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B. Finlayson first explained in 1970 (in his paper "Convective instability of ferromagnetic fluids", Journal of Fluid Mechanics 40:753-767) how an external magnetic field imposed on a ferrofluid with varying magnetic susceptibility, e.g., due to a temperature gradient, results in a nonuniform magnetic body force, which leads to thermomagnetic convection. This form of heat transfer can be useful for cases where conventional convection fails to provide adequate heat transfer, e.g., in miniature microscale devices or under reduced gravity conditions. A comprehensive review of thermomagnetic convection (in A. Mukhopadhyay, R. Ganguly, S. Sen, and I. K. Puri, "Scaling analysis to characterize thermomagnetic convection", International Journal of Heat and Mass Transfer 48:3485-3492, (2005)) also shows that this form of convection can be correlated with a dimensionless magnetic Rayleigh number.
The ferrofluid magnetization depends on the local value of the applied magnetic field H as well as on the fluid magnetic susceptibility. In a ferrofluid flow encompassing varying temperatures, the susceptibility is a function of the temperature. This produces a force that can be expressed in the Navier Stokes or momentum equation governing fluid flow as the "Kelvin body force (KBF)".
The KBF creates a static pressure field that is symmetric about a magnet, e.g., a line dipole, that produces a curl-free force field, i.e., curl(ℑ) = 0 for constant temperature flow. Such a symmetric field does not alter the velocity. However, if the temperature distribution about the imposed magnetic field is asymmetric so is the KBF in which case curl(ℑ) ≠ 0. Such an asymmetric body force leads to ferrofluid motion across isotherms.
Bednarz et al.  have studied extensively magnetic convection of paramagnetic fluids in a cubic enclosure heated and cooled from two opposite walls in many different configurations of the magnetic field. Their results are confirmed in both numerical and experimental analyses.
|This article is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License. It uses material from the Wikipedia article "Thermomagnetic_convection". A list of authors is available in Wikipedia.|