Ultimate Turbulent Taylor-Couette Flow

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The flow structure of strongly turbulent Taylor-Couette flow with Reynolds numbers up to Rei=2×106 of the inner cylinder is experimentally examined with high-speed particle image velocimetry (PIV). The wind Reynolds numbers Rew of the turbulent Taylor-vortex flow is found to scale as Rew∝Ta1/2, exactly as predicted by Grossmann and Lohse [ Phys. Fluids 23 045108 (2011)] for the ultimate turbulence regime, in which the boundary layers are turbulent. The dimensionless angular velocity flux has an effective scaling of Nuω∝Ta0.38, also in correspondence with turbulence in the ultimate regime. The scaling of Nuω is confirmed by local angular velocity flux measurements extracted from high-speed PIV measurements: though the flux shows huge fluctuations, its spatial and temporal average nicely agrees with the result from the global torque measurements
Original languageEnglish
Article number024501
Number of pages5
JournalPhysical review letters
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2012


  • IR-79931
  • METIS-283116


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