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Phys Rev Lett. 2008 Feb 22;100(7):074301. Epub 2008 Feb 21.

Flapping states of a flag in an inviscid fluid: bistability and the transition to chaos.

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School of Mathematics, Georgia Institute of Technology, Atlanta, Georgia 30332-0160, USA.

Erratum in

  • Phys Rev Lett. 2008 Sep 12;101(11):119902.


We investigate the "flapping flag" instability through a model for an inextensible flexible sheet in an inviscid 2D flow with a free vortex sheet. We solve the fully-nonlinear dynamics numerically and find a transition from a power spectrum dominated by discrete frequencies to an apparently continuous spectrum of frequencies. We compute the linear stability domain which agrees with previous approximate models in scaling but differs by large multiplicative factors. We also find hysteresis, in agreement with previous experiments.

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