Testing a missing spectral link in turbulence

H. Kellay, Tuan Tran, W. Goldburg, N. Goldenfeld, G. Gioia, P. Chakraborty

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Although the cardinal attribute of turbulence is the velocity fluctuations, these fluctuations have been ignored in theories of the frictional drag of turbulent flows. Our goal is to test a new theory that links the frictional drag to the spectral exponent , a property of the velocity fluctuations in a flow. We use a soapfilm channel wherein for the first time the value of can be switched between 3 and 5=3, the two theoretically possible values in soap-film flows. To induce turbulence with ¼ 5=3, we make one of the edges of the soap-film channel serrated. Remarkably, the new theory of the frictional drag holds in both soap-film flows (for either value of the spectral exponent ) and ordinary pipe flows (where ¼ 5=3), even though these types of flow are governed by different equations
Original languageEnglish
Article number254502
Number of pages5
JournalPhysical review letters
Issue number25
Publication statusPublished - 2012


  • IR-82836
  • METIS-291561


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