We present the results of a combined experimental and numerical study of flow separation in the unsteady two-dimensional rotor-oscillator flow. Experimentally detected material spikes are directly compared to separation profiles predicted from numerical shear-stress and pressure data, using a recent kinematic theory of unsteady separation. For steady, periodic, quasi-periodic and random forcing, fixed separation is observed, and experimental observations and theoretical predictions are in close agreement. The transition from fixed to moving separation is also reported.
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