Dynamical states of a mobile heat blanket on a thermally convecting fluid

Jin Qiang Zhong, Jun Zhang

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


We experimentally study the dynamical states of a freely moving, floating heat blanket that is coupled with a thermally convecting fluid. This floating boundary modifies the large-scale flow pattern in the bulk and destabilizes the coupled system, leading to spontaneous oscillations. As the moving boundary exceeds a critical size, the system makes a transition from an oscillatory state to a weakly confined state, in which the moving boundary executes only small excursions in response to random bypassing thermal plumes. To explain the observed states and transition, we provide a low-dimensional model that appears to capture the underlying mechanism of this coupled system.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number055301
JournalPhysical Review E - Statistical, Nonlinear, and Soft Matter Physics
Issue number5
StatePublished - May 9 2007

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Statistical and Nonlinear Physics
  • Statistics and Probability
  • Condensed Matter Physics


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