On the existence and multiplicity of one-dimensional solid particle attractors in time-dependent Rayleigh-Bénard convection

Lappa, Marcello (2013) On the existence and multiplicity of one-dimensional solid particle attractors in time-dependent Rayleigh-Bénard convection. Chaos: An Interdisciplinary Journal of Nonlinear Science, 23 (1). 013105. ISSN 1054-1500

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    Abstract

    For the first time evidence is provided that one-dimensional objects formed by the accumulation of tracer particles can emerge in flows of thermogravitational nature (in the region of the space of parameters, in which the so-called OS (oscillatory solution) flow of the Busse balloon represents the dominant secondary mode of convection). Such structures appear as seemingly rigid filaments, rotating without changing their shape. The most interesting (heretofore unseen) feature of such a class of physical attractors is their variety. Indeed, distinct shapes are found for a fixed value of the Rayleigh number depending on parameters accounting for particle inertia and viscous drag. The fascinating "sea" of existing potential paths, their multiplicity and tortuosity are explained according to the granularity of the loci in the physical space where conditions for phase locking between the traveling thermofluid-dynamic disturbance and the "turnover time" of particles in the basic toroidal flow are satisfied. It is shown, in particular, how the observed wealth of geometric objects and related topological features can be linked to a general overarching attractor representing an intrinsic (particle-independent) property of the base velocity field.