olgerts Lielausis and Agris Gailitis. In 2000 they celebrated their 70th and 65th birthdays. At the PAMIR Conference ``MHD at Dawn of the Next Millenium" held in Giens, France, in September 2000 the idea arose to invite scientists dealing with dynamo experiments to contribute to a Special Issue of ``Magnetohydrodynamics" in honour of Olgerts Lielausis and Agris Gailitis, an issue that represents the efforts and the success in this fascinating field and in this way supports further progress. Many colleagues followed this invitation. So this Special Issue indeed reflects the main activities in the experimental demonstration and investigation of MHD dynamos all over the world. In addition to papers about the Riga and Karlsruhe dynamos it contains such on experiments under preparation at several places in France, in Russia and in the USA. May this Special Issue support the exchange of ideas inside the community of the research--workers in this field and help to bring the findings on dynamos gained by laboratory experiments to the knowledge of the colleagues in other branches of science interested in the dynamo phenomenon such as geophysics and astrophysics.

Magnetohydrodynamics 38, No. 1/2, 3-4, 2002 [PDF]

Copyright: Institute of Physics, University of Latvia
Electronic edition ISSN 1574-0579
Printed edition ISSN 0024-998X