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Phys Rev Lett. 2015 Sep 25;115(13):134502. doi: 10.1103/PhysRevLett.115.134502. Epub 2015 Sep 23.

Sudden Relaminarization and Lifetimes in Forced Isotropic Turbulence.

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1
SUPA, School of Physics and Astronomy, University of Edinburgh, JCMB, King's Buildings, Peter Guthrie Tait Road EH9 3FD, Edinburgh, United Kingdom.

Abstract

We demonstrate an unexpected connection between isotropic turbulence and wall-bounded shear flows. We perform direct numerical simulations of isotropic turbulence forced at large scales at moderate Reynolds numbers and observe sudden transitions from a chaotic dynamics to a spatially simple flow, analogous to the laminar state in wall bounded shear flows. We find that the survival probabilities of turbulence are exponential and the typical lifetimes increase superexponentially with the Reynolds number. Our results suggest that both isotropic turbulence and wall-bounded shear flows qualitatively share the same phase-space dynamics.

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