Effects of small surface tension in Hele-Shaw multifinger dynamics: An analytical and numerical study

E. Pauné, M. Siegel, J. Casademunt

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12 Scopus citations


We study the singular effects of vanishingly small surface tension on the dynamics of finger competition in the Saffman-Taylor problem, using the asymptotic techniques described by Tanveer [Philos. Trans. R. Soc. London, Ser. A 343, 155 (1993)] and Siegel and Tanveer [Phys. Rev. Lett. 76, 419 (1996)], as well as direct numerical computation, following the numerical scheme of Hou, Lowengrub, and Shelley [J. Comput. Phys. 114, 312 (1994)]. We demonstrate the dramatic effects of small surface tension on the late time evolution of two-finger configurations with respect to exact (nonsingular) zero-surface-tension solutions. The effect is present even when the relevant zero-surface-tension solution has asymptotic behavior consistent with selection theory. Such singular effects, therefore, cannot be traced back to steady state selection theory, and imply a drastic global change in the structure of phase-space flow. They can be interpreted in the framework of a recently introduced dynamical solvability scenario according to which surface tension unfolds the structurally unstable flow, restoring the hyperbolicity of multifinger fixed points.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)13
Number of pages1
JournalPhysical Review E - Statistical Physics, Plasmas, Fluids, and Related Interdisciplinary Topics
Issue number4
StatePublished - Oct 10 2002

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Statistical and Nonlinear Physics
  • Statistics and Probability
  • Condensed Matter Physics


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