Shear flow instability at the interface among two streams of a highly dissipative complex plasma
Max-Planck-Institut für extraterrestrische Physik - 85741 Garching, Germany, EU
Accepted: 25 August 2011
The shear instability was experimentally studied in a highly dissipative cloud of complex plasma. The cloud of microparticles formed a toroidal vortex with poloidal flow and a stagnation zone in the center. The flow was studied at the kinetic level by resolving the trajectories of the individual microparticles. Hydrodynamic quantities such as flow velocity, vorticity and enstrophy density were determined. The effects of interfacial surface tension were explored. It was found that the two-stream interface between flow and stagnation zone breaks down into a well-developed multi-stream network due to Rayleigh-Taylor–type perturbations.
PACS: 52.27.Lw – Dusty or complex plasmas; plasma crystals / 47.15.Fe – Stability of laminar flows / 47.20.Ma – Interfacial instabilities (e.g., Rayleigh-Taylor)
© EPLA, 2011