Entry Date:
October 15, 2009

Stratified Flows

Principal Investigator Thomas Peacock

Peacock’s group retains a fundamental interest in the behavior of stratified ids beyond internal waves. Having previously shown that an object coating in a density-stratified fluid is spontaneously propelled by molecular diffusion [19], we have extended this concept to the related and novel scenario of coating objects propelled by virtue of heating and cooling of their surfaces (i.e. propulsion via natural convection). To this end, we constructed an experimental device, investigated the thermally-driven flows over its surface using PIV, compared the experimental data with results from analytical boundary layer models and numerical simulations, and established the dominant physical scalings for this effect. The findings are relevant to environmental, industrial and perhaps even biological processes.