Journal of Fluid Mechanics

A finite-element study of the onset of vortex shedding in flow past variously shaped bodies

C. P.  Jackson a1
a1 Theoretical Physics Division, Harwell Laboratory, Didcot OX11 0RA, UK

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The onset of periodic behaviour in two-dimensional laminar flow past bodies of various shapes is examined by means of finite-element simulations. The transition from steady to periodic flow is marked by a Hopf bifurcation, which we locate by solving an appropriate extended set of steady-state equations. The bodies considered are a circular cylinder, triangular prisms of various shapes, and flat plates and elliptical cylinders aligned over a range of angles to the direction of flow. Our results for the circular cylinder are in good agreement with experimental observations and with the results of time-dependent calculations.

(Published Online April 21 2006)
(Received May 19 1986)
(Revised January 13 1908)