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Phys Rev Lett. 2001 Oct 8;87(15):154501. Epub 2001 Sep 25.

Power-law behavior of power spectra in low Prandtl number Rayleigh-Bénard convection.

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Department of Physics, California Institute of Technology 114-36, Pasadena, California 91125, USA.


The origin of the power-law decay measured in the power spectra of low Prandtl number Rayleigh-Bénard convection near the onset of chaos is addressed using long time numerical simulations of the three-dimensional Boussinesq equations in cylindrical domains. The power law is found to arise from quasidiscontinuous changes in the slope of the time series of the heat transport associated with the nucleation of dislocation pairs and roll pinch-off events. For larger frequencies, the power spectra decay exponentially as expected for time continuous deterministic dynamics.

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