Hydrodynamics of “Thermal” Granular Convection
We employ the Navier-Stokes granular hydrodynamics for determining the threshold of “thermal” convection in a horizontal layer of fluidized granular medium [1, 2]. A recent experiment with a highly fluidized three-dimensional granular flow  gives strong evidence for thermal convection. In the simplest model of inelastic hard spheres, the convection sets in when the restitution co-efficient becomes smaller than a critical value  . When gravity goes to zero, the convection instability turns into a recently discovered phase separation insta-bility . A lower bound for the convection threshold is determined using the Schwarzschild criterion of stability of classical compressible fluid.
KeywordsFroude Number Knudsen Number Thermal Convection Inelastic Collision Convection Instability
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