Singularity formation on a fluid interface during the Kelvin-Helmholtz instability development

Statistical, Nonlinear, and Soft Matter Physics


The dynamics of singularity formation on the interface between two ideal fluids is studied for the Kelvin-Helmholtz instability development within the Hamiltonian formalism. It is shown that the equations of motion derived in the small interface angle approximation (gravity and capillary forces are neglected) admit exact solutions in the implicit form. The analysis of these solutions shows that, in the general case, weak root singularities are formed on the interface in a finite time for which the curvature becomes infinite, while the slope angles remain small. For Atwood numbers close to unity in absolute values, the surface curvature has a definite sign correlated with the boundary deformation directed towards the light fluid. For the fluids with comparable densities, the curvature changes its sign in a singular point. In the particular case of the fluids with equal densities, the obtained results are consistent with those obtained by Moore based on the Birkhoff-Rott equation analysis.


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© Pleiades Publishing, Inc. 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Institute of Electrophysics, Ural BranchRussian Academy of SciencesYekaterinburgRussia
  2. 2.Lebedev Physical InstituteRussian Academy of SciencesMoscowRussia
  3. 3.Novosibirsk State UniversityNovosibirskRussia
  4. 4.Landau Institute for Theoretical PhysicsRussian Academy of SciencesChernogolovka, Moscow oblastRussia

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