Effect of particle mass inhomogeneity on the two-dimensional Rayleigh–Bénard system of Yukawa liquids: A molecular dynamics study

Physics of Plasmas, Volume 28, Issue 11, November 2021. The effect of particle mass inhomogeneity on the evolution of macroscale fluid flow in the Rayleigh–Bénard system of two-dimensional Yukawa liquids is studied using “first principles” classical molecular dynamics simulations. We find that Rayleigh–Bénard convection cells (RBCCs) formed in the quasi-steady-state become unstable at later times as a result of introducing a small fraction ([math] of the total particles) of particle mass inhomogeneity in a Yukawa system made up of point particles of uniform charges. The unstable RBCCs, after passing through several intermediate states, give rise to a unidirectional shear flow in the direction perpendicular to the external gravity. Depending on the fraction and phase space of the particle mass inhomogeneity introduced in the system, the unidirectional shear flow further evolves to give shearless parallel flow. We use single or dual particle mass distributions of various forms, such as Gaussian distribution, Dirac-delta distribution, or a combination of both, around different mean values in order to introduce particle mass inhomogeneity. The role of system size on the emergence of various intermediate fluid flow states is also investigated. Furthermore, by introducing an inhomogeneity in charge commensurate with mass inhomogeneity, we demonstrate the robustness of our findings. Finally, for the case of decreasing correlation strength and for otherwise identical parameters, it is shown that the particle mass inhomogeneity fails to generate shear flows from RBCCs in 2D Yukawa liquids.