Hydrodynamic stability of the boundary layer on a continuous moving surface

F. K. Tsou, Ephraim M Sparrow, E. F. Kurtz

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11 Scopus citations


The characteristics of the laminar boundary layer on a continuous moving surface are described and an experiment is performed to demonstrate that such a flow is physically realizable. The hydrodynamic stability of the flow is analysed within the framework of small-perturbation stability theory. A complete stability diagram is mapped out. The critical Reynolds number is found to be substantially higher than that for the Blasius flow and, correspondingly, the critical layer lies closer to the wall. The disturbance amplitude function and its derivative are numerically evaluated, from which are derived the vector flow field of the disturbance, the resultant flow field (main flow plus disturbances), the root-mean-square distributions of the disturbance velocity components, and the distributions of the kinetic energy and the Reynolds stress. The energy criterion for stability is also investigated and is found to be consistent with the solutions of the eigenvalue problem.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)145-161
Number of pages17
JournalJournal of Fluid Mechanics
Issue number1
StatePublished - Sep 1966


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