Rayleigh-Benard Convection in a Dielectric Liquid : Imposed Time-Periodic Boundary Temperatures

CJM Vol. 1 No. 2 (December 2009), pp. 105 – 121.


We discuss the thermal instability in a layer of dielectric fluid when the boundaries of the layer are subjected to synchronous/asynchronous time-periodic temperatures. Only infinitesimal disturbances are considered. Perturbation solution in powers of the amplitude of the applied temperature field is obtained. In the case when the Imposed Time-periodic Boundary Temperatures (ITBT) at the two walls are synchronized then for moderate values of frequency the role of the electric Rayleigh Number in inducing subcritical instabilities is delineated. A similar role is shown to be played by the Prandtl number. The dielectric parameters and Prandtl number have the opposite effect at large frequencies. The system is most stable when the ITBT is asynchronous. The problem has relevance in many dielectric fluid applications wherein regulation of thermal convection is called for.

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