Measurements of mass flow rate and mean density have been made in separated laminar boundary layers with large transverse density gradients. Two-dimensional shear layers were formed by exhausting a half-jet of one gas into a reservoir of another gas with a different molecular weight. Two freons with a density ratio of 1-98 and unusual properties which permitted the measurement of the mass flow rate with a single hot wire were used. A n analysis of the mass flow rate fluctuations showed that a negative density gradient (i.e. light gas flowing into heavy) increases the amplification rate of the instability oscillations and reduces the frequency and wave number. Opposite trends were observed when the density gradient was positive. These findings are in agreement with recent theoretical predictions.
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