The linear stability dynamics of incompressible and compressible isothermal jets are investigated by means of their optimal initial perturbations and of their temporal eigenmodes. The transient growth analysis of optimal perturbations is robust and allows physical interpretation of the salient instability mechanisms. In contrast, the modal representation appears to be inadequate, as neither the computed eigenvalue spectrum nor the eigenmode shapes allow a characterization of the flow dynamics in these settings. More surprisingly, numerical issues also prevent the reconstruction of the dynamics from a basis of computed eigenmodes. An investigation of simple model problems reveals inherent problems of this modal approach in the context of a stable convection-dominated configuration. In particular, eigenmodes may exhibit an exponential growth in the streamwise direction even in regions where the flow is locally stable. © 2013 AIP Publishing LLC.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Condensed Matter Physics