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Genesis of coherent structures through an interactive bypass transition process

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The Nature of High Reynolds Number Turbulence

The interaction between two localized disturbances is analyzed in a subcritical channel flow through direct numerical simulations. The initial perturbations are in the form of two pairs of counter rotating vortices. One of them interacts with the wall normal vorticity layers set-up near the wall, by compressing or stretching locally part of them through the straining motion it induces. The breakdown of spanwise symmetry leads to the rapid development of a new wall normal vorticity patch that is tilted by the shear and rolls up into a new small-scale streamwise vortex. The process results in a localized turbulent spot at later stages of development. A detailed analysis is carried out to determine the role of different parameters entering in the physics of the mechanism. Several critical thresholds that trigger the interactive bypass transition process are found and analyzed. The similitude parameters resulting from the parametric investigation coincide well with those governing the self-sustaining Reynolds shear stress producing eddies in the buffer layer of a fully developed turbulent wall flow. It is suggested that the mechanism we propose may play some role in the regeneration cycle of the near wall turbulence generating structures by precisely bypassing the three-dimensional streak instability mechanism. An active strategy based on this process is applied to the mixing in microsystems. The specific interactions asymmetrically distributed in space lead to a better mixing locally in time and space leading to the possibility of active control of scalar transport in micro devices.

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

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