Speaker: Prof. Daniel Lecoanet, Northwestern University
Abstract: Many natural systems have turbulent, convective regions adjacent to stably-stratified regions. This occurs in most stars, the Earth’s atmosphere, and planetary cores. In all these systems, the turbulent convection can excite waves in the stably stratified region. Although these waves carry nearly zero net momentum, they can still spontaneously generate zonal flows in the stable layers. In this talk, I will describe recent work to characterize the wave excitation process, as well as the zonal-flow evolution induced by the waves. These studies can help interpret recent zonal-flow measurements in the Earth’s atmosphere as well as in red giant stars.