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Astron. Astrophys. 333, 1117-1129 (1998)

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Three-dimensional simulations of jets

G. Bodo 1, 3, P. Rossi 1, S. Massaglia 2, A. Ferrari 1, 2, 3, A. Malagoli 3 and R. Rosner 3

1 Osservatorio Astronomico di Torino, I-10025 Pino Torinese, Italy (surname@to.astro.it)
2 Dipartimento Fisica Generale, Universitá di Torino, I-10125 Torino, Italy (surname@ph.unito.it)
3 Department of Astronomy & Astrophysics, University of Chicago, Chicago, IL 60637, USA (surname@oddjob.uchicago.edu)

Received 20 June 1997 / Accepted 18 February 1998


We present three-dimensional direct numerical simulations of an hydrodynamical supersonic jet, comparing them to analogous results obtained in two dimensions. The differences seen between three-dimensional and two-dimensional jet evolution including faster evolution, enhanced mixing and larger jet momentum depletion, are interpreted in terms of specific physical differences between these two cases. We have identified two main physical differences: The first is the faster development of small-scale structures in three dimensions, through either the growth of linearly unstable non-axisymmetric (three-dimensional) modes or the non-linear cascade of energy to smaller scales; the second is the different scaling of volumes in the two cases. Based on our 2-D and 3-D results, we discuss the limitations of using two-dimensional simulations to capture the evolution of three-dimensional jets.

Key words: hydrodynamics – instabilities – turbulence – galaxies: jets – ISM: jets and outflows

Send offprint requests to: G. Bodo

© European Southern Observatory (ESO) 1998

Online publication: April 28, 1998