Optimal harmonic response in a confined Bödewadt boundary layer flow

Younghae Do, Juan Lopez, Francisco Marques

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

18 Scopus citations


The Bödewadt boundary layer flow on the stationary bottom end wall of a finite rotating cylinder is very sensitive to perturbations and noise. Axisymmetric radial waves propagating inward have been observed experimentally and numerically before the appearance of spiral three-dimensional instabilities. In this study, the sensitivity and response of the finite Bödewadt flow to a harmonic modulation of the rotation rate are analyzed. A comprehensive exploration of response to variations in the amplitude and frequency of the forcing has been carried out. There are sharply delineated linear- and nonlinear-response regimes, with a sharp transition between them at moderate amplitudes. The periodic forcing leads to a steady-streaming flow, even in the linear-response regime, and to a period-doubling bifurcation in the nonlinear regime. Frequency response curves at different forcing amplitudes over a wide range of frequencies have been computed and used to identify the frequency band that excites the axisymmetric radial waves and the forcing frequency that elicits the strongest response. Finally, we have shown that the axisymmetric waves always decay to the steady basic state when the harmonic modulation is suppressed, and conclude that the experimentally observed persistent circular waves are not self-sustained.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number036301
JournalPhysical Review E - Statistical, Nonlinear, and Soft Matter Physics
Issue number3
StatePublished - Sep 1 2010

ASJC Scopus subject areas

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


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