Thermal Convection in Vertically Suspended Soap Films

by Zhang, Jie

Abstract (Summary)
In normal fluids, a temperature difference can create a density difference. In the presence of the gravitational field, denser fluid will fall and lighter fluid will rise, causing fluid motion known as thermal convection. This type of convection can occur on different scales, from a single growing crystal to mantle movement inside the earth. Although many experiments have been conducted in unstably stratified fluids, there have been few laboratory experiments studying convective turbulence in stably stratified fluids, which is more common in nature. Here I present a two-dimensional (2D) convection in a stably stratified vertical soap film. It was found that the interaction between the gravitational potential energy, due to the 2D density fluctuation, and the kinetic energy is important. This interplay between the two energy sources manifests itself in the statistical properties of velocity and 2D density fluctuations in the system. Our experimental findings shed new lights to a turbulent system that strongly couples to a non-passive field.
Bibliographical Information:

Advisor:XiaoLun Wu; Walter Goldburg; Yadin Y. Goldschmidt; Robert Coalson; Jeremy Levy

School:University of Pittsburgh

School Location:USA - Pennsylvania

Source Type:Master's Thesis



Date of Publication:06/06/2005

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