Journal of Fluid Mechanics

Velocity measurements in regions of upstream influence of a body in aligned-fields MHD flow

Bruce M.  Lake a1p1
a1 California Institute of Technology, Pasadena, California

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Experiments are described in which velocities were measured ahead of a semi-infinite Rankine body moving parallel to a uniform magnetic field in a conducting fluid. The flow disturbance in front of the body is found to increase in length as N[fraction one-half], where N is the interaction parameter. In most of the experiments this parameter was varied from 4 to about 50. Measurements made along the axis of symmetry in the flow show that there is a relatively short region of stagnant fluid directly ahead of the body. The major part of the disturbance is found to consist of a much longer region in which the flow undergoes transition from conditions in the free stream to conditions near the body. Velocity profiles across the flow in this region show that for increased N, at a fixed distance ahead of the body, the velocity defect increases and the disturbance becomes more confined radially. Although the radial gradients in the flow increase with N, they are found to be much smaller than would be expected in a flow containing thin current layers. A physical model of the flow which has currents and pressures consistent with these results is discussed.

(Published Online March 29 2006)
(Received March 17 1971)
(Revised June 1 1971)

p1 Present address: TRW Systems, Redondo Beach, California.