On the Stability of Viscous Flow between Parallel Planes in the Presence of a Co-Planar Magnetic Field

J. T. Stuart

Abstract

Linearized equations are derived which govern the stability of a viscous, electrically conducting fluid in motion between two parallel planes in the presence of a co-planar magnetic field. With one suitable approximation, which restricts the valid range of Reynolds number of the theory, the problem of stability is reduced to the solution of a fourth-order ordinary differential equation. The disturbances considered are neither amplified nor damped, but are neutral. Curves of wave number against Reynolds number for neutral stability are calculated for a range of values of a certain parameter, q, which represents the magnetic effects. For given physical and geometrical properties, the critical Reynolds number above which the flow is unstable rises with the strength of the magnetic field. These results are completely within the range of the approximation mentioned. In addition, an energy relation is derived which illustrates the balance between energy transferred from the basic flow to the disturbances, and that dissipated by viscosity and by the magnetic field perturbations.