Coalescence of Saffman-Taylor fingers: A new global instability

David A. Kessler, Herbert Levine

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

22 Scopus citations


We study the stability of a parallel array of Saffman-Taylor fingers in the limit of infinite viscosity contrast. We discover a modulatory instability which prevents the system from remaining in steady-state motion. We discuss how this instability signals the beginning of the coalescence of the finger array to the final single-finger steady-state configuration. Finally, we speculate on the importance of this global instability for the understanding of patterns in diffusion-limited growth.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)3625-3627
Number of pages3
JournalPhysical Review A
Issue number5
StatePublished - 1986
Externally publishedYes


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