A Caltech Library Service

Transition in circular Couette flow

Coles, Donald (1965) Transition in circular Couette flow. Journal of Fluid Mechanics, 21 (3). pp. 385-425. ISSN 0022-1120. doi:10.1017/S0022112065000241.

PDF - Published Version
See Usage Policy.


Use this Persistent URL to link to this item:


Two distinct kinds of transition have been identified in Couette flow between concentric rotating cylinders. The first, which will be called transition by spectral evolution, is characteristic of the motion when the inner cylinder has a larger angular velocity than the outer one. As the speed increases, a succession of secondary modes is excited; the first is the Taylor motion (periodic in the axial direction), and the second is a pattern of travelling waves (periodic in the circumferential direction). Higher modes correspond to harmonics of the two fundamental frequencies of the doubly-periodic flow. This kind of transition may be viewed as a cascade process in which energy is transferred by non-linear interactions through a discrete spectrum to progressively higher frequencies in a two-dimensional wave-number space. At sufficiently large Reynolds numbers the discrete spectrum changes gradually and reversibly to a continuous one by broadening of the initially sharp spectral lines.

Item Type:Article
Related URLs:
Additional Information:© 1965 Cambridge University Press. Received 12 June 1964. Published online: 28 March 2006. The experimental research reported in this paper was supported from 1955 to 1961 by the National Science Foundation, and from 1961 to 1963 by the Jet Propulsion Laboratory. This support is gratefully acknowledged. Preparation of the manuscript and figures was aided by funds made available by G. Carrier in connexion with contract Nonr-1866(20). Some of the results have previously been reported at a meeting of the Fluid Dynamics Division of the American Physical Society in San Diego in 1958, at the Tenth International Congress for Applied Mechanics in Stresa, Italy, in 1960, and at an International Colloquium on Turbulence in Marseilles, France, in 1961.
Funding AgencyGrant Number
Office of Naval Research (ONR)Nonr-1866(20)
Issue or Number:3
Record Number:CaltechAUTHORS:20130509-150335808
Persistent URL:
Usage Policy:No commercial reproduction, distribution, display or performance rights in this work are provided.
ID Code:38399
Deposited By: Tony Diaz
Deposited On:10 May 2013 22:37
Last Modified:09 Nov 2021 23:37

Repository Staff Only: item control page