Document Type



Mathematics (HMC)

Publication Date



Numerical simulations of lubrication models provide clues for experimentalists about the development of wave structures in thin liquid films. We analyze numerical simulations of a lubrication model for an inclined thin liquid film modified by Marangoni forces due to a thermal gradient and additional localized forcing heating the substrate. Numerical results can be explained through connections to theory for hyperbolic conservation laws predicting wave fronts from Marangoni-driven thin films without forcing. We demonstrate how a variety of forcing profiles, such as Gaussian, rectangular, and triangular, affect the formation of downstream transient structures, including an N wave not commonly discussed in the context of thin films. Simulations employing a controlled approximation of a compressive-undercompressive wave pair demonstrate possibilities for applications of localized forcing as microfluidic valve. In the simulations, localized forcing provides a control parameter that can be used to determine mass flux and film profiles.


First published in Physical Review E, vol. 82, no. 5 (September 2010), by the American Physical Society.

Rights Information

© 2010 American Physical Society

Terms of Use & License Information

Terms of Use for work posted in Scholarship@Claremont.