Thermal signature of plumes in turbulent convection: The skewness of the derivative

Andrew Belmonte, Albert Libchaber

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

40 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

We present experimental evidence that, in the hard turbulence regime of Rayleigh-Bénard convection, the temperature fluctuations are produced by buoyancy, despite the presence of a mean horizontal flow at the plates. In a convection cell of aspect ratio 1, we measure the temperature time derivative for Ra from 2×[Formula Presented] to 1×[Formula Presented], which is skewed toward the negative in the region outside the cold thermal boundary layer. This skewness of the derivative indicates the presence of thermal fronts, or plumes, which are detached from the boundary layer by buoyancy. At higher Ra, the skewness of the derivative is reduced, which we relate to the transition to a turbulent Reynolds number in the velocity boundary layer at Ra∼[Formula Presented]. We define a time scale using the derivative to characterize these fronts, and find that its minimum value scales as [Formula Presented] over the entire range of Ra in our experiment.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)4893-4898
Number of pages6
JournalPhysical Review E - Statistical Physics, Plasmas, Fluids, and Related Interdisciplinary Topics
Volume53
Issue number5
DOIs
StatePublished - Jan 1 1996

Fingerprint

skewness
Skewness
plumes
Convection
convection
Signature
signatures
Boundary Layer
Derivative
Buoyancy
buoyancy
boundary layers
convection cells
thermal boundary layer
Rayleigh
Aspect Ratio
Reynolds number
aspect ratio
Turbulence
Time Scales

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Statistical and Nonlinear Physics
  • Mathematical Physics
  • Condensed Matter Physics
  • Physics and Astronomy(all)

Cite this

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title = "Thermal signature of plumes in turbulent convection: The skewness of the derivative",
abstract = "We present experimental evidence that, in the hard turbulence regime of Rayleigh-B{\'e}nard convection, the temperature fluctuations are produced by buoyancy, despite the presence of a mean horizontal flow at the plates. In a convection cell of aspect ratio 1, we measure the temperature time derivative for Ra from 2×[Formula Presented] to 1×[Formula Presented], which is skewed toward the negative in the region outside the cold thermal boundary layer. This skewness of the derivative indicates the presence of thermal fronts, or plumes, which are detached from the boundary layer by buoyancy. At higher Ra, the skewness of the derivative is reduced, which we relate to the transition to a turbulent Reynolds number in the velocity boundary layer at Ra∼[Formula Presented]. We define a time scale using the derivative to characterize these fronts, and find that its minimum value scales as [Formula Presented] over the entire range of Ra in our experiment.",
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N2 - We present experimental evidence that, in the hard turbulence regime of Rayleigh-Bénard convection, the temperature fluctuations are produced by buoyancy, despite the presence of a mean horizontal flow at the plates. In a convection cell of aspect ratio 1, we measure the temperature time derivative for Ra from 2×[Formula Presented] to 1×[Formula Presented], which is skewed toward the negative in the region outside the cold thermal boundary layer. This skewness of the derivative indicates the presence of thermal fronts, or plumes, which are detached from the boundary layer by buoyancy. At higher Ra, the skewness of the derivative is reduced, which we relate to the transition to a turbulent Reynolds number in the velocity boundary layer at Ra∼[Formula Presented]. We define a time scale using the derivative to characterize these fronts, and find that its minimum value scales as [Formula Presented] over the entire range of Ra in our experiment.

AB - We present experimental evidence that, in the hard turbulence regime of Rayleigh-Bénard convection, the temperature fluctuations are produced by buoyancy, despite the presence of a mean horizontal flow at the plates. In a convection cell of aspect ratio 1, we measure the temperature time derivative for Ra from 2×[Formula Presented] to 1×[Formula Presented], which is skewed toward the negative in the region outside the cold thermal boundary layer. This skewness of the derivative indicates the presence of thermal fronts, or plumes, which are detached from the boundary layer by buoyancy. At higher Ra, the skewness of the derivative is reduced, which we relate to the transition to a turbulent Reynolds number in the velocity boundary layer at Ra∼[Formula Presented]. We define a time scale using the derivative to characterize these fronts, and find that its minimum value scales as [Formula Presented] over the entire range of Ra in our experiment.

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