Natural Convection in Porous Media and the Collapse of the Wave Function

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The problem of nonlinear natural convection in a fluid saturated porous layer heated from below is reviewed focusing on the specific result of a collapse of the wave function. When the conditions for the onset of convection are met, a wave function is obtained as the solution of the linearized equations expressed in terms of a Fourier expansion. Only one mode of this expansion survives at the onset of convection, a result that can be seen as the “collapse of the wave function” in a very similar fashion as in quantum mechanics, although the explanations of the latter are very distinct from the ones in quantum mechanics. The reasons behind the “collapse of the wave function” result in natural convection are discussed and the analysis is extended into the nonlinear domain of convection, by using a weak nonlinear analysis.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)76-83
Number of pages8
JournalPhysics (Switzerland)
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jun 2019
Externally publishedYes


  • Collapse of the wave function
  • Natural convection
  • Schrödinger equation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Physics and Astronomy


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