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Turbulent-laminar patterns in plane Couette flow

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The Nature of High Reynolds Number Turbulence

Plane Couette flow near transition displays steady periodic oblique bands of alternating turbulent and laminar flow. Numerical simulations of the Navier-Stokes equations in a tilted domain show a rich variety of such patterns, including spatio-temporal intermittency, branching and travelling states, and localized states analogous to spots. Quantitative analysis of the Reynolds-averaged equations reveals that both the mean flow and the turbulent force are centrosymmetric and can be described by only three trigonometric functions, leading to a model of 6 ODEs. The transition is best described as a bifurcation in the probability distribution function of the first Fourier component.

This talk is part of the Isaac Newton Institute Seminar Series series.

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