Velocity Fluctuations Spectra in Experimental Data on Rayleigh–Taylor Mixing

Kurt C. Williams, Snezhana I. Abarzhi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Rayleigh–Taylor (RT) interfacial mixing plays an important role in nature and technology, including atmospheric flows. In this work, we identify the physics properties of Rayleigh–Taylor mixing through the analysis of unprocessed experimental data. We consider the fluctuations spectra of the specific kinetic energy of each of the velocity components, and identify their spectral shapes, by employing the group theory guided foundations and the rigorous statistical method. We find the spectral shape parameters, including their mean values and relative errors, and apply the Anderson–Darling test to inspect the residuals and the goodness-of-fit. We scrupulously study the effect of the fitting window and identify, for each velocity component, the best fit interval, where the relative errors are small and the goodness of fit is excellent. We reveal that the fluctuations spectra in RT mixing experiments can be described by a compound function, being a product of a power-law and an exponential. The data analysis results unambiguously discovered the dynamic anisotropy and the dynamic bias of RT mixing and displayed the necessity to improve the design of experiments on RT mixing.

Original languageEnglish
Article number1178
Issue number7
Publication statusPublished - Jul 2023


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