Self-similar decay of high Reynolds number Taylor-Couette turbulence

Ruben Adriaan Verschoof, Sander Gerard Huisman, Roeland van der Veen, Chao Sun, Detlef Lohse

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We study the decay of high-Reynolds-number Taylor-Couette turbulence, i.e., the turbulent flow between two coaxial rotating cylinders. To do so, the rotation of the inner cylinder (Re i =2×10 6 , the outer cylinder is at rest) is stopped within 12 s, thus fully removing the energy input to the system. Using a combination of laser Doppler anemometry and particle image velocimetry measurements, six decay decades of the kinetic energy could be captured. First, in the absence of cylinder rotation, the flow-velocity during the decay does not develop any height dependence in contrast to the well-known Taylor vortex state. Second, the radial profile of the azimuthal velocity is found to be self-similar. Nonetheless, the decay of this wall-bounded inhomogeneous turbulent flow does not follow a strict power law as for decaying turbulent homogeneous isotropic flows, but it is faster, due to the strong viscous drag applied by the bounding walls. We theoretically describe the decay in a quantitative way by taking the effects of additional friction at the walls into account.
Original languageEnglish
Article number062402
Pages (from-to)-
Number of pages9
JournalPhysical review fluids
Issue number062402
Publication statusPublished - 2016


  • METIS-318245
  • IR-101778


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