HMC Physics Colloquium

Tuesdays at 16:30 in Shanahan Center for Teaching and Learning, Room B460

Janet Scheel

Occidental College

Go With the Flow: Numerical Simulations of Turbulence in Fluids

Oct. 6, 2009

Turbulent systems are all around us, from waves crashing on our beaches, to smoke rising from the fires in our mountains, to the air that makes our airline flights bouncy and sometimes downright frightening. Turbulent systems are not well understood. Rayleigh-Benard convection is a more simplified system which captures some of the key features of turbulence, including thermal plumes and a large-scale circulation. In Rayleigh-Benard convection, a cylindrical fluid cell is bounded by horizontal parallel plates kept at a constant temperature difference. Results from numerical simulations of the equations which describe Rayleigh-Benard convection will be compared to experimental and theoretical results.