Scientists forecast the behavior of turbulent fluid flow using recognizable recurring patterns.

Scientists forecast the behavior of turbulent fluid flow using recognizable recurring patterns.

Recent progress by physicists Michael Schatz and Roman Grigoriev, professors in Georgia Tech’s School of Physics, along with graduate researchers Balachandra Suri and Jeffrey Tithof could one day help sharpen weather forecasts and extend their range by making better use of weather and climate data.

Recent progress by physicists Michael Schatz and Roman Grigoriev, professors in Georgia Tech’s School of Physics, along with graduate researchers Balachandra Suri and Jeffrey Tithof could one day help sharpen weather forecasts and extend their range by making better use of weather and climate data.

Turbulence can curve as a puff of air, swirl past a river bend or churn as a hurricane, and though its curlicues may appear random, turbulence lays down signature patterns that the physicists are investigating. They have developed a simple mathematical model that has helped them show how turbulent flows will evolve.

And, in a novel experiment, they verified their predictions physically in a two-dimensional turbulent flow produced in a lab.

The research results are published online in the journal Physical Review Letters  and featured online in the Georgia Tech Research Horizons magazine.  (http://www.rh.gatech.edu/features/predicting-turbulence).

 

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