In the classical mathematical description of the convection of a viscous fluid heated from below, there is a sharp transition from conduction to convection as the Rayleigh number exceeds a critical value. The convection state bifurcates from the conduction state at the critical Rayleigh number. This is in contrast to experiments, where the transition is smooth as the Rayleigh number is increased. A theory was developed to show that small imperfections are sufficient to explain the smooth transition.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Applied Mathematics