Modal model for the nonlinear multimode Rayleigh-Taylor instability

D. Ofer, U. Alon, D. Shvarts, R. L. McCrory, C. R. Verdon

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

89 Scopus citations


A modal model for the Rayleigh-Taylor (RT) instability, applicable at all stages of the flow, is introduced. The model includes a description of nonlinear low-order mode coupling, mode growth saturation, and post-saturation mode coupling. It is shown to significantly extend the range of applicability of a previous model proposed by Haan, to cases where nonlinear mode generation is important. Using the new modal model, we study the relative importance of mode coupling at late nonlinear stages and resolve the difference between cases in which mode generation assumes a dominant role, leading to the late time inverse cascade of modes and loss of memory of initial conditions, and cases where mode generation is not important and memory of initial conditions is retained. Effects of finite density ratios (Atwood number A<1) are also included in the model and the difference between various measures of the mixing zone penetration depth for A<1 is discussed.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)3073-3090
Number of pages18
JournalPhysics of Plasmas
Issue number8
StatePublished - 1 Jan 1996
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Condensed Matter Physics


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