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All HMC Faculty Publications and Research

Fluid Dynamics

Traveling waves

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Full-Text Articles in Physics

Stability Of Traveling Waves In Thin Liquid Films Driven By Gravity And Surfactant, Ellen Peterson, Michael Shearer, Thomas P. Witelski, Rachel Levy Jan 2009

Stability Of Traveling Waves In Thin Liquid Films Driven By Gravity And Surfactant, Ellen Peterson, Michael Shearer, Thomas P. Witelski, Rachel Levy

All HMC Faculty Publications and Research

A thin layer of fluid flowing down a solid planar surface has a free surface height described by a nonlinear PDE derived via the lubrication approximation from the Navier Stokes equations. For thin films, surface tension plays an important role both in providing a significant driving force and in smoothing the free surface. Surfactant molecules on the free surface tend to reduce surface tension, setting up gradients that modify the shape of the free surface. In earlier work [12, 13J a traveling wave was found in which the free surface undergoes three sharp transitions, or internal layers, and the surfactant ...


Gravity-Driven Thin Liquid Films With Insoluble Surfactant: Smooth Traveling Waves, Rachel Levy, Michael Shearer, Thomas P. Witelski Dec 2007

Gravity-Driven Thin Liquid Films With Insoluble Surfactant: Smooth Traveling Waves, Rachel Levy, Michael Shearer, Thomas P. Witelski

All HMC Faculty Publications and Research

The flow of a thin layer of fluid down an inclined plane is modified by the presence of insoluble surfactant. For any finite surfactant mass, traveling waves are constructed for a system of lubrication equations describing the evolution of the free-surface fluid height and the surfactant concentration. The one-parameter family of solutions is investigated using perturbation theory with three small parameters: the coefficient of surface tension, the surfactant diffusivity, and the coefficient of the gravity-driven diffusive spreading of the fluid. When all three parameters are zero, the nonlinear PDE system is hyperbolic/degenerateparabolic, and admits traveling wave solutions in which ...