68th Annual Meeting of the APS Division of Fluid Dynamics (November 22, 2015 — November 24, 2015)

P0022: Spherical Rayleigh-Taylor Instabilities

  • Mark Stock, Independent artist
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1103/APS.DFD.2015.GFM.P0022

Advances in computer science, numerical methods, and semiconductor engineering have given scientists and engineers considerable ability to create virtual simulations of complex phenomena from nature and physics.  One particular phenomenon called a Rayleigh-Taylor Instability exists when a light fluid is forced beneath a heavier fluid, and the two wish to exchange places, but have to move through each other to do so.  These images show results from parameter studies of computer simulations of Rayleigh-Taylor Instabilities in a radial, instead of vertical, gravitational field.  The simulation approach is unique, though: instead of saving and computing the flow properties at numerous small volumes filling the computational domain, we only create and track the interface between the two fluids. While not a general-purpose scheme for fluid simulation, this technique alleviates certain numerical difficulties associated with more common methods, and results in very refined descriptions of the evolving surface.

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