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Energy growth of three-dimensional disturbances in plane Poiseuille flow. (English) Zbl 0717.76044
Summary: The development of a small three-dimensional disturbance in plane Poiseuille flow is considered. Its kinetic energy is expressed in terms of the velocity and vorticity components normal to the wall. The normal vorticity develops according to the mechanism of vortex stretching and is described by an inhomogeneous equation, where the spanwise variation of the normal velocity acts as forcing. To study specifically the effect of the forcing, the initial normal vorticity is set to zero and the energy density in the wavenumber plane, induced by the normal velocity, is determined. In particular, the response from individual (and damped) Orr- Sommerfeld modes is calculated, on the basis of a formal solution to the initial-value problem. The relevant timescale for the development of the perturbation is identified as a viscous one. Even so, the induced energy density can greatly exceed that associated with the initial normal velocity, before decay sets in. Initial conditions corresponding to the least-damped Orr-Sommerfeld mode induce the largest energy density and a maximum is obtained for structures infinitely elongated in the streamwise direction. In this limit, the asymptotic solution is derived and it shows that the spanwise wavenumbers at which the largest amplification occurs are 2.60 and 1.98, for symmetric and antisymmetric normal vorticity, respectively. The asymptotic analysis also shows that the propagation speed for induced symmetric vorticity is confined to a narrower range than that for antisymmetric vorticity. From a consideration of the neglected nonlinear terms it is found that the normal velocity component cannot be nonlinearly affected by the normal vorticity growth for structures with no streamwise dependence.

76E05 Parallel shear flows in hydrodynamic stability
35Q30 Navier-Stokes equations
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