Particle image velocimetry study of the shock-induced single mode Richtmyer-Meshkov instability

Roger Aure, Jeffrey W. Jacobs

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

18 Scopus citations


Full field particle image velocimetry (PIV) measurements are obtained for the first time in Richtmyer-Meshkov instability shock tube experiments. The experiments are carried out in a vertical shock tube in which the light gas (air) and the heavy gas (SF6) flow from opposite ends of the shock tube driven section and exit through narrow slots at the interface location. A sinusoidal perturbation is given to the interface by oscillating the shock tube in the horizontal direction. Richtmyer-Meshkov instability is then produced by the interaction with a weak shock wave (M s = 1.21). PIV measurements are obtained by seeding the flow with 0.30 μm polystyrene Latex spheres which are illuminated using a double-pulsed Nd:YAG laser. PIV measurements indicate the vorticity to be distributed in a sheet-like distribution on the interface immediately after shock interaction and that this distribution quickly rolls up into compact vortices. The integration of the vorticity distribution over one half wave length shows the circulation to increase with time in qualitative agreement with the numerical study of Peng et al. (Phys. Fluids, 15, 3730-3744, 2003).

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)161-167
Number of pages7
JournalShock Waves
Issue number3
StatePublished - Aug 2008


  • Circulation
  • PIV
  • Richtmyer-Meshkov instability
  • Vorticity

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Mechanical Engineering
  • Physics and Astronomy(all)


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