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Modulation equations for strongly nonlinear oscillations of an incompressible viscous drop

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  11 May 2010

School of Mathematics, The University of Birmingham, Edgbaston, Birmingham B15 2TT, UK
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Large-amplitude oscillations of incompressible viscous drops are studied at small capillary number. On the long viscous time scale, a formal perturbation scheme is developed to determine original modulation equations. These two ordinary differential equations comprise the averaged condition for conservation of energy and the averaged projection of the Navier–Stokes equations onto the vorticity vector. The modulation equations are applied to the free decay of axisymmetric oblate–prolate spheroid oscillations. On the long time scale, only the modulation equation for energy is required. In this example, the results compare well with linear viscous theory, weakly nonlinear inviscid theory and experimental observations. The new results show that previous experimental observations and numerical simulations are all manifestations of a single-valued relationship between dimensionless decay rate and amplitude. Moreover, if the amplitude of the oscillations does not exceed 30% of the drop radius, this decay rate may be approximated by a quadratic. The new results also show that, when the amplitude of the oscillations exceeds 20% of the drop radius, fluid in the inviscid bulk of the drop is undergoing abrupt changes in its acceleration in comparison to the acceleration during small-amplitude deformations.

Copyright © Cambridge University Press 2010

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