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Introduction to Hydrodynamic Stability

# Introduction to Hydrodynamic Stability

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Published by: Gohar Khokhar on Feb 26, 2011

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Introduction to hydrodynamicstability
This notebook has been written in
Mathematica
byMark J. McCreadyProfessor and Chair of Chemical EngineeringUniversity of Notre DameNotre Dame IN 46556USAMark.J.McCready.1@nd.eduhttp://www.nd.edu/~mjm/ It is copyrighted to the extent allowed by whatever laws pertain to the World Wide Web and the Internet.I would hope that as a professional courtesy, that if you use it, that this notice remain visible to other users.There is no charge for copying and disseminationVersion:  3/16/98This notebook is intended to give a first introduction to hydrodynamic instability.  This includes both the physicalconcepts and several of useful mathematical manipulations.There are three parts.  The first discusses the concept of linear instability theory and uses a simple wave equationto demonstrate the linearization and calculation of temporal and spatial growth.The second part derives the stability relation for a two-layer inviscid flow, the Kelvin-Helmoltz instability.The third part shows how to derive the basic equation of hydrodynamic stability for Newtonian fluids, the Orr-Sommerfeld equation.

The general idea of flow instability
It  has  been  observed  in  nature,  that  the  steady  state  solutions  for  different  systems  can  become  unstable  toinfinitesimal  disturbances  which  should  be  expected  to  always  be  present,  (the  ground  is  always  vibrating,buildings  breath  and  bend,  etc.  ...)  and  possibly  because  of  molecular  motions.   A  common  example  is  theformation of waves on bodies of water owing to the action of wind.  The "Taylor- Couette Flow" instability is apopular laboratory instabilility that arises due to centrifugal force, and Rayleigh-Benard convection, which arisesbecause of density differences is important both in nature and in laboratories.Each of these  instabilities  has a precise,  although  not  necessarily  well understood,  physical mechanism.   Thecommon feature of an instability is that infinitesimal velocity or density perturbances are amplified(by the baseflow or global forces) and thus grow to finite size.  Growth of distrubances could be algebraic or exponential.Typical analysis (such as those shown below) assume an exponential growth because it is expected that this wouldoverwhelm  any  algebraic  growth.   However,  algebraic  analyses  have  been  used  in  some  situations  whereexponential models did not match data.  It is not clear that these have matched any better, but this discussion isbeyond the point of this introductory module.Infinitesimal perturbations are expected to be in the form of noise.  The question is, how to represent this when wewant to model instability.  Fortunately, the noise is infinitesimal, which means its amplitude is small compared toany length scale such as its wavelength.  This allows the nonlinear governing equations to be well-approximatedby linearized versions.  The linear equations are amenable to a Fourier mode  analysis that can be used to representany noice signal as a linear combination of independent modes. If we assume exponential growth (because is the strongest possible and what is observed in nature), and if thegrowth is in time (which could be how it occurs)  an equation for the amplitude,
a
, of some disturbance,
a
is
a
=
a
0 Exp[
ω

], where
a
0 is the initial amplitude of the disturbance and
ω
is the temporal growth rate.  Even is
a
0 isof molecular dimensions (i.e. 10^-10 cm) , and the growth rate is a very reasonable (for common systems),
ω
= 1 / s.  We find that it would take only 23 seconds for the disturbance to reach an amplitude of 1 cm !!!  We thusexpect a linearly unstable flow to show some evidence of growing disturbances, unless the residence time is short.Here is the time calculation
N
Log
1

1

10
10
 
23.0259
Note that if the amplitude is growing exponentially, at some point nonlinear processes will become important.Nonlinear analysis is beyond the scope of this module.2
intro.hydrodynamic.stability.nb

Analysis of instability
To do mathematical analysis of an instability, we need to chose a "basestate" that is the base flow in the absenceof an instability.  This could be 0 velocity or it could be a falling film with no waves or a stratified flow with nowaves, etc..Since we expect that linear equations should govern the initial growth of instability, we will linearize the completegoverning equations around the base flow.  This is done by taking the baseflow, say
u
0 and allowing a smallperturbation,  say
.   Thus  the  complete  velocity  field  would  be
u
=
u
0 +

u
1.   Note  this  this  is for  a onedimensional problem.  For higher dimensions, you would have order
components in the other directions even if the base flow in that direction was 0.The magnitude of
is small (<<1) because it is, for example, the amplitude to wavelength of the noise signal.We proceed by substituting
u
=
u
0 +

u
1into the governing equations and the boundary conditions and collectingpowers of
.  Because we desire the analysis to be valid for any arbitrary
, we can separate the system intopowers of
.The
0
equations will be the equations for the base state and should be identically 0.The
1
equations, should give the behavior of the very small amplitude disturbance and will contain
u
0, which weknow and
u
1, the distrubance that we wish to study.  These equations are necessarily linear (we just linearizedthem with this procedure).  Any higher powers of
will be ignored and saved for when we want to do nonlinearanalysis (not today!!).To determine the response of the equation to an arbitray noise signal, we choose a mode that represents the kind of disturbance that we expect to see.  If the domain is fixed and there is no flow through, (e.g., a solid beam), wemight  expect  to  use  fixed  spatially  periodic  modes  that  grow  in  time.   For  waves  on  water,  we  would  use(traveling) spatially and temporally periodic disturbances that could grow in space and/or time.Since the system is linear, we can examine the response of any separate mode without worrying about the effect of other modes. This linearity allows us to decompose an arbitrary disturbance into an integral (i.e. a sum) of Fouriermodes,  each  of which  will ultimately  satisfy  the  equations  and  boundary  conditions.   By  scanning the  entirefrequency  or  wavenumber  range,  we  can  be  sure  that  we  understand  the  effect  of  any  initial  (infintesimal)disturbance.
intro.hydrodynamic.stability.nb
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