Wednesday, May 3, Lori Student Center, Room 228, 9:40am

Unfinished Business in the Problem of Flow Between Counter-Rotating Cylinders

Randy Tagg
Department of Physics
University of Colorado, Denver

Although the last 15 years produced a lot of work on the states of flow that occur between counter-rotating cylinders (the Couette-Taylor system), there are several important outstanding issues. (1) What governs the large length-scale and time-scale dynamics for spiral vortex flow, and is this indeed (as has been suggested) singularly sensitive to the overall system length? (2) What happens to the flow states as the aspect ration (length over gap) of the system is made short and do experiments agree with recent numerical and anlytical work by Jim Thomas, Michael Kirby et al.? (3) Is axial wavenumber competition achievable in experiment? (4) Can the wide variation in group velocity for spiral vortex flow be used for interesting transport problems and applications? (5) Can the nonlinear development of wavespeed be modifed by allowing the ends of the system to communicate with one another by an external flow path? (6) Wwat detailed mechanisms can be suggested to connect interacting spiral vortex states to turbulent bursts?
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