Category Archives: Nonequilibrium Physics

Spiral defect chaos in Physical Review Fluids

A paper on spiral defect chaos has been published in Physical Review Fluids. The paper details are below:

E. Vitral, S. Mukherjee, P. H. Leo, J. Vinals, M. R. Paul, and Z-F. Huang, Spiral defect chaos in Rayleigh-Benard convection: Asymptotic and numerical studies of azimuthal flows induced by rotating spirals, Physical Review Fluids (2020).

Chaotic Rayleigh-Benard convection in the journal Chaos

A paper exploring the use of Lyapunov based diagnostics on the study of chaos in convection has been published in the journal Chaos. More details are given below:

R. Levanger, M. Xu, J. Cyranka, M. Schatz, K. Mischaikow, and M. R. Paul, Correlations between the leading Lyapunov vector and pattern defects for chaotic Rayleigh-Benard convection, Chaos, 29, 053103, (2019).

Chaos in a realistic container in Physical Review E

Mu Xu is the lead author on a paper exploring the chaotic convection in a container with sidewalls of finite thickness that has been published in Physical Review E. More details are given below:

M. Xu and M. R. Paul, Chaotic Rayleigh-Benard Convection with Finite Sidewalls, Physical Review E, 98, 012201, (2018).

Persistant homology paper in Physica D

Our paper on the use of ideas from persistent homology for large non equilibrium fluid systems has been published in Physica D.  This is a large collaborative effort between my group at Virginia Tech, Mike Schatz’ group in the physics department at Georgia Tech, and Konstantin Mischaikow’s group in the match department at Rutgers University. The paper can be found here.


The image above is from a numerical simulation from my group of the spiral defect chaos state of Rayleigh-Benard convection in a large cylindrical domain. Color contours are shown of the temperature of the fluid where red is hot rising fluid and blue is cold falling fluid. The solid black line around the edges indicate the position of the lateral sidewalls of the convection domain.

Covariant Lyapunov vector paper in Physical Review E

Mu Xu is the lead author on the paper “Covariant Lyapunov vectors of chaotic Rayleigh-Benard convection” which has been published in Physical Review E. The paper can be found here.


Shown above is the spatial power spectrum of the covariant Lyapunov vectors for chaotic Rayleigh-Benard convection where q is the wavenumber and j is the index of the covariant Lyapunov vector. Color represent the magnitude of the power spectrum where red is large and blue in small.

Multiple Open Faculty Positions in the ME Department

The Mechanical Engineering Department has multiple open tenure-track faculty positions. The two areas of interest are Fluid-Thermal Science and Mechanical Systems. More details can be found in the following advertisement.

fall2013Photo is of the Holtzman Alumni center taken from a gallery of Fall 2013 images posted at