Applied Mathematics Seminars: Centrifugal Instability
20 October 2017 14:00 in CM219
Motivated by astrophysical relativistic jets with curved streamlines, we study the onset and the evolution of the Relativistic Centrifugal Instability (RCFI). As a first step, we study axisymmetric rotating flows, where the density and angular velocity change discontinuously at a given radius. Following the original physical argument of Lord Rayleigh, we derive the relativistic version of the Rayleigh criterion for this problem and use axially symmetric computer simulations to verify its predictions. The inclusion of a uniform axial magnetic field can suppress the centrifugal instability for low flow velocities. However, in highly relativistic flows, such a field is no longer in equilibrium because of the electric field induced, and needs to be balanced by some extra pressure. This extra pressure term, in general, destabilises the flow.
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