Vortex shedding resonance or lock-on is observed when a bluff body is placed in an incident mean flow with a superimposed periodic component. Direct numerical simulations of this flow at a Reynolds number of 200 are compared here with experiments that have been conducted by several investigators. The bounds of the lock-on or resonance flow regimes for the computations and experiments are in good agreement. The computed and measured vortex street wavelengths also are in good agreement with experiments at Reynolds numbers from 100 to 2000. Comparison of these computations with experiments shows that both natural, or unforced, and forced vortex street wakes are nondispersive in their wave-like behavior. Recent active control experiments with rotational oscillations of a circular cylinder find this same nondispersive behavior over a three-fold range of frequencies at Reynolds numbers up to 15,000. The vortex shedding and lock-on resulting from the introduction of a periodic inflow component upon the mean flow exhibit a particularly strong resonance between the imposed perturbations and the vortices.

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