Supersonic interface instabilities of accelerated surfaces and jets

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Scopus citations


The compressible Rayleigh-Taylor instability of a supersonic accelerated contact discontinuity between two gases is studied by numerically solving the two-dimensional Euler equations. The computed solutions exhibit a complicated set of nonlinear waves comprised of spike and bubble bow shocks, terminal shocks within the spike and bubble, Kelvin-Helmholtz rollup of the spike tip, and contact surface waves. The spike appears to attain a finite growth of aspect ratio approximately equal to 2. The propagation of a supersonic slab jet is also studied numerically, in order to compare and contrast the jet wave structure with that of the supersonic accelerated surface.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)690-695
Number of pages6
JournalPhysics of Fluids
Issue number3
StatePublished - Mar 1 1986
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Computational Mechanics
  • Condensed Matter Physics
  • Mechanics of Materials
  • Mechanical Engineering
  • Fluid Flow and Transfer Processes


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