Perturbing Hele-Shaw flow with a small gap gradient

H. Zhao, J. Casademunt, C. Yeung, J. V. Maher

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

47 Scopus citations


A controlled perturbation is introduced into the Saffman-Taylor flow problem by adding a gradient to the gap of a Hele-Shaw cell. The stability of the single-finger steady state was found to be strongly affected by such a perturbation. Compared with patterns in a standard Hele-Shaw cell, the single Saffman-Taylor finger was stabilized or destabilized according to the sign of the gap gradient. While a linear stability analysis shows that this perturbation should have a negligible effect on the early-stage pattern formation, the experimental data indicate that the characteristic length for the initial breakup of a flat interface has been changed by the perturbation.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2455-2460
Number of pages6
JournalPhysical Review A
Issue number4
StatePublished - 1992

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Atomic and Molecular Physics, and Optics


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