Centrifugal instability of a stokes layer: Subharmonic destabilization of the taylor vortex mode

P. Hall

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The centrifugal instability of a Stokes layer has been investigated by Seminara & Hall (1976, 1977). It was found that the Stokes layer on a torsionally oscillating circular cylinder is unstable to perturbations periodic along the axis of the cylinder when the Taylor number for the flow exceeds a certain critical value. The weakly nonlinear theory given by Seminara & Hall showed that, if nonlinear effects are considered, at this Taylor number a stable axially periodic equilibrium flow bifurcates from the basic circumferential flow. It is known experimentally that this equilibrium flow becomes unstable to disturbances having a longer axial wavelength at a second critical Taylor number about 10 % greater than the first critical value. Moreover it is known that, in the initial stages of this destabilization, a mode having twice the axial wavelength of the fundamental is present. In this paper we investigate the linear stability of the bifurcating solution to such a subharmonie mode. An approximate solution of the linear stability problem shows that the subharmonic becomes unstable at a Taylor number remarkably close to the experimentally measured second critical Taylor number.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)523-530
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Fluid Mechanics
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 1981
Externally publishedYes

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