Spontaneous generation of spiral waves by a hydrodynamic instability

M. Habibi*, P.C.F. Møller, N.M. Ribe, D. Bonn

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

14 Citations (Scopus)


The coiling of a thin filament of viscous fluid falling onto a surface is a common and easily reproducible hydrodynamic instability. Here we report for the first time that this instability can generate regular spiral patterns, in which air bubbles are trapped in the coil and then advected horizontally by the fluid spreading on the surface. We present a simple model that explains how these beautiful patterns are formed, and how the number of spiral branches and their curvature depends on the coiling frequency, the frequency of rotation of the coiling center, the total flow rate, and the thickness of the spreading fluid film.

Original languageEnglish
Article number38004
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 3 Jan 2008
Externally publishedYes


Dive into the research topics of 'Spontaneous generation of spiral waves by a hydrodynamic instability'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this