The Mathematical Institute, University of Oxford, Eprints Archive

Subcritical transition in channel flows

Chapman, S. J. (2002) Subcritical transition in channel flows. Journal of Fluid Mechanics, 451 . pp. 35-97. ISSN 0022-1120

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Abstract

Certain laminar flows are known to be linearly stable at all Reynolds numbers, R, although in practice they always become turbulent for sufficiently large R. Other flows typically become turbulent well before the critical Reynolds number of linear instability. One resolution of these paradoxes is that the domain of attraction for the laminar state shrinks for large $R$ (as $R^\gamma$ say, with $\gamma < 0$), so that small but finite perturbations lead to transition. Trefethen et al. (1993) conjectured that in fact [gamma] <[minus sign]1. Subsequent numerical experiments by Lundbladh, Henningson & Reddy (1994) indicated that for streamwise initial perturbations $\gamma = -1$ and $-7/4$ for plane Couette and plane Poiseuille flow respectively (using subcritical Reynolds numbers for plane Poiseuille flow), while for oblique initial perturbations $\gamma = -5/4$ and $-7/4$. Here, through a formal asymptotic analysis of the Navier–Stokes equations, it is found that for streamwise initial perturbations $\gamma =-1$ and $-3/2$ for plane Couette and plane Poiseuille flow respectively (factoring out the unstable modes for plane Poiseuille flow), while for oblique initial perturbations $\gamma =-1$ and $-5/4$. Furthermore it is shown why the numerically determined threshold exponents are not the true asymptotic values.

Item Type:Article
Subjects:D - G > Fluid mechanics
Research Groups:Oxford Centre for Industrial and Applied Mathematics
ID Code:608
Deposited By:Jon Chapman
Deposited On:24 May 2007
Last Modified:20 Jul 2009 14:22

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