Natural convection of a two-dimensional Boussinesq fluid does not maximize entropy production

Stuart Bartlett, Seth Bullock

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle (Academic Journal)peer-review

11 Citations (Scopus)


Rayleigh-Bénard convection is a canonical example of spontaneous pattern formation in a nonequilibrium system. It has been the subject of considerable theoretical and experimental study, primarily for systems with constant (temperature or heat flux) boundary conditions. In this investigation, we have explored the behavior of a convecting fluid system with negative feedback boundary conditions. At the upper and lower system boundaries, the inward heat flux is defined such that it is a decreasing function of the boundary temperature. Thus the system's heat transport is not constrained in the same manner that it is in the constant temperature or constant flux cases. It has been suggested that the entropy production rate (which has a characteristic peak at intermediate heat flux values) might apply as a selection rule for such a system. In this work, we demonstrate with Lattice Boltzmann simulations that entropy production maximization does not dictate the steady state of this system, despite its success in other, somewhat similar scenarios. Instead, we will show that the same scaling law of dimensionless variables found for constant boundary conditions also applies to this system.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)023014
JournalPhysical Review E: Statistical, Nonlinear, and Soft Matter Physics
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2014


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