Bifurcation to oscillations in three-dimensional Rayleigh-Bénard convection
- Three-dimensional bouyancy-driven convection in a horizontal fluid layer with stress-free boundary conditions at the top and bottom and periodic boundary conditions in the horizontal directions is investigated by means of numerical simulation and bifurcation-analysis techniques. The aspect ratio is fixed to a value of 2√2 and the Prandtl number to a value of 6.8. Two-dimensional convection rolls are found to be stable up to a Rayleigh number of 17 950, where a Hopf bifurcation leads to traveling waves. These are stable up to a Rayleigh number of 30 000, where a secondary Hopf bifurcation generates modulated traveling waves. We pay particular attention to the symmetries of the solutions and symmetry breaking by the bifurcations.