Multiple solutions and stability of confined convective and swirling flows - A continuing challenge

Alexander Gelfgat*, Pinhas Z. Bar-Yoseph

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Our recent results on stability and multiplicity of flow states for confined flows of an incompressible Newtonian fluid are surveyed. The considered laminar flows are caused by either thermal, mechanical, or electromagnetic effects and beyond the stability limit exhibit multiplicity of stable, steady or oscillatory, asymptotic states. Stability diagrams as well as examples of multiple flow states are given. It is concluded that beyond the critical value of the characteristic non-dimensional parameter, and below the threshold to stochastic or turbulent state, multiple, stable asymptotic flow states can be expected. This means that at such flow regimes, any computational (experimental) result may be strongly dependent on its initial condition and/or computational (experimental) path. Uncertainties of experimental and numerical modeling, which follow from this conclusion, are discussed. The global spectral Galerkin method using divergence free basis functions has been employed for the spatial approximation of the velocity and temperature fields. Several numerical experiments were performed comparing the present and other formulations, each of which confirmed the computational efficiency of the present approach over other classical numerical methods.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)213-241
Number of pages29
JournalInternational Journal of Numerical Methods for Heat and Fluid Flow
Issue number2
StatePublished - 2004


  • Finite volume methods
  • Rotational motion
  • Thermal stability


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