Hexagonal convection patterns in atomistically simulated fluids

D. C. Rapaport

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

33 Scopus citations


Molecular dynamics simulation has been used to model pattern formation in three-dimensional Rayleigh-Bénard convection at the discrete-particle level. Two examples are considered, one in which an almost perfect array of hexagonally shaped convection rolls appears, the other a much narrower system that forms a set of linear rolls; both pattern types are familiar from experiment. The nature of the flow within the convection cells and quantitative aspects of the development of the hexagonal planform based on automated polygon subdivision are analyzed. Despite the microscopic scale of the system, relatively large simulations with several million particles and integration time steps are involved.

Original languageEnglish
Article number025301
JournalPhysical Review E
Issue number2
StatePublished - 2006


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