Coevolution of inverse cascade and nonlinear heat front in shear flows of strongly coupled Yukawa liquids

J., Ashwin; Ganesh, R.
August 2011
Physics of Plasmas;Aug2011, Vol. 18 Issue 8, p083704
Academic Journal
Using classical molecular dynamics (MD) simulations, we report on the development and propagation of a nonlinear heat front in parallel shear flows of a strongly coupled Yukawa liquid. At a given coupling strength, a subsonic shear profile is superposed on an equilibrated Yukawa liquid and Kelvin Helmholtz (KH) instability is observed. Coherent vortices are seen to emerge towards the nonlinear regime of the instability. It is seen that while inverse cascade leads to a continuous transfer of flow energy towards the largest scales, there is also a simultaneous transfer of flow energy into the thermal velocities of grains at the smallest scale. The latter is an effect of velocity shear and thus leads to the generation of a nonlinear heat front. In the linear regime, the heat front is seen to propagate at speed much lesser than the adiabatic sound speed of the liquid. Spatio-temporal growth of this heat front occurs concurrently with the inverse cascade of KH modes.


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