On the stability of a falling liquid curtain

Peter J. Schmid, Dan S. Henningson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

46 Scopus citations


The stability of a falling liquid curtain is investigated. The sheet of liquid is assumed two-dimensional, driven by gravity and influenced by a compressible cushion of air enclosed on one side of the curtain. The linear stability problem is formulated in the form of an integro-differential eigenvalue problem. Although experimental efforts have consistently reported a peak in the low-frequency range of the spectrum, the linear stability results do not show instabilities at these frequencies. However, a multimodal approach combined with a projection onto low-frequency modes reveals a dominant and robust instability feature that is in good agreement with experimental measurements. This instability manifests itself as a wave packet, consisting of a linear superposition of linear global modes, that travels down the curtain and causes a strong pressure signal in the enclosed air cushion.
Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)163-171
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Fluid Mechanics
StatePublished - Jan 1 2002
Externally publishedYes

Bibliographical note

Generated from Scopus record by KAUST IRTS on 2022-09-13

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Mechanics of Materials
  • Mechanical Engineering
  • Condensed Matter Physics


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