Flow separation in a divergent channel was investigated in connection with problems of instability and oscillations in physiology at a Reynolds number range much smaller than that usually considered in engineering diffuser design. Experimental data on a divergent flow through a two-dimensional water tunnel in the Reynolds number range Re = 1000 to 6000 are presented. The quantities measured are flow rate, divergence angle, and mean pressure differential between two fixed points at the throat and downstream. In a lower range of divergence angle flow separation is characterized by a sharp decrease in the mean pressure differential when the flow rate is increased continuously and gradually; whereas recovery from separation is signaled by a discontinuous increase in pressure when the flow rate is decreased again. The critical Reynolds numbers for separation and reattachment are detectably different. Some discussion is given about flow separation in external and internal flows.

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