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Observation of a Free-Shercliff-Layer Instability in Cylindrical Geometry

Author(s): Roach, Austin H; Spence, Erik J; Gissinger, Christophe; Edlund, Eric M; Sloboda, Peter; et al

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Abstract: We report on observations of a free-Shercliff-layer instability in a Taylor-Couette experiment using a liquid metal over a wide range of Reynolds numbers, Re similar to 10(3)-10(6). The free Shercliff layer is formed by imposing a sufficiently strong axial magnetic field across a pair of differentially rotating axial end cap rings. This layer is destabilized by a hydrodynamic Kelvin-Helmholtz-type instability, characterized by velocity fluctuations in the r-theta plane. The instability appears with an Elsasser number above unity, and saturates with an azimuthal mode number m which increases with the Elsasser number. Measurements of the structure agree well with 2D global linear mode analyses and 3D global nonlinear simulations. These observations have implications for a range of rotating MHD systems in which similar shear layers may be produced.
Publication Date: 13-Apr-2012
Electronic Publication Date: 11-Apr-2012
Citation: Roach, Austin H, Spence, Erik J, Gissinger, Christophe, Edlund, Eric M, Sloboda, Peter, Goodman, Jeremy, Ji, Hantao. (2012). Observation of a Free-Shercliff-Layer Instability in Cylindrical Geometry. PHYSICAL REVIEW LETTERS, 108 (10.1103/PhysRevLett.108.154502
DOI: doi:10.1103/PhysRevLett.108.154502
ISSN: 0031-9007
Type of Material: Journal Article
Journal/Proceeding Title: PHYSICAL REVIEW LETTERS
Version: Final published version. Article is made available in OAR by the publisher's permission or policy.

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