Thermal Convection: Patterns, Evolution and Stability

Marcello Lappa

This volume presents a critical, focused and ‘comparative’ study of different types of thermal convection typically encountered in natural or technological contexts (thermogravitational, thermocapillary and thermovibrational).

A significant effort is provided to illustrate their genesis, the governing nondimensional parameters, the scaling properties, their structure and, in particular, the stability behaviour and the possible bifurcations to different patterns of symmetry and/or spatiotemporal regimes.

Such flows are considered in various geometrical (finite and infinite) models, under various heating conditions, for different fluids (liquid metals, molten salts and semiconductors, gases, water, oils, many organic and inorganic transparent liquids, etc.) and possible combinations of all these variants. Significant attention is given to ‘hybrid’ cases in which fluid motion is driven by more than one driving force (mixed convection) as well as to the interaction with magnetic fields.

This book:

- illustrates the state-of-the-art (together with relevant historical background) about convective phenomena of thermal origin in homogeneous fluids;
- includes a critical derivation of fundamental concepts, equations, mathematical models and methods of analysis;
- provides researchers from universities and industry with a basis on which they are able to estimate the possible impact of a variety of parameters;
- presents experimental and numerical examples specifically conceived for a better understanding of fluid flow mechanisms considered;
- clarifies the physical nature of the dominating driving force responsible for asymmetric/oscillatory convection in various natural phenomena and/or technologically important processes.

Thus, this book is an ideal reference for physicists and engineers, as well as an important resource for advanced students taking courses on the physics of fluids, fluid mechanics, behaviour of nonlinear systems, environmental phenomena, meteorology, geophysics, thermal and materials engineering.