Journal of Fluid Mechanics



Richtmyer–Meshkov instability growth: experiment, simulation and theory


RICHARD L. HOLMES a1, GUY DIMONTE a2, BRUCE FRYXELL a3, MICHAEL L. GITTINGS a1a4, JOHN W. GROVE a1a5, MARILYN SCHNEIDER a2, DAVID H. SHARP a1, ALEXANDER L. VELIKOVICH a6, ROBERT P. WEAVER a1 and QIANG ZHANG a4
a1 Los Alamos National Laboratory, Los Alamos, NM 87545, USA
a2 Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory, Livermore, CA 94551, USA
a3 Department of Physics and Atmospheric Science, Drexel University, Philadelphia, PA 19104, USA and Goddard Space Flight Center, NASA, Greenbelt, MD 20771, USA
a4 Science Applications International Corporation, San Diego, CA 92121, USA
a5 Department of Applied Mathematics and Statistics, University at Stony Brook, Stony Brook, NY 11794-3600, USA
a6 Berkeley Research Associates, PO Box 852, Springfield, VA 22510-0852, USA

Abstract

Richtmyer–Meshkov instability is investigated for negative Atwood number and two-dimensional sinusoidal perturbations by comparing experiments, numerical simulations and analytic theories. The experiments were conducted on the NOVA laser with strong radiatively driven shocks with Mach numbers greater than 10. Three different hydrodynamics codes (RAGE, PROMETHEUS and FronTier) reproduce the amplitude evolution and the gross features in the experiment while the fine-scale features differ in the different numerical techniques. Linearized theories correctly calculate the growth rates at small amplitude and early time, but fail at large amplitude and late time. A nonlinear theory using asymptotic matching between the linear theory and a potential flow model shows much better agreement with the late-time and large-amplitude growth rates found in the experiments and simulations. We vary the incident shock strength and initial perturbation amplitude to study the behaviour of the simulations and theory and to study the effects of compression and nonlinearity.

(Received January 5 1998)
(Revised September 4 1998)



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