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Analysis of the shearing instability in nonlinear convection and magnetoconvection

By A.M. Rucklidge and P.C. Matthews

Abstract

Numerical experiments on two-dimensional convection with or without a vertical magnetic field reveal a bewildering variety of periodic and aperiodic oscillations. Steady rolls can develop a shearing instability, in which rolls turning over in one direction grow at the expense of rolls turning over in the other, resulting in a net shear across the layer. As the temperature difference across the fluid is increased, two-dimensional pulsating waves occur, in which the direction of shear alternates. We analyse the nonlinear dynamics of this behaviour by first constructing appropriate low-order sets of ordinary differential equations, which show the same behaviour, and then analysing the global bifurcations that lead to these oscillations by constructing one-dimensional return maps. We compare the behaviour of the partial differential equations, the models and the maps in systematic two-parameter studies of both the magnetic and the non-magnetic cases, emphasising how the symmetries of periodic solutions change as a result of global bifurcations. Much of the interesting behaviour is associated with a discontinuous change in the leading direction of a fixed point at a global bifurcation; this change occurs when the magnetic field is introduced

Year: 1996
OAI identifier: oai:eprints.whiterose.ac.uk:982

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