Experimental results for natural convection in a cavity are reported. Both constrained and unconstrained cavity geometries were studied. Detailed velocity profiles were obtained using Laser doppler velocimetry for Rayleigh numbers between 3 × 1010 and 2 × 1011, corresponding to a constant elevated wall temperature boundary condition. Characteristics of two-dimensional and three-dimensional flows obtained with dye flow visualization are discussed, including boundary layer transition to turbulence, flow patterns in the cavity, and flow outside of the cavity. Local Nusselt number is correlated with local Rayleigh number for constrained and unconstrained cavities.

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