Experimental and numerical results on three-dimensional instabilities in a rotating disk-tall cylinder flow

J. N. Sørensen, Alexander Gelfgat*, I. V. Naumov, R. F. Mikkelsen

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The three-dimensional axisymmetry-breaking instability of axisymmetric flow between a rotating lid and a stationary cylinder is analyzed both numerically and experimentally for the case of tall cylinders with the height/radius aspect ratio between 3.3 and 5.5. A complete stability diagram for the primary three-dimensional instability is obtained experimentally and computed numerically. The instability sets in due to different three-dimensional disturbance modes that are characterized by different azimuthal wavenumbers. The critical Reynolds numbers and associated frequencies are identified for each mode. The onset of three-dimensional flow behavior is measured by combining the high spatial resolution of particle image velocimetry and the temporal accuracy of laser Doppler anemometry. The results are compared to the numerical stability analysis. The measured onset of three dimensionality is in a good agreement with the numerical results. Disagreements observed in supercritical regimes can be explained by secondary bifurcations that are not accounted for by linear stability analysis of the primary base flow.

Original languageEnglish
Article number054102
JournalPhysics of Fluids
Issue number5
StatePublished - 2009


FundersFunder number
German-Israeli Foundation for Scientific Research and Development954-34.10/2007
Russian Foundation for Basic Research07-01-00223, 07-08-00296


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