Journal of Fluid Mechanics

On spatially growing disturbances in an inviscid shear layer

A.  Michalke a1
a1 Deutsche Versuchsanstalt für Luft- und Raumfahrt e.V., Institut für Turbulenzforschung, Berlin

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michalke a   [Google Scholar] 


Experimental investigations of shear layer instability have shown that some obviously essential features of the instability properties cannot be described by the inviscid linearized stability theory of temporally growing disturbances. Therefore an attempt is made to obtain better agreement with experimental results by means of the inviscid linearized stability theory of spatially growing disturbances. Thus using the hyperbolic-tangent velocity profile the eigenvalues and eigenfunctions were computed numerically for complex wave-numbers and real frequencies. The results so obtained showed the tendency expected from the experiments. The physical properties of the disturbed flow are discussed by means of the computed vorticity distribution and the computed streaklines. It is found that the disturbed shear layer rolls up in a complicated manner. Furthermore, the validity of the linearized theory is estimated. The result is that the error due to the linearization of the disturbance equation should be larger for the vorticity distribution than for the velocity distribution, and larger for higher disturbance frequencies than for lower ones. Finally, it can be concluded from the comparison between the results of experiments and of both the spatial and temporal theory by Freymuth that the theory of spatially-growing disturbances describes the instability properties of a disturbed shear layer more precisely, at least for small frequencies.

(Published Online March 28 2006)
(Received April 19 1965)