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Stability of the Compressible Laminar Boundary Layer


Reshotko, Eli (1960) Stability of the Compressible Laminar Boundary Layer. Dissertation (Ph.D.), California Institute of Technology. doi:10.7907/M6HG-WW29.


In previous theoretical treatments of the stability of the compressible laminar boundary layer the effect of the temperature fluctuations on the "viscous" (rapidly varying) disturbances is either ignored (Lees-Lin), or is accounted for incompletely (Dunn-Lin). A thorough reexamination of this problem shows that temperature fluctuations have a profound influence on both the "inviscid" (slowly varying) and viscous disturbances above a Mach number of about 2.0. The present analysis includes the effect of temperature fluctuations on the viscosity and thermal conductivity, and also introduces the viscous dissipation term that was dropped in the earlier theoretical treatments. Some important results of the present study are: (1), the rate of conversion of energy from the mean flow to the disturbance flow through the action of viscosity in the vicinity of the wall increases with Mach number; (2), instead of being nearly constant across the boundary layer, the amplitude of inviscid pressure fluctuations for Mach numbers greater than 3 decreases markedly with distance outward from the plate surface. This behavior means that the jump in magnitude of the Reynolds stress in the neighborhood of the critical layer is greatly reduced; (3), at Mach numbers less than about 2 dissipation effects are minor, but they become extremely important at higher Mach numbers since for neutral disturbances they must compensate for the generally destabilizing effects of items (1) and (2). Numerical examples illustrating the effects of compressibility (including neutral stability characteristics) are obtained and are compared with the experimental results of Laufer and Vrebalovich at M = 2.2, and of Demetriades at M = 5.8.

Item Type:Thesis (Dissertation (Ph.D.))
Subject Keywords:(Aeronautics)
Degree Grantor:California Institute of Technology
Division:Engineering and Applied Science
Major Option:Aeronautics
Thesis Availability:Public (worldwide access)
Research Advisor(s):
  • Lees, Lester
Thesis Committee:
  • Unknown, Unknown
Defense Date:1 January 1960
Record Number:CaltechETD:etd-01042006-141741
Persistent URL:
Default Usage Policy:No commercial reproduction, distribution, display or performance rights in this work are provided.
ID Code:23
Deposited By: Imported from ETD-db
Deposited On:04 Jan 2006
Last Modified:08 Nov 2023 19:12

Thesis Files

PDF (Reshotko_e_1960.pdf) - Final Version
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