Transition to mixing and oscillations in a stokesian viscoelastic flow

Becca Thomases, Michael Shelley

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


In seeking to understand experiments on low-Reynolds-number mixing and flow transitions in viscoelastic fluids, we simulate the dynamics of the Oldroyd-B model, with a simple background force driving the flow. We find that at small Weissenberg number, flows are "slaved" to the extensional geometry imposed by forcing. For large Weissenberg number, such solutions become unstable and transit to a structurally dissimilar state dominated by a single large vortex. This new state can show persistent oscillatory behavior with the production and destruction of smaller-scale vortices that drive mixing.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number094501
JournalPhysical Review Letters
Issue number9
StatePublished - Aug 26 2009

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Physics and Astronomy


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