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Lookup NU author(s): Professor Axel Brandenburg
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The buoyant rise of thermals (i.e. bubbles of enhanced entropy, but initially in pressure equilibrium) is investigated numerically in three dimensions for the case of an adiabatically stratified layer covering 6-9 pressure scale heights. It is found that these bubbles can travel to large heights before being braked by the excess pressure that builds up in order to drive the gas sideways in the head of the bubble. Until this happens, the momentum of the bubble grows as described by the time-integrated buoyancy force. This validates the simple theory of bubble dynamics whereby the mass entrainment of the bubble provides an effective braking force well before the bubble stops ascending. This is quantified by an entrainment parameter alpha which is calculated from the simulations and is found to be in good agreement with the experimental measurements. This work is discussed in the context of contact binaries whose secondaries could be subject to dissipative heating in the outermost layers.
Author(s): Brandenburg A, Hazlehurst J
Publication type: Article
Publication status: Published
Journal: Astronomy and Astrophysics
ISSN (print): 0004-6361
ISSN (electronic): 1432-0746
Publisher: EDP Sciences
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