Art

Turbulent Flames

The flames surrounding a burning tree stump flicker and billow in this image from photographer Serdar Ozturk. The chaotic motion of the flames is indicative of turbulence, a state of fluid flow known for its many scales. Note the range of lengthscales and structures in the fire. In turbulent flows, kinetic energy cascades from large scales, like the width of the top of the plume, down to the small scales, which may be even smaller than the wisps of flame at the edges of the fire. At the largest scales, the structures and behaviors we observe are all flow- and geometry-dependent, but theory predicts that, at the smallest scales, all turbulent flows look the same. (Photo credit: trashhand/Serdar Ozturk)

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