Title

Confined Ferrofluid Droplet in Crossed Magnetic Fields

Document Type

Article

Publication Date

8-2007

Department

Physics

Language

English

Publication Title

European Physical Journal E

Abstract

When a ferrofluid drop is trapped in a horizontal Hele-Shaw cell and subjected to a vertical magnetic field, a fingering instability results in the droplet evolving into a complex branched structure. This fingering instability depends on the magnetic field ramp rate but also depends critically on the initial state of the droplet. Small perturbations in the initial droplet can have a large influence on the resulting final pattern. By simultaneously applying a stabilizing (horizontal) azimuthal magnetic field, we gain more control over the mode selection mechanism. We perform a linear stability analysis that shows that any single mode can be selected by appropriately adjusting the strengths of the applied fields. This offers a unique and accurate mode selection mechanism for this confined magnetic fluid system. We present the results of numerical simulations that demonstrate that this mode selection mechanism is quite robust and “overpowers” any initial perturbations on the droplet. This provides a predictable way to obtain patterns with any desired number of fingers.

Comments

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DOI

10.1140/epje/i2007-10199-x

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