Exotic wakes of an oscillating circular cylinder: how singles pair up

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Fascinating wake vortex patterns emerge when a circular cylinder is forced to vibrate laterally to a uniform fluid flow, deviating from the well-known Kármán vortex street and first reported by Williamson & Roshko (J. Fluids Struct., vol. 2, 1988, pp. 355-381). The two rows of single vortices (2S mode) can suddenly transition to a row of paired vortices and a row of single vortices (P+S mode) as the forcing amplitude is increased. Further increase in amplitude finds another sudden jump back to the 2S mode. Through a series of elegant and carefully crafted numerical simulations, Matharu et al. (J. Fluid Mech., vol. 918, 2021, A42) determine that the transitions occur via bifurcations, but that underlying these observed 'jumps', a continuous evolution of the vortex street between the modes is seen along unstable branches connecting the two modes. As the Reynolds number decreases from 100, bistability and the P+S mode are eventually suppressed.

Original languageEnglish
Article numberF1
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of Fluid Mechanics
Publication statusPublished - 5 Jul 2021


  • bifurcation
  • computational methods
  • vortex shedding

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