University of Cambridge > > DAMTP Astrophysics Seminar > Dissipation, rotation, and other missing elements in mixing length theory

Dissipation, rotation, and other missing elements in mixing length theory

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Standard evolutionary (one-dimensional) models of stellar interiors rely on mixing length theory (MLT) to describe heat transport by convection. As such, these models typically do not explicitly account for dissipative heating (by processes such as viscous or ohmic heating) or rotation. In this talk I will present theoretical and numerical results from simple two and three dimensional models that give some insight into the effects of dissipation and rotation on convection—effects which may ultimately influence the behaviour of many astrophysical bodies. In the first part I will discuss the magnitude of dissipative heating in a stratified convecting fluid, and in particular will examine how the heating in simulations of a convective, anelastic gas compares to theoretical estimates first presented by Hewitt et al. (1975). In the second part of this talk I will consider a simple Cartesian, Boussinesq model of rotating convection and present physical arguments of a rotating MLT akin to those first proposed by Stevenson (1979) and more recently by Barker et al. (2014). I will then focus on an extension of this theory to consider cases where rotation is oblique to gravity, representative of mid-latitudes on a spherical body, and discuss the resulting complications for rotating MLT that arise here.

This talk is part of the DAMTP Astrophysics Seminar series.

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