Skip to main content

Slender elliptical jets

Smith, M.D. (1994) Slender elliptical jets. Astrophysical Journal, 421 (2). pp. 400-411. ISSN 0004-637X. (doi:10.1086/173659) (The full text of this publication is not currently available from this repository. You may be able to access a copy if URLs are provided) (KAR id:50161)

The full text of this publication is not currently available from this repository. You may be able to access a copy if URLs are provided.
Official URL:


The structure of steady hydrodynamic jets is investigated. The slender-jet method is employed to determine the changes in the cross-section with distance, beginning from a subsonic flow, progressing through a nozzle and subsequently reaching highly supersonic speeds. Gravity, a confining ambient pressure, and a streamline-dependent Bernoulli constant (equivalent to a variation in the injection energy or entropy across the jet) are included. A jet with an elliptical cross section either flattens into a sheet or beomes circular, according to a simple condition. The progress to a sheet is slowed in the nozzle region where the major axis flips 90° (the aspect ratio passing just once through unity). Gravity influences the final direction of flattening, but its main effect is to separate the transonic and nozzle locations. A volume instability distorts the shape of the jets, which flattens if the Bernoulli streamline constant is globally constant. This leads to jet splitting or stranding with the bifurcation mode prominent. In the more general case, it is the radial variation in the Bernoulli constant which determines the jet stability: the rule is that a negative gradient stabilizes the jet, and a positive gradient leads to a small-scale disintegration via a fragmenting sheath. Hence jet survival depends crucially on how the entropy is distributed, with a higher entropy along the axis stabilizing the flow. An important exception is that of jets in which the ambient pressure falloff with distance is slow. Then the jet flattens into a sheet of decreasing thickness. This sheet is unstable for all distributions of the Bernoulli constant. The conclusion is that a steady flow in which the jet opening angle does not increase with distance can only occur if (1) the external pressure is proportional to z-q with ? < q < 2?, where ? is the adiabatic index, and (2) the total specific energy is highest along the jet axis. The model discussed here is relevant to hot outflows from stars and galaxies as well as extragalactic jets.

Item Type: Article
DOI/Identification number: 10.1086/173659
Uncontrolled keywords: Galaxies: jets, Hydrodynamics, ISM: jets and outflows, Stars: pre-main-sequence
Subjects: Q Science > QB Astronomy > QB460 Astrophysics
Divisions: Divisions > Division of Natural Sciences > Physics and Astronomy
Depositing User: Giles Tarver
Date Deposited: 11 Aug 2015 10:40 UTC
Last Modified: 16 Nov 2021 10:20 UTC
Resource URI: (The current URI for this page, for reference purposes)
Smith, M.D.:
  • Depositors only (login required):

Total unique views for this document in KAR since July 2020. For more details click on the image.