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Published July 2004 | metadata_only
Journal Article

The pinch-off process in a starting buoyant plume


The vortex ring formation process of a starting buoyant plume was studied experimentally using digital particle image thermometry and velocimetry (DPITV). The vortex ring was observed to pinch-off, or become disconnected, from the trailing plume. Pinch-off occurred at non-dimensional times, or formation numbers, between 4.4 and 4.9. The observed pinch-off process is consistent with an explanation based upon the Kelvin–Benjamin variational principle. This is analogous to the pinch-off of a vortex ring generated using a piston–cylinder apparatus, suggesting that pinch-off is a general component of the vortex ring formation process for various generation mechanisms.

Additional Information

© 2004 Springer-Verlag. Received: 18 October 2002; Accepted: 25 December 2003. Published online: 25 March 2004.

Additional details

August 19, 2023
August 19, 2023