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 language||English (US)|
|Journal||Physical Review E - Statistical, Nonlinear, and Soft Matter Physics|
|State||Published - May 9 2007|
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Statistical and Nonlinear Physics
- Statistics and Probability
- Condensed Matter Physics