Non-newtonian hele-shaw flow and the saffman-taylor instability

Ljubinko Kondic, Michael J. Shelley, Peter Palffy-Muhoray

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


We explore the Saffman-Taylor instability of a gas bubble expanding into a shear thinning liquid in a radial Hele-Shaw cell. Using Darcy’s law generalized for non-Newtonian fluids, we perform simulations of the full dynamical problem. The simulations show that shear thinning significantly influences the developing interfacial patterns. Shear thinning can suppress tip splitting, and produce fingers which oscillate during growth and shed side branches. Emergent length scales show reasonable agreement with a general linear stability analysis.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1433-1436
Number of pages4
JournalPhysical Review Letters
Issue number7
StatePublished - Feb 16 1998


ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physics and Astronomy(all)

Cite this