Dynamo regimes and transitions in the VKS experiment
The Von KÃ¡rmÃ¡n Sodium experiment yields a variety of dynamo regimes, when asymmetry is imparted to the flow by rotating impellers at different speed F 1 and F 2. We show that as the intensity of forcing, measured as F 1+F 2, is increased, the transition to a self-sustained magnetic field is always observed via a supercritical bifurcation to a stationary state. For some values of the asymmetry parameter Î¸ = (F 1-F 2)/(F 1+F 2), time dependent dynamo regimes develop. They are observed either when the forcing is increased for a given value of asymmetry, or when the amount of asymmetry is varied at sufficiently high forcing. Two qualitatively different transitions between oscillatory and stationary regimes are reported, involving or not a strong divergence of the period of oscillations. These transitions can be interpreted using a low dimensional model based on the interactions of two dynamo modes.