Approximate Equations of Motion for Gases and Liquids

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  • 1 Dept. of Meteorology, The Pennsylvania State University, University Park
  • | 2 George C. Marshall Space Flight Center, NASA, Huntsville, Ala.
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Abstract

A set of conditions which justify the application of the Boussinesq approximation to compressible fluids is developed. Two cases are found and compared. In the first, in which the vertical scale of the motion can be of the same order of magnitude as the scale height of the medium, the perturbation momentum must be nondivergent and the effects of perturbations of pressure appear in several places. In the other case, where the vertical scale of the motion is much less than the scale height, the perturbation velocities are non-divergent and the perturbation pressure appears only in the pressure gradient force.

The approximate equations lead to linearized equations controlling the stability of wave motion which are formally equivalent to those for the same problem in the flow of a stratified medium which is incompressible in the sense that the flow is solenoidal. Thus, a variety of results about such motions are made applicable to the problems of convection and gravity wave motion in the atmosphere.

Various properties of the approximate equations are investigated; it is shown that acoustic modes are not permitted; quadratic forms which can serve as energies in various cases are developed; and integral methods of determining stability criteria are reviewed and applied.

In order to give the results wider applicability than to ideal gases, an ideal liquid is defined (cp and the coefficients of expansion all being constant). The thermodynamic functions of this ideal liquid, including the entropy, internal energy and potential temperature, are determined explicitly.

Abstract

A set of conditions which justify the application of the Boussinesq approximation to compressible fluids is developed. Two cases are found and compared. In the first, in which the vertical scale of the motion can be of the same order of magnitude as the scale height of the medium, the perturbation momentum must be nondivergent and the effects of perturbations of pressure appear in several places. In the other case, where the vertical scale of the motion is much less than the scale height, the perturbation velocities are non-divergent and the perturbation pressure appears only in the pressure gradient force.

The approximate equations lead to linearized equations controlling the stability of wave motion which are formally equivalent to those for the same problem in the flow of a stratified medium which is incompressible in the sense that the flow is solenoidal. Thus, a variety of results about such motions are made applicable to the problems of convection and gravity wave motion in the atmosphere.

Various properties of the approximate equations are investigated; it is shown that acoustic modes are not permitted; quadratic forms which can serve as energies in various cases are developed; and integral methods of determining stability criteria are reviewed and applied.

In order to give the results wider applicability than to ideal gases, an ideal liquid is defined (cp and the coefficients of expansion all being constant). The thermodynamic functions of this ideal liquid, including the entropy, internal energy and potential temperature, are determined explicitly.

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