Publication Abstracts

Stothers and Chin 1997

Stothers, R.B., and C.-W. Chin, 1997: The mixing length in convective stellar envelopes is proportional to distance from the convective boundary. Astrophys. J., 478, L103-L106, doi:10.1086/310552.

A calibration of two different stellar convection theories is made by theoretically reproducing with stellar models the effective temperatures of very luminous red supergiants. This calibration is then compared with previous calibrations using less luminous objects. The corresponding range of stellar masses is 1-20 M. For consistency with previous work, the calibrating parameter is taken to be the convective mixing length l. If l is assumed to be proportional to the local pressure scale height HP, the constant of proportionality αP must vary significantly with stellar mass. If, however, l is assumed to be proportional to the distance z below the outer bounary of the convection zone, the constant of proportionality αz emerges as a universal constant, within the uncertainties due to possible errors of the observed effective temperatures and of the theoretically calculated low-temperature opcaities. In particular, standard mixing-length theory yields a constant αz = 2, whereas the new full-spectrum-of-turbulence theory of Canuto & Mazzitelli yields a constant αz = 1. Physical constraints, laboratory experiments, and observations of turbulent convection in the Earth's atmosphere indicate αz ≤ 1. This basic consistency of results over such an enormous range of physical dimensions suggests a very great degree of generality.

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BibTeX Citation

@article{st02100q,
  author={Stothers, R. B. and Chin, C.-W.},
  title={The mixing length in convective stellar envelopes is proportional to distance from the convective boundary},
  year={1997},
  journal={Astrophys. J.},
  volume={478},
  pages={L103--L106},
  doi={10.1086/310552},
}

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RIS Citation

TY  - JOUR
ID  - st02100q
AU  - Stothers, R. B.
AU  - Chin, C.-W.
PY  - 1997
TI  - The mixing length in convective stellar envelopes is proportional to distance from the convective boundary
JA  - Astrophys. J.
VL  - 478
SP  - L103
EP  - L106
DO  - 10.1086/310552
ER  -

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