Phenomena

Benard Cells

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When a fluid in a gravitational field is heated from below, it can develop a Rayleigh-Benard instability which causes the formation of convection cells as in the video above. The hexagonal shape of the cells is due to the boundary conditions of the fluid. It’s possible to form other shapes like spirals. The same mechanism drives the formation of granules on the photospheres of stars like our sun.

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