We present new simulations of decaying hydromagnetic turbulence for a relativistic equation of state relevant to the early Universe. We compare helical and nonhelical cases either with kinetically or magnetically dominated initial fields. Both kinetic and magnetic initial helicities lead to maximally helical magnetic fields after some time, but with different temporal decay laws. Both are relevant to the early Universe, although no mechanisms have yet been identified that produce magnetic helicity with strengths comparable to the big bang nucleosynthesis limit at scales comparable to the Hubble horizon at the electroweak phase transition. Nonhelical magnetically dominated fields could still produce picoGauss magnetic fields under most optimistic conditions. Only helical magnetic fields can potentially have nanoGauss strengths at scales up to 30 kpc today.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Physics and Astronomy (miscellaneous)