Emanuel, Kerry Andrew Department of Earth, Atmospheric and Planetary Sciences, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge, Massachusetts.
Last reviewed:January 2020
- Vorticity and invertibility
- Barotropic instability
- Baroclinic instability
- Other instabilities
- Related Primary Literature
- Additional Reading
A state of fluid flow in which the distribution of mass and momentum is unstable. Fluid flows are subject to a variety of instabilities which generally cause the flow to become more complex and which often lead to turbulent, chaotic flow. Instabilities are responsible for a variety of phenomena in natural flows, including cyclones, hurricanes, and thunderstorms in the atmosphere; mantle convection in the Earth's interior; and granules and supergranules in stellar atmospheres. A great deal of research in the geophysical and astrophysical sciences has focused on flow instabilities; and instability plays an important role in engineering problems ranging from naval engineering and aeronautics to the design of efficient heating and cooling systems. See also: Fluid mechanics; Turbulent flow
The content above is only an excerpt.
for your institution. Subscribe
To learn more about subscribing to AccessScience, or to request a no-risk trial of this award-winning scientific reference for your institution, fill in your information and a member of our Sales Team will contact you as soon as possible.
to your librarian. Recommend
Let your librarian know about the award-winning gateway to the most trustworthy and accurate scientific information.
AccessScience provides the most accurate and trustworthy scientific information available.
Recognized as an award-winning gateway to scientific knowledge, AccessScience is an amazing online resource that contains high-quality reference material written specifically for students. Contributors include more than 10,000 highly qualified scientists and 46 Nobel Prize winners.
MORE THAN 8700 articles covering all major scientific disciplines and encompassing the McGraw-Hill Encyclopedia of Science & Technology and McGraw-Hill Yearbook of Science & Technology
115,000-PLUS definitions from the McGraw-Hill Dictionary of Scientific and Technical Terms
3000 biographies of notable scientific figures
MORE THAN 19,000 downloadable images and animations illustrating key topics
ENGAGING VIDEOS highlighting the life and work of award-winning scientists
SUGGESTIONS FOR FURTHER STUDY and additional readings to guide students to deeper understanding and research
LINKS TO CITABLE LITERATURE help students expand their knowledge using primary sources of information