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Flow structures in liquid metal Rayleigh-Benard convection under the influence of DC magnetic fields

Vogt, T.; Schindler, F.; Zürner, T.; Schumacher, J.; Tasaka, Y.; Yanagisawa, T.; Eckert, S.


One of the classical problems in fluid dynamics is the Rayleigh-Bénard convection (RBC) where a fluid layer is exposed to a temperature difference ΔT between a colder lid and a warmer bottom. RBC under the influence of a steady magnetic field is of particular interest in geo- and astrophysics, but has also some relevance for technical applications such as the use of liquid metals for new type of batteries or heat removals in fusion blankets. In this paper we present flow measurements conducted in various geometries and magnetic field configurations. Systematic flow measurements were performed by means of the ultrasound Doppler velocimetry (UDV). Experiments were carried out in GaInSn using a cylindrical fluid vessel in a vertical magnetic field and a rectangular container exposed to a horizontal magnetic field. Various flow regimes have been identified by the velocity measurements, in particular, we studied the transition from a quasi-two-dimensional state towards a three-dimensional flow occurring with decreasing magnetic field strength.

Keywords: Rayleigh; Benard convection; liquid metals; magnetoconvection; flow measurements; ultrasound Doppler velocimetry

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