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  • Author or Editor: F. H. Busse x
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F. H. Busse


The problem of the motion induced by a sinusoidal thermal wave propagating in a horizontal layer of fluid is investigated in the limit of small Prandtl number. An exact solution of the nonlinear equations is derived in a special case. The mean flow corresponding to this particular solution is vanishing for all values of the wavenumber, the phase speed, and the amplitude of the wave. More general solutions with non-vanishing mean flow are obtained by a perturbation approach based on the exact solution. In addition it is found that mean flows of either sign occur in the form of an instability, even in the case when the temperature field is stationary.

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F. H. Busse and W. L. Chen


It is shown in the limit of small Ekman number that the preferred mode of the symmetric instability exhibits a slight angle of inclination with the direction of the mean flow. The sign of the angle depends an the sign of P − 1, where P is the Prandtl number. It is likely that owing to this effect the range of Richardson numbers for which the instability occurs is increased significantly beyond the limits derived by Kuo (1956) and by McIntyre (1970). Numerical computations are needed to establish this property quantitatively.

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