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Experimental Evidence of a Phase Transition in a Closed Turbulent Flow

Abstract : We experimentally study the susceptibility to symmetry breaking of a closed turbulent von Kármán swirling flow from Re ¼ 150 to Re ' 10 6. We report a divergence of this susceptibility at an intermediate Reynolds number Re ¼ Re ' 90 000 which gives experimental evidence that such a highly space and time fluctuating system can undergo a ''phase transition.'' This transition is furthermore associated with a peak in the amplitude of fluctuations of the instantaneous flow symmetry corresponding to intermittencies between spontaneously symmetry breaking metastable states.
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P.-P. Cortet, Arnaud Chiffaudel, François Daviaud, Bérengère Dubrulle. Experimental Evidence of a Phase Transition in a Closed Turbulent Flow. Physical Review Letters, American Physical Society, 2010, 105 (21), pp.214501. ⟨10.1103/PhysRevLett.105.214501⟩. ⟨cea-01373378⟩

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