The stability of an incompressible boundary layer is analyzed in terms of three basic processes. These are (a) the oscillations of a boundary layer when friction is disregarded, (b) the effects of friction at the wall, and (c) the effects of friction at the critical layer. These processes are separately discussed and evaluated. Simple models are presented. A general equation leads to the eigenvalues. The neutral curves corresponding to five typical cases are determined—parabolic and Blasius boundary layers, boundary layers with suction and with adverse pressure gradient, two-dimensional Poiseuille flow. The unstable boundary layer is discussed briefly. The nonlinear effects of the oscillation on the velocity profile are evaluated. Finally, the case of a boundary layer along an elastic wall is considered, and it is found that the wall may have a significant effect on the layer. In particular, a wall with negative damping could completely stabilize the boundary layer.

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