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Communications in Nonlinear Science and Numerical Simulation xxx (2008) xxxxxx www.elsevier.com/locate/cnsns

Short communication

An approximate analytic solution of the Blasius problem

Faiz Ahmad a,*, Wafaa H. Al-Barakati b
a

Centre for Advanced Mathematics and Physics, National University of Science and Technology, EME Campus, Peshawar Road, Rawalpindi, Pakistan b Department of Mathematics, Faculty of Science, King Abdulaziz University, P.O. Box 15905 Jeddah 21454, Saudi Arabia Received 19 September 2007; received in revised form 26 December 2007; accepted 31 December 2007

Abstract The [4/3] Pade approximant for the derivative is modied so that the resulting expression has the required asymptotic behavior. This gives an analytical result which represents the solution of the classical Blasius problem on the whole domain. 2008 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.
PACS: 47.15.Cb; 02.30.Mv Keywords: Viscous ow; Blasius problem; Analytical solution; Pade approximation

1. Introduction The two dimensional steady state laminar viscous ow over a semi-innite at plate is modeled by the nonlinear two-point boundary value Blasius problem 1 f 000 g f gf 000 g 0; g P 0 2 f 0 0; f 0 0 0; f 0 1 1 1:1a 1:1b

where g and f g are, respectively, the dimensionless coordinate and the dimensionless stream function. Blasius [1] found the following analytic solution for the problem 1 X  1k Ak rk1 f g g3k2 ; 1:2 2 3k 2! k0 where A0 A1 1 and
*

Please cite this article in press as: Ahmad F, Al-Barakati WH, An approximate analytic solution of the Blasius problem, Commun Nonlinear Sci Numer Simul (2008), doi:10.1016/j.cnsns.2007.12.010

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k1 X  3k 1  r0

Ak

3r

Ar Akr1 ;

k P 2:

1:3

In (1.2) r denotes the unknown f 00 0: In spite of the presence of 3k 2! in the denominator, the above series converges only within a nite interval 0; g0 where g0 % 1:8894, thus making it impossible to use (1.2) to r nd r by applying the last condition in (1.1b) for a large g. Howarth [2] solved the Blasius problem numerically and found r % 0:33206: Asaithambi [3] found this number correct to nine decimal positions as 0.332057336. Although the Blasius problem is almost a century old, it is still a topic of active current research [411]. The series (1.2) fails to converge outside a nite interval. This diculty is inherent in several physical problems governed by a nonlinear dierential equation in that although a solution exists over an unbounded domain, but a power series representation of the solution converges only within a nite interval. For such problems nding an analytical solution which is uniformly valid over the whole domain is of fundamental interest. For the Blasius problem such a solution did not exist until 1999, when Liao, in a land mark paper, published a solution by using the homotopy analysis method [5]. His 35th order solution diers from Howaths numerical solution [2], for g P 5, only in the fourth decimal position. However, Liaos solution contains a large number of terms so that an explicit expression for the 35th order solution will require several pages to write upon. In this short note, we derive a short analytical expression for the derivative of the solution. The idea is to form a hybrid expression which takes care of f 0 g not only for small g but also when g grows very large. The 4=3 Pade approximant for f 0 g is slightly modied to the eect that the resulting expression represents the function on the entire domain 0; 1 with remarkable accuracy. The actual solution is found by a simple quadrature. A comparison with the numerical results shows that our solution gives accurate results over the entire domain. For large g our expression yields results in agreement with the numerical up to four decimal positions. We remark that whereas Liaos solution is completely analytical, ours is partly numerical in that we make no attempt to evaluate r, but use its value as found numerically in [2,3] or analytically by Liao [5] or Ahmad [8]. Also we use the numerical result f 7 5:27924. Our emphasis is on nding a simple expression capable of producing accurate results over the entire domain 0; 1. 2. Uniformly valid analytic solution We start with the analytical solution (1.2) with four terms f g rg2 r2 g5 11r3 g8 5r4 g11 2 240 161; 280 4; 257; 792 r2 g4 11r3 g7 5r4 g10 48 20; 160 387; 072 2:1

On dierentiation, we get f 0 g rg 2:2

We shall use a Pade approximant to represent the above expression [12]. A Pade [4/3] approximant of (2.2) gives f 0 g
3 rg 560 r2 g4 11 1 420 rg3
2

2:3

In the above expression let r 0:332057 and modify it by adding ag5 expg4 1 to the numerator as well as the denominator. Denote the new expression by gg. We get gg 0:332057g 0:00059069g4 ag5 expg4 1 1 0:00869674g3 ag5 expg4 1
2 2

2:4

The above step is motivated by the idea that the function g will represent f 0 with fair amount of accuracy for small g and g will quickly approach unity as g becomes large. The parameter a is to be chosen in such a
Please cite this article in press as: Ahmad F, Al-Barakati WH, An approximate analytic solution of the Blasius problem, Commun Nonlinear Sci Numer Simul (2008), doi:10.1016/j.cnsns.2007.12.010

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manner that we get close agreement in sofar as possible in the transition from small g to large g. Also the choice of the exponential function is dictated by the following heuristic argument. Eq. (1.1a) can be written in the form f 000 g 1 f g 00 g f 2 An integration from 0 to g gives   Z 1 g f 00 g r exp f u du 2 0

2:5

For large u, f 0 u ! 1, therefore, as an approximation we choose f u u in (2.5) which gives f 00 g % r exp 1 g2 : An integration from g to 1 will give 2 Z 1 1 2 0 1 f g % r e2u du 2:6
g

If we express the right side in the form of an asymptotic series and keep only the rst term, we obtain f 0 g \$ 1 r exp 1 g2 2 g 2:7

An inspection of (2.4) shows that, for large g, gg f 0 g behaves as required by (2.7). Rb If we choose a so that 0 gg dg is close to the value of the exact solution at b such that gb % 1, the integral will continue to be close to the exact solution in b; 1. We arbitrarily select b 7 and nd that with a 2:88 106
Table 1 Comparison of analytical and numerical results g 0 0.4 0.8 1.2 1.6 2.0 2.4 2.8 3.2 3.6 4.0 4.4 4.6 4.8 5.0 5.2 5.4 5.6 5.8 6.0 6.4 6.8 7.0 7.4 8.0 10 20 100 Approximate solution 0 0.0266 0.1061 0.2379 0.4203 0.6500 0.9223 1.2311 1.5693 1.9297 2.3058 2.6922 2.8879 3.0848 3.2827 3.4813 3.6805 3.8799 4.0796 4.2794 4.6793 5.0792 5.2792 5.6792 6.2792 8.2792 18.2792 98.2792 Numerical solution 0 0.0266 0.1061 0.2379 0.4203 0.6500 0.9223 1.2310 1.5691 1.9295 2.3057 2.6924 2.8882 3.0853 3.2833 3.4819 3.6809 3.8803 4.0799 4.2796 4.6794 5.0793 5.2792 5.6792 6.2792 8.2792 18.2792 98.2792

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Z
0

gg dg 5:27923

while the exact value of the solution, found numerically, is 5.27924. We substitute the above value of a in (2.4) and expect that the resulting expression will provide an approximate analytical expression for the derivative of the solution on the entire domain 0; 1. A comparison of the analytical results with the numerical in Table 1 justies this expectation. With a 2:88 106 ; gg becomes : 2:8 2 1 0:00869674g3 0:00000288g5 expg4 1 Rg In Table 1, we compare the approximate results 0 gu du with the ones obtained by a numerical solution of the Blasius problem. We observe that the two results match to four decimal positions for 0 6 g 6 2:8: In the transition stage 2:8 6 g 6 7:0 the two results agree to three decimal positions and even in this interval the maximum error is less than two parts in ten thousand. For g P 7:0 the two results again match to four decimal Rg positions. In view of this, we can claim that the function 0 gu du represents the solution of the Blasius problem on the whole domain 0; 1 with maximum error less than one part in ve thousand. gg Acknowledgement Part of this work was done while the rst author was at the King Abdulaziz University. He wishes to thank the University for its hospitality. References
[1] Blasius H. Grenzschichten in Flussigkeiten mit kleiner Reibung. Z Math Phys 1908;56:137. [2] Howarth L. On the solution of the laminar boundary layer equations. Proc London Math Soc A 1938;164:54779. [3] Asaithambi Asai. Solution of the FalknerSkan equation by recursive evaluation of Taylor coecients. J Comput Appl Math 2005;176:20314. [4] Liao SJ. An approximate solution technique not depending on small parameters part 2: an application in uid mechanics. Int J NonLinear Mech 1997;32:81522. [5] Liao SJ. An explicit, totally analytic approximate solution for Blasius viscous ow problems. Int J Non-Linear Mech 1999;34:75978. [6] He JH. A simple perturbation approach to Blasius equation. Appl Math Comput 2003;140:21722. [7] Fang T, Guo F, Lee CF. A note on the extended Blasius problem. Appl Math Lett 2006;19:6137. [8] Ahmad F. Application of CroccoWang equation to the Blasius problem. Electron J Tech Acoust 2007:2. Available from: <http:// www.ejta.org>. [9] Cortell R. Numerical solution of the classical Blasius at-plate problem. Appl Math Comput 2005;170:70610. [10] Wang L. A new algorithm for solving classical Blasius equation. Appl Math Comput 2004;157:19. [11] Ahmad F. Degeneracy in the Blasius problem. Electron J Dier Equations 2007;2007(92):18. [12] Baker Jr GA, Graves Morris P. Pade approximants. Cambridge University Press; 1996.

0:332057g 0:00059069g4 0:00000288g5 expg4 1

Please cite this article in press as: Ahmad F, Al-Barakati WH, An approximate analytic solution of the Blasius problem, Commun Nonlinear Sci Numer Simul (2008), doi:10.1016/j.cnsns.2007.12.010