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Plume Motion and Large-Scale Circulation in a Cylindrical Rayleigh-Benard Cell Denis Funfschilling and Guenter Ahlers

Summary: Plume Motion and Large-Scale Circulation in a Cylindrical Rayleigh-BeŽnard Cell
Denis Funfschilling and Guenter Ahlers
Department of Physics and iQUEST, University of California, Santa Barbara, California 93106, USA
(Received 5 December 2003; published 12 May 2004)
We used the time correlation of shadowgraph images to determine the angle of the horizontal
component of the plume velocity above (below) the center of the bottom (top) plate of a cylindrical
Rayleigh-BeŽnard cell of aspect ratio ÿ D=L 1 (D is the diameter and L ' 87 mm is the height) in
the Rayleigh-number range 7 107
R 3 109
for a Prandtl number 6. We expect that
gives the direction of the large-scale circulation. It oscillates time periodically. Near the top and bottom
plates t has the same frequency but is anticorrelated.
DOI: 10.1103/PhysRevLett.92.194502 PACS numbers: 47.27.Te, 44.25.+f
Turbulent Rayleigh-BeŽnard convection (RBC) is an
important process that occurs in the oceans, the atmo-
sphere, the outer layer of the Sun, the Earth's mantle, and
in many industrial processes [1]. Despite the seeming
simplicity of the idealized laboratory experiment, i.e., a
fluid between horizontal parallel plates heated from be-
low and cooled from above, our understanding of the


Source: Ahlers, Guenter - Department of Physics, University of California at Santa Barbara


Collections: Physics