Two-phase flow analysis of self-similar turbulent mixing by Rayleigh-Taylor instability

Nathan Freed, Dror Ofer, Dov Shvarts, Steven A. Orszag

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

54 Scopus citations


The evolution of a randomly perturbed interface between unbounded incompressible fluids undergoing Rayleigh-Taylor instability is analyzed numerically and theoretically. Two-dimensional simulation results, obtained with an interface tracking code, are presented and compared with a theoretical model based on Young's two-phase flow description of the mixing process. The simplifications implied by self-similarity and by high drag enable simple analytic results to be obtained for the profiles of the average volume fractions and velocities of the two materials as a function of penetration depth. Agreement of the analytic results with the simulation data is demonstrated for a wide range of density ratios.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)912-918
Number of pages7
JournalPhysics of fluids. A, Fluid dynamics
Issue number5
StatePublished - 1 Jan 1991
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Engineering


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