Lance Ostby, Physics
(Faculty Mentor: Dr. Richard Hyde)
This research expands upon one of the most significant results in the study of non-linear differential equation systems. Starting with the well-known Lorenz model, which describes the chaotic currents in a heated fluid, terms are added to the equation system to include a magnetic force affecting the motion of a plasma. The Lorenz model of atmospheric convection is thereby extended to the fluid convection in Earth’s outer liquid core where Earth’s magnetic field influences the motion. The modified Lorenz model is solved numerically, revealing that the Earth’s fluid core is fundamentally different from atmospheric convection for sufficiently strong magnetic field strengths.