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- 1999 (2) (remove)

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- Institut für Physik und Astronomie (2) (remove)

A numerical bifurcation analysis of the electrically driven plane sheet pinch is presented. The electrical conductivity varies across the sheet such as to allow instability of the quiescent basic state at some critical Hartmann number. The most unstable perturbation is the two-dimensional tearing mode. Restricting the whole problem to two spatial dimensions, this mode is followed up to a time-asymptotic steady state, which proves to be sensitive to three-dimensional perturbations even close to the point where the primary instability sets in. A comprehensive three-dimensional stability analysis of the two-dimensional steady tearing-mode state is performed by varying parameters of the sheet pinch. The instability with respect to three-dimensional perturbations is suppressed by a sufficiently strong magnetic field in the invariant direction of the equilibrium. For a special choice of the system parameters, the unstably perturbed state is followed up in its nonlinear evolution and is found to approach a three-dimensional steady state.

We investigate numerically the appearance of heteroclinic behavior in a three-dimensional, buoyancy-driven fluid layer with stress-free top and bottom boundaries, a square horizontal periodicity with a small aspect ratio, and rotation at low to moderate rates about a vertical axis. The Prandtl number is 6.8. If the rotation is not too slow, the skewed-varicose instability leads from stationary rolls to a stationary mixed-mode solution, which in turn loses stability to a heteroclinic cycle formed by unstable roll states and connections between them. The unstable eigenvectors of these roll states are also of the skewed-varicose or mixed-mode type and in some parameter regions skewed-varicose like shearing oscillations as well as square patterns are involved in the cycle. Always present weak noise leads to irregular horizontal translations of the convection pattern and makes the dynamics chaotic, which is verified by calculating Lyapunov exponents. In the nonrotating case, the primary rolls lose, depending on the aspect ratio, stability to traveling waves or a stationary square pattern. We also study the symmetries of the solutions at the intermittent fixed points in the heteroclinic cycle.