Three-dimensional instabilities in the wake of a circular cylinder

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The two- and three-dimensional wake structure behind a circular cylinder has been computed using a high-order spectral element technique. For the two-dimensional computations the predictions are compared with accurate experimental results and agree to within experimental uncertainty for the Strouhal number and base pressure coefficient. For the three-dimensional simulations, the two modes of three-dimensional instability, designated as modes A and B, both found experimentally but not previously computationally, have been captured. Mode A appears first at a Reynolds number slightly less than 200. As the Reynolds number is increased, there is a transfer of energy to mode B, which has a wavelength approximately one-fourth that of mode A.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)190-196
Number of pages7
JournalExperimental Thermal and Fluid Science
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 1996


  • Bluff-body wakes
  • Wake transition

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