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Durham University

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Publication details for Nabil Iqbal

Grozdanov, Sašo, Hofman, Diego M. & Iqbal, Nabil (2017). Generalized global symmetries and dissipative magnetohydrodynamics. Physical Review D 95(9): 096003.

Author(s) from Durham


The conserved magnetic flux of
electrodynamics coupled to matter in four dimensions is associated with a generalized global symmetry. We study the realization of such a symmetry at finite temperature and develop the hydrodynamic theory describing fluctuations of a conserved 2-form current around thermal equilibrium. This can be thought of as a systematic derivation of relativistic magnetohydrodynamics, constrained only by symmetries and effective field theory. We construct the entropy current and show that at first order in derivatives, there are seven dissipative transport coefficients. We present a universal definition of resistivity in a theory of dynamical electromagnetism and derive a direct Kubo formula for the resistivity in terms of correlation functions of the electric field operator. We also study fluctuations and collective modes, deriving novel expressions for the dissipative widths of magnetosonic and Alfvén modes. Finally, we demonstrate that a nontrivial truncation of the theory can be performed at low temperatures compared to the magnetic field: this theory has an emergent Lorentz invariance along magnetic field lines, and hydrodynamic fluctuations are now parametrized by a fluid tensor rather than a fluid velocity. Throughout, no assumption is made of weak electromagnetic coupling. Thus, our theory may have phenomenological relevance for dense electromagnetic plasmas.