The problem of a bubble moving steadily in a Hele-Shaw cell goes back to Taylor and Saffman in 1959. It is analogous to the well-known selection problem for Saffman-Taylor fingers in a Hele-Shaw channel. We apply techniques in exponential asymptotics to study the bubble problem in the limit of vanishing surface tension, confirming previous numerical results, including a previously predicted surface tension scaling law. Our analysis sheds light on the multiple tips in the shape of the bubbles along solution branches, which appear to be caused by switching on and off exponentially small wavelike contributions across Stokes lines in a conformally mapped plane.
- Industrial and Applied Mathematics Seminar