Symmetry-breaking Hopf bifurcations to 1-, 2-, and 3-tori in small-aspect-ratio counterrotating Taylor-Couette flow

S. Altmeyer, Y. Do, F. Marques, Juan Lopez

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

16 Scopus citations


The nonlinear dynamics of Taylor-Couette flow in a small-aspect-ratio wide-gap annulus in the counterrotating regime is investigated by solving the full three-dimensional Navier-Stokes equations. The system is invariant under arbitrary rotations about the axis, reflection about the annulus midplane, and time translations. A systematic investigation is presented both in terms of the flow physics elucidated from the numerical simulations and from a dynamical system perspective provided by equivariant normal form theory. The dynamics are primarily associated with the behavior of the jet of angular momentum that emerges from the inner cylinder boundary layer at about the midplane. The sequence of bifurcations as the differential rotation is increased consists of an axisymmetric Hopf bifurcation breaking the reflection symmetry of the basic state leading to an axisymmetric limit cycle with a half-period-flip spatiotemporal symmetry. This undergoes a Hopf bifurcation breaking axisymmetry, leading to quasiperiodic solutions evolving on a 2-torus that is setwise symmetric. These undergo a further Hopf bifurcation, introducing a third incommensurate frequency leading to a 3-torus that is also setwise symmetric. On the 3-torus, as the differential rotation is further increased, a saddle-node-invariant-circle bifurcation takes place, destroying the 3-torus and leaving a pair of symmetrically related 2-tori states on which all symmetries of the system have been broken.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number046316
JournalPhysical Review E - Statistical, Nonlinear, and Soft Matter Physics
Issue number4
StatePublished - Oct 18 2012

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Statistical and Nonlinear Physics
  • Statistics and Probability
  • Condensed Matter Physics


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