Viscous decay of nonlinear oscillations of a spherical bubble at large Reynolds number

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The long-time viscous decay of large-amplitude bubble oscillations is considered in an incompressible Newtonian fluid, based on the Rayleigh--Plesset equation. At large Reynolds number, this is a multi-scaled problem with a short time scale associated with inertial oscillation and a long time scale associated with viscous damping. A multi-scaled perturbation method is thus employed to solve the problem. The leading-order analytical solution of the bubble radius history is obtained to the Rayleigh--Plesset equation in a closed form including both viscous and surface tension effects. Some important formulae are derived including: the average energy loss rate of the bubble system during each cycle of oscillation, an explicit formula for the dependence of the oscillation frequency on the energy, and an implicit formula for the amplitude envelope of the bubble radius as a function of the energy. Our theory shows that the energy of the bubble system and the frequency of oscillation do not change on the inertial time scale at leading order, the energy loss rate on the long viscous time scale being inversely proportional to the Reynolds number. These asymptotic predictions remain valid during each cycle of oscillation whether or not compressibility effects are significant. A systematic parametric analysis is carried out using the above formula for the energy of the bubble system, frequency of oscillation and minimum/maximum bubble radii in terms of the Reynolds number, the dimensionless initial pressure of the bubble gases and the Weber number. Our results show that the frequency and the decay rate have substantial variations over the lifetime of a decaying oscillation. The results also reveal that large-amplitude bubble oscillations are very sensitive to small changes in the initial conditions through large changes in the phase shift.
Original languageEnglish
Article number082112
JournalPhysics of Fluids
Early online date30 Aug 2017
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 30 Aug 2017


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