Rayleigh-Taylor instability at a gas-water interface has been investigated experimentally. Such instability was produced by accelerating a water column down a vertical circular tube employing shock wave impact. Accelerations from 50 to 100 times gravitational acceleration with fluid depths from 125 to 250 mm were studied. The resulting instability from small amplitude random perturbations was recorded and later analyzed using high-speed video images. Cavity formation was observed in the middle of the gas-water interface soon after the shock wave impact; bubbles and spikes then developed across the rest of the interfacial plane. Measurements of the growth coefficient of the bubbles and spikes show that they are nearly constant over different runs.

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