Experimental investigation of rotating turbulent Rayleigh-Bénard convection at large Rayleigh numbers EuHIT Funded Project


Detlef Lohse
Univ of Twente, Enschede, Netherlands
Stephan Weiss
Max Planck Institute for Dynamics and Self-Organization, Göttingen, Germany


Research Infrastructure
Max Planck High-Turbulence Facility, Germany
Facilities used
High-pressure Convection Facility (GTF2)
Project leader
Dennis P.M. van Gils
University of Twente, Enschede, Netherlands


The Göttingen High Pressure Convection Facility (HPCF) – part of work package 4 – is unique in the world and allows for the experimental investigation of thermally driven turbulence at very large driving and with well-controlled boundary conditions and system parameters. It includes various cylindrical Rayleigh-Bénard convection (RBC) cells of up to 3.3 m in height, that are filled with pressurized sulfur hexafluoride (SF\(_{6}\)). Rayleigh numbers of up to \(10^{15}\) can be reached and the transition to the ultimate regime has recently been observed [He et al., PRL, 108, 024502 (2012)]. We are planning to use this facility to investigate rotating turbulent convection at, or at least close to, the geostrophic regime, where Coriolis forces are balanced by local pressure gradients. Understanding this regime is crucial for a better understanding of the convective heat transport in the earths atmosphere.