Maximal potential energy transport: a variational principle for solidification problems.
We analyze numerically the mechanisms controlling the spacing of chimneys--channels devoid of solid--in two-dimensional mushy layers formed by solidifying a binary alloy. Chimneys are the principal conduits through which buoyancy effects material transport out of the mushy layer and into the liquid from which it formed. Experiments show a coarsening of chimney spacing; we pursue the hypothesis that the spacing adjusts to optimize material transport and hence maximize the rate of removal of po...Expand abstract
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