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Chaos. 2011 Jun;21(2):023118. doi: 10.1063/1.3591793.

Dynamics of zero-Prandtl number convection near onset.

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  • 1Department of Physics, Indian Institute of Technology, Kanpur 208 016, India.


We present a detailed bifurcation scenario of zero-Prandtl number Rayleigh-BeĢnard convection using direct numerical simulations (DNS) and a 27-mode low-dimensional model containing the most energetic modes of DNS. The bifurcation analysis reveals a rich variety of convective flow patterns and chaotic solutions, some of which are common to that of the 13-mode model of Pal et al. [EPL 87, 54003 (2009)]. We also observed a set of periodic and chaotic wavy rolls in DNS and in the model similar to those observed in experiments and numerical simulations. The time period of the wavy rolls is closely related to the eigenvalues of the stability matrix of the Hopf bifurcation points at the onset of convection. This time period is in good agreement with the experimental results for low-Prandtl number fluids. The chaotic attractor of the wavy roll solutions is born through a quasiperiodic and phase-locking route to chaos.

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