AAS 196th Meeting, June 2000
Session 22. Ushering in a New Era: Laboratory Astrophysics with Intense Lasers
Topical Session Oral, Tuesday, June 6, 2000, 8:30-10:00am, 10:45am-12:30pm, 2:00-3:30pm, 3:45-5:30pm, Highland A/K

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[22.06] Miscible Rayleigh-Taylor Instability: 2D versus 3D

Y.-N. Young (ASCI/FLASH Center at the University of Chicago), H. Tufo (MCS, Argonne National Lab), A. Dubey (Astronomy & Astrophysics Dept., University of Chicago), R. Rosner (ASCI/FLASH Center at the University of Chicago)

We investigate the miscible Rayleigh-Taylor (RT) instability in both 2 and 3 dimensions using direct numerical simulations, where the working fluid is assumed incompressible under the Boussinesq approximation. We first consider the case of randomly perturbed interfaces. With a variety of diagnostics, we develop a physical picture for the detailed temporal development of the mixed layer: We identify three distinct evolutionary phases in the development of the mixed layer, which can be related to detailed variations in the growth of the mixing zone. Our analysis provides an explanation for the observed differences between two and three-dimensional RT instability; the analysis also leads us to concentrate on the RT models which (1) work equally well for both laminar and turbulent flows, and (2) do not depend on turbulent scaling within the mixing layer between fluids. These candidate RT models are based on point sources within bubbles (or plumes) and interaction with each other (or the background flow). With this motivation, we examine the evolution of single plumes, and relate our numerical results (of single plumes) to a simple analytical model for plume evolution.

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The author(s) of this abstract have provided an email address for comments about the abstract: young@oddjob.uchicago.edu

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