Stability control and catastrophic transition in a forced Taylor-Couette system

M. Avila, F. Marques, Juan Lopez, A. Meseguer

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

23 Scopus citations


Harmonic axial motion of the inner cylinder in the Taylor-Couette system can efficiently shift the onset of instability to larger inner cylinder rotation rates. However, once instability has set in, a rapid sequence of symmetry-breaking bifurcations results in complex spatio-temporal dynamics even for very low post-critical values of the rotation rate. Using spectral computations, we present a detailed study of this sudden transition, shedding light on the nature of the complex flows observed in recent laboratory experiments. In particular, it is shown that these bifurcations are responsible for some of the experimentally observed frequencies which had been attributed to background noise. Movies are available with the online version of the paper.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)471-496
Number of pages26
Journaljournal of fluid mechanics
StatePublished - Nov 11 2007

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Condensed Matter Physics
  • Mechanics of Materials
  • Mechanical Engineering


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