Absolute instability of a liquid jet in a coflowing stream


Utada, A. S. ; Fernandez-Nieves, A. ; Gordillo, J. M. ; Weitz, D. A. Absolute instability of a liquid jet in a coflowing stream. Physical Review Letters 2008, 100. Copy at http://www.tinyurl.com/mqavrxr


Cylindrical liquid jets are inherently unstable and eventually break into drops due to the Rayleigh-Plateau instability, characterized by the growth of disturbances that are either convective or absolute in nature. Convective instabilities grow in amplitude as they are swept along by the flow, while absolute instabilities are disturbances that grow at a fixed spatial location. Liquid jets are nearly always convectively unstable. Here we show that two-phase jets can breakup due to an absolute instability that depends on the capillary number of the outer liquid, provided the Weber number of the inner liquid is >O(1). We verify our experimental observations with a linear stability analysis.


Times Cited: 42

Last updated on 04/07/2014