When a transparent fluid laden with solid particles is subject to radiative heating, non-uniformities in particle distribution result in local fluid temperature fluctuations. Under the influence of gravity, buoyancy induces vortical fluid motion which can lead to strong preferential concentration, enhancing the local heating and more nonuniformities in particle distribution. By employing direct numerical simulations this study shows that the described feedback loop can create and sustain turbulence. The velocity and length scale of the resulting turbulence is not known a priori, and is set by balance between viscous forces and buoyancy effects. When the particle response time is comparable to a viscous time scale, introduced in our analysis, the system exhibits intense fluctuations of turbulent kinetic energy and strong preferential concentration of particles.
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