Phenomena

An Introduction to Turbulence

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With some help from Physics Girl and her friends, Grant Sanderson at 3Blue1Brown has a nice video introduction to turbulence, complete with neat homemade laser-sheet illuminations of turbulent flows. Grant explains some of the basics of what turbulence is (and isn’t) and gives viewers a look at the equations that govern flow – as befits a mathematics channel! 

There’s also an introduction to Kolmogorov’s theorem, which, to date, has been one of the most successful theoretical approaches to understanding turbulence. It describes how energy is passed from large eddies in the flow to smaller ones, and it’s been tested extensively in the nearly 80 years since its first appearance. Just how well the theory holds, and what situations it breaks down in, are still topics of active research and debate. (Video and image credit: G. Sanderson/3Blue1Brown; submitted by Maria-Isabel C.)

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