Turbulence research

Department of Electronic Materials Engineering

Turbulence is listed among the most important unsolved problem of physics, which is due to both its complexity and its ubiquity in nature and technology. Though there is no universally accepted definition of turbulence, one can describe it, for example, as follows:

Turbulence is a state of a nonlinear physical system that has energy distribution over many degrees of freedom strongly deviated from equilibrium. Turbulence is irregular both in time and in space. Turbulence can be maintained by some external influence or it can decay on the way to relaxation to equilibrium. [Encyclopedia of Non-linear Sciences (2005)]

Applications of turbulence research include:

  • physics of weather and climate
  • atmospheric and oceanic phenomena
  • plasma confinement by magnetic field
  • many others...

Physics of Fluids Laboratory studies turbulence in fluid layers, wave turbulence and turbulence in rotating fluids. The group also studied turbulence in magnetically confined plasma. Fluid layers mimic many aspects of atmospheric and oceanic flows, whose extent in horizontal direction (hundreds of kilometres) exceeds the depth of the atmosphere or the ocean (<10 km). This group studies of turbulence self-organization, or generation of coherent flows by turbulence in layers.

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