Experimental study of Richtmyer-Meshkov instability

Jeffrey W. Jacobs, Charles E. Niederhaus

Research output: Contribution to journalConference articlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations


Richtmyer-Meshkov (RM) instability occurs when a planar interface separating two fluids of different density is impulsively accelerated in the direction of its normal. It is one of the most fundamental of fluid instabilities and is of importance in fields ranging from astrophysics to materials processing. Because RM instability experiments are normally carried out in shock tubes, where the generation of a sharp well controlled interface between gases is difficult, there is a scarcity of good experimental results. The experiments presented here utilize a novel technique which circumvents many of the experimental difficulties that have previously limited the study of RM instability. In this system, the instability is generated by bouncing a thin rectangular tank containing two liquids off of a fixed spring. Results obtained from these experiments yield particularly well visualized images of the nonlinear development of the instability. However, because the run time in these experiments is limited, new experiments capable of achieving longer run times are planned.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)271-276
Number of pages6
JournalNASA Conference Publication
Issue number3338
StatePublished - 1996
EventProceedings of the 1996 3rd Microgravity Fluid Physics Conference - Cleveland, OH, USA
Duration: Jul 13 1996Jul 15 1996

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Aerospace Engineering


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