Rayleigh Number

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Rayleigh Number

The nondimensional ratio between the product of buoyancy forces and heat advection and the product of viscous forces and heat conduction in a fluid. It is written as

Missing Image:img src="SP7_r_files/rayleigh.gif"

where g is the acceleration of gravity; ΔzT is a characteristic vertical temperature difference in the characteristic depth d ; α is the coefficient of expansion; v is the kinematic viscosity; and k the thermometric conductivity. </dd>
The Rayleigh number is equal to the product of the Grashof and Prandtl numbers, and is the critical parameter in the theory of thermal instability. [[/a>|/a> ]]


This article is based on NASA's Dictionary of Technical Terms for Aerospace Use