A global bifurcation of the blue sky catastrophe type has been found in a small Prandtl number binary mixture contained in a laterally heated cavity. The system has been studied numerically applying the tools of bifurcation theory. The catastrophe corresponds to the destruction of an orbit which, for a large range of Rayleigh numbers, is the only stable solution. This orbit is born in a global saddle-loop bifurcation and becomes chaotic in a period-doubling cascade just before its disappearance at the blue sky catastrophe.
- Received 10 September 2003
- Published 11 June 2004
- Publisher error corrected 15 June 2004
© 2004 The American Physical Society