Stability of Axisymmetric Figures of Equilibrium of a Rotating Charged Liquid Drop
Abstract
The method of the tensor virial is used to investigate the equilibrium and stability of a rotating, uniformly charged (with a total charge Q), incompressible liquid drop (of volume V) held together by a constant surface tension T. The tensor virial theorems provide relations which define the sequences of equilibrium figures and perturbation equations which govern the oscillations. Since spheroids satisfy the virial theorems of orders one, two, and three, the stability of exact axisymmetric equilibrium figures with respect to second and thirdharmonic deformations can be inferred from the nature of the characteristic oscillation frequencies of spheroids. As the rotation increases for a given fissionability parameter x = Q^{2}/10TV (0 ≤ x < 1), a sequence of oblate spheroids representing initially stable rotating ground states exhibits a neutral point (where an ellipsoidal sequence bifurcates), but remains stable (in the absence of dissipation) until one of the three secondharmonic modes of vibration (the toroidal or γ mode) becomes overstable. Later, for third harmonics, it exhibits a second neutral point (where a sequence of asymmetric figures bifurcates), but again remains stable until the onset of the associated overstability. A third neutral point does not indicate the bifurcation of pear shapes. The error in using oblate spheroids is less than 5% up to the first overstable point. One class of saddle shapes can be represented by prolate spheroids (which must rotate about the symmetry axis) in the neighborhood of x = 1. They are initially unstable with respect to the other two secondharmonic modes of vibration (the pulsation or β mode and the transverseshear mode).
 Publication:

Journal of Mathematical Physics
 Pub Date:
 January 1967
 DOI:
 10.1063/1.1705107
 Bibcode:
 1967JMP.....8...98R