Convection cells induced by spontaneous symmetry breaking
Department of Physics, Virginia Tech -
Blacksburg, VA 24061-0435, USA
Corresponding author: Michel.Pleimling@vt.edu
Accepted: 19 February 2010
Ubiquitous in nature, convection cells are a clear signature of systems out-of-equilibrium. Typically, they are driven by external forces, like gravity (in combination with temperature gradients) or shear. In this article, we show the existence of such cells in possibly the simplest system, one that involves only a temperature gradient. In particular, we consider an Ising lattice gas on a square lattice, in contact with two thermal reservoirs, one at infinite temperature and another at T. When this system settles into a non-equilibrium stationary state, many interesting phenomena exist. One of these is the emergence of convection cells, driven by spontaneous symmetry breaking when T is set below the critical temperature.
PACS: 05.70.Ln – Nonequilibrium and irreversible thermodynamics / 47.55.pb – Thermal convection / 64.60.De – Statistical mechanics of model systems (Ising model, Potts model, field-theory models, Monte Carlo techniques, etc.)
© EPLA, 2010