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Exploring the heat transfer regimes of turbulent rotating convection in TROCONVEX

Jonathan Shuo Cheng, Postdoctoral Researcher at TU/e Eindhoven University of Technology

Friday, April 19, 2019
1:30 p.m.
Hopeman 224

The canonical problem of rotating Rayleigh-Bénard convection provides a simplified approach to understanding complex geophysical and astrophysical flows. However, the most geophysically-relevant regimes of rotating convection, where flows are both vigorously turbulent as well as strongly constrained by rotation, are inaccessible to present-day laboratory experiments.

Here, I will present heat transfer results from TROCONVEX, a new 4-meter-high laboratory rotating convection device designed to access ranges of the governing parameters an order of magnitude beyond previously achievable values. I will outline literature predictions for the flow regimes that manifest under asymptotically rapid rotation, which are likely relevant to geophysical systems. Our thermal data demonstrate that, by reaching extreme parameter ranges, TROCONVEX is able to access such asymptotic behaviors. These data not only allow us to distinguish disparate flow regimes from one another, but also to explore certain regimes inaccessible to current asymptotic approaches. In combination with upcoming velocity measurement diagnostics, heat transfer results leave us poised to determine the mechanisms governing regime transitions and to characterize the unique flow behaviors in each regime.