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On the origin of the circular hydraulic jump in a thin liquid film

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Bhagat, RK 
Jha, NK 
Linden, PF 
Wilson, DI 


For more than a century, it has been believed that all hydraulic jumps are created due to gravity. However, we found that thin-film hydraulic jumps are not induced by gravity. This study explores the initiation of thin-film hydraulic jumps. For circular jumps produced by the normal impingement of a jet onto a solid surface, we found that the jump is formed when surface tension and viscous forces balance the momentum in the film and gravity plays no significant role. Experiments show no dependence on the orientation of the surface and a scaling relation balancing viscous forces and surface tension collapses the experimental data. Experiments on thin film planar jumps in a channel also show that the predominant balance is with surface tension, although for the thickness of the films we studied gravity also played a role in the jump formation. A theoretical analysis shows that the downstream transport of surface tension energy is the previously neglected, critical ingredient in these flows and that capillary waves play the role of gravity waves in a traditional jump in demarcating the transition from the supercritical to subcritical flow associated with these jumps.



capillary waves, interfacial flows (free surface), thin films

Journal Title

Journal of Fluid Mechanics

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Cambridge University Press (CUP)
EPSRC (EP/K503757/1)
Commonwealth Scholarship Commission, EPSRC grant EP/K50375/1
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