On the fundamentals of Richtmyer-Meshkov dynamics with variable acceleration

A. K. Bhowmick, Des Hill, Miccal Matthews, Snezhana Abarzhi

Research output: Working paperPreprint


Richtmyer-Meshkov instability (RMI) plays important role in nature and technology, from supernovae and fusion to scramjets and nano-fabrication. Canonical Richtmyer-Meshkov instability is induced by a steady shock and impulsive acceleration, whereas in realistic environments the acceleration is usually variable. This work focuses on RMI induced by acceleration with a power-law time-dependence, and applies group theory to solve the classical problem. For early-time dynamics, we find the dependence of RMI growth-rate on the initial conditions and show it is free from the acceleration parameters. For late time dynamics, we find a continuous family of regular asymptotic solutions, including their curvature, velocity, Fourier amplitudes, and interfacial shear, and we study the solutions stability. For each of the solutions, the interface dynamics is directly linked to the interfacial shear, and the non-equilibrium velocity field has intense fluid motion near the interface and effectively no motion in the bulk. The quasi-invariance of the fastest stable solution suggests that nonlinear coherent dynamics in RMI is characterized by two macroscopic length-scales - the wavelength and the amplitude, in excellent agreement with observations. We elaborate new theory benchmarks for experiments and simulations, and put forward a hypothesis on the role of viscous effects in interfacial nonlinear RMI.
Original languageEnglish
Publication statusPublished - 2019

Publication series

PublisherCornell University, Ithaca, NY


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