Near the thermodynamic critical point, the physical properties of binary fluids exhibit large variations in response to small temperature and concentration differences, whose effects on the onset of double-diffusive convection are reported here. The vertical symmetry is broken, irregular penetrative instability occurs, and cat's eye patterns are identified in the fingering regime and oscillatory regime, respectively. A new parameter Θ is defined which indicates how the variations of physical properties influence flow fields. It is seen through numerical simulations that the Boussinesq approximation with constant physical properties has limited applicability, and that the Boussinesq equations with variable properties and density will describe all features seen. This conclusion is based on comparisons with the fully compressible, variable-property system.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Statistical and Nonlinear Physics
- Statistics and Probability
- Condensed Matter Physics