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  • Journal of Fluid Mechanics, Volume 322
  • September 1996, pp. 215-241

Three-dimensional Floquet stability analysis of the wake of a circular cylinder

  • Dwight Barkley (a1) and Ronald D. Henderson (a2)
  • DOI:
  • Published online: 01 April 2006

Results are reported from a highly accurate, global numerical stability analysis of the periodic wake of a circular cylinder for Reynolds numbers between 140 and 300. The analysis shows that the two-dimensional wake becomes (absolutely) linearly unstable to three-dimensional perturbations at a critical Reynolds number of 188.5±1.0. The critical spanwise wavelength is 3.96 ± 0.02 diameters and the critical Floquet mode corresponds to a ‘Mode A’ instability. At Reynolds number 259 the two-dimensional wake becomes linearly unstable to a second branch of modes with wavelength 0.822 diameters at onset. Stability spectra and corresponding neutral stability curves are presented for Reynolds numbers up to 300.

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Journal of Fluid Mechanics
  • ISSN: 0022-1120
  • EISSN: 1469-7645
  • URL: /core/journals/journal-of-fluid-mechanics
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