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Qualitative analysis of a model for boundary effects in the Taylor problem

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  24 October 2008

David G. Schaeffer
Affiliation:
Duke University

Extract

Boundary effects in the classical bifurcation experiments of fluid mechanics have been the subject of much recent investigation, most notably for us the work of Benjamin(2) on bifurcating steady flows in the Taylor problem in a very short annulus. His paper broaches a fundamental conceptual issue: how does the number of cells in the primary flow, an integer, depend on the length L of the annulus, a real parameter? By the primary flow we mean the flow which develops at high Reynolds number R as the rotation speed is increased gradually from rest, L being held constant (say L = L*). The relevant part of Benjamin's data is presented in Fig. 0·1. For the very short annuli of his experiment the primary flow possessed either two of four cells only. (See Section 1 concerning the bias towards an even number of cells.) If L* > L2, L1 < L* < L2 or L* < L1 the primary flow has 4, 2 or 2 cells respectively; however when L1 < L* < L2 the evolution of the flow as R is increased is not smooth but suffers a jump as R passes the middle of the three intersections of the line {L = L*} with the cusped curve Γ in the figure. (It is now widely accepted that the development of cells in the flow occurs over a range of Reynolds numbers; this point is not the issue here.) The curve Γ divides the plane into two regions such that there are one or two stable, experimentally observable flows according as (R, L) lies in region I or region II, respectively. We may refer to the two stable states in region II as 2 cell or 4 cell, although their cellular structure is only partially developed at the moderate values of the Reynolds number occurring in the figure. One or the other of the two flows in region II loses stability across Γ, giving rise to the possibility of jumps when, as above, (R, L) crosses the boundary moving from region II to region I. In general if (R, L) is varied quasi-statically along a path which begins in region I, passes through region II, and re-enters region I, a jump will occur on re-entry if and only if the point H lies between the two points of Γ where the path crosses the boundary (between in the sense of distance along Γ).

Type
Research Article
Copyright
Copyright © Cambridge Philosophical Society 1980

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References

(1)Bauer, L., Keller, H. and Reiss, E.Multiple eigenvalues lead to secondary bifurcation. SIAM J. Appl. Math. 17 (1975), 101122.Google Scholar
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