The wind in confined thermal convection

J. J. Niemela, L. Skrbek, K. R. Sreenivasan, R. J. Donnelly

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


A large-scale circulation velocity, often called the 'wind', has been observed in turbulent convection in the Rayleigh-Bénard apparatus, which is a closed box with a heated bottom wall. The wind survives even when the dynamical parameter, namely the Rayleigh number, is very large. Over a wide range of time scales greater than its characteristic turnover time, the wind velocity exhibits occasional and irregular reversals without a change in magnitude. We study this feature experimentally in an apparatus of aspect ratio unity, in which the highest attainable Rayleigh number is about 1016. A possible physical explanation is attempted.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)169-178
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of Fluid Mechanics
StatePublished - Dec 25 2001

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Condensed Matter Physics
  • Mechanics of Materials
  • Mechanical Engineering


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