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A model of diffusion in a potential well for the dynamics of the large-scale circulation in turbulent RayleighBnard convection
 

Summary: A model of diffusion in a potential well for the dynamics of the large-scale
circulation in turbulent Rayleigh­Bénard convection
Eric Browna
and Guenter Ahlers
Department of Physics and iQCD, University of California, Santa Barbara, California 93106, USA
Received 1 December 2007; accepted 1 April 2008; published online 1 July 2008
Experimental measurements of properties of the large-scale circulation LSC in turbulent
convection of a fluid heated from below in a cylindrical container of aspect ratio 1 are presented and
used to test a model of diffusion in a potential well for the LSC. The model consists of a pair of
stochastic ordinary differential equations motivated by the Navier­Stokes equations. The two
coupled equations are for the azimuthal orientation 0 and for the azimuthal temperature amplitude
at the horizontal midplane. The dynamics is due to the driving by Gaussian distributed white noise
that is introduced to represent the action of the small-scale turbulent fluctuations on the large-scale
flow. Measurements of the diffusivities that determine the noise intensities are reported. Two time
scales predicted by the model are found to be within a factor of 2 or so of corresponding
experimental measurements. A scaling relationship predicted by the model between and the
Reynolds number is confirmed by measurements over a large experimental parameter range. The
Gaussian peaks of probability distributions p and p
0 are accurately described by the model;
however, the non-Gaussian tails of p are not. The frequency, angular change, and amplitude

  

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

 

Collections: Physics