Reports

Laboratory Simulation of Thermal Convection in Rotating Planets and Stars

Science  09 Jan 1976:
Vol. 191, Issue 4222, pp. 81-83
DOI: 10.1126/science.191.4222.81

Abstract

Because of dynamical constraints in a rotating system, the component of gravity perpendicular to the axis of rotation is the dominant driving force of convection in liquid planetary cores and in stars. Except for the sign, the centrifugal force closely resembles the perpendicular component of gravity. Convection processes in stars and planets can therefore be modeled in laboratory experiments by using the centrifugal force with a reversed temperature gradient.

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