Igot Aranson, Michel Assenheimer, Victor Steinberg, and Lev Tsimring. Large-scale flow and spiral core instability in Rayleigh-Benard Convection, Phys. Rev. E, v.55, R4877 (1997).

The spiral core instability, observed in large aspect ratio Rayleigh-Benard convection, is studied numerically in the framework of the Swift-Hohenberg equation coupled to a large-scale flow. It is shown that the instability leads to non-trivial core dynamics and is driven by the self-generated vorticity. Moreover, the recently reported transition from spirals to hexagons near the core is shown to occur only in the presence of a non-variational nonlinearity, and is triggered by the spiral core instability. Qualitative agreement between the simulations and the experiments is demonstrated.

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