May 23 – 24, 2024
École polytechnique
Europe/Paris timezone

Turbulence at the Kolmogorov scale

May 23, 2024, 11:15 AM
Amphi Curie (École polytechnique)

Amphi Curie

École polytechnique

Route de Saclay, 91120 Palaiseau


Bérengère Dubrulle


If you stir strongly enough a viscous flow, it becomes turbulent and displays vortices and coherent structures of various sizes. The typical scale for energy dissipation is called the Kolmogorov scale η and marks the transition between the power law behavior and a steep exponential decay in the wavenumber range. Therefore, scales smaller than η contains a negligible fraction of the kinetic energy. Because of that, it is often thought that scales below η are irrelevant and that “nothing interesting is happening below η”. For a long time, it was for example thought that a direct numerical simulation of a viscous fluid is “well resolved” if its minimal grid spacing is η. Recent theoretical and experimental progresses however suggest that many interesting phenomena do happen below η and this may impact the validity of Navier-Stokes equations (NSE) as model for the dynamics of industrial, geophysical or astrophysical fluids. This talk discusses some of these phenomena using both numerical simulations and a dedicated large turbulent experiment.

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