Nonlinear dynamics of the wake of an oscillating cylinder

D. J. Olinger, K. R. Sreenivasan

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The wake of an oscillating cylinder at low Reynolds numbers is a nonlinear system in which a limit cycle due to natural vortex shedding is modulated, generating in phase space a flow on a torus. We experimentally show that the system displays Arnol d tongues for rational frequency ratios, and approximates the devil's staircase along the critical line. The "singularity spectrum" as well as spectral peaks at various Fibonacci sequences accompanying quasiperiodic transition to chaos shows that the system belongs to the same universality class as the sine circle map.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)797-800
Number of pages4
JournalPhysical Review Letters
Issue number9
StatePublished - 1988

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Physics and Astronomy


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